Blushing philodendron - bright appearance with modest demands
Among the huge variety of species and hybrids of philodendrons there are many plants, both gigantic and compact. But not a single species competes unassumingly with the main modest - the blushing philodendron. True, his modesty does not apply to the appearance of the plant. The reddening stems and cuttings, huge leaves, long shoots that form a very large but strikingly elegant silhouette look very elegant. And flowering philodendrons conquer the hearts no less than exotics. This representative of room classics requires only one thing - at least minimal care. And a considerable place.
Philodendron blushing (Philodendron erubescens) Is one of the largest and most common types of philodendrons. This unique plant creates stunning thickets in Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica. They discovered it relatively late - in the middle of the 19th century.
Blushing philodendron is a real giant from the class of ascending evergreen vines. With natural sizes up to 15 m, on which the plant is pulled out in search of light, in the room it will not exceed 2.5 m.
Blushing philodendron grows very quickly and changes literally before our eyes, becoming both more powerful and brighter. Even with pruning, a sharp restriction on the length of the shoots, the bushes will not branch and create compact lush forms. To create sprawling, dense bushes, several vines are grown in one container, creating a more magnificent mass and a more massive effect.
The aerial roots of this plant are no less spectacular than most of its counterparts. They develop from each node, often wrap themselves around the trunk and supports, giving the plant additional texture. Long, impressive, they emphasize the forest beauty of the blushing philodendron.
The leaves of the reddening philodendron are often compared with the beauty of rubber-bearing ficus and alocasia. And not by chance. Solid, very large, they seem simple and elegant at the same time. A heart-oval, slightly elongated shape with a heart-shaped base and a pointed tip gives the whole plant accuracy, and the undulation of the edges, the luminous middle vein, and the glossy-bluish sheen of the surface smooth out excessive rigor.
In length, the leaves of the philodendron are capable of reaching 40 cm, in width - up to 30 cm, they look like giant hearts on long colored petioles. The lower matte side and the glossy upper are traditionally contrasted.
The color palette of the plant is quite predictable even from its name. Blushing philodendron is characterized by rare shades of dark green base color - emerald and swamp.
But he received his specific name for the uneven red tint of petioles and stems. Young leaves of the plant also prepared more than one surprise. Indeed, the unique muffled, scarlet-brown hue seems to creep into the leaves, shine through, bashfully hide until it changes to pure green. Light colored coating gives this philodendron a more noble appearance.
Blossoming Philodendron Blushing
In indoor conditions, especially if ideal temperature conditions are not created during the rest period and in spacious pots, the flowering of reddening philodendrons is considered a miracle. But, if he is comfortable in the house, he can surprise with a bright, unusual inflorescence.
Exotic-looking cobs surrounded by wide dark purple bracts rise on very bright pedicels. Blushing philodendrons can bloom from the third year.
Varieties of philodendron blushing
Despite the high decorativeness of the base plant, the reddening philodendron can offer even more saturated red colors that cover almost the entire bush. This culture does not have a large number of varieties, but a couple of bright cultivars can demonstrate how original this kind of philodendrons can be.
Grade ‘Burgundy’ - a representative of the red-purple varieties of philodendron, in which not only petioles, but also the leaf plates themselves are brightly colored. A winey, saturated, cold shade appears throughout the plant, often unevenly. The plant is large enough, but the leaves are smaller than the main species.
Grade ‘Red Emerald’ - a magnificent variety with slightly smaller leaves and significantly more compact bushes. This is a slow-growing cultivar of philodendron, the maximum leaf length of which is limited to 25 cm. In this impressive variety, the stems and petioles are striking in the intensity of the dark red color.
From below, it rarely flows onto leaf plates, but the uniqueness of light veins and warm dark green color is emphasized by one of the brightest glossy tides among large-leaved plants. The leaves of this variety literally sparkle.
Grade ‘Meduza’ - one of the brightest among philodendrons. He also adds yellow to green and red colors. Small, up to 20 cm leaves are painted in an almost yellow shade of light green, which looks amazingly bright against the background of dark red stems and petioles.
Hybrid grade ‘Mandaianum’ - the red color of petioles increases with time, but the same shade of leaves is lost. Young greens are quite bright, greenish-purple, but as they grow, the leaves repaint in an increasingly colder shade of green.
Growing conditions for indoor philodendrons
The reddening philodendrons, which feel great at room temperatures, adapt much better to lighting than would be expected from such giants. It’s easy to choose the conditions for it - but only if the plant is given enough free space.
Blushing philodendron is an excellent candidate for beginner gardeners who want to have a large, spectacular, but still quite simple plant.
Blushing philodendron belongs to poisonous plants, contact with the juice of any parts causes severe skin irritation. But at the same time it is one of the most effective phytofilters that absorb toxins from the air and effectively heal the environment of plants.
Lighting and placement
Bright but soft light is ideal for blushing philodendron. This large plant is placed on window sills only at a young age, because the size will not allow the vine to fit in a limited space. But even near the window the bushes are developing and it looks absolutely normal.
A place that is too bright, direct sunlight adversely affects the colors of the plant: light shading and diffuse mode show red tides much stronger than bright light.
With slow accustoming at a young age, reddening philodendrons grow well and in fairly dense partial shade. Of particular importance is lighting at the flowering stage, when it should be quite intense. But since the philodendron rarely blooms, more careful lighting control is almost never required.
