Philodendron Burle Marx : Care Guide And How To Solve Its Issues

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The Philodendron Burle Marx is a houseplant with luscious looks and dark green foliage. The plant creates a large clump because it climbs. The leaves are glossy with the heart-shaped form attached to the red-colored stems. Some plants might produce red-purple flowering spathes but it is usually very rare.

Its sleek appearance is perfect for decoration. The plant itself is named after a famous architect, Roberto Burle Marx who brings this plant into his design. It originated in a tropical forest in Brazil.


  • Botanical Name: Philodendron Burle-marxii G.M. Barroso.
  • Popular Name: philodendron Burle Marx
  • Mature size: Up to 2 feet tall
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Sun Exposure: Indirect sunlight 
  • Soil Type: Airy and well-draining soil
  • Soil pH: 5.6-6.5
  • Toxicity: Humans and pets

Care Guide

Caring for the Philodendron Burle Marx is pretty easy as long as you place the plant in a place that mimics the natural habitat. Like most philodendrons, the plant loves well-draining soil. The soil needs to be moist but never soggy. It needs a lot of indirect sunlight too.

Besides, the plant thrives well with a temperature between 64-79°F (18-26°C). In terms of humidity level, you will need to make sure that it is above 60%. Last but not the least, liquid fertilizer is your friend.

Water Requirements

The Philodendron Burle Marx loves moist and well-drained mix. The most important thing is not to make the pot soggy because it leads to root rots.

In this case, watering can become more difficult for new owners. It is due to the false information that is going around, advising them to stick with the one-week watering rule. However, it is not foolproof. Neither using the soil meter.

Many houseplants owners, especially the philodendron owners complain about how difficult to water the plant. The thing is the one-week watering rule is wrong.

Here is why! Plants when they are living at a higher temperature will need more water than in cooler temperatures. If you live in a place with different seasons, of course, the one-week watering rule doesn’t work. When the climate is colder you will consider reducing the watering and vice versa.

So, when is the correct time when it comes to watering? The answer is depending on what is happening with the plants.

There are two methods you can use to see if your plants need watering.

The first is using a bamboo stick test. Use a bamboo chopstick and then dig it into the soil. Push it through for a few inches and then observe what you get.

  • If the soil is wet and clings to the chopstick, and the stick color turns to darker shades, then watering is not necessary.
  • The same with moist soil which you are easy to push through the soil because the texture is soft.
  • If the soil is compacted, brittle, and tough, and doesn’t change the color of your stick, then you need to water your plant directly.

Light Requirements

The Burle Marx thrives well when it gets medium to bright filtered light. Under this type of light, you will see the plant grow faster with bolder colors and elongated leaves.

You can also place the plant under the cool morning sunlight for 1-2 hours. Don’t worry, according to the University of Florida’s report, the plant can handle the direct morning sunlight without leaves scorching.

Leaves scorching is a condition where black or tan spots appear on the leaves because the plant is placed under direct sunlight all day.

How to know if your philodendron gets sufficient sunlight? You can trust the light meter. Buy this tool to measure the intensity of the light. It is only around $50.

For optimal growth, make sure you place the plant in an area with a light intensity of around 300-600 FC (footcandle). For maintenance, it should not be less than 150 FC.


Due to its natural habitat, the Burle Marx loves an area with high humidity levels. As you place it in this area, it will reward you with more textured and longer leaves.

Keep the humidity level at 70% or higher if you want to see the best result. However, this plant can still survive with 40-50% humidity but you will not see it as good as the one that mimics its natural habitat.

If you are living in a colder area with low-level humidity, don’t worry, you still can do the following ways:

  • Buy a small humidifier
  • Group plants together so it can create a mini humidity-sharing biome
  • Place small pebbles on a tray that is filled with water. Place the pot on top of it, so the plant gets the humidity from the evaporation.

Some people might suggest you mist the plant. While it can be helpful, it is not suggested as when you overdo it, you will put the plant at a greater risk of bacterial and fungal infection.


Even though the Philodendron burble Marx loves warmer temperatures, it can survive in some range temperatures. The ideal temperature that helps the plant to grow well is between 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, or between 20 degrees Celcius to 26 degrees Celcius. Anything that is less than 54 degrees Fahrenheit or 12 degrees Celcius will slow down the growth, causing wilting and losing tinted coloring.

Read also : Philodendron Giganteum : The Giant Leaves


The philodendron still needs fertilizer even though it is planted in a rich soil mix. In nature, it doesn’t need fertilizer because the plant gets nutrients from decaying things. A potted philodendron requires nutrients for the long run to stay healthy.

In this case, liquid fertilizer is your best friend. You can feed your plant during spring and summer every once a week. Then, reduce it to once a month during winter and summer.

Besides liquid fertilizer, the slow-release fertilizer can also work well. You can just pick the all-purpose fertilizer and then use it half-strength. Keep in mind to pick the one with high nitrogen because the nitrogen promotes growth and glow.

