Philodendron Red Emerald Care: The philodendron emerald red is among the most beautiful and exotic plants of the Araceae family. It is renowned for its red burgundy leaves, and the coloured undersides which create a stunning display when they cascade across the pot and are a breathtaking purchase.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share the top tips for caring for philodendron’s red emerald (why you shouldn’t use pots as a growth medium!) and also some interesting details about the plants to help you maintain this gorgeous plant.
P.S With a background in botany, plant science and conservation. You’ll discover much interesting information about this plant throughout the post.
Philodendron Red Emerald History & Brief Origin
The philodendron red emerald is a relic from the lush, deep forests that lie in Colombia as well as Costa Rica.
There are also ‘escapees’ from this species in Koolau Forest Reserve in Hawaii and the areas in the Philippines and Australia although the species were brought by people, and not indigenously found.
In the world of botanicals, it’s referred to as Philodendron rubescens. However, you may have heard of it referred to by its more adorable name, its blushing philodendron.
It’s unclear when the plant was discovered, or by whom, so it’s a mystery. We do know that it was recorded in the world’s biodiversity database at some point, even though the entry was not completed by the explorer or botanist.
I’m interested in finding more information about this plant So I’ll continue exploring archives and explore what I can uncover for you.
Notice: Not to be confused with the equally stunning imperial red of the philodendron The red emerald grows as a climbing species, whereas the imperial red develops more like a tree and is a genetic hybrid of erubescens.
Philodendron Red Emerald Soil Mixture
Philodendrons thrive in pots that drain quickly and are rich in organic matter. It is important to make sure that the mix is well-drained and airy and doesn’t get boggy or swollen with water.
Philodendron Color: Red Emeralds We love this Soil Mix
I like and use an Aroid potting mix, which looks like this:
- Two parts Coco Coir (instead of soil)
- 2 Parts Orchid Bark
- 1.5 Parts Pumice/Perlite
- 1.5 Parts Activated Charcoal
- 1 Part Worm Castings
- 0.5 Part-Shredded The Sphagnum Moss (green or brown)
It’s a very airy and woody substrate that mimics its epiphytic character. I created this mixture after I spent a few hours working in a botanical garden. the philodendrons and monsteras appeared better and the species that have variegated, such as the extremely scarce blue moon-coloured philodendron and the white knight of philodendron were so vibrant.
It is because this mixture performs well is because it is a healthy mix of elements that retain moisture and the ability to drain moisture.
Additionally, philodendrons like to attach their gorgeous white roots to orchid bark (like they do in rainforests).
FAQ. Why wouldn’t you choose to use pure soil mix or a soil-based pot mix? Despite what some garden sites and blogs about plants say that soil isn’t an ideal growing medium for your Philodendron! Philos are prone to drowning in soils that are compacted and then become muddy with water. The soil can block oxygen from its roots fast.
The exact opposite, Coco Coir is a fantastically versatile medium, made for:
- Control – you can control precisely the amount of nutrients your plants are getting
- Rapid growth and bigger plants
- Aeration and drainage to prevent root rot
- Mixing jungle or rainforest e.g. for monsteras and Philos
Coco Coir keeps moisture very well while also providing much-needed drainage. It’s no longer a worry if it’s too dry and is it forming a slurry on my plants’ roots’. A perfect medium.
Philodendron Red Emerald Watering
Philodendrons are generally fond of soil that is well-drained and moist. The red emerald philodendron is not any different. There is a belief that philodendrons favour frequent watering, but this is not the case at least, not in the wild.
Philodendrons live in rainforests where the average rainfall is between 200 and 350mm per month. In the natural world, they are soaked daily, and they don’t suffer from the effects of rot, pests or diseases.
This is because their expanding medium is rapid draining as rainforest mists as well as dewy mists boost the humidity and evaporation and wick away water quickly.
How to Water Your Philodendron Red Emerald
If you’ve placed your red emerald inside the container of a pot it is important to make sure that the top layer of the potter’s mix (3cm) is moist to the touch, but not soaked.
