Philodendron is a genus of about 500 species of trees, shrubs, and vines, making it the largest genus in the Araceae family. These plants are found throughout the tropics, with a few species extending into temperate climates. This post will explore some Philodendron varieties that you may not be familiar with.
Philodendron as a Genus
The genus Philodendron was first described in 1829 by Swedish botanist Heinrich Wilhelm Schott. It is one of the largest genera in the family Araceae, with over 900 species.
The name comes from the Greek words Philo (φίλος), meaning “love, affection”, and dendron (δένδρον), meaning “tree”.
It is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepted four hundred species; other sources acknowledge different numbers. Regardless of the number of species, Philodendron is one of the largest genera of flowering plants. Many plants are cultivated as houseplants because they are so easy to grow.
The genus is divided into three subgeners: Meconostigma, Pteromischum, and Philodendron. In 2018, it was suggested that Meconostigma be split into a new genus, Philodendron subg.Thaumatophyllum.
The Meconostigma Philodendrons are small plants that have thin leaves with pointed tips. There are about 19 species in this subgenus, and they are found in Central and South America.
The Pteromischum Philodendrons are large plants with leaves that have smooth edges. There are about 21 species in this subgenus, and they are found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The Philodendron Philodendrons are the largest group of plants, with over 400 species. The plants of this group are also found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Sections and Subsections
The genus is further divided into sections and subsections. Sections are groups of closely related species, while subsections are even more closely related. For example, the Philodendron subgenus Philodendron contains nine sections: Baursia, Philopsammos, Calostigma, Philodendron, Schizophyllum, and Tritomophyllum, Camptogynium, Polytomium, and Macrogynium.
The Baursia section contains species that have leaves with smooth edges and are found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia.
The Philopsammos section contains species that have leaves with serrated edges and are found in tropical regions of Central and South America.
The Calostigma section contains species with pointed tips leaves. They are found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia. It has five further subsections (Macrobelium, Eucardium, Bulaoana, Glossophyllum, and Oligocarpidium).
The Philodendron section is the most extensive group, containing over 400 species. They are also found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. This section has further seven subsections (subsections Macrolonchium, Platypodium, Canniphyllium, Philodendron, Psoropodium, Achyropodium, and Solenosterigma).
The species in the Schizophyllum section have leaves with split lobes and are found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The Tritomophyllum section comprises of species with large leaves that have three lobes. They are found in tropical regions of Central and South America.
The Philodendron species in the Camptogynium section have leaves shaped like a funnel and are found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The species in the Polytomium section have leaves shaped like a star and are found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia.
The species in the Macrogynium section have leaves shaped like a boat and are found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia.
Varieties of Philodendron
The philodendron genus is divided into different Philodendron varieties, each with distinctive features and growing habits. Here is a detailed explanation of these varieties.
Based on the Growth Pattern
Philodendron varieties are classified into three growth patterns:
Philodendron bipinnatifidum is the most common climbing Philodendron. It has large leaves and can grow up to 20 feet in length. These plants can be grown in hanging baskets or trained to climb up with support.
For example, Philodendron bipinnatifidum, Philodendron erubescens etc., are climbing plants of this genus.
Philodendron hederaceum is a popular vining Philodendron. It has heart-shaped leaves and can grow up to 30 feet in length. These plants are typically found climbing trees or other supports in their natural habitat.
You can train these plants to climb up a trellis or left to trail down from a hanging basket when grown indoors. For example, Philodendron hederaceum, Philodendron selloum, etc., are vining plants of this genus.
Philodendron scandens is a common trailing plant. It has heart-shaped leaves and can grow up to 20 feet in length. These plants typically trail down from a hanging basket or climb up support.
For example, Sscandens, Domesticum, etc., are common trailing Philodendrons.
Philodendron scandens is a common bushy Philodendron. It has oval-shaped leaves and can grow up to 12 feet in length. These Philodendrons are typically found in the understory of forests. You can grow these Philodendrons indoors to create a tropical feel in your home.
Based on the Growing Habitats
Philodendrons are divided into three varieties depending on their growing habitats. These three varieties are epiphytic Philodendrons, terrestrial Philodendrons, and hemiepiphytic Philodendrons.
Epiphytic Philodendrons are the ones that grow on other trees or plants. They have aerial roots that help them absorb moisture and nutrients from the air. These Philodendrons are found in tropical rainforests.
An example of this variety is Philodendron bipinnatifidum.
Terrestrial Philodendrons are the ones that grow on the ground. They have roots that help them absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil. These plants are also found in tropical forests growing near rocks and on the forest floor.
An example of a Terrestrial Philodendron is Philodendron scandens.
