The Philodendron Autumn is a striking self-heading philodendron that will instantly get your attention because of its beautiful colors.
This is a hybrid that features copper, brown and green leaves. Its lovely red stems also add to its looks.
Note that while you’ll often see photos of the plant showing off copper and brown leaves. But its foliage will ultimately end up turning into green as it matures.
New leaves appear in their as copper or bronze and will gradually change to green. So, you’ll see different shades of brown/bronze along the way which makes the plant look even more stunning.
Because of its orange-like colored leaves, many people tend to interchange or confuse the Philodendron Autumn with the Philodendron Prince of Orange which also sports similar colors.
However, the two are very different plants albeit both philodendrons and members of the Araceae family.
Philodendron Autumn vs/ Philodendron Prince of Orange: What’s the Difference?
In this section, I’ll help you identify the Philodendron Autumn from the Philodendron Prince of Orange by showing you their differences.
- Leaf Color – this is what you want to look at. The Philodendron Autumn has darker leaves as they are more copper/bronze on color. In contrast, the Prince of Orange has orange color foliage that’s on the lighter side.
- Leaf Shape – another difference is leaf shape. The Philodendron Autumn has narrower leaves compared to the wider leaves of the Prince of Orange. Both end up green. Again with the Philodendron Autumn having darker green colored foliage compared to a lighter green for the Prince of Orange.
- Petioles – both plants have red petioles. But the Philodendron Autumn’s are brighter compared to the Prince of Orange’s.
Philodendron Autumn Plant Care
The Philodendron Autumn needs to be placed in a bright location in order for its leaves to maintain their beautiful colors.
Thus, moderate to bright indirect light is best as this will allow the plant to produce the different shades of copper, brown and green hues.
If it does not get enough light, you’ll notice the colors become duller. And, the darker it gets, the more green the plant will be because it will try to survive.
To do so, it will produce more chlorophyll, which is where the green pigment of the leaves come from. Chlorophyll is also what allows the plant to absorb light.
Therefore it will sacrifice its colors and looks for the sake of staying healthy and survival.
On the other hand, you also want to watch out for too much light.
Although its non-green colors allow the Philodendron Autumn to tolerate more light than solid green leaved plants, it has its limits.
Thus, avoid leaving under very intense light or direct sun for prolonged periods. If you want, you can gradually acclimate it to brighter locations.
Too much strong light will burn its leaves or cause them to turn brown.
Finally, to help the plant stay balanced, rotate it every few weeks so all sides receive similar amounts of light.
The Philodendron Autumn likewise can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. This runs between 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although, its sweet spot is between 60 and 80 degrees. In this middle range is it able to grow optimally.
Of the two ends, you want to be more wary about the cold since the plant is tropical in nature. This makes it accustomed to hotter environments but not cold ones.
Thus, you want to keep it away from anything under 50 degrees since that’s when the plant experience stress and sustain cold injury.
Outdoors, it is hardy to USDA Zones 9 to 11. These regions have similar climates to that of Central and South America which is where the comes from. As such, it will happily live outside in containers or on the ground in California, Texas and Florida because of the mild winters.
On the other hand, if you live in regions below zone 9, make sure to bring the plant back indoors if you leave it outside for some fresh air during the summer. It won’t be able to tolerate the frost and freezing temperatures.
The Philodendron Autumn prefers high humidity. So if you can give it at least 60% or higher it will reward you with beautiful copper and brown colored leaves that are bigger.
However, it can also tolerate average humidity without any issue. But, try to keep indoor humidity at 40% and above. This is enough to keep the plant happy and healthy.
It also keeps the brown leaves, and dry tips and edges from happening. If you see any of these, make sure to increase the humidity around your Philodendron Autumn.
You can do so by:
- Using a humidifier
- Misting the plant
- Moving it to the bathroom
- Grouping it with other plants
- Placing it on to of pebbles in a water tray
How Often to Water Philodendron Autumn
The Philodendron Autumn enjoys consistent moisture. However, you want to avoid overdoing it to the point where the soil stays wet and mushy. If this happens regularly, it can soon lead to root rot to which the plant is prone to when overwatered.
Overwatering is the #1 houseplant killer because the roots are not able to get enough oxygen. After a while, they rot. Similarly, the lack of sunlight thanks to the roof, ceiling and walls reduce the rate of evaporation.
For this reason, it is a good idea to wait until the top inch of soil dries out before watering again. In doing so, it reduces the risk of overwatering without allowing the plant to get dehydrated.
The Philodendron Autumn also likes a thorough watering. This means soaking the soil so the roots get moisture. Then allowing any excess moisture to drain out completely before retuning it to its spot.
This is similar to the drenching the plant receives in the tropical rainforests where it gets doused a few times a day on a daily basis. After that, its roots are able to quickly dry thanks to good air circulation it gets.
Philodendron Autumn Potting Soil
The Philodendron Autumn needs soil that is loose, well-draining and rich in organic matter. This allows moisture to quickly drain while staying moist.
