Philodendron Red Emerald: The #1 Care, Propagation and Watering Guide

The Philodendron Red Emerald Plant is among the most exotic and well-liked Philodendron houseplants. This is a great choice if you’re seeking a low-maintenance indoor plant, as they grow quickly and are very convenient to reproduce. 

Philodendron Red Emerald

The spectacular display of this Philodendron is brought by its heart-shaped burgundy leaves and deep red veins. Your indoor space will surely get a colorful boost from this beautiful plant.

Want to know how to take care of this precious beauty? Read more as we lay down the best ways to care for this plant.

Philodendron Red Emerald Profile

General Information

Philodendron Red Emerald (Philodendron erubescens) is a lovely, exotic, rare aroid and one of the most common vining houseplants in the Araceae family. It is a tropical plant that is a fleshy, terrarium-friendly vine hybrid originating from the rainforests of Colombia and Costa Rica. 

Commonly, it is also called “Blushing Philodendron” or “Red-leaf Philodendron”. It has attractive heart-shaped foliage with colors that blend between green and burgundy red and a striking red-colored stem that adds tropical elegance to the interior decoration.

Etymology

The botanical name “philodendron” comes from the Greek words “philo”, meaning “love” and “affection”, and “dendron,” meaning tree. So the Philodendron is loosely translated as “tree huggers” with these meanings. This is because they are often seen in the wild as tree climbers.

The specific epithet “erubescens” loosely means “that which turns red or blushes”, describing the reddish hue of the whole plant.

Flowering

Philodendron Red Emerald is a flowering plant with deep red blossoms. It usually blooms with a pinkish-red cone-shaped spathe and spadix. The flower looks like an Arum lily. However, don’t expect it to bloom, especially if you keep it inside. Most people grow this plant for its foliage rather than its flowers.

Season of Interest and Purchasing

Late spring to early summer is the blooming period for Philodendron Red Emerald. The flowers can be harvested to be put in a vase or any interior containers. This is also the best time to purchase this plant because this is its growing season.

This plant enhances the interior spaces with exotic elegance, as well as improves air quality. Philodendron Red Emerald is available in aroid plant nurseries and in garden stores.

Growth

Red Emerald is an aggressive climbing plant with long, elongated green foliage with red highlights. It can grow about 12 feet (3m) tall when cultivated and become completely epiphytic in the wild. However, it will only reach a maximum height of 3 feet (36 inches) in an indoor setting.

This plant develops quickly and in an upright pattern. It will be able to grow upward and bear its weight with the aid of a moss pole or trellis.

Philodendron Red Emerald Overview

Scientific namePhilodendron erubescens ‘Red Emerald’
Common name/sPhilodendron Red Emerald, Blushing Philodendron, Red-leaf Philodendron
FamilyAraceae
Growth HabitHerbaceous Vine
Height and SpreadUp to 12 feet tall in the wild. Only 3 feet in indoor setting
Classification based on life cyclePerennial
Origin and DistributionOriginates from Colombia and Costa Rica
Climate ZoneGenerally warmer climate
USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneUSDA Zone 10 – 11
ColorGlossy burgundy leaves with deep red veins and reddish stems

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Care Tips

Care tips

Light Requirement

The Philodendron Red Emerald is an epiphyte, which means it climbs trees. Hence, they are prone to scorching and tend to be sensitive to direct light. This plant prefers six to eight hours of indirect light that ranges from moderate to bright. This will promote vibrant color, deep red stems, and long and elongated leaves. 

To avoid damaging the leaves from sunburns and changing the color of the foliage, always remember to keep this plant out of direct sunlight.

Temperature Requirement

The Philodendron Red Emerald, a native of Central and South America’s tropical regions, prefers to grow in an environment with constant temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 and 29 degrees Celsius). A plant will grow without any issues if you provide it with a comfortable temperature. 

Please don’t leave them outside when it is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit because they are not frost-or cold-resistant. The plant’s growth will be severely stunted, leading to small leaves, wilting, or even death under unfavorable temperature conditions.

Water Requirement

One of the most crucial parts of caring for a houseplant is providing it with the proper amount of water. Philodendron Red Emerald is drought tolerant and does not require to be watered frequently. This plant can tolerate infrequent watering. However, it prefers an even level of moisture, and it thrives in moist, well-draining soil. 

Maintaining moist but not soggy soil is essential. A plant’s roots may rot as a result of excessive watering. Hence, it is advised to water the plant once or twice every 7 to 14 days to make sure it receives enough moisture until the next watering. 

Humidity Requirement

For a more efficient photosynthesis, the humidity level is crucial. Philodendrons thrive in humid environments. Your Philodendron Red Emerald can tolerate humidity levels up to 50%-60% in homes. 

One way to keep your plant happy is by misting its leaves. You can spray fine mist above your plant’s leaves every 2-3 days on regular days, while you may need to do it daily during hot days. You can use a regular spray bottle.

