The Philodendron Rojo Congo is also known as the Philodendron Red Congo. It is different from most philodendrons because it doesn’t have a climbing or vining habit.
Hailing from South America, it is accustomed to tropical conditions. Thus enjoys warm weather.
The plant is best known for its beautiful flowers and large leaves. It actually gets it name from the way its foliage which starts out as reddish in color then turns into burgundy green as it matures.
If you’re looking for a unique looking plant indoors our outdoors, the Philodendron Rojo Congo is definitely worth considering.
That said, it does grow to about 2 to 4 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide indoors in a container. You can limit its size by pruing and keeping it in the same container. This will let you keep it on table tops and furniture. Or, you can place it on the floor as it get bigger.
Philodendron Rojo Congo Plant Care
Philodendron Rojo Congo Light Requirements
The Philodendron Rojo Congo is an easy houseplant to care for because it can take a variety of living conditions.
And light is one of those things.
While the plant does best with bright, indirect light, it will do well in medium and even low light. This means you can keep it near a window or in the middle of the room 10 to 15 feet away from the window.
The one place to avoid is somewhere it receives direct sunlight. Too much harsh sun will cause its leaves to scorch. You’ll notice this as its leaves will have brown, crispy spots.
In low light conditions, you likewise need to observe how the plant responds. When it gets too dim, your Philodendron Rojo Congo will become spindly and leggy. It will also become less bushy.
This is a sign that it wants more light. And, that you should move it.
To make sure the plant grows evenly, rotate it every now and then.
Outdoors, you want to be more careful with sunlight. There are no walls or ceilings to protect the plant from the sun. As such, keeping it away from direct sun can be more challenging.
Ideally, give it partial shade. It will likewise tolerate full shade.
One of the most important things in caring for your Philodendron Rojo Congo is giving it a warm spot to live in. The good news is, it is well-suited to room temperature.
Again, this is why the plant is easy to care for.
As long as you keep temperature between 60 to 85 degree Fahrenheit it will be happy. The lower half of the range will often happen at night, while daytime temperatures stay on the upper half.
That said, do watch out for extremes.
While the plant can tolerate hot conditions, it won’t be happy staying at 100 degree or higher climates.
More importantly, it is less tolerant of the cold. Don’t keep it somewhere it can get as cold as 40 degrees or lower. Ideally, once temperatures get to 50 degrees, move it to somewhere toastier.
One sign that it is struggling from the cold is that it will begin to drop its leaves. As such, when you see this, you want to move it.
Humidity is likewise not much of an issue for most households. Your Philodendron Rojo Congo enjoys humidity between 40% to 60%. This puts it around where the average household humidity falls.
That said, if you live somewhere that’s dry like the desert or experience freezing winters, moisture can be a problem.
I highly suggest getting a hygrometer if you’re not sure what the indoor humidity is in your home. This is an inexpensive yet very useful tool for houseplant owners since these plants enjoy high humidity.
You’ll be able to instantly tell if a room is suitable for any given plant. Or, if you need to make adjustments to accommodate it.
How Often to Water Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo does not like wet, soggy conditions. As such, avoid overwatering. This can either be from too much moisture every time you water or watering too often.
Either way, if it sits in water long too frequently, it ill likely experience root rot at some point.
As such, it is important to allow the top 1 to 3 inches of soil to dry up between waterings. You can test this by sticking your index finger into the soil.
It should feel dry at that depth.
If you find it hard to tell the difference, you can check you finger when you take it out of the soil. If there is mud or soil sticking to it, then it is still moist. Wait a few days. Then test again.
The soil in your finger should be dry. The texture will feel like find ground coffee or salt with particles falling one by one from your finger.
To monitor your progress, always observe the plants leaves and stems.
Wilting or dropping stems and leaves means there is a watering problem. This can be from dehydration or overwatering. The easiest way to tell is to feel the soil.
If it is wet or soggy, then you’re likely overwatering. If it feels dry, odds are it needs more water.
Meanwhile, yellow leaves are often a sign of too much water.
Soil for Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo does best in loose, well-draining soil that is high in organic matter. It likewise enjoys acidic to neutral soil.
As such, you can use a variety of different ingredients for your potting mix. Here are a few options.
- 100% sphagnum peat moss
- Peat and perlite
- Peat and vermiculite
To best the best look for the plant, growers often put 2 to 3 plants into a 10 inch container. This looks amazing because the pot will look full and bushy.
