Botanical name: Philodendron selloum 'Sun Red'
Common name: Philodendron Sun Red
Philodendron selloum 'Sun Red' is an upright, clumping plant whose large, oval, leathery leaves start off bright red, then burgundy or red-purple and eventually green when mature.
Philodendron Sun Red is a non-climbing upright bush which looks magnificent in a pot. It is a spectacular addition to any house plant collection.
Philodendron Sun Red can grow to a height of 8-10 ft but when grown indoors it rarely exceeds 4-5 ft high by the same width.
Philodendron Sun Red is native to the tropical rainforests of South America.
Should you wish to add Philodendron Sun Red to your collection, it is readily available online at Etsy. Buy Philodendron Sun Red online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Coca Flora
Philodendron Sun Red thrives in bright indirect light, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Philodendron selloum 'Sun Red' requires regular pruning to keep the plant neat, to encourage a compact, bushy growth and to rejuvenate growth. Repotting for young plant is needed when it becomes pot-bound and the soil should be replenished annually for the large plants. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Philodendron Sun Red grows best in medium to bright indirect light away from direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where natural light is inadequate.
Keep the Philodendron Sun Red away from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves. Inadequate light will result in leggy growth, small-sized pale leaves and loss of leaf coloration.
For even growth, turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides.
Water Philodendron Sun Red liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Reduce the amount and frequency of watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Use water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.
To avoid soggy soil, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole. Soggy soil can lead to root-rot disease and eventual loss of the plant.
Philodendron Sun Red thrives in average warmth within the range of 18-260C. Temperatures outside this range may harm the plant.
Keep the plant away from cold and hot draughts to prevent extreme temperatures. Too high temperatures may cause yellowing and leaf drop while too low temperatures can result in reduced growth or even death of the plant.
Philodendron Sun Red needs a humid environment to thrive. Low humidity for prolonged periods can result in curled leaves and brown leaf tips and edges.
Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity.
Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and to discourage pest infestation.
Feed Philodendron Sun Red every 4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.
Do not feed during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.
Repot the young Philodendron Sun Red at the beginning of the growing season when the plant becomes pot-bound. Use a pot that is 2 sizes larger and loose, free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.
Replenish the top 2-3 in. of soil of large plants at the beginning of the growing season or as necessary. Take care not to injure the roots to avoid fungal infestations.
The large plants can also be divided at repotting to propagate new plants if you need to increase your collection or share with friends and family.
Pruning Philodendron Sun Red involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.
Cut back the stems of a straggly plant to the soil level at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.
Philodendron Sun Red propagation can be done during the growing season by plant divison.
Water the Philodendron Sun Red thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.
Carefully divide a large Philodendron Sun Red into sections while ensuring each section has enough roots.
Pot these sections into individual pots in moist, loose, free-draining soil.
Place the set up in a warm, brightly-lit place and maintain the soil moist until the new Philodendron Sun Red is well established after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: Springvale Garden Centre
Philodendron Sun Red problems indoors are loss of leaf color, yellow leaves, dropping leaves, brown leaf tips and edges, rotting, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Too little light is the cause of loss of leaf color in Philodendron Sun Red. The plant requires medium to bright, indirect light to develop the beautiful leaf color. If light is inadequate the leaves turn all-green.
Move the Philodendron Sun Red to a brighter spot where it will receive medium to bright indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is inadequate.
If many leaves are affected and there are signs of wilting and rotting, overwatering is the cause of yellow leaves in Philodendron Sun Red.
Take care not to overwater. Water the Philodendron Sun Red liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Reduce the amount and frequency of watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist.
To avoid soggy soil, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining (drains easily).
If there is no wilting and rotting, underfeeding is the cause of yellow leaves in Philodendron Sun Red.
Feed the plant every 4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer but do not feed 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 yellow leaves.
To fix the problem, water the Philodendron Sun Red liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.
Reduce watering during the cold season but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
If leaves are pale colored and have straw-colored patches the cause of yellow leaves is exposure to direct sunlight. Protect or keep the Philodendron Sun Red away from direct sunlight as it cannot withstand direct sunlight.
As the plant ages, the lower leaves in Philodendron Sun Red will drop but if there is an abnormal leaf drop, the cause is sudden change of the growing conditions.
Avoid moving the Philodendron Sun Red suddenly to a new growing position before acclimating it. Move the plant gradually to a little brighter conditions over a period of time.
If the leaves turn brown and dry before they drop, then too high temperature is the cause of leaf drop.
Philodendron Sun Red grows best in average warmth within the range of 18-260C. Protect it from hot draughts like hot air vents, heat source and others.
There are two possible causes of brown leaf tips and edges in Philodendron Sun Red. One possible cause of brown leaf tips and edges is dry air (low air humidity).
To fix this problem, 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 Philodendron Sun Red is that the plant is pot-bound.
Repot the Philodendron Sun Red into a pot 2 sizes larger. 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.
Too little light is the cause of leggy growth and small pale leaves as Philodendron Sun Red will not thrive in shade.
Move the Philodendron Sun Red to a more brighter spot where it will receive medium to bright indirect light or instal a grow light where natural light is inadequate.
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.
As indicated by National Capital Poison Center, Philodendron selloum 'Sun Red' like other Philodendrons is toxic to both humans and pets. The plants contain Calcium oxalate crystals.
If ingested, it can cause burning and swelling in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Therefore, keep the Philodendron Sun Red away from the reach of children and pets.