If you want to add some drama to your indoor jungle, Philodendron Dark Lord is the plant for you! Famous for its massive foliage, Philodendron Dark Lord features large arrow-shaped leaves that change color as they mature. You can observe the change in color as the leaves grow more significantly.
They start with an orange-pink color while they are young and then gradually turn blood red before finally turning into the deep, dark green with maroon undersides giving it a truly tropical vibe. Sometimes, they turn entirely dark black, the reason for their name ‘Dark Lord.’
Provided with all the ideal conditions, its leaves can grow up to 18-22 inches in length. It has bright red stems reaching up to 2 inches in diameter. Its roots have an extensive root system that goes deep into the soil and absorbs nutrients very efficiently. They can reach up to 8 feet in height, making them perfect for filling up empty spaces in your home.
Quick Summary Guide
Lighting: Bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate low light conditions.
Watering: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings
Fertilizing: Feed monthly with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.
Pruning: Cut back Philodendron Dark Lord to encourage new growth.
Propagation: Can be propagated by stem cuttings.
Soil: Well-draining, fertile soil.
Temperature: warm temperatures and will not tolerate cold drafts.
Humidity: Prefers high humidity levels
Toxicity: Philodendron Dark Lord is toxic to pets and children.
Origin and History
Philodendron Dark Lord belongs to the Philodendron genus in the Araceae family that contains more than 3000 known plants. It is native to the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Panama and is a hybrid variety of the Red Philodendron erubescens and Philodendron hederaceum.
The Philodendron genus is further divided into two groups- the lacy leaf Philodendrons and the non-lacy leaf Philodendrons. The Dark Lord belongs to the non-lacy leaf variety. Philodendrons are aroids, which means that they produce flowers that grow on an inflorescence.
The Philodendron Dark Lord is no different and has small white flowers that give way to orange berries. However, these flowers and fruits are rarely seen in indoor plants, requiring specific conditions to bloom. These conditions are almost impossible to replicate in a home environment.
Philodendrons were first introduced to Europe in the 17th century and became trendy houseplants by the Victorian era. They were brought to America by settlers in the 1800s and have been widely cultivated. Philodendrons are one of the most popular houseplants in the world, and Dark Lord is one of the most popular!
It gained popularity among gardeners over the past 15 years thanks to social media; before that, it was almost unknown. Since then, its demand has been increasing daily among plant lovers, but the supply is not at the same pace, making it a bit expensive and rare plant. It’s truly a must-have plant for any Philodendron collector.
Follow this guide until the end to learn how to care for Philodendron Dark Lord.
Philodendron Dark Lord Care Overview
Philodendron Dark Lord is a tropical plant that requires bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. It is best to place it near a window where it can receive plenty of light without being directly in the path of the sun’s rays. 70-80% of bright indirect sunlight is ideal for it.
A south-facing window is usually the best option for your plant. 2-3 hours of direct morning sunlight won’t do any harm. Generally, 8-10 hours of daily indirect light is best for it to grow healthy and large.
If your window receives too much sunlight, you can hang a curtain to diffuse the light, or you can place your plant a little further from the window. If you don’t have a spot near a window that gets enough light, you can supplement the sunlight by using a grow light. Grow lights are artificial lights that simulate sunlight and are very helpful for indoor plants, especially during winter.
If you feel you have a spot in your home that will provide Philodendron Dark Lord with the perfect amount of light, but you’re not sure, you can always use a light meter to measure the intensity of the light.
A range of 500-700 lux is ideal for Philodendron plants. Anything more than that will lead to the leaves getting burned, and anything less than that will stunt the growth of your plant.
Philodendron Dark Lord requires a well-draining, nutrient-rich, dry potting mix with a pH of 5.5-7.5. A soil mix that is too dense will not drain the water efficiently and cause a deficiency of oxygen, ultimately leading to root rot.
You can use a commercially available potting mix or make your potting mix by combining two parts peat moss, two parts perlite, 1 part all-purpose soil, and 1 part vermiculite.
The peat moss will help drainage and aeration, while the perlite will provide structure and support. The all-purpose soil will add nutrients, and the vermiculite will hold moisture.
It’s essential to have good soil to provide Philodendron Dark Lord with the nutrients it needs to grow. Starting with the right soil mixture will ensure that your plant is healthy and has a strong foundation.
Generic potting soil can be too dense for the Dark Lord and cause drainage problems. This can lead to root rot or even death, so it’s essential to be mindful of the type of soil you use.
If you’re unsure whether your potting mix is too dense, you can always test it by taking a handful of the mixture Squeeze it and if water drips out, then it is too dense. If no water comes out, then it is perfect for Philodendrons.
Philodendrons will also benefit from being planted in a pot with a drainage hole to allow excess water to escape. An 8-10 inches deep pot is ideal for small- to medium-sized plants.
Philodendron Dark Lord should be watered when the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry to touch. The watering frequency will vary depending on the amount of light your plant receives, the size and type of pot it is planted in, and the kind of potting mix.
