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Rare Philodendron Species (Why is Philodendron so Rare?)

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Philodendrons are beautiful houseplants and for anyone who’s up to begin their collection, there is no better start.

The classic plants are also a rare find, some species more than the others. The rarest ones can cost thousands of dollars and you may want to find out why.

What are the rarest philodendrons?

The rarest philodendron in the world with only six of the type is Spiritus Sancti. Other rare species of the plant include philodendron birkin, silver sword philodendron, black cardinal, and hastatum. Due to geographical locations and variegation, and scarcity, they are very rare to find.

10 types of rare philodendron

Philodendron Birkin:

Philodendron Birkins are one of the rare species known for their glossy green leaves that are all different looking from each other. The leaves are adorned with strokes of other colors.

They are toxic plants that contain calcium oxalate crystals 

Philodendron Brandtianum:

Also known as the silver leaf philodendron, Philodendron Brandtianum is a cascading climber houseplant that grows in no time.

They popularly come in many forms but their leaves have a heart-shaped olive-green look. They are quite easy to care for as well.

Philodendron Melanochrysum:

These rare vining plants are also nicknamed black gold philodendron, thanks to their 2 inches of black and green leaves. The velvety-looking variety belongs in the Araceae family and is a flowering kind, popular as indoor plants.

Red emerald philodendron:

With its origins tied to South America, this rare indoor plant appreciates low light and shades instead of direct sunlight. The name comes from their wine-red stems, as the leaves start to climb, they can be as long as 2 feet.

Philodendron Gloriosum:

Philodendron Gloriosum is a plant with heart-shaped green leaves and yellow nerves. The foliage plant grows by creeping on the ground and is known to bloom flowers only seasonally.

The rare specimen is distinguished in the market but the limited supply makes it significantly pricey.

Philodendron Pedatum:

What you might come across as “glad hands” sometimes, is a climbing type and epiphytic in essence. The houseplant has oak-shaped leaves that are multi-lobed as well.

Philodendron Pedatums/Laciniatums are inborn to Venezuela and Brazil and are best grown in low light.

Philodendron Squamiferum:

This sporadic, hairy aroid plant climbs along with trees and towards the light. There is no limit in length when it comes to how long a philodendron Squamiferum can grow. You may want to be careful watering them too much though.

Philodendron Hastatum:

Philodendron Hastatum/ Philodendron Mamei is popular and rare and has gained the name of “silver cloud”.

With green leaves having cloud patterns, they creep on the ground instead of climbing. You may want to keep it away from direct sunlight and water it once every week.

Silver Sword Philodendron:

Due to its marvelous edgy shape and shiny look, it earned its name after a weapon.

These endangered plants thrive and climb with even sharper leaves in mid-range temperatures of 18 degrees to 25 degrees, and of course under low lights or shaded places.

Philodendron Black Cardinal:

One of the rarest species of black cardinal, these philodendrons are incredibly changing color as they grow. Their color changes from burgundy, green to finally black.

However, due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals, they are considered toxic and should be kept away from children and pets.

Why is philodendron so rare?

While we already know that Philodendrons are a popular houseplant and many are ready to spend a hefty amount to get the rarest ones, they are also a favorite for being such easy to care plants.

But what makes these specimens such a rare plant? Here are a few possible explanations:


If philodendrons grew everywhere, in all conditions, and in every other state, it wouldn’t be such a rare and expensive class of plant.

Philodendrons need certain conditions to grow and survive, which can be only found in certain tropical forests, sometimes in one state on entire continents.


While many plants grow in abundance and many places, philodendrons grow in limited numbers. Due to their genetic composition, the specific locations they are found in are also limited. This is what makes these plants scarce in number.


Other than being limited in supply, there is another economical reason why philodendrons are such a rare find.

Because they are so popular and so high in demand, whatever is available is often sold out. That too very quickly. The high demand and limited supply also make these plants very posh.

Variegated leaves:

As variegation is natural and cannot be done in the lab, philodendrons with variegated leaves only occur once in every 1,00,000 plants. They are pretty to look at and hence have quite the high demands. 

