The Philodendron Thai Sunrise is an eye-catching beauty that you definitely need in your houseplant collection.
A proverbial celebration of color, this gorgeous plant is characterized by slender lime and dark green leaves and a clustered, climbing growth habit. With looks like this, it’s no surprise that they’re in high demand the world over.
Hailing predominantly from Central and South America, the philodendron family boasts hundreds of naturally-occurring varieties. However, the Thai Sunrise is unusual in that it is a hybrid developed by a tissue culture lab in Thailand.
Despite its scientific beginnings, though, it has quickly risen to immense popularity thanks to the likes of social media platforms like Instagram.
If you’re considering investing in a Thai Sunrise Philodendron, you’ve come to the right place. This article will unpack some facts about where to find them, how much you can expect to pay, and how to differentiate between a Thai Sunrise and other rare, variegated hybrids.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
Table of Contents
Is Philodendron Thai Sunrise rare?
The Thai Sunrise is considered one of the rarest hybrids of philodendron available, primarily because suppliers cannot meet demand nor produce juveniles in large quantities. The Thai Sunrise Philodendron has a slower propagation rate than most cultivars, and therefore it takes time for them to reach the open market.
Most houseplant enthusiasts I know love an exotic cultivar and will jump at the opportunity to get their hands on a Thai Sunrise. Not only is it pretty, thanks to its bold variegation, but it’s also adaptable to a range of conditions and super simple to care for. The only problem is it can be really difficult to track down.
If you’re wondering why the answer is simple. As the Thai Sunrise Philodendron has risen from relative obscurity to social media superstardom, it has become one of the most sought-after species of philodendron on the market. You won’t find it in your local nursery or garden center. Indeed, you’d be lucky to find one available through a specialist breeder.
That said, don’t be discouraged. As the Thai Sunrise Philodendron becomes better known and production processes change and develop, it is becoming more freely available in online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy. Most offer stem cuttings, which can be a risky investment.
However, with the right environmental conditions of bright indirect light and high humidity, you should be well on your way to a happy, healthy plant.
With demand for the Thai Sunrise Philodendron increasing, bulk suppliers are also making a considerable effort to raise their production volume to meet the needs of the houseplant people. In a few years, we’ll likely start seeing this beauty on more shelves and in more homes around the world.
What’s a standard Philodendron Thai Sunrise price?
As with many rare houseplants, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pricing a Philodendron Thai Sunrise. Generally speaking, their cost will depend on their size, level of variegation, and age. And, of course, stem cuttings are much cheaper than mature, established plants.
Currently, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $600 for a Thai Sunrise. This may vary depending on your location, as well as other provisos like shipping and tax.
Is a Philodendron Golden Goddess a Thai Sunrise?
Although both the Philodendron Golden Goddess and the Thai Sunrise have characteristic bright yellow-green coloring, they are entirely different plants. Both were developed in Thailand, but the Golden Goddess is uniform in color, whereas the Thai Sunrise is variegated.
They also have many other dissimilarities, including their care requirements and the size and shape of their foliage.
For those in the know, it might be surprising to hear that the Golden Goddess and the Thai Sunrise are often mistaken for one another. This is because, among their philodendron peers, they are two of the brightest in color, which is particularly confounding when they are juveniles.
Indeed, at a young age, both the Golden Goddess and the Thai Sunrise have lime green to almost yellow leaves that slowly unfurl before reaching their mature color configuration. Irrespective, the Golden Goddess remains completely uniform in color, barring the occasional variegated leaf that is a total genetic anomaly.
Color notwithstanding, the Golden Goddess and the Thai Sunrise ultimately have less in common overall than one may initially think. They differ in size and growth rate, and the shape and texture of their leaves are also vastly different.
Let’s have a quick look at how to distinguish between these two cultivars.
Differences between Philodendron Golden Goddess vs Thai Sunrise
As mentioned, the Philodendron Golden Goddess and the Thai Sunrise Philodendron have distinct dissimilarities. The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at their leaves. The Thai sunrise has variegated dark green and lime green leaves, whereas the Golden Goddess has lime to yellow-colored leaves with no patterning.
Furthermore, the texture of the Thai Sunrise’s leaves is smooth and silky versus the rough, leathery texture of the Golden Goddess. While both have heart-shaped leaves, the Thai Sunrise has bigger, more slender leaves, and the Golden Goddess has foliage that is more compact and rounded.
