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29 Incredible Philodendron Rio Care Tips You Should Know

Philodendron Rio is a unique and easy-to-care-for plant that will add some pop to any indoor garden. This houseplant has a distinct appearance and vibe that indoor gardeners love.

We’ll go through ‘Rio’ care in further detail in this post so you may confidently raise this rare plant.

A few good alternatives are available to you if you’d want to purchase a Philodendron Rio. Discover the fascinating characteristics of this Philodendron by continuing to read. 

What Is Philodendron Rio?

The Philodendron Rio is also known as Rio and ‘Heart-Shaped Philodendron Rio,’ and it is a perennial well-known for its pointy and dense foliage. This unique plant from the Araceae has heart-shaped, glossy green leaves with prominent cream/yellow stripes in the middle leaves.

While this article is primarily about indoor gardening, this Philodendron can also be grown outdoors in hardiness zones 9-11.

Origin And Family

Philodendron Rio is a member of the genus ‘Philodendron’ and the family ‘Araceae.’ It comes from the rainforests of Brazil.

This Philodendron plant was believed to have descended naturally from Philodendron Brazil. It prefers moderate humidity and bright indirect light.

Where To Buy

People who want to buy houseplants online should consider searching for Philodendron Rio on Etsy.

Philodendron Rio Plant Size

The Rio is a mature Philodendron plant that grows approximately up to 30 inches tall. It grows well near an east-facing window because of its light and moderate humidity requirements.

Philodendron Rio Care Needs

Like any other houseplant, a Philodendron Rio will flourish if you give it proper care. The Heart-Shaped Philodendron Rio loves lower-temperature environments and low light conditions and needs relatively moist soil throughout the year.

When the top inch of soil on your Philodendron is dry, water it. Allow water to drain from the holes along the bottom of the pot when watering. In terms of lighting, this lovely plant prefers bright indirect light. 

To see the various tips, check the specific care guidelines below.

Care TypeEasy
Botanical NamePhilodendron Rio
Common NameRio, Heart-Shaped Philodendron Rio, Philodendron Hederaceum Rio
Plant FamilyAraceae
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapeheart-shaped
Leaf Colorglossy green with prominent cream/yellow stripes in the middle
Recommended Home Placementnear an east-facing window
Growth Ratefast
Lightbright indirect light
Soilstandard commercial potting soil
When To WaterWater when the top inch of the soil is dry.
When To Fertilizeevery 6-8 weeks during growing season
Preferred pH5.5 to 6
Humidity Range50%-60%
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include burning sensation, nausea, vomitting
Common Pests & Diseasesspider mites, brown tips, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves

Care Difficulty

The gorgeous plant is easy-to-care-for, and this beauty requires a lot of light and good drainage in the soil.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of a Philodendron Rio is fast. It grows to about 30 inches tall at a mature height, and its glossy leaves are around 30 inches wide.

You can manage this plant’s height with proper pruning during the growing season.

The plant develops swiftly, shedding its old dark green leaves and sprouting new ones as it does so. The yellowing of older leaves may be noticed near the bottom of the plant.

You won’t have to worry about the yellowing since it’s natural.


A medium pot is usually plenty big when it comes to pot size, and it will likely be okay to use plastic, clay, and hanging baskets when choosing pot material. Among the most essential qualities is that it has at least one outflow hole to drain excess water.

Like most plants, this Philodendron doesn’t like to sit in water, and if you leave the plant soaking too long, she is at risk of suffering from root rot. And trust us, that’s not fun.


You typically need to repot your Philodendron Rio after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first or until you see roots shooting out of the pot. Remove the plant from the container with caution when this occurs.

Repot your Rio after you’ve finished this step.


Using a simple commercial potting soil for the Philodendron Rio is an excellent choice. If you make your own, use perlite and coco coir. Remember that Rio prefers a relatively moist growth medium, so your soil should support this.

Root rot and other diseases may be thwarted if the soil supports proper drainage. An ideal growing medium for this low-maintenance plant is one with good drainage. 

We suggest these potting mixes:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $10.99 ($0.03 / Ounce)
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture 8-Quart Black Gold 1310102 Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.98 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix,...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Potting Soil for Outdoor and Indoor Plants, Enriched with Plant Food, 2 cu. ft. $34.54
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quarts | The Hydroponic City Stake $23.99 ($0.06 / Fl Oz)


For this Rio, you will need a soil pH between 5.5 and 6, neutral to acidic. If you’re worried about your soil’s pH, a simple pH test, available for purchase online, may help. Buy pH test on Amazon here.

Sulfur or aluminum sulfate may be used to adjust the pH of your Philodendron Rio if you’re worried about it being too high or low.


