Philodendrons are making a big comeback as this season's trendiest plants

The once-forgotten philodendron is regaining its popularity with houseplant lovers; plant expert explains why – and which varieties to pick

A heart-shaped philodendron
(Image credit: Beards and Daisies)

Philodendrons are making a big comeback as trendy houseplants, and we're not surprised. Philodendrons were, for a long time, standard houseplants that could often be seen on windowsills and suspended from ceilings, but then they went out of fashion. 

Now, the philodendron's reputation as one of the best indoor plants is being restored, and we suspect that their photogenic leaves have a lot to do with it. Instagram and Pinterest have been influencing the tastes in houseplants for several years, with plants that have interesting leaves dominating. And the philodendron is all about beautiful leaves.  

Philodendrons in a bathroom

(Image credit: Beards and Daisies)

As plant expert and founder of Beards and Daisies Jo Lambell points out, the pandemic and its many lockdowns have also contributed to an increased appreciation for philodendrons, among other plants you can show off to your friends, family, and wider network. Jo says that 'plant parenthood has elevated social connection and a support community whereby green knowledge and experience can be shared.' Philodendron appreciation in particular 'has gathered a firm following from the plant crowd as a must-have, versatile houseplant for all newbies and plant-pros alike.'

Philodendron birkin

Philodendron 'Birkin' 

(Image credit: Narinnate Mekkajorn / Alamy Stock Photo)

Philodendrons are both pretty and one of the best low maintenance indoor plants – a valuable combination in a houseplant. According to Jo, 'these easy-natured houseplants are super low maintenance and produce some of the most beautifully intricate leaves and delicate flowers in the botanical realm.' 

The current trend for creating an indoor-jungle look at home also contributes to philodendrons' popularity. Jo explains that 'frequently our customers enthuse about their tropical aesthetic, draping them from bookshelves, training them around windows and trailing them from hanging pots to create their own indoor jungle.'

Rare philodendron varieties to consider

Philodendron 'Pink Princess'

Philodendron 'Pink Princess'

(Image credit: Khairil Azhar Junos / Alamy Stock Photo)

What's even more wonderful about these plants is that they come in a huge variety of subtypes. As Jo puts it, 'thought you had a big family? There are around 500 different species of Philodendron worldwide.' 

Of course, the most popular type for many people's indoor garden ideas is the Heartleaf, 'with its gorgeous, evergreen heart-shaped leaves on long vibes.' If you want something a bit more colourful, Jo admits a special affection 'for the Imperial Red variety. The underside of the leaves has a striking scarlet shade that grows through purple and burgundy tones through to green, as it matures.'

If you want something rarer, Jo suggests several varieties that should be on your radar. The first is the Pink Princess: 'This species has elegant pink variegation across its heart-shaped leaves.'

Next is The Philodendron Narrow (Tiger tooth), which Jo believes is 'set to become a trend-setter, with its wild, jagged-shaped exotic leaves.'

Finally, if you're a serious philodendron enthusiast, 'the holy grail of houseplants must be Philodendron Spiritus Sancti. It has reached endangered status and lives in more private collections in the wild. With its elegant, elongated triangular leaves, it’s philodendron goals right there!'

Happy houseplant hunting!

Anna writes about interior design and gardening. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, and many other publications. She is an experienced outdoor and indoor gardener and has a passion for growing roses and Japanese maples in her outside space.