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Ultimate Philodendron ruizii Care Guide

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Philodendron ruizii is a lovely climbing houseplant from Colombia and southern Bolivia. Its semi-glossy, dark-green, elliptical to oval-elliptical leaves will magically transform your indoor space. 

Beyond its appeal, this rare tropical plant purifies the air and is easy to care for. If you haven’t had one, it requires the same care you give your other Philo plants. 

Our guide will discuss what Philodendron ruizii looks like and how to care for it. We will also inform you of its cost and any issues you may face growing it, such as pests and diseases.

Philodendron ruizii prices and where to buy
Philodendron ruizii: Check availability and prices.

About Philodendron ruizii

Philodendron ruizii Schott was first published in 1854 by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott (1794-1865), a renowned Australian aroid botanist.

  • Scientific name: Philodendron ruizii
  • Philodendron subsection: Glossophyllum
  • Synonyms: Philodendron buchtienii and Philodendron cyrtocoleum
  • Family: Araceae (aroids)
  • Native habitat: Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador
  • Care level: Easy or low maintenance
  • Toxicity: All plant parts are mild to moderately toxic to humans, cats, and dogs due to insoluble calcium oxalates.
  • Propagation: Stem cutting in soil or water

1. Growing habits, size, and growth rate

Philodendron ruizii is an evergreen epiphyte that may grow terrestrially or as a hemiepiphyte. It primarily occurs above 1500 m (4921 feet) above mean sea level in premontane and montane wet forests.

However, it can rarely grow in lower montane wet and moist forests, premontane moist and rain forests, tropical moist forests, wet subalpine forests, montane steppe, and moist montane forests.

P. ruizii has a relatively slow to moderate growth rate and can reach as high as 4 to 6 feet at home if you give and train it on a moss pole, trellis, or totem.

2. How to identify Philodendron ruizii

Besides its growth habits, leaves, stems, and flowers may help you positively identify this aroid.

a). Stems

P. ruizii has woody stems with pale green to medium yellow turning gray to medium green, brown-tinged semi-glossy internodes, measuring 0.1-7.8 long, up to 5.9 in juvenile plants. However, as it ages, internodes will be light brown, matte, and finally scurfy with transverse wrinkles and fissures.

These stems usually have 4.1-13.4 inches long, sharply double-ribbed, sometimes unribbed, or single-ribbed pale to medium green cataphylls with a reddish tinge at the base and dense lineate. However, the reddish tinge may occur on entire cataphylls in juvenile plants.

These cataphylls are marcescent, eventually deciduous, sometimes persisting dark brown fragments and lighter fine fibers  

b). Leaves

Philodendron ruizii has narrowly elliptic to oblong oval-elliptic leaves, semi-glossy, dark green above, paler below. These leaves are usually three times longer than broad and about twice as long as petioles and have a smooth margin.

The midrib is flat to convex and slightly paler above, a little darker and narrowly rounded below. However, the underside may sometimes be lighter, with a dark lineate and a purple ring at the apex.

On the other hand, primary lateral veins are U-shaped (weakly to obtusely sunken), weakly quilted, and the same color as the leaf above. On the underside, they are convex and slightly darker below. These veins are usually conspicuous except towards the leaf margins.

Lastly, ruizii has subterete, moderately spongy,  weakly glossy to matte, and medium to dark green petioles with short dark green lineate. These leaf stalks are weakly flattened above and weakly sulcate towards the apex.

c). Flowers

Mature ruizii will have 1-8 inflorescences per axil with a spathe (bract) longer than the peduncle and a spadix (bears fruits). The peduncle is white to medium-yellow green fine striate and is demarcated from the spathe and reddish towards the apex.

The spathe is greenish-white inside and out, weakly glossy outside, glossy inside with visible resin canals. It is longer than the peduncle, has a blunt to acute apex, and is thicker towards the apex.

Lastly, the spadix has a medium-green female lower portion and the greenish-white male portion. Of course, the male has a thin, middle sterile, and upper fertile part and will form infructescences with pale green fruits when young.

