The Philodendron Red Sun is a beautiful and vibrant addition to any houseplant collection. It is a plant that will keep your space colorful as it matures. Also known as Philodendron Sun Red, it is a climbing plant that adds a beautiful tropical touch to your home.
It displays striking oval-shaped glossy leaves that are red and yellow when young. As the plant matures, the leaves turn shiny green. As the new leaves keep emerging, you will see a blend of red and green leaves at a time that gives it an even more beautiful look.
This Philodendron can grow up to 20 feet long if given the right conditions. The Philodendron genus contains some of the most beautiful plants in the world, and Philodendron red sun does not disappoint with its bright colors and easy-to-care nature.
Origin and History
The Philodendron red sun is native to Central and South America. The red sun gets its name from the Greek words “Philos” and “dendron,” which mean “love” and “tree,” respectively. The specific epithet “red sun” refers to the color of the leaves when they are young.
It belongs to the Araceae family and is botanically known as Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum ‘Sun Red.’ Due to its compact size and bushy growing habit indoors, it fits in any space. This plant can be grown indoors and outdoors, but it grows bigger outdoors than the pot.
Philodendron red sun is one of the best houseplants for purifying the indoor air as it absorbs harmful toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, etc.
Let’s learn how to take care of the Red sun so that it continues to grace your space with its presence!
Quick Summary Guide
Sunlight: bright, indirect sunlight.
Water: Water when the top inch of soil is dry.
Fertilizer: Feed Philodendron red sun monthly during the growing season
Indoor Height: Can grow up to 20 feet. The philodendron red sun is an evergreen climber
Temperature: warm temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity: High humid conditions.
Soil: well-draining, peat-moss-based potting mix.
Pests and Diseases: susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and root rot.
Toxicity: toxic to pets and children if ingested.
Philodendron Red Sun Care Guide
Philodendron red sun needs good lighting conditions to thrive well. Medium to bright indirect light is ideal for its optimum growth. It will not do well in low-light conditions as it needs good light to maintain its vibrant colors.
Six hours of daily indirect sunlight will do best for it. If you can’t find any place in your home that receives good indirect sunlight, you can also grow it under fluorescent lighting; increase the exposure to 10 hours.
Likewise, only place your plant in low light conditions for a short time. It will cause the plant to lose its beautiful colors, and the plant will also become leggy toward the light.
If the low light conditions last too long, the leaves will become weak and start to drop. So, keep your plant under plenty of bright light.
But remember that the light should be indirect as too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves and cause them to turn brown. If you are growing the Red sun outdoors, place it in a shady spot where it will be sheltered from the harsh afternoon sun.
Well-draining loose soil is what Philodendron red sun needs to grow. This is the best type of soil for Philodendron plants as it reduces the risk of overwatering.
Heavy and compact soils retain water for a long time, leading to waterlogging and eventually killing the plant. This is because roots need oxygen to stay alive, and compact soil deprives them of it.
A good potting mix should be able to hold moisture but should also drain well. You can make your own potting mix by mixing equal parts of standard soil, perlite, peat moss, and orchid bark.
This potting mix will provide your Red sun with the right amount of drainage and moisture it needs. Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom to avoid waterlogging.
Watering this plant is tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a breeze! Philodendrons need to be watered regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. When you water your plant, ensure all the water has drained out of the holes at the bottom of the pot.
This will help prevent waterlogging, damaging the roots, and killing the plant. Allow the topsoil to dry out completely before watering again. The watering frequency will depend on your home’s light conditions and temperature, as it needs more water when grown in bright light and warm temperatures.
In low light and cooler temperatures, it will require less water. Likewise, it will need more water during the spring and summer months and less water during the fall and winter months.
Just keep a simple rule in mind while watering your plant it’s always better to underwater your plant than overwater.
Fertilizing the Philodendron red sun is essential to keep it healthy and promote its growth. Feed your plant with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer months.
Stop feeding it during the fall and winter, as the plant will be dormant. You can use any standard liquid fertilizer for Philodendron plants. Just make sure to dilute it to half the recommended strength before applying it to your plant.
