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Philodendron Red Emerald care is quite simple. With around 60% humidity, temperatures above 55°F, and bright indirect light, your plant will flourish. Make sure that you’ve got a liquid or granular fertilizer to add every four to six weeks, as well as a regular watering schedule to push your plant over the top.
Knowing how to care for Philodendrons will keep your plant alive (and healthy). Since the plant comes from the tropics of America, you’ll have to try and simulate those conditions to ensure that your plant thrives.
The Philodendron Erubescens also goes by Red Emerald, Blushing Philodendron, and Emerald Red. If this is your first plant baby, you may be worried about precisely what to do.
Keep reading to learn more about the conditions that will keep your plant as beautiful as it was when you first received it.
From repotting to fertilizer, watering schedules, light, temperature, and humidity, here’s everything you need to know about Philodendron Erubescens care.
With the numerous Philodendron varieties out there, the crucial question is – how can you tell if a Philodendron is a Red Emerald? If you’ve spotted a Philodendron with red stems and long, thin green leaves, you’re in luck.
The Philodendron Red Emerald should not be confused with the Green Emerald Philodendron or Ruby Philodendron. The definitive difference is that the Red Emerald unfurls new leaves with a deep burgundy (reddish) color.
Once it matures, the leaves will change into a beautiful green. It may be confused with other Philodendrons that remain red. This hybrid shows off multiple beautiful colors in one leaf over time.
Philodendron’s red stem is the major drawcard, although, the new leaves are a bright red to deep burgundy as well.
The foliage is longer and thinner than the usual Philodendron types. It’s pinnately designed along the main stem, making it look much fuller.
Erubescens Philodendron typically produces a flower with a pinkish-red cone-shaped spathe and spadix. The flower is similar to an Arum lily, with a closed flower instead of wide open. The flower usually blooms after the plant has matured.
So, what are the best soil conditions for the Philodendron Red Emerald? There are a few options to consider, namely loamy soil or LECA balls. Each one has its benefits and downfalls.
Loam soil is usually three-part silt, clay, and sand mixture. Clay is an excellent component to add to soil thanks to its moisture retention, while sand allows for naturally excellent aeration. The silt amalgamates sand and clay properties and improves nutrient retention.
If you don’t have loam soil on hand, you can easily mix up a concoction of equal parts regular potting soil or sand and compost.
This will allow you to simulate the conditions of loam soil. You can always add some perlite to the mix or even some chunks of pine bark for extra aeration.
The biggest issue with soil is finding the right balance between these elements to ensure that your plant’s soil stays moist without getting soggy. And, of course, has sufficient drainage.
For those who don’t necessarily appreciate the joys of soil beneath your fingertips, LECA balls are a great alternative.
While they may be tricky to understand at first, you’ll just have to rinse out your new pack of clay pebbles, pop them in a pot and plant your Philodendron Emerald Red.
The only downside of LECA is the lack of nutrients naturally prevalent in the balls. To fix this, you’ll have to fertilize the plants regularly.
Watering your red-stemmed Philodendron should be done once every 7 to 14 days. It’s vital to keep the soil moist but not soggy since tropical plants prefer lots of water. You’ll have to ensure that your plant receives enough water to remain moist until the next watering.
If you’re unsure how often to water your plant, you can insert a soil water meter (hygrometer) to measure when the soil reaches dry.
This is usually a great indicator of how often you should water and how much to water. Be sure to place the meter in different places around the pot for a more accurate reading.
Another handy solution to most of your watering problems is the use of watering globes. It’s a small globe with a stem that can be placed into the soil as an “automated” watering device.
While watering globes can last a bit longer than manually watering your plant regularly, you will still have to check the soil moisture levels before refiling the spheres. Depending on how long watering globes last, your watering cycle will change accordingly.
To manually check the soil moisture level, you can also dip your finger in the soil. If the top two inches of soil is dry, you can go ahead and give your plant some water.