An additional note you must remember is to make sure to water the plant before feeding it. The soil should be moist so it will not damage the root.


As we said, caring for the Philodendron Burle Marx is very easy, including pruning. This plant doesn’t need regular pruning like other plants. But if you want it to look bushier, you can cut the above node using sterile pruning shears during spring. Don’t forget to prune the brown and yellow leaves too.


Just like the other most philodendron, the Burle Marx is OK to live with root-bound. However, it is always advised to move the plant to a bigger pot when you notice the roots start to curl around the base of the pot.

Being root-bound here means the plant grows pretty well but needs more space to grow up. There are signs that your plant needs to be repotted which are:

  • The water doesn’t drain as it used to be
  • Roots are growing through the drainage holes
  • The plant growth is stagnant
  • The roots are moving on top of the mix

If you are going to report the plant, make sure you do the following”

  • Select a pot that is 1-3 inches bigger than the previous one.
  • Choose a pot that has at least one drainage hole.
  • Only use a well-draining mix

If you have just received a plant from an Etsy seller or nursery, repotting should be done as soon as possible. It is because the nursery often sells the plant when it reaches its maximum growing capacity.



The Burle Marx is very easy to propagate. Even, though it takes very quickly to grow. The best method to propagate the plant is using stem cutting. With a success rate of around 80-85%, it is ideal for a beginner. Here is how to propagate the philodendron burble Marx.

  • First thing first, prepare the soil mix in the pot with rich soil mix. Make sure the mix is airy and well-draining.
  • Next is choosing a healthy stem that has 2-3 leaf nodes.
  • Take your sterile pruning scissors and then cut the stem from 3-7 inches stem right below the node.
  • Next, dip the fresh cutting into a rooting hormone solution.
  • Plant the baby into the mix and you have to make sure that the nodes are buried well.
  • Don’t forget to place the plant in a warm spot with rich indirect sunlight.
  • If the humidity is low, buy a humidifier, or group the plant with others.
  • You will see the fresh cutting to develop new roots between 3-5 weeks. Remember that it takes several weeks to build, so you have to be patient.


Unfortunately, the Philodendron Burle Marx is toxic to humans and pets. This includes cats and dogs. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which can cause problems when it is ingested. The people or pets that ingest the plant will exhibit symptoms such as swelling around the mouth and also the gastrointestinal tract. When it is contacted with the skin, you will develop itchiness. Even in worse cases, it can cause vomiting.

Therefore, you need to move away from this plant if you are living with pets and children.

Pests and Diseases

Thrips are the most common bug that you will see around the Philodendron Burle Marx. It is a tiny creature that flies. This bug takes the sap inside the philodendron which can leave bad consequences as your plants rely on sap to distribute the nutrients.

Another bug that often attacks the Burle Marx is the mealybugs. It is a waxy bug that sucks the sap out of your plant which means they steal the nutrients and hydration.

To remove the mealybug from attacking your plant, you can try the neem oil. It is commonly used and usually works.

burlemarx variegated – source


  • Philodendron Burle Marx Variegated – The Philodendron Burle Marx variegated is very attractive with glassy yellow and green foliage. The mature plant can produce red-purple flowering patches. Even though this one is rare especially if it is grown indoors.
  • Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy – This variety is Roberto Burble Marx’s collection. Some people believe that this plant is a hybrid. It has beautiful layers of green-grey leaves which have deep green veins.
burlemarx fantasy

Growth Rate

The Philodendron Burle Marx is a quick grower. It can grow between 2-4 inches every week when the growing season comes. Of course when it is placed in the right condition. Make sure you provide sufficient filtered light, well-aerated soil, and amounts of water.

Soil Requirements

As we always mention, the plant needs an airy and rich organic matter. Besides, this also needs a soil mix that can let the water drain perfectly. Typically, a good soil mix includes worm castings, coco coir, perlite, orchid bark, activated charcoal, and pumice.

If you don’t want to spend some time making the mix, you can buy the pre-mix soil online. Or you can make your own with the proportion below:

10% pumice
10% activated charcoal
40% coco coir
10% worm castings
10% perlite
20% orchid bark

Those are the perfect combination for your Burle Marx. If one of the elements is too much, it can cause waterlogged soil or dehydration, so be careful.

What Does The Element Do?

  • Coco coir – It is fast draining, neutral in pH, perfect medium, and can hold moisture.
  • Perlite – It is low water retention, porous structure, can hold nutrients, and aids drainage.
  • Orchid bark – It is the epiphyte’s favorite. It is a good place for a good microbe. The chunkiness can allow the water to drain well. It is perfect for root attachment.
  • Worm casting – It is a perfect organic fertilizer, it has the nutrient needed.
  • Activated charcoal – It can stop mold and neutralizes the pH.
  • Pumice – It is a good drainage element.


How To Pronounce Philodendron Burle Marx?

The correct pronunciation for the Philodendron Burle Marx is “filəˈdendrən Burle marks”.

