by Erin Marissa Russell
Ready to add a Philodendron to your collection? That’s just the first step. After deciding to get a Philodendron, your next item of business is deciding which variety of Philodendron you’ll grow. There are so many varieties to choose from, from climbing types that will twine up a trellis or hang from a basket to upright styles that will stand tall all on their own. Keep reading for an introduction to our 37 favorite Philodendron varieties, along with a short description of each one.
Philodendron Bipennifolium (Fiddle-Leaf Philodendron, Horsehead Philodendron)
You won’t see the gently curved violin shapes of the leaves of a fiddle-leaf fig tree here, but the Fiddle-Leaf Philodendron creates its own leaves, which may be a violin shape or may be shaped more like a horse’s head. The foliage of this Philodendron can get quite sizable. This variety’s leaves can reach up to 15 to 18 inches long.
Philodendron Bipinnatifidum (Lacy Tree Philodendron, Philodendron Hope Selloum, Thaumatophyllum Bipinnatifidum, Philodendron Xanadu, Thaumatophyllum Xanadu, Philodendron Winterbourne, Hope Plant, Lacy Tree)
This is one of the most popular varieties of Philodendron because the leaves are large, with an upright growth habit, and they’re attractively shaped. They’re glossy, dark green and deeply lobed, and the leaves will turn to face their light source. For this reason, you’ll want to rotate Philodendron bipinnatifidum every so often, to keep it from growing lopsided.
Bipinnatifidum is a rather large Philodendron that can get up to five feet wide and eight feet tall when grown indoors, so make sure to grow it in a place where it has plenty of room to spread out. The individual leaves can be up to a massive three feet long.
Philodendron Birkin (Birkin Philodendron)
Birkin grows glossy green heart-shaped leaves adorned with a pinstripe pattern. The pinstripes are pale greenish yellow and white on the dark green background of the leaves. Although the leaves share the basics of their pinstripe pattern, every leaf has its own unique variations, so no two are alike. Philodendron Birkin is the result of crossbreeding Philodendron Congo and Philodendron Imperial Green.
This is a relatively small upright-growing Philodendron, which can grow up to three feet tall with a two-foot spread. It does best in bright indirect light, as too much direct sunlight can result in the scorched leaves of sunscald.
Philodendron Bloody Mary (Bloody Mary Philodendron)
This Philodendron variety gets its name from the colors its leaves turn as it matures. The newest leaves start out orange and gradually darken into red, eventually transforming into green on top. The undersides of the leaves and the stems retain their red color.
As a trailing or climbing Philodendron variety, the vines of Philodendron Bloody Mary can get quite long—up to 10 to 12 feet long, in fact. However, because this isn’t an upright Philodendron variety, the spread stays relatively narrow at around nine inches wide.
Philodendron Brandtianum (Philodendron Brandi, Silver Leaf Philodendron)
The leaves of Philodendron Brandtianum feature a dark green with silvery gray stripes. When leaves first sprout, however, they’re a shade of yellowish orange. Eventually, the leaves change color into the silver and olive green of the mature Philodendron Brandtianum. It can reach heights of between four and five feet tall and is a trailing or climbing type Philodendron.
This Philodendron variety is naturally well suited to low light conditions or bright indirect light. It might be the perfect plant for a windowless room, bathroom, or kitchen.
Philodendron Burle-Marxii (Burle Marx Philodendron)
This Philodendron was named for the architect Burle Marx, and it’s sure to add some sophistication to anywhere it grows. The leaves are an elongated paddle shape and a glossy, deep green. They have deep lobes at the top and veining that’s a paler color than the deep green of the leaves.
Although this species really flourishes in bright indirect light, it will tolerate low light environments, too.
Philodendron ‘Congo Rojo’
The deep green of Congo Rojo’s foliage is so dark it can look brown, purple, or almost black. The elliptical leaves are super glossy, with a leathery texture. This makes it a powerhouse plant visually although it has a small visual footprint. Congo Rojo grows to between one and two feet tall, with a spread of between two and three feet wide.
The plant has an upright growth habit, formed by the leaves, which grow quite thick at the end of their single stems as more and more emerge. This is a versatile plant that can adapt to a wide variety of conditions.
One of these things is not like the others … This unique Philodendron may not look like a Philodendron to you at all at first glance. That’s because of its long lance-shaped leaves that resemble the leaves of an orchid more than they look like those of other Philodendrons.
Crassinervium can grow quite large outdoors, but indoors it’s limited to a height of about 18 inches tall. This is a trailing or creeping type Philodendron, and the foliage is the jewel-bright tone of an emerald.
