The Philodendron erubescens is also called the Blushing Philodendron. And yes, the word Erubescens is a Latin term that means “reddening” or “blushing”.
In any case, this plant is significantly because many popular cultivars come from it. Among them include the:
- Philodendron Pink Princess
- Philodendron Imperial Red
- Philodendron Imperial Green
- Philodendron Red Emerald
- Philodendron Emerald Queen
- And a few more
It is a member of the Araceae family. This Philodendron Plant can grow to between 10 to 20 feet high.
It is best known for its large, heart-shaped leaves which can grow up to 16 or so inches long. The leaves has a dark green glossy look to them on top. And, a more red purpose or burgundy color on the bottom.
As a native of the rainforests of Central and South America, it is a vigorous climber that enjoys tropical conditions. Thus, making it an easy to care for houseplant.
Philodendron Erubescens Plant Care
Philodendron erubescens thrive in medium light to partial shade. They can also take some bright, indirect light. But, avoid bright sunlight especially outdoors.
This makes it easier to grow indoors as a houseplant since you don’t have to worry about keeping near a very bright window.
This meals means that you’re better off with either a northern or eastern exposure as opposed to a western or southern one.
In a well-lit room, you can likewise keep it anywhere even 10 to 12 feet away from windows without any problems.
Like other philodendrons, avoid contact with direct sunlight. Exposing its foliage to the sun’s rays will cause they to burn. Similarly, too much bright light will also turn its foliage yellow.
Outdoors, you want to keep it under partial sun or shade. The sun is brighter outside because there are no walls and ceilings to block access.
This means that keeping the plant under dapped light or some kind of canopy is a good idea.
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Philodendron erubescens is a warm weather plant that is well-suited to indoor conditions. This makes it easy to care for as a houseplant.
It does best when temperature is kept between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. But it will likewise tolerate slightly hotter climate.
That said, you do want to monitor the plant once the weather reaches 95 degrees. Above this level towards 100 degrees, it will likely start showing signs of stress.
If you see any, move it to a cooler collation
On the other hand, the plant can tolerate the cold much less. In fact, it is not frost hardy.
So, you don’t want to leave it outside or in areas where the temperature can drop under 50 degrees. This will stunt growth or at the very least slow it down. At 40 degrees or lower, you’ll start seeing it experience some damage.
Speaking of the outdoors, the plant can likewise live in the garden or in container all year round in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. Below zone 10, it is best to do so during the warmer months after the threat of frost as passed. And, take it back indoors once things get chilly around fall.
Each time you do, make sure to debug the plant so as not to bring any critters into your home which may infest your other houseplants.
As far as humidity goes, your Philodendron erubescens enjoys humid conditions. Ideally, you want to keep humidity at 50% or higher. But, it will be able to tolerate lower humidity without any problem.
Again, this makes it an easy plant to grow and care for indoors.
However, you do want to watch out for overly dry conditions. If you live in the desert or experience cold, freezing winters, the humidity may drop considerably during these times.
I highly suggest picking up a hygrometer, which is inexpensive and very useful for growers. It will tell you what the humidity is in any given root. It will likewise automatically change readings as the weather changes. So, you’ll always be kept up to speed on what room humidity is.
This will let you adjust moisture levels if needed. And, also know if the adjustments you’ve made are enough or need a bit more tweaking.
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How to Water Philodendron Erubescens
Your Philodendron erubescens is drought tolerant. And, it is sensitive to overwatering.
As such, a basic rule of thumb is to keep soil on the dry side and avoid overwatering. Overwatering can come in the form of watering too much or watering too often.
And, the best way to avoid this is to use your sense of touch. Feeling the soil, and sticking your finger down a couple of inches will quickly tell you when you water.
If the soil at that depth is moist, wait a while. Then, test again.
Only water the plant if it has dried up This will prevent overwatering which can lead to root rot.
Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter to gauge how much moisture the soil has.
If you happen to see the plant’s leaves turn yellow. That’s a sign that it is getting too much water. More importantly, this is a warning light telling you to adjust your watering routine.
Otherwise, continuing can eventually lead to root problems.
Give your Philodendron erubescens rich, well-draining potting soil for the best results. It likewise does best in slightly acidic to neutral soil with pH between 5.8 to 7.5.