Hemiepiphytic Philodendron are a type of vine that grows on other plants. They are often found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. These plants get their name from their habit of growing on other plants. They use their host plant for support and can sometimes be seen wrapping themselves around tree trunks.
They are not parasitic, however, and do not rely on their host plant for nutrients. Instead, they get all the nutrition they need from the air and rainwater. They are very common in the tropics and can be found growing on a wide variety of plants.
On the Basis of Leaf Shape
Philodendron varieties can also be classified into three different types based on their leaf shape-
Oblong philodendrons are a type of evergreen vine that is native to the rainforests of Central and South America. The leaves of oblong philodendrons are long and narrow, with a glossy green surface. The vines can grow up to 20 feet in length, and produce small white flowers. They are commonly used as ornamental plants, due to their attractive foliage. They can be grown in pots or hung from baskets and will thrive in moist, humid conditions. However, they can also be invasive and should be watched carefully to prevent them from spreading too rapidly.
Lanceolate Philodendrons are a type of evergreen flowering plant that is native to the tropical rainforests of South America. These plants are characterized by their Lance-shaped leaves, which can grow up to 3 feet long. They are typically found growing on tree trunks or rocky outcrops and are also known for their ability to tolerate low light levels and high humidity. These are popular houseplants, and they can also be used as ornamental plants in gardens.
Hastate Philodendrons are a variety of Philodendron that is characterized by their hastate-shaped leaves. They are native to the tropical regions of South and Central America, where they can be found growing in the rainforests. This is a climbing plant, and it can grow up to 6 feet in length. Hastate Philodendrons have dark green leaves that are hastate-shaped and have white veins running through them. They are evergreen plants, meaning that they will keep their leaves all year round.
As the name suggests, heart-shaped philodendrons feature have leaves that are shaped like a heart. Philodendron oxycardium is a common heart-shaped plant. This is the most popular variety among gardeners as classic heart-shaped leaves add a tropical touch to any home.
Based on Leaf Color
Philodendron plants can also be classified based on the color of their leaves.
These plants have green leaves. Philodendron billietiae is a common green Philodendron. These are excellent for collectors as they are easy to care for and have beautiful foliage.
These plants have red leaves. Philodendron erubescens is a common red Philodendron. You can grow them to create a dramatic impact in your collection.
Variegated Philodendrons are known for their beautiful, variegated leaves. The leaves are usually green with white or yellow stripes, and they can grow up to two feet long. They are native to the tropical rainforests of South America, and they require warm temperatures and high humidity to thrive.
There are many benefits of growing variegated plants. They are known to purify the air and improve indoor air quality. Philodendrons are also known to be effective in absorbing noise because of their large leaves.
These plants add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any collection. Variegated Philodendrons are a must-have for any indoor plant enthusiast!
Based on Flower Shape
Philodendron varieties can also be classified into three different types based on their flower shape-
Ovoid Philodendron Flowers
These Philodendron flowers are shaped like an egg. Philodendron erubescens is a common ovoid Philodendron.
Lobed Philodendron Flowers
Lobed philodendron flowers are philodendron flowers with lobes, or minor divisions, on their petals. The lobes help the flower disperse its pollen and give it a more decorative appearance.
Calyx Philodendron Flowers
These Philodendron flowers have sepals that are fused at the base. Scandens is a common calyx Philodendron.
The leaves of these plants are typically broad and ovate, with a spatulate shape. Spatulate philodendrons usually grow between 2 and 4 feet tall, spreading 3 to 5 feet. Hederaceum is a common spatulate Philodendron.
Pedunculate Philodendron is an epiphyte plant variety, meaning that it grows on other plants or trees instead of in the ground. The variety gets its name from the Latin word pedunculus, which means “little foot.” This refers to the small, stalk-like structures that the plant uses to attach itself to other plants. Philodendron bipinnatifidum is a common pedunculate variety.
Sessile philodendrons are characterized by their glossy, dark green leaves and lack of stems. Instead, they have leafy branches that emerge directly from the ground. Philodendron domesticum is a common sessile variety.
Based on Flower Color
Philodendron varieties can also be classified based on the color of their flowers.
White Philodendrons get their name from their large, white flowers, usually appearing in springtime. Philodendron bipinnatifidum is a common white Philodendron.
The plants are characterized by their glossy, green leaves and red flowers. Philodendron erubescens is a common red Philodendron.
These plants have pink flowers. Philodendron hederaceum is a common pink Philodendron.
On the Basis of Foliage
Philodendron plants can also be classified based on their foliage.
Non-flowering Philodendrons are a type of plant that, as their name suggests, does not produce flowers. While they are not as showy as their flowering cousins, Non-flowering plants are easy to care for and make excellent houseplants. These Philodendrons are primarily grown for their beautiful foliage.
Philodendron scandens is a common non-flowering Philodendron.
