Coming from the Araceae family, both Philodendron Rio and Brasil can allure with their long heart-shaped variegated leaves.
Both plants are beginner-friendly and cost low maintenance making the houseplant for the tight schedules.
However, Philodendron Rio and Brasil are different, which is a surprising but happy moment too for the plant enthusiasts.
Generally, Philodnedonron Rio can grow up to 30 inches tall, with elongated, pointed leaves while Brasil boasts slightly rounded and broad and can reach up to 36 inches in height. Additionally, Rio is rarer than Brasil.
You have already planned to purchase one of the Philodendron Rio and Brasil, but feel startled about which one to choose?
This article will be a lifesaver for you, providing easy tools to differentiate between the two. You will be all covered here. Let’s start!
Table of Contents
- Are Philodendron Rio and Brasil the Same?
- Philodendron Rio Vs Brasil (Confusion Solved)
- Similarities Between Philodendron Rio and Philodendron Brasil
- What Are They Great For (Philodendron Rio Vs Brasil)?
Are Philodendron Rio and Brasil the Same?
Though Philodendron Rio and Brasil are the results of mutation of Philodendron hederaceum, they can baffle you with their striking differences.
Philodendron Rio has a silver stripe in the center of the leaf and features a small space between internodes.
However, Philodendron Brasil boasts of variegated leaves that almost look painted, with strokes of yellow and lime green across the deep green leaves.
You can witness the differences through the table also!
|Characteristics||Philodendron Rio||Philodendron Brasil|
|Scientific Name||Philodendron hederaceum Rio||Philodendron hederaceum Brasil|
|Common Name||Philodendron Rio||Philodendron Brasil|
|USDA Growth Zone||USDA Zone 9-11||USDA hardiness zones 11 to 12|
|Leaf Color||Green with lighter green, creamy, yellow, and silver variegation||Green with lighter green, creamy, and yellow variegation|
|Foliage Type||Narrow leaves with elongated pointy tip||Slightly round base with short tip|
|Growth Habits||About 30 inches in length and 30 inches in width||6-36 inches in length and 12-36 inches in width|
|Availability||Of recent origin and is rare||Comparatively less rare|
|Point of Origin||Cultivated since 2009||Discovered in 1991|
|Difference in Price||Slightly more expensive than Brasil||Cheaper than Rio|
Philodendron Rio Vs Brasil (Confusion Solved)
Let’s inspect the differences between Philodendron Rio and Brasil in detail.
1. Foliage Shape and Structure
All of the varieties or cultivars of Philodendron hederaceum have round bases with pointed tips crafted with deep curves at the stem that give the leaves a perfect heart shape.
However, Rio leaves are slightly narrow and elongated with long pointy tips. The stretched-out leaves accentuate the pointed tips of Rio.
And interestingly, as the leaves are extended, you can find their ends often curled or slightly bent.
All philodendrons contain 2-3-inches wide solid green, heart-shaped leaves and feature long, thin stems trailing out, making the one of the best hanging plants.
The foliage marks variegation through patchy patterns that inscribe silverly patterns inside, i.e., in the middle of the leaves.
In contrast, the leaves of Philodendron Brasil are much similar to other classical heart-shaped philodendrons.
It has a round base with a pointed tip. You can find its leaves slightly wavy around the edges and concaved at the stem giving it a soft funnel shape.
Brasil’s leaves round out to the stem; meanwhile, the concave shape of Rio’s extends along the length of the foliage, creating an appearance of a cave as the leaves fold themselves inwards along the central vein.
2. Leaf Color and Size
Philodendron Rio commonly called cream strips or silver stripes is popular for its silvery-white variegation.
Its leaves consist of cream, white, and silver variegation on the darker green leaves.
Meanwhile, the foliage of Philodendron Brasil has deep green leaves with light green and yellow to creamy variegation.
Heart-leaf philodendrons boast glossy leaves that emerge bronze and quickly turn green. Their leaves extend up to 2-4 in (5-10 cm) long whereas stems grow up to 4 ft (1.2 m) or more.
You can see the yellow variegated stripes running down the center of the foliage amidst the lighter green patches.
3. Growth Habits
In the natural habitat, Philodendron Rio and Brasil grow along the surfaces of trees and on rocky surfaces. So, they do best when you let them climb.
Moss stick goes well with both varieties as they are of a climbing nature. Nonetheless, you can keep these plants in a hanging basket as they create beautiful trailing tropical vibes.
