How to Grow and Care for Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) Indoors

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Blushing Philodendron, Philodendron erubescens

Botanical name: Philodendron erubescens
Family: Araceae
Common names: Blushing Philodendron, Red-leaf Philodendron

Description

Philodendron erubescens commonly called Blushing Philodendron or Red-leaf Philodendron is a vigorously-growing, evergreen climber with red stems and glossy, large, heart-shaped leaves.

The heart-shaped leaves appear reddish and eventually turn green as they mature. The leaves measure about 16 inch long.

Blushing Philodendron is ideal for a hanging basket or can be grown as a climber on a trellis or moss stick. Firm support for the stems needs to be provided for the climber.

To encourage branching, pinch the growing tips to prevent Red-leaf Philodendron from growing with long, single stems. Always pinch after a leaf node and a new stem will grow from the node.

The Red-leaf Philodendron produces aerial roots from the stems and these roots have an important part to play. Push them into the soil to provide moisture for upper leaves.

Size

Red-leaf Philodendron can grow to a height of 10-20 ft in its native habitat but it only grows to about 3 ft when grown indoors.

Flowers

The flowers in Blushing Philodendron are deep-red, fragrant spathes about 6 in. long appearing in summer through fall. However, flowers rarely appear under room conditions.

Origin

Blushing Philodendron is native to Columbia where it grows as an epiphyte on trees, climbing by means of the aerial roots to the tree canopies in search of light.

Varieties

Several cultivars of Philodendron erubescens have been developed. These cultivars are self-heading and not climbing. They include;

*Black Cardinal
*Birkin
*Imperial Green/Red
*Burgundy
*Pink Princess
*Prince of Orange
*Moonlight
*McColley's Finale
*White Princess among others.

Where to Buy

These cultivars are available online at Etsy. Purchase Blushing Philodendron from Etsy.

Blushing Philodendron, Philodendron erubescens

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) Care Indoors

The best growing conditions for Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) are bright indirect light, warm and humid and moderately moist well-drained soils. Continue reading for a detailed account on these conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Blushing Philodendron grows best in bright indirect light away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light is inadequate.

Keep Red-leaf Philodendron away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight may cause scorching of the leaves. Inadequate light will result in leggy growth and small-sized pale leaves

Turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Blushing Philodendron

Water Blushing Philodendron thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Water the plant with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking the plant as it can cause reduced growth. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.


Temperature

Blushing Philodendron prefers average warmth within the range of 15-270C. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Blushing Philodendron requires a humid environment inorder to thrive. However the plant can withstand dry air for short periods but low humidity for prolonged periods will result in brown leaf tips and edges.

Keep the air moist through out the growing period by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping to get rid of dust and to discourage pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Blushing Philodendron every 3-4weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot young Blushing Philodendron at the beginning of the growing period. Use a pot that is 1 size larger and loose, free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.

Large Red-leaf Philodendron may be impossible to repot due to their enormous size. Therefore, replenish the top 2-3 in. of soil at the beginning of the growing season or as necessary. Take care not to injure the roots to avoid fungal infestations.

Pruning

Pruning Blushing Philodendron involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

To encourage a bushy and compact growth for Red-leaf Philodendron, pinch off the growing tips at a node as new growth emerges from a node. The tips can be used to propagate new plants.

Cut back the leggy stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Blushing Philodendron propagation can be done during the growing season from stem cuttings or by plant division. The stem cuttings can be rooted in soil or in water.

How to propagate Blushing Philodendron from stem cuttings in soil

Take a stem cutting of about 4-5 in. long from a healthy Blushing Philodendron by cutting the stem below a leaf node. Strip off the lower leaves.

Insert the cutting in moist, well-drained soil while ensuring at least on leaf node is below the soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until new growth has emerged.

Allow the new Red-leaf Philodendron to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Blushing Philodendron from stem cuttings in water

Take a stem cutting of about 4-5 in. long from a healthy Blushing Philodendron by cutting the stem below a leaf node. Strip off the lower leaves.

Place the cutting in a jar of clean water while ensuring at least on leaf node is below the water surface.

Place the set up in a well-lit place and change the water every 5-7 days until roots have developed.

Transfer the new Blushing Philodendron into individual pots in moist, free-draining soil when the roots are about 4 in. long.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth has emerged on the new Red-leaf Philodendron cuttings.

Allow the new Blushing Philodendron to be well established before transfering the pots to their permanent position after which you can begin routine.

How to propagate Blushing Philodendron by plant division

During repotting, divide large Red-leaf Philodendron into several sections. Ensure each section has adequate healthy roots.

Plant the sections in individual pots in moist, free-draining soil and place in a well-lit shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist until the new plant is well established and begin routine care.

Blushing Philodendron, Philodendron erubescens

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) Problems Indoors

Yellow leaves

Overwatering Blushing Philodendron is the reason for yellow leaves if many leaves are affected and there are signs of wilting and rotting.

Water the Red-leaf Philodendron thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

If there is no wilting and rotting, underfeeding is the cause of yellow leaves.

Feed the Blushing Philodendron every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer and withhold feeding during the cold season to avoid fertilizer burn.

If only lower leaves are affected and have dark spots and new leaves are dark and small, then underwatering is the cause of the yellow leaves.

The solution is to water the Red-leaf Philodendron thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

If leaves are pale colored and have straw-colored patches the cause of yellow leaves in Blushing Philodendron is too much direct sunlight. Protect the plant or keep it away from direct sunlight.

Dropping leaves

The lower leaves in Blushing Philodendron will drop as they age but if there is an abnormal leaf drop, the reason is sudden change of the growing conditions.

Avoid moving the Red-leaf Philodendron to a new position before acclimatizing it gradually to prevent leaf drop.

If the leaves turn brown and dry before they drop, then too high temperature is the cause of leaf drop in Blushing Philodendron.

Blushing Philodendron prefers average warmth with a minimum of 150C. Protect it from hot draughts; keep the plant away from hot air vents or near any heat source.

Brown leaf tips and edges

There are two possible causes of brown leaf tips and edges in Blushing Philodendron. One possible cause of brown leaf tips and edges is dry air.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for the plant.

The second possible cause of brown leaf tips and edges in Blushing Philodendron is that the plant is pot-bound.

Repot the Red-leaf Philodendron into a pot 1 size larger. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.

Leggy growth and small pale leaves

Too little light is the cause of leggy growth and small pale leaves. Blushing Philodendron will not thrive in shade.

Move the Red-leaf Philodendron to a more brighter spot where it will receive bright indirect light or instal a grow light where natural light is inadequate.

Rotting stems

The reason for rotting stems in Blushing Philodendron is the fungal stem-rot disease which is promoted by high moisture and too little warmth.

To save the plant repot it in fresh dry soil and keep the soil dry and warm for a period of time before watering.

Diseases

Apart from stem-rot disease, Blushing Philodendron is also prone to Leaf Spot Disease which is promoted by overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the rest of the houseplants and spray it with a fungicidal solution. Ensure to cover the entire plant; the leaves and the stems.

To prevent future infestation, avoid wetting the foliage and water from the bottom instead. Also ensure that there is good air circulation for the plant.

Pests

The common pests in Blushing Philodendron are Aphids, Scales, Whiteflies and Mealybugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.

Is Blushing Philodendron toxic?

According to National Capital Poison Center, Philodendrons, which includes Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) are toxic to both humans and pets. The plant contains Calcium oxalate crystals.

If ingested, these crystals can cause burning and swelling in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Therefore, keep your Red-leaf Philodendron away from the reach of children and pets.

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