Other ways to provide sufficient humidity are using room humidifiers (particularly around 40% humidity), pebble tray humidifiers, or simply grouping the house plants. This proximity among the plants can create a natural humid atmosphere, similar to their native environment.

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Soil Requirement

Philodendron Red Emerald prefers moist soil that is not excessively saturated. The soil should be rich but light and airy. Fast-draining, high-organic-matter potting mixtures are ideal for them. This is to avoid becoming muddy or waterlogged. 

To make the soil less likely to compact and support the roots’ aeration, mix it with perlite, sphagnum moss, sand, coconut coir, or bark.

Fertilizer Requirement

Philodendron Red Emerald will need fertilizer during the growing season to supply it with the nutrients it needs to grow. In order to promote growth in the spring and summer, it is suggested to apply some slow-release fertilizer and feed once a month.

 Furthermore, the 7:9:5 NPK ratio is the best choice for fertilizer. It will give the plants the essential nutrients they need to thrive rather than just survive.

It may also be helpful to flush the soil every once in a while, specifically about every four to five months, to avoid salt buildup. To do this, run water slowly through the potting mix for two to three minutes. You can resume with regular watering and feeding when the top 1 inch of soil has already dried.

Space Requirement

The Philodendron Red Emerald prefers an area with some shade, or, more precisely, semi-shade to shadow. To ensure that this plant receives the ideal quantity of light, place it close to a south-facing or east-facing window. Although it may be grown in soil or pots, it thrives in small spaces and attractive containers like terrariums.

Growing and Planting Tips

Philodendron Red Emerald Growing Tips

Propagation

The Philodendron Red Emeralds are primarily propagated in two ways. It can be done via(1) Stem cuttings and via (2) air layering. Both methods are easy and straightforward and guarantee success in reproducing your plant. Below are the detailed steps to propagate your Red Emerald.

Propagation by Stem Cuttings  

The most common method of propagation is stem cuttings. They are easily propagated by obtaining a stem cutting with at least one node and one leaf. Then, trim the stem to a length of 4 to 6 inches and make a small pot with perlite and sphagnum moss that is moist and evenly divided. The moss ought to be moist but not drenched. 

The cutting can be handled as a distinct plant and allowed to grow where it is wanted once the roots have taken hold. Transfer new roots to potting soil when they reach a length of 1 to 2 inches. 

Propagation by Air Layering

This method helps produce roots on the stems of indoor landscape plants that have become “leggy” through the loss of their lower foliage. Choose stems that appear healthy and sturdy, with aerial roots developing from the leaf nodes. After choosing a stem, wrap the healthy node with roots and a pole in some moist sphagnum moss.

This helps in supporting thinner stems that can’t stand up against the weight of the moss and the pole on their own. Next, wrap the node in a glass or moist cloth to  keep the moss’ moisture intact. To ensure the moisture level and monitor the sphagnum moss’s progress in rooting, remove the wrapping and check it once a week.

Pruning

Philodendron Red Emerald requires pruning to thrive. It will help them grow well and look nicer. Prune off dying branches, stubs, and unwanted overgrown parts using sterile pruning shears. Do it regularly during the spring or fall to ensure better growth.

Potting and Repotting

It is recommended that the Philodendron Red Emerald is repotted once a year when they are young. After reaching maturity, they should be repotted every two years. Doing so gives you the chance to refresh your potting mix and encourage plant growth. It also prevents your plant from becoming rootbound, further helping with the drainage.

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Philodendron Red Emerald Care

LightModerate to bright light
TemperatureIntermediate to warm, 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit
WaterOnce a week, increased in summer, decreased in winter
SoilLight and airy, well-draining soil
FertilizationRegular household fertilizer, once a month
SpaceMinimal space
PropagationVia stem propagation and air layering
BloomingEnough sunlight and maturity needed
PruningRegular pruning needed
PottingRegular potting mix, use of perlite, sphagnum moss, coco coir, and orchid bark is recommended 

Problems and Troubleshooting

Philodendron Red Emerald Problems

Overwatering

Overwatering Philodendron Red Emerald causes your plants to drown. This results in stunted, slow growth with yellowing leaves. Plants might get leaf scorch or leaf burns, root rotting, and even death, in worst situations.

Consider altering the pot and soil to provide effective drainage to fix this. A properly draining soil will greatly reduce the impact of overwatering.

Underwatering

Underwatering Philodendron Red Emerald causes dry leaves, brown tips, leaf drops, withering, and leaf curling. 

To preserve the health of the plant, maintain the watering pattern and supply the plant with bright, indirect light to help it survive. Water it thoroughly, making sure to provide water to the roots, and try decreasing the time between waterings. 

Nutrient Deficiency

Plants can suffer from deficiencies when growing conditions are inadequate, and the plants are unable to absorb nutrients from the soil. 