Philodendron Domesticum (Elephant Ear Philodendron, Silversword, Spade-Leaf Philodendron)
The lobed leaves of this Philodendron look like the elephant ear plant for which they got one of their names. The leaves start out a blue-green color, changing to gray green as they mature.
Philodendron domesticum is a trailing or climbing type. Depending on your preference, you can either provide it with a trellis, stake, or other support to allow it to climb or plant it in a hanging basket so it can cascade.
Philodendron Elegans (Skeleton Key Philodendron)
The Skeleton Key Philodendron has many deep lobes on each leaf, leaving it with a fernlike, lacy appearance. The leaves are a bright kelly green, and each leaf has around 10 or more lobes.
This Philodendron can get quite large, its leaves reaching up to two feet long with proper care. In addition, it’s a low maintenance houseplant that’s easy to care for. This Philodendron loves the shade and thrives when humidity is between 60 and 80 percent. Use a liquid fertilizer diluted to one third strength each week while the plant is growing.
Philodendron Erubescens (Blushing Philodendron)
The blush of this Blushing Philodendron happens solely on the stems and the backs of the leaves, which deepen to purple. The rest of the plant is a bright, glossy green.
Philodendron Erubescens can reach heights of up to three feet tall, with a spread of around two feet. The foliage can get quite dense and makes an attractive silhouette.
Philodendron Erubescens ‘Pink Princess’ (Pink Princess Philodendron)
The Pink Princess Philodendron is named for the vibrant pink variegation that contrasts with its dark green leaves. It’s important for the plant to get enough sunlight if you want the brightest pink coloring. The variegation can appear in a pale blush pink all the way up the spectrum to vivid flamingo pink.
Pink Princess can grow to reach heights of up to four feet tall. This is a vining Philodendron, but you can grow it as an upright shrub with a bit of work. Just prune the plant back to encourage a dense, bushy appearance instead of the leggy sprawl of a vining plant.
Philodendron Erubescens ‘Prince of Orange’ (Philodendron Prince of Orange, Philodendron Prince Orange)
Philodendron Prince of Orange is one of the brightest Philodendron varieties out there. The leaves first appear cloaked in bright neon orange, eventually transforming to light green as they mature. The result is a plant with leaves appearing all throughout the spectrum of orange to light green, including vibrant yellow and muted coral.
This Philodendron variety can reach heights of around two feet tall. The leaves are spear-shaped. They emerge on short stems that create the illusion of the leaves growing straight out of the ground.
You may not have heard of Philodendron esmeraldense. It’s a relatively new Philodendron species, first discovered in Ecuador in 2008. The bright green, leathery leaves are in the shape of an elongated heart and can reach lengths of up to 20 inches long. The plant itself can grow to reach a height of up to 8 feet tall in the wild.
This is a vining or climbing Philodendron, so you can either grow it in a hanging basket or provide it with a stake, trellis, or other support to climb up. Philodendron esmeraldense likes a fairly acidic soil pH level and will grow best in soil with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.9.
Philodendron ‘Florida Compact’ (Red Spike Philodendron)
This Philodendron is the result of a hybrid crossing—of Oak-Leaf Philodendron and Hairy Philodendron. This variety is a small, compact Philodendron with leaves the size of your hand and red stems, from which the plant gets its common name.
Because the Red Spike Philodendron is a vining or climbing type, you can choose how to grow it. You can either plant the Philodendron in a hanging basket and allow it to cascade down, or you can give the plant something to climb.
Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’ (Florida Ghost Philodendron)
The Florida Ghost Philodendron introduces an element of the unexpected into your plant collection. Its leaves grow on a spectrum, from lance-shaped to lobed, and between the changing shape and the variegation, it’s always a surprise to see what the new leaf will be like.
This variety can produce solid-colored leaves on a spectrum from white to bright jungle green. Of course, it also produces leaves that blend and swirl the colors into a variegated pattern. The vining or climbing type Philodendron can grow to reach vine lengths of around two feet long.
This striking Philodendron produces large, deep green leaves with pale veining that stands out in contrast to the background of green. The plant can grow up to three feet tall with a four-foot spread, and those huge leaves can get up to two feet long.
This is not a vining or climbing type Philodendron. It has an upright growth habit that shows off those gorgeous massive leaves to their fullest extent.
Philodendron Goeldii (Finger-Leaf Philodendron)
The Finger-Leaf Philodendron got its name from the shape of the plant’s leaves. Just like fingers emerging from a hand, the finger-like lobes of Philodendron goeldii all come from one spot. The leaves are a distinctive shade of olive green and have a waxy, glossy look to them.
This Philodendron has an upright growth habit and can stand on its own without the help of a stake or support.
