If you follow trends, you know that many things come and go. Houseplants, however, have staying power. And one of the classics in the houseplant world is the Philodendron. In fact, they are arguably one the most popular houseplants around.
Philodendrons and their many cousins come in hundreds of varieties including many different shapes, sizes and foliage.
The Philodendron is part of the larger Araceae family of plants. While there are many different species in the family, they share similar features and similar care requirements.
The Philodendron family includes hundreds of varieties in an assortment of shapes, sizes and interesting, often striking foliage characteristics. Aside from their beauty, part of their appeal is that Philodendrons and their many cousins are fairly easy to grow.
Philodendrons and their cousins come in vining, climbing growth habits.
When looking to pick up a new Philodendron or one of their cousins, you can select a vining variety or a non-climbing, upright variety. The vining or climbing variety are known for their heart-shaped leaves, deep green color. The vines are perfect for growing on a totem, up a trellis, in a hanging basket or in containers where they are able to trail over the sides on a plant stand. Most offer beautiful variegated foliage.
Some of our favorites include: Brandtianum, Brasil, Burle Marx, Cordatum, Cordatum Lemon Lime, Dark Lord, Decursiva or Dragon Tail, Deliciosa, Dubia, Florida Green, Fuzzy Petiole, Green Galaxy, Jose Bueno, Lemon Lime, Micans, Split Leaf, Painted Lady, Pink Princess, Raphidophora Tetrasperma, Silver Sword, Scindapsus, Squamiferum, Swiss Cheese, Verrucosum Moss, White Knight, White Princess, and White Wizard
Philodendrons also come in non-climbing, compact growth habits.
The non-climbing, upright varieties have larger leaves and a compact growth habit. But don’t let that fool you. Even with a compact habit, many still grow large.
Some of our favorites include: Billatae, Birkin, Deja Vu, Goeldii, Green Diamond, Green Princess, Imperial Green, Imperial Red, Lickety Split, McColley’s Finale, Mia, Moonlight, Prince of Orange, Red Diamond, Ring of Fire, Rojo Congo, Selloum Hope, and Xanadu.
While Philodendrons are fairly easy to grow, here are some tips to keep yours happy at home.
To keep your favorites happy and in tip-top shape, here are some helpful hints.
- These beauties can grow just about anywhere in your home or office. They do best in medium or bright light. If it’s in a sunny spot, be sure it is indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn the delicate leaves.
- Water when the top inch of soil is dry but be careful not to overwater. While they don’t mind if you allow them to dry once in a while, Philodendrons and their cousins can experience root rot if kept too wet.
- Don’t forget to feed your Philodendron. Feeding with balanced fertilizer 3 times a year, in the Spring, Summer and early Fall, will offer vital nutrients to keep the plants vibrant and thriving. (Always follow packaging directions for feeding.)
- If your vining Philodendron is a little longer than you’d like, you can cut it back at any time to keep it compact.
- Outdoors during Michigan summers, after danger of frost is past, Philodendrons and their cousins make a great plant for decks, patios and sunrooms to give a tropical vibe. Remember, do not to put them in direct hot sunlight.