Philodendron refers to the large genus of flowering tropical plants that come in over 480 varieties. The abundance of philodendron types in the world assures that there’s at least one out there that’s perfect for you.
While some philodendron varieties are climbing vines, others are tree-like growers, perfect for that empty corner in your house. With split, curly, and even variegated leaves, they come in quite a range of colors and shapes. Let’s not forget about the fact that philodendrons can remove pollutants from the air, which makes them both beautiful and functional!
So how do you choose the perfect philodendron type for you? Well, to make the job easier, we’ve compiled a list of the most beautiful philodendron varieties out there.
Table of Contents
1. Heartleaf Philodendron
Originated in South America, Heartleaf Philodendron is one of the most common types out there. Named after its heart-shaped green leaves that come with a nice glossy finish, it’s a low-maintenance plant that can be gifted to brown thumbs or beginner gardeners that are eager to liven up their homes.
Heartleaf Philodendron will gracefully trail up to 4 ft (1.2 m) in length. However, if you want a more voluminous and bushy plant, you can pinch the stem near a node, as it will encourage branching out rather than growing lengthwise.
In case you’ve already decided to add this plant to your indoor garden, make sure to check out our Heartleaf Philodendron care guide.
2. Philodendron Selloum
This tropical giant from South America is a tree-like shrub that can grow up to 6 ft (1.8 m) tall. It’s surprisingly easy to please indoors and can easily become the center of attention in any home. Make sure to give it plenty of room to spread out.
As a tropical plant, it does prefer high humidity but can tolerate most homes, so if you see the tips turn yellow, increase the humidity immediately.
3. Philodendron Brandi
This silver leaf philodendron, a rather new addition to the family, is a great hanging plant but can be trained to climb up as well. Bushier than most of its cousins, it makes a great and interesting addition to your indoor collection.
When it comes to growing requirements, Philodendron Brandi, despite its sophisticated appearance, it’s also low-maintanance and won’t die on you overnight.
The downside here is the fact that every part of silver leaf philodendron is toxic and can cause irritation. When ingested, it will cause vomiting, drooling, and difficulty swallowing. That being said, make sure to keep it away from children and pets.
4. Brasil Philodendron
Philodendron Brasil is a cultivar of the Heartleaf Philodendron and got its name due to its resemblance to the Brazilian flag. Its leaves come with a distinct green-yellow variegation, forming a bushier foliage that will brighten up your home.
As most philodendrons mentioned on this list, this cultivar is easy to maintain and won’t require much of your attention.
5. Philodendron Congo
This large leaf philodendron from South America, standing at 2 to 3 ft (60 – 90 cm) tall brings the spirit of the jungle right to your doorstep. Coming in a wide variety of colors (Rojo Congo with red leaves, Emerald Congo with dark green, Moonlight Congo with light washed green, and Green Congo), it will make the perfect addition to your home if you want to add a splash of color.
With acclimation, this plant tends to lose a leaf here or there, but don’t worry, new leaves will sprout soon.
6. Philodendron Micans
Another variety of the heartleaf, this fuzzy leaf philodendron coming from Central America, grows up to 8’’ (20 cm) in height.
Sometimes, size really doesn’t matter. With its velvety rusty orange to iridescent green leaves, this rare show-stopping plant will make any head turn.
Check out our article on Philodendron Micans care for more information on how to grow this houseplant!
7. Philodendron Grazielae
Hailing from rainforests, Philodendron Grazielae is a slow grower, so patience goes a long way. It would be best to pot it next to a hardscape item to allow it to grow upright, but it can also do great in a hanging container.
Compared to the other types of philodendrons mentioned here, this one has an unique appearance, as it comes with thicker stems and glossy heart-shaped leaves.
8. Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’
Another tree-like grower, this majestic plant is a new type of philodendron with shiny broad leaves. It unfurls coppery orange new leaves that slowly turn yellow and then green as they mature. It can grow up to 2 ft (60 cm) indoors and makes for a great colorful addition to your collection.
Like most philodendrons, it takes quite an effort to kill this fella, so don’t worry if your thumbs aren’t green enough. I don’t know about you, but I sure found my prince charming!
If you find it charming too and are interested in getting one, make sure to read our Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ care guide first!
9. Philodendron Super Atom
Even though it’s bordering the smaller side of types of philodendron, this little guy can certainly make a big impact on your life.
Its glossy and ruffled compact leaves look like a tiny jungle green bouquet. Loving the shade, it’s perfect for that little hint of green you need in that dark corner.
10. Philodendron Xanadu
This versatile plant is a must-have! Its deeply lobed leathery green leaves make it an interesting and modern feature in your apartment. It loves both direct sun and shade and depending on the level of light you can control the plant’s aspect.
