Did you know that philodendron means “tree loving?” This is due to the fact that most philodendron types that are vining “embrace” the tree trunks they like to grow on in rainforests in South America. There are over 700 philodendron types that live in filtered shade or sun under those canopies, and it makes sense that your plant will do best when you put it in indirect but bright sunlight.
The vining philodendron types need something to climb, and this is usually a moss-covered or moss-filled pole, and tree types can grow without additional support. The recent popularity of these philodendron types has prices climbing, but you can easily find budget-friendly options too. We’ll outline several philodendron types for every gardener and budget below.
1. Philodendron Atabapoense
This climber from South America has recently seen a popularity surge, and it offers elongated, thin, sword-shaped leaves that have maroon undersides with a feathery texture. The foliage widens as the plant grows to reach two feet long, and this unique foliage is very impressive if you have it hanging over the side of a basket or climbing up a pole. This philodendron type is very low-maintenance, and it grows quickly in porous soil. The plant’s more narrow form when it’s young mimics the look of the rare Spiritus Sanctii, and this is increasing the demand for this plant. Finding a smaller plant and allowing it to mature in your home is going to be much easier than finding a mature one.
2. Philodendron Birkin
The pin-stripe variegation on this philodendron type set over a dark green foliage lends it a very striking radial pattern, and it has a natural variability that means each leaf is slightly different. So, it’s fun to see how this plant changes as it matures. It looks like a diva, but it’s actually more low-maintenance than most philodendron types you can buy. It’s a compact plant that is very slow-growing, but it’ll eventually get around two feet tall at full maturity.
The Birkin is prone to developing issues with root rot, so you need a well-draining soil that will dry out at least halfway before you water it again. This plant is a spontaneous chimeric mutation, and this means that it can produce leaves that have aberrations. The prices have dropped due to propagation using tissue culture.
3. Philodendron Black Cardinal
If you love houseplants with dark leaves, this philodendron type will be the one to have. It has pointed, big, paddle-shaped leaves that are a deep burgundy hue that is virtually black. The new stems are red for a shocking contrast. New foliage comes in with a pinkish hue that will become darker as the plant ages, and they have an upright growth pattern with bushy, thick growth. It requires standard philodendron care, but you don’t want to give it too much light as it can fade the leaf coloring. It offers an excotic look, but it’s a rarer variety that is widely available. You can get variegated forms, but this negates the whole point of the plant.
4. Philodendron Brandtianum
The unique variegation on this philodendron variety tends to attract attention as every olive-colored leaf has a hypnotic pattern of silvery, wide bands between the veins. It has a lot in common with the more classic Heartleaf plant, and it’s a popular cultivar that climbs as a fast-growing specimen under the correct conditions. This plant does well in hanging baskets or as a centerpiece for your table as long as you stake it for support. It’s a nice choice for dimmer spaces because it keeps the pretty coloring in low lighting.
5. Philodendron ‘Brasil’
Brasil is a philodendron type that offers a designer look while being easy to maintain. It keeps the hardy qualities you get with other cultivars, and it offers pretty lime-green stripes in the center with random splotches of yellow across the leaves. It can tolerate medium light without an issue, but it needs brighter areas than most philodendron types to maximize the plant’s variegation. If you put it in low-light, this plant will revert to pure green coloring. The vines look lovely trailing from a hanging basket in a bright spot, and it’s both easy to source and inexpensive.
6. Philodendron ‘Burle Marx’
This vigorous philodendron type offers rugged elegance for your space. It produces a host of paddle-shaped, elongated leaves that are shiny green with very deep lobes. The foliage on this plant will undulate down the length and have pale veining marking the leaves. It has an upright growth habit that forms clumps that reach two feet high, and it’s a prolific and hardy plant that is very commonly used as a landscape ground cover in warmer climates. The basic type is very easy to find and affordable, and there are several expensive variegated hybrids available, including the sought-after Burle-Marx Fantasy.
7. Philodendron Camposportoanum
This charming compact philodendron type is a desktop plant with a huge personality. The juvenile leaves are velvety and very dark green, and they slowly turn heart-shaped and develop longer rear lobes as the plant matures. It offers three-lobed foliage at maturity that can get eight inches long, and it looks like a completely different plant when it’s fully grown. The foliage has reddish hues mixed with green pigments, and in brighter spots, it can shine with pink highlights. It likes to climb but stays compact, and you’ll want to give it normal care with higher humidity levels. It’s a very happy terrarium plant.
