Philodendron Red Emerald: A Beautiful, Hardy Houseplant

If you are looking for a Philodendron that is beautiful and easy to care for, then the Philodendron red emerald is the perfect plant for you!

This plant can also tolerate periods of neglect, making it an excellent deal for beginner and experienced plant owners.

Also known as Blushing Philodendron, this Philodendron variety is valued for its stunning heart-shaped leaves that are a deep green color with red stems.

Being an aggressive climbing plant, it can grow up to 60 feet tall in its native environment, but in house conditions, it barely reaches 6 feet in height and 5 feet in width. You can see this plant flourishing for more than ten years.

This Philodendron Red Emerald Care Guide will cover everything you need to know about caring for your Philodendron red emerald, including watering, lighting, fertilizing requirements, etc.

Origin and History

Philodendron red emerald hails from the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Costa Rica. Still, it is also found in some regions of the Philippines, Australia, and Hawaii, where humans have artificially introduced it.

Though it is not precisely known who discovered this plant but evident from specific sources, this plant was first identified by K. Koch and Augustin in 1854.

Botanically it is known as “Philodendron erubescens.” The specific epithet “erubescens” in its name comes from the Greek word “erubesco,” which means “to turn red,” referring to the color of the Philodendron’s stems.

Philodendron Red Emerald Plant Care

Light

If you want to see your Red Emerald grow happy and show its beautiful red stems, provide it with 6-8 hours of medium bright sunlight daily. It can also tolerate low-light conditions, but too long periods of low light can fade away the colors of its foliage.

It should be protected from bright direct sunlight to prevent the leaves from scorching. If you live in an area with harsh sunlight, placing your Philodendron in a spot where it will receive filtered light or dappled sunlight is best.

If the plant leaves start to yellow, it is a sign that the plant might be getting too much direct sunlight, or if the plants’ colors are not as vibrant as before, then the plant might be too low on light.

My philodendrons do best in a spot that gets bright, indirect sunlight. I have a window in my kitchen that’s perfect for them.

If you cannot provide a decent amount of sunlight for your plant, you can also use grow lights to supplement its needs. I recommend using a grow light that emits full-spectrum light. You can use these lights year-round or just for the darker winter months.

Soil

This Philodendron variety grows best in soil that is well-draining yet moisture-retentive. The compact soils do not drain water efficiently, leading to the risk of root rot. You can use any standard potting mix for your Philodendron red emerald but if you want it to thrive, creating your soil is the way to go.

You can easily make your potting mixture by combining one part of garden soil, one part of perlite or sand, and one part of peat moss or coco coir. Philodendrons also do well with orchid bark, providing the perfect balance of drainage and moisture retention.

A good potting mix will help the plant to grow healthy and strong. Make sure to use a pot that has a drainage hole at its bottom.

The soil’s pH level should be neutral or around 6.0-7.0. Using a digital pH meter or soil test kit, you can test the pH. I highly recommend getting one to use for all your plants. It will help you to understand what all your plants need to be healthy and thrive.

Watering

Like other Philodendrons, Philodendron red emerald requires consistent moisture to thrive. The big mistake people make while caring for Philodendrons is that they follow a strict watering schedule rather than the plant’s needs, which may lead to overwatering, causing root rot ultimately.

Keep in mind underwatering the Philodendron Red Emerald is better than overwatering it but don’t miss a lot of watering sessions as it can lead to wilting of the plant. Philodendron erubescens should be watered when the topsoil starts to dry out.

The best way to check whether your Philodendron needs watering is to stick your finger about 2 inches deep into the soil. If it feels dry to the touch, it is time to water your Philodendron. Place the plant pot in a tray, and water it until the water starts draining out from the drainage hole of the pot.

Once the water stops draining, move the pot back to its previous location.

You can also bottom water your plant by filling a tray with water and placing the pot in it for about 15-20 minutes. This will help the Philodendron to absorb moisture from the bottom, and it will also help to reduce the risk of overwatering.

Fertilizer

Philodendron red emerald is a fast-growing Philodendron variety and therefore requires regular fertilization. The best time to fertilize your Philodendron is during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing.

You can use any standard liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets fertilizer for your Philodendron.

A good fertilizer would be a 10-10-10 fertilizer that you can easily find in any garden center or online. The 10 represents the fertilizer’s nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium percentage. You can also use an all-purpose fertilizer with a lower nitrogen concentration, such as 5-10-5.

Make sure to dilute the fertilizer to half its recommended strength before applying it to the plant. Apply the fertilizer once every month during the spring and summer and cut back to once every two months during the fall and winter as it’s a time of rest for the plant, and it does not grow much during this period.

