Skip to Content

Philodendron Burle Marx Care Guide For Beginners

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

If you want to grow a healthy, thriving Burle Marx philodendron, this post will explain how to do this successfully. Philodendron Burle Marx is a tropical, evergreen plant species with multiple stems and large, oval, green leaves. Burle Marx philodendrons are low-maintenance houseplants but they grow best in moist, well-structured, nutrient-rich soil, and in a growing environment with indirect sunlight and medium to high humidity levels.

Philodendron Burle

Philodendron Burle Marx (Philodendron burle-marxii) is in the arum family and is one of the most popular houseplants in the world. This philodendron species is named after Burle Marx, the legendary Brazilian landscape architect (Calvacanti et al., 2011).

Burle Marx philodendron plants are easy to grow and maintain. Their lush, bold foliage imparts a distinctly tropical atmosphere to indoor environments.

Philodendron Burle Marx has a clumping growth habit and produces several stems. The leaves of Burle Marx philodendron are large, glossy, and oval-shaped, with pointed tips and lobed margins, and the roots grow below and above the soil (as aerial roots). 

Philodendron Burle Marx flowers resemble arum lily flowers, but the plants rarely develop flowers when grown indoors.

Burle Marx Philodendron Care Guide

The ideal growing conditions for philodendron Burle Marx are similar to those of most tropical or sub-tropical houseplants ( This species of philodendron thrives in warm, humid growing environments and moist, loose, nutrient-rich soil. Burle Marx philodendron plants grow best in bright but indirect sunlight.

Philodendron Burle Marx Water Requirements

Given that P. burle-marxii plants come from a tropical climate, they need regular watering to maintain adequate moisture levels in the soil. Burle Marx philodendron plants also need sufficient water to produce and maintain their large, fleshy stems and leaves.

The soil for Burle Marx philodendron should be consistently moist throughout the container, but it should not be soaking wet.

During the summer growing season, philodendron Burle Marx needs weekly watering or whenever the soil starts to dry out. The plants might need water more than once a week during hot, dry periods. 

In winter, Burle Marx philodendron don’t need regular watering because they become dormant. Watering once every two to three weeks during the cold winter months is usually sufficient to keep philodendron Burle Marx plants healthy.

It is recommended to water the plants less frequently and allow the soil to dry out slightly in winter because the plants are dormant at this time of year. Maintaining lower soil moisture levels during winter also reduces the risk of fungal diseases.

Philodendron Burle Marx Plant

Burle Marx Philodendron Soil Requirements

For Burle Marx philodendron plants to thrive, the plants require soil with an appropriate structure, nutrient content, and pH level (

The ideal soil structure for P. burle-marxii has good drainage, aeration, and water-retention capacity. Avoid heavy clay soils when growing Burle Marx philodendron. Soil mixes for philodendron Burle Marx should contain at least 50% peat moss, coco coir, vermiculite, or perlite. These materials will ensure sufficient drainage, aeration, and water-holding capacity.

Many soil recipes for philodendron Burle Marx recommend up to 100% peat moss or other material for aeration. This ratio of aerating material will maximize the oxygen levels around the roots. However, the plants will need more frequent fertilizer applications to compensate for the lack of organic matter in the growing media.

Philodendron Burle Marx also needs soil that is rich in nutrients. The best way to achieve this is by having a high percentage of organic matter in the soil mix. Compost or earthworm castings are excellent sources of organic matter for Burle Marx philodendron soil mixes. 

Philodendron Burle Marx tolerates a wide range of soil pH levels but prefers mildly acidic soil. The ideal pH level for Burle Marx philodendron is roughly 6.0 to 6.5.

Philodendron Burle Marx Light Requirements

Philodendron Burle Marx plants have adapted to forested environments with low light levels, so they prefer bright but indirect sunlight. The large surface area of P. burle-marxii leaves enables the plants to perform photosynthesis efficiently without needing intense, direct sunlight.

Though philodendron Burle Marx plants thrive in indirect sunlight, they tolerate and may benefit from exposure to direct sunlight in the cool, cloudy winter months.