8. Philodendron ‘Florida Ghost’
This eye-catching philodendron variety is a hybrid that is in high demand as it produces very variegated foliage that ranges from creamy white on the entire leaf to a mottled, hazy green. Each specimen will produce a different color, and it has a roughly textured, red petiole. This plant will change color and form as it matures, and it develops irregular oval leaves with a set of shallow arms that will eventually mature into deep lobes.
Florida Ghost is a hardy plant that needs stronger lighting than other philodendron varieties to bring out the natural variegation of the plant. You may find it sold as Florida Mint Ghost, but this is the same plant growing in lower lighting. It’s a hybrid of the Squamiferum and Pedatium Philodendrons, and the Alba Beauty is a Florida strain that is popular with green, large leaves.
9. Philodendron ‘Green Congo’
This is a bushier philodendron type that has slightly elongated, stiff leaves that grow in a heart shape very thickly from a centralized stem. It makes a nice tropical centerpiece that requires a little routine shaping to stay full and attractive. It loves the warmth, and you should protect it from temperatures below 41°F. The Congo Rojo is a very popular cultivar with variable red, green, and burgundy coloring on the foliage. You may not find it in your local nursery, but it’s widely available online.
10. Philodendron Hastatum
This is a bold philodendron type that has arrowhead-shaped, long leaves that can get up to nine inches wide and two feet long with the vines topping out at 10 feet long. The foliage is a greenish-gray color with a metallic sheen to it, and it does well indoors or outside as it can showcase an empty space or mix with other plants. This is a thirsty plant, and it’s subjected to root rot. So, you want to keep the pot on the smaller side and consider using a terracotta one that breathes. It responds well to pinching it back early in the spring months.
In the wild, this is an endangered Brazilian plant, but it’s such a popular choice as a houseplant that it’s not threatened. You may hear it referred to as the Silver Sword or Spade Leaf Philodendron type, and it has a confusing taxonomy. It is incorrectly labeled as a Glaucophyllum, Domesticum, or Elongatum. There are also several variegated hybrids and a narrow leaf version available.
11. Philodendron Hederaceum
The trailing vines this philodendron type produces look nice in hanging baskets or window sills. It’s a great beginner plant as it seamlessly adapts to a range of humidity and light conditions. They are also forgiving of neglect, and it offers heart-shaped, fast-growing foliage that are two or three inches wide when you allow them to trail. They can get over eight inches wide if you give them something to climb, like a trellis. Juvenile plants have bronze-tinted leaves, and the vines can easily stretch between four and five feet indoors. You can also pot several individual plants in the same pot to give it a fuller look. They respond very well to being cut back if they get leggy, and it’s easy to propagate them. They’re also sold as Oxycardium, Scandens, or Cordatum, and there are several varieties to choose from when you shop.
12. Philodendron Imperial Green
You’ll get a very vibrant green, spirited philodendron type with this plant that offers a bush-like growth habit with broad foliage that can get impressively large. It produces close-laying leaves, and it can be happy with more indirect light than most varieties prefer. It can climb, but many people allow this plant to develop as a smaller clumping shrub. The new leaves will emerge a much lighter color and darker as the plant matures, and the varying green shades add visual interest. It’s widely available, and it makes a nice specimen plant for a beginner.
13. Philodendron Joepii
You’ll find that this bizarre philodendron type is rare in the wild, and only two have been found. It may be a natural hybrid, but it doesn’t have an official identification yet. The foliage emerges yellow and turns green before growing between two and six feet long. Each leaf grows on a long, single stem with bulbous ends and a skinny middle, and the end gets topped by dual leafy antennae. The first time someone saw this plant, they thought that it had been eaten by insects. But, it forms this way. It was originally confused with Philodendron 69686, and it’s gaining in popularity. Propagation is making the plant much more available, but you may have to search to find it.
14. Philodendron ‘Jose Buono’
This fun hybrid has big paddle-shaped leaves that come from the plant’s center on succulent-like, thick stems. The foliage is a very dark green with splashes and chunky, full sections of lime green coloring. It grows quite large when you plant it outside, and it can reach 10 feet high and wide. Indoors, it’ll reach half these measurements. The dying leaves are even pretty on this philodendron type, and they turn a glowing yellow color with green remnants. It’s robust and requires minimal care to keep it happy, but the prices are still very high due to continued demand.
