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Philodendron Varieties Comprehensive Houseplant Guide

Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by Plant Mom Care

There are around 450 varieties of philodendrons in the world. These popular tropical plants are typically categorized by growing habits – upright or climbing, available in numerous colors, textures, and sizes, and, best of all, very easy to grow.

Most of the varieties generally prefer partial sun, but variegated varieties need bright indirect light to grow and thrive properly. As tropical plants, they prefer warm and humid environments, which can be replicated by keeping the plants in warm areas and supplementing humidity by misting or with a humidifier. 

They mostly prefer loamy and well-draining soil. Watering has to be monitored by watching the leaves — drooping leaves can either mean over-watering or under-watering.

Philodendron Gloriosum

how to water Philodendron Gloriosum care guide

This plant is a rare creeping, terrestrial, endemic to Colombia, and is a threatened species. It has cordate foliage and fuzzy surfaces, white, pale green, or pink veins, and pink margins. 

how to care for Philodendron Gloriosum

This has an underground rhizome and doesn’t climb or trail. Plant it in a narrow, long container so it has space to crawl. It is a forgiving and low-maintenance plant, perfect for novice gardeners.

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: well-draining and well-aerated soil. 
  • Height: about 3 feet tall.
  • Growth Rate: slow.

Philodendron Verrucosum

Philodendron Verrucosum care

This beautiful vining plant from tropical South America is well-known for its cordate leaves and lovely velvety green colors. The large leaves are 8 – 36 inches long when mature and accented with light green veins and maroon undersides.

Caring for this plant requires some patience and finesse since it is intolerant of any variance in its growing conditions. Since it’s a tropical plant, it prefers moderate or high humidity and warm temperatures and with its vining habit, it loves to climb. Support it with moss poles or a metal or wood frame to help it climb.  

how to care for Philodendron Verrucosum plant

It is a hemiepiphyte, meaning it starts life as an epiphyte on trees then it eventually roots itself in soil like other plants. It will occasionally produce pink and white flowers in summer.

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: well-aerated and well-draining soil. 
  • Height: 3 feet tall,
  • Growth Rate: moderate to fast

Philodendron Birkin

how to care for Philodendron Birkin plant indoor

This is a new and trendy variety with big, dark green leaves profusely streaked with creamy white. Every leaf has different variegations the plant gives you an ongoing display of colors throughout the year, sometimes producing leaves with red blotches or leaves that are completely reddish-green

Philodendron Birkin plant

This slow-growing plant makes an attractive point of focus on desks or tabletops when it is young. It can grow around 2 – 3 feet tall when mature and is self-supporting and does not climb because it tends to grow towards the light, rotating the plant occasionally to promote even growth.

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: moist, well-aerated, and well-draining soil.
  • Height: about 3 feet tall.
  • Growth Rate: slow.

Philodendron Brasil

Philodendron Brasil plant

This cultivator of heartleaf philodendron is easy to maintain and care for. It has variegated cordate leaves that look like they’re painted with streaks of lime green and yellow on their deep green foliage like the Brazilian flag (hence the common name). 

Adding to the lovely colors are pinkish-orange stems. This plant produces long cascading vines that easily touch the floor if kept on high shelves or hanging baskets.

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: well-draining soil. 
  • Height: 6 – 36 inches tall and 12 feet or longer.
  • Growth Rate: fast.

Heart Leaf Philodendron

How to Care For Heart Leaf Philodendron

This evergreen plant is endemic to tropical South & Central America and several Caribbean islands. Its cordate leaves are dark green but bronze-colored when they emerge. Mature plants might produce small green-white flowers on rare occasions.

This slow-growing plant needs repotting every 2 or 3 years. It has long, twisting stems that can hang gracefully from hanging baskets or be trained to climb up a trellis or strong pole. 

This plant can grow outdoors as ground cover in shaded areas or climb up trees or trellises in zones 10 to 11.

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: well-draining soil.
  • Height: 3 – 13 feet long.
  • Growth Rate: slow

Philodendron erubescens “Prince of Orange”

This plant is named for its distinctively colored leaves that change color in time – new growth first emerges as yellow then transitions to orange, and finally becomes dark green.

This clump-forming plant grows from a low-growing rosette, with large, thick leaves borne on short upright stems and can reach around 2 feet tall. The leaves tend to attract dust so wipe off the dust and grime using a damp cloth.

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: well-aerated and well-draining soil
  • Height: 2 feet tall.
  • Growth Rate: fast.

Philodendron Burle Marx

This low-growing vine or shrub has thick dark green glossy oval leaves and red stems that grow upright. It is endemic to the tropical rainforests of Brazil forming large clumps that eventually climb up trees or nearby structures. 

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: well-draining soil.
  • Height: 2 feet
  • Growth Rate: fast. 

