Philodendron luxurians is recently described and, perhaps, the most gorgeous Philodendron species. It has lovely, large heart-shaped velvety, dark-green leaves with pale yellowish-green markings on the major veins. Its underside is a paler, slightly pink-tinged (or pinkish gray) with conspicuous cross-veins making it resemble crazed glass.
Learn more on Philodendron luxurians, including its growing habits and appearance, care, problems, and a lot more. We will also give you a Philodendron luxurians vs. Philodendron gloriosum, the closest look-alike, and where to buy, Etsy.com being the best place.
- About Philodendron luxurians
- Description and appearance
- 1. Growing habits
- 2. Philodendron luxurians leaves
- Philodendron luxurians vs. Philodendron gloriosum
- Philodendron luxurians Choco
- Philodendron luxurians care
- 1. USDA hardiness zone
- 2. Humidity
- 3. Temperature
- 4. Light needs
- 5. Best soil mix
- 6. Watering
- 7. Feeding
- 8. Pruning
- 9. Repotting
- Philodendron luxurians problems
- Where to find Philodendron luxurians on sale
About Philodendron luxurians
When it first came to the horticultural or ornamentals trade market, people labelled it as a Philodendron gloriosum ‘Terciopelo Redondo’ from Chocó, Colombia. People took it to be a new cultivar or clone of Philodendron gloriosum. The other trade name is Philodendron Chocó.
Not until recently, in 2020, when Croat, D. P. Hannon & R. Kaufmann described it as a species. They classified it in the subgenus Philodendron. Also, its section and subsection are Philodendron, while its series is Rupicola, and Philodendron gloriosum is its closest ally.
- Scientific name: Philodendron luxurians
- Common names: Philodendron “Chocó” or P. gloriosum “Terciopelo Redondo”
- Tribe: Philodendreae
- Family: Araceae (aroids or arum family)
- Native habitat: Chocó, Colombia
- Toxicity: All plant parts are toxic to humans, cats, dogs, and other pets because they have sharp, needle-like insoluble calcium oxalates. Chewing it will cause severe burning and irritation, redness, and swelling of the tongue, lip, and mouth. Other signs are excessive drooling, swallowing difficulties, lack of appetite, etc.
- Care level: Growing it for a long time is a challenge to many horticulturalists.
Description and appearance
What are the Philodendron luxurians growing habits, and what does it look like – leaves, stems, and flowers?
1. Growing habits
P. luxurians is a ground-creeping, evergreen, perennial plant, which closely resembles Philodendron gloriosum but has evident distinctions. It is native to Colombia’s Chocó Department on Pacific lowlands with altitudes not more than 984feet (300m).
The juvenile and mature forms resemble each other. But the former has smaller leaves with their cordate base lobes having horseshoe-shaped sinuses. In mature plants, these lobes may overlap, be wider towards the apex, or close.
2. Philodendron luxurians leaves
It has large, 15-21.2 inches (38–54 cm) x 11.8-16.9 inches (30 –43 cm) broad, heart-shaped erect or spreading leaves. The upper surface is velvety, matte dark-green with conspicuous pale yellowish-green prominent veins surrounded by a paler margin.
On the other hand, the lower surface is paler, semi-glossy, and slightly reddish-pink with round, raised pale green matte veins. Also, the lower leaf cross-veins are conspicuous and resemble crazed glass.
The base lobes (that make the heart shape) are horseshoe-shaped (horse-shaped an open sinus) in younger plants but broad towards the apex, closed, or overlapping mature plants.
Lastly, bright to medium green petioles are subterete and slightly longer than the leaf blade 15.7-34.3 inches (40–87 cm) long. But they have pale streaks, broken on the lower side and unbroken (continuous) towards the upper ⅓ of petiole length.
The ground-creeping repent (growing roots at nodes) stems are greenish to light brown with relatively short internodes 1.2-1.6 inches (3–4 cm) long and mostly 0.4-0.8 inches (1-2 cm) thick but may be up to 1.4 inches (3.5cm) thick
Their long 5.9-10.6 inches (15–27 cm), sharply 2-low-ribbed cataphylls persist or remain intact. But they will turn medium brown, reddish-brown, and then pale fibers.