If you’re noticing pools of water in the bottom tray or on the topsoil, try to throw this out as it can eventually cause root rot.
As with most Philodendron plants, your Red Emerald will need tons of indirect sunlight. The color of your plant may begin to fade if your plant isn’t receiving enough light.
Adjust your plant closer to a window and ensure it receives between five to eight hours of indirect and bright light.
As one of the indoor plants that require very little light, or partial shade this plant doesn’t do well in direct sunlight. The leaves will either burn or begin to look matte instead of the shiny, leathery look we love to see from Philodendrons.
During the winter, you may notice your plant looking a little less striking. This could be due to a lack of light. Your options to resolve the situation are twofold.
You can either move the plant to a location that receives some more light during the colder seasons – this is the easy fix.
If your home is a little gloomier during the winter, you could invest in a grow light. Be sure to check the instructions and note how intense the light is to prevent burning and provide maximum light exposure.
A full-spectrum light may work better with an evergreen like this one. Although, pure white light has the potential to work just as well.
The Philodendron Red loves average to warm temperatures. The heat can range anywhere between 55–65°F. Your plant could become leggy at a lower temperature and look slightly unsightly.
If your plant is exposed to too high temperatures, you could get chlorosis (yellowing leaves).
You can easily measure the temperature around your plants with a thermometer and humidity meter.
The Red Philodendron humidity, along with the temperature, plays quite an essential role in how well your plant does. The humidity should be anywhere above 60%.
With the proper humidity, you can expect full and bright-colored leaves. Low humidity levels can cause dry leaves and stunted growth.
If you find that you have less than 60% humidity, you can easily increase this by adding a humidifier or diffuser to the area.
Another option is creating a pebble try, with pebbles at the base of the plant that regularly gets filled with water. This will add water into the air and thus increase humidity.
For plant parents to achieve optimal Blushing Philodendron care, fertilizer is a surefire way to ensure healthy and happy Red Emerald plants. You should consider adding fertilizer to your plant once every few weeks.
Liquid fertilizer may work best as it is easier to add to the soil and the plant’s roots will soak up all the vital nutrients and minerals a lot faster.
For a slower release, granular fertilizers or powders are also sufficient. Just be sure to find a fertilizer that is higher in nitrogen and potassium.
Do not repot your plant immediately after bringing it home. Allow the plant to acclimate to its new environment and surroundings. This will better combat whichever issues may arise with your plant.
Once you feel that the plant is thriving in its new spot, and it seems your Emerald Red Philodendron has outgrown its current pot, you may consider repotting it into a pot one size bigger.
What will you need:
- A clean pot one size bigger
- Some new soil
- Watering can
- Gardening trowel
What you need to do:
- Squeeze the current pot around the edges to loosen the soil from the sides
- Grab the plant at the base (where the soil ends and the visible plant begins)
- Tilt the plant over and allow it to fall out.
- Throw some soil in the new pot
- Check that the roots are loosened (do not loosen too much or interfere with the root ball too much)
- Place the plant in the new pot and fill it with soil around the edges.
- Press it down firmly, refill until the roots are entirely covered.
- Water until it drains through from the bottom.
Be sure not to repot during the plants’ primary growing season. It’s best to repot in the shoulder seasons like autumn and the beginning of spring.
While you’re repotting, be careful not to disturb the root ball too much, as this can cause the plant to go into shock.
If you’re afraid of transplant shock, you could add some Epsom salts to the water to strengthen the plant. Magnesium is excellent for plants as it aids in chlorophyll production and photosynthesis.
Pruning is vital to ensure that your plant will send energy to new growth and healthier leaves. It’s important to prune any dead leaves and stems off your plant at the base. You can also prune any unruly leaves and attempt to propagate them.
Be sure to use sterilized, sharp shears to cut off the excess plant matter. If you’re doing a pruning session en-masse, be sure to wipe off the blades between plants. Negligence could carry bacteria or pests from one plant to another.