Philodendron Red Emerald is best fertilized with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur to encourage green, lush growth. Deficiencies of these nutrients result in yellowing and stunted development of your Philodendron Red Emerald.

Flowering Problems

The plant may produce flowers in its natural habitat, but not very much when cultivated indoors. When a mature plant blooms, consider cutting the buds to create a place for bushier foliage.

Philodendron Red Emerald Pests and Diseases

Common Pests/DiseasesSymptomsTreatment and Prevention

Common diseases include crown rot, stem rot, root rot, leaf spot, fungal diseases, and Xanthomonas infection
Yellowish rimming around black or dark brown spots on leaves
Avoid overwatering. Keep soil dry. Avoid too high humidity.Proper ventilation is needed around the plant. Remove infected parts of fungal infections to avoid spreading.
Common pests include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scalesVisible insects on the surfaceSpray plants with warm, soapy water. If infestation is present, use insecticide or neem oil. Use diatomaceous earth. 

Problems with People and Animals

Toxicity

Due to the calcium oxalate crystals in all the plant parts, the Philodendron Red Emerald is poisonous to young children and animals. Therefore, children or dogs should not be given any part of the plant because doing so could have harmful effects. 

The poisonous crystals in this plant can cause vomiting, trouble swallowing, profuse drooling, acute burning in the mouth, lips, and tongue, as well as oral irritation. 

Philodendron Plants Meaning and Symbolism

Philodendrons are a wonderful choice for plant lovers or someone with a strong passion for eco-friendly living because they represent a love of nature. 

In addition, they represent personal development and would be a wonderful gift for someone going through a significant life event or making improvements in themselves. 

General Meaninglove of nature, passion for eco-friendly living
SymbolismPersonal growth

Landscaping and Gardening Ideas

Landscaping and Gardening Ideas

Photo Credit

Companion Plants

Other tropical plants go well with Philodendrons. Some of the plants you may consider include bird of paradise, areca palms, fire spike, heliconia, variegated arboricola, croton, chenille plant, and pentas. Some of these plants will have additional colors and hues of warm oranges and reds, perfectly complementing your excellent dark greens.

If you want to add other Philodendron plants, the Tree Philodendron, Silver Queen Philodendron, and Philodendron Hastatum, make excellent plant partners for Red Emerald Philodendron. Their gorgeous extended and lengthy leaves, as well as their brighter foliage, complements well the red hues of Red Emerald.

Landscaping Ideas

Medium-sized Philodendrons go well as accents inside a humid room, cozy deck, or patio. A full plant can also be placed in the corner of the house or along the entryway. Outdoors, it can be a filler plant for a garden corner, in between palm trunks, or under tall trees. It can also be placed near pools to add even more tropical vibes as long as it won’t get splashed at.

What to plant withOther Philodendronds, Bird of Paradise, Areca Palms, Fire Spike, Heliconia, Variegated Arboricola, Croton, Chenille Plant, Pentas
What NOT to plant withBasically nothing

Conclusion

Philodendron Red Emerald

 Photo Credit

The Red Emerald Plant, also known as Philodendron erubescens, is an excellent choice for houseplant design. The leaves on this flowering plant are heart-shaped, and the flowers are red. In addition, the leaves are scarlet while young and mature to a lustrous dark green. 

It is also one of the most exotic and beautiful plants in the Araceae family. Please do take note, however, that all portions of the Philodendron Red Emerald are harmful to humans and dogs.

Try to get one and see for yourself why Red Emerald Philodendrons are to die for!

FAQs

1. Is the Red Emerald Philodendron rare?

Red Emerald is a rare aroid, but not as rare as your White Knight and Red Moon. However, due to extensive cultivation and the presence of tissue culture propagation, it is now easy to get a hand on this beautiful plant.

2. Does Philodendron Red Emerald climb?

The Red Emerald Philodendron is a herbaceous vine that loves to climb. That is why it is best to consider adding a pole or trellis for your plant to support its climbing needs. The addition of climbing material will enhance the growth of your Red Emerald.

3. Is Red Emerald Philodendron easy to care for?

Philodendron Red Emerald is a low-maintenance plant. New plant collectors can have this plant in their own spaces because they are very easy to care for. No advanced expertise is needed.

4. Is Philodendron Red Emerald a hybrid?

The Philodendron Red Emerald is a hybrid that is known for its very attractive foliage. The leaves are deep burgundy that turns into glossy deep green when mature. The undersides of the leaves may retain their coppery hue.

5. How do you take care of a Philodendron Red Emerald?

The Philodendron Red Emerald variety is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to care for. However, to properly take care of this plant, you must meet its basic light, water, soil, fertilization, and humidity requirements. 

Study about this plant and know what to avoid and what to do when met with certain problems. The more you know about your plant, the more you will likely take care of it properly.

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