19 Stunning Types Of Philodendron | Rare Varieties

Whether you’re a houseplant beginner or an avid collector, philodendrons are absolute “must-haves”. There are many unique varieties to choose from that will add vibrant color, exotic patterns, and fascinating form to your home.

Quality philodendron care is a simple matter of knowing what it needs. What makes these particular plants even easier is that they’ll actually signal their needs to you. You just need to know how to recognize them.

Continue reading and I’ll introduce you to 19 different types of philodendrons that you can easily grow and how to care for them. 

Philodendron Varieties 

Out of more than 450 different types of philodendron, only a fraction are commonly grown as houseplants. Yet, that still considerably-sized group is anything but common. 

Each philodendron specimen falls into one of two categories: climbing and non-climbing. Climbing philodendrons (like the very similar, yet unrelated, Pothos) thrive in hanging containers that allow their tendrils to wander.  

Non-climbers present lush leaves, in often unusual colors and shapes, on long stalks, which become bushy in form. 

Philodendron Atabapoense

Philodendron Atabapoense

The Philodendron Atabapoense is a rare, semi-epiphytic Aroid, native to the rainforest regions of South America. Waxy, deep green leaves, on long stems, can span 3” wide and about 30” long, in optimal conditions. 

  • Potential growth height: 2 meters (78 in.), in height
  • Watering: Water deeply and infrequently
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Best temperature: Between 12° and 26°C (55° to 80°F) with 60-70% humidity.
  • Soil: Loamy and well-aerated with a 6.1-7.3 pH. 
  • Toxicity:  Contains calcium oxalate crystals that can damage the mouth and esophagus, in people and pets if ingested.
  • Common problems and pests: Fungus and pest resistance. Yellowing leaves will occur when overwatered.
Philodendron Birkin

Philodendron Birkin

With large, green leaves featuring white or yellow pinstripes, the Philodendron Birkin is a relatively new hybrid between the ‘Congo’ and ‘Imperial green’ philodendrons.

  • Potential growth height: 3ft tall and wide
  • Watering: Once per week, allow to dry out in between
  • Light: Full, indirect sunlight. Will not tolerate low-light conditions.
  • Best temperature:  Between 18° and 29°C (65° to 85°F) with 40-70% humidity.
  • Soil: Standard potting mix with perlite and a 6.0-7.0 pH
  • Toxicity: The calcium oxalate crystals that can be found in leaves and stems can result in spasms, seizures, pain, and swelling if ingested.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mites and mealy bug issues. Overwatering may result in blight/ bacterial infection. 
Philodendron Brandtianum

Philodendron Brandtianum

New, heart-shaped leaves on this variety emerge an orange hue and mature to a rich, olive green, and are ‘painted’ with sprays of silver. Under optimal conditions, leaves can grow anywhere from 4-7” long.

  • Potential growth height: 4-5ft tall
  • Watering: Consistent watering when the top 2” of soil is dry.
  • Light: Bright, indirect sun exposure
  • Best temperature: Between 15° and 30°C (60° to 85°F) with 50-60% humidity.
  • Soil: Fertile, well-draining with a 6.1-7.3 pH
  • Toxicity: Consumption can cause severe illness in people and pets if ingested.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mites and mealy bug issues. Excessive watering can cause browning leaves.
Philodendron Burle Marx

Philodendron Burle Marx

Philodendron ‘Burle Marx’ is well-known for the foliage that has an interesting, prehistoric look to it. Multiple shades of green cover thick, leathery leaves that grow in an upright formation.

  • Potential growth height: 2’ tall x 4’ wide
  • Watering: Keep soil moist, but not soggy
  • Light: Bright, diffused light
  • Best temperature: Between 15° and 21°C (60° to 75°F) with 60% humidity.
  • Soil: Light, airy soil with a 5.6- 6.5 pH. 
  • Toxicity: Can cause allergic reactions and is poisonous, if ingested.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional aphids and mealy bug issues. Overwatering may result in root rot and fungal infections. 

Philodendron Florida Ghost

This unusual climber exhibits 2-8” long, lobed leaves, some devoid of chlorophyll cells, which give them a crisp, white color. Other leaves on Florida Ghost emerge in stunning shades of yellow and chartreuse before maturing to a deep green. 

  • Potential growth height: 2-5ft tall
  • Watering: Keep soil moist, but not soggy
  • Light: Full, indirect sunlight will maintain leaf color
  • Best temperature: Between 18° and 35°C (65° to 95°F) with 70% humidity.
  • Soil: Well-draining with a pH of 6.0-7.0
  • Toxicity: Abundant calcium oxalate crystals can cause severe illness.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mite and whitefly issues. Overwatering may result in yellowing leaves. 