15. Philodendron ‘Lemon Lime’
This greenish-yellow, cheerful philodendron type is a cultivar of the Heartleaf Philodendron that isn’t very well-known. It has the basic characteristics of the more well-known Heartleaf plant, and the pretty foliage is one you should consider adding to your collection. The Lemon Lime coloring is impressive as it produces a fountain of bright foliage that cascades from the plant when you put it in a hanging pot. It requires the same basic care for the Heartleaf cultivar.
16. Philodendron ‘Majesty’
As the name would suggest, this philodendron type demands attention, and it’s one that anyone who loves plants with dark foliage should consider. It has dark, big, greenish-purple pear-shaped or ovoid leaves with burgundy on the undersides. The plant comes with a matte finish, and it can grow larger leaves and climb as the vines start to extend upwards. It’s not fussy, but it’s a rarer hybrid that has a price tag to match. If you’re good with growing cuttings, you can get one without spending hundreds. Dark Lord is another dark-leafed favorite that is even rarer, and it offers smaller lobes and sinus gaps.
17. Philodendron Mamei
Mamei is a creeping philodendron type that keeps the highly-variable, attractive silver leaf coloring throughout the life of the plant. It offers semi-glossy, thin foliage that is broad and shaped like a heart, and it has vein indentations that gives the leaves a rippling texture. The cataphylls are red, and it’s a very slow-growing plant. Each of the bigger leaves have a single stem to support them at reach 10 to 18 inches wide, and it’s easy to find online without breaking the bank. Most of the plants get cultivated using tissue cultures, so they stay slightly smaller.
18. Philodendron Melanochrysum
Better known as the Black Gold Philodendron, this philodendron type is a favorite for collectors as it is another dark-hued plant. It looks like a bigger Micans, and the foliage is a deep green that is almost black with golden flecks buried on the surface. As a juvenile, this plant creeps with reddish, oval leaves. The foliage gets darker and takes on a velvety feel as it matures, and it will eventually get up to two feet long. The adult plant is a climber that needs support, and it tops out at four feet. It needs more attention than most philodendron types, and it won’t do well in soggy soil. It’s easy to find online, but it’s on the expensive end of the spectrum.
19. Philodendron Micans
This pretty philodendron type has trailing vines with heart-shaped foliage and tiny hairs that give the whole plant an iridescent hue. The foliage looks different depending on how the light hits it, ranging from light to dark green or bronze. Younger leaves offer reddish undersides with a velvet texture that smooths out as the plant matures. They make a nice hanging plant in a bright window that isn’t in direct sunlight. They grow quickly with care and attention, and they benefit from drying out slightly more between watering sessions. The vines get roughly six feet long, and it’s a widely available plant that has a lower price point.
20. Philodendron ‘Moonlight’
This hybrid is a clump-forming philodendron type that has lime-green, electric leaves with pointed, broad foliage. New leaves are a striking yellow color that gradually darker as the plant ages. New growth also offers shades of red, and both direct and indirect light exposure will keep the foliage the brilliant green color. The soil should dry halfway between watering sessions, and it’s a quick growing plant that doesn’t require support. It will form a shrub that stays under two feet high.
21. Philodendron Painted Lady
You can find this philodendron type plastered around Instagram, and it’s a hybrid that has neon yellow variegation on the bigger-sized leaves. New foliage will be greenish-yellow that slowly deepens to dark green. Each leaf has lively mottling at every stage, and the petioles on the plant are pink or bright red. This plant is a climber that will produce foliage as it grows, and mature leaves can be over a foot long. It tends to like having drier soil than most philodendrons, and it’s relatively easy to find if you’re willing to pay for it.
22. Philodendron Pastazanum
This low-growing, charming philodendron type is very uncommon, and it has broad, oversized, heart-shaped leaves with pale veining that sit on graceful, long stems. The textured leaves look like they’re supposed to be on a much larger plant, and they can get over a foot wide. They produce stem shoots that are red, and they unfurl into larger leaves. This plant has creeping rhizomes that need a rectangular container to grow naturally. There is a variegated specimen available called Silver Pastazanum, and it can be hard to find either cultivar.