Prune the stems right at the base to avoid any dead sections from occurring. It’s best to prune your plant before and after the most intense growing sessions (usually in summer when the weather is naturally adequate).
No, you should not prune aerial roots. This will just push the plants’ growth back a bit. It’s best to redirect unwanted aerial roots back into the soil as this may help strengthen the existing plant.
You can train unmanageable aerial roots to climb up a moss pole, tree, or other buttresses.
You can quickly propagate this plant through cuttings to create more red emerald babies. Once you’ve pruned your plant and have found a few healthy nodes to replant, there are a few ways to ensure a healthy junior Red Emerald.
- Root cuttings in water: This is by far the easiest as you’ll be able to watch the plant grow and develop. Take a healthy node and place it in water. Be sure to change the water regularly and allow only the bottom tip to rest in the water. If the entire leaf and stem are covered, your cutting will rot instead of root.
- Root cuttings in soil: This approach is a bit more direct, but there is no way of knowing just how well your cutting is doing. Place a healthy cutting into some soil, water it slightly, and place it in a low light environment. This will allow the plant to root and develop. Be sure not to tamper with the cutting too often, as you may disrupt new growth.
- Air layering nodes on the mother plant: This method is slightly more advanced yet provides heaps of success. Wrap a node piece with some sphagnum moss, mist the moss and cover with plastic wrap to optimize humidity. These conditions will allow roots to form while still on the mother plant. Once you’ve seen ample root development, you can cut off that node and place it directly in nutrient-rich soil.
Be sure to use clean shears or scissors to snip off a clean node. Any bacteria or viruses found on the shears will transfer to the plant, ultimately killing the cutting before it roots.
The Red Emerald Philodendron won’t have many problems if adequately cared for. Although, it is prone to the mosaic virus, mealybugs, scales, and spider mites.
These are all easily diagnosable and even easier to treat. Keep reading to learn more about the issues you may encounter while caring for this beautiful plant.
Leaves are pretty informative in most plants. Yellow or brown leaves can indicate a few problems with your Philodendron Red Emerald and are usually the first signs of any significant issues.
Chlorosis (yellowing) of lower leaves indicates low temperatures; anything below 40°F will cause the bottom bit to yellow up. If you’ve noticed that the leaves are yellowing throughout the plant and that leaf size has shrunk, you’re probably sitting with a nitrogen deficiency.
Find a high nitrogen and potassium fertilizer to rectify this issue.
Dead spots closer to the base of the leaves are caused by too many pesticide chemicals (which is avoidable with organic pesticides) and possibly a bit of liquid fertilizer that has fallen onto the leaf and dried out.
Be sure to always fertilize your plants directly into the soil for better absorption.
If you’re noticing brown edges, your plant is not in an adequate location and may need to be moved where light levels can improve, and the plant can also receive lower temperatures. Irregular dead spots on the leaf can be caused by inconsistent watering and too much light.
While the Philodendron Red Emerald is not fond of too much direct sunlight, the plant does need tons of indirect light to produce the beautiful red, after which it receives its name. Not enough sunlight can cause dull leaves, less red, and a leggy appearance.
Leggy plants usually have longer stems and petioles that makes the plant look emptier and less bushy.
To fix this problem, all you have to do is place it in the right position with adequate lighting. If you’re not receiving enough light in the house, a quick fix is to place grow lights around the plant.
Grow lights are a great way to ensure that the plant receives the proper lighting without moving it from its position. Be sure to adjust the grow lights so that it doesn’t burn the plant or give the Philodendron too much light, as this can cause bronzed edges.
Pests are pretty common in tropical plants; the Philodendron Emerald Red tends to attract a range of bugs, from mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.
Scale and mealybugs are little white critters that should be easily noticeable on any part of your Philodendron Red Emerald. Be sure to check out the leaves and stems regularly for any sign of alien activity.