Philodendron Burle Marx Temperature Requirements

Philodendron Burle Marx grows best in warm environments and prefers a temperature range between 69F and 75F

When philodendron Burle Marx plants get exposed to excessive heat, the stems wilt, and the leaves become dry and brown. The plants are more sensitive to cold temperatures. If the temperature drops below 65F, the growth rate of Burle Marx philodendron plants slows dramatically, and the leaves turn brown and eventually die.

Nonetheless, like other philodendron species, P. burle-marxii is a hardy houseplant, so it tolerates brief periods of excessive heat and cold when grown indoors and outdoors.

In areas that get frost in winter, it might be worth recommended to move potted P. burle-marxii plants indoors or to a protected position with higher temperatures.

Philodendron Burle Marx Care Guide

Philodendron Burle Marx Humidity Requirements

Philodendron Burle Marx needs humid environments to maintain their health, and to grow to their fullest potential. While the relative humidity level in tropical forests is about 70% to 80%, Burle Marx philodendron grows well if relative humidity levels are at least 60%.

In dry, hot weather, humidity levels can be increased to the optimal range for P. burle-marxii by misting the plants with plain water. Placing the plants on trays filled with water is also highly effective for increasing the humidity levels around the plants.

Excessively high humidity is rarely a problem for philodendron Burle Marx, though high humidity levels can potentially invite fungal disease if there is inadequate airflow in the growing area.

Fertilizer For Burle Marx Philodendron

Most general-purpose fertilizers for houseplants are suitable for Burle Marx philodendron. Fast-acting liquid fertilizers and slow-release dry fertilizers can be applied to this philodendron species with equal success. The crucial consideration is whether the fertilizers have the appropriate amounts and ratios of nutrients.

Burle Marx philodendron needs fertilizers with complete, balanced nutrient profiles. The fertilizers should have all the essential plant nutrients, with the primary, secondary, and trace nutrients being in proper proportion to each other, and no excessively high numbers for any specific nutrient.

As philodendron Burle Marx plants are grown predominantly for their large, green foliage, they need a fertilizer with adequate nitrogen.

Burle Marx philodendron has slightly higher nutrient requirements than other commonly grown types of houseplants and might need more frequent applications of fertilizer in the summer growing season.

Re-Potting Philodendron Burle Marx

Burle Marx philodendron needs to be re-potted every few years to keep the plants healthy. An obvious  sign that it’s time to re-pot Burle Marx philodendron plants is when their roots start growing out of the drainage holes of the containers.

Alternatively, if the plants aren’t too big, you can check if they need to be re-potted by gently lifting them out of their containers. If the roots are visibly circling around in the soil, this is a clear and urgent signal that it’s time to transplant into a larger container.

It is generally advisable to re-pot Burle Marx philodendron to a container that is only slightly larger than the original container size. The new container should be no more than two to four inches wider than the old container.

Re-potting into a container that is too big makes it more challenging to maintain the appropriate moisture levels because of the disproportionately large amount of soil relative to the size of the plant.

This can increase the risk of over-watering or under-watering philodendron Burle Marx plants.

If possible, Burle Marx philodendron should be re-potted into the same type of soil mix as the soil in their original containers. This will minimize transplant shock and smooth the plants’ transition into their new containers.

It is strongly recommended to re-amend the soil in the new containers with dry fertilizer or organic amended with organic matter so the plants have sufficient nutrition to support their continued growth in the new, larger containers.

Pruning Burle Marx Philodendron

Philodendron Burle Marx plants rarely need pruning. However, you can prune Burle Marx philodendron without causing serious harm to the plants.

One of the most common reasons to prune Burle Marx philodendron is to remove dead, dying, or diseased foliage.

Another common reason to prune philodendron Burle Marx plants is to control their size and shape. Pruning might be needed if the plants are growing too tall or wide or when they have become thin and leggy from receiving sufficient light.

Using a clean, sharp blade is crucial when pruning Burle Marx philodendron plants. This will minimize damage to the plants and maximize the pace of their recovery process.

