Philodendron Golden Crocodile Care Guide (2023)

Philodendron golden crocodile is a unique variety known for its striking appearance. With its golden and glossy leaves, this plant adds a touch of elegance to any space. The leaves are deeply lobed and feature a crocodile-like pattern, giving it its name.

The philodendron golden crocodile is a versatile plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors, making it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. Its unique characteristics make it stand out from other philodendron varieties, and it is often sought after by collectors.

It is easy to care for houseplants. So, if you are looking to add a touch of beauty to your space, consider adding this stunning plant to your indoor or outdoor garden.

What Is Philodendron Golden Crocodile

A striking hybrid, the Philodendron Golden Crocodile, results from crossing Philodendron pinnatifidum and Philodendron melinonii. It belongs to the Araceae family and the Philodendron genus. 

This evergreen houseplant flaunts large, serrated leaves that appear golden-yellow and then transform into a captivating deep green.

Quick Overview Of Golden Crocodile

Scientific name: Philodendron hederaceum ‘Golden Crocodile,’ 

Common name:  Philodendron Golden Crocodile

Genus: Philodendron

Family: Araceae

Origin:  South America

Identification: Heart-shaped leaves that feature golden-yellow coloration

Growth Rate: Moderate 

Height: Vine, up to 10 feet

Hardiness:11-12 Zone


The Philodendron Golden Crocodile belongs to the Araceae family, also known as the Arum family. Within this family, it is classified under the genus Philodendron. The genus name “Philodendron” is derived from the Greek words “Philo,” meaning love, and “dendron,” meaning tree. This name reflects the characteristic of some species in the genus that tend to climb trees in their natural habitats.

 Native Habitat

The native habitat of Philodendron hederaceum, and consequently the Golden Crocodile variety, includes tropical regions of Central and South America. They are commonly found in countries such as Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia. In these regions, they thrive in the understory of dense rainforests, where they receive filtered sunlight and ample humidity.

Unique Features of Golden Crocodile Philodendron

The Philodendron Golden Crocodile, scientifically known as Philodendron hederaceum ‘Golden Crocodile,’ is a unique cultivar of the species Philodendron hederaceum. It exhibits several distinct physical characteristics:


The most striking feature of the Golden Crocodile is its foliage. The leaves are heart-shaped, typical of the Philodendron hederaceum species, but with a remarkable twist. The leaves have a golden-yellow coloration, which sets this cultivar apart from the usual green hues found in most Philodendrons. Additionally, the leaves have a textured surface resembling crocodile skin, with deep ridges and undulating patterns.

Growth habit 

This plant has a bushy and compact growth habit. It remains relatively small and is well-suited for indoor cultivation, making it an ideal choice for those with limited space.

Climbing tendency

Like other Philodendrons, the Golden Crocodile is a vining plant. In its natural habitat, Philodendron Golden Crocodile grows as epiphytes, meaning they grow on other trees or structures without being parasitic. They utilize their aerial roots to anchor themselves and absorb moisture and nutrients from the air and organic debris around them.

Air Purifier

With its alluring foliage and air-purifying properties, this plant has become popular among plant enthusiasts and interior decorators. 

Low maintenance

Philodendron Golden Crocodile is relatively low-maintenance. It does not require much watering and fertilizing which makes it suitable for beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts. 


This Golden Crocodile is toxic to both humans and animals if ingested. The plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates which can cause burning and irritation of the mouth, throat, and stomach. If ingested, call your local poison control center or seek medical attention immediately.

Philodendron Golden Crocodile Care

Philodendron Golden Crocodile, with its striking beauty and unique foliage, is a delightful addition to any indoor garden.

While it may seem like a tropical gem that requires meticulous care, this houseplant is surprisingly easy to cultivate and maintain with the proper attention and environment.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you successfully grow and care for your Philodendron Golden Crocodile:

However, before we move to the detailed care guide here is the overview of the quick care guide-

Quick Care Guide

Light: Bright, Indirect Light

Temperature: 60-85 Degrees

Soil: Well-draining potting soil

Water:  Moderate. Water once the whole pot has dried out.

Humidity: High Humidity (60-70%)

Fertilizer: General Houseplant Fertilizer

Pruning: Regular pruning

Repotting: Every two years or so

Now read the detailed care guide below-

 Light Requirements and Placement

This plant thrives in bright, indirect light. Place it near a north or east-facing window to provide it with the right amount of light without exposing it to direct sunlight, which can scorch its delicate leaves.

Avoid placing the Philodendron Golden Crocodile in dark corners or areas with insufficient light, as this can lead to stunted growth and diminished variegation.

Temperature and Humidity

Philodendron Golden Crocodile prefers a warm and humid environment similar to its native tropical habitat.

