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Philodendron Rio – The Variegated Houseplant

by gardeningit
Philodendron Rio

If you are looking for a beautiful, low-maintenance house plant with variegated leaves, then this Philodendron Rio is a perfect choice for you. It has large, heart-shaped leaves with a variegated pattern in its center.

Philodendron Rio is a unique variety of Philodendron Hederaceum. Therefore, it is a rare species of this genus. It is a vining plant with fast-growing leaves and ever-climbing stems. Growing this Philodendron as a hanging plant in your house could be the best addition to your houseplants collection. In this post, we are sharing some interesting facts about this glamorous plant and its care guide.

Philodendron Rio History

Philodendron Rio is native to Rio, a city in Brazil. It is a tropical plant, so it is found in tropical rainforests mostly.


  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Genus: Philodendron

Philodendron Rio Appearance


The Philodendron Rio plant is rich in leaves. The leaves have a glossy appearance and smooth texture. Its leaves have a variegated pattern of yellow-creamy lines in their center.

One feature that differentiates this plant from Philodendron Cream Splash is that Philodendron Rio has a silver stripe in the center of its variegated pattern. This shiny silver stripe makes the plant more attractive. So do not confuse both plants as a single Philodendron Cream Rio.

Philodendron Rio Flowering

The Philo Rio only blooms in its natural habitat. When grown indoors, it does not produce flowers.


If you grow your Philodendron Rio in a medium-sized pot, it will grow up to 12 inches indoors. In almost a year, this plant grows to about double the size of its initial growth.

Philodendron Rio Care

Philodendron Rio should be watered once a week in summers and once in two weeks during winters. A compost soil with all the essential macronutrients is preferred. Exposure to bright, indirect sunlight is important for its variegated leaves. A temperature within the range 18°C-27°C is good for it. 50-60% humidity level is ideal for your plant. Fertilize your plant once every six to eight weeks during summers. Plus, you do not have to fertilize it during winters and autumn.

Quick Guide

WateringOnce a week.
Soil typeFresh aroid soil.
SunlightModerate to bright.
TemperatureWithin the range of 18°C-27°C.
FertilizerOnce in 6-8 weeks in summer and spring.
PruningOnce the leaf tips start to dry.


It does not need to be watered much. Water it only when the soil is almost 50% dry. Water your Philo Rio once a week in the growing season. It depends upon the weather conditions. If the weather is too dry, the soil will absorb the moisture quickly, so you will have to water it accordingly.

Never overwater your plant because it will cause root rot. They are also extremely sensitive to dryness, so under-watering should also be avoided.

Philodendron Rio Soil

Philodendron Cream Rio requires rich and organic compost. It helps it form bigger and healthier leaves. The growth rate also speeds up if the soil is healthy. A soil rich in nutrients boosts its growth rate. Try to keep the soil moist all the time; at least the top layer of the soil should be damp. You also have to maintain the soil pH. It should be set around 5.6 to 6.


Philodendron Hederaceum Rio requires bright sunlight. Therefore, you have to water it often to keep the soil moist all the time. You should place your plant under partial shade. It will provide your plant with a moderate level of sunlight. Too intense sunlight burns the leaves. So try to avoid direct sunlight exposure for your Philodendron Hederaceum Rio. Place it near an east or north-facing window.

Philodendron Rio Temperature

Philodendron Rio prefers the temperature within the range of 18°C-27°C. When the temperature drops, keep your plant away from the window so that it stays away from cool drafts.

The growth rate increases in warmer environments. A slight temperature change out of the ideal range may disturb the plant’s normal growth. Keeping it in an air-conditioned room will make its leaves dry and patchy.


Philodendron Rio is a low-maintenance plant. It is because it does not fuss about the humidity levels in a home. But the ideal levels are between 50 to 60%. Within this range, the leaves grow well and faster.

You can increase the humidity in your home by trying out several easy hacks. One of them is to place a bowl of water near your plant. The evaporating water from this bowl will increase the humidity. Another way to do so is to place the plant near a group of other houseplants. Their collective transpiration will increase the surrounding humidity.


This plant requires less attention than other Philo species. It needs to be fertilized every six to eight weeks in summer and spring. During summer and spring, the growth rate is faster due to the warm temperature and high humidity. The addition of a fertilizer enriches the soil with organic matter, and thus a fertilizer helps the plant maintain this fast growth rate.

Plant immunity against diseases is boosted by micronutrients in the soil. However, avoid fertilizing your Philo Rio during the winter and autumn. During these two seasons, the growth rate is slower. And the plant does not need to be fertilized.


