The Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Brasil’ is a favorite among all houseplant enthusiasts, from beginners to rare plant collectors and experts. This plant is a cultivar of the green Heartleaf Philodendron, native to the floors of tropical rainforests in South America.
The Brasil is undeniably a stunning plant, with its heart-shaped green leaves that have neon and light green splashes of variegation in the center. This combination of neon green and dark green colors on the leaves first reminded its discoverers of the Brazilian flag. Although spelled differently, this inspired the plant’s name.
To add to Philodendron Brasil’s beauty, its vines have tones of pink near the growth points, along with neon green variegation along many of the stems.
Like most tropical houseplants, the Philodendron Brasil enjoys the warmth, humidity, and indirect light you’d find in a rainforest. However, this plant is hardier than many other tropical plants and is easy to care for.
Philodendron Brasil Overview
Philodendron Hederaceum ‘Brasil’
Not required but grows faster in 50-75% humidity
Medium to bright indirect light
When ¾ of soil is dry
Monthly during the growing season
When it starts becoming rootbound
Toxic to humans and pets
Not prone to pests but can get infestations if exposed
Stem cuttings with nodes
Brasil Care Tips for Health and Fast Growth
The Brasil requires typical household temperatures of 58-80ºF (14ºC-27ºC). While it doesn’t require overly warm temperatures, Philodendron Brasil grows more rapidly in temperatures on the warmer side of this range.
Avoid placing the plant near cold drafts as they don’t tolerate cold temperatures. Signs of cold stress in your Brasil are discoloration, drooping or curling leaves, or leaf loss.
This plant is not picky about humidity and does well in normal household humidity (30-40%). However, your Brasil loves higher humidity like many of its tropical relatives. It will grow faster if you are able to give it a humidity of 50% or higher. Humidity helps Philodendron Brasil make itself right at home as if it were in the rainforest. Seeing it thrive with rapid growth can be fun and rewarding.
The Philodendron Brasil is often praised for being happy in a wide range of light conditions. This ranges from low to bright indirect light. While it is an easy-going and resilient plant, we suggest keeping a few things in mind in terms of light.
Here is what to expect in each light condition.
First, the ideal light to give this plant is bright indirect light and dappled sunlight from a distance. With bright indirect light, you’ll also notice more pronounced neon variegation, which is stunning.
Try to give your Brasil a good amount of indirect light by placing it near a bright window with a filtering curtain or about seven feet back from a bright window.
This will also keep your Brasil happy. You may see less dramatic variegation, but it will still grow well for you. Rotate your plant on occasion to encourage even growth and variegation.
The Brasil is so hardy that it will also tolerate low light (not no light!).
In low light, here’s what to expect, however. The plant will likely grow much slower or may become dormant.
Also, the variegation will begin shrinking into thinner splashes or lines before putting out some entirely green leaves. Eventually, this plant reverts to a green Heartleaf Philodendron if kept in low light for long periods.
Additionally, you may notice increased space between the nodes of its vines as it reaches for more light.
It may take a while before you start to see these changes.
The great thing is you can easily adjust the lighting when your Brasil communicates that it needs more light. We love “vocal” plants!
Lastly, let’s talk about direct sunlight.
It is not recommended that the Brasil be placed in direct sunlight.
This makes sense when we think about Philodendron Brasil’s family origins, growing along the rainforest floor. What does this mean for its care as a houseplant, though?
Never put your Brasil outside in full sun, as it will likely burn.
Philodendrons can often tolerate direct sunlight indoors if slowly acclimated to it, but a sudden switch will result in leaf burn.
Generally, a few rays of direct sun for brief moments of the day is usually okay as long as your Brasil is far enough away (7-10 feet) from high-light windows.
If experimenting with higher light, watch the leaves for brown spots or crispiness as a sign of sun damage. Adjust accordingly.
Tap water is usually fine if it is not overly “hard water,” which can build up deposits in the soil of all our houseplants. Watch for dull leaves or leaf spots if you water with hard tap water. If you notice issues, switch to filtered or distilled water.
Like most tropical plants, water that is room temperature, slightly cool, or lukewarm is preferred over cold water. This can shock the roots of your Brasil.
Keep an eye out for this in the winter months when our tap water gets colder, and let it warm up before watering your Brasil.
For watering frequency, Philodendron Brasil like to stay on the dryer side. They are susceptible to root rot when kept in constantly wet soil. For the best regimen, water your Brasil when ¾ of the soil is dry in the summer.
