Q: I have had this plant on my front porch for thirty years. It started with one sad looking leaf and has turned into what you see. I would love to know exactly what kind of plant this is. It has survived all these years in this spot, in this pot, in this stand.
A: Wow – thirty years??!! I would have predicted that it would be frozen to death in winter!
The plant is a split leaf philodendron, Philodendron bipinnatifidum. Once upon a time, folks called it selloum.
It is similar to Swiss cheese plant, Monstera deliciosa, but the Monstera has holes in the leaves while the philodendron just has deeply indented lobes.
Splitleaf philodendron is commonly grown outdoors in south Georgia but it typically doesn’t last through many winters in Atlanta. Even if it gets frozen, though, it will often come back from the roots.