In many ways, philodendrons are the perfect houseplants. These plants purify the air around us while making our homes a more natural and comfortable environment to live in. They’re also easy plants to care for and very collectible because they are so diverse.
There are hundreds of different species from this wonderful genus, and in this article, you can learn a little about some of the more popular and readily available options.
Once you successfully pick the philodendron varieties you want to grow, check our philodendron care guide and start planting.
What are Philodendrons?
Philodendrons are tropical perennial plants of the Araceae family. They are native to South and Central America where they typically grow in moist forest environments.
These plants are best known for their exotic foliage and generally do not flower when grown indoors. They can vary from small to large houseplants, depending on their species, variety, or cultivar.
The vining and trailing philodendrons can be grown in hanging baskets, left to spread out on a surface, or provided with a structure like a trellis or moss pole to promote upright growth. Here are some common philodendron varieties with names:
Micans is a beautiful- and easy to grow- vining plant. It has velvety, heart-shaped leaves and the foliage is a lovely green shade above, with bronze to purple undersides.
This fast-growing variety of the heartleaf philodendron or Philodendron scandens (P. hederaceum) is a fantastic trailing plant for hanging baskets. It will also climb a trellis or moss pole for a more upright growth form.
This popular cultivar of P. hederaceum stands out with brightly colored variegated leaves. The foliage incorporates shades of green, lime, and yellow.
Philodendron Brasil is a very common houseplant that is easy to grow, even for beginners. It is a great plant for a hanging basket or placement in an elevated position where it can be allowed to trail down.
Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’
‘Pink Princess’ Philodendron is a highly sought-after houseplant with spectacular color. This unstable cultivar of the blushing philodendron (P. erubescens) has spotted, blotched, and variegated leaves in dazzling green and pink.
It is an easy plant to grow indoors in bright indirect light. As with other philodendrons, the soil should be allowed to dry out somewhat between waterings. Although it is a vigorous climbing plant, it can be managed into a more self-heading growth form with regular pruning.
The leaves of this large species are characteristically elongated and arrow-shaped. The foliage color is deep green, and venation is pretty indistinct, apart from the pale-colored midrib.
Many P. billietiae specimens including Variegated Philodendron Billietiae have attractive orange-colored petioles (leaf stalks) which add to their already abundant appeal. This plant may be self-heading when young but will begin to hang or climb as it matures, making it a great option for a hanging basket.
The black gold philodendron is a climber that looks fantastic when grown on a trellis or a moss pole. If given the right growing conditions, this species can grow several feet tall but is very manageable indoors.
The foliage is dark and velvety, with lighter yellow venation. Its leaves are somewhat heart-shaped on young plants, but they become elongated on mature plants and can reach 2 feet (0.6m) long.
This is one of the more eyecatching philodendron houseplants. These philodendron verrucosum plants owe their great looks to the brightly colored leaf veins that seem to merge into the darker leaf blade, creating a spectacular glowing effect.
What’s more, the leaf petioles are covered in scales, creating an interesting texture, while the undersides of the leaves are attractively marked with red-purple patches. Even though this plant is easy to grow, it is still relatively rare and in high demand, making it one of the more expensive houseplants.
The arborescent species have a more shrub-like form and are able to support their own weight while growing upwards. These types of philodendron plants are best grown in regular pots, either from the ground level or on tables and countertops.
Philodendron selloum/ P. bipinnatifidum
This large, self-heading philodendron goes by many names but is commonly known as the tree philodendron, philodendron hope or selloum philodendron. It is often grown outdoors as an evergreen landscaping plant for shady areas in warm climates, but it can make a stately houseplant too.
Philodendron selloum has large, distinctly lobed leaves that can grow to several feet in length. This makes for a majestic indoor plant, but also means it will need plenty of space when mature. These plants are relatively easy to care for and will thrive in bright indirect or filtered light in the home environment.
Philodendron Birkin is a spectacular hybrid of horticultural origin that is known for amazing leaf variegation. These plants typically have pin-striped foliage in cream-white and dark green, although all white leaves can be common.
Leaf color tends to change as they mature, and these unstable plants have a tendency to revert, making multiple leaf colors possible on the same plant. This plant has become increasingly easy to find, and its ease of care makes it a great choice for growers of any experience level.
This slow-growing Colombian species has big, heart-shaped leaves with bold white venation. These plants grow relatively large and can reach a height of 3 feet (0.9m) after several years.
The foliage color is a deep, dark green, and young leaves can have amazing pink margins and veins. It is a terrestrial species that has a somewhat creeping form (if given the room) and grows from a rhizome.
This relatively large philodendron cultivar can reach about 3 feet (0.9m) tall and 5 feet (1.5m) wide. It is a popular low-maintenance garden plant in areas that do not receive frost.
Philodendron Xanadu has an all-green color, but what sets it apart is its exotic palmate leaf shape. This plant grows well in part sun or part shade but will do well in bright indirect conditions, with limited direct sunlight indoors.
Even though this guide might present only a fraction of the philodendron types available, I hope it highlights the beauty and variety of this wonderful genus. If you haven’t already added one of these plants to your home, I would highly recommend them! Some other rarer types of Philodendrons such as Philodendron Cordatum might be worth growing too if you can find them for sale.
For more information on growing and caring for these plants, be sure to check out some of our other philodendron guides on our blog.