Philodendron Red Heart will be a great addition to your garden collection eventhough this plant is one of the rarest philodendron exist. In the plant community, Philodendron Red Heart has been regarded as the “heart breaker” since it is extremely hard to find its stem cutting both in Europe and in the US. Because of it, many people purchase and ship it from Thailand.
Luckily, we are going to share you everything about this rare plant so you’ll have a complete guide on how to take care of it.
- Botanical Name: Philodendron red heart
- Popular Name: Red heart philodendron
- Mature Size: Up to 20 inches
- Sun Exposure: Bright indirect lights
- Soil Type: Aroid mix (well drained)
- Toxicity: Yes to humans and pets
This type of Philodendron is a hybrid mutant, so taking care of this plant requires special attention in order to have it grow amazingly in your garden. Once it arrives at your home, one thing you need to notice is the moss around the roots. In an overseas plant shipping the moss is usually wrapped around the roots to keep it humid. So it would be better for you to remove it before you plant it. After that you need to isolate your plant to prevent any mites or fungus from spreading.
Philodendron red heart usually acclimate in around 7-14 days. It needs to adapt to the new environment first before growing beautifully. So make sure the environment where you put the red heart is close to it’s original habitat (of philodendrons).
Red heart likes damp soil. Simple to understand, don’t let the soil dry completely or too soggy (stagnant water). So, you must water it in between.
How often should you water your Philodendron Red Heart?
In general, it is recommended that you water the plant when the soil is almost dry. There is no need to scheduling how many times to water the plant. You just need to check your plant regularly by testing the soil.
Based on the plant care guide, there are steps that you can perform to test whether your philodendron needs water.
- First, stick your chopstick deep into the soil. The chopstick will turn darker if the soil is wet.
- Second, moist soil will be have a softer texture which means it is still moist and you don’t have water it immediately.
- Third, which is the last thing to test when to water, dry soil will be tougher and more compacted. The chopstick’s color will not change. This indicates that you need to water the plant as soon as possible.
You can stick your finger deep into the pot and feel the moisture. If the surface is dry but moist inside then it tells you that they still have enough water. If you feel inside is dry but when you go deeper you feel moist then you’d better add some water to it. Remember, never let it completely dry as it can stunt it growth.
Your plant will also need more water in the spring and summer months while it needs less water in the winter and fall.
Philodendron Red Heart loves brightness very much. Specifically, it needs indirect light 1-2 hours with coolness and direct sun in the morning. Though you may have known that this plant should be kept in bright indirect sunlight.
Indirect sunlight provides the plant with the cool air, promoting it to have with the bigger leaves in deeper colors. Placing this plant in direct sunlight might bring up some issues such as sunburned leaf.
To grow well, Philodendron Red Heart must be kept in 400 – 600 FC (foot candles). However, the plant also tolerates 200 FC to grow. If it receives lower, then it will wilt resulting in miserable looking plants.
Humidity is one of things that Philodendron Red Heart loves very much. The more humid the plant, the larger the leaves and the brighter their color will be. To keep the plants with that growth condition, the humidity must be 60-80%. However, most experiences prove that this plant will also tolerate the average humidity levels of 40%-50% in homes.
Humidity is an important factor to taking care of Philodendron Red Heart. Keeping the plant’s humidity is as important as providing the plants with the light and water. In the winter, the humidity level usually drops too low. Therefore, it would be good to use humidifier to add some additional moisture into the air.
It is also good to group the plants in order that they can share the humidity resources through respiration. Grouping the plants will create a mini biome in your house.
Philodendron Red Heart can generally manage a wide range of temperature despite the fact that it loves warm temperature, too. The temperature around 71° F to 86° F is considered ideal for the plant growth though 59° F will also be tolerated. However, if the temperature is less than 54° F, your plants will be wilting.
Good soil mixture is a start of a good plant growth. Adding fertilizer could also add a significant nutrient boost so it can make your philodendron red heart thrive.
There are some best fertilizer for Philodendron Red Heart available in the market. On most plants, people widely use 7-9-5 NPK formula. It is a complete liquid fertilizer that consists of 16 essential nutrients for the plants to survive.
Other fertilizer to consider using for this plant is Marphyl Marine Phytoplankton Liquid Seaweed fertilizer. It is an organic fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as well as calcium and magnesium.
Micro seaweed has also proved to be a good natural stress reliever for Philodendron. It is not only ecofriendly but also able to boost foliage growth. Micro seaweed is good to use for indoor plants, vegetables, hydroponics, flowers, lawns and greenhouses.