The most important thing here is to make sure that the soil does not retain too much water since the plant is prone to overwatering and waterlogging.
There are a few options you can go with to achieve this:
- Potting mix combined with perlite or vermiculite
- Orchid soil
- Cactus and succulent mix
- Aroid mix
Some like the orchid mix or cacti and succulent mix you can get off the shelve. The others you’ll need to make yourself. Some stores will make their own Aroid mix although not all do.
For my part, I like to use a DIY Aroid mix with a few ingredients. This works really well for philodendrons (given that they are aroids). You can use this recipe as well.
- 1 part organic potting mix
- 1 part orchid bark
- 1 part perlite
- 1/2 part agricultural charcoal
This combination allows the soil to stay moist (from the potting soil retaining moisture). It also has nutrients to promote growth. The orchid bark is mainly for aeration although it also improves drainage. Perlite is essential as quickly drains excess moisture.
The Philodendron Autumn needs fertilizer to produce and maintain its beautiful colors. Although you can let it grow without feeding it, the difference is fairly noticeable since its growth will slow down along with leaf development, size and colors.
That said, overfertilizing is another common problem that can damage the plant’s roots.
This is why many growers prefer to use slow release fertilizer. This will let you apply only 2 or 3 times a year with less risk of overfeeding.
Alternatively, you can also use natural ingredients like worm castings, compost and manure just to name a few. This does require some trial and error to get the right combination and amounts.
Of course, there is the traditional method which is an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Ideally, try to go with organic products. Although more expensive, they don’t cause as much salt buildup. Thus, reducing the risk of fertilizer burn.
Apply this once a month during the spring and summer and stop around early fall.
The Philodendron Autumn can grow to about 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It is a moderate grower that looks amazing in containers.
Because the plant is primarily made up of leaves, there’s not a lot of pruning to be done.
Its looks is based on the fullness of the plant son you don’t want to take out the leaves since it will affect the overall appearance.
Thus, pruning is low maintenance and only limited to removing leggy stems, damaged foliage and any yellow leaves.
How to Propagate Philodendron Autumn
The Philodendron Autumn can be propagated through stem cuttings. This is the easiest way to make more plants from the one you have.
If you’re repotting it, you can likewise divide the plant which not only propagates it but also reduces the size of the parent plant. This way you can keep in on a tabletop instead of having it on the ground.
How to Propagate Philodendron Autumn Using Stem Cuttings
- Look for healthy stems with at least a few leaves. Look for aerial roots since these will grow faster.
- Sterilize a knife or pruning shears and cut the stem below the aerial roots. You want to make a clean cut and now “saw” through the stem. This will stress the plant.
- Once you have a stem cutting you can choose between rooting it in water or soil.
- If you go with water, place the cutting in a glass jar or container.
- Keep the cutting in a warm spot with bright light (non direct sun).
- In about 10 to 14 days you’ll start seeing new roots grow.
- Once the roots get to about an inch long move the cutting into a pot with soil.
- If the cutting you get has aerials roots, potting it up in soil is the fastest way to propagate it into a new plant. If you’re afraid that the aerial roots will rot because the soil is not airy enough you can snip off the aerial roots (it won’t harm the plant) or plant it so part of the roots (including the ends) stay above the soil.
- Prepare a container that’s big enough for the cutting and fill it with soil.
- Then make a small hole using your hands and insert the cutting into the soil with the roots going underground.
- In about a month you should start seeing a difference.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Autumn
The Philodendron Autumn has a strong, resilient root system. And, it relies on this to stay healthy. So you want to be careful when repotting so as not to damage it. Just as importantly, you don’t want to leave the roots in a cramped environment.
This makes it very important to check for overcrowding. You can avoid this by looking at the bottom of the pot to see if roots start coming out of the drainage holes. Often, the roots will sneak out of the crevices between the soil and pot around the edges. Or just start popping up from the surface of the soil.
If you see any of these signs, it means the plant needs more room as it has outgrown its current container.
When repotting, choose a container that is 2 inches larger and fill it halfway with fresh potting soil. Then insert the root ball there and fill the remainder of the space with potting mix.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The leaves and other parts of the Philodendron Autumn are poisonous when ingested. They contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation, swelling, burning in the mouth, throat and digestive tract.
Problems & Troubleshooting
The Philodendron Autumn is not prone to serious pests or diseases. But it needs to be kept healthy and happy to stay resistant to them.
The more stress it feels, the weaker and more susceptible it will be. This also happens if it does get the requirements it needs.
The most common pests that will try to attack the Philodendron Autumn are mealybugs, aphids, scale and spider mites.
With disease, watch out for leaf infections. Leaf spot and blight are common and present themselves as spots, marks, lesions and yellow leaves.
On the other hand, root rot is the biggest soil disease to watch out for. And it happens when the roots end up sitting in water for long periods of time.