You can also go for slow-release fertilizer granules. It will reduce the frequency of fertilizing to 2-3 times a year, and you won’t have to worry about over-fertilizing your plant. Remember that in the case of fertilizer, less is more.
Over-fertilizing your plant will damage the roots and cause the leaves to brown. If you suspect that the salts from the fertilizer have accumulated in the soil, leach the soil with plenty of water to remove them.
You can use an organic fertilizer such as compost or manure to fertilize Philodendron red sun. Just make sure that they are fully decomposed before using them.
If you use fresh organic matter, it will burn the roots of your plant. Worm casting is also an excellent organic fertilizer for Philodendron plants. You can buy it from a garden center or use worms at home.
Like other tropical plants, Philodendrons also prefers warm temperatures. The ideal temperature range for this plant is 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is no winter season in the tropics, so this plant does not tolerate cooler temperatures well. It will lose its leaves and eventually die if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, if you live in a place with cooler winters, bring your Red sun indoors before the temperature drops.
Usually, the household temperature is enough to keep this plant happy, but you can also put it in a room with a heater to give it some extra warmth during winter. Avoid sudden temperature changes, as it can shock your plant. Also, don’t place your plant near a heater or air conditioner.
Philodendrons like staying in high humidity and prefers humidity around 60-70%. The average humidity level of your house will be enough to keep this plant happy.
Look at the leaves’ health to get an idea of the humidity level, as the edges of the leaves will start to turn brown if the humidity is too low.
You can place your plant in highly humid places like the bathroom or kitchen. You can increase humidity around your plant in the following ways:
- Group plants together: Your plant will feel happy sitting next to its fellow tropical friends as they help increase the humidity around each other.
- Use a pebble tray: Place your plant on top of a layer of pebbles and fill the tray with water. The water will evaporate and increase the humidity around the plant.
- Use a humidifier: This is the best way to increase humidity, especially if you have more than one Philodendron red sun plant.
- Mist the plant: Misting is a great way to increase the humidity around Philodendron red sun, but make sure not to mist the leaves too often as it will encourage fungal growth.
The Red sun is a moderate grower and doesn’t need much pruning. You can prune it to control its size or shape. If you are growing it outdoors, it can reach up to 20 feet, so you might need to prune it to keep it under control.
But it doesn’t look too bad when left to grow freely. Because its vibrant leaves look more attractive as they get bushy, but if you see any dead or dying leaves, make sure to remove them.
Also, remove any yellow or brown leaves as they indicate the plant is unhealthy.
Philodendron red sun likes to be moved or repotted sparingly. Once every 2-3 years should be enough. The best time to repot your Philodendron red sun is spring when the plant is actively growing.
But ensure not to disturb the roots too much as it will damage the plant. Use a well-draining potting mix and a slightly larger pot.
You must be careful if you have pets at home as Philodendron red sun is poisonous to cats and dogs. The sap of this plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which can irritate the mouth and throat, causing vomiting and difficulty swallowing. So, keep it out of reach of pets and children.
Propagation the Philodendron red sun
You can propagate Philodendron by Offsets, Cuttings, and Divisions. But the easiest and most common method is by divisions.
To propagate the philodendron red sun by division, you will need the following:
- A sharp knife or garden shears
- A pot for each division you make
- Philodendron red sun divisions
- Well-draining potting mix
Start by using a sharp knife or garden shears to cut through the Philodendron’s rhizome. Make clean cuts and disinfect your tools before and after use.
Once you have made your divisions, pot each one up in its own pot using a well-draining potting mix.
Water each red sun division generously and place it in a bright, indirect light. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings.
With a bit of care, your Philodendron red sun divisions should take root and begin to grow.
You can also propagate Philodendron red sun by stem cuttings. Cut a stem with at least two leaves and remove the bottom leaves.
To propagate the red sun by cuttings, you will need:
- Use a sharp knife or garden shears to take a cutting from the Philodendron that is at least six inches long.
- Place the cutting in a pot filled with well-draining potting mix.-Water generously and place in a bright, indirect light.
- Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings. With some care, your Philodendron red sun cutting should take root and grow in approximately two to three weeks.
You can also propagate Philodendron red sun by offsets. Philodendron red sun offsets are tiny plants that grow at the base of the parent plant.