Another key difference between these plants is their size and growth rate. Due to its variegation, the Thai Sunrise grows more slowly than the Golden Goddess, but it does become significantly larger than its stouter counterpart. The Thai Sunrise’s unique coloring also means it requires more hours of light daily to thrive.
Philodendron Thai Sunrise vs Lemon Lime
The primary difference between the Philodendron Thai Sunrise and the Philodendron Lemon Lime is evident in their coloring. The Thai Sunrise is renowned for the stark contrast of its dark and light green variegation, whereas the Lemon Lime is known for its bright lime green uniformity.
The Thai Sunrise also has much longer and narrower leaves than the Lemon Lime.
Nomenclature can be a hot topic in the plant world, especially when it comes to distinguishing different hybrids. Never has this been truer than when it comes to the Philodendron Lemon Lime. For context, many specialists believe that the Lemon Lime is simply another name for the Philodendron Golden Goddess.
On the other hand, there is also an ongoing debate about the Lemon Lime (a registered patent) and the Golden Goddess (a free philodendron variety) having distinctly different petioles. Whichever side of the fence you land on, the one thing we can be sure of is that neither is the same as the Philodendron Thai Sunrise.
As mentioned, the Thai Sunrise has bright lime green variegation splashed across a leaf base of dark green. It also has long, narrow, lance-like leaves that look pointedly different from the rounded, plain-colored leaves of the Lemon Lime. The texture of the Thai Sunrise is far softer than that of the Lemon Lime.
In growth habit, though both are climbing hemi-epiphytes, the Thai Sunrise is less inclined to trail than the Lemon Lime. It also becomes a far larger plant, with bigger leaves and a wider spread. Both have easy care requirements, but the Thai Sunrise can be fussy when it comes to light and humidity, both of which it needs in droves to thrive.
How to care for a Philodendron Thai Sunrise
The best way to care for a Philodendron Thai Sunrise is to try and emulate its natural, tropical environment. This involves providing it with bright, indirect light, plenty of warmth and humidity, well-draining soil, good hydration, and seasonal feeding. Occasional pruning and cleaning also help your Philodendron Thai Sunrise’ overall well-being.
Philodendron Thai Sunrise make great houseplants, and if you have any hesitation about their care, worry no further. These gracious green beauties are low-maintenance and straightforward in terms of their needs, making them perfect for even beginner plant parents.
Bearing in mind that Philodendron Thai Sunrise are tropical plants, the best environment you can offer them is one where they’ll have a sunny spot with lots of light, relative humidity, and plenty of moisture.
In good news, most homes are already set up for this with East and South-facing windows and a generalized humidity level of around 50%. To supplement the rest of their care needs, you just need to ensure your Philodendron Thai Sunrise stays hydrated, is fed with both good soil and that you occasionally fertilize your philodendron.
Best soil for Philodendrons
Light and well-draining (perfect for avoiding root rot) while being packed with just the right nutrients – that will feed your plant for up to six months. The best soil for keeping your philodendron healthy and strong.
In the following sections, we’ll look at Philodendron Thai Sunrise care in greater detail to equip you with everything you need to help your houseplants thrive.
How much light does a Philodendron Thai Sunrise need?
Philodendron Thai Sunrise prefer at least six to eight hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. As their leaves can be vulnerable if they receive too much light, keep an eye out for any signs of sunburn on your Philodendron Thai Sunrise’s leaves, such as yellowing leaves or brown spots appearing.
Most (if not all) plants depend on sunlight energy to grow, and Philodendron Thai Sunrise are no different. Native to tropical America, they’re accustomed to dappled light from the jungle canopies above them, which you can try to mimic in the home with clever positioning.
In the winter, when it starts to cool down, and there is less indoor sun available, a Philodendron Thai Sunrise’s light needs can be augmented with a bit of time spent outdoors on a sheltered patio or balcony. The fresh air will do them good, too.
Find out more: Philodendron Light Needs: The Ultimate Guide
What is the right temperature for Philodendron Thai Sunrise?
Your Philodendron Thai Sunrise will thrive in temperatures between 75°F and 85°F (23°C to 29°C). While they can survive at lower temperatures than this, don’t let them stay for too long anywhere less than 65°F (18°C) as your plant may not survive.
Clearly some plants, like Philodendron Thai Sunrise, like it hot. However, the real kicker is ensuring your Philodendron Thai Sunrise are placed in an area with mid-to-high humidity.
