The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy is a rare plant that likes to climb. It features green silver leaves that point downwards.
It was one of the unique plants found in the collection of Roberto Burle Marx who is well known for having grown and care for many beautiful plants.
Note that the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy is different from the Philodendron Burle Marx. Although they are both named after the same person. And that they are both philodendron varieties.
That said, one look at their leaves and you’ll be able to instantly tell that they are two distinct plants.
How do you care for the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy? This is a slow growing plant that needs medium to bright, indirect light to maintain its gorgeous leaves.
It likes to climb so giving it a support is ideal. Keep the plant in warm, humid conditions and don’t overwatering. You’ll also want to give it fertilizer to thrive.
Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy Plant Care
The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy can tolerate different lighting conditions. And it is less picky about it. As such, it will be perfectly happy with medium or bright, indirect light.
At the same time, it will do okay in low light as well.
You can grow the plant indoors as well as keep it in the patio, balcony, deck or garden.
This makes it easier than most other philodendron varieties in term so lighting.
Nevertheless, you still have to watch out for too much direct sunlight. Excess exposure or very intense sun will eventually affect its leaves.
They will either turn yellow or become pale in color depending on how much intensity and duration of direct sun they get. This will ruin the lovely green foliage color.
If there’s too much harsh sunlight, the leaves can even get scorched leaving you with brown patches, spots or larger sections on the leaves.
Therefore, you want to keep the plant under indirect light indoors and partial shade outdoors.
Avoid too much direct sunlight and full sun especially during the hottest times of the day and during summertime.
The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy is a tropical plant. This is why it prefers warm temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, it can easily tolerate hotter environments all the way up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any issues or harm.
However, the same is not true for the cold.
Since there is no cold weather, snow, frost or even winter in the tropics, the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy has poor tolerance to low temperatures.
Keep the plant away from anywhere that is colder than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
At that level, its growth will start slowing down and the plant will struggle. And the longer it stays there, the more problems it will experience.
The good news is that most homes maintain temperatures around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, the plant easily gets acclimated indoors.
Still, you want to watch out for air conditioners and open windows where cold drafts can come in. The plant can easily get affected by these.
Additionally, avoid temperature fluctuations.
This means heaters, stoves, ovens and other things that can suddenly change temperature are better kept away from the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy.
Of course, make sure to bring the plant indoors once the cold weather comes in when winter arrives.
Try to keep the plant in a warm cozy location.
If your home gets cold inside as well, you can pick up a heat mat or heat pad and place it under the pot to keep the soil temperature warm.
Outdoors, the plant is happiest in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 as it can grow outdoors all year long without risk of winters.
The plant thrives in humidity that’s above 60%. But it does not have issues with 40% humidity and slightly lower than that.
This ability to tolerate a wide range of humidity makes it somewhat easier to take care of the plant.
That’s because most homes have humidity ranging from 20% to 50%.
So, it is important to be aware of what your indoor room humidity is.
Also note that indoor and outdoor humidity are never the same. Air moisture indoors is always lower than outdoors.
If you’re not sure what the humidity it in your home, you can get a hygrometer. It is a small device you can move from room to room.
And it will register the humidity.
This makes it easy to keep track of how moist or dry the air is.
A big warning sign is if you see your Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy leaf tips turn brown and crispy. These turn dry and brittle when they’re not getting enough humidity.
So, if this happens, it means you need to do something to help the plant out.
The simplest way is either to move the plant to the bathroom or mist it regularly. You can also get a humidifier although that needs some money.
Note that humidifiers can be cheap or expensive depending on the room size capacity and features. If you only need it for a few plants, you can get an affordable one.
You don’t need to push humidity of the entire room up, just the surrounding area around the plant is sufficient.
I prefer to use make a pebble tray or humidity tray. These take less than 30 minutes to create with a few simple components you can easily find at home.
But they only work for a single plant per setup.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy
The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy needs moderate watering.
What this means is that on average it needs watering about once a week. In the summer, that will go up to about twice a week. During very hot periods, maybe thrice a week.
In winter, you’ll want to scale back to around once every 2 weeks or so. That’s because the cold weather and lack of sunshine causes soil to take much longer to dry.
Therefore, make sure to scale back on watering otherwise you’ll increase the risk of overwatering the plant.
Due to the wide variation of watering frequency, you never want to follow a fixed schedule.
From experience, I prefer to check the soil to know when to water. This way it will tell me how quickly or slowly it is drying. This lets me skip having to guess how much the heat or cold is affecting the soil moisture.
As such, I like to feel the soil once every 3 or 4 days.
Just a quick touch of the surface will tell you if the soil is wet or dry. If it feels moist, there’s not need to water.
If it feels dry, stick your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches. This is about the second knuckle in your index finger.
When you take your finger out from the soil, see how your fingertip feels.
If the soil is dry and only soil dust is there, it means the soil is dry up to at least that depth. This is your sign to water the plant.
But if there’s soil that sticks to your fingertip or even slight moisture, don’t water the plant.
Just repeat this quick 5-10 second routine every half week and you’ll know when to water the plant.
Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy Potting Soil
The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy needs well-draining soil that stays moist. This stems from its susceptibility to overwatering.
And this is the reason why you want to be careful with watering too often.
In addition to too much water, the kind of soil you use will either help or hinder the situation.
