Philodendrons are popular houseplants and their vibrant, glossy leaves are a staple in many homes.
But there are lot of types of philodendrons beyond the common heart-leaf, so let’s jump into the wild side of philodendrons.
We’re talkin’ about the rare ones – those hard-to-find, exotic beauties that set your plant-loving heart aflutter.
Rarity ups the game in the world of plant collecting, doesn’t it? It’s like the thrill of a treasure hunt, chasing down that elusive, unique leaf pattern or that spectacular coloration.
And when it comes to philodendrons, there’s a whole range of rare types that are just waiting to be discovered.
So, why are rare philodendrons so sought after?
Well, aside from their stunning looks, they’re a symbol of status among plant enthusiasts – owning one is like having a Picasso on your windowsill.
Plus, the challenge of nurturing these rare gems to their full glory? Now, that’s something that gets a green thumb twitching!
Table of Contents
Philodendrons, part of the Araceae family, are a pretty big deal in the plant world.
With more than 500 species – from vines and non-climbers to those with split or non-split leaves – they’ve got quite the family tree.
Philodendrons are native to the tropical Americas, so they’re all about that warm, humid environment.
When it comes to growing ’em indoors, they’re pretty forgiving – as long as you don’t stick ’em in a dark corner or in blasting midday sun, they’re pretty chill.
One thing that sets philodendrons apart is their leaves.
From heart-shaped to lobed to downright gigantic, they’re the true stars of the show. And the color?
We’re talking green, red, copper, or even a mix, depending on the type.
Another cool thing about philodendrons is their aerial roots.
In their natural habitat, they use these roots to climb up trees or absorb nutrients.
In your home, they’ll use them to cling to a moss pole or other support you provide.
The Allure of Rare Philodendrons
The truth is that philodendrons are not just any old houseplants.
They’ve got a certain je ne sais quoi that sets them apart.
Maybe it’s their stunning variety of shapes and colors, or the way they can transform an indoor space into a lush, tropical oasis.
Plus, philodendrons are pretty easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for both newbie plant parents and seasoned plant collectors.
They’re not just beautiful to look at, they’re also less likely to give you a headache than some other rare plants (we’re looking at you, orchids!).
And let’s not forget about the bragging rights.
Having a rare philodendron in your collection is a bit like having a rare stamp or coin.
It’s a conversation starter, a centerpiece, a badge of honor in the plant world.
The allure of rare philodendrons lies in their unique combination of beauty, variety, ease of care, and that special thrill that comes from owning something truly unique.
List of Rare Philodendron Varieties
Here’s a list of some of the most popular rare philodendron varieties that you can have as a houseplant.
Philodendron Spiritus Sancti
This is like the holy grail of philodendrons, folks.
The Spiritus Sancti is mega rare and highly sought after. With its large, dramatically lobed leaves, it’s a showstopper for sure.
But good luck finding one of these — they’re about as rare as hen’s teeth!
Philodendron Billietiae Croat
This guy’s got long, slender leaves that are a gorgeous deep green color, and it really knows how to make a statement.
The Billietiae Croat is a bit easier to find than the Spiritus Sancti, but it’s still a pretty rare catch.
The Verrucosum is known for its velvety leaves and striking veins.
It’s a bit more common than the first two, but still not something you’ll find in your average garden center.
Philodendron Pink Princess
This one’s a real beauty queen.
The Pink Princess is known for its green and pink variegated leaves.
Each leaf is unique, which adds to the plant’s appeal.
It’s a bit more accessible than some of the other varieties on this list, but still considered a rare find.
Philodendron Florida Ghost
The Florida Ghost is a real head-turner, with its young leaves starting out a ghostly white before maturing to a deep green.
It’s a rarity that’s becoming more popular, so grab it if you get the chance!
Other Rare Varieties
There are loads more rare philodendrons out there, each with their own unique charm.
There’s the Philodendron Glorious, with its stunning leaf shape, the Philodendron Melanochrysum with its dark, velvety leaves, and the Philodendron Atabapoense with its long, slender leaf shape.
The list goes on, and each one is a treasure in its own right!
Caring for Rare Philodendrons
Taking care of these rare beauties ain’t rocket science, but they do have a few specific needs.
Here’s the 411 on keeping ’em happy and thriving:
Light, Temperature, and Humidity
Most philodendrons are tropical plants, so they like bright, indirect light.
Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, so keep ’em in a spot where they get a nice dose of light, but not directly.
They’re also big fans of warmth, so try to keep your indoor temperature above 60°F.
As for humidity, the more the merrier. Keep ’em in a humid spot or use a pebble tray or a humidifier to keep the air moist around them.
These babies don’t like to dry out completely, but they also don’t like soggy feet.
The best bet is to let the top inch of the soil dry out before giving them a good water.