Philodendron Rio has thick foliage. If you want the vine to be medium-sized, you can prune it. Every year, you have to remove the dead leaves as well. Luckily, it will have a fuller appearance, even if you cut the dried-out leaves. Philodendron before every spring is good for its growth.

Cutting the dried leaves is very beneficial for its growth. It also saves a plant from various problems. A plant with dried leaves is vulnerable to pests. They attack a dried foliage part and lay their eggs there. Eventually, the plant is under pest infestation and is damaged entirely. Pruning your

How to Propagate a Philodendron Rio Plant

Philodendron Rio is best propagated in water rather than in soil. To propagate it, you must follow these steps:

  • Sterilize all the equipment that you will be using during the propagation process.
  • Properly do stem cutting. Take a 3-6 inches long stem that has 1 leaf on it.
  • Place this stem cutting in water.
  • After it grows roots, plant it into sphagnum moss.
  • After noticing some stem and leaf growth, you can plant it into a soil containing pot.
  • The soil should be moist and well-draining.
  • Place the pot somewhere from where it can get indirect, bright light.

Philodendron Rio Plant Basic Features

Philodendron Rio Growth

Philodendron Rio is very easy to grow. It grows faster than many other Philodendron plants. Under ideal conditions, the growth rate is maximum. This hanging vine produces large leaves in large quantities.


Like other Philodendrons, this plant is also toxic. The calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves are poisonous. Keep your plant in a place where it can be out of the reach of your children and pets.

Drought tolerance

It is a drought-tolerant plant. Normally, it needs to be watered only once every week during summers. So, if you deprive your plant of proper water supply, it will still manage to grow but not so much in good shape.


It is the most low-maintenance, gorgeous plant. It does not fuss much about its growing conditions. However, it still needs some basic care. If you have experience in growing houseplants, you can easily grow this Philo.


When the temperature drops too low, the plant enters a dormancy period. The growth rate slows down during this time. It does not grow until the optimum temperature and light are achieved.

Common Problems and Their Solutions


The leaves of Your Philodendron Rio may turn yellow. It is due to low humidity and also the low water supply. Sometimes the conditions get worse, and the yellow leaves may start to turn brown. This browning of leaves is due to its exposure to direct sunlight. This direct and bright sunlight may sunburn your plant completely.

Your plant can also get a cold injury in winters because it is not cold-sensitive. The tips start to curl up in case of a cold injury. It happens due to extremely cold temperatures.


Philodendron Rio suffers from the same pests that attack every other Philodendron we mentioned on our site, for example, Philodendron Painted Lady and Philodendron Hastatum.

Aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs are common pests of this vine. To prevent them from attacking your plant, keep your plant’s foliage dry all the time. Moreover, the humidity levels should be kept within the ideal range, which is 50-60%. This moderate humidity level does not attract many pests.

Philodendron Rio FAQs

How Long Will My Plant Live?

It depends on how much attention and care you are giving to your plant. The more you take care, the longer it will survive. The average lifespan of this Philodendron is more than a decade.

How Can I Differentiate the Philodendron Rio Plant From Its Resembling Varieties?

Philodendron Rio is a very unique plant. You can differentiate it from the rest of the Philodendron Hederaceum varieties by looking at its variegations. The leaves of this plant have a silver stripe in the center of their variegations. The other varieties lack this silver stripe in the center of their leaves.

Philodendron scandens rio has just yellow variegations in the center, and Philodendron cream Rio has creamy variegations with no stripe.

What Are the Major Problems of This Plant?

This plant stays problem-free as long as you take care of it. But when you do not pay attention to its signs like yellow leaves, curled-up blades, or droopy foliage, this plant ends up dying. So keep an eye for its common problems such as root rot, curly leaves, yellow leaves, droopy foliage, and brown leaf tips.

Why Are the Young Leaves of My Plant Leggy?

It happens only when you do not provide it with proper sunlight. Low light disturbs the plant’s normal growth. It cannot prepare its food in the absence of sunlight, so it droops. In such a case, place it in a spot where it can get bright, indirect sunlight.


Philodendron Rio is a perfect houseplant with the most fascinating foliage. If you have no experience in indoor gardening or do not have a green thumb, this heart-leafed Philodendron is an excellent choice for you. You can grow it in your home with minimal effort. It is also a great plant to grow because of its air purifying nature. So, instead of buying an expensive air purifier, you can place this plant in your living room.

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