Philodendron grazielae is a slow grower compared to other species of Philodendron. However, the patient gardener will be rewarded with a unique and whimsical houseplant. This Philodendron produces lime green heart-shaped leaves with a waxy look to them.
The stems of Philodendron grazielae cannot support the weight of their leaves, as this is a vining or climbing Philodendron type. Provide the plant with a trellis, stake, or other support.)
Philodendron Hastatum ‘Silver Sword’ (Silver Sword Philodendron)
Don’t let the name fool you. Philodendron Hastatum, the Silver Sword Philodendron, is actually a spade-leaf Philodendron. The silver sword in its name comes from the metallic color the leaves can become. The silvery color is finely integrated with gray green and dark green for a subtle and sophisticated-looking plant.
This is a vining or climbing Philodendron type, so you’ll either need to equip it with a hanging basket or a stake, trellis, or other support.
Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Brasil’ (Brasil Philodendron)
Brasil combines shades of green and yellow in streaks and stripes on its glossy leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped and can resemble pothos leaves in their shape and their coloring. This variety can also go by the names Philodendron Cream Splash and Philodendron Silver Stripe, so don’t let the name-sharing confuse you.
This Philodendron can survive in low light environments, but you’ll see a reduction in the contrast and beauty of the variegation. For best results, grow Brasil Philodendron in bright indirect light.
Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Micans’ (Velvet-Leaf Philodendron)
There’s another Philodendron with the common name Velvet-Leaf Philodendron, but Philodendron hederaceum ‘Micans’ is less expensive, so be sure you’re getting the one you want when you go to make a purchase. The leaves of Philodendron hederaceum ‘Micans’ are dark green with a blush of purple and light green veining. They’re covered with the fine, soft hairs from which they got their common name. The leaves show even more of their blush of color on their undersides, and brand new leaves are bright chartreuse with pink edges.
This is a climbing or vining type Philodendron, and each of the vines can reach up to six feet long. It prefers to grow in medium to bright indirect light.
Philodendron Hederaceum var. Oxycardium (Heart-Leaf Philodendron)
Heartleaf Philodendron is a delicately trailing climbing type that looks gorgeous in a hanging basket. The heart-shaped leaves start out a bronze color, eventually changing to green as they mature. Leaves are around two inches wide, unless grown with a support to climb, in which case they can reach widths of four to eight inches. The vines stretch to lengths of four or five feet when given proper care indoors.
Like the pothos plant that this Philodendron shares a resemblance with, Heart-Leaf Philodendron is a low maintenance plant that’s an excellent choice for beginning gardeners. It’s a versatile variety that does well in a spectrum of lighting conditions. It will also forgive some of the little mistakes that can get you into trouble with more finicky plants.
Philodendron Ilsemanii Variegata (Mottled Imbe Philodendron, Jose Buono)
The Mottled Imbe Philodendron has two major things going for it: variegation and some seriously huge leaves. The leaves are an elongated heart shape and can grow up to two feet long. Each leaf has a unique dappled pattern of jungle green accented with paler spots in lime green, yellow, or even white.
Because of the unique variegation, this is one of the more expensive Philodendrons out there. However, you can’t beat this variety for its stately shape and interesting coloration.
Philodendron Lacerum (Window Leaf Philodendron)
The Window Leaf Philodendron has huge leaves that are glossy and bright green. The lobed shape is something like that of a maple leaf. Embossed, substantial veins add more visual interest to the foliage.
The leaves of this variety are so large that they can damage the plant with their weight. Prevent this issue by supporting a Window Leaf Philodendron with stakes. Although specimens of Philodendron lacerum grown in the wild can stretch up to 70 feet tall, when grown indoors as a houseplant they average around four to six feet tall. This is actually a vining or climbing type Philodendron, but gardeners tend to prune its shape back to create a dense, compact bushy silhouette.
The shape of Philodendron laciniatum’s leaves is unique, with their deep lobes and scalloped edges. The veins are noticeable and attractive, as is the bright green color of this plant. This variety grows to around three feet tall, with the same spread.
The green color of the foliage appears in contrast with the red of this plant’s petioles.
The beauty of Philodendron ‘Majesty’ comes from its color. This variety has elongated heart-shaped leaves that are a green so dark they appear black. The newest leaves add some contrast with a shade of brick red. It can get quite large—between six and 15 feet long. However, you can restrain its sprawl by pruning down to the size and shape you want.
This is a vining or climbing type Philodendron. It needs either to be planted in a hanging basket or to be provided with a stake, trellis, or other support.
Philodendron Martianum (Flask Philodendron, Fat Boy, Von Martius’ Philodendron)
What makes this Philodendron unique is the shape of its petioles. They look almost chubby, inflated, or swollen. The leaves, however, don’t share this swollen look.
