There are about 450 philodendron varieties that hail from the rainforests of tropical areas around the world. Most are known for being a combination of climbing vines and epiphytes. Because they are used to growing under trees, they are also used to growing in low light and so make for great houseplants. 

With so many varieties to choose from, there is a philodendron for every room in the house. These are just five of our favourites that available online and at local nurseries in the indoor plant sections.

Philodendron ‘Congo Rojo’ 

A medium-sized Philodendron with beautiful dark green glossy leaves that start out a deep burgundy with thick red stems. The name ‘Rojo’ in its name is red in Spanish. This type doesn’t vine but grows outwards and upwards to a height of around 60cm and a width of around 75cm. 

Care: Water well during the warmer summer months and allow to dry between watering in winter. Place in a medium to bright-light area away from drafts and not in direct sunlight. Fertilise every 2 weeks with a balanced liquid fertiliser during the growing season in spring and summer and don’t feed in winter. They also like a bit of extra humidity.

Philodendron hederaceum ‘Brasil’

This Philodendron is part of the group of cultivars called the Heartleaf Philodendrons after the shape of their leaves. This one is named ‘Brasil’ due to its similarity to the yellow triangle surrounded by bright green on the Brazilian flag. It’s a trailing vine-type plant that is perfect for hanging baskets, is fast growing and incredibly easy to care for. 

Care: Water well and then allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering again. It will grow in most lighting conditions, but keep out of direct sunlight. Feed monthly with a liquid fertiliser and reduce fertilising in autumn and winter.

Philodendron ‘Birkin’

The fascinating leaves of this Philodendron are no doubt why this is a must for any plant collector. Creamy whites and greens line up in varying patterns to give this plant a uniqueness like no other.  It’s a slower growing Philodendron that will do well as a specimen or feature plant. It grows like the ‘Congo Rojo’ to around 90cm tall.

Care: This plant will do best if the soil is kept moist but not waterlogged. Water once a week and don’t allow the soil to dry out too much which will be detrimental to its performance. Place in medium to bright filtered light with average humidity and feed with a liquid fertiliser once a month during spring and summer.

Philodendron ‘Narrow’

Not an inventive common name, but it does describe the lobed narrow leaves of this Philodendron. It looks like a common philodendron was pushed and pulled into this warped shape, which makes for an interesting plant with a better ‘Jungle Boogie’ common name. It’s a fast-growing vine that can be left to hang or trained up a moss pole.

Care: An easy to care for plant that enjoys moist, rich soil. Allow to dry out a little between watering but not too much and use a liquid fertiliser once a month. Place in a medium to bright filtered light area.

Philodendron ‘Painted Lady’

The ‘Painted Lady’ is a beautiful vine that has ever changing mottled leaves with pink to red stems. It changes often from neon green to bright green and yellow and everything in-between. This plant makes a great hanging plant or it can successfully be trained on a support or up a moss pole. Its fast-growing and fuss-free. 

Care: Water regularly, at least once a week and prevent prolonged dry soil. Use a liquid fertiliser once a month in spring and summer. Place in medium to bright light out of direct sunlight and drafts.



Growing plants in low light

Words: Madison Moulton