Philodendron Rugosum Plant Care: A Pigskin Philodendron

Philodendron Rugosum is not like other philodendrons. It is a rare and expensive plant. It is disappearing from the tropical regions.

Having an endangered plant in your plant collection is a matter of pride.

Luckily, I got 1 Rugosum Philodendron 2 years ago. With the help of propagation now I have 5 rare Rugosum plants in my greenhouse.

In this article, I am going to help you to successfully grow this plant in an indoor environment. We will talk about its care needs, propagation, and troubleshooting common problems.

About the Philodendron Rugosum Plant?

It is a member of the Philodendron family and is naturally found in tropical regions of Ecuador. Rugosum is also famous as the Pigskin Philodendron.

Because its leaves somewhere look like pig ears.

If you are in USDA hardiness Zones 9 to 11. Then you can easily grow it in your outdoor space. Because in these parts the environment is in the favor of this plant.

Otherwise, the best option is to grow it in plant containers.

In the outdoors, it can grow up to 15 to 17 feet tall. But in a plant container, it only grows up to a manageable size.

Mine is almost 6 feet and I am using a moss pole for support. So, that this vine plant can climb easily and grow tall.

In case you want it to stay below 5 feet, just trim the overgrowth with sharp shears. Pruning is the best technique to keep plants in controlled shape and size.

What are the Care Needs of Philodendron Rugosum?

It needs bright light for photosynthesis and moist soil to stay hydrated and fresh. Fertilizers help Rugosum plants to grow glossy green leaves.

Nutrients also affect the size of a plant and its leaves.

Warm temperatures and high humidity keep it thriving and promote its overall health. Below is the Complete care guide.

Light Requirements of Rugosum

Find a spot where philodendron rugosum can enjoy bright filtered light. It can tolerate direct sunlight for a few minutes.

But placing it in direct sunlight is dangerous for its beautiful leaves.

Burned leaves and leaf tips are the results of too much bright light. To make a balance of light, grow it between 300 FC to 400 FC.

In low-light areas, you will see slow growth in your plant. Its leaves will lose shine and turn dark and dull.

The soil stays moist for a long time than normal. Old leaves become lifeless, new leaves grow small in size.

Therefore, it is essential to make a balance of light while caring for Pig skin Philodendron.

Watering Philodendron Rugosum

The best method of watering is a soaking method. It is safe for philodendrons and prevents overwatering and dehydration.

When you find the top 2 layers of soil are dry. Lift the plant pot and place it in a tub of water. Let it soak a good amount of water from its drainage hole.

This way growers can quickly send water to plant roots.

After 20 minutes take it out of the tub and let it drain extra water in the bottom tray. It will take 45 to 60 minutes to drain every extra drop of water.

This is the perfect method of watering tropical plants.

Best Water for Pig Skin Philodendron

Rainwater is an excellent choice for houseplants. Many growers use rain barrels to collect rainwater for their gardens.

Because it acts like a miracle on plants.

Learn more about Rain Barrels.

If it is not possible in your case then use filtered water. I do not recommend tap water. Because tap water contains chlorine in it.

Chlorine is damaging to plant roots. I always use filtered water for my expensive and rare plants.

Potting Soil

When it comes to potting soil, you should choose well-draining soil for pigskin philodendron and Philodendron Eva. It has a soft root ball that is prone to root rot.

We all know over use of water is the cause of root fungus. Well-draining potting soil drain extra water in a few minutes and prevent root rot.

For rugosum plants mix one part perlite + one part peat + one part orchid bark + one part vermiculite or compost.

Do not use charcoal if you are using vermiculite or compost. Because charcoal makes the soil acidic and slows down the decomposing rate of compost.

This reduces the organic supply of nutrients.

Ideal Temperature

The ideal temperature range for this plant is 55 to 85 degrees F. Below 55 degrees F, the leaves of rugosum Plants start drooping.

Your plant will become an easy target for pests and common houseplant diseases.

Whereas above 85 degrees F is hot for it. Its leaves will develop a red hue which is a sign of too much heat in grow room.

To prevent temperature issues do not place it near the ac ducts and heat vents.

Take special care in the winter season. Place it in a warm place and put a thick mat under the plant pot.

Some people use heat mats in the winter season. But you don’t need to use a heating mat for Philodendron Rugosum.


45% to 65 % is the ideal range of humidity for indoor growing Rugosum Philodendrons. Humidity is linked to leaf health.

Lack of sufficient moisture in the air makes its leaves crispy brown.

Houseplants have tiny pores in their leaves. They absorb moisture from the air. This moisture is required to keep them hydrated.

Use a hygrometer to check the humidity in your growing space.

In case of low humidity, take a pebble tray and fill it with water and put small rocks in it. Then place your plant over it.

The evaporating water from the pebble tray makes a moisture balloon around the plant.

Do not let the pebble tray go out of water.