The philodendrons I have watered one or two every week (with an aqueous solution and fertilizer (see below) in the spring and summer months, and every other week, once or twice during the winter months when it is colder.
If you’ve made a potting mix that has adequate drainage, it’s very unlikely to notice root decay.
Don’t let your philodendrons dry out between waterings, particularly in the case of planter soil. I’ve seen this advice everywhere on the internet, and I’m worried that it’s not true. After the soil has dried, it produces the “blanket effect” which traps the moisture below and blocks the oxygen that is needed from reaching the roots.
Philodendron Red Emerald Light Requirements
Like the hastatum philodendron, your philodendron’s red emerald will reward you with beautiful elongated and long leaves, and more vibrant red stems if you place it in a spot that gets plenty of bright to moderately direct light.
Three months in low light, and you’re likely to see the deep emerald-green colour fade away to an off-lime or light yellow.
But don’t be afraid of putting it where it will receive three to four hours of morning sunlight, especially in winter, when light levels are lower naturally. The problems only occur when the plant is under the direct sun all day not just for a couple of hours.
The reason that plant growth slows during winter is due to the temperatures, light, as well as humidity levels, which are the lowest, generally much lower than in their natural environment. If the conditions are optimal all year long, philodendrons (and other species) can thrive as usual!
Philodendron Red Emerald Temperature
A true lover of warmth The philodendron red emerald is attracted to the area that has an optimum temperature of 70-80F or 21-29C although it can tolerate warmer temperatures and can be tolerant of cooler temperatures (60F (16C or 60F).
The coolest the rainforests of Colombia could ever reach are 70F (21C)! This is why you’ll notice amazing growth at these higher temperatures.
Anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.5C) can cause massively stunted growth, small leaves, and even death.
Philodendron Red Emerald Humidity
The philodendron emerald can cope with the typical humidity levels of a home-like 40-50 per cent.
However, in high humidity conditions (think 70%), %+), the plant can grow an aerial root system that facilitates propagation and provides the plant with its distinctive spindly appearance.
Additionally, greater humidity leads to bigger, more expansive leaves as well as significantly more robust branches (petioles).
How to Increase Humidity Levels
There are only two legitimate methods to increase the humidity: either by using a tiny humidifier or using clustering.
The grouping of plants can help make a miniature biome, where plants share the ‘humidity resources’.
Why grouping increases humidity: Plants continually lose water from their leaves via transpiration. The water vapour lost immediately is absorbed by the plant, thereby raising the humidity locally.
If you put your plants in groups The transpiration rate will rise and humidity levels dramatically increase.
Myth Buster: The lining of a tray with pebbles and regularly mistings can help boost humidity naturally. A. Myth is completely untrue. Misting briefly raises humidity for about 5 seconds before the moisture disperses throughout the area. Line a tray of water with pebbles can also have minimal or no impact on the humidity.
Philodendron Red Emerald Fertilizer
Houseplants in pots don’t have a naturally-occurring way to get nutrients after they have consumed all the nutrients they can get from their pots. This is why houseplants require regular fertilization with a high solution!
Best Fertilizer for Philodendron Red Emerald
There are a variety of alternatives available to you on the market, however, I love and trust the Dyna grow (7-9-5 NPK Formula) It’s a full liquid fertilizer, which contains all the 16 essential nutrients your plant needs to endure to prosper.
It’s free of urea and has a low content of heavy nitrogen salts, which gradually alter the pH of the soil, and can result in root burn.
How to Fertilize Your Philodendron Red Emerald
My plants were fertilized at least once each month as most gardening guides recommend however it was completely incongruous for me as a botanist!
The plants in nature get an incessant stream of nutrients from the decaying of matter throughout weeks – they don’t have one huge gulp every month.
It’s the equivalent of taking all the food items that you have in your pantry in one day and then becoming starving for the rest for the entire month.
This is why I feed my plants the most dilute solution every time they are watered. This is often described as maintenance feeding.
I dilute 1 teaspoon of Dyna grow by adding one gallon of water (4.5 litres) and water my plants using this solution each time in the spring and summer (roughly 2-3 times per week, but sometimes more when it’s hot).