To propagate Philodendron red sun by offsets:
- Remove the offset from the parent plant and put it in its pot filled with well-draining potting mix.
- Water generously and place in a bright, indirect light.
- Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings.
- With some care, your Philodendron red sun offset should take root and grow in approximately two to three weeks.
No matter your chosen method, Philodendron red sun can quickly propagate and make new plants. Just be sure to give them the care they need, and you will be rewarded with a beautiful, vibrant plant.
Common Problems with Philodendron Red Sun
One of the most common problems with this Philodendron is leaf drop. This can be caused by several factors, such as too much or too little water, temperature stress, or pests.
If your Philodendron red sun is starting to lose leaves, check the plant for problems and treat it accordingly. If there are no pests, adjust your watering schedule and ensure the plant is in a location where it isn’t getting too much or too little light.
Pests and Diseases
Philodendrons are susceptible to several pests and diseases. These include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies, and thrips.
The Red sun is also vulnerable to root rot and stem rot. To prevent these problems from occurring, carefully monitor your plant for signs of pests or disease and take appropriate action.
These pests can damage the plant by sucking its sap. You can get rid of them using insecticide or neem oil spray.
Q. Is Philodendron red sun poisonous?
A. Yes, Philodendrons are poisonous to both cats and dogs. The sap of this plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, which can irritate the mouth and throat, causing vomiting and difficulty swallowing. So, keep it out of reach of pets and children.
Q. What happens if my Philodendron doesn’t get enough light?
A. Philodendron red sun needs bright, indirect light to thrive. If the plant doesn’t get enough light, it will lose leaves.
They might also start to turn yellow or brown. The stems can become very leggy as the plant stretches toward the light giving it an unattractive look.
Q. How do I propagate Philodendron red sun?
A. You can propagate by Offsets, Cuttings, and Divisions. But the easiest and most common method is by divisions.
You can do this when you are repotting your plant. Just carefully divide the root ball into two or three sections and put them in their own pots.
Q. Why are the leaves of my Philodendron turning brown?
A. One of the most common problems with this plant is the browning of leaves. It can be caused by too much or too little water, low humidity, or even cold temperatures.
Watering issues are the most common reason for this problem. If the leaves turn brown and crispy from the edges, your plant is not getting enough water.
On the other hand, if the leaves turn yellow and start wilting, you are overwatering your plant.
Q. What pests attack Philodendrons?
A. Philodendron red sun is susceptible to the attack of mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. These pests can damage the plant by sucking its sap. You can get rid of them using insecticide or neem oil spray.
Q: Is the Philodendron red sun a climber?
A. Yes, the Red sun is a climber. It can grow up to 20 feet in length if given something to climb on. You can provide support for your plant by tying it to a totem or trellis.
Philodendrons will also do well in a hanging basket where it can trail down elegantly.
Q: Can my philodendron be in direct sunlight?
A. Philodendron red sun needs bright, indirect light to thrive. If the plant is exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves will become scorched and start to turn brown. So, it’s best to keep Philodendron red sun out of direct sunlight.
Q. How often should I water the Red sun?
A. Water Philodendron red sun when the topsoil feels dry to the touch. Water deeply and allow the excess moisture to drain out from the drainage holes.
Wait to water again until the soil has dried out completely. During the winter months, you can reduce watering to once a month.
Philodendron red sun is a drought-tolerant plant and can survive long periods without water. But it will start to drop its leaves if the soil stays dry for too long.
Q. What is the ideal temperature for Philodendron red sun?
A. Philodendrons prefer warm temperatures and can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
But it will start to drop its leaves if the temperature falls below 50 degrees for a prolonged period. So, if you live in an area with cold winters, it is best to grow Philodendron red sun indoors.
Q. Is the Philodendron Red Sun a rare plant?
A. No, Philodendron red sun is not a rare plant. It is widely available in garden centers and online nurseries.
Q. What are some similar plants to the Red Sun?
A. Some similar plants to Philodendron red sun include Philodendron hederaceum, Philodendron scandens, and Philodendron bipinnatifidum.
Thanks for reading and lively gardening!