Uncover the Hidden Gems: Discover the Most Coveted Philodendron Varieties of 2023!

There are over 800 known Philodendron species. This makes Philodendrons the second largest member of the Araceae family surpassed only by the genus Anthurium. That’s a ton of options! Philodendrons make beautiful, mostly low maintenance indoor plants. Most can easily adapt to our low humidity and low light conditions. Here’s a roundup of rare Philodendron varieties to add to your collection that really show off this genus. These are some of the most expensive philodendrons out there


Philodendrons & Toxicity

Really quickly, before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to always check if a plant is toxic if you have pets or small children. According to the ASPCA, all Philodendron species are toxic to pets. They contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause painful swelling in the mouth and gums, diarrhea, and vomiting. It is extremely important to take this into consideration when choosing the right Philodendron for your space.

Good To Know

All Philodendrons are toxic to dogs and cats. If you’re wondering whether or not your other plants are safe, check out the ASPCA toxic and non-toxic plant database.


Rare Philodendron Varieties

Philodendron Gigas

Person holding potted philodendron gigas
Photo by feey on Unsplash

Gigas, a rare philodendron variety, is coveted for its intensely dark, velvety leaves. Each leaf may reach astonishing 4ft long and 3ft wide. This one is often confused with the Philodendron Melanochrysum when juvenile, but the Gigas will grow much faster and has darker foliage. Look for this plant locally at plant swaps, specialty plant store, or find a seller in your area with Plant World Marketplace.

Philodendron Dark Lord

Rare Philodendron varieties - Philodendron Dark Lord

This one is for all the goths at heart. Ultra dark leaves with cherry red backs and dark red-black stems and petioles make this one a true show stopper. It can be challenging to find this plant in nurseries or online stores due to limited availability. Moreover, it takes several years for these plants to mature fully, which adds to their exclusivity.

Your best bet is going to be finding it online on sites such as Plant World Marketplace, private Facebook buy sell trade groups, or at local plant swaps. If you have a Dark Lord and would like to share it, check out our article on Propagating Philodendron Dark Lord.

You can learn more about Philodendron Dark Lord and how to care for them in our ultimate Philodendron Dark Lord Care Guide.

Philodendron Mamei

rare philodendron varieties - Philodendron mamei

Philodendron Mamei is loved for its silver splashed, heart-shaped leaves. Sometimes known as Philodendron ‘Silver Cloud’, this plant has a creeping growth habit and is native to Ecuador.

Philodendron Bipinnatifidum ‘Tortum’

rare philodendron varieties - philodendron tortum
Photo by feey on Unsplash

If you’re looking for something that is completely different and still quite rare, the Philodendron Tortum may be what you’re after. Out of all the types of Philodendrons on this list, this has got to be the strangest.

Fun Fact

Philodendron Tortum’s new leaves emerge in a corkscrew fashion.

It is relatively new to the commercial market and is frequently out of stock. So if you happen to come by one of these rare philodendron varieties, you should probably snag it while you have the chance.

Philodendron Crassinervium

Rare philodendron varieties - Philodendron Crassinervium

This rare Philodendron variety is called crassinervium. It is native to Brazil where it grows both up a tree or creeps along the ground. This philodendron variety has long lance-like leaves that tend to point upwards.

Philodendron Mayoi

rare philodendron varieties - philodendron mayoi
Philodendron Mayoi – @skyylurplantshop via Plant World Marketplace

This Philodendron type is in high demand! It’s easy to see why so many collectors long to have the Mayoi in their collections.It has very distinct palm-like leaves and a climbing habit, so you will need to give the Mayoi a support to climb on. Like the Tortum, this one is difficult for growers to keep in stock, so grab it when you have the chance.

Philodendron Patriciae

rare philodendron variety - philodendron patriciae
Philodendron Patriciae – The Huntington Conservatory via Pinterest

The Patriciae is one of the most beautiful rare philodendron varieties. Its leaves can get to be up to 4 feet long but in order to achieve that, it needs bright light and high humidity. We think it is well worth the extra effort.

Philodendron Melanochrysum

Philodendron Melanochrysum

Also known as the Black-Gold Philodendron, the Melanochrysum Philodendron is a real stunner with large, dark green velvet leaves and striking yellow veins. Give this one a moss pole to climb since it will not be as attractive in a hanging pot. As it grows up the pole, you will get larger leaves up to 2 feet long. Although this rare Philodendron variety can be difficult to come by, it is easy to care for once you get your hands on one. Typical indoor temperatures and humidity will suit this type of Philodendron just fine.

Check It Out

If you like the Philodendron Melanochrysum, check out our ultimate guide to Philodendron Splendid. It’s a cool hybrid of Philodendron Melanochrysum and Philodendron Verrucosum.

Philodendron Squamiferum

Rare Philodendron Varieties - Philodendron Squamiferum

Philodendron Squamiferum is a rare Philodendron variety with unusual shaped leaves and dense hairs (called squamules) covering its petioles. There are a few different kinds of philodendron with squamules but the Squamiferum is a favorite because of it’s unique leaf shape.