Do not over-fertilize your Philodendron as it can lead to the burning of its roots causing brown spots on the leaves.

Adding a little bit of organic matter to the soil is also a good way of fertilizing your Philodendron red emerald.

I like to use organic compost or worm castings as they are rich in nutrients and help improve the soil’s drainage and aeration. Most of my houseplants enjoy this and grow amazingly well. You can also use composted manure, an excellent source of nutrients for your plants (but not always ideal for indoor plants!).

Temperature

Philodendron erubescens is a tropical plant that requires a warm temperature. It is not a cold-hardy plant and will not survive below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for this Philodendron variety is 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit (16 – 27 degrees C).

The plant’s growth will slow down if the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the Philodendron erubescens might start to experience some leaf-dropping.

Temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit is not advisable as it can damage the plant beyond repair. While you can plant this blushing Philodendron outdoors, it’s recommended that you still do so in a pot to bring it inside when the weather turns cold.

Humidity

Philodendron red emerald loves humidity, so it is best to grow this plant in a humid environment. It thrives well in the typical humidity level of the room, which is 40-50%.

If the humidity level is increased to 70-80%, it will encourage the growth of aerial roots, which will help propagate the plant and give it a spindly look.

Philodendron Red Emerald growing in high humidity have larger leaves and thick stems. If the humidity level around your plant is too low, you can increase it by placing the plant pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water.

Another way of increasing the humidity around Philodendron red emerald is to use a humidifier or group it with other plants creating a little biome.

Pruning

Pruning Philodendron red emerald is very easy, and it is usually done during the spring and summer though you can trim off the yellow leaves at any time of the year. It has a vining habit; therefore, it can become leggy over time if not regularly pruned.

To keep the Philodendron in shape, you must prune it every few months. You can do this by simply trimming off the long vines with a pair of sharp scissors. You can also prune Philodendron red emerald to encourage bushier growth.

To do this, cut the long vines about 2-3 inches from the base of the plant. Philodendron erubescens will quickly produce new shoots from the trimmed areas, making the plant fuller and bushier. You can also use the Philodendron clippings for propagating new plants.

Climbing

Philodendron red emerald can climb up to 20 feet high if given support. It has aerial roots that it produces from the stem, and these help the plant climb. The aerial roots also absorb moisture and nutrients from the air.

If you want your Philodendron red emerald to climb, you must support it with a trellis, stake, or moss pole. You can also let the plant climb on other plants in your home for an authentic jungle look.

When the Philodendron reaches the top of the support, you can trim off the excess vines to keep the plant in shape. You can also allow the vines to grow down the support side, creating a cascading effect.

Repotting

As the Philodendron red emerald is a fast-growing Philodendron variety, it will need to be repotted every 1-2 years. The best time to repot it is during the spring when the plant is actively growing.

When repotting Philodendron red emerald, use a pot that is only one size bigger than the current pot, as Philodendron plants do not like to be root-bound. Use a well-draining potting mix for your Philodendron, and make sure that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom.

Repotting Philodendron red emerald is very easy and can be done by simply removing the plant from its current pot and placing it in the new pot.

Make sure to tap down the potting mix around the Philodendron plant lightly. Water it well after repotting and put it in a bright, indirect light location.

Propagation

Philodendron red emerald can be easily propagated from various methods.

Stem cuttings

The best time to take Philodendron cuttings is during the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. Follow the following steps to propagate your Red Emerald.

  • Cut a 4-6 inch piece from a healthy Philodendron plant with the help of a sharp knife.
  • Remove the bottom leaves of the Philodendron cutting, leaving only 2-3 leaves at the top.
  • Dip the Philodendron cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in a well-draining potting mix.
  • Philodendron cuttings will usually take one month to root.
  • Make sure to keep the Philodendron cutting moist during this time and place it in a location with bright, indirect light.

Once the Philodendron cutting has rooted, you can water it and treat it like an average Philodendron plant.

Division

You can also propagate your plant using division. This can be done by carefully removing the Philodendron plant from its pot and then dividing it into 2-3 sections with a sharp knife. Each section should have at least 2-3 leaves and some roots.

You can then repot each section in its own pot filled with well-draining potting mix. Water the Philodendron plants well after replanting and place them in a bright, indirect light location.

Air-layering is another propagation method that can be used for Philodendron red emerald. To do this, choose a healthy stem on the Philodendron plant and make a cut 1-2 inches below a leaf node. This leaf node is where the roots will grow from. Make sure not to cut through the stem.

Next, apply some rooting hormone to the cut and wrap the area tightly with moist sphagnum moss. You can then secure the moss in place with a rubber band or piece of string. Make sure that the moss stays moist during this time. It will usually take 4-6 weeks for the roots to grow.