Philodendron Grazielae

Philodendron grazielae is a climber displaying thick, heart-shaped leaves with a high-gloss appearance. Its slower growth rate means it will happily grow in the same pot for quite some time.

  • Potential growth height: 1.5-3ft, in height
  • Watering: Keep soil moist, but not soggy
  • Light: Full, indirect sunlight will avoid leaf scorch
  • Best temperature: Between 18° and 29°C (65° to 85°F) with 60-80% humidity.
  • Soil: Well-draining with a pH of 6.0-7.0
  • Toxicity: Consumption can cause severe illness in people and pets.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional aphids and mealy bug issues. Overwatering may result in root rot and fungal infections.
Philodendron Hastatum

Philodendron Hastatum

Philodendron Hastatum (or Silver Sword Philodendron), displays shiny, silver leaves, with green veining, that is slender and arrow-shaped.

  • Potential growth height: 7-9ft, in height
  • Watering: Once per week, allow to dry out in between
  • Light: Moderate to bright, indirect light
  • Best temperature: Between 18° and 27°C (65° to 80°F) with 50% humidity.
  • Soil: Loose, well-draining with a pH of 6.1-7.5
  • Toxicity: simply touching this plant can pass toxins on to people and pets.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mites and mealy bug issues. Overwatering and insufficient light may cause root rot and chlorosis. 
Philodendron Plowmanii

Philodendron Plowmanii

Philodendron Plowmanii is a beautiful, oversized, climbing plant with large, heavily-veined, heart-shaped leaves, with a glossy finish. If that weren’t enough, this plant’s foliage seems to change its veining patterns during different stages of its life.

  • Potential growth height: 8ft tall
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 1” feels dry
  • Light:  Filtered light or partial shade
  • Best temperature: Between 18° and 29°C (65° to 85°F) with 40-60% humidity.
  • Soil: Potting mixes with perlite or sphagnum moss
  • Toxicity: Calcium oxalate crystals, within, can result in spasms, seizures, pain, and swelling.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional aphids and mealy bug issues. Overwatering may cause bacterial build-up.
Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf Philodendron

Often mistaken for a pothos, the most familiar philodendron is the heartleaf. Bright, glossy leaves with bronze edging line the vines of this trailing beauty, which can extend out 4ft or more, in maturity.

  • Potential growth height: 4ft or more, in length.
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 2” feels dry
  • Light: bright, diffused light
  • Best temperature: 18° and 29°C (65° to 85°F) with 40% humidity.
  • Soil: light and airy with a pH range between 6.0 – 7.0
  • Toxicity: Calcium oxalate crystals can cause serious illness.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mites and mealy bug issues. Overwatering may cause root rot.

Philodendron Moonlight

An appealing cultivar, the “Moonlight” presents glossy green leaves, with subtle veining, that emerge a pale yellow. As each leaf matures, they deepen from medium to dark green. Giving the plant a bushy tri-colored appearance.

  • Potential growth height:  2ft tall and wide
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 1” feels dry
  • Light: bright, indirect light
  • Best temperature: Between 18° and 27°C (65° to 80°F) with 50% humidity.
  • Soil: Well-draining and fertile with a 5.0-7.0 pH.
  • Toxicity: Ingestion may cause difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and mouth irritation.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mite and mealy bug issues. Overwatering may cause root rot. 

Philodendron Pastazanum

A close cousin to the Plowmanii, the Philodendron Pastazanum is famous for its stunning and sophisticated foliage. Heart-shaped leaves can grow to 2 ft in length, and display varied shades of green with pronounced veining.

  • Potential growth height: 5ft tall and wide
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 2” feels dry
  • Light: Diffused light from an east or north-facing window
  • Best temperature: Between 18° and 35°C (65° to 95°F) with 65%-75% humidity.
  • Soil: Well-draining and fertile with a 5.0-7.0 pH.
  • Toxicity: Consumption can cause severe illness in people and pets.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mite and whitefly issues. Overwatering results in chlorosis.

Philodendron ‘Pink Princess

This regal climber features splashes of bright pink against a deep green background on spear-shaped leaves that develop a purple hue in maturity. This slow-growing cultivar will thrive in the same pot, for years.