23. Philodendron Patriciae
Patriciae is a show-stopper that offers vertically-hanging, big, paddle-shaped leaves. It has elongated foliage that grows from a central vein and has curvy undulations with gentle ripples. Each leaf is four feet long and will survive up to three years. It doesn’t like to be moved once it starts to grow, and they like regular fertilizer applications with lower temperatures so they don’t bleach the leaves. It’s a climbing plant that needs support, and it’s a rare plant that has a very high price tag if you do manage to find one. However, it can grow very large under the correct conditions.
24. Philodendron Pedatum
Better known as the Oakleaf Philodendron, this plant is an unusual climbing species that has green leaves that change shape as they mature. The foliage starts oval and small before developing deep lobes and reaching up to nine inches long apiece. It has an airy, exotic, open structure that can grow to exceed three feet tall. It’s evergreen and hardy indoors, and you want to periodically clean the leaves on this plant to help ward off pests and help it breathe.
25. Philodendron Plowmanii
The texture makes this philodendron type stand out, and it offers heart-shaped, large leaves that have undulations across the surface. The vein indentations on adult plants are deep, and they lend a sculptural appearance on the thin leaves. Each petiole comes complete with a root structure and dramatic ruffled edges to give it more interest. Juvenile plants have a silver coloring that fades as they mature. The leaves can be yellow or greenish hued, and it’s a very low-maintenance specimen that is easy to care for. Small plants can be very expensive but not hard to find, but mature ones are a very different story.
26. Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’
This fun and cute philodendron type has leaves that start off orange before turning to a light green as they mature. The petioles are a deep, colorful red. It has an upright growth habit that produces very tight leaf clusters around a centralized stem. It doesn’t need staking or pruning, and it can grow into a statement piece at two feet wide and high. It’s a very hardy plant that is a hybrid that has wide circulation in the local markets. It’s one of the most exotic-looking but affordable varieties available. You can buy it online and have it shipped to you.
27. Philodendron Ring of Fire
This is a collector’s hybrid that has narrow, long leaves with serrated edges. The foliage comes from a central trunk on this philodendron type with individual stems that can get up to two feet long. The leaves come with yellow, red, orange, cream, green, or bright white variegation on them, and the flickering effect these colors lend are where the plant gets the name. It’s a slow-growing plant, and it’s not as hard to find. However, this is a more expensive plant.
28. Philodendron Sharoniae
The paddle-shaped, elongated leaves on this philodendron type have pleated horizontal ridges that lend to a very dramatic drooping growth habit. The foliage can get upwards of three feet long, but it stays smaller when you grow it inside. It’s easy to care for if you have it in well-draining soil, and it’s a very pretty collector’s plant. So, this makes it hard to find and even harder to put a price on.
29. Philodendron Squamiferum
This is an uncommon philodendron type that brings a touch of the jungle indoors. The oak-leaf, bold foliage comes with deeper lobes that get up to two feet long, and it has long stems that are covered with red bristles that are very unique. The plant is attractive in the juvenile stage, and it can grow to the ceiling. However, it’s a moderate grower that won’t take over your space. You’ll need to give it a trellis or pole to keep it upright. This isn’t the easiest plant to locate, but they make a pretty tropical backdrop for your houseplant collection if you do manage to secure one.
30. Philodendron Tortum
This funky plant doesn’t look like it’s part of the Philodendron family as it has a palm-frond growth pattern with twisting, thin, skeletal green leaves that are very dramatic. Juvenile plants in this category are climbers, but they get much more compact as they mature with a claw-like growth habit. New leaves come with a delicate pink coloring, and this plant insists on more humidity than most philodendron types. They’re expensive but not hard to source, and they’re relatively low-maintenance.
31. Philodendron Verrucosum
This velvet-leaved, exoctic plant has heart-shaped, broad foliage that has light veins that form swathed patterns over a dark green coloring. The undersides of younger leaves are a yellow color, and they have a red blush right between the veins on the leaves. The older leaves will fade to a green color, and mature petioles are fuzzy and thick. It favors higher humidity, but it’s not horribly picky about the environment. It doesn’t like change, and it most likely won’t ship well. However, you can make it bounce back with a little care. It propagates well using cuttings, and this is a way to snag one of the plants at a steep discount.
These 31 philodendron types are all ones that you can add to your collection of houseplants to spruce up the space or add a tropical or dramatic flair. You can mix and match them to create a lush and full look that is very eye-catching, and most of them are great for beginners as they are very low-maintenance and easy to keep healthy.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.