Philodendron Mayoi: The Exotic Palm-Like Houseplant You Need

The image showcases the Philodendron Mayoi plant in a beautiful indoor setting. This image highlights the plant's exotic and palm-like features, making it a unique addition to any indoor space.

For indoor plant enthusiasts seeking a unique addition, the Philodendron Mayoi is perfect. The plant's leaves have a captivating appearance, with palm-like lobes and vibrant red undersides. This rare Brazilian native is a true conversation starter.

I discovered the rare Philodendron mayoi at an extraordinary botanical boutique. Its unusual foliage captivated me. The slender leaves are up to 18 inches long. They have a glossy texture and are divided into 4–6 lobes. When light hits the crimson undersides, the plant glows. I knew I had to have one.

Key takeaways:

  • Unique philodendron with stunning red leaf undersides.

  • Easy to care for despite its exotic looks.

  • Prefers bright indirect light, well-draining soil, and moderate watering.

  • Thrives in high humidity (think bathrooms!).

  • It is more uncommon than your average philodendron, so expect to hunt for it.

  • It makes a stunning conversation starter in any room.

Origins and Natural Habitat

Philodendron mayoi comes from the tropical rainforests of Brazil, specifically Espírito Santo and Rio de Janeiro. It grows as a hemiepiphytic vine, starting on the forest floor and climbing trees using aerial roots. In its natural habitat, P. mayoi enjoys dappled sunlight, high humidity, and rich, well-draining soil. [1].

This species was only described in 2004 by Dr. Eduardo Gonçalves, a Brazilian botanist specializing in Araceae [12]. He named it after Dr. Simon Mayo, an aroid expert at Kew Gardens in London who has made significant contributions to Philodendron taxonomy [5]. So, this plant has some scientific star power behind its name!

Caring for Your Philodendron Mayoi

This image provides a close-up view of the Philodendron Mayoi leaves. This image allows viewers to appreciate the intricate details and unique features of the plant's leaves, further emphasizing its exotic nature.

While the exotic looks of P. Mayoi might seem intimidating, it’s actually quite easy to care for as a houseplant. Here are some tips to keep your plant thriving:

  • Light: Provide your P. Mayoi with bright, indirect light for best growth. It can handle a couple hours of gentle morning sun, but harsh afternoon rays can scorch the leaves [9]. An east- or north-facing window is ideal.

  • Water: Allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out between waterings. P. Mayoi likes to stay evenly moist but not soggy [10]. Yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering, while brown tips mean you’re letting it get too dry [9]. I like to test the soil with my finger before watering.

  • Soil: A chunky, well-draining mix is essential to avoid root rot. I use a blend of 1/2 potting soil, 1/4 coco coir, and 1/4 perlite or pumice [13]. This provides moisture retention and aeration.

  • Humidity: Aim for 60% or higher humidity to mimic P. Mayoi’s rainforest origins [5]. Regular misting, pebble trays, or a humidifier can help. I keep mine in a naturally humid bathroom.

  • Fertilizer: Feed monthly during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/2 strength [14]. Skip fertilizing in winter when growth slows.

  • Support: Give your P. Mayoi something to climb, like a moss pole or trellis. This encourages larger leaves and a tidier growth habit [8].

  • Propagation: It’s easy to make more P. Mayoi plants by cutting stems. Simply snip off a piece with a couple nodes and some leaves, remove the bottom leaves, and root in water or moist soil [7]. In a few weeks, voila! There are new plants to share.

Here’s a quick reference table of P. Mayoi’s basic care needs:




Bright indirect


Keep evenly moist




Chunky, well-draining mix


Monthly, diluted 1/2 strength


Moss pole or trellis

Is Philodendron Mayoi Rare?

One question I get a lot is whether P. Mayoi is a rare plant. The answer is that it depends. In its native Brazil, it’s actually quite abundant in certain regions [12]. But for houseplant collectors around the world, it’s still fairly uncommon compared to your average heartleaf philodendron. Specialty growers are increasing production, but demand remains high [5]. So while it is not impossible to find, you may have to hunt around and pay a pretty penny for a P. Mayoi of your own.

