The Philodendron (P. Araceae) is one of the most common plants in the indoor garden. It is attractive, easy to grow, and adorns many of our homes.

But did you know that there are over 480 philodendron types, some which climb and some which are upright, and that they originate from the rain forests of South America?

General information and growth requirements

Their main characteristics are large leaves and long aerial roots, although they do, of course, have subterranean roots as well.

Philodendrons belong to a class of plant called aroids. That means they can thrive both outdoors in warm climates, and indoors as a houseplant.

The Philodendron is also known for gathering pollutants from the air and releasing cleaned air through its large leaves. Also, it’s a hardy plant which can grow up to three meters high as long as it receives bright, indirect light. Some philodendron types even prefer low light.

A lightweight soil, with the addition of organic material, is perfect for this houseplant.

Good drainage is required. It is also recommended to water with room-temperature water only; cold tap water can shock the plant as it is somewhat temperature sensitive.

It is also a very easy plant to propagate. After cutting the stem under a leaf node and placing in water, it will achieve new roots within days.

It’s important to note that the philodendron is considered toxic to pets and can cause skin irritation when being pruned or handled.

For more information check our Philodendron care guide.

Without further ado, here’s our list of the most popular philodendron types.

Soil Requirements:

Lightweight soil with good drainage

Water Requirements:

Allow the top of the soil to dry out before watering again

Light Requirements:

Bright indirect light to low light

Toxicity:

Toxic to pets

The Most Popular Philodendron Types

1. Philodendron hederaceum

 

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Other names: P. Scandens, Heartleaf; Sweetheart

Native: Caribbean and South America

This one is among the most popular member of the philodendron types, is very easy-going, and does not require a green thumb to thrive! Its leaves are heart-shaped, as the name suggests, and are glossy green.

This type of Philodendron can trail or climb up to four feet. If your Heartleaf becomes leggy, it is a good idea to pinch the stem (with fingers or sharp, clean scissors) near a node to encourage new growth and help the plant to become bushy.

2. Philodendron Erubescens

 

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Other Names: Pink Princess, Blushing, Red-leaf

Native: Costa Rica, rainforests of South America

The Pink Princess or Blushing Philodendron is a beautiful and exotic-looking type of philodendron. As a house plant, it can climb up to 5 feet.

It is variegated black or dark green with pink. The pink leaf sections are lacking in chlorophyll and it is important to keep a balance between the colors with exposure to indirect light only. The leaves are long and in the wild, have red highlights and undercovers.

3. Philodendron Bipinnatifidum

 

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Other Names: P. Selloum, Hope Plant, Lacey tree,

Native: South America

This type of philodendron is a non-climbing tropical plant grown as a floor plant in temperate climates.

Its dramatic leaves are large with deep lobes. The leaves turn to face the light, so it is advised to rotate the plant regularly and keep it away from direct sunlight.

You need a spacious room to showcase this plant as it can grow to a width of five feet!

4. Philodendron Xanadu

 

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Other names: P. Winterbourne

Native: Brazil

The Xanadu philodendron is a large, compact houseplant that can be wider than it is tall. It is an upright type of philodendron with dissected, lobed green leaves like P. Selloum.

5. Philodendron Brasil

 

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Other names: P. Cream splash, P. Silver stripe

Native: tropical climates

This type of philodendron is a cultivar of the Heartleaf variety. Its green heart shaped leaves are variegated with a white, cream or lime colored strip down the middle of the leaf. Stems can also be pink, adding to the beauty of the plant.

Although it does best in bright or medium light, it can survive low light, but its variegation will not be as eye catching. This variety of philodendron is a fast-growing vine.

6. Philodendron Micans

 

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Other names: Velvet-leaf Philodendron

Native: Mexico, Caribbean, Southern USA

The Micans type of Philodendron is a trailing vine with heart shaped leaves that have a velvety texture. The greenish-bronze leaves with their rust-colored undersides are striking.

This plant can grow to a length of 6 feet.

7. Philodendron Rugosum

 

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Other names: Pigskin, Naugahyde

Native: Ecuador

The Rugosum Philodendron is a rare and exotic member of the species, endemic to Ecuador. It has the classic heart shape leaf, but the leaf is thick, and its rough texture is patterned. Not all leaves bear the same pattern.

Its leathery appearance and bright green color can be mistaken for a plastic plant!

The Rugosum can be cultivated as a houseplant but it is difficult to obtain; in fact, this type of philodendron is at risk in the wild, due to the loss of habitat.

8. Philodendron Moonlight

 

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Native: South America

This variety is a hybrid of the common Heartleaf Philodendron. It is stunning both in the outdoor or indoor garden for its fluorescent green foliage.

This type is a runner, not a climber, but can be cultivated as a houseplant, adding a pop of color to your plant collection.

9. Philodendron White Knight

 

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Native: South America

Another stunning variety is the White Night Philodendron. Like the P. Pink Princess, this rare hybrid has white splotches on green leaves and purple/cream colored stems.

This plant is a slow growing, climbing variety but if trimmed back every six months or so, can become a bushy houseplant.

10. Philodendron Hastatum

 

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Other names: P. Silver sword, P. glaucophyllum

Native: Brazil

The P. Silver sword type of Philodendron has elongated leaves which change from blue/gray to gray/green with maturity. This plant is a climber which benefits from being pinched back occasionally.

“Faux” Philodendrons

11. Scindapsus pictus

Other names: Silver Philodendron, silver vine, satin Pothos, silver Pothos

Native: Southeast Asia

The Silver Philodendron or Silver Pothos is neither a philodendron nor a pothos even though their names would lead us to think so. It is not a member of the Araceae genus, but its leaf shape and vining nature bear close resemblance to the Philodendron plant.

P.Silver has dark green leaves which are dotted with silver splotches and it can climb above six feet in the home. Its care needs also resemble those of the Philodendron.

12. Monstera Deliciosa

 

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Other names: Swiss cheese plant

Native: Mexico, Panama

The Monstera is often confused with P. bipinnatifidum, otherwise known as the split-leaf philodendron.

Both plants bear similar split leaves and growing habits as house plants. But the Monstera is not a philodendron and in its natural habitat is fruit bearing (hence the “deliciosa!).

Important to know, though, that its leaves, like the philodendron’s, are mildly toxic.

Philodendron (left) vs. Pothos (right)

There is some confusion between the Philodendron and its look-alike cousin the Pothos plant. Both have heart shaped leaves, but the Pothos plant’s leaves are larger, 30 inches, compared to the Philodendron’s leaves of 12 inches.

In most species, the Philodendron’ s leaves are a deep, glossy green.

The Pothos’ leaves, on the other hand, have yellow accents, especially when under bright light. Both types of plants are lovely additions to the indoor garden!

Conclusion

I have had philodendrons in my home garden for many years but was unaware of the wide variety and the different hybrids available. It is evident that this type of plant is a wonderful addition to both indoor and outdoor gardens.

Known for its easy-going nature and its ability to even tolerate a little neglect, the philodendron is a winner. One plant can eventually become many as they are so easy to propagate and care for.

Do you have experience with the different philodendron types? We would love to hear them, and better yet, see photos!

About the Author - Gail Edwards

I have been a fan of indoor plants for over 40 yearsand have over 60 plants in my home. I bought my first plant, a Schefflera, when I was a teenager and slowly began collecting and propagating different varieties of plants. Now that I am retired, I also devote time to an outdoor flower garden and a vegetable garden in the summer months. I live in Canada where the

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