The Philodendron Ring of Fire is a another philodendron that’s not found in all garden centers. If you want one of these hard-to-find-in-demand plants, you’ll likely need to search a few online stores in hopes of spotting one.
And, be ready to shell out some cash.
These can cost anywhere from $70 all the way to over $150 per plant. Sometimes they’re out of stock as well.
So, it does take some work to and willingness to pick one up.
That said, it is a gorgeous plant that that will instantly give any room an exotic feel.
Like many philodendrons, this one is a climber. And, it will appreciate being able to go up walls or a moss pole.
However, they don’t grow as fast as some other houseplants. Nevertheless, your patience will be well rewarded.
The plant itself will grow to about 3 to 3.5 feet high. They have long, narrow, arching leaves with jagged edges that can reach about 2 feet long and nearly a foot and a half wide.
Their unique looking foliage are their main attraction. And, you’ll be hard pressed to see something that looks similar to the ring of fire.
Philodendron Ring of Fire Plant Care
Place your Philodendron Ring of Fire somewhere it will get bright, indirect light. It is important to keep it away from the sun’s rays. That’s because this can scorch its leaves.
Thus, as a rule, it is a good idea to keep the plant where it does not cast any shadow. This is a good test to make sure that at no point in the day is the plant exposed to the sun’s rays.
If you notice the plant’s leaves turning yellow, it is a potential sign that the plant may be getting too much light. So, it is a good idea to move it.
But, do note that older leaves also tend to turn yellow.
On the other hand, too little light can also become a problem.
The Philodendron Ring of Fire can tolerate some low light. But, if it gets too dim or dark, its growth will slow and it will reach out towards wherever the light source it.
This will cause it to become leggy and bend towards one direction.
When you see this happen, it is a sign to move it to a brighter spot. I also suggest rotating the plant every few days or per week or so. This way each side will receive a balanced amount of sunlight.
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Your Philodendron Ring of Fire is a tropical plant. As such, it is hardy to zones 9b to 11 where the sun is out ever day of the year including wintertime.
It is important to note that it cannot tolerate freezing temperature. Thus, if you live below zone 9, I recommend growing it as a houseplant or in a container. With the latter, you can bring it indoors as the weather starts to cool around mid-fall.
On the other hand, it is better able to tolerate hot weather. But, it thrives when temperature is kept between 55 and 80 degrees.
This feature makes it easy to care for the ring of fire indoors since most homes stay withing this range.
One last thing worth mentioning is to keep it away from drafts be it hot or cold. It does best when conditions are kept fairly consistent.
So, avoid positioning it near heaters, air conditioners or even open windows and doors where cold breezes and cause temperature fluctuations.
Similarly, the plant’s tropic habitat makes it prefer higher humidity. It thrives when humidity is kept between 50% and 70%. But, won’t have a problem even if moisture levels drop to around 30% and 40%.
Again, this makes it easy to care for as a houseplant since you don’t have to do anything much to accommodate this need.
That’s because most homes run between 30% and 50% humidity.
However, be aware that hot summers and cold winters make the air dry. Similarly, if you live in the desert or similar places, the conditions are likewise dry.
This means you may need to increase the humidity in your home to keep the plant growing optimally.
Since humidity can vary significantly from home to home, I recommend getting a digital hygrometer.
This will tell you what the humidity is in a particular room in your home. Thus, you can make adjustments if it is too low for the plant’s preferences.
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How Often to Water Philodendron Ring of Fire
When watering your Philodendron Ring of Fire, allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry before watering again. this prevents overwatering which is very bad (sometimes deadly) to many houseplants including the Philodendron Ring of Fire.
A good habit to form is to regular check the soil of your plants by sticking your finger down about 2 inches into the soil. if it feels wet or even slightly moist, wait until it dries at least the top 2 inches.
Only water once 2 or more inches of the top soil dries.
When watering, pour until you soak the entire root ball. Make sure to pour or position the hose onto the soil and not water the entire plant (which wets the leaves).
Once excess moisture starts dripping from the bottom of the container, stop. Then allow all the extra liquid to drain completely before returning the plant to its original spot.
On the other hand, the Philodendron Ring of Fire is more tolerant of lack of water. But, it likewise is not a good idea to leave it to dry for long periods.
That said, it is less likely to die from lack of water than it is of overwatering. So, err on the side of less water.
The good news is you can instantly tell if the plant needs water just by looking at it. It will become a sad looking plant with droopy leaves that look dry.
However, once you water it, it will quickly bounce back to life within the next 24 hours.
Soil for Philodendron Ring of Fire
Philodendron Ring of Fire does best in light, airy soil that is well-draining. Soil with pH between 6.1 to 7.0 is ideas.
Because the plant enjoys moist conditions, it is important that the soil is able to hold enough moisture but not too much.
