Philodendron erubescens (commonly known as the blushing Philodendron) is this super cool tropical plant that can jazz up your indoor or outdoor spaces. Its awesome deep red leaves and ability to clean up the air make it a top pick among plant lovers globally. WWhether you’re completely new to gardening or already an expert plant enthusiast, a philodendron erubescens could be just the thing to make your home look fab and freshen up your air. Get ready to discover all of the Philodendron erubescens care tips you need for growing healthier plants today!
What is Philodendron Erubescens?
Philodendron erubescens, AKA the blushing philodendron or red-leaf philodendron, is this evergreen plant that comes from the tropics and is part of the Araceae family. It’s originally from the rainforests of Central and South America, in countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. It’s a favorite as a houseplant because it looks striking and doesn’t ask for too much attention.
Philodendron erubescens is known for its big, heart-shaped leaves that can grow up to 12 inches long and 10 inches wide. The leaves are this glossy, dark green color with a big hint of red or burgundy on the undersides and stems, which is why we call it “blushing”. As the plant gets older, the leaves can start to grow into a longer shape with noticeable lobes.
In their native habitat, Philodendron erubescens plants climb trees or other structures using their aerial roots. These roots don’t just hold the plant in place, but also help it soak up nutrients and water from their surroundings. When you have one at home, you can train the plant to climb up something like a moss pole or trellis.
To be at its best, Philodendron erubescens needs a potting mix that drains well, bright indirect light, and steady humidity. It likes temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C). The plant can handle a little bit of lower light, but if it doesn’t get enough, it might start to get leggy. Try to avoid too much water and chilly drafts to stop root rot and other problems from happening.
Philodendron erubescens isn’t just pretty to look at, it’s also known for cleaning up the air. Like a lot of other plants in the Philodendron group, it can help get rid of nasty airborne toxins like formaldehyde and benzene, which makes your indoor environment healthier. However, remember that this plant is toxic to pets and people if eaten, so keep it somewhere out of reach of kids and animals
Philodendron Erubescens care overview
|Botanical Name||Philodendron erubescens|
|Common Name||Blushing philodendron, red-leaf philodendron, imperial red philodendron|
|Mature Size||2-60 ft. long, 16 in. wide|
|Soil Type||Well-drained, loamy|
|Soil pH||Neutral, acidic|
|Native Area||Central America, South America|
|Temperature||65 to 75°F|
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Fertilizer||Fertilize 1 times per month|
|Propagation||Root in water or soil|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and toxic to pets when ingested|
Caring for an Philodendron Erubescens
Taking care of Philodendron Erubescens is pretty simple, so they’re great for those who are new to the world of indoor plants. Here’s the lowdown on how to keep your Philodendron Erubescens happy and healthy.
Philodendron Erubescens is a favorite indoor plant and its light needs are pretty easy to manage. It needs medium to bright indirect light – that means light that’s not hitting the plant straight on but comes from a nearby window or another source. Direct sunlight is a no-no since it can harm the leaves of this tropical guy. For the best growth, aim for a steady source of bright indirect light for your Philodendron Erubescens. Also, this plant can handle low light but won’t really thrive in it, so try to keep it out of super dark corners.
or the best outcome when planting Philodendron Erubescens, go for a soil mix that’s loamy, packed with nutrients, and quick-draining. Make sure the pH of the soil is neutral to acidic for top growth. If your potting mix is heavy and stays wet for too long, think about adding some sand for better drainage. Stuff like peat moss and perlite can also boost the soil’s structure and ability to drain.
Also, adding a slow-release fertilizer when planting will make sure your Philodendron Erubescens has enough food for healthy growth. When you need to water, make sure to water thoroughly, but don’t overdo it as it can cause root rot. Let the soil dry out before watering again.