Here's a table comparing the availability and price of P. mayoi to some other popular philodendrons.




Heartleaf (P. hederaceum)

Very common


Lemon Lime (P. hederaceum)



Brasil (P. hederaceum)









P. Mayoi falls in the middle of the pack. It’s more accessible than ultra-rare types like Gloriosum. However, it’s still special compared to the ubiquitous heartleaf. For me, that makes the thrill of the hunt even more fun!

Displaying Your Philodendron Mayoi

Show off your P. Mayoi’s stunning leaves with these display ideas:

  • Hanging Basket: Choose a basket 2-3 inches bigger than the nursery pot for room to grow.

  • Moss Pole: Train it on a moss pole for bigger leaves and upright growth. DIY with PVC pipe, sphagnum moss, and fishing line.

  • Pedestal Planter: Use a raised planter for a focal point. A modern planter contrasts well with its wild vibes.

  • Wall Trellis: Attach to a wall-mounted trellis for an urban jungle look. This is great for humid areas like bathrooms or kitchens.

P. Mayoi will steal the spotlight no matter how you display it—perfect for any bare corner!

Displaying Your Philodendron Mayoi

This image showcases the Philodendron Mayoi plant in a modern living room setting. This image demonstrates how the plant can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room, making it a must-have for any modern home.

Once you’ve got your hands on a P. Mayoi, you’ll want to show off those stunning leaves. Here are a few of my favorite ways to display this plant:

  1. Hanging Basket: P. Mayoi’s long, drapey leaves look gorgeous spilling out of a hanging planter. Choose a basket that’s 2-3 inches bigger than the nursery pot to allow room to grow.

  2. Moss Pole: Train your plant to climb a moss pole to encourage bigger leaves and a more upright growth habit. You can DIY a pole with PVC pipe, sphagnum moss, and fishing line.

  3. Pedestal Planter: Elevate your P. Mayoi (literally) in a raised planter to make it a focal point. I love the look of a sleek, modern planter that contrasts with the plant’s wild, jungly vibes.

  4. Wall Trellis: Use a wall trellis or grid to make your P. Mayoi climb and create an urban jungle look. This works great in bathrooms or kitchens where there’s plenty of ambient humidity.

No matter how you choose to display it, P. Mayoi is sure to steal the spotlight. It’s the perfect plant for that bare corner that needs a little something extra!

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with the best care, your P. Mayoi may run into the occasional hiccup. Here are some common issues and how to fix them:

Yellow leaves are usually a sign of overwatering. Ease up on the H2O and make sure your soil and pot have good drainage [9].

  • Brown Tips: The air is too dry or you’re underwatering. Increase humidity and check the soil more often [9].

  • Leggy Growth: Not enough light is reaching all the leaves. Provide brighter indirect light or rotate the plant regularly [8].

  • Pests: P. Mayoi can be prone to spider mites, mealybugs, and scales [6]. Regularly inspect the leaves, especially the undersides. An occasional shower can help prevent bugs. If you spot any, treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

  • Dripping water from the leaves is just guttation - totally normal!

With a watchful eye and a little TLC, your P. Mayoi should bounce back in no time. And those lush, healthy leaves are so worth the effort!

The Bottom Line on Philodendron Mayoi

If you want a unique plant, Philodendron mayoi is a great choice. Its distinctive leaves, easy care, and air-purifying qualities make it a standout in any indoor garden. Though it might be a bit pricey and hard to find, it’s worth it for the wow factor. Your houseplant-loving friends will be envious!

Whether experienced or new to plant care, I hope this guide helps you enjoy the marvelous Mayoi. It’s one of my favorites, and I’m excited to share my insights.

Don’t wait! Add this Brazilian beauty to your urban jungle. Your home will thank you. Happy growing!

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