As temperatures climb, many gardeners prefer to spend more time indoors. Hybrid philodendrons are wonderful houseplants that can bring a tropical touch to your home, during the summer and year-round.
Hybrid philodendrons are a group of easy-to-grow and attractive houseplants that have lush green, burgundy, or copper-colored leaves. They are sometimes also called self-heading philodendrons.
Many people are familiar with the more widely known heartleaf philodendron, which is a vining plant commonly found in hanging baskets. Hybrid philodendrons differ from these related plants in that they have large spade-shaped leaves and a more upright growth habit.
Hybrid philodendrons range in size, and some can get quite large, so it's a good idea to use stout containers that will prevent them from tipping over. Some plants will also benefit from a wood slab or a piece of driftwood that they can scramble up or climb on.
Popular cultivars include:
- 'Autumn' has leaves that start out coppery-red and eventually change to an olive green.
- 'Black Cardinal' has leaves that can reach 8 to 10 inches long, starting out a bright burgundy and aging to almost black.
- 'Majesty' has leaves that are a dark purplish-green.
- 'Prince of Orange' produces new leaves that are a bright shiny orange that mature to green. Does well in low light and maintains its orange color in all levels of light .
Some philodendrons contain a chemical that can be toxic if eaten, so be sure to keep these plants away from pets and children.
Planting and Care
Locate your hybrid philodendron in an area that receives medium to bright indirect light. Those with colored foliage need higher light levels in order to maximize their color. Water each potted plant whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
These plants are generally problem- and pest-free. One issue is that the tips of their leaves may turn brown, which can be a sign of too much fertilizer or improper watering. Common houseplant pests like aphids, mealybugs, scales, or spidermites may sometimes be problematic, but it’s easy to take the plant to the sink or shower and wash off the pests.
Don’t forget to transplant hybrid philodendrons as needed. With proper care, they’ll brighten your home for many years to come.
For more information on hybrid philodendrons, contact your county Extension office.
Also on Gardening in a Minute
- Black Cardinal Philodendron--Texas AgriLife Extension
- Display Houseplants with Autumn-toned Foliage--Southern Living
- Philodendron--Clemson (SC) Cooperative Extension
- Philodendrons for Central Florida--Leu Gardens (PDF)