Watering is a big part of looking after a Philodendron erubescens to keep it healthy and thriving. These plants like consistent moisture but are sensitive to overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other problems. To keep the right watering balance, stick to these guidelines:
- Soil moisture: Make sure the plant is in a potting mix that drains well, as it prefers soil that holds onto some moisture without becoming soggy. A mix containing peat moss, perlite, and/or orchid bark can offer an ideal balance.
- Watering frequency: Water your Philodendron erubescens when the top inch or two (2.5-5 cm) of soil feels dry to the touch. Depending on the temperature, humidity, and light conditions, this might be every week or so. It’s key to avoid letting the plant sit in wet soil, as this can lead to root rot.
- Watering method: When watering, soak the soil until water drains out of the bottom of the pot. Empty any extra water from the saucer to stop the plant from sitting in standing water.
- Water quality: Use lukewarm, filtered, or distilled water, as tap water can have minerals and chemicals that may harm the plant over time. If you have to use tap water, let it sit out for a day to allow any chlorine to go away before watering.
- Seasonal changes: In warmer months, your Philodendron erubescens might need watering more often due to more evaporation. On the other hand, in cooler months, the plant’s growth may slow down, and it will need less water. Change your watering schedule accordingly.
- Humidity: Philodendron erubescens loves high humidity levels, just like in its natural rainforest home. To keep the right humidity, you can put the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles, use a humidifier, or mist the leaves regularly. Aim for humidity levels between 60% and 80% for top growth.
Keep in mind that the exact watering needs of your Philodendron erubescens might change depending on things like pot size, location, and the environment. Always keep an eye on the plant’s condition and adjust your watering habits as needed.
Philodendron Erubescens is a fan of mellow climates and doesn’t take well to sudden temperature changes. It does best in temperatures of 15-18°C, but definitely no hotter than 35°C. Big swings in temperature can mess with the leaves, so keep an eye on that thermostat! Avoid letting it get colder than 4°C, because that can seriously harm your Erubescens. Getting the temperature right is a biggie for keeping a healthy Philodendron, so try to keep the temperature steady and within its happy zone.
For a Philodendron Erubescens, humidity is a big deal for its health and growth. Humidity levels should be kept at 50%, but this can be a bit tricky in dry places. To get the best idea of your plant’s surroundings, a hygrometer can be super handy. This gadget can measure the relative humidity of your space and let you know the humidity levels your Philodendron Erubescens needs to really shine.
To back up the growth and overall health of your Philodendron erubescens, it’s key to give the plant the nutrients it needs. Feeding your plant will help keep its leaves looking bright and encourage new growth. Here are some tips for feeding your Philodendron erubescens:
- Type of fertilizer: Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a mix like 20-20-20 or 10-10-10, which gives equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients support healthy leaves, root development, and overall plant growth.
- Frequency: Fertilize your Philodendron erubescens every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). You can slow down to once every 8-10 weeks during the fall and winter months when the plant’s growth slows down.
- Application method: Water down the plant food according to the package instructions, usually at half or quarter strength, to avoid feeding too much and harming the plant’s roots. Add the watered down plant food to the soil around the base of the plant when you water, making sure the nutrients spread evenly.
- Slow-release fertilizers: As another option, you can use a slow-release granular plant food made for indoor plants. These plant foods release nutrients over a long time, usually 3-6 months. Sprinkle the granules on the soil surface and follow the package instructions for the right amount.
- Organic options: If you prefer an organic approach, you can use compost, worm castings, or fish emulsion to give nutrients to your Philodendron erubescens. Add these according to the maker’s instructions.
- Monitoring plant health: Watch your Philodendron erubescens to make sure it’s getting the right nutrition. Yellowing leaves, slow growth, or not many new leaves can signal a lack of nutrients. Change your feeding habits as needed to keep your plant healthy and full of life.
Remember to always stick to the package instructions for any plant food you use and don’t over-feed, as this can cause nutrient burn, harm the roots, and other problems.