These plants produce flowers. Philodendron bipinnatifidum is a common flowering plant. Flowering Philodendrons have to be repotted more often than non-flowering Philodendrons as they have a higher chance of getting rootbound.
Different species have different flowers. Philodendron hederaceum has small, greenish-white flowers. Philodendron erubescens has large, red flowers, whereas Bipinnatifidum has white flowers that are borne on stalks. Also, Philodendron domesticum has small, greenish-white flowers borne directly on the stem. Plus, Philodendron selloum has yellow flowers that are borne on stalks. These flowers add a pop of color to rooms when Philodendrons are grown indoors.
What Philodendron Varieties are Better for You?
Philodendron plants are available in various colors, shapes, and sizes. It can be difficult to choose the right plant for your home. Here are a few things to consider when selecting different varieties.
- The color of the leaves
- The shape of the leaves
- The size of the leaves
- The color of the flowers
- The shape of the flowers
- The size of the flowers
If you live in a spacious home, climbing Philodendron is a good variety for you. It can grow up to 20 feet in length. Philodendron Erubescens and Selloum are two of the common climbing members of this genus. These plants are fast-growing and easy to care for.
If you have a small home or apartment, vining varieties are a good choice. Philodendron Hederaceum and Scandens are two of the common vining varieties. These plants are slower-growing than climbing members of the family. However, they can be trained to grow on a trellis or support.
If you want varieties that produce flowers, Philodendron bipinnatifidum is a good choice. This plant has white flowers that are borne on stalks. Philodendron domesticum is another variety that produces flowers and has greenish-white flowers that are borne directly on the stem.
Misconception about Philodendron Varieties
Philodendron varieties are often thought of as difficult plants to care for. This couldn’t be further from the truth! These are actually very easy to care for and make excellent houseplants. A great Philodendron guide will help you understand the genus and make sure your plants thrive.
Another misconception is that these plants are often confused with pothos plants, however, there are a few key differences between these two species. Philodendron also has smooth leaves, while pothos has slightly textured leaves. Plus, Philodendron prefers slightly higher humidity levels than pothos. With proper care, both plants can make beautiful additions to any home.
To distinguish between Philodendron and Pothos, look at the shape of the leaves and the thickness of the stems.
When it comes to plants’ care, Philodendrons and pothos have very similar needs. Both Philodendron and pothos plants thrive in bright, indirect light, and humid conditions. These plants also need to be watered regularly, about once a week or when the top inch of soil is dry. Many of the common Philodendron problems can be avoided by following basic care tips and tricks.
Growing Philodendron Varieties
The above-mentioned plants were the different varieties that can be grown to beautify your garden. Choose the one that best suits your needs and create a beautiful indoor jungle of your own. Philodendrons are easy to care for plants that can brighten up any space. With their wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, there will be a plant for everyone.
All these varieties are easy to grow and will thrive in any indoor environment. The plants of this genus are known to be tough plants that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when growing plants.
How to Care for Philodendron Varieties
When choosing a plant, make sure to choose one that is suitable for the environment in which it will be grown. These plants are native to tropical rainforests and prefer warm, humid conditions. If you live in a place with cold winters, it is best to choose a plant that is tolerant of cooler temperatures.
These plants like to climb, so make sure to provide them with a trellis or other climbing support. They can also be trained to grow along a wire or string.
The plants need bright, indirect light to thrive. They will tolerate low light conditions, but they will not flower in low light. If you want your Philodendron to flower, make sure to provide it with bright, indirect light.
Philodendrons need to be watered regularly, but they do not like to sit in wet soil. Ensure the pot has drainage holes and water the plant when the top inch of soil is dry. These plants are sensitive to fluoride, so use filtered or distilled water.
The plants are not heavy feeders, but they will benefit from a monthly fertilizer during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half the strength recommended on the package. Fertilize your plants when they are actively growing, which is typically spring and summer.
Philodendrons are generally pest and disease-free. However, they can be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. The plants of this genus are also sensitive to cold drafts and excessive heat.
Philodendron Varieties FAQs
There are over 500 Philodendron varieties! This large and diverse group of plants includes climbers, shrubs, and trees. The most common Philodendron varieties are heart-leaf Philodendron, lacy tree Philodendron, and fiddle-leaf Philodendron.
Philodendrons like to climb, so make sure to provide them with a trellis or other support to climb. Philodendrons can also be trained to grow along a wire or string.
Philodendrons is the largest genus of plants with many varieties available in the market. From climbers to non-flowering Philodendrons, there is a plant for everyone. These are excellent houseplants that are easy to care for and can brighten up any space. If you want to add a plant to your indoor jungle, make sure to choose one that is suitable for the environment in which it will be grown. With proper care, Philodendrons can thrive for many years.