Philodendrons are the hottest house plant right now. It is hard to differentiate between some of them. The philodendron luxurians, El choco red, and the verrucosum are commonly misidentified.
Our goal of this post is to inform you of the differences between these plants. They look close alike and many use their names synonymously. Especially the El choco red, as it is called Verrucosum #5 often.
Philodendron Luxurians vs El Choco Red
The main differences can be found in the leaves and the stem of these philodendrons. From afar they look the same.
You can find a few differences between the leaves of the Luxurians versus the El Choco Red philodendron. Juvenile/young leaves of the El Choco red will be red underneath. As they mature the red color will usually red into a normal green. El Choco Red is known for its red-colored undersides at the leaves.
The abaxial(underside) of Luxurians will be green or grey.
El Choco Red as red underside. Luxurians have a Green/grey underside.
The stems of these two plants are also an easy way to differentiate between them. It is uncommon that the stem will have a chance to get mixed up
The El Choco red will often have a red stem. If your stems have any red, it is likely an El Choco Red. If your stems are not red, there is also another characteristic difference.
The luxurians will have smooth green stems with white strides. On the other hand, the El Choco red philodendrons have no striations. The stem will also be covered with small prickly bumps, but not always. If your stem is completely smooth, with no striations, you have an El Choco Red.
Another notable difference is the veins of the leaves. The Luxurians have white primary veins, and no visible middle veins. Contrary, the El Choco red philodendrons have visible mid/secondary veins.
If you wanna learn more about the Luxurians, check out our care guide on the philodendron luxurians.
Philodendron El Choco Red vs Verrucosum
These rare philodendrons have a very similar appearance. You have to know the small differences to differentiate. The easiest identities are the stems and the undersides of their leaves.
Both can have either a green or red stem. You cannot differentiate based on the color. The primary difference is the texture. The Verrucosum will grow hairy petioles. The hairiness is very distinct on mature leaves. If your plant has a mature leaf without hairs, it is likely El Choco Red.
The El Choco red will grow small prickly bumps on the stem as leaves mature. New stems will be smooth for the most part.
Colors consistency is the main identifier. The underside of Verrucosum will sometimes be red, but most often it is green. In case you have a red underside, then the Verrucosum will not be as red as the El Choco Red. The veins of the leaves leave a washed-out green in between the red parts. On the other hand, the El Choco red will leave a highly contrasted green.
The easiest way to differentiate is hairiness. Certain Verrucosum species will also have high contrast between the veins and the red on the underside. Species like the Verrucosum Fantasy and Amazon Sunset have super similar undersides as the El Choco Red.
Philodendron Luxurians vs Verrucosum
The Luxurians and Verrucosum are very different plants. A keen eye can easily identify which is which. The major differences are the leaves and the stems.
The Verrucosum has hairy stems on mature leaves. On the other side, the Luxurians have smooth stems. The stem is green on the Luxurians, with white striations. The Verrucosum will either have green, red or purple stems.
The primary veins of the Verrucosum will branch out into smaller veins. There is also green bleeding from the veins. On the other hand, the Luxurians’ primary veins will not brunch out into smaller veins. The contrast between the leaf’s green, and the veins white is far greater.
Luxurians have a better symmetry when the veins branch out. The Verrucosum is more all over the place. Verrucosums leaves are way sharper and wrinkly.
If you are more curious, check out our care guide on the philodendron luxurians.