Philodendron luxurians will have 1-2 unisexual inflorescences on an axil. Their peduncle is pale green with a bright red tinge towards the top and short, coarse ridges to the spathe base.
Like most species in this genus, the spathe has a constriction dividing the upper blade or limb from the lower convolute chamber or tube. It’s smooth, semi-glossy on the outside, and glossy on the inner side.
The tube is medium green on the outside at anthesis, except for dense pale streaks and a margin with a red tinge. But on the inside, it is creamy white except for the purplish violet tinge towards the outer margin.
On the other hand, the blade is creamy white. But the outer side has a pink tinge due to tiny speckles.
Lastly, the spadix has three parts, i.e., the upper male part, middle sterile, and lower female part (pistillate)
Philodendron luxurians vs. Philodendron gloriosum
Although initially taken as a cultivar or clone of Philodendron gloriosum, these two species differ, and their differences lie mainly on the flower.
Philodendron luxurians has a proportionately longer peduncle that is pale green and doesn’t have as dense short raised lines at the apex. Also, its spathe is proportionally narrower, smooth, and cream-whitish. But this spathe is more red-tinged on its base, and the edge of the blade’s lower section is less red-tinged.
On the other hand, P. gloriosum peduncle is darker green and has raised short lines at the apex. The medium greenish spathe tube is more broadly elliptic, with noticeable short pale lines and its border and most that of the spathe’s blade have a reddish tinge.
The other distinction is to look at the sterile male portion of the spadix. Philodendron gloriosum has a distinctive demarcation easily noticeable, while in luxurians, it diffuses towards where they meet, making it harder to see the distinctions.
Last but not least, with such beauty comes a lot of excitement from many horticulturalists. But perhaps another difference with Philodendron gloriosum is that P. luxurians isn’t easy to grow for an extended period. The former is easy.
Philodendron luxurians Choco
In various marketplaces, you will find some people labeling this species as Philodendron luxurians Choco. Treat it as mislabelling owing to its initial ‘Choco’ trade name. It’s not a new cultivar, variety, or clone.
Again, please don’t confuse this plant with Philodendron rubrijuvenilum el Choco Red, a slow-climbing species whose leaves and cataphylls appear red as they emerge. It also has velvety large, heart-shaped leaves with paler markings on prominent veins.
Philodendron luxurians care
Before you invest your money in this plant, you should know that it is challenging to keep growing for a long time in captivity. Only a few collected plants grown in greenhouses in California have reached the flowering stage.
Most people growing this plant indoors claim it doesn’t live beyond the first several months to a year. But this shouldn’t discourage you from buying one.
Here are P. luxurians care and growth requirements.
1. USDA hardiness zone
P. luxurians USDA hardiness zone is 10b to 11. It isn’t frost-hardy and cannot tolerate freezing temperatures. Only those in these zones can grow it outdoors under a shade all year.
It requires high humidity, 60% or more. Low humidity, including what is in most homes, will cause brown tips and edges. Also, the leaves will not be as lush. Since it’s so delicate, we recommend you buy a hygrometer. ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer is perfect for indoors.
If your home has low humidity, we recommend a pebble tray or buying a humidifier like Pure Enrichment® MistAire™, a sure solution. Misting may also help, and you can move your plant to more humid rooms like your bathroom or kitchen.
They prefer a warm temperature with an ideal range of 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-29°C). These plants cannot tolerate temperatures below 13ºC (55ºF). Also, ensure no sudden temperature changes, cold drafts, or placing them near a room heating or air conditioning vent.
4. Light needs
Philodendron luxurians need bright, indirect light but can tolerate moderate to deep shade, i.e., as little as 2,500 lux (250 foot-candles). Artificial grow lights will still work well. See Amazon.com if you need one.
These plants don’t like direct sunlight, i.e., it will cause sunburn. So, play a distance from the window where the sun doesn’t reach your plant.
5. Best soil mix
The best soil for Philodendron luxurians should be loose, well-drained, and rich in organic matter. Just ensure it can retain water for a long time but doesn’t get soggy or wet.
An aroid mix like the one you use for your Monstera, Alocasia, Rhaphidophora, etc., will work well. Or you can use mix coco or peat-based potting mix and add some pearlite, and compost or buy potting mixes made explicitly for Philodendrons at Etsy.com.
