Philodendron Rugosum Care And Growing: The Best Guide

Looking to make your Philodendron Rugosum grow big and strong? You’re in the right spot! Welcome to our all-inclusive blog post, “Philodendron Rugosum Care And Growing: The Best Guide.”

This guide is just the thing you need to figure out how to keep your Philodendron Rugosum happy and help it grow its best. So, if you’re after advice on watering, light needs, or just how to prune it, stick around!

About Philodendron Rugosum

This quirky Philodendron hails from the rainforests of Ecuador, growing way up high between 3000 and 5000 feet in the Andes.

They’re often called “Pigskin” because the leaves have this cool shape that looks like pig’s ears. In Italian, rugosum means “ruga” which means wrinkle, kind of like how their big, leathery leaves get all wrinkly where they join the stem.

These plants are great for hanging baskets as they can grow anywhere from 6 to 16 feet (1.8 to 4.8 meters). If you’re growing it in a pot, a trellis or moss stick can help support it.

 About Philodendron Rugosum


Philodendron Rugosum care overview

Common Name Pigskin philodendron, Sow’s ear plant
Botanical Name Philodendron Rugosum
Family Araceae
Plant Type Vine, Perennial
Mature Size Up to 15 feet tall outdoors
Sun Exposure Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Type Well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, Neutral
Bloom Time Spring (but rarely flowers indoors)
Flower Color White
Hardiness Zones 9-11 (USDA)
Native Area South America
Toxicity Toxic to pets and people

Soil for Rugosum plant

Your Philodendron Rugosum needs soil that drains well to keep water from sitting and causing root rot. It’s happy in the usual kind of soil, with one part orchid bark, one part perlite, and one part soil that’s rich in peat.

A great thing to use is orchid bark because the roots stick to it just like they would in their natural home. If you fancy, you can throw some charcoal or pebbles into the mix to make it a bit more acidic and get more air in there. Soil with a pH of less than 6.5 is on the acidic side.

The best kind of soil is similar to aroid soil mix. You can snag this blend in stores or whip it up yourself! It’s got more bark and is chunkier, which helps with drainage.

There’s an easy recipe to start with if you want to mix up your own aroid soil:

  • 1/3 perlite
  • 1/3 orchard bark
  • 1/3 peat-rich soil base.

Philodendron Rugosum Light Requirements

Any Philodendron Rugosum will do its best in a bit of shade and bright (but not direct) sunlight, thanks to its tropical roots.

It’s not too keen on low light, and too much bright light can make the leaves wilt and lose their color. Brighter, direct light is usually a good thing and can get your plant growing faster with bigger leaves.

To get it growing fast and sprouting big leaves, give it bright, indirect sunlight from a window facing East. If you can keep it from getting hit directly by the sun’s rays, a south-facing window can work, too. Try to avoid dim light as it can slow down how fast the plant grows.

Philodendron Rugosum Light Requirements

Philodendron Rojo Congo Watering

Figuring out the perfect watering routine can be a bit tricky because you need to find that sweet spot between keeping it wet enough and not drowning it.

Let the top 2 inches of soil dry out between waterings. Stick your finger in the soil up to your first knuckle to see if it’s time to water.

Give the soil a good soaking until it’s fully wet but not soggy. As a rule of thumb, once a week should do it. But keep in mind your own temperature and humidity.

If the leaves are looking droopy, you might be giving them too much or not enough water.

Rather than watering it from the top like your other philodendrons, give the pot a good dunk in water.

You can hang it in a fancy pot filled with water for up to an hour to let the roots get a drink and the bark soak up some moisture.

Then drain any leftover water from your nursery pot and empty out the pot. Doing this once a week is plenty, just make sure to water well.

Philodendron RugosumTemperature

Your Philodendron rugosum is happiest when the temperature is between 55 and 90 d°F. (12.7 to 32 °C).

If it’s left in temperatures below this for too long, its leaves will drop because it’s not made for the cold. Make sure it never gets colder than 12°C or 55°F. In winter, keep it out of drafts.

It can live outside, but if it’s going to be hotter than this, you should bring it indoors. If you live in a cooler climate, your philodendron rugosum can help brighten up the inside of your home.

Temperature is pretty important for your Philodendron rugosum, as you can see. Even though it’s a tropical plant, you don’t need to crank up the heat in your home.

Related: Philodendron Selloum Care And Grow: The Ultimate Guide

Philodendron Rugosum Humidity

Philodendrons are pretty tough and can deal with the usual amount of humidity you’ve got in most homes. But if you turn up the humidity, you’ll help your philodendron grow nice, dark green leaves that are full-sized.