Bicolorous Philodendron ruizii

Some Philodendron ruizii specimens may have newly emerging maroon or deep salmon, which will gradually turn emerald green as the plant matures. Also, some may have a maroon underside, reddish-tinged petioles, and cataphylls. These are what many people label as bicolorous.  

Caring for Philodendron ruizii

Philodendron ruizii needs a warm, humid place with bright indirect light. Its soil should be airy, well-drained, and humus-rich, and you should water it when the top few inches feel dry. Don’t forget it needs moderate feeding, some pruning, repotting, and support.

Here are the care needs and growth requirements for ruizii.

  • USDA hardiness zone: 10-11, not frost hardy
  • Temperature: 55-80°F. Avoid cold drafts, places near heat sources, and sudden temperature fluctuations. Also, move outdoor plants indoors when temperatures fall below 50°F.
  • Humidity: 60% or more but can tolerate 40% plus. Use a humidifier, have a pebble tray, or mist your plant, among other ways to raise your humidity.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light but can tolerate medium. No direct sun, and if yours is too little, consider buying grow lights.
  • Soil: Well-aerated, drained potting mix rich in organic matter. I use an aroid mix I bought from Etsy.com. But you can make one by adding perlite, coco coir, bark chips, and compost/worm castings to potting soil.
  • Watering: Thoroughly water reads dry when the potting mix feels dry up to the first knuckle of your finger or if your soil moisture meter reading is dry. I use XLUX.
  • Feeding: Moderate. Feed once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer like Bonide 10:10:10 during growing months only. Miracle-Gro is also good but will require a bit more frequent feeding being less dilute.
  • Pruning: Not much pruning is needed. With sterilized gardening scissors, cut any dead, damaged, or diseased part whenever you notice them.
  • Repotting: Repotting is after every 1-2 years or if root bound. Use a pot 2-3 inches wider in diameter.
  • Support: Provide and train your plant on a moss pole, totem, or trellis if you want it to grow taller and have larger leaves.

Issues and problems

You are unlikely to face any specific issues with these Philodendron plants except those that affect any other species. So far, we have not had any problems with pests (mealybugs, scale insects, aphids, thrips, or spider mites) or diseases (southern blight or leaf spots).

We once got root rot due to overwatering, which we fixed by repotting our plant. As you repot, don’t forget to cut any dead bits.

Other possible issues include your plant drooping, leaves curling, or discoloration (turning brown, yellow, black, including having spots). They occur due to wrong growing conditions, improper care, and sometimes pests, diseases, or root rot. Also, transplant stress and being rootbound may be a reason.

Where to buy Philodendron ruizii

The best places to find Philodendron ruizii on sale are Etsy.com, eBay, Facebook, and Instagram. These online marketplaces have vendors from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Asia, etc. You won’t fail to get one with this rare plant.

More vendors in the US include Jordan’s Jungle (Pawtucket, RI), Peace Love and Happiness Club (Seattle, WA), and ecuageneraus.com (USA). Also, you can search on Bing or Google search engine for more vendors near you.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. Is Philodenron ruizii rare?

Yes. P. ruizii is a very rare houseplant, even the reputed online vendors, that most people don’t have. We have not seen it with large-scale horticulturist growers or big box stores. We also doubt you will find it at your local tropical plant vendors.

2. What is the price of P. ruizii?

Philodendron ruizii price ranges from $50 to $150 in the US. This cost seems to be in the same range in Europe and Australia. However, ecuageneraus.com (USA) and a few vendors from Asia offer lower prices.

3. Is there a variegated P. ruizii?

Yes. We have seen a vendor (Blue Moon Tropicals, FL) with a mint-variegated Philodendron ruizii selling it for $50, an unusually low price for such a rare plant. However, we haven’t had a chance to see the plant. However, like any other Philo, variegated plants may occur via rare cell mutations. Such is unstable and may revert.