These aroids grow best in moist but not wet potting mix (will cause root rot). So, water your P. luxurians when the top 1-2 inches of the potting mix feels wet.
Watering maybe after a few days to a week in spring and summer and biweekly in the non-growing season. But since water needs vary with conditions and other factors, don’t follow a schedule.
Instead, feel the soil or test it with a soil moisture meter like XLUX. This way, you will be sure that your plant needs watering and avoid the risk of overwatering it.
When watering, evenly and slowly saturate the soil until excess water comes from the drainage hole. Discard any that collects on the cachepot or saucer.
Philodendrons are heavy feeders since they grow fast. But this particular species doesn’t grow that fast. So, we recommend moderate feeding.
Start with once a month only in spring and summer and use all-purpose, balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended strength.
I use Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food (Liquid), which feeds this plant instantly. One pump biweekly is ok for a small pot. If large (more than six inches), go for two pumps. You can also mix it with water at a rate of four pumps per quart.
Alternatively, use a balanced, slow-release formula for a houseplant like Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor. Start feeding in early spring and follow what the manufacturer says.
This charming plant doesn’t need much pruning except trimming or removing damaged, diseased, or damaged leaves or parts. But you can prune it back by cutting a few stems to control its growth, size, or shape. Use a sterilized pruning scissor or shears.
Repotting is after 2-3 years or when rootbound. Use a pot 2-3 inches wider in diameter. The best time is spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.
Some ways to propagate this plant are stem cuttings, division, and seeds. However, seeds are rare to find.
The best propagation time is spring or early summer. Why? It will give your plant ample time to establish itself before fall, which is a non-growing season.
Philodendron luxurians problems
Some of the P. luxurians problems to expect include the following.
- Pests: Pests are uncommon indoors but sap-sucking bugs like thrips, spider mites, scale insects, aphids, mealybugs, or whiteflies. Always check for their presence, especially new plants. Use insecticidal soaps, neem oil like Bonide BND022- Ready to Use Neem Oil,, or horticultural oils to control these bugs.
- Diseases: Your plant may have bacterial and fungal leaf spots. But are uncommon. Root rot seems to be the real problem if you are fond of overwatering your plants. To keep diseases at bay, maintain proper sanitation, put your plant on a bench outdoors, and water it well.
- Brown edges, tips, spots, or leaves: If you see brown tips or margins, the most often reason is low humidity. But too much light, underwatering, heat stress, or root rot. Brown spots mainly indicate diseases and pests and brown blotches overwatering or cold damage.
- Yellow leaves: Moisture issue, especially overwatering, is the number one reason for P. luxurians yellow leaves. However, underwatering, low humidity, cold drafts, too little light, too much light, nutritional deficiencies (especially magnesium), etc., may cause the yellowing.
- Black spots or leaves turning black: Likely causes are pests, diseases, cold injury, or overwatering.
- Leaves are curling: Leaves curl as a response to prevent moisture loss or protect leaves. So, likely reasons are underwatering, low humidity, heat stress, and too much light. Others are that your plant is rootbound or it’s the shock after repotting or transplanting.
- Drooping: Drooping is a sign that cells lack water which keeps them turgid. Causes are the same as those of leaves curling.
Where to find Philodendron luxurians on sale
Are you Philodendron luxurians on sale? Start with Etsy.com or eBay. Both these two places have vendors from all over the world. People in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, etc., can get vendors near them or willing to ship.
The other places to hunt for this charming plant are Facebook and Instagram. These social media websites have many vendors with this plant. Buy from someone you can trust, as not everyone you see on social media is a genuine vendor.
More sites to try are Ecuagenera.com, Nsetropicals.com, Plantly.io, Peace Love and Happiness Club, Carnivero.com, and the list goes on.
You still haven’t found this aroid, use the search engines. Google “Philodendron luxurians for sale,” and you will get recommendations.
Yes. Philodendron luxurians is an extremely rare houseplant. You will not find it in your local nurseries, including those that specialize in tropical plants. None of the big box companies have it too. Only a few vendors, primarily online, have it.
The average price of Philodendron luxurians ranges from $150 to $300 for a fully rooted plant. However, vendors sell it a little lower, especially outside the US. But you will incur shipping costs.