Planting Tip

Philodendrons originate from Mexico, South American, and some parts of the Caribbean. So, unless you live in a climate that replicates this, your Philodendron will need winter protection.

Philodendron Brandtianum

different kinds of philodendron - philodendron brandtianum

The Philodendron Brandtianum, or ‘Silver Leaf’ has olive green leaves with beautiful splashes of silver. This rare plant looks lovely as either a hanging plant or climbing up a moss pole or trellis. The average leaf size is about 4-7 inches, but if grown on a moss pole, the mature leaves can reach up to 12 inches.

Philodendron Burle Marx

Rare philodendron varieties - Burle Marx

For the ultimate jungle vibes, you can opt for the Burle Marx Philodendron. This rare philodendron variety has long, super glossy green, heart-shaped leaves and a bushy climbing habit. It’s a quick grower, so if you are an impatient gardener, this may be the Philodendron for you. Give it bright indirect light and something to climb and sit back and enjoy the tropical vibes of this low maintenance Philodendron.

Philodendron ‘Moonlight’

Philodendron Moonlight
Philodendron Moonlight Photo by The Green Escape (Etsy Shop)

Here to brighten up your space and possibly even your day is the very cheerful Philodendron Moonlight. Its new leaves are brilliant green, which darken as they age. This Philodendron has a clumping/bush habit, so you do not need to provide any support. In order for the Moonlight Philodendron to stay bright green, give it a few hours of morning sun.

Philodendron Gloriosum

rare philodendron varieties - philodendron gloriosum

The glorious Philodendron Gloriosum! This creeping rare Philodendron variety is quite striking, with large velvety leaves and beautiful white veins. This one likes to stay on the moist side, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t get root rot. It needs a fast draining but moisture retentive soil.

Check It Out

We give you all the secrets to our perfect DIY Philodendron soil mix.

Do not let it dry out between waterings. It will do well in a brightly lit room near a window that does not get any direct sun. You can allow it to creep in a wide pot or train it to grow on a support.

Philodendron ‘Florida’

Type of Philodendron called Florida Beauty in a clay pot
Philodendron ‘Florida’ Photo by The Green Escape (Etsy Shop)

This hybrid is quite a beauty with its unusual leaf shape. It is a quick grower of the climbing variety, so it is important to invest in a tall moss pole early on. There are a few variations of this hybrid. The ‘Florida Beauty’ has beautiful (hence the name) variegated leaves. ‘Florida Ghost’ is also a popular hybrid that is known for producing all white leaves that eventually fade to green as the leaf ages. Choose one or take all three. The unusual leaf shape of this rare philodendron variety will be the focal point of the room.

Philodendron Paraiso Verde

Type of Philodendron called Paraiso Verde with elongated light green leaves with dark green speckles
Paraiso Verde Philodendron Photo by Tropical Green Shop (Etsy Shop)

The marble variegation on this rare philodendron species has us completely mesmerized. The Philodendron Paraiso Verde is a rare fast-growing climber. Since this is a quick grower like the Philodendron ‘Florida’, give this one a moss pole pretty early on. As far as ease of growing, this one can be trickier since it is more sensitive to over and under watering. Make sure that the top 2-3 inches of soil has dried in between waterings and that you pot it in an airy soil mix.

Philodendron ‘Black Cardinal’

Philodendron black cardinal
‘Black Cardinal’ Philodendron Photo by Tropical Green Shop (Etsy Shop)

For our dark foliage loving friends, we have the rare Philodendron variety, ‘Black Cardinal’. This one has more of a mounding habit and will not need any support or pole. When grown indoors, it will reach a total height and spread of approximately 3 feet. New leaves emerge a beautiful deep burgundy and as they age, will become a dark green almost black color. The ‘Black Cardinal’ may be difficult to find at your local nursery but is readily available online.

Philodendron Plowmanii

rare philodendron varieties - philodendron plowmanii

If you want a Philodendron with massive leaves, then this rare philodendron variety may be the one for you. This terrestrial Philodendron in the forests of South America, trail along the forest floor putting out large two toned leaves. Since it typically grows under a dense canopy, it is especially tolerant of low light conditions. It is, however, a rare variety to come across, so you may need a bit of patience.

Planting Tip

Philodendron Plowmanii is a trailing Philodendron so give this one a long pot such as a window box planter.

Philodendron Verrucosum

rare philodendron varieties - Philodendron Verrucosum

The light green-gold veins on this one really seem to glow! This Philodendron is a very showy climber. If grown in a hanging pot, the leaves will grow quite small, but if you give it a pole to climb up, it will reward you with large beautiful leaves. Philodendron Verrucosum is also known as the Ecuador Philodendron.

This plant is a bit more finicky than most of the other Philodendrons on this list. It does not like to dry out in between waterings but is also prone to root rot if you over-water.

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