If it is planted in smaller pots, it would need to be watered more frequently than those grown in larger pots. Philodendron Dark Lord planted in well-draining potting mixes with lots of organic matter will need to be watered less often than those planted in poorly draining potting mixes.
It is very efficient in storing water, so it’s better to underwater than overwater your plant. Overwatering will result in yellowing and wilting of leaves, stunted growth, and in extreme cases, root rot.
How to Water your Dark Lord Plant
The best way to water Philodendron Dark Lord is to use the bottom-up method. This means you will place your plant in a water container and allow it to soak for 15-30 minutes.
After that, drain the pot and remove excess water from the saucer. Allowing the Dark Lord to sit in water will cause the roots to rot, so it is essential to remove any excess water.
Helpful tip: If you use tap water, it is best to let it sit out for 24 hours before watering your Philodendron. This will allow the chlorine and other chemicals to dissipate, making it safer for your plant.
Philodendrons are also very sensitive to fluoride, so it is best to use filtered or distilled water if you have fluoride in your water.
It’s necessary to fertilize your Philodendron more frequently because distilled water does not contain any nutrients.
Philodendron Dark Lord is not a heavy feeder, but it will benefit from being fertilized once a month during the spring and summer months when it is actively growing. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.
NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the three primary nutrients that plants need to grow. Nitrogen is responsible for leaf growth, phosphorus is responsible for root growth, and potassium is responsible for overall plant health.
Be sure to dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength before applying it to your plant. They should not be fertilized when they are dormant during the fall and winter months.
It’s better to under-fertilize them than to over-fertilize them. Over-fertilizing will result in browning and wilting of leaves, stunted growth, and in extreme cases, root burn. Fertilize the plant almost 6 inches from the stem, so you don’t burn the roots.
You can use an organic fertilizer made from compost or manure. If you choose to use organic fertilizer, it is best to apply it once a month during the growing season.
Apply the fertilizer at the base of the plant, taking care not to get any on the leaves. I like to use worm casting or compost tea as an organic fertilizer. Works impressively for their growth!
How to Fertilize Your Plant
Look at your Philodendron Dark Lord and determine if it needs to be fertilized. An excellent way to tell is by looking at the leaves. If the leaves are bright green and look healthy, they probably don’t need to be fertilized. The leaves might need a little boost if they are yellow or pale green.
Take about 1/2 teaspoon of fertilizer and mix it with a gallon of water. Use this mixture to water your Philodendron Dark Lord. Apply the fertilizer around the base of the plant, taking care not to get any on the leaves.
Philodendron Dark Lord is a tropical plant that prefers warm, humid conditions and prefers an indoor temperature of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit (21-29 degrees Celsius). If your plant is exposed to temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.5 degrees Celsius), it may suffer from frost damage.
Anything above 60F would work for it. Try to give it a constant temperature and avoid any sudden temperature changes. Philodendron Dark Lords are very sensitive to drafts, so make sure they are not exposed to any cold air from windows, doors, or vents.
If you are moving it to another place, consider the temperature change. If you’ve placed your plant outside, move it inside during the winter. Do not let your plant get exposed to frost, it will likely lose all its leaves and die.
Philodendron Dark Lord prefers humid conditions with relative humidity above 70%. However, it thrives well at a room’s average humidity level (40-50%) too. With high humid conditions, this plant grows faster and more healthy.
If the air in your home is too dry, you can increase the humidity around your plant by placing it on a pebble tray or using a humidifier. A pebble tray is simply a shallow tray filled with gravel and water. The evaporation of water from the stone will increase the humidity around it.
Be sure to change the water in the pebble tray often to prevent it from becoming stagnant. You can also group it with other tropical plants to create a mini jungle that will increase the humidity around all of the plants.
If you live in a very arid area, you may have to mist your Philodendron daily or multiple times to keep the leaves from drying out and turning brown.
Brown, dry leaves indicate that the air is too dry for your plant. A humidifier will help increase the air’s humidity and prevent the leaves from drying out. Using this during the winter months will be especially helpful in preventing the leaves from drying out.
Philodendron Dark Lord does not require much pruning, but it will benefit from being trimmed back when it gets too big or starts to look leggy.
It can be trimmed back by up to one-third of its total length. When trimming your plant, use sharp, clean shears or knives. Cut off yellow, brown, or dead leaves and leggy stems.
Philodendron Dark Lord does not bother you to repot them too often. They can stay in the same pot for 2- years. Check if the plant is becoming root bound, then it’s time to move them to a bigger pot as being root bound for too long can stunt its growth.
Spring is the best time to repot it and don’t repot during winter. When repotting your plant, use a well-draining potting mix and a pot that is only one size larger than the current pot and has a drainage hole.
Signs your plant needs repotting:
- The plant has outgrown its pot
- There is extensive root growth coming out of the drainage holes
- The plant is top-heavy and unstable
- The roots are tightly bound and circling the inside of the pot
Plants don’t often like replanting, so it can take a few weeks to adjust to their new pot. Be sure to give it extra TLC and watch for any signs of stress, such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth.