This sounds ironic but it is how many plants like it.
They’re able to absorb nutrients from the soil including fertilizer when the soil is kept moist. But, you don’t want the soil to be muddy or soggy which means there’s too much water.
Wet soil is a recipe for disaster as the plant’s roots will sit in moisture for long periods of time. When this happens, they’ll be deprived of oxygen which cannot get through the small opening in the soil.
Over time, it can lead to root rot if not remedies.
This is why well-draining soil is essential. It allows the excess moisture to drain out of the pot while still keeping enough water to let the plant absorb nutrients and stay hydrated.
Thus, it is a good idea to use perlite or vermiculate along with peat to achieve this.
Feed your Philodendron Ring of Fire with a balanced fertilizer during the spring and summer. It only needs to be fed once a month during this time. And, make sure to dilute to half strength each time you apply.
Too much fertilizer will harm your plant more than it will do good.
Once fall arrives cut back feeding to once every two months through the winter.
Like everything else in gardening monitor how the plant is doing and adjust from there.
If you notice it growing very slowly or producing small leaves, it means the plant is either not getting enough sunlight or you need to up the fertilizer a bit.
Make sure to adjust one variable at a time so you know what’s working and what isn’t.
On the other hand, if the plant has pale colored leaves, it is a sign that it is not getting enough micronutrients, specifically calcium and magnesium.
Thus, choose a fertilizer that contains these as philodendrons need them to maintain good health.
The Philodendron Ring of Fire is a slow growing plant. Although it can grow up to 3 to 3.5 feet long.
This means you don’t need to prune it often. Nevertheless, you will need to trim it back a little every so often since it can look messy.
As the leaves get longer and grow outward, it can look unruly and cover spaces around it. Thus, it is a good idea to keep it maintained so it looks neat and tidy, especially if it is indoors and used as display or decoration.
Philodendron Ring of Fire Propagation
Because your Philodendron Ring of Fire is not easy to find, it is a good idea to propagate it so you can grow more of them.
Fortunately, this is an easy and free way to get more of this hard-to-find houseplant.
The best way to propagate this plant at home is via stem cuttings. Here’s how to do it.
- Start by choosing a healthy stem with at least 2 or more leaf nodes.
- Take a stem cutting that’s about 4 to 7 inches long. Be sure to sterilize the knife or pruning shears with rubbing alcohol beforehand to reduce the risk of infection.
- Once you have the cutting, place it in water and with the cut part down. Before you do, make sure to remove any leaves that will get submerged into the water.
- Place the jar with the stem cutting in a spot that’s warm with bright, indirect light.
- In about 2 to 3 weeks you should start to see roots grow out from he leaf nodes.
- Wait until the roots get to about half an inch or an inch long. Then, transfer the stem cutting into a pot with well-draining mix.
- Water the soil to keep it moist.
- You can place a plastic bag over the pot to increase humidity. This will help it grow during its initial stages.
- After this, care for it as mentioned above. In a few months you should have leaves growing.
How to Repot Philodendron Ring of Fire
Due to its slow growth, you won’t need to repot annually. But, do expect to do so every 2 or 3 years as the plant will eventually outgrow its container.
You can likewise wait a while because it doesn’t mind being slightly root bound. But, don’t leave it too long in a very tight container as this will cause it stress. And, a stressed plant is more prone to pests and diseases.
Once you see roots starting to extend outside the pot, it is a sign to get ready to go up one pot size.
The best time to repot is during spring and summer.
And, do note that transplanting does put some stress on the plant. So avoid repotting during very hot or cold days so as not to exacerbate things even more.
You’ll also need to let the plant recover a bit after repotting.
When repotting prepare a new container that is about 2 or 3 inches wider than the current one. Also have some fresh potting soil on hand to replace the spent one.
The fresh soil will help improve drainage and provide new nutrients.
If you have young children or own pets, be careful where you place your Philodendron Ring of Fire.
It is toxic to humans and animals if ingested. And, kiddos, cats and dogs are notorious for curiosity and eating things.
This can result in gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, mouth and esophagus irritation or pain.
Pests and Disease
Mealybugs and spider mites are the most common pests that are likely to attack your plant.
Keeping your plant healthy and cleaning its leaves are two of the best things you can do to prevent pests. You can also apply insecticidal spray to deter them.
Since pests can happen any time to any plant, you always want to be on the lookout for them.
Regular inspection is the best way to spot them early. And, if you clean your plant on a regular basis, you can take this opportunity to inspect the leaves and the stems when you do so.
Besides pests, disease are the other problem. Diseases are not as prevalent as pests unless you water too much or too often.
Most of the time, watering issues are the cause of disease since they tend to grow on moist conditions.
As such, keeping the plant somewhere with bright, indirect light helps any excess moisture to dry faster. Also, making sur they get good air circulation also helps a lot.