Both of the varieties are fast growers compared to other plants. But, as they have variegation, they do not grow rapidly, unlike other non-variegated philodendron species.
Philodendron Rio grows about double its size in almost a year and grows 30 inches in length and the same size in width whereas Brasil Brasil can reach 6-36 inches in length and 12-36 inches in width.
4. Rarity of Plants
Though Philodendron Rio is not rare like Birkin, it is not easily found like Brasil. This new cultivator does not have multiple options to propagate.
Philodendron Rio has been grown only since the 2010s so, it has not gained as much popularity as Brasil.
On the other hand, Philodendron Brasil is an old cultivar and a popular widespread. You can find them in any local nurseries or online stores around.
Philodendron Spiritus Sancti represents the rarest species among the philodendrons because of its slow growth rate and unavailable propagation method.
5. Place of Origin
Rio is a recent finding, that started cultivating in 2009, and has gained popularity only in the past recent years.
It is native to Rio, a city in Brazil, and mostly found in the tropical rainforests.
Insight! Georg Marcgraf initiated collecting Philodendrons from the wild as early as 1644, but the credit for the first successful scientific attempt to collect and classify the genus goes to Charles Plumier.
Talking about the point of origin, Philodernon Brasil was discovered in 1991 but, its patent was registered only in 2000.
Brasil comes from the tropical rainforests of South America so, it is native to Mexico, Brazil, and the West Indies.
6. Difference in Price
When purchasing, I find a visible gap in the pricing of Philodendron Rio and Brasil.
Look at the table to compare the two!
|Places to Buy||Price of Philodendron Rio||Price of Philodendron Brasil|
|Etsy||Starts from the range of about $80||Price ranges form $9 to $40 depending upon the size of the plant|
|Gabriella plants||About $99||About $14|
|Picclick||About $77||About $ 14|
|Grow Jungle||About £ 50||About £ 18|
You can also watch this video for more comparisons between Philodendron Rio and Brasil.
Similarities Between Philodendron Rio and Philodendron Brasil
Both Philodendron Rio and Brasil are types of Philodendron hederaceum and part of the Philodendron genus.
Besides, they belong to the Araceae or arum family, which includes multiple species of plants such as Peace Lily or Anthurium.
Here is an overview of the similarities between Philodendron Rio and Brasil.
|Point of Similarities||Specifications|
|Native Area||Tropical areas of southern and central America|
|Light Requirement||7-10 hours of diffused light|
|Watering Frequency||Once a week in summer and once in 15-20 days in winter|
|Soil Type||Chunky, light, porous, nutrient-rich soil that drains excess water while retaining optimal moisture|
|Fertilization Frequency||Once a month during spring and summer|
|Humidity Requirement||Humidity above 60%|
|Flowering Habits||Spadix coated in spathe, bloom during for a period ranging from May to July to late spring|
|Maintenance level||Easy to Moderate|
|Toxicity||Toxic to both humans and pets|
|Pests||Aphids, mealybugs, scales and spider mites|
|Diseases||Bacterial bight philodendron selloum, cold injury, magnesium deficiency, tip curl|
Let’s look at the care guide in closer look!
1. Bright Indirect Light
Although Philodendron Rio and Philodendron Brasil are labeled low-light tolerant plants, they do not thrive well if they are kept in low light for a long time.
As both species are variegated, they have fewer chlorophyll pigments in their leaves. Hence, you need to provide them with sufficient bright indirect light to maintain their variegation.
Low light compels high chlorophyll production, which can cause loss of variegation.
You need to provide Philodendron Rio and Philodendron Brasil with 7-10 hours of bright indirect light and 1-2 hours of morning sunlight.
Place these plants in an eastern-facing window as it reflects indirect bright sunlight. Besides, you can introduce the plant to artificial grow lights if the light intensity is low.
Note: Philodendron Rio is less tolerant to low light than Philodendron Brasil.
3. Adequate Watering
As Philodendron Rio and Brasil are tropical species, they need adequate water. It is ideal to maintain consistent soil moisture for both of them but not soggy all the time.
Philodendron Rio and Brasil need water once a week in summer and once in 15-20 days in winter.
They prefer filtered or distilled and chlorine-free water.
Consider watering them once the top 2-3 inches of soil dry out. Also, avoid overwatering the plants as it causes bacterial and fungal growth.
4. Well-draining Soil
Although Philodendron Rio and Brasil prefer soil moisture, they hate soggy soil. So, it is better to provide these varieties with soil that dries up easily.