The next easy solution is a plant humidifier. It is one investment and a quick solution to low humidity.

Fertilizing Philodendron Rugosum

General-purpose foliage fertilizers are good to use. Choose any brand because foliage fertilizers are almost the same.

Fertilize Philodendron Rugosum once in 30 days in its growing phase just like Philodendron Cherry Red.

A regular supply of nutrients helps Rugosum plants to grow large leaves. Fertilizers also promote the overall health and immunity of houseplants.

Use the liquid form of plant food and dilute it according to the instructions in the nutrient bottle. Generally, we dilute the nutrient solution to its half strength.

To prevent overuse of nutrient supplements. Stop feeding your plant in the winter season. Because it is the dormancy period and plants stop their growth.


Vining plants required moderate pruning because they grow at a moderate speed. If you want to control your plant size. Then use sharp shears to trim the overgrowth.

Before trimming your houseplant don’t forget to sterilize the trimming tools.

After pruning your philodendron spray neem oil on it. Also, use a soft and damp cloth to wipe its leaves before using neem oil.

Hygiene is necessary to prevent pests and plant diseases.


Unfortunately, Philodendron Rugosum pig skin is toxic to humans and pets. The sap of the plant is toxic.

It contains calcium oxalate which is a toxic substance.

Ingestion of its parts results in toxicity. To prevent it wear gloves while working on it. Train your pets not to touch it or play around it.

Seek medical help if necessary.

Repotting Pig Skin Philodendron

It is a moderately fast-growing houseplant. This means it needs more frequent repotting than other philodendrons like Fuzzy Petiole and Philodendron Gabby.

If the roots are poking out of the drainage hole. This indicates that the current pot is small for them. They need more space to grow.

In this condition, changing the plant pot and moving it to a large-size container is a wise decision.

Plants with suffocated roots stop growing new leaves.

For repotting, use 2 inches large pot. Unpot your plant and remove soil from its roots. Cut the infected parts and fill fresh soil in a new pot.

Plant it in a new pot and fill the pot with new soil. Tap around the plant and add some water. Place it back in its location.

For a week you can see some weakness in your plant. It is normal and is called repotting stress. It will heal in 5 to 7 days.

Philodendron Rugosum Propagation

If you are an experienced grower then you can propagate it with the root division method. For beginners, it is good to follow the stem propagation technique.

Below is the stem propagation process:

  • Identify a healthy stem and cut it into a different pieces, 5 to 6 inches long.
  • Make sure each stem cutting has 2 leaf nodes at the bottom.
  • Remove the bottom leaves – we only need the top leaves in propagation.
  • Dip the stem cutting in the rooting hormone.
  • Take a glass jar of water and put cuttings in it.
  • Makes sure the water cannot touch the top leaves.
  • Place it in a warm and humid place to speed up the process.
  • Protect it from direct sunlight.
  • Regularly change the water.
  • Cover the bottom of the glass with paper to prevent fungus build-up.
  • Within 20 days you will see new roots are developing.
  • Transfer cutting to potting soil when the new growth is at least 1 inch long.

Troubleshooting Philodendron Rugosum

Curled Leaves

Curled leaves mean you are giving less water to your plant and now it is in a dehydrated state. To correct it, immediately give sufficient water to your dehydrated houseplant.

The soak watering method is the best technique to save dying plants.

To prevent dehydration always check the soil moisture once in a week in spring and summer.

Because dehydration is common in summer season.

Yellow Turning Leaves

If the shining leaves of Philodendron Rugosum are turning yellow. Then you must check 2 things one is light and the second is fertilizer.

Too much bright light increases the temperature of leaf cells. This increases the evaporation of leaf moisture.

This turns the green leaves to yellow.

Secondly, high doses and frequent use of fertilizer also result in yellow leaves. Yellow leaves are the early signs of overfertilization.

Pest Attacks

Sap-sucking pests are common enemies of rugosum plants. They generally attack unhygienic plants. To prevent pests, keep your plant clean and use neem oil.

In case you see tiny insects on your plant leaves. Immediately rinse it with pest-killing soap. It is a liquid solution that is designed for normal indoor plants.

Take your plant outdoors and use liquid insect-killing soap as per the instructions.

Keep it separate from other plants until you see new growth.

Dark Spots on its leaves

It is a leaf disease called bacterial leaf spot. Warm weather and wet leaves result in bacterial leaf spots.

In this case, you have only a single solution which is a copper fungicide. Apply it only on infected leaves. Wait for the results and if the plant did not respond to the treatment.

Propagation is the only solution that is left. Cut a stem or divide its roots to propagate it to save the breed.


Philodendron Rugosum is a good plant for homes. It needs some support to grow tall. Indirect light and moderate watering help it to grow healthy.

Keep it clean and you will not face any problems. Feed it liquid fertilizer for quick and best results.

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