Why Is My Philodendron Burle Marx Dropping?

The reason why the Burle Marx loses its leaves is because of overwatering. This is why sticking to a watering schedule is not always right. The best watering method here is to check the condition of the soil.

You should be able to check the soil condition. Please check our guidelines on how to see if the soil is wet or not using the chopstick method. Or, you can use the knuckle method by sticking your finger into the soil.

When the potting is waterlogged or the soil is too drenched, the plant will be suffering.

When the soil has too much water, it will block the oxygen to get into the roots which will cause root rot and dropping leaves.

Why Is My Burle Marx Has Weird Water Spot On Its Leaves?

You can fix this issue by changing the type of water. The weird water spot on the leaves is usually caused by hard water. It is similar to the one with high impurities. In this case, the best option is to change the water type to distilled or freshwater.

How To Fix Weak Leaves and Stems?

If you find the plant has a weak stem and leaves, it is usually caused by two things. The first is the fertilizer and the second is the poor light. If you find the color of the foliage is light green after increasing the light level, you also need to increase the feeding. In this case, you need to make sure that you provide sufficient nutrients for the plants. It will increase the carbohydrate level which promotes strong roots and growth.

How To Fix Wrinkled Leaves?

What you are seeing is burning foliage. This is typically caused by two things which are liquid fertilizer and phototoxic reaction. Therefore, try to be careful by not letting the fertilizer splash on the leaves and let it dry there because it burns the foliage. Typically this often happens when the plant is watered overhead.

To fix this issue, change to the base watering. It will not de-wrinkle the leaves, but it will promote new, healthier growth.

How To Fix Pale Philodendron Burle Marx?

The pale leaves looking are a sign that your plant is lack calcium and magnesium. A well-balanced fertilizer will fix this problem.

Why Are There Dark Patches On The Leaves?

Drastic temperature can cause dark patches. The philodendron cannot tolerate sudden temperature changes, especially cold temperatures. If you are living in an area with this temperature type, move it. Also, avoid drafty windows!

How To Fix Yellowing Leaves?

There are several reasons why your philodendron leaves turn yellow. It can be caused by too little watering, too much watering, too high or too low temperatures, and also the pests of course. Besides, it is also possible that your plant is reacting to repotting because it is a new environment. Soon, your plant will be adjusting. In this case, you just need to use your common sense.

Read also : Philodendron Moonlight – An Ultimate Guide To Care

My Philodendron Leaves Become Oversize, What To Do?

It is a happy problem, but some of you might prefer the small version for aesthetic or maintenance purposes. Usually, oversized leaves are caused by high levels of light that are combined with heavy fertilizer. Typically heavy nitrogen.

Typically you will see this case in nurseries or when you let your plant grow outdoor. As soon as you move your plant indoors which is completely different from its nursery environment, the leaves will soon shrink. Even it will turn yellow and drop off before it grows new foliage.

How To Solve Brown Leaves On My Burle Marx?

The brown leaves on your philodendron are a sign that you don’t provide sufficient water. Or, it is also because you don’t water it properly. Every time you water the plant, make sure the water goes thoroughly and make sure the entire mix is moist enough but not soggy.

My Philodendron Has Leggy Stems, What To Do?

Usually, the Burle Marx has leggier stems than most philodendrons, but when it comes to this problem it is usually accompanied by dropping leaves. If you find your plant has this problem, it is caused by a lack of indirect sunlight.

My Philodendron Has Mushy Patches On Its Leaves, How To Fix It?

If your philodendron has wet-mushy patches on the leaves, it is caused by bacterial infection. This is called Erwinia leaf spot. This infection can kill your plant within just three days. In this case, you will need to isolate the plant from other collections to avoid spreading the disease.

To stop the Erwinia leaf spot is by changing the potting mix. Cut the damaged leaves and let the leaves dry out. Treating Erwinia leaf spot is very difficult. Most of the time, around 90% of the case fail to be solved. SO sorry! It is better to do prevention by watering it and letting the water drain properly.

Is The Philodendron Burle Marx Rare?

Fortunately no! You can easily collect the Philodendron Burle Marx. It is not considered a rare plant. It is easily found in its natural habitat and now many cultivators grow this plant.

However, the Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy is considered rare and it is widely popular.

Is The Philodendron Burle Marx Climbing?

Yes! This is a vining variety that can climb and it transforms from hemiepiphyte to epiphyte. However, if it is potted, you will not see this behavior.

How Can I Prevent Pests Attacking My Philodendron?

Pests are common for plants. It often creates trouble and even can kill the plant within days. If you want to prevent the plant from getting attacked by pests, you need to dust the leaves and keep them clean as much as you can. Pests like to attack unclean plants.

Why Is Philodendron Burle Marx Toxic?

It is because the Philodendron Burle Marx contains calcium oxalate crystals. When it is ingested, the plant will release this compound which causes irritation and swelling around the mouth and GI tract.

It is wise to place the plant away from children and pets so they are safe.  

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