Philodendron Xanadu

This large exotic compact plant is indigenous to South America, with beautiful shiny, leathery green lobed leaves that are 16 – 18 inches in length. The plant is frequently wider than tall, reaching heights of 2 – 4 feet and widths of 3 – 5 feet. 

Unlike most philodendrons, this plant has an upright growth habit and isn’t a vine or climber. It might flower outdoors in summer but the flowers are unimpressive and usually cut off by gardeners.

  • Light: indirect bright light.
  • Soil: well-aerated and well-draining soil. 
  • Height: 2-4 feet tall.
  • Growth Rate: fast.

Philodendron Brandtianum

This distinctive plant has broad, elongated, cordate olive green leaves and conspicuous silver or gray-white areas, hence its common name. Juvenile leaves are colorful due to their orange hues which change to shades of dark-green and olive when mature. 

Outdoors, mature vines can reach more than 30 feet long, but indoor plants usually grow between 4 – 8 feet long. This cascading and climbing plant is endemic to South America and is ideal for indoor places, kept in hanging baskets or terrariums, or containers supported with moss poles.

  • Light: indirect bright lighting. 
  • Soil: well-aerated and well-draining soil. 
  • Height: 4 – 8 feet long.
  • Growth Rate: fast.

Philodendron Moonlight

This plant has bright neon green (almost fluorescent) leaves when mature, unfurling as yellow from reddish sheaths as new leaves. It has a low growing habit and is great to plant in shaded spots in your garden. 

The flower is a white spadix with a reddish pink spathe. This low-growing plant and its fresh green leaves will brighten up your apartment or home. 

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: Rich, well-aerated, and well-draining soil. 
  • Height: about 20 – 24 inches tall
  • Growth Rate: moderate to fast. 

Philodendron Pedatum

This plant with oak-shaped, lobed leaves is endemic to South America. This climbing plant needs a supporting pole or other structures or hanging baskets to grow well and can become almost 9 feet long. The leaves have varying shapes as they grow, but normally follow an oak-leaf shape, reaching 14 inches long under ideal conditions. 

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: rich soil that drains well. 
  • Height: 9 feet long.
  • Growth Rate: fast.

Philodendron Micans

This plant has velvety, iridescent, cordate leaves of deep green with rich purple undersides, while new leaves emerge as pink-edged chartreuse. It is endemic to the Caribbean and tropical Mexico. 

This vine can elegantly cascade from hanging baskets, or be trained to climb up poles or a trellis. This is a perfect plant for limited spaces in your office or apartment. It is easy to grow and low-maintenance as an indoor houseplant. 

While it does produce flowers in its natural environment, it rarely flowers indoors and the blooms are rather insignificant next to its lovely foliage.

  • Light: medium to indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: well-aerated and well-draining soil. 
  • Height: 8 inches tall.
  • Growth Rate: fast.

Philodendron Bipennifolium

This odd-looking eccentric plant will make visitors’ heads turn and look twice at this rare beauty growing in a pot. Its large leaves are shaped like violins, horse’s heads, or big green butterflies. 

This hemi-epiphyte has thin, light brown stems with long aerial roots that help it wrap around trees in its natural habitat of Argentina and Brazil. 

While this plant is very rare and much sought-after by plant enthusiasts, it is relatively easy to maintain. It can be grown indoors by hanging baskets or containers on a moss pole.

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: loamy soil. 
  • Height: 3 – 7 feet long.
  • Growth Rate: fast

Philodendron Florida Ghost

This beautiful evergreen hybrid is a climbing vine and takes 10 years to attain its mature size. The colors of its unique ornate leaves start from white (hence the common name “Florida ghost”) then turn cream, minty green, and finally dark green when mature. 

The leaves can get 2 – 4 inches long and don’t have similar shapes although they all have several lobes. The flowers are purple and cream and grow almost 12 inches high, although this rarely happens. 

Indoor plants can grow about 2 – 5 feet long, while they can grow 12 feet long outdoors in tropical climates. If you plant it under a tree, it will use the trunk for support and climb up. You can train it to climb indoors by providing it with a moss pole which its aerial roots will cling to and grow upward.  

  • Light: indirect bright light. 
  • Soil: Well-draining soil 
  • Height: 2 – 5 feet long.
  • Growth Rate: slow.

Philodendron Black Cardinal

This low-growing plant is different from usual heartleaf varieties as it has broad oval leaves that change color from maroon then green and black as they mature. It rarely flowers but its beautiful leaves more than make up that with their eye-catching colors.

This low-maintenance plant only grows around 3 feet tall and can be kept smaller with pruning, making it easy to grow in gardens or containers on a shelf or in hanging baskets.

  • Light: indirect bright lighting. 
  • Soil: rich well-draining soil. 
  • Height: 3 feet tall.
  • Growth Rate: slow.

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