If you are looking to give a tropical vibe to your surroundings then Philodendron Imperial Red is the best choice. The tropical plant belonging to the Araceae family is both easy to grow and manage. The large oval-shaped glossy leaves keep changing their color from maroon to pink and then emerald green.
Despite its rarity, this houseplant is in high demand because of its glossy changing color leaves, air purification qualities, and durability. Keep reading for knowing more about this plant.
Classification of Philodendron Imperial Red
Origin and Distribution
Philodendron Imperial Red like other family members is native to South and Central America as well as West Indies. It originates within the deep tropical and subtropical canopies of rainforests. This type of philodendron is a new hybrid variety that was bred particularly for entering the commercial market.
Features of Philodendron Imperial Red
The philodendron imperial red possesses large, oval-shaped glossy leaves. The admirably wide and ribbed waxy leaves are held by the thick brownish red-colored stem.
Initially, the new leaves possess maroon red or pink color before transmuting into deep bright green color. Upon maturing the leaves revert into their juvenile stage by portraying maroon red color. This is the reason the philodendron is named Philodendron imperial red.
The size of a mature philodendron imperial red is 30-36 inches long and 12-16 inches wide.
Like other philodendrons, this plant also belongs to the evergreen community and one can enjoy its beauty throughout the year.
It is a moderate to fast-growing philodendron plant. This is the reason that philodendron lovers growing this plant do not have to wait long for relishing its beauty.
It is a robust, sturdy, and long-lasting plant. Therefore, you need not worry about the life span of this plant while growing it.
Despite its rarity, this evergreen plant is easy to grow and easy to manage. Therefore, this low-maintenance plant is equally suitable for both beginners and experienced folks.
Like other philodendrons, this new hybrid species also purifies the surrounding air and makes it worth breathing for everyone. The philodendron imperial red like its other family members removes detrimental chemicals like formaldehyde and other toxins from the air.
Similar to other houseplants, the philodendron imperial red goes into a dormant stage during the winter season. Therefore, it is strongly recommended not to disturb your plant during this season.
Despite its friendliness in the form of air purification, the philodendron imperial red is toxic to both pets and children. The toxicity of this philodendron is primarily because of the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. The crystals if ingested by mistake may irritate the mouth and stomach.
Care Guide For Philodendron Imperial Red
The philodendron imperial red is fond of a warm environment and prefers a tropical environment. The ideal room temperature range for growing this plant is 65 – 80°F (18 – 27°C).
If you feel that your plant is getting warmer then put your plant in filtered light. These plants cannot tolerate frosting conditions. Therefore, avoid temperatures below 55°F (13°C) and keep plants in indoor spaces.
The plant thrives beautifully in the presence of bright indirect light. The plant even placed 2-3 m away from the window facing towards east loves the light it receives. Direct light of one-two hour is enough for fulfilling the light requirements of your plant.
Therefore, you have to protect your plant from bright direct light. And it is recommended to place the pot of your plant in either low light or shaded areas.
Scientifically, the dark-colored leaves of this philodendron indicating the presence of increasing chlorophyll are designed to harvest maximum light from the available source. Therefore, low-light areas are suitable for its growth.
It loves wet soils which means that damp to touch. This plant is not fond of logy soil and likes to have a dry environment between watering. However, you must not dry the soil to the point that it starts forming clumps or dragging away from the pot.
In the case you are a beginner, watering this plant thoroughly once a week is fine for enjoying its fullest beauty. In the case of hot and humid regions, you have to water your plant more frequently. Moreover, avoid both overwatering and underwatering your plant as it would affect its health and development.
Imperials are fond of a well-draining potting mixture having an increasing amount of organic matter. A blend of fine quality potting mixture with perlite and coco coir serves as the best growing medium for this plant.
The purpose of adding perlite is to enhance the drainage capacity. Whereas the coco coir and potting soil assists in retaining the moisture.
All tropical plants are fond of the humid environment and similar is the case with Philodendron Imperial Red. A humidity level greater than 50% is best suited for thriving this plant beautifully. Misting the plant with water, employing a humidifier, wiping leaves with a wet sponge, and grouping plants together are the best ways to ensure the required humidity levels.
However, you don’t have to go crazy for regulating the humidity level as this tropical plant can survive dryness to some extent.
This tropical plant needs a slow stream of nutrients instead of a gigantic gulp. The ‘Dyna Pro’ is one of the most suitable fertilizers for growing Philodendron Imperial Red.
Always use this fertilizer by diluting it and feeding your plant once a week during the spring and summer seasons. While during winters, it is recommended to stop feeding your plant as your plant is in the dormant stage at that time.
This plant does not require frequent pruning. You only have to prune your plant in case of dead or yellow leaves. Always remember that pruning must be done with sterilized scissors.
This Philodendron is not demanding at all and repotting it once after every 2-3 years goes fine for this plant. The common symptoms that indicate the need for repotting are:
- Slow growth even during the spring season
- Roots shelling through the drainage hole of the pot
While repotting, consider these tips
- Select a pot having a decent drainage hole
- Select a pot that is 2-3 times bigger than the previous one
- A well-draining potting mixture
Philodendron Imperial Red Propagation
The sad news about Philo Imperial Red is that it is difficult to propagate for home growers. This is because the plant was particularly bred to develop into a manageable houseplant cultivator and it neither climbs nor goes out of control.
Therefore, this plant does not have nodes and internodes to get stem cutting so using a cutting will not work for propagating this plant.
The nursery growers or botanists use different types of methods for propagating this philodendron. These methods include seed propagation and tissue culture.
The only method that home growers can use for spreading the charm of this plant is using plantlets. For propagating through plantlets, you must follow these steps:
- Identify the little plantlets within the base of the plant. The plantlets generally grow where old leaves die
- Don’t remove plantlets unless an observable stem and aerial roots start developing. Providing it bright light will enable them to grow quickly.
- Now air layer the new stems for growing the aerial roots stronger and longer. The method of air layering generally takes 2-3 weeks
- After this cut the plantlet from the mother plant and place it within a well-draining potting mixture
- Care for your plant and enjoy the spectacular beauty of this plant.
Some common problems faced by Philo Imperial Red are as follows:
Browning of leave tips:
The browning of the leaf’s tips is an indication of excessive humidity. You have to take this issue seriously before it spreads over the whole leaf.
Curling of leaves:
The leaf curling usually occurs when the plant is not getting enough water.
Brown spots on leaves:
Brown spots are not common and usually occur because of overfeeding or root burn. You should either change the potting mixture or flush out the current pot.
Yellowing of leaves:
The yellowing of leaves usually occurs because of overwatering or pests.
Changing color of leaves:
The changing of the leaf’s color is normal in the case of Red Imperial Philodendron. Upon maturity, the color of leaves will change from maroon to pink and then deep green before transmuting into green leaves with a red tinge.
Root rot is the most common problem with Philodendrons. It occurs due to overwatering or continuing underwatering that make the soil compact and shriveling of roots. In this case, the plants are unable to absorb water and the oxygen supply is also reduced. For addressing this issue, change the potting mixture at the earliest.
Translucent & mushy spots on leaves:
The mushy spots occur because of Erwinia blight disease. This disease occurs due to overwatering. This disease should be addressed at the earliest as in the other case it would kill your plant in a few days.
Red Imperial Philodendron is one of the most spectacular houseplants as it is both durable and easily manageable. The air purification qualities further make it worth selecting. The plant thrives beautifully in bright indirect light, humid environments, and infrequent watering. However, you have to take serious precautions in case of frosting conditions.