When should I fertilize my Philodendron Thai Sunrise?
Philodendron Thai Sunrise likes some fertilizer every now and again. In fact, they do their best when they are fed twice a month during their active growing season, which is the spring and summer. However, you shouldn’t fertilize your Philodendron Thai Sunrise during its dormant period in the cooler months.
This is because feeding the plant during this time can interfere with its natural growing cycle.
Overall, though, occasional feeding with a balanced fertilizer is greatly beneficial for Philodendron Thai Sunrise, especially at the start of their growing seasons in the spring and summer months.
Best fertilizer for Philodendrons
A great fertilizer with the perfect balance for your philodendron. Simply dissolve in water and feed your plant to watch it thrive.
If you think about it, these jungle-dwellers are used to all the rich, dense nutrients they have access to from the forest floor, which can’t be substituted by typical potting soil. An all-purpose liquid fertilizer at half strength is a good way to replace their natural feeding schedule, providing them with an extra dose of energy for new growth.
What are the best humidity levels for a Philodendron Thai Sunrise?
Philodendron Thai Sunrise prefer humidity levels of around 65% to 80%. Given that they are native to tropical Central and South America, they thrive in humidity conditions similar to their natural habitat. However, most homes won’t reach these levels, so you may need to boost this for your Philodendron Thai Sunrise to thrive.
Houseplants that receive adequate amounts of sunlight daily generally don’t require supplementary humidity, particularly if you consider most homes fall in the 40% to 50% range. However, with their tropical inclinations, Philodendron Thai Sunrise can benefit from a little extra care in this regard.
The easiest, in my opinion, is to invest in a small plug-in humidifier. Alternatively, you can rest your Philodendron Thai Sunrise on a damp pebble tray, making sure not to let their roots touch the water.
Alternatively, if you have a whole collection of houseplants, cluster them together so they can benefit from each other’s transpiration processes. It has the added benefit of looking great too!
What soil is best for Philodendron Thai Sunrise?
A Philodendron Thai Sunrise’s soil mix should be loosely clustered, nutrient-rich, and well-draining. The high nutrient level emulates its natural habitat, where plant material in the rainforest falls onto Philodendron Thai Sunrise and nourishes them. Having light and airy potting mix helps to avoid the soil staying too soggy, which can lead to root rot.
While many Philodendron Thai Sunrise varieties have aerial roots as well as ground-dwelling (terrestrial) roots, they receive the bulk of their vitamins and minerals from their soil, making it an essential part of their fundamental care.
Top pick: My preferred soil for Philodendron Thai Sunrise is the Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix (check the latest price here).
It’s very well draining and will feed nutrients to your Philodendron Thai Sunrise for up to six months. For a tropical plant like the Philodendron Thai Sunrise, it’s got everything you need.
Buying pre-blended Philodendron Thai Sunrise soil from most garden centers is a simple option. Alternatively, you can easily mix your own by combining potting soil with chunky bits of bark (grab some here) and moisture-retentive perlite (get it here).
If you’re buying your Philodendron Thai Sunrise pre-potted, they’ll likely arrive in appropriate soil from the get-go. Even so, you’ll need to replace their soil every 18 to 24 months to prevent a build-up of salts or eliminate any beasties and creatures like pests, fungi, or bacteria, so make sure you’re replanting them in the best soil for philodendrons so they continue to thrive.
Indeed, this is a good maintenance practice for all houseplants, not just Philodendron Thai Sunrise!
How often should you water Philodendron Thai Sunrise?
You should water your Philodendron Thai Sunrise when the top two inches of its soil has dried out, which you can test by sticking your finger into your plant’s potting mix. In summer, this will be around once per week, but may be less frequent in the cooler months.
It’s always good to have a watering schedule for your plants, but with so many factors (like season and sunlight) at play, I prefer to meet my Philodendron Thai Sunrise’s watering needs as required – by waiting for their top inch of soil to dry out before hydrating.
The reason for this is that the leading cause of fatality in Philodendron Thai Sunrise is root rot, which they tend to contract from overly soggy soil or from standing in pooled water. As they’re pretty drought-tolerant, it’s best to err on the side of caution and only water philodendrons as they need it rather than strictly once-per-week.
That said, when you do water them, a hearty dose of moisture is great, provided it doesn’t make their soil soggy and heavy, which weighs down on their root systems.