To make sure that you don’t overwater the plant use well-draining soil. This way, the soil will quickly drain excess water, so the roots don’t end up swimming in too much moisture.
Avoid using heavy soils or even regular houseplant soil on its own. That’s because these tend to hold to much water which ultimately ends up to waterlogged soil and overwatering.
The problem with this is that the roots can suffocate as the water pushes out all the air.
When they do, the roots dies which leaves you with root rot.
Additionally, use soil with pH between 5.5 to 6.5 that’s high in organic matter content.
The good news is there are many ways to achieve this kind of soil. And they’re fairly simple.
The easiest is just to pick up some aroid mix from your favorite plant store or nursery. This will be pre-mixed and ready to use.
Another option is to make the soil yourself at home.
I like to do this because it lets you adjust the amounts and ingredients later on if you need to based on how the plant responds.
Plus, in the long run, it is much cheaper than buying soil mix.
Better yet, you have a many different recipes that can work. What I’ve found to work well for me is:
- 1 part potting mix
- 1 part coco chips
You can substitute the coco chips with coco fiber as well.
Another mix I’ve tested that works really well is:
- 1 part potting mix
- 1 part orchid bark
I like to keep things simple and minimal if possible.
The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy appreciates fertilizer as it will help it grow faster. Additionally, your plant will get bigger and produce larger leaves.
Note that this philodendron does not need a lot of fertilizer. So, avoid the temptation of giving it more in hopes it will grow faster or produce even larger foliage.
Just follow the instructions on the product and the plant will be happy.
I like to use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to 50% the suggested strength. Only fertilize the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy during spring and summer. Once a month is sufficient.
You don’t need to feed the plant during fall or winter.
And avoid trying to give it more plant food or applying more often than needed.
Too much fertilizer can damage the plant as it contains salts. This will result in fertilizer burn where ethe roots get damaged and the leaves turn yellow.
The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy is a slow grower. But given time, its leaves will become very impressive.
Indoors, the best growth happens if you let it climb a pole. Of course, you can keep the plant in a pot and let it grow there as well.
That said, pruning will vary significantly.
In general, the plant requires little pruning. That’s because its leaves make up majority of the plant.
But as it gets bigger, you may want to prune it to limit it size or remove the outliers. This will make the plant look neater.
Again, this all depends on the look your going for and how much space you have in your home.
How to Propagate Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy
The Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy can be propagated from stem cuttings. Air layering is also another good option.
Although, I prefer to use stem cuttings because it is simple, you can start several new plants at the same time and there’s less maintenance during the entire process.
Here’s how to propagate the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy from stem cuttings.
- Take a healthy stem cutting. Try to get a cutting that’s about 4 to 7 inches long. Make sure your cutting has at least one node and a few leaves on it. You can take multiple cuttings as well.
- Remove the bottom leaves for each cutting but leave the upper leaves.
- Next, prepare the growing medium. Fill a pot with well-draining potting mix. You can use any of the soil mixes mentioned above.
- If you have rooting hormone, apply it on the cut end of the stem. If not, don’t worry about it, just skip this step.
- Plant the cutting into the soil. Make sure at least one of the nodes is buried in the soil.
- Place the pot in a warm, humid location with bright indirect light.
- Water the soil and keep it moist once it gets dry. Avoid overwatering.
It takes about 4 weeks for the roots to develop. And in time they will establish themselves into the soil.
On the other hand, you can also propagate the stem cuttings in water.
Water propagation requires an extra step. Here, you’ll first put the stem cuttings in a container filled with water with the nodes submerged in the liquid.
It will take about 3-4 weeks for new roots to develop.
And once the roots reach 2 or more inches long, you can move the cuttings into potting mix.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy
There’s not need to repot the plant unless it becomes root bound. Therefore, avoid to temptation to repot annually. It usually takes 2 or 3 years before the plant needs more space.
Since the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy is a slow grower, that gives you time before its roots need more room.
Therefore, you can check the bottom of the pot once a year during early spring.
If there are many roots coming out from the drainage holes, it means it is time to repot. Spring is also the ideal time to repot the plant because that’s when it begins its growing season.
Choose a container that is one size larger than its current pot. And replace the soil with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
After repotting, water the soil until moist.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes. This plant is toxic which means you want to select the right place to position it if you have young children or pets in the home.
The same if true if you let your cat, dog or kids run around the in the garden.
Note that as long as they don’t chew, swallow or consume any part of the plant they’ll be safe. So, touching or carrying is not a concern.
Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests are not a huge problem for the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy. However, they can occur.
This means it is important to always be on the lookout for these bugs.
Spider mites, scale, aphids and mealybugs are common pests that will attack the plant. Since they are sap suckers they will take the internal juices of your Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy.
The problem is that sap contains moisture and nutrients.
So the more bugs there are and the more they feed, the weaker your plant will get.
If untreated, the bugs can overwhelm the plant as they grow in number very rapidly. This can eventually kill the plant.
So, make sure to immediately treat the plant if you see any of them.
You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap and spray it on the leaves and affected areas.
Overwatering is the biggest thing you want to be careful with because it can lead to many different problems.
The worst is root rot which occurs if you water too frequently.
As a result, the roots eventually drown in water and suffocate.
However, excess water can also cause bacterial and fungal infection. This is especially true for the leaves if you water over the plant and wet all the leaves in the process.
That’s a no-no.
Instead, pour directly onto the soil.