The Philodendron is not a plant per se as many believe, but a genus of plants scientifically known as Araceae. Its huge popularity is owed to its easy nature. Philodendron varieties require low maintenance while offering a stunning display of intricate leaves and delicate flowers. But how many philodendron types are there and how should you choose the best ones as low-maintenance indoor plant companions?

Currently, there are over 480 recognized types of philodendron. Some are climbers and can adorn entire walls, some are upright and can easily pass as miniature indoor trees.

Originating from the rain forests of South America, Philodendron is one of our favorite flowering indoor plant genus.

In this article, we have selected 12 of the most popular and easy to care for Philodendron types and added some general information for good measure. Enjoy the pictures and the guides! If you want to host a Philodendron in your home, make sure you also check our philodendron grow and care tutorial!

General information and growth requirements of Philodendrons

The main characteristics of the Philodendron genus are large leaves and long aerial roots. However, don’t get fooled. They do, of course, have subterranean roots as well.

Since Philodendrons belong to a class of plants called aroids, they can thrive both outdoors in warm climates, and indoors as a houseplant. This versatility is what makes them so popular among beginner and expert gardeners as well.

Besides being incredibly adaptive, Philodendron is also known for filtering air pollutants. Its large leaves are basically air purifiers that gather polluting particles and release fresh, clean oxygen. Moreover, it’s a hardy plant that can grow up to three meters in height as long as it receives bright, indirect light. However, please check the requirements for the specific type of Philodendron you’re caring for as some philodendron types prefer low light.

As far as the potting soil is concerned, a lightweight soil, with the addition of organic material, is perfect for this houseplant.

Be careful when watering your Philodendron. Good drainage is required. It is also recommended to water with room-temperature water onlycold 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 it 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

Water Requirements:

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

Light Requirements:

Bright indirect light to low light
Toxicity

Toxicity:

Toxic to pets

The Most Popular Philodendron Types

1. Philodendron hederaceum

 

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Other names: P. Scandens, Heartleaf; Sweetheart

Native: the Caribbean and South America

The dederaceum is among the most popular types of philodendron members of the family. It is very easy-going and doesn’t require a green thumb to thrive, thus becoming one of the philodendron types that can be gifted to amateur or beginner gardeners. As the name suggests, it sports glossy green heart-shaped leaves that are a wonder to admire.

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. In the wild, its long leaves have red highlights and undercovers. A colored miracle, we definitely recommend this one to those that want a flashier indoor plant for the office or the home.

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 in order to keep its foliage balanced and its position correct.

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 so it’s better to keep it in a large, spacious room. Consider it in case you want to play with shade in a dark room.

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-shaped 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 and type of philodendron 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, it 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 that 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 that 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” name!).

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!

Philodendron Types and Varieties: FAQs

Before we wrap up this guide on types of philodendrons, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this gorgeous plant!

1. How many types of philodendron are there?

Currently, specialists agree that there are over 480 philodendron types. It is hard to grow all of them as indoor plants, as some love the great outdoors, while others are extremely rare.

2. How do you recognize a philodendron?

Some of the shared traits of philodendrons include large leaves, long aerial roots, and parallel leaf veins, but this is pretty much it. The physical characteristics of these plants vary across the types of philodendrons, the environment they grow in, and the maturity of the plant. Besides the green leaves, you will also encounter pink, red, purple, or orange philodendron leaves. Also, the leaves’ shape, size, and texture vary considerably. If you want to establish whether a plant is a philodendron or not, use some of the best plant identification apps you can find on the market. Many of them are free and incredibly useful to beginner gardeners!

3. Do philodendrons grow fast indoors?

It all depends on the types of philodendron house plants you decide to grow indoors. Of course, in its natural tropical habitat, a philodendron is a fast grower. However, it can reach significant heights and strength if you follow the philodendron care guide carefully and you meet all the plant’s needs in terms of sunlight/shade, water, soil, temperature, and so on.

4. Is the philodendron a good indoor plant?

For medium-level and seasoned gardeners with a green thumb, philodendrons are excellent indoor plants. However, if you are a beginner, you should know that some philodendrons need a bit of care and do not make it to the list of plants that are the Bruce Willis of your home no matter how much you neglect or try to kill them. Overwatering or the lack of sun (or too much direct sun) may lead to the plants’ suffering. The Peace Lily is one philodendron type that enjoys low-light conditions, but others are more pretentious when it comes to their environment.

5. How often should I water a philodendron?

If you are new to this, first take a quick look at our guide on the best plant watering times and schedules. After you let the information sink in, keep in mind the following when it comes to your philodendron:

  • The watering necessities depend on the type of philodendron you grow;
  • Keep an eye on the signs: if the plants’ leaves turn yellow, you are under-watering it. If the leaves get brown, it is a sign of over-watering;
  • Only water the philodendron when half or 1/3 of the topsoil is dry;
  • You should mist your philodendron a few times a week and make sure you don’t keep it in direct sunlight (the indirect sun is the best, as low light environments do not help them either).

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! If you have any questions regarding other types of philodendron you love but we did not mention, ask us, and we will come back to this guide and complete it!

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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