Should I prune my Philodendron Thai Sunrise?
You should prune your Philodendron Thai Sunrise from time to time as part of their regular maintenance, with spring being the best time of the year to do this. Removing dead foliage or browning stems will allow robust leaves and vines to draw in more sunlight and stop your plant from wasting energy.
Just like humans shower, cut their hair, and clip their nails, Philodendron Thai Sunrise can do with occasional grooming, especially when it comes to eradicating old or dying growth. Fortunately, trimming your philodendron really isn’t hard to do.
When it comes to cleaning, remember that each large leaf of your Philodendron Thai Sunrise is full of sunlight receptors that are easily blocked by dust or grime. Wiping down your leaves with a damp cloth keeps them clean and free to function at their best.
When should I repot my Philodendron Thai Sunrise
The Philodendron Thai Sunrise is not a plant that needs to be repotted regularly, with it often only needing to be transplanted every two to three years. With that said, however, you should repot your Philodendron Thai Sunrise if you see roots growing out of the drainage holes.
In fact, this plant does well when it is rootbound. That said, when you do transplant a Philodendron Thai Sunrise, do so in spring before the plant starts to produce new growth, and select a pot that is about 3 sizes larger than the current pot.
Alternatively, you can wait until fall to perform the transplant.
Find out more: 7 Simple Steps to Repot Philodendrons (+ When To Do It)
How to propagate a Philodendron Thai Sunrise
The easiest way to propagate your Philodendron Thai Sunrise is to root it in water. Simply place your cutting into a jar with water in it and place it in a warm sunny spot, and wait. Refresh the water once a week to keep it oxygenated and, in six to eight weeks, new roots will appear.
At that point, your Philodendron Thai Sunrise cutting will be ready for transplantation!
Philodendron Thai Sunrise can be propagated from stem cuttings, provided they have a visible node and a leaf or two to draw in moisture from the air. You can either root your cuttings in water first or plant them directly into soil.
Alternatively, if you only have a small piece of stem, you can try to root them in a nutrient-rich growing medium with concentrated humidity.
That is, a second option is to place your cutting directly into a planter with soil. This is slightly riskier as they require a lot of humidity to make up for the moisture they’d usually draw via roots, but it can be equally effective with proper care.
If your cutting has no leaves, try laying it on a bed of peat moss and covering the tray or container with plastic to retain humidity. While this method isn’t always effective, it’s worth a try to avoid throwing away any pieces of your precious plants.
Find out more: 10 Easy Steps to Propagate Philodendron Cuttings
How do you make a Philodendron Thai Sunrise bushy?
The best way to make a Philodendron Thai Sunrise bushy is to prune it in its growing season, which is spring and summer. Make sure you remove any dead or dying leaves, as this ensures your plant doesn’t spend energy on this foliage and will instead focus on new growth.
Funnily enough, regularly trimming your plant is actually key to maximizing your philodendron’s growth rate.
Regularly turning your plant so that all its angles receive sunlight is another good way to ensure consistent, rounded, and aesthetic growth with a clustered appearance to make your philodendron fuller.
You can also use a moss pole so that your Philodendron Thai Sunrise has space to climb upwards, which is what it would do in its natural environment – aiming upwards towards a source of light.
Are Philodendron Thai Sunrise toxic?
Philodendron Thai Sunrise are toxic to humans and animals, as they contain sharp calcium oxalate crystals that cause skin irritation through direct contact, or gastrointestinal distress and other potentially dangerous symptoms when ingested. All parts of the plant contain these crystals, which are most prevalent in its sap.
While Philodendron Thai Sunrise are indisputably beautiful in the home, it is best to keep them away from curious kids and pets, as skin contact and ingestion can be highly irritating at best and have real health consequences at worst.
These plants’ sticky white sap is full of needle-like calcium crystals. When they make contact with bare skin, they can cause welts or irritating rashes, which, fortunately, can usually be treated with a topical skin ointment.
Be aware: Ingestion of any part of a Philodendron Thai Sunrise can cause swelling of the throat tissue, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. In a worst-case scenario, ingestion can cause difficulty breathing, in which case, medical treatment should be sought as a matter of urgency.
While this all sounds very daunting, the good news is that these plants don’t taste good, so there is no real reason (other than curiosity or carelessness) why rogue children or pets would eat them. Even so, prevention is better than cure, so place your plants out of reach if you’re concerned they may get chomped.