What else? Well, worm tea, compost tea, aloe vera water, kelp extract will also provide hormones for the plant growth.
When fertilizing red heart, just make sure that you choose one type of fertilizer with a good ratio of phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. Nitrogen will encourage the leaf growth and phosphorus helps the plant changes nutrients into energy. Meanwhile, potassium will promote the stem to grow well and the root and leaf to develop.
A high quality fertilizer also has some key micronutrients such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron.
How to Fertilize Philodendron Red Heart
Philodendron Red Heart is ready for fertilization at which you combine both watering and fertilizing altogether so your plants will get a small dose of liquid premium fertilizer every time you water the plants. This is the more natural way to feed the plants.
To do so, follow these simple steps:
- Dilute ¼ teaspoon or 1 teaspoon of liquid seaweed along with a gallon of water to water the plants in spring and summer.
- Avoid watering the plants in autumn.
- Stop giving fertilizer in the winter to stop overfeeding during the dormant part of the plant’s growth.
In terms of growth, philodendron red heart is a slow grower. So it can takes up to 2 years before you need to move it to a bigger container.
When your plant needs to be repotted there are several signs which is :
- When the plant roots have slipped out through the drainage holes.
- When the potting mix did not drain well after watering.
Here are some things you need to note when repotting red heart :
- Select a pot with good drainage holes.
- Always pick a pot which is 2 inches bigger that before.
- Fill the pot with high quality and well draining potting mix.
Once you decide on panting philodendron red heart, you’ll need to know how to propagate this plant. This plant can be propagated through stem cutting method. Here is a step by step guide to propagate you red heart :
- Prepare a pot with well draining soil mix. You can use sphagnum moss or a mix of coco peat, bark and perlite.
- Clean and sterilize your cutting tools.
- Carefully choose a stem that already have an aerial roots.
- Make a clean cut below the aerial roots and make sure every stem you cut has aerial roots.
- After cutting the stem wait a several minutes so the cutting can be partially healed. You can also apply root hormone to it.
- Put the stem deep into the previously prepared pot.
- Water it sufficiently.
- Put it in a place where it can receive indirect light with good humidity.
Just like another philodendron plant, red heart is toxic to humans and pets because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. You need to be careful when touching it (using a glove is recommended) and even never let it come around and into your mouth as it will trigger many trouble.
If you are thinking to add other philodendrons to your outdoor or indoor garden, choosing the right variety may be challenging since there are so many different options. Here are some of the options.
Atabapoense is a kind of philodendron which is native to Venezuela. However, it also grows in Brazil and Amazonian region. Just like another philodendron, this variety is a climbing plant. Partial sunlight is good to make the plant grow bright.
Bernardoparzii is originating in Brazilian forest. It is a unique climbing houseplant growing with the large glossy leaves with white veins on top and red veins underneath. This variety needs only a low care and maintenance.
Another Philodendron option is Billiteae. It is uniquely having root system out of the ground. Native to Brazil, Costa Rica, Guyana and French Guiana, this one has an impressive leaves appearance. They can grow up to three feet long and then inches wide. Thus, if you want to have this variety, make sure you provide enough space.
Bipennifolium is a tropical plant variety originating from Argentina and Brazil especially in the tropical rainforest. It is a climbing plant that naturally grows by neighboring trees and plants around. Its leaves climb with a bright green color when the plant is maturing.
The bipinnatifidum variety is native to Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. It is beautiful when it blooms in the spring and summer. It can naturally grow up to 15 feet but it can grow around 5 – 6 feet tall as an indoor plant.
Collecting philodendron plants won’t be complete without Birkin. This variety is a hybrid of the Congo and Imperial Green varieties that people believe it is originating in Thailand. It has one distinguishing feature that is the dark-colored leaves with the bright white pattern lines.
There are few questions dealing with Philodendron Red Heart as your philodendron lovers will also question like below:
Q: Where should I put the philodendron red heart in my home?
A: Place it in a place whre it receives bright indirect light and have good humidity.
Q: Is Philodendron toxic?
A: Most of philodendrons are toxic to human and animals because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. Which is very dangerous if ingested.
Q: What Soil does Philodendron Red Heart like?
A: Philodendron red heart will be best with well-draining soil. A good soil will actually contain lots of organic matters like coco coir, bark and perlite that are helpful for the drainage.
All in all, Philodendron Red Heart is just a great addition to your indoor garden. This plant is very special due to its rare varieties and difficult way of purchasing and shipping. Once you have this plant home, take a few minutes to check over it and have it isolated to make sure it doesn’t bring any pests and diseases.