The bigger the humidity, the bigger the leaves. They really like it humid, anywhere from 70 to 90 percent.

Depending on where you live, that might be tough to keep up, but there’s a bunch of ways to help:

  • Misting: Give the leaves a spritz once or twice a day with a spray bottle full of water. That’ll wet the plant down and bump up the humidity. But don’t go nuts with the spray, or you could get fungus growing.
  • Pebble tray: Just pop your plant pot on a tray full of pebbles and water. As the water evaporates, it’ll make the air around your plant more humid.
  • Humidifier: You can keep things nice and moist for your Philodendron rugosum with a humidifier. It’s a gadget that puts water into the air. Just flip it on and set it near your plant, and you’ll know it’s getting the moisture it needs.
  • Grouping: Putting plants together makes a little moist microclimate that helps keep the humidity up. So you can boost the humidity around your Philodendron Rugosum by sticking it near other plants.

Philodendron Rugosum Humidity

Fertilizer for Philodendron Rugosum

In the spring and summer, give your Philodendron Rugosum some plant food every month. In fall and winter, you can dial it back to every 6-8 weeks.

You can use whatever plant food you like best, or a liquid one made for green leafy plants, but only use half as much as it says on the bottle.

To stop the plant food from burning the plant, I usually feed my plants right after I’ve watered them.

If you use a plant food that’s loaded up with good stuff like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, your Philodendrons will look better than ever.


Philodendrons can get big fast, so you might want to think about giving it a bigger pot every year. If you see any roots poking out of the holes in the bottom of the pot, that’s a sign it’s time to repot.

If the soil is dry, you can take the whole plant out of the pot, soil and all, to see if there’s any room left. You don’t want your plant to get root-bound because it can be tough for it to bounce back.

After the growing season, you’ll probably need to give this plant a bigger pot once a year. But don’t go too big or the roots could rot, just pick a pot that’s a couple of inches bigger all around.

Here’s how to repot your Philodendron rugosum:

  1. Pick a new pot that’s one size bigger than the old one. Make sure it’s got holes in the bottom so the water doesn’t get stuck.
  2. Whip up some potting mix. The best stuff drains well and is full of organic material, like peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.
  3. Gently take the plant out of its old pot. You can use your hands to break up the soil.
  4. Trim back any roots that are too long and carefully take off any that are broken or dead.
  5. Put a layer of fresh potting mix in the bottom of the new pot.
  6. Put the plant in the new pot, then fill in any empty spaces with new potting mix. Make sure the plant is sitting at the same height as it was in the old pot.
  7. Water the plant well and lightly pat the soil around it.

Stick the newly potted plant in a shady spot for a few days to help it get used to its new home.

For the first few weeks after you’ve repotted, keep the soil nice and moist to help the plant settle into its new pot.

Philodendron Rugosum Propagation

You can make more Philodendron rugosum plants in a few different ways, but most people go with stem cuttings. Just cut a healthy stem that’s about 3 to 4 inches long from a grown-up plant to get a new one started. Here’s how you can make more of your Philodendron Rugosum:

  • Pick a healthy stem: Look for a stem that’s in good shape and doesn’t have any signs of disease or damage.
  • Snip the stem: Use a clean, sharp pair of scissors or garden snips to cut the stem right below a node (that’s where the leaf connects to the stem). Make sure the cut is clean and straight.
  • Take off the lower leaves: Pull off the lower leaves from the stem, leaving just one or two leaves at the top. This helps the cutting put all its energy into growing roots instead of keeping leaves alive.
  • Use rooting hormone: You can dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder or liquid to give the roots a kick-start.
  • Plant the cutting: Get a small pot ready with some moist, well-draining soil, and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Stick the stem cutting in the hole and lightly press the soil around it to keep it steady.
  • Water the cutting: Give the soil a good soaking, making sure it’s damp but not soaking wet. You can put a plastic bag over the pot to make a humid environment, which will help the cutting grow roots.
  • Take care of the cutting: Keep the cutting in a warm, bright spot, but not in direct sunlight. Check the soil regularly and give it a drink when it needs it to keep it damp. After a few weeks, you should start to see some new growth and roots coming through.
  • Move the cutting: Once the cutting has grown some roots and new growth, you can move it into a bigger pot with regular potting soil and look after it like you would a full-grown Philodendron Rojo Congo plant.