Philodendron Rio and Brasil need well-draining soil with a pH level ranging from 5.0 to 6.5.
So, it is ideal to have chunky, light, porous, nutrient-rich soil that drains excess water while retaining optimal moisture.
Pro Tip: Combine 1 part perlite, 1 part peat moss, one part of the orchid mix, and 1/3 part of compost and coarse sand to make a perfect potting mix for Philodendron Rio and Brasil.
5. Warm Temperature
As Philodendron Rio and Brasil belong to tropical regions, they prefer warm temperatures.
Generally, Philodendron Rio and Brasil thrive well in temperatures between 60-80°F.
Anything above 90-degrees and below 50 degrees Fahrenheit could harm both varieties.
They also cannot tolerate frost; hence bring them indoors or use heating pads or insulation to protect them from cold.
Besides, you also need to take these species from direct sunlight and drafty areas like heating and cooling vents.
6. Moderate to High Humidity
Here is a fun fact, both Philodendron Rio and Brasil are not fussy about humidity requirements. Your average indoor humidity works for both of the species.
But, Philodendron Rio and Brasil can grow healthily at a humidity between 50-80%.
Low humidity might cause smaller, curling, yellowing of foliage and stunted growth.
An excellent way to maintain humidity is using an electric humidifier.
However, you can also use a wet pebbles tray method or mist the plant 2-3 times a week in the morning.
7. Flowering Habits
Both varieties produce spathe, a leaf-like hood that coats the spadix, a tubular structure, and feature tiny white greenish inflorescence with cream or yellow stripes.
Philodendron Rio and Brasil bloom for a period ranging from May to July to late spring.
But, let me remind you, it is challenging to get them flowering in an indoor environment. Besides, the plant produces flowers only after it reaches maturity.
8. Monthly Fertilization
Philodendrons do not need heavy food, and so, do the Philodendron Rio and Brasil.
Philodendron Rio and Brasil prefer a slow-releasing nitrogen-rich fertilizer once a month or once 6-8 weeks. Alternatively, you can also use a balanced fertilizer, all-purpose (in the ratio of 10:10:10), or any other organic fertilizer.
Water these plants enough before fertilizing and also fertilize them only during the growing period in summer and spring.
You need to avoid feeding these plants during winter.
9. Plant Toxicity
Are there pets and children around your house? Philodendron Rio and Brasil can extend some harm to your family and furry friends.
According to ASPCA, Heartleaf Philodendron contains insoluble calcium oxalates that can be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses.
Thus, Philodendron Rio and Brasil contain toxins in elongated leaves and soft, velvety stems.
When consuming these parts, the pets can show up some symptoms:
- Coral irritation
- Tongue and lips, Pain and swelling of the mouth,
- Excessive drooling, vomiting (exception for horses)
- Difficulty swallowing
If you are doubtful about your pets and children nibbling parts of Philodendron, seek health assistance.
The following helpline can be your lifesaver!
What Are They Great For (Philodendron Rio Vs Brasil)?
I have brought Philodendron Rio and Brasil home in 2015 and since then they are two of my favorites not only because of their aesthetic look but also their several other benefits.
Let’s find out what can get from these two plants.
1. Health Benefits
Growing Philodendrn Rio and Brasil in your space will help improve your mental state.
According to a study from Chungnam National University, the interaction with indoor plants can suppress autonomic nervous system activity in adults, helping reduce psychological and physiological stress.
This helps you relax your nerves and get some stress-free moments. Also, if you place it next to you when studying or working, these plants can improve your productivity.
2. Aesthetic Value
You can keep Philodendrn Rio and Brasil in hanging baskets near a window or on any shelves. This can instantly elevate your space with the splashy green tropical accent.
Rio features silver, lighter green, and cream variegation but Brasil also shows up with lighter green and cream variegation.
Both can make a bold impression as a centerpiece for the interior of your home!
3. Environmental Benefits
Plants release oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, regulate the water cycle, and hold life on earth.
According to NASA Clean Air Study, Philodendron Rio and Brasil leaves traps dust and absorb toxins like formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, and carbon monoxide making indoor air toxin-free.
Besides, these two Philodendron varieties can boost humidity and reduce dry air at home.
When it comes to selecting one over another, you may find it hard to decide; I understand, let me help you!
If you want to take the species that can grow in a bigger size, you can go with Philodendron Brasil. If not, choose Philodendron Rio which has extended variegation comparatively.
And what if I suggest taking both species!
Good luck with your choice!