Philodendron Rugosum: Detailed Care Tips

Philodendron Rugosum is an unusual plant with gorgeous thick, leathery foliage consisting of countless delicate veins that produce the appearance of a pig’s skin; hence its common name, “Pigskin Philodendron.” The Philodendron Rugosum is the perfect Philo species for rare plant enthusiasts.

Philodendron Rugosum is a near-threatened yet easy to care for plant. It prefers bright, indirect light, or dappled sunlight, and temperatures of 60 to 60°F. Be sure to water the plant when the first two inches of soil dry out and fertilize the Philo monthly during its growing season.

Unfortunately, the Philodendron Rugosum is a near-threatened plant due to habit loss. If you are in luck and fortunate enough to get a hold of Pigskin Philodendron, ensure that you provide appropriate care. Here’s how!

Characteristics Of Philodendron Rugosum

Philodendron Rugosum is a near-endangered species found in the pre-mountainous rainforests of Ecuador. The Pigskin Philodendron typically grows as an epiphyte attached to trees but can effortlessly adapt as houseplants with the proper care.

Philodendron Rugosum is an evergreen with bright green, thick and leathery, heavily textured foliage that looks like pig’s skin or leather.

Philodendron Rugosum has a relatively rapid growth rate with the potential of growing up to six feet tall! However, the Pigskin Philo has a vining habit and requires a structure to climb on to reach its full potential.

How To Care For Philodendron Rugosum

Close up of Philodendron Rugosum leaf

Although almost classified as endangered, you’ll be surprised to hear that the Philodendron Rugosum is a famously low-maintenance plant. These easy-going plants are forgiving and fit right into all corners of your household.

Be that as it may, specific care requirements will ensure that this unique vining Philo feels right at home.

Temperature Requirements For Philodendron Rugosum

The Philodendron Rugosum originates from tropical countries. Although the Pigskin Philo is adaptable, the ideal room temperature for Philodendron Rugosum ranges between 60 to 90°F.

In addition, the Philodendron Rugosum does not tolerate cold temperatures; freezing temperatures can result in frost damage. Therefore, ensure that you do not expose the plant to temperatures below 55°F. At the same time, temperatures higher than 90°F can result in a drooping plant.

Lastly, aim to protect the Pigskin Philo plant from cold drafts, radiators, or air conditioning units.

Humidity Requirements For Philodendron Rugosum

Due to the Philodendron Rugosum’s native habitat in rainforests, the Pigskin Philo prefers a climate with high humidity levels.

Even though the Philodendron Rugosum will tolerate normal humidity levels in homes, it will thrive best in areas with humidity ranging between 70 and 90%. High moisture levels will encourage better growth and more significant dark green foliage.

Here are three valuable recommendations to increase your home’s humidity:

  1. Misting: Mist the Philodendron Rugosum to maintain adequate moisture levels.
  2. Use a humidifier: Investing in a room humidifier will help maintain the desired humidity level for the Philodendron Rugosum.
  3. The Pebble-water Tray Method: Another alternative would be to place the Philodendron Rugosum atop a watered pebble tray to increase the moisture levels.

Related: Philodendron Rio: Complete Plant Guide

Light Requirements For Philodendron Rugosum

The Philodendron Rugosum originally thrives under a canopy of tropical trees that provide the perfect amount of dappled sunlight.

Therefore, place the Philodendron Rugosum in medium to bright, indirect light. Place the Philo near windows providing early morning or late afternoon sun to ensure moderate amounts of indirect sunlight. In addition, avoid spots with the intense midday sun.

Direct sunlight will scorch and damage the Philodendron Rugosum foliage, turning them into a pale yellowish color. Therefore, if you plan to keep the Philodendron Rugosum outside, you’ll want to provide a spot in your garden with partial to dappled shade.

However, avoid full shade as it will cause stunted growth, small, juvenile leaflets, and leggy stems with large spaces between the foliage.

Philodendron Rugosum

Soil Requirements For Philodendron Rugosum

The Philodendron Rugosum has similar soil requirements to most Philodendrons.

You’ll want to plant the Philodendron Rugosum in a slightly acidic, well-draining, aroid soil mixture. Consider using 1/3 orchard bark, 1/3 perlite, and 1/3 peat moss or vermiculture.

In addition, it’s recommended to replace the Philodendron Rugosum’s soil every couple of years. Philodendron Rugosum is sensitive to salt accumulation via watering, which causes brown or yellowing leaves.

