Philodendron erubescens, also known as the Red-Leaf Philodendron, is a stunning tropical plant with deep burgundy leaves and reddish petioles. This climbing philodendron is perfect for adding a touch of color and drama to your indoor plant collection.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about caring for your Philodendron erubescens, so it thrives in your home.
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About Philodendron erubescens
Philodendron erubescens is a tropical climbing plant native to Central and South America. Its striking, deep burgundy leaves and reddish petioles make it a popular choice among houseplant enthusiasts. It is an easy-to-grow plant that can reach up to 10 feet in length when grown indoors. With proper care, it will reward you with vigorous growth and stunning foliage.
|Common Name||Red-Leaf Philodendron|
|Botanical Name||Philodendron erubescens|
|Light||Bright, Indirect Light|
|Bloom season||Spring, Summer|
|Water needs||Low, Moderate|
Philodendron erubescens Care
Philodendron erubescens prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sun can cause the leaves to get scorched, while too little can lead to leggy growth and dull-colored foliage.
Choose a well-draining soil mix for your Philodendron erubescens, such as a mix of equal parts peat moss, perlite, and potting soil. This will ensure proper drainage and aeration, preventing root rot.
Water your Philodendron erubescens when the top 2 inches of soil gets dry. During the growing season, you may need to water more frequently, while in the winter months, you can cut back on watering.
Philodendron erubescens thrives in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). Keep the Philodendron away from cold drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations, as this can cause stress and leaf drop.
This plant loves high humidity levels, ideally between 60-80%. To maintain humidity, you can also try to mist the leaves regularly, place the plant on a humidity tray, or use a humidifier. Additionally, you can group it with other humidity-loving plants to create a microclimate.
Fertilize your Philodendron erubescens with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce fertilization to every 8-10 weeks in the fall and winter.
Regular pruning can help maintain a compact shape and encourage bushier growth. Prune your Philodendron erubescens by cutting back any leggy or overgrown stems just above a leaf node using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
Potting and Repotting Philodendron erubescens
Philodendron erubescens has a fast growth rate and may require repotting every 1-2 years to accommodate its expanding root system. The ideal time to repot is during the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing.
How to Repot (Step-by-Step)
- Water your Philodendron erubescens thoroughly the day before repotting. This will help to minimize root damage and stress during the repotting process.
- Carefully remove the plant from its current pot. You may need to loosen the soil around the edges with a trowel or your fingers to ease the plant out.
- Inspect the root system for any signs of rot, damage, or pests. If necessary, trim away any unhealthy roots with clean, sterilized pruning shears.
- Place a layer of fresh potting mix at the bottom of the new pot, and position the plant in the center. The top of the root ball should sit about 1 inch below the pot’s rim.
- Fill in the area around the root ball with the remaining potting mix. Gently tamp down the soil to eliminate air pockets and ensure the plant is well-anchored.
- Water the newly repotted Philodendron erubescens thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out of the pot. This helps to settle the soil and establish good contact between the roots and the new potting mix.
- Place the repotted plant in a location with bright, indirect light and resume its regular care routine.
Regularly monitor your Philodendron erubescens after repotting, and adjust watering and care as needed to help the plant acclimate to its new environment.
Propagating Philodendron erubescens (Step-by-Step)
- Choose a healthy stem with at least 2-3 leaves and cut it just below a leaf node using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
- Remove the bottom leaf, leaving at least one or two leaves on the cutting.
- Place the cutting in a jar of water, making sure the leaf node is submerged but the leaves are not touching the water.
- Place the jar in a warm, bright location with indirect light.
- After 2-4 weeks, roots should begin to form at the leaf node.
- Once the roots are at least 2 inches long, you can replant the cutting into a pot filled with well-draining soil.
- Water the newly potted cutting thoroughly and place it in a bright location with indirect light.
- Maintain proper care, and the cutting should continue to grow and thrive.
This plant rarely blooms, and it’s mainly known for its impressive foliage.
Philodendron erubescens contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can be toxic if ingested. Keep this Philodendron out of reach of children and pets.
NOTE: This page is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. The toxicity of an ingested substance varies depending on the amount ingested, the animal’s weight, and its sensitivity to specific allergens. Contact your veterinarian or local animal poison control center immediately if you think your pet may have ingested a toxic substance.
Philodendron erubescens can be susceptible to common houseplant pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Inspect your plant regularly and treat any infestations with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a pesticide specifically designed for houseplants.
- Placing under harsh sunlight
- Using poorly drained potting mediums
- Fertilizing during dormancy