In the wild, this Philodendron variety can stretch up to 10 feet tall. But indoors, the maximum height is more like two feet tall. The leaf blades are relatively large, measuring one to one and a half feet long.
Philodendron ‘Moonlight’ (Moonlight Philodendron)
The colors of Moonlight Philodendron’s foliage are always in a state of transformation. With this houseplant in your collection, it’s a unique surprise each day to see how the colors have developed. The newest leaves emerge lemon yellow, darkening to spring green, pea green, and grass green as they age.
Philodendron ‘Moonlight’ has an upright growth habit and does not need a hanging basket or a support to grow healthy and strong. This variety grows to an average height of around two feet tall.
Philodendron Pedatum (Oak-Leaf Philodendron)
There’s a great deal of variation from plant to plant in this variety when it comes to the appearance and shape of its leaves. However, most plants do produce leaves that resemble those of an oak tree, with deep lobes and embossed veins. The leaves are bright, grassy green, while the stems of the plant are reddish.
Philodendron Rugosum (Pigskin Philodendron, Naugahyde Philodendron)
Philodendron rugosum is a unique variety for its interesting texture and unusual color. The foliage of Philodendron rugosum is a muted blue-green. The heart-shaped leaves are leathery with a pebbled surface similar to that of a football.
This Philodendron can be somewhat tricky to find because of its rarity. As a matter of fact, this variety is at risk for loss of habitat in the wild. But you needn’t worry that getting one of your own will make this problem worse. The specimens you find for sale are cultivated in captivity.
Philodendron Squamiferum (Hairy Philodendron)
Hairy Philodendron is a climbing, vining type you can plant in a hanging basket or provide with a trellis, stake, or other support. The leaves are smooth, but the hair from which it gets its name covers the petioles. The leaves are vaguely violin-shaped and each have five lobes.
The leaves of Hairy Philodendron can grow to measure between a foot and a foot and a half long. To help this variety to flourish, try adding some of the bark style orchid potting mix to its soil.
Philodendron Stenolobum (Narrow-Leaf Philodendron)
The showstopping part of Philodendron stenolobum is this plant’s gorgeous leaves. Once the plant has matured, the leaves can grow to measure between two feet and three feet long.
Watch out for confusion between Philodendron stenolobum and Philodendron williamsii. They are often misidentified and mixed up. This Philodendron variety can either support itself as an upright plant or can be treated as a vining or climbing type and provided with either staking or a hanging basket.
The leaves of the Philodendron subhastatum hide their vivid coloring on their undersides. The tops of the leaves are vivid kelly green, but the undersides can be orange, red, or purple. The top side of the leaves is adorned with the embossed-looking veins. It may be a bit of a challenge to find a Philodendron subhastatum to purchase, so be patient and check often. You may be able to find it from a seller on Etsy.
This is a vining or climbing type Philodendron, and each vine can reach a length of up to six feet. Locating a Philodendron subhastatum specimen is the hardest part of cultivating this plant. Once you have it in your collection, it’s not finicky. On the contrary, it’s known for being easy to care for.
Philodendron Tripartitum (Tri-Leaved Philodendron)
As the name suggests, each one of Philodendron tripartitum’s leaves is made up of three parts. One section sticks straight out from the stem, while the others are attached at 90 degree angles to the left and right. This effect is caused by extremely deep lobes on the leaves.
The leaves of Philodendron tripartitum are a beautiful spring green. The top side of the leaves is decorated by indentations following the path of the veins. This upright-growing Philodendron can reach a height of around four feet tall, with a three-foot spread.
Philodendron Verrucosum (Ecuador Philodendron, Velvet-Leaf Philodendron)
The subtle changes and shifts in color are what makes Philodendron verrucosum special. The green shades of the foliage range from yellow green on the ribs of each leaf to greenish black, with a reddish tinge to the undersides of the leaves. Unlike some hairy-textured Philodendrons that have hair only on the petioles, this one has hair on the stems as well as on the surfaces of the leaves.
Philodendron ‘White Knight’ (White Knight Philodendron)
This Philodendron is a real showstopper, with white splashes on a background of green so dark it is almost black. The stems are a blend of cream and a purplish brown.
This is a somewhat rare variety of Philodendron, so be ready to exercise some patience as you work to locate it and find one of your own to purchase.
Now you’ve learned a lot about 37 of our favorite Philodendron varieties. Whether you’re looking for a sculptural Philodendron with large leaves, an oasis of lush greenery, or one of the interesting variegated varieties, you’re sure to find one or two that make good additions to your collection on this list.