You want to avoid heavy soils as well as light sandy soils. The former will retain too much water that will put your plant at risk of root diseases. Meanwhile, the latter will drain too quickly such that its roots are not able to absorb enough water and nutrients.
So what does this mean?
This means you have a few options when it comes to soil.
- If you prefer going with a commercial product (i.e. one from the nursery), you can use either African violet soil, orchid mix, cactus or succulent mix. These will all work but they have different compositions and textures. So, you can decide which you prefer.
- If you like making your own, you can go with 100% sphagnum peat moss or a combination of peat and perlite or vermiculite.
- If you have regular potting soil already sitting around at home, you can likewise use that and add sand to improve drainage.
Your Philodendron erubescens is a fast grower. To support this growth, you’ll need to supply it with the proper nutrients.
Apply a balanced fertilizer (15-15-15 or 10-10-10) diluted to half strength on a monthly basis. If you notice the plant is not growing as well as it should despite getting optimum lighting, then you can increase feeding gradually to once every two weeks.
While the plant won’t die without fertilizer, its growth will slow down. And, you’ll likewise see it produce smaller leaves depending on how fertile your soil is and if you add compost annually.
Your Philodendron erubescens can grow to as tall as 10 to 20 feet high. Its leaves can likewise get to 16 inches long. Thus, you may need to trim it once in a while to limit or maintain its size and shape.
Beyond its looks, pruning is fairly low maintenance.
Remove any unhealthy leaves including those that have turned yellow. Similarly, trim any leggy stems to help them regrow.
Philodendron Erubescens Propagation
If you love the look of your Philodendron erubescens and its large vining leaves, you can grow more of your own without having to spend any money.
All you need is to do is take stem cuttings.
The best time to propagate this plant is during its growing season ideally spring or early summer at the latest.
Here’s how to propagate Philodendron erubescens from stem cuttings
- Begin by picking out healthy stems to propagate. You want to choose stems with at least 2 to 3 leaf nodes.
- With a sharp, sterile pair of scissors or pruning shears, take a cutting that’s between 3 to 7 inches long.
- Fill a small pot (6 inch by 6 inches) with fresh, well-draining potting mix. Then, add some water to get the soil moist.
- Remove the lower leaves that will get planted under the soil, leave a few leave on top.
- Place the plant in a warm, humid location with medium, indirect light. If you can’t find a humid enough spot, cover the plant with a plastic bag to increase humidity.
- In about 20 to 25 days, the cutting should have started developing roots. If you used plastic containers, you can slide out one of the cuttings and check the bottom of the root ball. You should see small white roots growing.
- It will take a few more weeks for the roots to get established.
- Over time, shoots will start growing as well.
- Repot the plant once it outgrows its container.
In addition to stem cuttings, you can likewise propagate the plant from seed or via air layering. That said, stem cuttings are the easiest way to go about it.
Related: ZZ Plant Propagation (Step by Step)
How to Repot
Since Philodendron erubescens are fast growers, you’ll need to repot often if you start them out from a young age. The best time to do so is during spring.
Keep in mind they’re vigorous climbers. So, placing a stake or pole to let them climb on lets them grow optimally.
As they get older, they you’ll need to repot less often. But, it can likewise be a hassle to do so because they’re already hugging the pole.
Philodendron erubescens are toxic to cats and dogs. They are likewise toxic to humans because they contain calcium oxalate crystals.
Ingesting any part of the plant will result in mouth, throat and digestive tract irritation. It can likewise cause vomiting.
Pests and Diseases
Philodendron erubescens is a common victim of mealybugs, scaled, whiteflies, aphids. This means it is important to do regular inspections.
I’ve found that if clean its leaves routinely, you’ll be able to spot pests and signs of their damage early on.
Once you do, immediately separate them from other plants and start treatment. You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Similarly, diseases can plague this plant. But, you have more power over this since majority of these are caused by too much moisture.
By controlling moisture, you’ll be able to limit fungal, leaf and root problems.
The Philodendron Erubescens is one of the most relevant philodendron varieties because it has many hybrids that have come out look beautiful. It is an easy plant to grow at home and propagates well.