Once they have grown, you can cut the stem below the moss and pot it up in a well-draining potting mix. Water it well and place it in a location with bright, indirect light.

Pet Safety

The Philodendron red emerald is toxic to pets and should be kept out of reach of animals. Philodendron plants contain calcium oxalate, a poisonous compound that, if ingested, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.

Flowering

Philodendron red emerald will flower if provided with adequate care. The flowers are deep red, fragrant spathes up to 6 inches long that emerge from the center of the plant. The flowers are followed by deep red fruits that are poisonous if ingested. Philodendron red emerald will usually flower during the spring and summer.

Common Problems

Philodendron red emerald is a tough plant, resistant to most pests and diseases. However, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites can sometimes attack Philodendron plants.

Mealybugs

These are small, white, fuzzy insects that feed on Philodendron plants. Mealybugs can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

Aphids

These are small, green, or black insects that suck the sap from Philodendron plants. Aphids can cause the leaves of the plant to curl and deform.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are small, red, or brown insects that spin webs on Philodendron plants. They can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off.

These pests are usually easy to get rid of and can be controlled with the help of insecticidal soap or neem oil. Organic pest control methods also work and can be safer for the plants and your family.

Root Rot

Philodendron plants are susceptible to root rot if they are kept in wet or soggy soil for too long. The best way to prevent this is to ensure that the plant is planted in a well-draining potting mix and that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom.

If you believe your plant has suffered from root rot, you can try to save it by carefully removing it from the pot and then replanting it in a fresh, well-draining potting mix. If the roots are severely rotted, you may need to trim them off before replanting.

Philodendron plants are also susceptible to a fungal disease leaf spot. This disease can be controlled by spraying the Philodendron plant with a fungicide.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes brown or black spots on the plant’s leaves. A yellow halo usually surrounds the spots. Leaf spot is generally caused by too much water on the plant’s leaves.

The best way to prevent this disease is to make sure that the Philodendron plant is not overwatered and that the leaves are not kept too wet.

FAQ

Philodendron red emeraldQ: Why are mites attracted to Philodendron plants?

A: Mites are attracted to Philodendron plants because they feed on the sap of the plant.

Q: Can Seed propagate philodendron plants?

A: Yes, Philodendron plants can be propagated by Seed. However, it is best to propagate them by division.

Q: Why are my dark green leaves turning pale and losing color?

A: This is usually a sign of too much water. The best way to prevent this is to make sure that the plant is not overwatered and that the leaves are not kept too wet.

Q: Why are the leaves of my Philodendron plant curling and deforming?

A: This is usually a sign of aphids. Aphids are small, green, or black insects that suck the sap from Philodendron plants. The best way to get rid of them is to spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Q: Can Philodendron plants be grown indoors?

A: Yes, Philodendron plants can be grown indoors. However, they must be provided with bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.

Q: What is the best way to eliminate pests on Philodendron plants?

A: The best way to get rid of pests on Philodendron plants is to use insecticidal soap or neem oil. These organic pest control methods are safe for the plants and your family.

Q: Why are my Philodendron leaves turning yellow?

A: There are a few reasons why Philodendron leaves may turn yellow. It could be due to too much sun, water, or a nutrient deficiency. It could also be due to a pest infestation or disease. If you are not sure what is causing the problem, it is best to consult with a plant expert.

Q: What is the best way to prevent root rot in Philodendron plants?

A: The best way to prevent root rot in Philodendron plants is to ensure that the plant is planted in a well-draining potting mix and that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom. It is also essential to ensure that the Philodendron plant is not overwatered.

Q: Is the Red Emerald a rare plant?

A: It’s not a super common philodendron, but it’s not rare. Occasionally, you can find these plants for sale online or at your garden center. Some rare philodendrons include the Hookeri, Longifolium, Bob Cee, and Pinnatifidum.

Q: What is the difference between a Philodendron and a Pothos plant?

A: The main difference between these two plants is that philodendrons are climbers while pothos are trailing plants. Philodendrons have heart-shaped leaves, while pothos have arrowhead-shaped leaves. Philodendrons prefer to grow in humid environments, while pothos can tolerate drier conditions.

Conclusion

Philodendron red emerald is a tough and versatile plant that can be grown in various conditions. It is a fast-growing Philodendron variety that can reach up to 20 feet in height if given support.

Philodendron red emerald can be easily propagated from stem cuttings or division, and it does not require much care once it is established. If you are looking for a Philodendron plant that is easy to care for and can add color to your home, then Philodendron red emerald is the plant for you!

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