The Philodendron black cardinal is a unique plant that will surely add excitement to your home or office. This plant is easy to care for, but there are a few things you need to know to keep it healthy and looking its best.
In this blog post, we will discuss the proper way to care for a Philodendron black cardinal, so you can enjoy its beauty for years to come!
Overview of Philodendron black cardinal
Philodendron black cardinal is a species of Philodendron that is known for its deep black and brownish-green leaves. This plant is native to Brazil and can grow up to 36 inches tall as a household plant.
The Philodendron black cardinal is a low-maintenance plant, which makes it ideal for those who do not have much time to care for their plants. This plant does best in indirect sunlight and should be watered about once a week. When watering, be sure to not over-water, as this can cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off.
Other names for this plant include Philodendron melanoconium, one of the Blushing Philodendrons.
Quick Summary Guide:
-Sunlight: Philodendron black cardinal does best in indirect sunlight
-Soil: This plant prefers well-draining soil
-Water: Water about once a week, being sure not to over-water
-Fertilizer: Feed Philodendron black cardinal monthly with a balanced fertilizer
-Toxicity: Yes, Philodendron black cardinal is toxic to both humans and animals if ingested
Philodendron black cardinal is a species of Philodendron that is known for its deep black leaves. The leaves are glossy and can grow up to 12 inches long.
Before maturing, the oval-shaped leaves unfurl as a deep reddish before transforming into their signature black and brownish-green colors.
It is an epiphyte that grows on other plants but is not a parasite. Originally from Brazil, the black cardinal grew on the jungle floor in shaded areas.
The Philodendron black cardinal is a slow-growing plant, so it will take some time to reach its full size.
Species: Philodendron melanoconium
Caring for Philodendron black cardinal
Now that you know a little about the plantlet’s discuss how to care for this plant. As we mentioned earlier, Philodendron black cardinal is a low-maintenance plant, so it does not require much attention.
However, it would be best if you kept a few things in mind to keep your Philodendron black cardinal healthy and happy.
Philodendrons do best in indirect sunlight. This means it should be placed in a spot where it will receive some light but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and cause them to turn yellow or brown.
You might start to notice tiny little brown patches on the leaves if in direct sunlight. If you are having trouble finding a spot for your Philodendron black cardinal that receives indirect sunlight, you can try placing it near a window with a sheer curtain. A kitchen or bathroom window would also be ideal for the warm, loving plants.
These plants are often grown in nurseries with grow lights, so they will be fine if you cannot provide indirect sunlight. If you choose to grow your plant under grow lights, we recommend placing the light about 12-16 inches away from the plant. This will ensure that the leaves do not get scorched by the light.
How can you tell if your plant is getting enough light?
The leaves of the Black cardinal will tell you if it is getting enough light. If the leaves are deep black-green, your plant receives the ideal amount of light. If the leaves turn yellow or brown, your plant is not getting enough light.
Conversely, if the leaves start turning red, your plant is receiving too much light.
You can test the amount of light hitting it with a light meter or by using the back of your hand. It is not getting enough light if you cannot feel any warmth.
When it comes to watering the Black cardinal, less is more. This plant should be watered about once a week or when the soil feels dry to the touch.
You can use the knuckle test or chopstick method to check the soil’s moisture level. The knuckle test is when you stick your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If the ground feels dry, it’s time to water your plant.
The chopstick method is when you insert a chopstick or skewer into the soil. If the chopstick comes out dry, it’s time to water.
If you notice that the leaves of your plant are drooping, this is a sign that it is thirsty and needs to be watered immediately.
When you do water Philodendron, be sure to use room-temperature water. Cold water can shock the roots and cause damage to the plant.
When it comes to water quality, it is not picky. This plant can tolerate tap water, but if you have hard water, you may want to consider using distilled or filtered water.
The Philodendron black cardinal is also sensitive to fluoride, so if your tap water is high in fluoride, you will need to use bottled or distilled water.
Unlike plants in the wild that absorb nutrients from the soil, Philodendrons need to be fertilized to thrive. This plant should be fertilized about once a month using a balanced fertilizer. We recommend using a water-soluble fertilizer that is diluted to half strength.
You can also use slow-release pellets but follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to fertilize.
Best Fertilizer for Philodendron Black Cardinal
Several options are available, including an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, but I prefer Dyna gro (7-9-5 NPK). It contains all the essential nutrients Philodendron black cardinal needs to stay healthy and is easy to use.
It’s also low in nitrogen which is great because too much nitrogen will cause Philodendrons to produce more leaves at the expense of flowers.
To apply Dyna gro, mix it with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and pour it into a watering can. Then, water your plant as usual.
If you want to give your Philodendron a little extra love, you can also add some organic matter to the potting mix. This can be in the form of compost, worm castings, or coco coir.