Repotting your Philodendron erubescens will help it grow, give it fresh soil with extra food, and stop its roots from getting tangled. Here’s a step-by-step guide to repotting Philodendron erubescens:
- Choose the right time: Spring or early summer is the best time to repot a Philodendron erubescens because that’s when the plant is growing actively. This helps the plant get used to its new home and bounce back faster from the stress of repotting.
- Select a new pot: Pick a pot that’s 1-2 inches (2.5–5 cm) bigger in diameter than the old one. To stop waterlogging and root rot, make sure the new pot has holes for drainage.
- Prepare the potting mix: Create a potting mix that drains well and can hold some moisture without getting waterlogged. Use a mix of orchid bark or old bark, perlite or pumice, and peat moss or coco coir. For Philodendron erubescens, a 2:1:1 mix of peat moss or coco coir, perlite or pumice, and orchid bark or aged bark works well.
- Remove the plant: Carefully lift the Philodendron erubescens out of its pot. Using a blunt tool, like a trowel or butter knife, you can gently loosen the soil around the edges of the pot. Then, you can gently lift out the plant.
- Inspect the roots: Look for any signs of root rot, bugs, or other issues. With clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors, cut off any bad or sick roots.
- Add potting mix: Fill the bottom of the new pot with a fresh layer of potting soil so when you add the plant, the top of the root ball will be about an inch below the rim.
- Repot the plant: Put the Philodendron erubescens in the center of the new pot and gently spread out the roots. Fill the space around the root ball with the potting mix, making sure there are no air pockets.
- Water thoroughly: Once the plant is securely in its new pot, water it thoroughly until water drains out from the bottom. This will help settle the potting mix around the roots.
- Provide proper care: Put the newly repotted Philodendron erubescens in a place with bright, indirect light and keep up its regular watering and feeding schedule. Watch the plant for any signs of stress or recovery issues in the weeks after repotting.
Repot your Philodendron erubescens every 2-3 years, or when you see signs that the plant has outgrown its current pot, like roots growing out of the drainage holes or the plant becoming top-heavy.
Pruning your Philodendron erubescens is important for maintaining its shape, encouraging bushier growth, and removing any unhealthy or damaged foliage. Here are some tips to help you prune your Philodendron erubescens effectively:
- Choose the right time: The best time to trim your Philodendron erubescens is during the active growing season, usually in spring or early summer. Trimming during this time encourages new growth and lets the plant recover faster.
- Use clean, sharp tools: Before you begin, clean your pruning shears or scissors with rubbing alcohol or a similar disinfectant to reduce the risk of spreading diseases or pests between plants.
- Identify areas to prune: Look over your Philodendron erubescens and figure out which parts need trimming. Look for damaged, yellowing, or diseased leaves, as well as any super long or leggy stems that could do with trimming.
- Prune damaged or unhealthy leaves: Cut off any damaged, yellowing, or diseased leaves at their base or where they connect to the stem. Make clean, angled cuts to minimize damage to the plant.
- Trim leggy stems: To encourage bushier growth and maintain the desired shape, cut back long or leggy stems. Make your cuts just above a leaf node or aerial root. New growth will usually pop up from the node below the cut, resulting in a fuller look.
- Control size: If your Philodendron erubescens is growing too large for your space, you can trim back the plant to a more manageable size. Be careful not to remove more than one-third of the plant’s total foliage at once, as this can stress the plant and slow down its recovery.
- Dispose of trimmings: Discard the removed leaves and stems in the trash or compost, making sure not to leave them on the soil surface, as this can attract pests and diseases.
- Monitor the plant: Keep an eye on your Philodendron erubescens after pruning, making sure it has proper care with enough water, light, and nutrients. It’s normal for the plant to take some time to recover from pruning, but with proper care, it should bounce back and produce new growth.
Trimming your Philodendron erubescens when needed will help keep it overall healthy, looking good, and vigorous, and will encourage bushier, more attractive growth.