  • Potential growth height: 4ft long
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 2” dries
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Best temperature: 13° and 35°C (55° to 95°F) with 50% humidity.
  • Soil: Light and airy, well-draining with a 5.5-5.6 pH
  • Toxicity: Ingestion may result in inflammation and an inability to breathe or swallow
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional aphids and mealy bug issues. Environmental deficiencies can cause leaf browning.

Philodendron Prince of Orange

New leaves, on this cultivar, are born a bright pumpkin color. In maturity, leaves slowly transition to copper, then deep or pale green. Creating a pallet of vivid hues on a bushy form of dark peach stalks.

  • Potential growth height: 2ft tall
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 1” dries
  • Light: Bright, indirect sunlight
  • Best temperature: Between 18° and 25°C (65° to 78°F) with 50% humidity.
  • Soil: Well-draining with a 5.0-7.0 pH
  • Toxicity: Calcium oxalate crystals cause irritation, pain, and swelling
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional mealy bug and aphid issues. Overwatering can cause powdery mildew on leaves. 

Philodendron Red Emerald

The Red Emerald is known for its deep burgundy stalks and stems that support vibrant green leaves with faint copper insides. This climber can reach 60ft, in length, in the wild. Yet, in homes, remains a more manageable size.

  • Potential growth height: 12ft (3m) long
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 2” dries
  • Light: Medium indirect light
  • Best temperature: 13°- 26°C (55°- 80°F) with 60% humidity.
  • Soil: Airy and well-draining with a 5.5-5.6 pH
  • Toxicity: Calcium oxalate crystals are toxic to children and pets 
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mite and whitefly issues. Overwatering may cause root rot. 

Philodendron Ring of Fire

Large, flame-shaped leaves on this stunning cultivar mature in a range of fiery colors. Each leaf, displaying a random mix of peach, white and speckled green, emerges in circular order, creating a ring.

  • Potential growth height: 3.3ft (1m) tall
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 2” dries
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Best temperature: 16°- 24°C (60°- 75°F) with 30%-60% humidity.
  • Soil: Loamy with a 6.1 – 6.5 pH
  • Toxicity: Ingestion may result in inflammation and an inability to breathe or swallow.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mite/mealy bug issues. Overwatering may cause blight and root rot. 

Philodendron Thai Sunrise

The remarkable variegation on the Thai Sunrise ranges from pale chartreuse to bold green, reflecting the colors of a tropical sea, at dawn. Each leaf can grow to 10”, in length, and does surprisingly well in low-light conditions for a variegated plant.

  • Potential growth height: 3’ tall x 16” wide
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 3” dries
  • Light: bright, indirect sunlight
  • Best temperature: 16°- 24°C (60°- 75°F) with 50% humidity
  • Soil: Well draining, 20% perlite with a 5.0 – 7.0 pH
  • Toxicity: Calcium oxalate can cause rash or skin irritation
  • Common problems and pests: Environmental stresses can cause pest infestations and leaf drop

Philodendron White Wizard

Similar to the Florida Ghost, this cultivar presents dazzling contrast with the deep, marbled green and brilliant white coloration. True White Wizards have purely green stems. Crossbreed versions will present pink, burgundy, or brown stems. 

  • Potential growth height: 3-4ft tall
  • Watering: Keep soil moist, but not soggy
  • Light: Full, indirect sunlight will maintain leaf color
  • Best temperature: 20°- 30°C (68°- 85°F) with 75% humidity
  • Soil: Airy and well-draining with a 5.5-5.6 pH
  • Toxicity: Contains calcium oxalate, which is toxic to humans and pets.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mite/mealy bug issues. Overwatering may cause browning and root rot.
Philodendron Xanadu

Philodendron Xanadu

The Xanadu is a large, rainforest specimen that can actually be grown outdoors, as a landscape feature. Dark, leathery, palm-like leaves are highlighted by lime green veining and can reach out five feet from the plant’s base.

  • Potential growth height: 3’ tall x 5’ wide
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 50% of soil dries
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Best temperature: 18°- 29°C (65°- 85°F) with 40% humidity
  • Soil: Well-draining with a 5.6-7.5 pH
  • Toxicity: Consumption can cause severe illness in people and pets
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional spider mite/fungus gnats issues. Overwatering may cause blight and root rot.

Philodendron Red Congo

The Red Congo expands on the features of the Red Emerald by spreading its deep red pigment into the foliage. Mature leaves develop a rich grey-green hue, beautifully complementing younger ones.