When there is color variation in their foliage, a plant becomes even more demanded and philodendrons often exhibit this naturally. Philodendron Billietiae which is the rarest type is also a vegetated nature that sells for 100s of dollars.

What are the most common philodendron species?

Philodendrons are favorite among all tree lovers, most of them are tropical plants and find widely in tropical states. Though variegated philodendrons are hard to get. Some common philodendron species are –

Philodendron micans:

Although this is another heart leaf philodendron, it is different from the others as mican leaves have a unique velvety finish to them.

These houseplants enjoy low levels of light as well and are especially loved for their green and purple looks.

Philodendron brasil:

These fast-growing house plants add a colorful touch to your all -green collection and are especially popular for ease of maintenance.

You would want to keep it low and water once a week. The name is close to its resemblance with the Brazilian flag.

Heartleaf Philodendrons:

These are native to the Caribbean and are also referred to as Philodendron hederaceum. As the name suggests, the leaves of these easy-to-care plants are heart-shaped and the stems can grow up to 4 feet or more.

Philodendron mayoi:

This tropical plant is originally native to Brazil and despite being a houseplant, they grow efficiently outdoors as well.

You can easily have it for long by watering it now and then while keeping away from direct sunlight. They grow punched leaves and grow more than 4 feet in exposed areas.

Blushing philodendron:

Philodendron erubescens/blushing philodendrons are stout plants that have two colored leaves, with dark green on one size and purplish-red on the other. The trailing plant is stout in looks with flowering spathes.

What is the rarest philodendron?

Philodendrons are mostly rare plants. However, if there was one that could be considered as the rarest of them all, it would be the Philodendron Spiritus Sancti.

What may be just a story, it is said that there are no more than just 6 of these philodendrons in the world that too in one location only. These are found nowhere in the world except for Espirito Santo in Brazil and the name is associated with it. 

The long-leaved plants are sadly endangered due to their scarcity. In fact, the plant is now protected by security in order to preserve what is left.

Relatively mid-level humidity can be best for such plants, helping them grow white flowers. They are considered to be hemiepiphytic vine, meaning they grow after a seed has fallen into the ground and then eventually become a climber on the tree.

What is the most expensive philodendron?

Variegated Philodendron Billietia is considered to be the most expensive philodendron among the entire species of plants. Because of its very unique color combination and hence genetic arrangement.

As it does not grow often, you may have to break your bank and pay a whopping $1000 for one leaf of this philodendron. A month 100,000 that are developed, only 1 turns out to be a Philodendron Billietia.

Philodendron billietiae, ahemi-epiphytic specimen, blooms with elongated leaves that like long straps, and orange petioles. The origin of this plant is from Brasil but it also has French and Guyana roots.

Other rare species of philodendrons are also pricey due to their limited obtainability in the markets. Most of these plants grow in tropical forests in certain states only.

What is the most beautiful philodendron?

There may be a lot of rare and costly philodendrons out there. However, few of the species among these philodendrons are more beautiful than the others. In ways, if they are cared for, these plants can complement your indoor space beautifully.

One of them is a popular one named Philodendron Birkin. These philos are slow-growing and do not climb like the other ones, making them perfect for indoors. What makes them look so pretty is the green-leaved with strokes of yellow brushed uniformly with a line in the middle.

Philodendron Brasil is another type of plant that makes heads turn. The plant will immediately remind you of the flag of Brazil and that’s where it gets its name from.

With bright lime greens popping from rich greens on the plant, it looks like a burst of sunshine in plant form. Other variegated philodendrons with multiple colors on their leaves are also ones that are a sight to behold.

Rare philodendrons are so hard to find, mainly because of their availability. They are scarce and more so, they are high in demand.

Due to the very specific places they grow and survive, they can only be yours for a hefty price. The more common ones, however, are not too expensive!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why are Philodendron Leaves Curling?

Can Philodendron Grow in Low Light?

Can Philodendron Grow in Shade or Sun?

Can Philodendron Grow in Water?

Can Philodendron Grow Outside?

Can Philodendron Revert?

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