Anthurium vs Philodendron: [A Detailed Comparison]

The main difference between Anthurium and Philodendron lies in their leaf structure and growth habit. Anthuriums have glossy, heart-shaped leaves and tend to stay compact, while Philodendrons offer a wider variety of leaf shapes and can grow larger, with some species exhibiting climbing or trailing habits.

Houseplants are a great way to add beauty, color, and a touch of nature to our indoor spaces. Among the numerous options available, Anthurium and Philodendron are two popular choices that often leave plant enthusiasts undecided.

Both Anthurium and Philodendron offer unique characteristics and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.

In this article, we will dive into the world of Anthurium vs Philodendron, exploring their differences, similarities, care requirements, and more.

So, let’s embark on this foliage-filled journey and discover which plant suits your preferences and lifestyle the best.

Anthurium vs Philodendron: The Showdown Begins

Anthurium vs Philodendron

Anthurium and Philodendron, despite belonging to the same family (Araceae), have distinct features and care needs. Understanding their differences will help you decide which plant is perfect for your home or office space.

1. Appearance and Leaf Structure

Anthurium and Philodendron differ significantly when it comes to their appearance and leaf structure.

1.1 Anthurium

Anthurium plants are known for their glossy, heart-shaped leaves that often have a waxy texture. These leaves come in a wide range of colors, including vibrant shades of red, pink, purple, green, and even black.

Anthurium leaves also have a characteristic vein pattern that adds to their aesthetic appeal.

1.2 Philodendron

Philodendron plants, on the other hand, boast a more diverse range of leaf shapes and sizes. From large, deeply lobed leaves to slender, elongated ones, Philodendrons offer a plethora of options to suit various preferences.

The leaf colors can vary too, with shades of green, yellow, and even variegated patterns.

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2. Growth Habit and Size

Understanding the growth habits and potential size of Anthurium and Philodendron is crucial for selecting the right plant for your space.

2.1 Anthurium

Anthurium plants generally have an upright growth habit, with their leaves growing directly from the base. While the size can vary depending on the species and cultivar, most Anthurium plants tend to stay compact and reach a height of around 1 to 2 feet.

2.2 Philodendron

Philodendron plants exhibit various growth habits. Some species, like the popular Philodendron scandens, are climbers and require support, while others have a trailing or bushy growth habit.

Philodendrons can grow significantly larger compared to Anthuriums, with some species reaching heights of 6 feet or more under optimal conditions.

3. Light Requirements

Both Anthurium and Philodendron have specific light requirements to thrive and maintain their vibrant foliage.

3.1 Anthurium

Anthurium plants prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some shade but should never be exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. Placing them near a north or east-facing window usually provides the ideal lighting conditions for these tropical plants.

3.2 Philodendron

Philodendrons are generally more adaptable to different light conditions compared to Anthuriums. While they appreciate bright, indirect light, they can also thrive in medium to low light environments.

Philodendrons with darker green leaves typically do better in lower light conditions, while those with variegated or lighter leaves may require slightly brighter areas to maintain their coloration.

4. Watering and Humidity

Proper watering techniques and humidity levels are essential for the overall health of Anthurium and Philodendron plants.

4.1 Anthurium

Anthuriums prefer to be kept slightly moist but not overly wet. It is important to avoid waterlogged soil, as this can lead to root rot. Watering thoroughly and allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings is a good practice.

Anthuriums also benefit from higher humidity levels, so misting the leaves or using a pebble tray can help create a humid microclimate.

4.2 Philodendron

Philodendrons have similar watering requirements to Anthuriums. They prefer slightly moist soil but should not be constantly sitting in water. Allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings is recommended.

Philodendrons can tolerate slightly lower humidity levels but thrive in moderately humid environments.

FAQs about Anthurium vs Philodendron

1. Can Anthurium and Philodendron be grown together in the same pot?

No, it is generally not advisable to grow Anthurium and Philodendron together in the same pot. They have different care requirements, including light and watering needs, which can make it challenging to provide optimal conditions for both plants in a shared container.

2. Do Anthurium and Philodendron require fertilization?

Yes, both Anthurium and Philodendron benefit from regular fertilization during their active growing seasons. Using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at half the recommended strength every four to six weeks can help promote healthy growth and vibrant foliage.

3. Are Anthurium and Philodendron toxic to pets?

Yes, both Anthurium and Philodendron plants contain compounds that can be toxic to pets if ingested. It is important to keep these plants out of reach of curious pets or opt for pet-safe alternatives if you have furry friends at home.

4. Can Anthurium and Philodendron tolerate low light conditions?

While Anthuriums prefer brighter indirect light, they can tolerate lower light conditions for short periods. Philodendrons, on the other hand, are more adaptable and can thrive in medium to low light environments.

5. How often should Anthurium and Philodendron be repotted?

Anthuriums generally prefer to be slightly root-bound and do not require frequent repotting. Repotting every two to three years or when the plant has outgrown its current container is usually sufficient.

Philodendrons, on the other hand, benefit from occasional repotting every two to three years to provide fresh soil and room for growth.

6. Can Anthurium and Philodendron be propagated easily?

Yes, both Anthurium and Philodendron can be propagated through various methods, including stem cuttings and division. With the right techniques and conditions, you can successfully grow new plants from existing ones.


In the battle of Anthurium vs Philodendron, there is no clear winner. Both plants offer unique characteristics and can thrive in the right conditions.

Anthuriums captivate with their heart-shaped, glossy leaves and vibrant colors, while Philodendrons impress with their diverse leaf shapes and sizes.

Ultimately, your choice will depend on factors such as your personal preferences, available space, and the specific care requirements you can provide.

Whether you opt for an Anthurium or a Philodendron, both plants will bring a touch of green beauty to your indoor environment.

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