These little pests tend to steal the energy that most plants need to thrive. If you do happen to see them, there’s a simple fix.
Get some neem oil pesticide or make a DIY pesticide solution, spray this on the plant regularly and quarantine the plant from your other green babies for maximum protection.
Spider mites may be a little bit harder to diagnose; these mites are usually red and can be harder to spot on red stem philodendrons. Once the infestation develops, you can easily spot them with the whitish web-like remnants.
If the infestation is on one leaf or stem, you can simply cut it off and burn the piece with all of the pests on it. If you’ve got a more extensive infestation, spraying them regularly and wiping them off will be your best bet to keep your plants healthy.
Blend up some onion, garlic, and paprika. Strain the bigger bits and mix the juice with a few drops of dishwashing liquid and half a cup of water, and shake the solution.
Be sure that it doesn’t smell too strongly as this could burn the leaves. Mix some more water just to be safe and add it to a spray bottle.
Mosaic virus is relatively uncommon in most house plants, but Philodendrons still risk contracting these viruses. The virus is pretty much unknown and hasn’t been mapped out too much (in houseplants).
You’ll notice an issue caused by the mosaic virus if your plant has a general mottled appearance. The leaves will begin to appear marbled (not in a variegated way), and the plant will continue to decline.
There is no way for plant parents to fix this issue as viruses are incredibly tricky to eliminate. The best way to get rid of the virus is to completely get rid of the host.
Overwatering is possibly the number one killer of most house plants. It’s why there are so many beautiful inventions like watering globes and soil meters to help us water our plants at just the right time. An overwatered plant may begin to droop, wilt, turn brown, and even die.
Saving an overwatered plant needs some serious intervention, especially if root rot has started to develop. If you’re noticing that your soil is constantly wet (and not moist), or you’re growing terrible-looking leaves, chances are, you’re overwatering your plant.
Take the plant outside, allow it to soak up a little bit more sun than usual (30 minutes should be fine), and get ready to repot. Check that the roots are white, thick, and solid, not limp and brown. If your roots look healthy, you can simply repot with dry soil and improve your watering schedule.
If the roots are looking a bit sad, run the plant under some water, be sure to clear away any dead roots, and allow the plant to dry out slightly before repotting in a new pot, with clean soil.
Overwatered soil can also harbor unwanted viruses and bacteria, so be sure to change the soil and sterilize the new pot before transplanting your Philodendron baby.
Caring for your Red Emerald may mean getting some new equipment. Here’s a quick list of everything you may need to satisfy your Blushing Philodendron.
FAVOURITE PLANT SUPPLIES
- Best Red Emerald Philodendron Plant: California Tropicals 4” Pot
- Best Potting Soil: Dr. Earth Premium Potting Soil
- Best Watering Can: Fasmov Plastic Watering Can
- Best Watering Globes: Clear Self-Watering Bulbs
- Best Pruning Scissors: VIVOSUN Pruning Shears
- Best Liquid Fertilizer: Organic Indoor Plant Food
- Best LECA Products: xGarden LECA Clay Pebbles
- Best Granular Fertilizer: Grow More Granular All Purpose Fertilizer
- Best Organic Neem Oil: Bonide Organic Neem Oil Pesticide
- Best Grow Lights: GooingTop LED Grow Light
- Best Perlite: xGarden Horticultural Premium Perlite
- Best Compost: Organic New Earth Compost
- Best Manure: Michigan Peat Garden Magic Manure
Have we missed something in the section above? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Philo Red Emerald.
You can buy your beautiful Red Emerald online or at your nearest rare plant shops. While this isn’t the rarest of them all, this fair foliage does necessarily appear at all leading retail nurseries.
Your best bet would be to check out Amazon or find cuttings on Etsy.
It can be. A Red Emerald Philo is much loved as an indoor plant because of the general light restrictions.
This plant has been cultivated as an indoor plant, specifically. You can also put the plant outside, provided the humidity, temperature, and light remain somewhat consistent throughout the year.