The best time to prune philodendron Burle Marx is in spring before the growing season or in the fall once the plants have stopped their rapid growth and are entering dormancy.

Burle Marx Philodendron

Propagation Of Philodendron Burle Marx

Philodendron Burle Marx is easy to propagate. The plants can be grown from seed but are most commonly propagated by taking cuttings and air-layering. 

Burle Marx philodendron cuttings (or clones) can develop roots in water or soil. The cuttings should be about two inches to four inches long. They should cut below a growth node (where new leaves grow from the stem).

The cuttings are then placed directly in a container with water until roots start developing. If you plan to root the cuttings in soil, first set them aside for a week or two.

This allows the wound to dry and heal into a callous. When the wound has healed, the cuttings are ready to be transplanted into the soil.

Once the cuttings of Burle Marx philodendron are in the water or soil, put them in a spot that receives gentle, indirect light. Adequate light levels are necessary for enabling the cuttings to stay alive and start producing new root systems.

Air-layering is another popular method used for propagating Burle Marx philodendron plants. This method involves slicing the stem below a node and covering the wound with a small ball of peat moss. The peat moss is then wrapped loosely in clear plastic to maintain moisture levels while allowing airflow.

After one to two months, roots start forming in the peat moss. The newly- rooted is then removed from the parent plant and transplanted (without the plastic) into a container with soil.

Common Problems With Philodendron Burle Marx

Burle Marx philodendrons are tough, resilient plants but they aren’t invincible. Here are some of the common problems encountered by P. burle-marxii plants.

Yellow Or Brown Leaves

Perhaps the most common problem with Burle Marx philodendron is leaf yellowing or browning. This problem is common because there are so many possible causes.

Philodendron Burle Marx leaves naturally turn yellow or brown when they die. In this case, there is no cause for concern. The dead or dying leaves are usually removed from Burle Marx philodendron to promote airflow and enhance the appearance of the plants.

Burle Marx philodendron leaves often turn yellow or brown when they have been over-watered or under-watered.

Check the moisture levels in the soil. If the soil is wet and takes more than a week to start drying out, this indicates that over-watering is probably causing the leaves to turn yellow or brown.

The leaves of philodendron Burle Marx can also turn yellow or brown when the plants are affected by pests and diseases.

Leaf yellowing on Burle Marx philodendron plants can also result from nitrogen deficiency. Yellowing from nitrogen deficiency is first visible on old leaves at the bottom of the plants.

This is because the soil doesn’t have enough nitrogen so the plants are using nitrogen stored in older leaves and diverting it to new growth at the top of the plants.

The obvious solution is to add nitrogen fertilizer. Most all-purpose fertilizers will have sufficient nitrogen to address the deficiency and ensure that new foliage is healthy and green. Remove the old, yellow leaves as they will not benefit from the fertilizer application.

Not Enough Sunlight

While Burle Marx philodendrons don’t like growing in direct sunlight, they also suffer when they don’t get enough sunlight!

Lack of sunlight is a common problem for P. burle-marxii since this plant species is usually grown indoors.

Not having enough sunlight is also a common problem for Burle Marx philodendron plants because it can be difficult to tell precisely how much indirect sunlight is sufficient to meet their needs.

Common signs that Burle Marx philodendron plants aren’t getting enough sunlight often include:

  • leggy growth with wide spacing between the leaf nodes.
  • slow growth rate,
  • leaves that are too small,
  • a lack of leaf variegation.

If philodendron Burle Marx plants need more sunlight, position them in brighter indirect light. If you place the plants within a foot or two from a south-facing window (if you’re in the northern hemisphere) should solve the problem.

Finding a location with the ideal amount of sunlight might involve some trial and error and will depend on the orientation and light exposure of your growing space, as well as local climate and the time of year.

Burle Marx Philodendron Plant

Pests: Spider Mites And Mealybugs

Burle Marx philodendron plants don’t commonly have problems with insect pest infestations. However, Burle Marx philodendron plants may encounter problems with pests like spider mites and mealybugs when the plants are growing in unfavorable conditions and have become stressed and unhealthy.