The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C).

Maintain high humidity levels to ensure the plant’s well-being.

You can achieve this by using a humidifier, misting the leaves regularly, or placing a water-filled tray near the plant.

Watering Guidelines

Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s essential to strike a balance.

During the growing season (spring and summer), the plant may require more frequent watering, while you can reduce watering in the dormant season (fall and winter).

Soil Type and Potting Techniques

Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent soggy roots.

A blend of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark is suitable for Philodendron Golden Crocodile.

Repot the plant every 1-2 years or when it outgrows its current pot.

Choose a slightly larger container to allow the plant space for growth.

Fertilization and Nutrient Needs

For the best results, remember to apply a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the active growing season of the Philodendron Golden Crocodile.

As the temperatures drop, it’s wise to reduce the fertilizing frequency to once a month. Always avoid overfertilization, which may lead to root damage.

Pruning and Maintenance

Regularly inspect the plant for any yellow or damaged leaves and remove them promptly.

This encourages new growth and ensures a neat appearance.

To promote bushier growth, you can trim leggy stems just above a node.

Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to keep them clean and free from dust, which can hinder their ability to photosynthesize.

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How to Repot Philodendron Golden Crocodile?

Repotting Philodendron Golden Crocodile is an essential part of its care routine, ensuring the plant has enough space to grow and thrive. Follow these step-by-step instructions to repot your Philodendron Golden Crocodile successfully:

Choose the Right Time: The best time to repot is during the plant’s active growing season, typically in spring or early summer. Avoid repotting during the dormant period in winter.

Select a New Pot: Choose a slightly larger pot with good drainage. Ensure the new pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.

Gently Remove the Plant: Turn the plant upside down and tap the pot’s base to ease the plant out. Be gentle to avoid damaging the roots.

Examine the Roots: Check the root system for any signs of damage or overcrowding. If the roots are tightly wound around the root ball, gently loosen them with your fingers.

Add Fresh Potting Mix: Place a layer of fresh, well-draining potting mix at the bottom of the new pot. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark is ideal for Philodendron Golden Crocodile.

Repot the Plant: Position the Philodendron Golden Crocodile in the center of the new pot and fill the gaps with potting mix. Ensure the top of the root ball sits slightly below the pot’s rim.

Water and Settle: Water the plant thoroughly after repotting to help the soil settle around the roots. Allow any excess water to drain away.

Propagation of Philodendron Golden Crocodile

Philodendron Golden Crocodile can be propagated through stem cuttings, division, or air layering. The most common propagation method is through stem cuttings:

Stem Cuttings

  • Select a healthy stem with a few leaves and use a sharp knife or scissors to make a clean cut just below a node (the point where leaves emerge from the stem).
  • Ensure the cutting has at least one or two nodes and a few leaves for successful rooting.
  • Place the cutting in a glass of water or directly into a moist potting mix, ensuring the node is submerged or buried in the soil.
  • Keep the cutting in a warm, bright location, away from direct sunlight, and maintain humidity by misting regularly.
  • Once roots develop, which typically takes a few weeks, transplant the new plant into a suitable pot with well-draining soil.

Common Leaf Issues

Like any houseplant, Philodendron Golden Crocodile may experience some common leaf issues that can affect its appearance and health. Here are some common leaf issues to watch out for:

Yellowing Leaves: Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or poor drainage. Ensure the plant receives the right amount of water and the soil is well-draining. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Brown Leaf Tips: Brown tips on the leaves may indicate that the plant is not getting enough humidity. Increase the humidity levels by misting the leaves regularly or using a humidifier.

Leaf Curling: Curling leaves can be caused by underwatering, low humidity, or exposure to cold drafts. Make sure the plant is adequately watered and kept in a warm, humid environment.

Brown Spots or Edges: Brown spots or edges on the leaves may be due to low humidity, over-fertilization, or exposure to direct sunlight. Maintain proper humidity levels, avoid excessive fertilization, and protect the plant from direct sunlight.

Leaf Dropping: Dropping leaves can be a response to changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature fluctuations or being moved to a new location. Try to maintain a consistent environment and avoid frequent repositioning.

Pests and Diseases of Philodendron Golden Crocodile

While Philodendron Golden Crocodile is generally a hardy and low-maintenance houseplant, it is not immune to certain pests and diseases. Here are some common pests and diseases that may affect this beautiful houseplant:


Spider Mites: These tiny arachnids are a common pest for indoor plants, including Philodendron Golden Crocodile. They suck sap from the leaves, causing stippling, yellowing, and webbing on the foliage.

Mealybugs: Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on plant sap. They often appear as white, cotton-like clusters on the leaves and stems, causing damage and weakening the plant.