Most Red Emeralds are not variegated. Although, there are some “designer” Philodendron Red Emerald with variegated leaves.
These tropical climbing plants are easily identified through the red stems with marbled leaves. The white and green leaves stand against the burgundy-colored branches, making for a wonderfully rare and unique find.
The Philodendron Red Emerald is a self-heading plant. This means that it grows similar to a tree on a thick stem with leaves quite close to each other.
The Red Emerald Philodendron can be trained as a climber, but it can also stand on its own or grow similar to ground cover.
Does Red Emerald Philodendron Climb or Crawl?
Philodendrons are named after the Greek words for “tree lover” as they’re pretty accustomed to growing upright in forests and attach themselves to trees for support as they climb.
Most hybrid Philodendrons would survive relatively well without too much support.
Although to mimic its natural habitat, this climber would need a moss pole to ensure that it reaches maturity sooner.
Most Philodendrons will only flower once they’ve reached maturity. With sufficient lighting, temperature, humidity, watering schedule, and fertilizer, you can get your Red Emerald Philodendron to bloom.
Be sure to allow the plant the perfect conditions to guarantee some kind of flowering when the plant is ready.
Yes, the Red Emerald Philodendron contains a sap that can be irritable and toxic to tiny humans and pets.
These Philodendron types usually include calcium oxalate crystals that can cause gastrointestinal issues.
Is the Red Emerald Philodendron Toxic to Cats?
As with all Philodendrons, a substance within the plant can be irritable to pets and humans if ingested.
Be sure to keep any of the sap away from your furry friends to prevent any gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or swelling.
No, your Red Emerald Philodendron can survive without fertilization but would thrive much better with a good and healthy dose of fertilizer.
Adding fertilizer to your plant ensures that it receives all 13 trace elements that produce a happy plant.
Yes, the Red Emerald Philodendron is relatively rare. It’s not quite as rare as the Philodendron White Knight since mass production has been on the rise in recent years.
While the plant has become increasingly more available now, it may be slightly more expensive than most or local shops may run out of stock rather quickly as the supply has not yet fully met up with the demand.
Dropping leaves is quite normal in the plant world. Old leaves will fall off once they no longer serve their purpose to the main plant. If you’re noticing new leaves fall, this could indicate a few problems with the plant.
These problems could relate to the soil’s inconsistent temperatures caused by drafts or a lack of water.
Yellowing leaves can occur for a couple of reasons. If the leaves on the lower section of the plant are yellowing, the temperatures surrounding the plant are too low.
If the plant is yellowing and you’ve noticed smaller leaves, you may have a nitrogen deficiency.
The Red Emerald Philodendron will benefit from high humidity as will any tropical plant. Misting your plant will help increase the humidity in the surrounding areas so that the air and soil can remain moist and warm.
To quickly propagate your Philodendron, you can also cut off a couple of nodes and place them in a sterilized jar of clean water.
But how long does it take for a Red Emerald Philodendron to grow roots in water?
Root growth may vary based on how formed the current nodes are, so be sure to cut off a piece with relatively new growth (you’ll notice the new growth by the deep red color).
Place the cuttings in a place with slightly less light to allow them a chance to develop new roots. It can take anywhere from seven to ten days before seeing new roots grow. Make sure to change the water every so often to replenish the oxygen levels.
The Red Emerald plant is a true feat of beauty. With its long dark green leaves and red stems, this plant will brighten up any green finger’s collection.
Be sure to water it every few days, allowing the soil to remain moist and ensuring that the plant is in the right location for ample light, heat, and humidity.
Don’t forget to fertilize regularly and prune off any older leaves for a fuller appearance for healthier leaves.
If you’re looking for a friend to ensure a humid and happy plant, try pairing it with the striking Philodendron Florida Ghost or Alocasia Amazonica for a varied collection of spectacular tropical plants.