Philodendron Rojo Congo Fertilizer
Philodendron Rojo Congo are heavy feeders. As such, in addition to rich, fertile soil, it needs to be fed regularly during its growing season to achieve the best results.
You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks during spring and summer. Then, cut back to about every 6 to 8 weeks during winter.
Alternatively, you can likewise go with slow release fertilizer. This will reduce the frequency of feeding. And, it likewise cuts the risk of salt buildup in the soil.
If you do opt for slow release fertilizer, apply 2 to 3 times a year.
Slow plant growth or small leaves means it either is not getting enough light or plant food. So, check both and eliminate one before trying to fix the problem.
Often, it is easier to adjust light exposure. So, start with that.
On the other hand, pale colored leaves means that the plant lacks calcium and magnesium. These are two micronutrients philodendrons needs.
If this should happen, check if your fertilizer has the too components. If not, get a product that has them.
Your Philodendron Rojo Congo does not need a lot of pruning. It is a slow grower. Although it will eventually get as tall as 4 feet indoors.
That said, if you want to do any major pruning, the best time to do so is during the spring or summer. This often involves trimming it to its desired shape and size.
At other times of the year, you can do some maintenance work as well if you see anything that needs fixing. A few of these include:
- Removing dead, or discolored leaves. As long as it is just a few leaves, you can do it any time of the year. Leave the rest for spring or summer. The plant naturally sheds leaves every 30 to 60 days. So, you can take out a couple or so every now and then.
- Cut out parts of leaves that have brown spots. You can use a sterile pair of scissors to do this. Just cut out the section that’s affected and reshape the leaves.
- Cleaning. You can use cloth and wipe down the leaves. This is a good way to inspect the leaves as well. Removing dust and debris also helps them collect from light.
Philodendron Rojo Congo Propagation
Your Philodendron Rojo Congo can be propagated very easily. The most common way houseplant owners do this is via stem cuttings.
Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Rojo Congo from stem cuttings.
- Pick out a healthy stem with at least a couple of nodes.
- Using a sterile pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears trim off the stem cuttings. Take a 4 to 6 inch cutting.
- Place the stem cutting into a glass or jar filled with water. Make sure to remove any leaves that will get submerged.
- Keep the jar in a bright place that does not get direct sunlight.
- In about 2 weeks or so, you should see roots developing in the water. Allow the roots to grow to about 1 to 2 inches long.
- Then move it to a small pot (6 inches diameter) with fresh potting mix.
- Water the soil to keep it moist
How to Repot Philodendron Rojo Congo
Your Philodendron Rojo Congo doesn’t grow too fast. So, you’ll likely only need to repot every 2 to 3 years. Exactly when will depend on its living conditions as this will affect the actual growth rate of the plant.
Before you repot, always check. Take a look at the drainage hole at the bottom of the plant. This is often the first spot where the plant tries to come out. Its roots will peek out from the hole if it has outgrown the container.
Similarly, touch the soil to see if it feels loose. Once the roots outgrown the space they’re in, they’ll try to muscle their way out. This loosens the soil.
Here’s how to repot your Philodendron Rojo Congo.
- Find a good spot to get dirty. You can do this in a large sink (if you have one), outside int the grass or place newspaper on the floor indoors.
- Gently side root ball out of the pot. The more pot bound it is the harder it will be to get out. You can water beforehand to loosen the soil up a bit to make this easier.
- Brush off any excess soil or dirt. Make sure the roots are healthy as well.
- Add fresh, rich, well-draining potting soil to the new container. Use a container that’s 2 inches wider in diameter.
- Place the root ball in. Then, fill the gaps with soil.
- if you don’t want the plant to grow any bigger, clear out a good part of the soil in the root ball and use the same container with fresh potting soil. Alternatively, if the roots are getting too big for the pot, prune the roots. By keeping the plant in the same container, you can maintain its size for the rest of its life.
- Water the soil thoroughly.
- Place the plant in bright, indirect light.
Don’t worry if the plant’s growth stalls for the next 2 to 4 weeks. This is normal as it recovers from the shock of being transplanted. It will likewise adjust to its new home during that time. After that, it will start growing again.
Like other philodendrons, keep the Rojo Congo away from pets and children. It is toxic to people, dogs, cats and horses.
Pests and Diseases
The Philodendron Rojo Congo does not often experience problems with pests nor disease. But, critters can still attack it.
The most common ones include mealybugs and aphids.
Similarly, they can experience disease, including cold injury (if temp stays under 50 degrees), lack of magnesium, bacterial leaf spot and root rot.