Philodendron Atabapoense vs Billietiae: A Comprehensive Comparison

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If you’re a houseplant enthusiast, you’ve likely come across the spectacular Philodendron species – Atabapoense and Billietiae. These two plants share many similarities and are often compared due to their striking appearances. However, understanding the differences between them is essential for proper care and growth.

Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae both possess deep green leaves, but with distinct features that set them apart. Atabapoense is known for its purple-burgundy leaf undersides, while Billietiae boasts vibrant green or slightly rose-hued undersides with eye-catching orange petioles. The leaf shapes are also distinguishable, with Atabapoense producing dark green, arrow-shaped leaves and Billietiae having a darker shade of green with a distinct shape.

When choosing between these two popular indoor plants, it’s important to consider their individual needs and growth habits. Atabapoense is a relatively slow-growing plant, while Billietiae exhibits a quicker growth rate. Additionally, mature sizes vary, with Atabapoense reaching up to 10 feet tall when given proper support, and Billietiae typically reaching a maximum height of 2-3 feet. By understanding these key differences and providing optimal care tailored to each plant’s requirements, you can enjoy the lush beauty these Philodendrons have to offer.

Philodendron Atabapoense Overview

Philodendron Atabapoense


The Philodendron Atabapoense is a striking Araceae plant that is native to Venezuela and the Amazonian side of Brazil. Deep in the jungles of these regions, these beautiful plants can be found climbing and adorning the trees and landscapes ^(1).


Known for its fungus and pest resistance, Philodendron Atabapoense is relatively easy to care for, making it a popular choice for indoor gardeners. These plants are known for their climbing and vining nature, being capable of growing at least 300 feet above sea level ^(2).


The leaves of the Atabapoense are its most eye-catching feature. These magnificent, dark-green, and arrow-shaped leaves can grow exceptionally long and often showcase a deep crease or heart-shaped appearance where they connect to the stem. Adding to its appeal, the underside of the leaves boasts a rich maroon color, creating a stunning contrast to its glossy, dark green upper surface ^(3).

In addition to its stunning foliage, the Philodendron Atabapoense is known for its long petioles that support the plant. As a climbing plant, this species relies on these petioles to help it latch onto structures, tree trunks, and other plants to reach greater heights and absorb plenty of sunlight ^(4).

Though Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae share some common traits, such as being members of the Araceae family and boasting attractive foliage, they have their unique qualities. When selecting a plant for your home or garden, it’s essential to consider each plant’s specific care requirements, growth habits, and appearance to ensure you’re choosing the best fit for your space and personal preferences.

Philodendron Billietiae Overview

Philodendron Billietiae


The Philodendron Billietiae is a rare and trendy philodendron species, first discovered in the 18th century by the French explorer and naturalist Jean Baptiste Billiat. This plant is found in various tropical rainforests, including the ones in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Costa Rica. It belongs to the Araceae family, which also includes elephant ears or caladiums, philodendrons, black fig trees, and peace lilies1.


In an indoor setting, the Philodendron Billietiae can grow up to three feet tall with a width of eight inches2. It thrives best in temperatures that range between 18 to 27 degrees Celsius during the day, and 13 to 18 degrees Celsius at night3. Keep in mind that this plant cannot tolerate frost or temperatures below 13 degrees Celsius.


Philodendron Billietiae is known for its huge oval leaves and long reddish-orange stalks4. A unique hybrid, the Philodendron billietiae x atabapoense, is created by crossing Philodendron billietiae with Philodendron atabapoense, resulting in a beautiful plant with dark green leaves that have a wavy margin5.

To maintain Philodendron Billietiae’s stunning appearance, it is essential to provide proper care, such as regulating temperature, watering, and fertilizing according to the plant’s needs. Doing so will ensure that your Philodendron Billietiae remains a breathtaking addition to your indoor garden.

Comparing Key Features

Leaf Shape and Size

Philodendron Atabapoense and Philodendron Billietiae exhibit distinct differences in their leaf shapes and sizes. Atabapoense features dark green, arrow-shaped leaves with rich burgundy undersides. In contrast, Billietiae produces darker green leaves with more elongated shapes.

Growth Patterns

When it comes to growth styles, Philodendron Atabapoense adopts a more upright growing pattern. It can reach an impressive mature size, while Billietiae showcases a vining growth pattern, making it well-suited for hanging baskets and climbing. The latter’s growth rate is relatively faster compared to Atabapoense, thus filling up a space more effectively.