It’s reduced to half, then reduced to half, making it unlikely to cause fire to the plant.
I reduced both feedings and waterings during the autumn and also stopped fertilizing in the winter months to avoid oversaturation during the dormant phase of their cycle.
Alternately, you could make use of a different brand of liquid fertilizer which is rich in nitrogen (promotes the growth of foliage) dilute it to half the strength recommended and feed once per month. You can choose to do this.
When Should I Fertilize my Plant?
Summer and spring, are the most productive growing seasons.
Reduce the amount of water you use in autumn and then reduce the amount during winter months (unless of course, you can recreate optimal growing conditions throughout the year).
In excess fertilization, leaves can begin to curl and become yellow around the edges.
Can I Buy a Cheap Fertilizer – What’s the Difference?
More expensive fertilizers tend to be filled with heavy nitrogen salts, which in large quantities can cause death quickly because of the rapid changes of soil’s pH.
Can I Use an Organic Fertilizer Instead?
Yes, you can. Organic fertilisers are more difficult to break down due to the need for microbes and bacteria to degrade organic matter so that plants can absorb nutrients.
If you’re living in an area that allows you to take your houseplants outside I highly would recommend Alaska fish emulsion. It’s loaded with micronutrients as well as an adequate amount of nitrogen. It’s a great help for the growth of your foliage.
The indigenous cultures would bury fish beneath crops as they knew how effective fish was as an organic fertilizer.
A word of caution This stuff is smelly, so I’d be careful to use it only outdoors.
Other natural fertilizers that you can make use of include seaweed extract along with compost tea.
A helpful tip: You don’t have to buy more fertilizers, particularly if you already have an entire formulation. There is less to be gained in the case of fertilizer.
Growth – What Can I Expect?
In the wild, the philodendron red emerald is known to reach 60 feet in height. Based on field notes from botanical sources this plant may transform to a complete epiphyte (grows up trees) if its relationship to the ground has been cut off.
In the indoors, there is a chance to not see this kind of expansion. The philodendron red emerald can never be higher than twelve feet (3m) that’s its absolute maximum size.
Under the most common conditions in the house, the plant will grow to just 3 inches (36 inches).
A fascinating fact In the early 1800s, botanists thought that both the juvenile and mature philodendrons are completely different! It wasn’t until around the 1900s that they realized that philodendrons that grow in their natural habitat are one species, they are just totally different from those that grow indoors.
Philodendron Red Emerald Pruning – Should I Prune This Plant?
The philodendron red emerald is an extremely fast-growing plant when it is given the right conditions to grow, therefore it requires periodic cutting to maintain it neat.
If you have a good pair of pruning scissors, trim back diseased, damaged and leggy vines.
Philodendron Red Emerald Repotting
The red emerald philodendron can live (emphasis on the deal) with its roots being tangled however it is best to transfer it to the larger pot when its roots begin to grow around the bottom of the potting mix.
Being root bound means that your plant is doing well but may require a little more space to grow.
The signs that your plant requires Repotting include:
- The roots are beginning to appear through the drainage holes.
- Your plant is roots bound
- Growth has slowed
Friendly Tips: If you’ve just purchased your plant from an Etsy or nursery seller, it probably requires repotting right away. The majority of nurseries sell their plants after they’ve reached their maximum capacity for growth within the container.
If you are repotting your philodendron’s red emerald, bear these tips in your mind:
- Make sure to select a pot with drainage holes
- Choose one that is about at least 1-2 inches larger than the previous (no greater).
- Fill the container with a premium loose, well-draining potting mix
The act of jumping from a small pot could lead to root rot if the mix is too wet.
A helpful tip Do not fret about removing the soil from its roots before the process of repotting. The roots of your plant will grow in the newly repotted pot easily. Teasing can create more stress on your root structure.
Philodendron Red Emerald Propagation: How to Propagate the Philodendron Red Emerald
The process of cutting stems and air layering the nodes has the highest rate of success for amateur and home-grown growers.
I like air layering because it isn’t necessary to cut the plant before it has established roots with 100 100% success rate. Are there no roots? Cut them off and try later. Simple.