Why are my Philodendron Thai Sunrise’s leaves turning yellow?
There are a few reasons why Philodendron Thai Sunrise leaves turn yellow, but the primary cause is overwatering, with yellowing leaves being an early sign of root rot. Damaged roots cannot transport nutrients, oxygen, and water to a plant’s leaves, which causes cell death, and by default, turns them yellow.
I find watering my plants to be the most cathartic exercise on earth. However, with some trial and error, I’ve learned that my Philodendron Thai Sunrise, in particular, doesn’t do well with being over-loved.
While they’re super hardy, too much hydration can quickly cause root rot in philodendrons – a fungal or bacterial infection that destroys your plant’s root system.
Therefore, if you notice yellowing leaves on your philodendron, run a diagnostic immediately. Is your soil damp or soggy? Allow it to dry out, which may reverse some of the damage. Lots of sun helps. Or if the damage is progressed, try repotting your Philodendron Thai Sunrise, removing damaging roots in the process.
A secondary cause of yellowing leaves is chemical burn, which your Philodendron Thai Sunrise may contract from over-fertilization. In this case, transplantation is also recommended, followed by a restriction of your feeding practices.
Why is my Philodendron Thai Sunrise drooping?
Drooping and wilting in Philodendron Thai Sunrise is more often than not related to watering practices. Too little water can cause fatigue which will make your plant look droopy, while too much water (or root rot) can also cause ill health. Generally, when a plant wilts, it is trying to communicate that it’s unwell.
While a drooping Philodendron Thai Sunrise is distressing, it’s not usually terribly serious and most likely due to dehydration. This can be solved with a dose of water and sunlight and, of course, more consistent care going forward. In no time, your plant should be back to its old self.
Conversely, if this doesn’t do the trick, your philodendron leaves curling may indicate an underlying issue like root rot, which, ironically, is caused by overwatering. If you suspect this is the case, you may be best off transplanting your Philodendron Thai Sunrise into fresh soil and readjusting your watering schedule.
A third cause of drooping is related to light. If a Philodendron Thai Sunrise isn’t receiving enough sun, it will tell you by dropping its leaves and wilting. Remember, six to eight hours a day is critical, and if you can’t provide this, mitigate potential drooping with supplementary grow lights.
Why are there brown spots on my Philodendron Thai Sunrise?
Like yellowing and drooping, brown spots on a Philodendron Thai Sunrise are a sign of a health ailment. Browning, in particular, is mainly caused by pest infestations or bacterial and fungal infections. The best way to get rid of brown spots is to identify the cause and then treat your plant accordingly.
None of us want to see our Philodendron Thai Sunrise suffer, and brown spots usually aren’t a very good sign. If you notice your philodendron leaves turning brown, the first thing you want to do is identify the cause, whether it be pests or soil-related.
In the case of creepy crawlies, you can treat your Philodendron Thai Sunrise by washing it down with a horticultural soap, followed by a wipe with neem oil. Remove damaged growth, and give your plant lots of love, water, and light.
On the other hand, bacterial and fungal infections are best treated by getting rid of old soil. I highly recommend transplanting your Philodendron Thai Sunrise (preferably in spring or summer), and cutting away any visible root and leaf damage, provided it’s not more than 30% of your plant’s total volume.
Brown spots on philodendrons can also be caused by sunburn, but in this case, they’ll look more like a sheen than a spot, per se. Sunburn can be prevented by keeping your Philodendron Thai Sunrise out of direct light.
Why are my Philodendron Thai Sunrise’s leaves falling off?
When a Philodendron Thai Sunrise’s leaves start to drop, it is more often than not a sign of either overwatering or underwatering. Root rot, a consequence of too much water, can cause leaves to wilt, curl, and fall. Underwatering, conversely, sees them dry and turn crisp before dropping.
Thai Sunrises are great communicators and will tell you when there is something in their environment they don’t enjoy. As hardy plants, they don’t have many health issues, so any sudden onset of leaf drop is a cause for immediate concern.
As mentioned, this is usually related to watering practices, with the first sign of an issue being wilting, curling, or dried leaves. You should adapt your hydration timeframes accordingly.
If watering is not the problem, it may be that your Thai Sunrise is scorching (you’ll note its leaves start turning pink), in which case you should move it to a shadier spot as soon as possible.