Welcome to our guide to the philodendron rio, covering care and propagation. The key to caring for a rio is to not over water it and give it enough light to encourage that beautiful variegation without giving it any direct sun which can burn it.
Philodendron Rio Summary
|Light needs:||Medium to bright indirect light.|
|Watering needs:||Water if top 50% of soil is dry, check once a week.|
|Fertilizer:||A balanced feed once a month in spring and summer.|
|Soil:||A well draining compost.|
|Where to buy:||Try one of these Rare Plant Shops.|
|Common issues:||Loss of variegation due to low light.|
The philodendron rio (aka philodendron hederaceum rio) is a variegated philodendron hederaceum, very similar to the brasil, but with a more striking thin central variegation, and it has a dash of silver on it. This ‘sport’ was developed, and is sold by, Gabriella Plants (source), see also the Gabby sport. It ‘s a really slender and beautifully variegated hanging plant. We’ll show you how to get the best out of it…
Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.
Medium to bright indirect light is great for these, they will tolerate lower light too. Just watch to make sure their variegation does not fade too much and then improve the light if it does, move it towards a brighter window.
How Often to Water
Water if the top 50% of soil is dry, check it once a week. They don’t want to sit in water after watering, so make sure you drain out any excess after watering.
Philodendron Rio Fertilizer
You can feed it a balanced feed once a month in spring and summer to encourage growth. Make sure it is well diluted so you don’t get fertilizer burn, it will especially show on the variegated parts of the leaves.
When To Repot
Repot it when it gets pot bound up a size. The best time to do this is in spring so the plants roots have space t o grow over the warmer months when they will need it.
Tip: a month before you repot, take a few cuttings and root them in water, then plant them in all together with the new plant for a much bushier plant that will grow out much bigger.
Philodendron Rio Humidity
A rio will do well in most parts of your home but if you give it a bit more humidity (like 50-60%) they can grow larger, especially the leaves.
18°C-27°C (64-81°F) is the best range for them, so they’ll be at home in your home! Watch out for cold and draughts in the winter though, down to below 10°C (50°F) can be a problem for them. I would keep it in a fairly warm room over the winter.
How To Propagate Philodendron Rio
They are super easy to propagate. You can root them in water and then move to soil after a couple of months. Make sure each cutting has one or two leaves and node that will be in the water. You can take a who branch and cut between each leaf to get a lot of cuttings quickly. Put them in a jar of water and make sure that the bottom nodes are in the water.
They should root quickly and in a month or two you can move them to soil.
Keep them in medium indirect sunlight and make sure they are warm and humid to encourage rooting.
Is It Toxic To Cats?
They are slightly toxic if ingested, causing vomiting or irritation, so seek vets advice if your pet eats any.
Philodendron Rio Vs Silver Stripe
The rio has and silver stripe are really similar, both are green with cream and silver variegation down the center. The main difference is that the silver stripe’s green is much darker. The rio’s dark green parts are a duller almost silvery dark green hue.
Philodendron Rio Vs Cream Splash
The cream splash has a lot of light green variegation on it, and the rio has very little. Also the cream splash has a lot more cream in its variegated patterns too.
Rio Vs Brasil Philodendron
The philodendron rio has wider and rounder leaves with light green and cream variegation on green, it has no silver on it. The rio has a much thinner and slender leaf with cream and silver variegations down it’s center.
Where To Buy
Other Names For Philodendron Rio
Philodendron hederaceum rio. Philodendron rio sport.
FAQs and Common Problems
They can lose their variegation and become leggy if kept in lower light areas, if this happens, move it closer to the window.
- Info from Gabriela Plants (the breeder’s page) including a great section on plant id.
- List of philodendrons.
- More small philodendron hederaceum articles: Philodendron Rio, Philodendron Brasil Care, Philodendron Gabby, Philodendron Cream Splash.
Buy At Amazon (affiliate links):
- Humidity meter (a cheap way to monitor humidity and temperature levels)
- Grow lights
- Humidifier (to maintain humidity levels)
- Compost / potting mix (Miracle Grow)
- Perlite (to add drainage to soil mixes)
- Moss pole
- Plant Pots
- How Not to Kill Your Houseplant (book)