Propagation at the beginning of spring, around the beginning of this growth cycle for the plant or, at the very least, in the warmer months, offers an increased likelihood of growing stronger and healthier roots.
Philodendron Red Emerald Propagation Methods – Step by Step
Cutting your plants can be extremely scary, which is why If you’re not familiar with propagation, I strongly suggest trying air layering before taking any stem cuttings.
I’ll guide you through each step by step.
Why Propagation Is Nothing to Be Afraid Of
Propagation is often portrayed as a challenging (and frightening!) job for plant care However, if you took an examination of what happens in nature you’ll probably be amazed by the fact that everything grows.
Natural propagation consists of a plant’s stem or leaf (petiole) that has nodes splitting off and falling to the ground close by, and establishing itself over some time of time, usually months or weeks, after being soaked with lots of rain. That’s it.
It’s basic, simple and appears to not be able to work, but it does.
There’s nobody to cut stems, to wrap nodes in the rainforest, is there?
Method #1 – How to Take a Stem Cutting
- Pick a healthy stem with 2-3 nodes (the more nodes, the greater chances to be successful). Nodes are the tiny stops that form aerial roots.
- Utilizing sterilised pruning tools Cut the stem just above the nodes.
- Make a small pot with damp 50-50 sphagnum moss, and perlite. The moss must be moist but not completely soaked.
- Dip the fresh-cut stem into the rooting hormone solution or powder.
- Place the stem in your potting mix that you’ve prepared and make sure that the nodes are well-protected – this is where the roots are going to come from.
- The rest part of the container with perlite and spag-moss mix.
- Put it in a space with lots of indirect, bright light.
- Make sure that the moss remains damp.
Roots develop quickly. Within a couple of weeks, you will see some roots beginning to develop (sometimes it takes longer).
After the roots have grown to about 1-inch (3cm) long then you can move it into a slightly bigger container that has a regular more nutrient-rich potting mix and take maintain it as you would normally.
Method 2 How to air layer your Philodendron
The air layering technique is suitable for mature, well-established red emeralds from philodendrons which are already advancing up the pole.
- Find healthy, established aerial roots sprouting out of a nexus.
- Get some sphagnum moss, which is moist and put it on top of the healthy node, securing it with branches and, if you want to use the pole. This will help support the thinner stems that can’t support their weight. The moss and pole.
- Utilizing a clear plastic bag, or make a seal and press food wrap it completely around the node and moss. Make sure that you don’t get any leaves inside the wrap.
- If you’ve utilized a plastic bag you’ll need zip ties to hold it in place. Seal and press food wrap will tape itself up quite easily (I’ve often found it simpler! ).
- Keep the top and bottom seals open. New roots prefer to sink downwards, and this allows them to get there without clumping up.
- Make sure to thoroughly mist the sphagnum moss through the wide top of the plastic bag daily. This will stop the moss from becoming compact and drying out. Do not let the moss ball dry out.
- It takes about 2 weeks to see new roots form. There are no roots to be seen? No worries, simply avoid cutting the plant and try again. Air layering is 100 100% safe and secure methods of propagation, and this is why.
- Take care to remove the plastic wrap and a bit of the moss that has accumulated around the new roots. Verify that the roots are healthy! Healthy roots look white.
- Cut the stem to just below the new roots using clean scissors.
- Put the stem in a regular, rich potting mix (see above). Maintain as normal.
Common Pests & Diseases to Watch Out For
You’ll be pleased to learn that the philodendron emerald red is a tough plant in the face of insects, and it doesn’t have much effect on it.
Aphids, Mealybugs, Thrips and spider mites can be eliminated with some diluted neem oil an environmentally friendly insecticide.
The most significant culprits to look for are the Erwinia blight and pseudomonas leaf spots as both are scathing infections caused by bacteria that begin when roots are devoid of oxygen and they are left to decay in soil that is too wet.
The bacteria infest just below the soil’s surface before creating mushy, wet lesions on the leaves and stems. If it is not treated the bacteria can cause death to the plant in a matter of days. It’s easier to stop than to treat.
