(fill-o-den' dron)

Common name: Philodendron

Family: Araceae, Arum

Height x width: vine, length varies with species and environment

Foliage: varies widely, generally leathery, glossy; plants from seed have a juvenile phase with leaves unlike those of mature plants

Flowers: spathes and spadices seldom seen in cultivation

Light: bright to moderate

Temperature:average to warm

Watering: moderate

Fertility: high prefered

Humidity: humid

Soil: average

Pests and Problems: mosaic virus, leaf spots, root rot, mealybugs, scales, spider mites

Growth habit, uses: foliage, many species for hanging, totems

Other interest: native to tropical American rain forests; from the Greek phileo meaning to love and dendron meaning tree, refering to its love for climbing trees; sap may irritate skin or cause severe discomfort if ingested

Other culture: do not prune aerial roots, rather direct back into soil

Propagation: tip or stem cuttings, air layer, seed


Those marked * are most commonly seen as houseplants. The more common cultivars are listed, with others occasionally seen in commerce.


angustisectum (an-gus-ti-sec' tum)--ovate, reflexed leaves, pinnate with 16-32 slender finger-like lobes, 12-24" long, climber

*bipennifolium (bi-pen-nee-fol' ee-um)-- Fiddle-leaf Plant, ovate, reflexed leaves with 5 broad lobes, the central one longest, 12-18" long, climber

*bipinnatifidum (bi-pin-nat-i-fi' dum)-- Tree Philodendron, tree-like shrub with single, robust, erect stem; long-stalked reflexed ovate leaves to 3' long, deeply lobed with wavy margins

cordatum (cor-daa' tum)-- Heartleaf Philodendron, ovate to triangular leaves 12-18" long with heart-shaped base, fast growing climber

domesticum (do-mess' ti-cum)-- Elephant's ear, narrow triangular to arrow-shaped, reflexed leaves 18-24" long, wavy margins, climber


*erubescens (ee-ru-bess' cens)-- Red-leaf Philodendron, red-purple stems when young, ovate to triangular glossy dark green leaves 10-16" long, coppery red-purple beneath, sturdy climber; 'Burgundy' has reddish leaves, burgundy veins, red stem; 'Red Emerald' has red stems, dark green leaves with red veins below


imbe (im' bee)-- red-purple stems and long aerial roots, ovate to arrow-shaped leaves to 14" long, parchment-like texture, often flushed red below, climber with long aerial roots

laciniatum: pedatum

melanochrysum (me-la-no-cry' sum)--Velour Philodendron, narrow ovate to lanceolate reflexed leaves to 3' long, velvety blackish with pale green veins; juvenile plants have smaller, coppery red leaves, climber

micans:scandens f. micans

oxycardium:scandens subsp. oxycardium


pedatum (pe-daa' tum)-- pinnate deep green leaves to 18" long, ovate to arrow-shaped, 5-7 narrow lobes, robust climber; 'Florida' is similar; 'Variegata' is white-streaked

*scandens (scan' dens)-- Heartleaf Philodendron, rounded leaves with heart-shaped bases, reflexed, to 12" on mature plants and half than on juvenile, slender pointed tips, fast-growing climber, probably the most common species; f. micans has bronze leaves, reddish below; f. oxycardium has young bronzed green leaves


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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