Philodendron ‘Imperial Red‘ is a red-leaf, hybrid cultivar from the philodendron genus. It has stunning dark red and green foliage and is a good choice for growing in smaller homes as it measures just 2 to 3 ft and so is more compact than some other types.
‘Imperial Red’ is just one of the excellent red-leafed philodendron varieties. Philodendron ‘Red King‘ and Philodendron ‘Red Cardinal‘ are just a couple of the other options to consider.
Like many other Philodendron hybrids, ‘Imperial Red’ Philodendron is a low-maintenance and relatively unfussy plant. You do need, though, to provide the right conditions when it comes to light, temperature, humidity, and the soil or potting mix in which the plant is grown.
In the wild, philodendrons are shade-loving plants. They grow under the canopies of other plants and trees. So this red leaf houseplant does well in areas of bright but filtered sunlight. It can also do well in areas of partial shade. But, long exposure to direct sunlight could have serious negative effects on its leaves, which can get scorched due to their delicate nature.
Some amount of lighting is needed, though, to encourage proper growth. This is why keeping them in full shade is not ideal. Their growth would be stunted.
A great place to grow red imperial plants would be in a room with a north-facing window. An east-facing window is also fine, as it provides access to the morning sun. You can also grow them under good-quality grow lights.
Temperature And Humidity
Humidity and temperature are quite important to the Imperial red Philodendron. A temperature range between 65 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Most average home temperatures offer this, so you shouldn’t worry much.
Humidity should be kept between 50% to 70%. Strive to achieve this by misting the plant often. If you can get a humidifier, that would be recommended. And you can also try placing the plant beside a tray filled with water and pebbles. Grouping houseplants together can also help raise the humidity in the vicinity.
Soil/Potting Mix Requirements
Like most philodendrons, imperial reds love good, light, well-draining soil. This can help get rid of any excess moisture that can be gotten from overwatering. It should be a little acidic with a range between 6.0 and 6.5.
To achieve this you can mix your own potting soil. Do this in a well-draining pot by adding potting soil to some perlite. Coco coir and peat moss can also be added to boost aeration. Add compost to improve its nutrient value.
Or you can make use of commercial cactus soil. Adding compost would help improve the richness of the soil mix.
Care is mostly about watering and feeding your plant.
Philodendrons like the red imperial don’t do well in soil with excess water. In fact, they require less water and prefer moist soil to soggy soil.
Water them after checking the moisture level of the soil. You can do this with a moisture meter for more accuracy. Another option is to feel the soil with your fingers, but this might not be an accurate method.
The idea is to let the topmost part of the soil dry off before watering the plant. This way, you can make sure that it receives the full amount of moisture required for growth.
Always use rainwater or distilled water for your watering. The chemicals that are contained in tap water can be harmful to the plant. If you must use tap water, let it sit out for a day. This would allow the chemicals contained in it to dissipate.
Fertilizer is not needed if you add compost to the initial soil mix. But if you didn’t, a standard, organic fertilizer should be good enough. You can also make use of a liquid fertilizer, but dilute it by half its original strength.
Fertilizer can be applied once a month in its growing season. In the cold winter, the plant goes dormant and does not need fertilizer.
Potting and Repotting
They do well in either a hanging basket, rubber, or ceramic pot. What matters is that the pot should be a bit bigger in diameter than the plant. Repot before the plants become root-bound. Forcing them to be root-bound can be stressful on their delicate roots.
As a hybrid cultivar, you don’t have many options with propagation. But, you can do this by air layering from the mother plant and separating its plantlets.
These are relatively hardy and vigorous plants that are often trouble free when grown in the right location and cared for correctly. Issues can arise, though, and these include:
- Root rot
Positioning the plant correctly to provide the right growing conditions and caring for the plants in the best possible way can help reduce the chances of a serious problem taking hold.