Blushing Philodendron Propagation
Growing a new Philodendron erubescens (blushing Philodendron) from stem cuttings is pretty straightforward. Follow these steps to multiply your Philodendron erubescens:
- Select a healthy stem: Choose a healthy stem on the parent plant that has a few leaf nodes and at least two or three leaves. Make sure the stem doesn’t have any bugs or signs of sickness.
- Take a stem cutting: Cut the chosen stem right below a leaf node (where the leaf attaches to the stem) using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. The cutting should be between 4-6 inches (10–15 cm) long.
- Remove lower leaves: Carefully pull off the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving only the top two or three. This helps the cutting focus on root growth and cuts down on moisture loss.
- Rooting in water: For rooting in water, pop the stem cutting into a jar or glass filled with water, so the cut end is underwater and the remaining leaves are above the waterline. Keep the container at a steady room temperature and in a spot with bright, indirect light. Change the water every few days to stop bacteria from growing.
- Monitor root development: In a few weeks, you should see new roots starting to grow from the submerged leaf nodes. Once the roots are about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) long, the cutting is ready to be planted in soil.
- Plant in soil: Fill a small pot with a well-draining potting mix, like a mix of peat moss or coco coir, perlite, and orchid bark. Make a hole in the middle of the potting mix and gently place the rooted cutting into the hole, making sure the roots are covered with soil. Press the potting mix around the base of the cutting to keep it steady.
- Water and care: Water the newly potted cutting thoroughly and place it in a spot with bright, indirect light. Keep up the same care routine as you would for a full-grown Philodendron erubescens, including regular watering and the right humidity levels.
- Monitor growth: Keep an eye on your new Philodendron erubescens and look for new leaf growth, which is a sign that the cutting has successfully rooted.
By following these steps, you can make new Philodendron erubescens plants to share with friends or expand your own collection.
Blushing Philodendron Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Blushing Philodendron is a popular houseplant because it’s easy to care for and can handle different conditions. Even though it’s an easy-care plant, it can still get pests and diseases that can harm the leaves or spread to other plants. Common problems include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, and thrips. Fungal diseases like powdery mildew and root rot can also be a problem if the plant sits in wet soil for too long.
Make sure the plant gets enough sunlight, check that the soil drains well so it doesn’t stay too wet for too long, and keep an eye out for any new growth or changes in the leaves to prevent pests and sickness. Most pests and diseases can be easily treated if spotted in time. To stop spreading bugs to other plants in your house, always wash your hands after handling a plant.
Philodendron Erubescens Care Common Problems
While Philodendron erubescens is pretty easy to care for, it can sometimes have a few common problems. Here are some issues you might run into and their possible fixes:
- Yellowing leaves: This can be caused by overwatering, underwatering, or a lack of nutrients. Check the soil moisture and change your watering schedule as needed. If you think it’s a lack of nutrients, add a balanced liquid plant food according to the package instructions.
- Drooping leaves: This could be a sign of underwatering or a sudden change in temperature. Make sure the plant gets enough water and isn’t exposed to cold drafts or big swings in temperature.
- Brown leaf tips or edges: This is often due to low humidity or over-feeding. Increase humidity around the plant using a pebble tray, humidifier, or by misting the leaves. If over-feeding is the problem, cut down the frequency and strength of your plant food applications.
- Leggy growth: Not enough light can cause your Philodendron erubescens to become leggy and stretched. Move the plant to a spot with brighter, indirect light to encourage more compact and healthy growth.
- Root rot: Overwatering, poor drainage, or a too-dense potting mix can cause root rot. If you think root rot is the problem, take out the plant from its pot, cut off any affected roots, and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. Change your watering habits to prevent it happening again.
- Curling leaves: This can be a sign of underwatering, low humidity, or a bug problem. Check the soil moisture, increase humidity levels if needed, and check the plant for bugs.
To keep your Philodendron erubescens healthy, give it the right care, including enough light, consistent moisture, and the right plant food. Keep a close eye on the plant for any signs of problems and deal with them right away to ensure a happy and thriving plant. For more information on Philodendron care, check out our complete guide on Famiplants.