Philodendron Rugosum Care Guide

Philodendron Rugosum Care Guide

Philodendron Rugosum has become increasingly popular worldwide due to its beautiful evergreen leaves and low maintenance needs.

Originally from the rainforests found in Ecuador, these green beauties primarily grow in the Andes Mountains at about 3000-5000 feet. Philodendron Rugosum is also considered nearly endangered, meaning it is vital to care for them responsibly during their cultivation and when found in their natural habitat.

Philodendron Rugosum Care Guide Overview


  • Scientific name: Philodendron Rugosum
  • Common Name: Pigskin
  • Origin: Rainforests of Ecuador
  • Indoor or Outdoor plant: Popular indoor houseplant. Can stay outdoors occasionally under a shaded spot
  • Height and Structure: 6 – 15 feet tall. It can grow up to 15 feet tall, and leaves can spike up to 2 feet long
  • Temperature: A minimum of 60°F (15°C) and a maximum of 90°F (32°C)
  • Flower Color: Evergreen

How to Plant a Philodendron Rugosum

Philodendron Rugosum is a fantastic and famously low-maintenance houseplant. It is a serene evergreen plant that can easily fit in any environment, making it an excellent addition to any houseplant collection.

In addition, these Philodendron houseplants can survive indoors all year round without much stress. But, they also thrive outdoors when placed in a cool spot whenever the weather allows it.

Putting the plant outdoors allows you to rinse the soil with cool and fresh water while also cleaning the leaves. Below is detailed information on how to plant and care for your Philodendron Rugosum.

Plant Time

Due to their tropical heritage, planting the Philodendron Rugosum is most ideal when the weather is warm and humid. It is generally a sizable plant with a slow growth rate. Thus, it will require repotting at least once a year if planted in a wide and shallow pot of approximately 6-8 inches in diameter.


Regarding spacing requirements, Philodendron Rugosum needs plenty of space since it can grow up to 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide in ideal conditions. As such, many people prefer planting it on their shelf tops together with vines or in hanging baskets to allow them to overflow happily.

Given their resilience, these plants can pair up nicely with other houseplants and grow together happily. Many homeowners use this approach to achieve a jungle look in their bedroom or living room. However, if you choose to grow them all together in one pot, ensure that your preferred plants share the same growing conditions as the Philodendron Rugosum.


These tropical plants thrive in bright indirect sunlight or medium lighting conditions. They do not adapt well to low light conditions, and too much direct sunlight causes their leaves to lose their color. But, as the Rugosum grows older, it can withstand more indirect bright sunlight as it enables its leaves to grow large faster.

Therefore, place your Philodendron Rugosum plant at any eastern-facing window and far from the south side windows for ideal lighting conditions. If you notice that the plant is getting many yellow leaves at a time, it is getting too much sun. To this end, you will have to move it to a less bright location in your house.


Like other Philodendrons, the Rugosum plant requires well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging that may cause rotting of the root. It’s ideal soil mix consists of one part orchid back, one part perlite, and one part peat soil for the optimum thriving of its foliage. In particular, the orchid back provides enough surface area for its roots to attach, just like it does in its natural habitat.

If available, it is advisable to add charcoal or gravel into the soil mix to make it slightly acidic and more aerated. You may also opt to add sphagnum moss into the soil for better results. The ideal soil pH for the Rugosum plant should be between 6.1 -6.5.

How to Grow a Philodendron Rugosum

Growth Habits

The Philodendron Rugosum can grow up to at least six feet tall, meaning it can be quite big in ideal growing conditions. Since it is a vine plant, it needs a source of stability that it will use to climb and reach its optimum size.

You can opt to use a moss stick, but be ready to upgrade since these plants are fast growers. It is advisable to water or mist the moss stick to allow the aerial roots of the Rugosum plant can grab it and grow into it as they reach their full maturity.


Philodendron Rugosum does not require staking, but you can do so if you notice that its stems or leaves are drooling. Due to their aerial roots, staking the Rugosum plant requires a different approach compared to other houseplants. Preferably, use a trellis or a moss-covered or moss-stuffed stick to support the plant as it climbs up. You can buy or construct the moss stick or opt for a 2-inch square dowel made from wrapped rope.