In low light, the stems will grow longer while in brighter light it tends to grow wider and fuller just like a bush. It truly can give you that exotic jungle you always wanted.
11. Philodendron Pink Princess
If you’re a fan of philodendron or pink is your favorite color, you probably have heard of the huge scandal surrounding the “Pink Princess” and “Pink Congo”, but let me tell you that the Pink Princess or Blushing Philodendron is actually real, although not as vibrant and colorful as most pictures you will find online.
The pink highlights make a gorgeous contrast with the dark green leaves, no wonder it’s so sought after. If you buy this plant, it will most likely not have any of its signature variegation right off the bat. To start showing its true color, you will need to have patience and give it plenty of love and light, just as any variegated variety. And believe me, it will be all worth it in the end.
Beware of any scams that promise vibrant off-the-shelf coloring.
12. Philodendron Gloriosum
This crawling philodendron will definitely liven up your space with its broad velvety dark green leaves, sprawled with white contrasting veins.
When taking care of this plant, keep in mind that the stem will lay horizontal to the soil and shoot up the foliage, so making sure that the soil is dry before watering is important to avoid root rot.
13. Philodendron Birkin
The dark-green leaves of the Philodendron Birkin are adorned with creamish white pinstripes, creating a striking contrast that captivates any observer. The unpredictability of its variegation means that no two plants are alike, making it a highly sought-after addition to any plant collection. However, as with any chimeric variegation, the appearance of Philodendron Birkin can change dramatically if not grown in ideal conditions.
This is precisely why it is essential to care for Philodendron Birkin with diligence and attention to detail. In our previous article on Philodendron Birkin care, we provided comprehensive information on how to maintain this plant’s health and beauty. From its light and water requirements to potential issues and pest problems, we covered it all.
14. Philodendron Silver Sword
One of the most notable features of the Silver Sword Philodendron is its sword-like leaves that change in shape and size as the plant matures. The leaves start off small and round when young, but as the plant ages, they become longer, narrower, and more elongated. The posterior region of the leaf becomes wider and larger than the frontal one, giving it its distinctive sword-like appearance.
In addition to its unique shape, the Silver Sword Philodendron has silver-hued foliage that adds to its overall exotic beauty. The leaves have a metallic shine in bright light, which makes it a stunning plant to behold. Caring for the Silver Sword Philodendron is relatively easy, and we have an article on how to care for it, which includes information on its ideal growing conditions, watering, and fertilization requirements.
Frequently asked questions about caring for your Philodendron
The philodendron genus has some of the most varied and beautiful leaves out there. We need to make sure that we take proper care of them and understand their needs.
There are two major philodendron types, climbing varieties, and non-climbing varieties. If you don’t want your climbing plants to hang, you will need to use hardscape items so that you can healthily control their growth.
These can be whatever fits your apartment and style, ranging from wire or wood trellis, to wireframes or even a moss/foam or coconut support.
As philodendrons are tropical plants, humidity plays an important part in your plant’s life.
Lack of humidity will undoubtedly turn some of your leaves green. You can mist your plants frequently with a very fine mister from a reasonable height or add an air humidifier in the room with your philodendrons.
This depends on the philodendron types you own, but a general rule of thumb is never to allow the leaves to touch direct sunlight. For variegated varieties, you want as much indirect sunlight for best results.
Even though most philodendron types you will own throughout your life will remain indoors, and thrive quite well, they also enjoy a bit of outdoor exposure. You can take your plant outdoors and maybe take the chance to thoroughly water the soil and clean the leaves, at no stress to your philodendron.
If you are unsure of what philodendron you have, it’s good to always allow the first inches of soil to dry before watering.
Well draining potting mix is recommended for any philodendron or tropical plant as they prefer high humidity, this will prevent any root rot from happening.
Your philodendrons will shine if you fertilize them at least once per month. This will ensure your plants grow large and vibrant leaves, and speed up the growing process. Slow releasing pellets or liquid fertilizer once per month is advisable.
All in all, a lot of philodendron types are suited for indoor life! They have a role in purifying your air, are easy to take care of, and are, most importantly, stunning plants that will definitely bring a smile to your face every time you walk past them.
Now, there might be over 480 philodendron types out in the world, but it’s important to make sure we don’t confuse them with other plants. Every plant has its own requirements and needs that we, as plant parents, need to cater to.
Not every large-leafed plant that shoots aerial roots is a philodendron, for example, many confuse the gorgeous, and one of my favorites, Monstera Deliciosa with other philodendron types. This confusion also occurs with Pothos vs. Philodendrons.