Rare Philodendrons: Let's Level Up

Welcome to the first edition of Emily’s Corner at Bark & Vine!

Today we’re talking about some of our favorite Philodendrons in the store. While common Philodendrons like the Heartleaf, Silver Sword, Oak Leaf, Florida Green, and Brasil are always welcome in our plant-lover’s space (and are great beginner plants), we’re leveling up. It’s time to talk rare Philodendrons!

*rubs hands in excitement*

Let’s kick this thing off with our first Philodendron spotlight - the Pink Princess.

Philodendron 'Pink Princess'

More common now than they used the be, the Pink Princess can still be hard to find, especially one with good variegation. We currently have several highly variegated Pink Princess Philodendrons in the store, and they are a beauty! Deep green leaves are the perfect backdrop to bubblegum pink variegation that’s sure to boost your serotonin levels.

Give your Pink Princess bright, indirect light to maintain variegation but avoid direct afternoon sun. Less light will result in duller colors and slow growth, which no one wants. Water when the top few inches of soil are dry and aim for a humidity level of around 50% to keep your princess happy.

White Knight Philodendron

The White Knight is commonly confused with the White Princess (which we also have in store) and White Wizard, and it’s easy to see why. The White Knight has deep purple stems with white along the cataphyll (the part of the stem from which your leaf grows), while the White Princess has a green stem lined with pink and the White Wizard has all green stems. Each plant has beautiful white variegation on the leaves and, as youngsters, can look very similar.

Give your White Knight bright, indirect light to maintain healthy leaves. It will appreciate humidity levels of at least 50%, though more won’t hurt, and water when at least the top few inches of soil are dry. Yellowing leaves could indicate overwatering, so reevaluate your watering schedule if you see this.

Philodendron Gloriosum

She is a STUNNER. While not available in store currently, we do get these beauties in from time to time. The gloriosum offers velvety leaves with creamy white veining that is simply showstopping. As with most Philodendrons, bright indirect light is where it’s at to maintain that striking foliage. Treat your new addition to humidity levels of above 50% and temperatures above 65 degrees to keep it happy.

Especially sensitive to overwatering, the gloriosum needs at least the first few inches of soil to dry out before it’s ready for another drink. Remember, the larger the pot, the longer it will take the soil to dry. If your gloriosum is in a large container, consider using a hygrometer to measure moisture levels around the roots.

Philodendron Melanochrysum

Equally stunning is the melanochrysum, commonly called the “Melano”. If you’re a fan of the velvet leaves of the Gloriosum, then you’re going to love the darker, moodier texture of this gorgeous Philodendron. Buyer beware - these plants need high levels of humidity so be prepared to supplement with humidifiers. Aim for at least 60% humidity, ideally reaching at least 70%. Glass cabinets can also be a great way to create a greenhouse atmosphere while still showcasing your beautiful green girl.

Give your melanochrysum bright, indirect light, water when the top few inches of soil are dry, and make sure it’s never exposed to temperatures below 70 degrees. Although it may take more work than other Philodendrons, it’s sure to reward you with that iconic velvety sparkle across every leaf when kept in the proper conditions.

Philodendron Painted Lady

She is a work of art. Bright yellow variegation is splattered across a vibrant green leaf with red stems providing a pop of contrast. 

When it comes to light requirements, you already know. Bright, indirect light is best for these guys and will help maintain that beautiful color pattern. Feel free to supplement a darker space with a grow light, but avoid putting your painted lady in direct sun. Keep temperatures above 65 degrees and aim for at least 60% humidity in your plant’s space for increased growth. When it comes to watering, this beauty prefers to dry out more in between drinks. Let your plant dry at least halfway before watering again.

Philodendron Tortum

This one never fails to elicit a few “Ooohs” and “Aahhhs” from customers. Its thin, skeleton-like leaves are certainly eye-catching, almost reminiscent of a palm frond.

Give this rare beauty warm temperatures of at least 65 degrees and keep the soil relatively moist, but not overwatered. The soil must be well-draining to avoid root rot. Bright, indirect light all day and above average humidity levels of at least 60% will keep your plant happy.

Philodendron Tips

These Philodendrons will love a chunkier soil mix than your standard bag of potting soil from the hardware store. Consider adding coco coir, bark, or perlite to an existing soil you have. Need more potting mix? Our Fox Farms or Happy Frog potting mix makes a great base for building your own potting medium. (If you want to see content around soil amendments and how to make your own mix, let us know!)

You’ll also want to avoid drafty areas of your home, keeping plants away from cold windows or hot heating vents.

When it comes to watering, don’t forget that it’s always better to underwater than to overwater. Plants can usually snap back from underwatering much easier than if they are overwatered. Winter is also a great time to cut back on watering in general, as less sunlight and cooler temperatures push many plants into a dormant phase with little to no active growth.

Last, but not least, supplying your Philodendron with a moss pole can encourage greater growth and more luscious leaves. And isn’t that what we all want?

Stop in to see us this weekend and check out all the different Philodendron varieties we have in store. Whether you’re a beginner venturing into plant parenthood for the first time or an experienced plant lover with a growing collection, we have something for everyone!

Until next time,