Plant Soil Requirements
Philodendron black cardinal prefers well-draining soil. This means that the soil should not be too dense or too sandy. If you are unsure if your soil is well-draining, you can check by doing a simple test.
Stick your finger about an inch into the pot. If the soil is dry, it is well-draining. If the soil is wet, it is not well-draining, and you will need to add some more sand or gravel to the mix.
Philodendrons also like slightly acidic soils, so if your soil is alkaline, you may want to consider adding some peat moss to the mix.
My favorite Philodendron soil mixture recipe:
- One part peat moss
- One part coco coir
- One part perlite
This recipe is easy to remember and works great for almost all Philodendron plants. You can substitute the coco coir for sphagnum moss if you prefer.
The peat moss will help the plant retain moisture, and the perlite will improve drainage. Perlite is also great for aerating the soil and preventing compaction.
You can add a little activated charcoal if you want to ensure your Philodendron has access to fresh air. Activated charcoal helps to remove toxins from the soil, and it also prevents mold and mildew growth.
Friendly Tip: this plant likes to be pot-bound, so don’t be too quick to repot it. Philodendrons will do just fine in the same pot for several years.
Philodendrons do not require a lot of pruning. However, if you notice that the leaves are starting to turn yellow or brown, you can trim them off with a pair of sharp scissors.
Location and Temperature Needs
The Philodendron black cardinal is originally from Brazil, so it enjoys warm weather. This plant should be kept in an area between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Black cardinals can also tolerate low light levels, which is perfect for indoor growers.
If you live in an area with a colder climate, you can still grow Philodendron black cardinal as long as you take some precautions. These plants are not frost-tolerant, so if the temperature dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to bring your plant indoors. They can survive in US Zones 11-12.
Philodendrons can also be sensitive to drafts, so keep it away from doors and windows where cold air can come in.
These plants are also not a fan of direct sunlight, so if you live in a sunny climate, place your plant in an area that receives indirect sunlight.
The Philodendron black cardinal is toxic to both humans and animals if ingested. The sap from this plant can irritate the skin, so it is essential to wash your hands after handling the plant. If you have a Black cardinal in your home, keep it out of reach of children and pets.
Humidity, Air Circulation
Philodendron black cardinal prefers humid conditions, so if you live in a dry climate, you may need to mist your plant regularly. Most Philodendrons prefer a humid environment, up around 70-80% humidity. You can group your plants to create a mini-greenhouse or use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
These plants will also benefit from good air circulation. If you notice that the leaves are starting to turn brown, it is likely due to a lack of humidity or poor air circulation.
Fun fact about Philodendrons:
Philodendrons are a type of flowering plant that comes from the family Araceae. Native to tropical regions of South America but can now be found worldwide. They are known for their large, heart-shaped leaves and come in various colors and sizes. Philodendrons are popular houseplants because they are easy to care for and can tolerate low light levels.
Philodendrons can also purify the air by removing harmful toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene from the environment.
There are more than 400 species of Philodendron, and new species are being discovered all the time. Philodendron black cardinal is a relatively new species only recently found in Brazil.
If you’re looking for a unique plant to add to your collection, look no further than the Philodendron black cardinal!
Additional Philodendron Black Cardinal Care Tips
Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when caring for Black cardinal:
- Philodendron black cardinal does best in humid conditions. If the air in your home is dry, you can mist the leaves of your plant with water to raise the humidity level.
- The Black cardinal is a slower-growing Philodendron, so don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t seem to be growing as fast as other Philodendrons.
- The philodendron is not tolerant of direct sunlight. If you live in a sunny climate, place your plant in an area that receives indirect sunlight.
- The Black cardinal is toxic to both humans and animals if ingested. If you have Philodendron black cardinal in your home, keep it out of reach of children and pets.
- Philodendrons are susceptible to root rot, so be sure not to overwater your plant.
How To Propagate the Philodendron black cardinal
Self-heading varieties of Philodendron do not produce offsets or runners like Philodendron scandens, Philodendron bipinnatifidum, or Philodendron erubescene. The philodendron black cardinal is a self-heading Philodendron, which means it does not produce offsets or runners. However, the Black cardinal can be propagated by stem cuttings.
To propagate by stem cuttings, follow these steps:
- Use a sharp knife to take a stem cutting from the main plant. Make sure to include at least two leaves on the cutting.
- Dip the cutting in rooting hormone powder.
- Plant the cutting in a pot filled with moistened potting mix.
- Place the pot in a warm, humid location.
- Keep the soil moist but not wet, and mist the plant’s leaves daily.
After several weeks, you should see new growth emerging from the cutting. Once the Philodendron black cardinal has rooted and is producing new growth, you can transplant it into a larger pot.
Philodendrons can also be propagated by division. To do this, carefully remove your plant from its pot and divide the root ball into two or three sections. Replant each section in its pot filled with moistened potting mix.
These plants can also be propagated by seed, but this method is more complex, and it can take several years for the plant to mature.