Proper watering is essential for Philodendron Rio. If you use too much, you risk causing diseases like root rot, and if you use too little, your plant may suffer injury or possibly die. In general, Rio should have a growing medium that is relatively moist. In addition, Philodendron Rio may need 0.8 cups of water every nine days if it is not in direct sunlight and is planted in a 5.0″ pot, depending on the plant’s growth conditions.

By looking at its leaves, you can quickly tell whether your Philodendron ‘Hederaceum’ Rio needs watering. Simply insert your finger in the pot and, when the first inch of the soil is dry, it’s time to water your plant.

As previously stated, drainage holes and suitable soil are essential for Philodendron Rio. You don’t want it to sit in water for an extended amount of time.

Avoid putting your Philodendron Rio in direct sunlight, as this could severely damage or even kill it.


Philodendron Rio needs strong indirect sunshine for at least two to four hours each day to thrive. You’re trying to grow it in the same way as it does in Brazil’s tropical jungle. Placing this plant near an east-facing window is often a good idea.

When its leaves start to burn or develop brown spots, you’ll know your Rio is getting too much light or is left under a bright light for a long time. Alternatively, this plant’s leaves may droop and become yellow if it doesn’t get enough sunlight.

The presence of drooping and yellowing leaves might be an indication of too much light, but they can also be an indication of a shortage of fertile soil. Find out more about fertilizer in our section. 


Fertilizer is a must for Philodendron Rio. You should use a slow-release fertilizer throughout the spring and summer every 6-8 weeks.

However, when growing naturally slows, you don’t need to fertilize in the wintertime.

Here are some slow-release fertilizer options you can use:

Photo Title Price Buy
Fiddle Leaf Fig...image Fiddle Leaf Fig Slow-Release Fertilizer by Perfect Plants - Resealable 5oz. Bag - Consistent Nutrient Enrichment - for Indoor and Outdoor Use on All Ficus Varieties $9.95 ($1.99 / Ounce)
Osmocote Smart-Release Plant...image Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lb. $32.09 ($0.25 / Ounce)
EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer,...image EcoScraps Slow-Release Fertilizer, Made with Recycled Nutrients and Organic Matter, Covers up to 2,500 sq. ft., 45 lbs. $31.32 ($0.04 / Ounce)
Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic...image Osmocote 14-14-14 Classic Slow Release Fertilizer - 50 Lbs.
Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12,...image Osmocote Fertilizer 15-9-12, Slow Release 3-4 Months, 50lbs. Bag

Propagating Philodendron Rio

It is possible to propagate a Rio with the proper methods. Here are various techniques for propagating this unique houseplant.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

You may quickly reproduce your Philodendron Rio using stem tip cuttings in soil. Seeds are occasionally accessible; however, they may be challenging to locate and begin growing from seed in most cases. Buying stem cuttings from an internet store like Etsy or propagating an established plant is significantly more straightforward.

Spring season is the best time to take stem cuttings. For your cuts, choose those with a reasonable rate of development, preferably fresh growth. Set the stem in a wet soil mix after removing all but the top few leaves.

The soil surrounding the cutting should be kept wet to maintain a high humidity level. Until the Philodendron Rio takes root, it’s best to cover the plant with a plastic bag or other enclosure. To ensure strong root growth, maintain the plant at a temperature of about 70º Fahrenheit.

Whenever lower leaves or leaf buds can be seen on the stem, you should pinch the branch’s base. You may remove any undesirable growth by snipping it back just above the leaves.

Reduce legginess by turning and rotating the plant to ensure continuous light exposure. Gangly growth may still occur in the absence of regular rotation, although this can be minimized.

Stem Cuttings In Water

Developing stem cuttings in water is easy if you follow these guidelines.

First, take cuttings from your Philodendron. For most plants, cuttings should be between 4 and 6 inches long.

Don’t make your cuttings too large; they will not root well, or if rooted, will become too tall and lanky.

Using a sharp knife, trim the Philodendron shafts just below the nodes.

When trimming a Philodendron Rio, remove all except the top two or three leaves. There should be no leaves on any part of the cutting that will contact water.

Place the cutting in water, and refill it every few days. The propagated Heart-Shaped Philodendron Rio nodes should constantly be exposed to water to produce roots.

Move this unique plant to the soil when the roots of your new Philodendron Rio begin to sprout. Taking too much time might make it challenging to transfer to a pot.

Humidity And Aeration

Philodendron Rio or Heart-Shaped Philodendron Rio is a unique perennial that prefers moderate humidity– for best results, we recommend you stay between 50%-60% humidity.

If you’re concerned about your humidity or notice brown edges on your plants, consider purchasing a humidifier or relocating your plant to a naturally humid environment (like a bathroom or kitchen). 