Make sure they’re in a pot that drains well, ’cause they really don’t dig sitting in water.
Soil and Fertilization
When it comes to soil, a well-draining mix is your best friend.
Something like a peat-based mix should do the trick.
For feeding, a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer should work fine.
Feed ’em about once a month during the growing season, but you can chill on the fertilizer during the winter months.
Propagating Rare Philodendrons
Alright, now for the really fun part — propagation! Who doesn’t love free plants, right?
And with philodendrons, you’re in luck. They’re actually pretty easy to propagate.
Here’s how you do it:
Step-by-Step Propagation Guide
- Find a healthy parent plant: You’re gonna need a healthy mama plant to start with. Look for a plant with healthy, mature leaves and a few aerial roots, if possible.
- Take a cutting: With a clean, sharp pair of scissors or a knife, cut just below a node (that’s the little bumpy thing on the stem where leaves sprout from). You’ll want a piece of stem about 4-6 inches long, with at least two or three leaves on it.
- Let it callus: This is important — you gotta let the cut end dry out a bit to form a callus. This helps prevent rot when you stick it in water or soil. Give it a few days to a week to dry out.
- Root it: Now you got two choices — water or soil. For water, just pop the stem in a glass of clean water, making sure the node is submerged. Change the water every few days. If you’re going the soil route, stick the stem in a pot of well-draining soil, keep it moist, and cover it with a plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse.
- Wait for roots: This is the hard part — waiting. But in a few weeks, you should start to see roots forming. Once they’re a few inches long, you can plant your cutting in a pot of soil.
Tips for Successful Propagation
- Be patient: Propagation takes time. Don’t rush it.
- Use clean tools: This helps prevent disease.
- Don’t overwater: If you’re rooting in soil, make sure it’s moist but not soggy.
- Give it light: Just like mature plants, cuttings need light to grow. Keep them in a bright spot, but out of direct sunlight.
Challenges of Growing Rare Philodendrons
Growing rare Philodendrons can be a rollercoaster ride — thrilling, yet filled with its fair share of ups and downs.
But hey, that’s part of the fun, right?
Here are some common problems you might come across and some tips on how to handle ’em:
Common Problems and Their Solutions
- Yellow leaves: This is usually a sign of overwatering. Cut back on the H2O, and make sure your plant has well-draining soil.
- Brown leaf tips: This could be a sign of low humidity. Remember, these guys are tropical plants and they love their moisture. Try misting your plant, or place it on a tray of pebbles and water to increase humidity.
- Droopy leaves: If your plant’s leaves look sad and droopy, it could be too cold. Keep your plant in a warm spot, away from drafts.
- Slow growth: If your plant seems to be growing at a snail’s pace, it might need more light. Move it to a brighter spot, but avoid direct sunlight which can scorch the leaves.
Special Challenges of Growing Rare Varieties
Now, when it comes to rare Philodendrons, there are a couple of extra challenges.
For one, these plants can be hard to find, and when you do find them, they can be pricey.
So, you’ll want to take extra good care of your investment.
Another thing — some rare varieties can be extra sensitive to their environment, so you’ll need to pay close attention to their needs and react quickly to any signs of distress.
Because they’re rare, there’s less information out there about their specific care needs.
That’s why it’s a good idea to connect with other rare plant enthusiasts — they can be a wealth of knowledge and support.
Where to Buy Rare Philodendrons
Snagging a rare Philodendron is like striking gold for plant collectors.
But where can you find these hidden treasures? I got you covered:
Trusted Sources for Buying Rare Philodendrons
- Local Plant Nurseries: Some nurseries specialize in exotic or rare plants. Give ’em a call to see if they’ve got what you’re looking for.
- Plant Shows and Sales: These events can be great places to find rare plants. Plus, you’ll get to meet other plant enthusiasts, which is always a good time.
- Online Plant Shops: There are loads of online shops that specialize in rare plants. Some reputable ones include Logee’s, Steve’s Leaves, and Etsy. Just make sure to check the reviews before you buy.
- Plant Swap Groups: Check out online plant swap groups on platforms like Facebook. You might just find someone willing to trade a cutting of a rare Philodendron. Win-win!
Tips for Buying Plants Online
Alright, buying plants online can feel a bit like a leap of faith.
But don’t worry, here are a few tips to make it a smooth ride:
- Check the Seller’s Reputation: Look at reviews and ratings. If other customers are happy, you’ll probably be happy too.
- Ask for Photos: Don’t be shy to ask for photos of the actual plant you’ll be getting.
- Understand the Shipping Process: Make sure you know how the plant will be shipped. You don’t want your new green buddy to be stuck in a dark box for too long!
- Be Patient: Rare plants can be hard to come by, so you might need to wait for a restock. But trust me, it’s worth the wait!