In the winter, it’s okay to let your Brasil mostly dry out between waterings.
Watch for leaf drooping or curling as a sign of underwatering. The plant recovers quickly, but it is best to water your Brasil before those signs of stress.
It is much more drought tolerant than many other houseplants but grows fastest when drought stress is avoided altogether.
If your Brasil is rootbound, it must be watered more frequently. You might notice that your plant is getting thirsty much faster than it used to. It will be more important for you to check the soil and stay on top of watering until it is repotted.
When in doubt about watering, use a moisture meter.
The Brasil typically needs water when the moisture meter dial starts to go into the “dry” zone of the dial. This is usually around the number 2-3. Ensure accuracy by placing the moisture meter in several places deep in the soil for readings.
Plant enthusiasts always laugh at themselves for saying this, but you will indeed get a sense of when to water by feeling the weight of the pot. After caring for your Brasil for some time and seeing when it needs water, you’ll start having the ability to tell that it is time to water just by feeling the light weight of your pot.
The Brasil isn’t a heavy feeder. As you’ve likely gathered, it is not a fussy plant. Since this Philodendron grows prolifically, fertilize once monthly during the growing seasons where you live.
During the winter, you may skip fertilizing completely or only fertilize with liquid half-strength fertilizer in the middle of the season if you see new growth.
Like other Philodendrons, the Brasils prefer to be fairly snug in their pots. It is susceptible to root rot if given an excessive amount of soil layers where the roots don’t reach.
However, Philodendron Brasil can be a rapid grower and will begin to have stunted growth when left rootbound for too long.
We recommend repotting your Brasil once it has started to become rootbound. They normally stay happy when they are in a snug pot or slightly rootbound, but try not to leave the roots crowded for too long.
When repotting, go up one pot size. Make sure you select a pot with multiple drainage holes.
I prefer to have them in nursery pots and use a decorative cover pot or basket. This makes repotting easier and gives me better access to feel the soil from the bottom drainage holes.
Soil & Substrate
Philodendron Brasils need a well-draining filtering soil mix appropriate for most aroids. As part of the aroid group, they are susceptible to root rot if they are not placed in a well-draining substrate.
Additionally, your Brasil needs aeration in the soil to prevent the substrate from becoming super compact over time.
Recipe for Philodendron Brasil soil mix:
- 30% Orchid bark or Coco chips (aeration)
- 20% Pumice or perlite (aeration)
- 40% Peat (moisture)
- 10% Worm castings (gentle, slow-release organic fertilizer)
Check out our aroid soil mix article to learn more about the best soil mixtures for aroids.
The Philodendron Brasil is easy to propagate and faster at developing new roots than many other common houseplants.
To propagate your Brasil, use clean shears to cut a section of the vine that includes two or three leaves and a node (as shown in picture A). Place your propagations in medium to bright indirect light, as the cuttings are sensitive to harsh sunlight.
Water propagation is the most common way to grow your cuttings. I prefer this method since it allows me to see the growth and easily clean them. Keep the water fresh by changing it out every 7-10 days. Reduce the growth of mold and algae between water changes by avoiding direct sunlight. You should start to see roots within 1.5-3 weeks. Plant your cuttings in well-draining soil after 4-6 weeks when the roots are approximately two inches long.
You can also soil-propagate by planting them directly in the soil or using a prop box with moistened perlite. Monitor closely for signs of rot or failed growth by watching for dead or drooping leaves.
When transitioning your Brasil cuttings to soil from another substrate, watch closely over the first month for signs of a thirsty plant. The propagations will be less drought-tolerant during this time than the mother plant. This is due to the cuttings being acclimated to a moist substrate and being switched to soil, which is relatively dryer. Avoid overwatering or underwatering while they adjust to the soil; they should do well.
Sometimes one or two leaves won’t make it, which is normal. Happy propagating!
This plant is toxic to people and pets. Avoid allowing small children and pets near this plant. We recommend having your Brasil in a hanging planter if you have any safety concerns.
The Hederaceum Philodendron Brasil is a beautiful and rewarding houseplant that is easy to care for. It is a prolific grower that is also simple to propagate and share with your loved ones.
Plant enthusiasts agree that Philodendron Brasil adds color and warmth to any space. Therefore, it is one of those plants that retains its popularity regardless of changes in houseplant trends.