Unlike other Philodendrons, the Rugosum plant does not retain water in its leaves. In turn, this means that its soil must be moist without making it waterlogged. So, do not allow more than a couple of inches of the topsoil to dry out. If the plant’s leaves are brown and falling off, likely, it is not getting sufficient water. Droopy leaves are also an indicator of too much or insufficient water. However, they should take up shape once you correct the problem.

It is best to soak the soil in water when watering this plant rather than watering it from the top. Leave it for half an hour to allow the roots to soak up as much water as possible and then drain the water. This aids in preventing root rot.


Provide your plant with fertilizer at least once a month from the spring to summer and every 6-8 weeks during winter and fall. Use liquid organic fertilizer after watering it to prevent fertilizer burn. Preferably, use fertilizer rich in macronutrients like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, as well as magnesium and calcium.


As mentioned earlier, the Rugosum plant is relatively resilient. It can handle the humidity levels in most homes. Thanks to its tropical origin, it’s ideal humidity range is 70 – 90%. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the humidity level, the bigger the size of the Rugosum plant leaves.

You can increase the humidity in your home to accommodate this plant by purchasing a humidifier that produces drier air. In turn, this will encourage the blossoming of the plants beautiful and lush dark-green leaves.


You can add compost mulch to your potted Philodendron Rugosum plant to help it stand upright and supply nutrients. In turn, this means that you do not need to plant it right away after purchase. The mulch will provide you with plenty of time as you look for the right location in your home.

Trimming and Pruning

Generally, you do not need to trim or prune this plant. However, if you notice that it has withered or sick leaves, you can clip and remove them right away. Additionally, you can prune leaves that are too enormous or those that grow outside the pot. However, if you provide this plant with a secure attachment, you will not have to trim or prune it.

Pot and Repotting

As mentioned earlier, these plants are fast growers that require repotting at least once a year. Once you pick up the pot and find that the roots are coming out of the drainage holes, it is time to repot your plant. You can also opt to take out the entire plant from the pot once the soil is dry to see if they have adequate growing space. Do not let the Rugosum become root-bound as the effects can be detrimental to the plant’s survival.


There are many ways to propagate the Philodendron Rugosum; they include:

  • Dividing tubers, rhizomes, offsets, and corms
  • Stooling, air layering, or mound
  • Herbaceous stem cutting
  • Woody stem cutting

Pests and Diseases

Like other tropical houseplants, the Philodendron Rugosum is often affected by pests and diseases. The most common pests that affect it are spider mites and mealybugs. Luckily, you can get rid of them by using insecticidal soap treatment and neem oil. You can also water your plant with plenty of freshwaters underneath the leaves to remove them.

Another common problem of this plant is root rot resulting from overwatering. You can prevent this by ensuring that the soil is fast draining. If there are any brown leaves, clip them off, change the soil, and put in fresh soil mix as per the recommended ingredients.

Plant species

The Rugosum plant is part of the impeccable Philodendron family. This plant species features excellent variety and possesses abundant foliage in some spear or arrow shape with notable veins or cuttings. Nearly all Philodendrons are epiphytes for some part of their lifecycle. This means that they grow in tree trunks and absorb their nutrients from the host plant, air, and debris.

The name ‘Philodendron’ originates from the Greek word ‘Philo’, meaning love, and ‘dendron’, which means tree. Other plant varieties that share the same genus as the Rugosum plant include Green Sweetheart Plant, Silver Sword Philodendron, and Philodendron scadens, among many others.


The Philodendron Rugosum plant is toxic to both pets and humans. It can lead to severe stomach irritation with possible swelling of the tongue and lips if you eat it. You may also experience severe nausea and vomiting. It is advisable to wear gloves and long-sleeved shirts when tending to this plant to avoid accidental poisoning.

Final Thoughts

Philodendron Rugosum is an impeccable houseplant that is very easy to maintain. By following the simple directions mentioned above, you will enjoy this endangered plant for many years. Remember to keep young children and pets away from it to avoid cases of poisoning.

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