The coloration of these two plants greatly varies, especially in their petioles and stems. Philodendron Atabapoense boasts long, reddish-brown petioles that can reach up to 2 feet in length. On the other hand, Philodendron Billietiae exhibits light green petioles with unique orange/reddish stems. Additionally, Billietiae’s leaves tend to have a darker shade of green compared to Atabapoense.

Humidity preferences also differ between these plants. While both species thrive in high humidity levels, Philodendron Atabapoense is more tolerant of low humidity conditions than Billietiae, making it easier to care for in various environments.

Caring for Both Philodendrons

Light Requirements

Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae have similar light requirements. Both plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can damage their leaves, so it’s important to place them in an area with filtered light or dappled shade. If natural light is insufficient, consider using a grow light to supplement their light needs and maintain their vibrant foliage.

Watering Requirements

When it comes to watering, these philodendrons have slightly different needs. The Atabapoense prefers to be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, which might be about once or twice per week. On the other hand, the Billietiae prefers consistently moist soil and should be watered more frequently. Be sure to adjust watering frequency based on the season, with increased watering during the growing season and reduced watering during dormancy.

Soil and Fertilizer

Both philodendrons benefit from well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. You can create a suitable mixture by combining potting soil, perlite, and peat moss at a 1:1:1 ratio. This mix will ensure proper drainage and aeration, which is vital for healthy root growth and preventing root rot.

For fertilizing, use a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer to support plant growth. Apply the fertilizer during the growing season, following the manufacturer’s instructions for optimal nutrient absorption. Overall, maintaining a consistent care routine and providing the appropriate light, water, soil, and fertilizer will help both Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae thrive.

Common Issues and Solutions

Pests and Diseases

Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae may sometimes encounter common problems such as pests and diseases. They can attract nuisances like mealybugs and spider mites. To prevent these pests, regularly inspect your plants and remove any affected leaves or stems. Treat the plants with neem oil or insecticidal soap as a preventative measure.

Root rot is another concern for both these plants. Overwatering and poor drainage contribute to this issue. To avoid root rot, ensure the potting mix has good drainage and do not overwater. Regularly checking the moisture level of the soil before watering can help prevent this problem.

Growing Challenges

Both Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae may face some growing challenges. These differences can influence their care requirements:

  • Growth Styles: Atabapoense has a slower growth rate compared to Billietiae, which may require slightly less water to thrive.
  • Leaf Color: While both plants have deep green leaves, the underside of Atabapoense leaves display a purple-burgundy color, while Billietiae leaves have green or slightly rose-hued undersides.
  • Humidity Needs: Atabapoense and Billietiae have different humidity requirements. Adjusting the humidity levels in their environment is crucial for healthy growth.

Despite these differences, both plants generally require similar maintenance practices. Regular pruning and cleaning the leaves are essential for their well-being. Additionally, providing the appropriate amount of sunlight and consistently monitoring the soil moisture can significantly improve their growth and overall health.


Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae may be similar in appearance and care requirements, but they do have some key differences in growth and adaptability. Atabapoense typically grows more slowly, with the potential to reach heights of up to 10 feet, while Billietiae has a faster growth rate, usually maxing out at around 2-3 feet tall.

Both plants are particularly loved for their stunning foliage and low-maintenance nature. They share similar needs, such as bright, indirect light and consistently moist soil; however, they can also tolerate lower light levels if necessary.

In terms of humid conditions, the Atabapoense prefers a slightly higher humidity level of 65%, while Billietiae can thrive with a minimum humidity of 50%. This difference makes Atabapoense more suited to particularly humid environments.

An interesting visual distinction between these two plants lies in the color of their stems and petioles. Atabapoense exhibits a traditional green color, while Billietiae showcases an eye-catching orange/reddish hue.

Additionally, the Atabapoense plant has a higher tolerance for dry air and can withstand inconsistent watering due to its thinner leaves. Billietiae, on the other hand, requires more water but is still capable of surviving in drier conditions. Furthermore, Atabapoense tends to be more resistant to pests compared to Billietiae.

Both Philodendron Atabapoense and Billietiae make wonderful choices for indoor gardens and plant enthusiasts. By understanding their similarities and differences, you can make an informed decision on which one to bring into your home and provide the ideal care to help them flourish.


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