Aphids: Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that cluster on new growth and undersides of leaves. They feed by sucking sap from the plant, leading to distorted and curled leaves.

Scale Insects: Scale insects appear as small, round, or oval-shaped bumps on the stems and leaves. They also feed on plant sap and can cause yellowing and weakening of the plant.


Root Rot: Root rot is a common disease caused by overwatering or poor drainage. It leads to the decay of the plant’s roots, resulting in wilting, yellowing, and eventual death of the plant.

Leaf Spot: Leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes dark, water-soaked spots on the leaves. It can spread rapidly, leading to leaf yellowing, wilting, and defoliation.

Bacterial Blight: Bacterial blight can cause water-soaked lesions and dark streaks on the leaves. The affected leaves may eventually die off, leading to reduced overall plant health.

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent and manage pests and diseases, consider the following measures:

Regularly inspect your Philodendron Golden Crocodile for signs of pests or diseases, such as webs, cottony clusters, or spots on the foliage.

Avoid overwatering and ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot.

If you notice any pest or disease issues, isolate the affected plant immediately to prevent spreading to other plants.

For minor infestations, try using natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap to control pests. For severe infestations or diseases, consider using appropriate chemical treatments.

Philodendron Golden Saw vs. Philodendron Golden Crocodile

Leaf Appearance

Philodendron Golden Saw (Philodendron ‘Golden Saw’): The Golden Saw variety is characterized by its large, deeply lobed leaves with a striking golden-yellow variegation. The leaf edges may have a serrated or “saw-like” appearance, giving it a unique and eye-catching look.

Philodendron Golden Crocodile (Philodendron ‘Golden Crocodile’): The Golden Crocodile variety features heart-shaped leaves with a glossy green surface and distinct crocodile-like golden variegation. The variegation is irregular and appears as golden spots or streaks on the leaves.

Leaf Size and Shape

Golden Saw: The leaves of this variety are typically larger and have more pronounced lobes or divisions compared to the Golden Crocodile.

Golden Crocodile: The leaves are heart-shaped and have a smoother appearance compared to the serrated edges of the Golden Saw.

Growth Habit

Golden Saw: This variety is known for its robust growth habit, with the leaves extending outward more open, and spreading.

Golden Crocodile: The growth habit of the Golden Crocodile is more compact, with the leaves arranged closely together, giving it a bushier appearance.

Philodendron Golden Crocodile vs. Philodendron Ring of Fire

Leaf Appearance

Philodendron Golden Crocodile: As mentioned earlier, this variety has glossy green heart-shaped leaves with irregular golden variegation, resembling the scales of a crocodile.

Philodendron Ring of Fire: The Ring of Fire variety showcases dark green leaves with bright, fiery red or orange variegation along the leaf margins, creating a captivating contrast.

Variegation Pattern

Golden Crocodile: The golden variegation of this variety appears as spots or streaks scattered across the leaf surface, creating a unique and striking pattern.

Ring of Fire: The variegation in this variety forms a distinct ring or band of fiery color along the outer edges of the leaves, providing a stunning and eye-catching display.

Growth Habit

Golden Crocodile: The Golden Crocodile has a compact growth habit, making it an excellent choice for smaller indoor spaces or containers.

Ring of Fire: This variety tends to have a more upright growth habit, with the leaves extending upward and outward, giving it a more prominent presence.


Is Philodendron Golden Crocodile rare?

Yes, Philodendron Golden Crocodile is considered relatively rare due to its unique variegation pattern and popularity among plant enthusiasts.

How big do Golden Crocodile Philodendrons get?

Golden Crocodile Philodendrons can grow up to 8 to 10 inches in leaf length, forming a compact and bushy plant.

How do you care for a Golden Crocodile Philodendron?

Provide bright, indirect light. Keep soil consistently moist but not soggy. Maintain high humidity levels. Fertilize during the growing season. Avoid direct sunlight and cold drafts.

Is Philodendron Golden Crocodile toxic?

Yes, like many plants in the Philodendron genus, Philodendron Golden Crocodile is toxic if ingested. Keep it out of reach of pets and children to prevent potential health risks.

Is Philodendron Golden Crocodile a climbing plant?

Yes, Philodendron Golden Crocodile is a climbing plant by nature. In its natural habitat, it uses aerial roots to climb trees and other structures for support. Indoors, it can be trained to climb or allowed to trail as a hanging plant.


Due to their captivating appearance and ease of care, the Philodendron Golden Crocodile and other varieties of Philodendron hederaceum have become popular as houseplants worldwide. They can be cultivated indoors in a well-draining potting mix, placed in bright, indirect light, and kept in a humid environment. With the right care, these unique plants will continue to delight enthusiasts with their golden, textured leaves and add a touch of the tropics to any indoor space.

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