Philodendron Rugosum Plant Care

The majestic Philodendron Rugosum is a vining beauty in any home and remains one unique plant.

Therefore, if you can get your hands on the Pigskin Philodendron, you have one endangered plant that needs special care. The outdoor plant adapts easily and can grow as an epiphyte on rocks or around trees.

In addition, it can grow as a hemiepiphyte in the ground. The question is how you take care of this endangered flora to keep it thriving. We are here to come to your rescue to help you find one and give it the love it deserves in your houseplant collection.

What is the Philodendron Rugosum, and why is it so scarce?

Having the Philodendron Rugosum Pig Skin in your home is a blessing with this extraordinary plant. The Rugosum originates from Ecuador and grows in the Andes at high elevations of up to 5000 feet.

The nickname Pigskin was first given in 1983 as the leaves have a particular texture with leaves that looks like the ears of a pig. The word Rugosum means Ruga translated from Italian, is a wrinkle.

Philodendron Rugosum Classification

Philodendron Rugosum

Philodendron Rugosum Care Basics

Philodendron Rugosum Plant

Having the Philodendron Rugosum Pig Skin plant, you are one lucky person. So naturally, you need to keep it as close to its natural habitat to thrive; you can find all the info right here.

Humidity and Temperature 

Now that you know you can keep this Philodendron Rugosum flower in the home, it needs the proper humidity and temperature. As it is a tropical plant, it does not love the cold. The ideal temperature ranges from 55° to 90° F. If the temperature is too high, it will bake. Below, you start noticing yellowing or dropping leaves.

Yet, if you live in a tropical place, you can quickly grow it outside. In any other space with escalating temperatures in the home, keep it away from drafts in the winter season. The plant is resilient enough to withstand the average humidity levels in the house.

However, increasing the humidity makes this foliage thrive with dark full-sized green leaves. Furthermore, they love occasional misting and are happier if you have a humidifier in their living space.  

Ideal Lighting 

plant lighting requirement

Everything is set for your plant according to humidity, the temperature so what is next? You need to find a perfect spot for your Philodendron Rugosum, and it requires just the right light to survive. Your tropical plant grows well in dappled shade or partial sun.

The Rugosum can handle more bright indirect light as it grows faster with larger leaves. Therefore, you can place it at an eastern-facing window or a bit further away from the south-side windows as too little light makes it grow slowly. When you take care of this plant, the results of the Philodendron Rugosum aberrant form are outstanding.

The leaves are more rough and textured but can also have slightly curved edges.

What Size Pot Do You Need?

You will receive your tropical plant in a pot, but it helps to know that it will need a pot size two inches bigger when the time comes to replant it. You can check the repotting section on how to do this right here with us.

Soil Requirement

potting soil mix

When it comes to soil requirements, your Pigskin Philodendron is a fussy plant. It needs well-drained ground to prevent the water from remaining, causing root rot. You can mix one part perlite, one part orchid bark, and one part peat soil to make your foliage thrive.

The orchid bark is one of the best things to use as the roots attach to it as in their habitat. If you prefer, you can add gravel or charcoal to the mix to make it more aerated and slightly acidic. Acidic soil has less than a 6.5 pH value.

Read this interesting article from the USDA Natural Resources to learn more about the different pH levels found in soil.

Watering Schedule

Now that you know more about suitable soil, it is time to learn the Philodendron Rugosum care using water. Here is where you will notice that the Rugosum differs from other Philodendron plants. The indoor plant loves moist soil and prevents the top couple of inches of the ground from drying out.

Plantly recommends you soak it well in water instead of water as you do with your other houseplants from the top. You can hang it in a decorative pot with water for up to an hour allowing the roots to drink up and helping the bark to soak. Then, empty the pot and let your nursery pot drain out the rest of the water. You can do this once a week but water as needed.

Droopy leaves can mean you are over or under-watering them.

Necessary Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer

The next step is to make sure you provide your plant with fertilization once a month, from spring to summer. In winter, you can feed them every eight weeks. The best is to use a liquid fertilizer and dilute it with half the strength. Alternatively, use organic fertilizer instead, and best done after watering to avoid burning.


As mentioned, the Philodendron Rugosum flower grows fast and may need repotting once a year. You have invested in a pot size bigger. Now put on your pair of gloves with long sleeves before starting this plant is poisonous.

  • Water the soil well a day before transplanting to dislodge it from the pot.
  • Check all the roots for signs of rotting or disease, and if infected, trim them away. A healthy root has a white or tan color. If the roots are tight in a ball, make four vertical incisions from top to bottom.
  • Get your potting mix, place it to the bottom, and put your plant into the container.
  • Fill it with potting and press firmly to remove air pockets.
  • Water the well and leave it to drain through the holes.

How to Propagate Philodendron Rugosum

Propagation of the Philodendron Rugosum Pig Skin you can do in many ways:

  • Dividing Rhizomes, corms, bulbs, tubers, and offsets
  • From herbaceous, stem cuttings
  • Using the woody stem cutting
  • Stooling, mound, or air layering

We prefer using the most common one, and that is stem cutting:

  • Start by selecting a branch to cut using a sterilized knife and cut below one node. If possible, include an aerial root or two.
  • You can place the branch in soil or water. If you choose ground, use the recommended potting with vermiculite and moisten it.
  • When going, the water root makes sure the vessel is big enough to cover the nodes. Remove the leaves except for two from the top before planting or placing them in water.
  • When planting in the ground, keep it moist during this time and place it in a warm, brightly lit area without drafts or direct sunlight.
  • Once it roots, you can place it in a soil mix if using the water method. If planted directly into the ground, you move it to the proper lighting, temperature, and humidity where you had it displayed before.

Growth Zone

USDA growth zone map

Before you head out and buy the Pigskin Philodendron, we recommend you check the growth zones first. The plant thrives in the USDA zones 10b to 11. Furthermore, the plant can live outdoors if you stay in California, San Bernardino, Florida, and Miami. Yet, it grows well in a container needing support to climb, as it is a vine plant.

Philodendron Rugosum Diseases & Pests

As with most tropical and houseplants, you can find some concern rising. The most common pests are mealybugs and spider mites. The other problem is root rot caused by overwatering. You can treat both spider mites and mealybugs by showering your plant underneath the leaves to try to remove them.

Follow it up with a soap treatment to ensure all the pests are removed from the plant and soil. Now, use some Neem oil to remove new buds forming. To prevent root rot, make sure the ground is fast draining, and the best way to see if it is sick is to remove it from the pot. If the roots are black or brown, cut them away, throw the soil away, and replace it with fresh soil mix.

However, clean the pot by making it sterile before planting your Pigskin in it. If you notice curling leaves with yellow or brown edges, it need more watering or mists it occasionally. Another sign is that it can be in too much direct light for too long.

Philodendron Rugosum Varieties and Similar Plant

The exotic rainforest plant you can find in a variegated form such as the Philodendron Rugosum Radiance. It is an aberrant form with more wrinkled leaves with different shades compared to the Pigskin Philodendron.

It is also a vining species with thick leathery leaves and grows easily indoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

The main difference is that the leaves are more wrinkled with various shades of green than the Pigskin Philodendron.

Yes, but it is a scarce form with thick rough leaves called the Pigskin Philo as it has a rough texture on the foliage. Also, the leaves have a heart shape compared to the strange ear shape.

Yes, it does bloom on rare occasions, but the flowers do not remain open for very long.

You can find exotic plants available to buy online from different nurseries. Still, the excellent news is you can buy the Philodendron Rugosum righter here at Plantly. So look no further and place this tropical plant in your home today.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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