You can also flush the soil periodically to rid most salts by watering the plant until water leaks out of the container’s drain holes. However, the ground will still require refreshing after a few years.

Watering Guide For Philodendron Rugosum

Philodendron Rugosum prefers slightly moist soil during its growing seasons. As such, water the plant moderately during the spring and summer.

However, the Philodendron Rugosum does not tolerate overly dry or wet soil; both conditions increase the risk of leaf drop. In addition, soggy soil creates a chance to develop fungal diseases and root rot.

Therefore, wait for the top two inches of soil to dry out before rewatering the plant as a quick rule of thumb.

Use your index finger to test the moisture in the ground, and as soon as the first two inches have entirely dried out, water the Philodendron Rugosum again.

Note that it’s best to start scaling back on watering once the colder months arrive as it is semi-dormant in the winter, this will prevent overwatering. However, if you notice the leaves wrinkling or wilting, consider providing water more regularly.

Fertilizer Requirements For Philodendron Rugosum

The Philodendron Rugosum will survive without regular fertilizer; however, it will boost the growth and foliage size of the Pigskin Philo during its growing season.

Therefore, provide a well-balanced liquid fertilizer every month during the spring and summertime. Then, reduce feeding to every eight weeks during the fall and winter. In addition, be sure to dilute the fertilizer to half of its recommended strength.

Signs the Philodendron Rugosum is underfed and needs more fertilizer is slower, stunted growth and more petite, juvenile foliage.

Pruning Guide For Philodendron Rugosum

For the most part, the Philodendron Rugosum does not prune.

However, if you notice sickly yellow, damaged, or dead leaves, clip them away to keep the Philo healthy. In addition, if you find that your Philodendron Rugosum is becoming too leggy or big, prune back the plant.

A growing pole or stick will allow the Philodendron Rugosum to climb, eliminating the need for overgrowth-pruning.

Potting And Repotting Philodendron Rugosum

Philodendron Rugosum

As we mentioned earlier, the Philodendron Rugosum is a fast-growing plant that will rapidly outgrow its pot. Therefore, the Philodendron Rugosum generally needs repotting once every year.

When repotting, use a new container only slightly larger (2 to 3 inches) than the previous one.

The best time to repot the Philodendron Rugosum is during early spring when the growing season starts; this will allow the Philodendron Rugosum to recover from the stress of repotting as quickly as possible.

Here are the repotting instructions:

Water the Philodendron Rugosum’s soil the day before transplanting to reduce stress and dislodge the plant from its old pot easily. Also, prepare a new container with rich, well-draining soil.

Then, gently remove the Philodendron Rugosum from its container, and trim off all rotting or mushy roots.

Lastly, insert the plant into its new pot, fill the container with potting soil, and lightly press the ground to remove the air pockets. Then, aim to keep the soil consistently moist.

Also Check: Philodendron Ring Of Fire: Detailed Care Guide For This Rare Plant

How To Propagate Philodendron Rugosum?

Various effective wats propagate the Philodendron Rugosum, including root division, air layering, and stem cutting. We prefer the latter.

Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Rugosum using stem cuttings:

First, start by cutting a preferable stem with one to two aerial roots using a sterilized knife or pair of scissors. Then, be sure to cut below the node.

Then, place the stem into potting soil with vermiculture or water. If you put the cuttings in water, first remove the leaves, leaving one or two on the top before placing them into the water.

In addition, once the roots develop, place the stems into the potting mixture. Ensure you keep the soil moist and put the new plant in a warm, brightly lit area away from drafts and direct sunlight.

Pests And Diseases In Philodendron Rugosum

The Philodendron Rugosum is a hardy plant suffering from a few issues. However, like all plants, the Philodendron Rugosum can be susceptible to several common problems and diseases.

The most common diseases include pale foliage from a lack of calcium or magnesium, yellow or brown leaf tips resulting from overwatering, and curling or wilting leaves from underwatering.

In addition, the Philodendron Rugosum is generally resistant to pests, except for spider mites and mealybugs. Treat the plant by using a natural insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol.


Properly caring for the Philodendron Rugosum is essential as the plant is near extinction. Even though the Philodendron Rugosum is easy to care for, keep a close eye on the plant and always try to mimic its native climate as closely as possible.

If you can find one of these scarce beauties, handle it with proper care, and it will happily thank you for years to come with its exotic green foliage.