Spider mites are usually found on the undersides of Burle Marx philodendron leaves. The mites are red or orange and have a spider-like appearance, though this is hard to tell with the naked eye because they are so tiny.

Spider mites suck on the sap of Burle Marx philodendron leaves. In the feeding process, the spider mites inadvertently act as vectors for countless plant diseases.

They leave tiny whitish spots on the leaves. A fine, white webbing becomes visible in the advanced stages of spider mite infestations.

Mealybugs are another pest that may cause problems for philodendron Burle Marx plants that are stressed and unhealthy from exposure to suboptimal growing conditions, neglect, or inappropriate watering or fertilization.

These white, fuzzy pests are larger than spider mites. They feed on the stem sap of Burle Marx philodendron plants, leaving a white, powdery substance on the plants. Mealybugs also produce a sugary, viscous liquid called honeydew that attracts pathogenic black mold to the plants.

Mealybugs are far easier to detect and eradicate than spider mites. Individual mealybugs can remove by hand. Mealybug residues and black mold should be wiped off the plants with a mild disinfectant solution of water mixed with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. 

Tips For Growing Philodendron Burle Marx

A handy tip when increasing humidity levels for Burle Marx philodendron with a tray filled with water is to add small pebbles to the tray.

The pebbles will absorb the water and release it slowly into the air around the plants, keeping the humidity levels higher for longer.

Best Products for Philodendron Burle Marx

Peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and coco coir are some of the best products for growing philodendron Burle Marx. These materials provide exceptional aeration to the soil mix, enabling the plant roots to get enough oxygen to sustain their rapid growth rates.

Where Can I Buy Philodendron Burle Marx?

Philodendron Burle Marx plants are not rare. The plants are available from most nurseries and garden stores that sell commonly-grown houseplants. You can even buy Burle Marx philodendron from Walmart and Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions People Ask About Burle Marx Philodendron

I’ve covered most of the vital information to need to know about growing Burle Marx Philodendron. If you want to know more, here are a few questions that people frequently ask about this unique philodendron species.

Is Burle Marx Philodendron Fast Growing?

Like many tropical plant species, Burle Marx Philodendron is fast growing. Healthy Philodendron Burle Marx plants grow between two to four inches per week during the growing season!

The growth rate of P. burle-marxii plants is fastest when the plants are in optimum growing conditions. To achieve a growth rate of two to four inches a week, Burle Marx philodendron plants need bright indirect light for large parts of the day.

Burle Marx philodendron plants grow most vigorously in warm temperatures and medium to high humidity levels. The plants are also fast growing when planted in well-aerated soil and receive adequate (but not excessive) amounts of water and fertilizer.

Is Philodendron Burle Marx Toxic?

Philodendron Burle Marx plants are mildly toxic (but not lethal) to humans and animals. The plants contain an organic compound called calcium oxalate, which can irritate the stomach and esophagus when consumed.

Calcium oxalate can also irritate the skin and cause rashes when coming into contact with the plant sap.

Nevertheless, if you use common sense, Burle Marx philodendron plants are entirely safe to handle. Calcium oxalate is not on the exterior surfaces of the plants, so it’s easy to avoid coming into contact with this mildly toxic organic compound.

Can Philodendron Burle Marx Grow In Water?

Philodendron Burle Marx can grow in water and remain healthy for long periods. If cared for correctly, philodendron Burle Marx plants will grow in water for many years.

P. burle-marxii are usually grown in water for propagation purposes. Stem cuttings are taken from the parent plants and placed in water for several weeks. Once the stem cuttings develop a sufficient amount of healthy roots, they are planted into a container with soil.

When propagating or growing Burle Marx philodendron in water, it is preferable to use filtered or distilled water. You can use tap water but let it sit in an open container for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

It is crucial to regularly replace the water that Burle Marx philodendron plants are growing in with clean water. If the old water is not replaced, the roots of the plants will start to become unhealthy and diseased. Changing the water in the container every two to four days is ideal.

It is also advisable to add mild concentrations of liquid fertilizer to the water if Burle Marx philodendron cuttings have roots and are growing in water for several weeks or longer.