Now that you know how to care for and grow the Philodendron black cardinal, you can add this unique plant to your home garden.
When to Repot Your Philodendron
The Philodendron black cardinal is a slow-growing plant, so it will take some time to reach its full size. You will likely not need to repot your plant for at least a few years. They are ok being mildly rootbound and don’t like too much freedom.
However, when you need to repot, be sure to use a pot that is slightly larger than the current one. This will help prevent root rot and other problems when roots are too crowded. You should only repot when you notice roots coming out from the bottom of your pot or if the leaves and a stem start to become overcrowded.
Philodendron black cardinals are susceptible to a few diseases, including root rot and leaf spot.
Root rot is caused by overwatering, so be sure not to water your plant too often.
If you think your plant has root rot, remove it from its pot and inspect the roots. If the roots are mushy or black, they are likely rotted and need to be removed. You can then replant in a new pot with fresh potting mix.
Leaf spot is another disease that Philodendrons are susceptible to. Leaf spot is caused by fungi or bacteria that enter the plant through wounds in the leaves. Once inside the plant, the fungi or bacteria begin to grow and spread, causing spots on the leaves.
If you notice leaf spot, remove any affected leaves from the plant immediately and discard. You can also try treating Philodendron black cardinal with a fungicide.
The Philodendron black cardinal is also susceptible to pests, including mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. These pests can cause damage to the leaves of the plant and even kill your plant if they are not controlled. If you notice any pests, you can try treating them with an insecticide or organic pest control.
I use an organic insecticide that is safe for plants, including a mixture of neem oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil.
To make this insecticide, mix:
- one teaspoon of neem oil
- one teaspoon of rosemary oil
- one teaspoon of peppermint oil
- two cups of water.
You can then put this mixture in a spray bottle and use it to treat your plants for pests.
Philodendron black cardinal FAQs
Q: Why is my Philodendron losing leaves?
A: Your plant may lose leaves for various reasons, including too much or too little water, poor drainage, or insufficient humidity. Think your plant is not getting enough water, check the soil before watering to ensure it is dry.
If the soil is too wet, the plant may suffer from root rot. If you think your plant is not getting enough humidity, try misting the leaves with water or placing your plant on a pebble tray.
Q: Why are the leaves of my Philodendron black cardinal turning yellow?
A: Philodendron black cardinal may turn yellow for various reasons, including too much or too little sun, too much or too little water, poor drainage, or insufficient humidity. If you think your plant is not getting enough sun, try moving it to a brighter location.
Thinking your plant is not getting enough water, check the soil before watering to ensure it is dry. If the soil is too wet, Philodendron black cardinal may suffer from root rot.
You may always want to check if the plant may be getting too much or perhaps not enough fertilizer. Yellow leaves can be caused by not enough nutrients.
Q: Why are the leaves of my Philodendron black cardinal turning brown?
A: Philodendron black cardinal may turn brown for several reasons, including too much sun, too much or too little water, poor drainage, or insufficient humidity. If you think your plant is getting too much sun, try moving it to a shadier location.
Feeling your plant is not getting enough water, check the soil before watering to ensure it is dry. If your plants soil is dry and compact, then thoroughly water your plant well and give it some nutrients to try and revive it.
Q: My Philodendron black cardinal has stopped growing. Why?
A: Philodendrons may stop growing due to too much or too little sun, too much or too little water, poor drainage, or root crowding. These plants can be a bit picky on the amount of space they have in their pot.
Too much space and they can die, but not enough space and their roots become fully bound not allowing them to grow. Check to see if the roots are coming out the bottom of the pot and re-plant in a larger if so.
Re-planting should give them more freedom to grow quickly. Give them enough water, fertilizer and sunlight and they should be back to growing strong in no time.
Q: Why are the tips of the leaves of my plant turning brown?
A: Brown tips can indicate your plant is getting too much sun, or the air around Philodendron black cardinal is too dry. If you think your plant is getting too much sun, try moving it to a shadier location. If you live in a dry area, you need to increase the humidity. You might consider leaving your plant in the bathroom near the shower area to give it some much loved warmth and humidity.
Q: My Philodendron black cardinal has started to produce flowers. Is this normal?
A: Yes, the Black cardinal will occasionally produce small white flowers. However, these flowers are not particularly showy and are usually hidden among the foliage. If you want to encourage your plant to flower, try providing it with slightly more sun than it is currently getting. Blooms typically appear in late spring or early summer.
The Philodendron black cardinal is a unique and beautiful plant that makes a great addition to any home garden. With its glossy dark leaves, the black cardinal is sure to add some drama to your indoor space. Philodendrons are easy-to-care-for plants tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions.
The Philodendron black cardinal is a relatively low-maintenance plant, but like all plants, it does have specific needs. By following the tips above, you can be sure your Philodendron black cardinal will thrive. Thanks for reading!