  • Potential growth height: 3’ tall and wide
  • Watering: Water weekly, when the top 1” of soil dries
  • Light: Bright to medium indirect light
  • Best temperature: 24°- 30°C (76°- 86°F) with 40%-60% humidity
  • Soil: Fertile, well-draining with a 6.0-7.5 pH
  • Toxicity: Ingestion may result in inflammation and an inability to breathe or swallow.
  • Common problems and pests: Occasional aphids and mealy bug issues. Overwatering may cause blight and root rot. 

Philodendron Care Guide 

Now for some specifics on how to keep these beauties thriving. I did touch on this a bit, but this includes best fertilizing, pruning, and repotting practices, too. 

Care recommendations vary between cultivars. But, if you have a few of these or even a whole collection, it’s not practical to try and match each cultivar’s needs perfectly. So, professional growers shoot for a “range” when it comes to watering, temperature, humidity, etc. 

Position 

All philodendron varieties perform best in bright, yet indirect, natural light. Typically, east and north-facing windows provide this. 

Some cultivars like more light, some less. Some can even tolerate low-light conditions. As previously mentioned, philodendrons will tell you what they want, so you can adjust things. 

Watering 

Some species are highly sensitive to overwatering and like to dry out before receiving more. While others prefer consistently moist soil.

Once you’ve determined which one you have, make sure the water drains properly each time. And when the inside air gets too dry (like in winter), misting will do wonders. 

Soil 

Philodendrons are aroids and as such, they grow best in well-draining soil. Soggy soil will inevitably lead to root rot. Organic materials like small wood chips, coco coir, and perlite will loosen the soil for proper drainage and aeration. Yet, hold water long enough for the roots to absorb it. 

Fertilizing 

Potted plants naturally experience a loss of soil/nutrients with every watering. Once plants have absorbed all available soil nutrients, they’ll need to be replenished.

Philodendrons, in general, are not heavy feeders. They will benefit, though, from one dose of slow-release fertilizer, applied at the beginning of each growing season. 

Pruning 

Non-climbing cultivars are usually slow growing and require only occasional pruning to remove damaged material.

Climbing varieties can be pruned, when they get too long, by snipping the overgrown vines with a sterile pair of shears. For both climbing and non-climbing, these prevent microscopic bacteria from infecting your plant. 

Repotting 

Repotting is the best way to ensure that your plant’s roots have enough space to grow. A pot that’s too small causes densely packed roots that can’t absorb water or nutrients. 

Vigorous climbers can be repotted annually, in spring. Slow-growing philodendrons only need repotting every 2-3 years. 

How to Propagate Philodendron 

One of the benefits of owning one of these is that you can easily grow more (for free!) just by taking cutting from a mature plant. Climbers are the easiest.

Place 2” of the stem, with one leaf and a node, in water. Position this on a sunny window sill (changing the water, as needed), and in roughly two weeks, you should see new roots emerge. 

You can also place this same size cutting in soil. Making sure it remains sufficiently watered, you should see new leaves sprouting in roughly four weeks.

Common Problems with Philodendrons 

Philodendrons are relatively easy to grow. But, that doesn’t mean they’re impervious to the ravages of pests and insufficient care.

When these pretty plants begin to experience any kind of distress, whether it be from under or over-watering, a lack of nutrients, inadequate light, or insufficient temperature and humidity, that’s when pests make their move. 

Proper care will not only result in happy, healthy plants. But, it’s the best defender against pests around.

Pests 

The most common pests to infect philodendrons, in particular, are aphids, mealy bugs, white flies, spider mites, and fungus gnats. These typically appear when plants are insufficiently fertilized or watered or lack sufficient humidity.

Catching an infestation early is key to eradicating it. Once diagnosed, there are many homemade and store-bought remedies that will help deter and eliminate most houseplant pests. 

Root Rot 

This is the most common cause of philodendron failure. Root rot is specifically caused by over-watering, which many philodendron cultivars are highly sensitive to.  

When soil stays soggy, the plant roots literally can’t breathe. They cease functioning and subsequently begin to rot. As does the rest of the plant. 

Watering only when needed and ensuring proper drainage are the most effective steps in preventing root rot.

Final Thoughts On Philodendron Varieties 

Looking at all these gorgeous philodendron cultivars might make you feel like a kid in a candy shop.  Just the name “philodendron”, meaning “tree hugger” in Greek, seems relatable, as it describes what climbing varieties do in the wild.

Just remember, whether you’re a houseplant beginner or an avid collector of rare specimens, philodendron care is pretty simple. When they need something, they’ll let you know. All you need to do is listen.

Different Types Of Philodendrons FAQ