Stem cutting is the easiest and most successful way to propagate your Philodendron Dark Lord and grow your tropical plants’ collection. Follow the below simple steps to propagate your plant by stem cutting:
- Fill a small pot with a well-draining potting mix.
- Choose a top stem at least 6 inches long with several leaves.
- Cut the stem at an angle below a leaf node using sharp, clean shears or knives.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone.
- Place the stem cutting in the pot and lightly cover it with the potting mix.
- Water the soil until it is evenly moistened, and place the pot in a warm, humid location.
- Keep the soil moistened but not soggy, and Within 3-6 weeks, you should see new growth emerging from the soil.
- Once new growth appears, you can begin watering your Philodendron Dark Lord as usual.
It can also be propagated using division. Mature plants can be divided into several smaller plants. Philodendron Dark Lord can be difficult to divide, so it is best to leave this to an experienced gardener.
If you choose to try it, you must carefully dig up the plant and gently pull it apart into two or smaller plants. Be sure to use a sharp knife or shears to make clean cuts through the roots.
Each division should have several leaves and at least one good root system. Replant the divisions in well-draining potting mix, and water them well.
The Philodendron Dark Lord is a fast-growing plant and can grow up to 24 inches per year. They can reach a height of 12-15 feet and a width of 12 feet in ideal growing conditions. In a home environment, they are typically much smaller, reaching a height of only a few feet.
The Dark Lord is not picky about its growing conditions and will do well in most indoor environments. It prefers bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light conditions.
It is an easy plant to care for and makes an excellent choice for beginner gardeners.
Philodendron Dark Lord contains calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to pets and humans if ingested. It can cause burning and swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat. It can also cause difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet has ingested Philodendron Dark Lord.
Be careful when handling the plant, as the sap can cause skin irritation. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the plant.
One of the most common problems with Philodendron Dark Lord is brown or yellow leaves. This can be caused by several factors, including too much direct sunlight, low humidity, or pests.
If you see brown or yellow leaves on your plant, try moving it to a shadier location and increasing the humidity around it.
Pests and Diseases
Philodendron Dark Lord is relatively resistant to pests and diseases but can be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies.
These pests can cause your plant’s leaves to turn yellow or brown. If you see any pests on your plant, you can remove them by hand or treat the plant with insecticidal soap.
Mealybugs are small, white insects that can often be found in the crevices of your plants leaves. If you see mealybugs on your plant, you can remove them by hand or treat the plant with insecticidal soap.
Spider mites are small, spider-like creatures that can cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow or brown. If you see spider mites on your plant, you can remove them by hand or treat the plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Whiteflies are small, white insects that can often be found on the undersides of Philodendron Dark Lord leaves. If you see whiteflies on your plant, you can treat the plant with organic pest control.
An excellent organic insecticidal soap recipe is:
- ½ cup of water
- ½ teaspoon of dish soap
- ½ teaspoon of neem oil
To make the insecticidal soap, mix all the ingredients and spray it on the affected area.
Q: Why are the Philodendron’s Plant leaves black?
A: Philodendron plant’s leaves turn black when they are fully mature. The deep coloring is from Philodendron’s melanin, which protects them from strong sunlight.
Q: Can Philodendron’s Plants grow in water?
A: Philodendron plants can grow in water, but they will not flower or fruit. The plant will only produce leaves. To grow Philodendron in water, you will need to change the water every week and keep the Philodendron plant in a well-lit area.
Q: What is the Philodendron’s natural habitat?
A: Philodendron plants are native to tropical rainforests. They can be found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
Philodendron plants grow on the forest floor and trees. They need moist, well-drained soil and partial sun to thrive. Philodendrons are a popular houseplant because they are easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.
Q: How often should I water Philodendron’s plants?
A: Philodendron plants should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. Water the plant until the water, runs out of the bottom of the pot.
Philodendrons like to be kept moist but will not tolerate sitting in water. Be sure to empty the drainage tray after watering.
Q: Which area of the room should I put my Philodendron plant?
A: Philodendron plants should be placed in an area of the room that receives indirect sunlight. Philodendrons can tolerate low light but will not flower or fruit in low light.
Q: Can Philodendron’s plants be poisonous?
A: Yes, Philodendron’s plants can be poisonous if ingested. Philodendrons contain calcium oxalate, which can irritate the mouth, throat, and stomach. Keep out of reach of pets and kids.
Q: Where can I buy a Dark Lord plant?
A: Philodendron Dark Lord plants are available online and at some garden centers. Ask your local nursery if they carry Philodendron Dark Lord plants or find a plant group that may have them available for exchange or sale.
The philodendron dark lord is an excellent plant for any rare plant collector or dark plant enthusiast. It is easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.
This plant can grow to a large size, so be sure to provide it with a large pot and plenty of room to grow. Philodendron dark lord plants are poisonous if ingested, so keep out of reach of pets and kids. Thanks for reading, and happy plant shopping!