Cool temperatures are preferable for your Rio plant, but it can thrive in a temperature range of 60-75ºF. Their preferred temperature is maintained by keeping them away from drafty areas like windows and doorways.

It’s common to see temperature and humidity needs interwoven. Don’t forget to factor in the humidity while completing this step.


If you have tiny children or animals, keep an eye out. The Philodendron Rio is toxic to both pets (such as cats and dogs) and humans. If consumed, expect the following symptoms: burning feeling, nausea, and vomiting. In most circumstances, this plant is not considered fatal. 

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

In most situations, the Rio is a disease-resistant and pest-resistant plant. There are, however, some common issues that can affect it. The following steps discuss some of the common problems and solutions to protect your Philodendron Rio.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are a nuisance, especially in the Rio, as they are familiar to this plant. Philodendron leaves with brown or yellow spots are the first signs of spider mite damage.

Perhaps your plant has stopped growing. Having spider mites in your home means that you’ll have to deal with spider webs, which isn’t exactly appealing. As a result, there are still more issues to watch.

Remove spider mites from your Philodendron Rio by spraying it with a sink nozzle. An insecticide like horticultural oil, if nothing else, may be the answer.

You may need to quarantine some of your plants while dealing with the spider mite population.

Scale Insects

Scale insects may develop as lumps on your Philodendron Rio’s stems or branches. Once attached to a plant, the tiny bugs, which come in green, gray, brown, and black colors, usually stay put.

To keep these strange houseplants free of new scale insects, you may apply a teaspoon of neem oil in four cups of water. This will help if your infestation isn’t too bad— on one plant or a piece of one plant. As with spider mites, grab a spray bottle and vigorously spritz the plant.

While neem oil and other horticultural oils will not kill everything, they will undoubtedly cause some damage to the pests. Numerous insecticide sprays for Heart-Shaped Philodendron Rio are regarded as safe to use to treat this.


Aphids can consume the leaves and leave scars, ending in brown or black spots.

To cure aphids, use insecticidal soap or neem oil, or make your own with a dish solution like Ivory Liquid. A solution free of fragrances and other potentially harmful substances should be your goal. In a diluted solution, mix the soap and water (using 1 teaspoon per gallon and going up from there if needed). Spray the plants, paying consideration to the undersides of the foliage.


Mealybugs can potentially infest your Philodendron Rio too. If you saturate a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and brush it over your plant’s heart-shaped leaves and stem, the bugs will fall off. As with scale, a prophylactic spray of Neem oil and water may be applied to Rio.

Brown Leaf Tips

If the tips of your Rio begin to brown, it could be because it is getting too much sunshine – or because your house isn’t humid enough. 

Drooping Leaves

This may be caused by mealybugs are seen on the Philodendron Rio. Overwatering and improper fertilizing may also contribute to these concerns. 

Yellow Leaves

A Rio plant may become yellow for a variety of reasons. It may be getting too much or too little sunshine or water.

Yellowing leaves should be removed to foster new growth and avoid degradation. A pair of sharp, sterile shears or scissors may be used to remove the leaves. This plant can handle getting a little roughed up. 

Root Rot

The most crucial aspect of Philodendron Rio care is to keep the soil from becoming too moist or dry. Excessive soil moisture can lead to root rot and other fungal illnesses, as well as bacterial infections.

To keep a Rio healthy, you must provide it with adequate hydration. Overwatering will cause the plant to succumb to any number of infections that could otherwise be introduced. Drainage may be improved if the soil is well-aerated; therefore, this is an important consideration.

Similar Plants

Love Rio? Here are several related plant possibilities to consider:

Philodendron Verrucosum: This stylish and easy-to-care-for plant with its heart-shaped and delicate leaves is sure to light up any rooms or indoor gardens.  

Philodendron Erubescens – Known as the “Blushing Philodendron,” this exotic plant sports heart-shaped leaves colored with shades of green and burgundy. If you’re looking for a show-stopper in your indoor garden, this plant is it.

Philodendron Rojo Congo – Hybridized from two other philodendrons, you can expect that this unique cultivar is an attractive and showy plant. It forms a gorgeous rosette with its tall oval leaves of burgundy green hue. 

Philodendron White Knight – This stunningly beautiful plant will steal the show. This Philodendron’s striking white leaf variegation, paired with its distinctive purple and brown stems, makes it a sought-after discovery.


With its pointy and dense foliage, the Philodendron Rio is an excellent choice for plant lovers.

It’s easy-to-care-for, needing bright indirect light, moderate humidity, relatively moist soil, and cool temps.

Get started with Philodendron Rio now, whether you’re an experienced indoor gardener or just getting started!

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