You could try to help your plant to recover by changing the potting mix, adding elements that drain faster as well as trimming diseased and infected stems and leaves, and then treating them with diluted copper sulfate treatment.
A helpful tip There’s another explanation that I wouldn’t suggest misting your plants. Misting is known to create all kinds of bacteria to multiply when the water doesn’t evaporate quickly.
Toxicity – Is The Philodendron Red Emerald Toxic?
Yes. The Philodendron Red Emerald is toxic to pets and small children such as dogs and cats because its leaves are laced with calcium Oxalate crystals.
If the crystals are consumed they may cause swelling around the mouth, abdomen region, and throat. It is recommended to keep philodendrons from pets and children.
Help! What’s Wrong With My Plant? – Common Philodendron Red Emerald Problems
1: Leaves on my philodendron’s red emerald have turned yellow
The causes of yellowing leaves are numerous However, the primary cause to be on the lookout for is root decay. If the soil is soaked the roots get stuck in a moist environment with no air. This provides the perfect conditions for the process of decomposition to begin. Bacteria will then multiply and there you are – root decay. Replace your potting mixture as fast as you can, trim the leaves that are yellowing and let the plant relax in the new container before you do anything else.
2 – Pale Leaf Color
The pale colour of leaves is usually an issue with low light levels when tropical plants are concerned. It is most common during winter when you live in a place that receives less light during more chilly seasons e.g Northern Europe. You should move to a more bright area or put in some grow lights to preserve the gorgeous deep emerald-green colour healthy.
Alternately, pale leaves could be a sign of a deficiency in essential micronutrients, such as magnesium. Be sure to use an all-inclusive fertilizer.
3 – Some Stems are Red, Others Aren’t
There is a chance that you’ve got the green emerald from philodendron rather than a red emerald. Philodendron green emeralds might be slightly red on stems with new growth however it’s very thin. It’s also possible for the red emerald of the philodendron to show less of a burgundy-coloured hue on the one side of the stem only, while the other part appears green.
4 – Wet Patches on Leaves
This could be caused by Erwinia Blight condition or pseudomonas leaves spot both bacteria that should be treated as quickly as is possible. These mushy, wet batches are often accompanied by a strong smell. Re-mix pots, look for decaying roots and then make sure the plant is treated with copper liquid, a naturally-occurring bactericide.
5 – Browning Edges or Tips
This could indicate that your plant is exposed to excessive bright, direct sunlight (more than two hours a day) or is being submerged. Plants that underwater tend to have curly leaves.
6 – Leggy Stems
Transfer your plant to a brighter area. The process is called etiolation occurs in botany houseplants in low lighting that will grow toward the light, which results in leggy, weak stems.
Common FAQ – Your Philodendron Red Emerald Questions Answered
Is the Philodendron Red Emerald Rare?
Yes, the philodendron red emerald is a rare aroid however, it’s not as scarce as the red moon and the white knight. Although it’s natural and abundantly grown in Colombia it’s also a rare and sought-after find within markets like the American or European marketplaces for commercial products.
How Much Does a Philodendron Red Emerald Cost to Buy?
A cutting of red emerald philodendron could cost between $10 and $25 (PS7-PS17) and an established plant could cost between $55 and $90 (PS39-PS65).
Where Can I Buy a Philodendron Red Emerald?
They are available in specialist nurseries for aroid plants or at garden centres. You can also find them on Etsy.
Can I Propagate the Philodendron Red Emerald by Seed or Tissue Culture?
Nursery growers and botanists can cultivate the philodendron red emerald by seed or tissue culture however they are not suitable for beginners. Air layering and stem cuttings have the highest rate of success among home growers and enthusiastic enthusiasts.
How can you tell if a philodendron is a red emerald?
Red Emerald (Philodendron erubescens “Red Emerald”) is an attractive hybrid philodendron that has beautiful foliage. Its leaves appear bright red when newly planted but they change to a glossy dark green when they reach maturity. The undersides could have a coppery tinge. Even Red Emerald’s stems, also known as petioles are red.
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