Philodendron Rugosum Propagation

Philodendron Rugosum Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Spider mites and mealybugs are the most usual troubles you might bump into when you’re growing a Philodendron rugosum. Since Philodendron Rugosum kinda likes a regular watering schedule, another problem you might run into is root rot, which can lead to mold and fungus issues.

  • Spider mites: These tiny critters can cause a big headache for your Philodendron rugosum. The leaves might start to look dusty because of them, and eventually, they’ll turn yellow and fall off. To deal with spider mites, you’ll want to boost the humidity around the plant because these guys love dry spaces.
  • Mealybugs: These bugs show up as white, fluffy spots on the leaves and stems of the plant. They suck out the plant’s sap, which can make the leaves look weird and turn yellow. You can get rid of mealybugs with insecticidal soap or a mix of rubbing alcohol and water.
  • Scale insects: These pests look like small brown or black bumps, usually found on the undersides of leaves. They also suck the plant’s sap, which can cause leaf drop and yellowing. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap both work well to get rid of scale insects.
  • Root rot: Philodendron rugosum can end up with root rot if it gets too much water or sits in still water. This can make the plant’s roots rot, which can kill the plant. To avoid root rot, make sure the plant is in soil that drains well and only water when the top inch of soil is dry.
  • Leaf spot: This fungus can infect plants and leave behind brown or black spots on their leaves. Too much humidity or overwatering are the usual suspects. Try not to get water on the leaves when you’re watering, and make sure the plant gets good air flow to stop leaf spot.

The Advantages of Introducing Philodendron Rugosum into Your Home Environment

Philodendron Rugosum, also known as the ‘Pig Skin’ Philodendron, is a stand-out plant that’s loved for its good looks and cool benefits. It’s a top-notch plant to think about for your place, with a mix of eye-catching appeal, easy upkeep, air cleaning qualities, and propagation ease.

First off, Philodendron Rugosum gets a lot of love for its gorgeous foliage that gives off a vibe of natural beauty and calm. Its leaves, decked out in dark green and sporting a uniquely wrinkled texture, can stretch out to a whopping length of 12 inches. The special texture and big size of its leaves add a bit of visual intrigue and can seriously amp up the visual appeal of any indoor spot.

Next up, a lesser-known plus of having a Philodendron Rugosum is its knack for cleaning up the air. Studies suggest that this plant can soak up nasty toxins in the air, like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These toxins often hang around in many homes as leftovers from stuff like synthetic materials, cleaning gear, and certain appliances. By bringing a Philodendron Rugosum into your space, you’re actively upping the quality of the air you breathe.

Third, this plant is super low-fuss. It doesn’t need loads of sunlight or water, making it a good pick for busy homeowners or those without a natural knack for gardening. It can adapt to a variety of light conditions and watering schedules, making it an ideal houseplant even for beginners.

Finally, Philodendron Rugosum shows off as an easy-to-propagate plant species. It can easily be propagated through methods like stem cuttings or air layering. This feature makes it a great choice for plant lovers who are keen on expanding their indoor greenery.

FAQ Philodendron Rugosum Care 

Q: What is causing the leaves to change to a light green?

A: Light green leaves on a Philodendron rugosum are a bit weird ’cause these plants are famous for their dark green leaves. Your plant might be missing out on some calcium and/or magnesium. Try some new soil or a fertilizer that’s packed with these nutrients.

Q: Is Philodendron Rugosum toxic to pets?

A: Yes, Philodendron Rugosum is not pet-friendly if eaten. Keep this plant somewhere your pets and kiddos can’t reach.

Q: Why does my plant have browned halos around yellowed foliage sections?

A: These color issues often signal overwatering and soil fungus problems. Try dropping the room’s humidity and cutting back on watering for a few days to see if things improve.

Q: Why are the leaves wilting at the tips and going brown?

A: Unlike the answer to the previous question, brown leaves and curling tips usually mean the plant is not getting enough water. Up the amount of water you’re giving to the plant and boost the humidity around it.

Q: Does philodendron rugosum flowers?

A: Yes, it does flower every now and then, but don’t expect the blooms to hang around for long.


Philodendron rugosum is a rare beauty that plant collectors totally adore for its plush leaves and eye-catching hues. Depending on your local weather, this tropical plant can be grown either inside or outside. It needs warm temps, high humidity, and soil that drains well to really shine.

All in all, growing Philodendron rugosum is a fun and rewarding experience, and it’ll definitely be a star in any plant collection. Follow these FamiPlants care tips for Philodendron rugosum and before you know it, you’ll have a gorgeous Philodendron.

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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