Varietal philodendrons, as a rule, are no more photophilous than the base plant. An exception is varieties in which the leaves themselves are also colored red. Cultivars such as Burgundy prefer bright, diffused light.
The optimal location for this type of philodendron is considered to be a distance of about 1 m from the southern and partially southern windows and their placement near the windowsill near the eastern and western. On the north window, the reddening philodendron can remain only in the summer and only on the windowsill.
The main difficulties with the cultivation of philodendrons are associated with the search for a fairly spacious room. It really is a giant, and a fast-growing one. Like any vines, the reddening philodendron will require support, and the mass of shoots and the complexity of formation require the selection of the most reliable options.
Nevertheless, the search for free space is much more important than the quality of the support. This liana does not tolerate crowding and in small rooms it suppresses the environment, hides the entire space, so it is worth exhibiting in the most spacious rooms in the house. Only in the first years of growing philodendrons feel comfortable in small rooms.
Blushing philodendron grows well in complex compositions. In winter gardens, greenhouses, on green screens, it can be mixed with other vines and planted in common containers.
Temperature and ventilation
This plant feels amazingly good at room temperatures. He is comfortable in the same place as the owners. If it is not possible to lower temperatures in the winter, the blushing philodendron can overwinter in ordinary living rooms.
This is a thermophilic species, the minimum acceptable indicators for which are about 12 degrees (to maintain decorativeness - 16 degrees). Usually, the cold immediately leads to a partial loss of leaves, so in winter, if there is a risk of overcooling the substrate, it is better to leave the red philodendron blushing in warmer rooms. Soil temperature in pots is much more important than air temperature.
The blushing philodendron does not tolerate. Any temperature indicators above 25 degrees lead to partial drying of the edges of the leaves. When the temperature rises, it is better to take measures to increase air humidity. Spraying the leaves is the most effective way.
Caring for a reddening philodendron at home
At a time when most philodendrons repel their demands for high air humidity or watering quality, the reddening philodendron pleasantly surprises with its endurance.
Of course, there are some nuances in caring for this plant. Varietal philodendrons reddening are much more sensitive to improper care than the base plant. And they are also very afraid of waterlogging. But they cannot be called difficult to care for.
Watering and humidity
The reddening philodendron is much more resistant to drying out of the soil than its counterparts, but maintaining an even humidity is an ideal watering option for this plant. Between watering, it is worth letting dry only the top layer of the substrate.
Uniform humidity is maintained both in summer and winter, only by reducing watering so that the substrate dries out a little more and focuses on changes in the rate of moisture consumption. Waterlogging, stagnation of water in the lower part of the substrate and pallets, the reddening philodendron does not tolerate in the same way as all other types of philodendrons.
To irrigate the reddening philodendron using standard standing water. Watering with cold water leads to loss of leaves.
This is one of the most resistant to dry air species. But only if it is a base, not a varietal plant. Of course, extreme conditions near an air conditioner or heating devices even in this giant will lead to a loss of leaf beauty, and in medium and high levels of content you can observe faster growth rates and an impeccable condition of the leaves.
Therefore, you can adjust the care by installing humidifiers, under specific conditions of detention. But neither this measure, nor spraying on the reddening philodendron are mandatory measures, although they only positively affect the appearance of the plant and prevent drying or blackening of the edges of the leaves.
For varietal philodendrons blushing, high humidity is not only desirable, but required. Without exception, all varieties of reddening philodendron, especially compact ones, cannot tolerate dry air and quickly lose the decorative effect of leaves.
For a reddening philodendron, maintaining leaf cleanliness is a must. Just rubbing it with a soft cloth or sponge on this plant can be done easily, because the leaves of the philodendron are very large.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
Feeding too often the blushing philodendron is not worth it. He does not like too nutritious soils and naturally grows very actively. Too frequent feeding can cause the release of too large leaves and dropping leaves at the bottom of the shoots.
The plant is considered standard for 1 top-dressing per month, but it is much more productive to top-feed once every 2 weeks (the fertilizer should be divided in two).
As with most vines, the reddening period of the philodendron, when top dressing can be applied, is limited - only in spring and summer.
Blushing philodendron prefers complex, mixed mineral-organic fertilizers. Special fertilizers for Aroid or balanced formulations are preferred. All macronutrients must be present in the composition in equal proportions. The dose recommended by the manufacturers is slightly reduced (by 20%), considering that this is the standard concentration.
Blushing philodendron does not like the uneven concentration of fertilizers in the soil. For him, do not use long-acting fertilizers. Foliar top dressing for this type of philodendrons is also not carried out.
Pruning and formation of blushing philodendron
Shortening shoots, pinching the tops of new stems, forming plants is carried out at their discretion. But the reddening philodendron is never cut radically: at least 2-3 pairs of leaves must remain on the branches.
It is strictly forbidden to touch the aerial roots of the philodendron, even if they spoil the decorativeness of the bushes, you can not cut them in any case. They are carefully guided along the support, fixed, buried in the moss.
The formation of the reddening philodendron is usually carried out not so much due to scraps, but due to the direction along the supports. Young philodendrons can be grown without support, but the longer the shoots become, the more they need support.
Philodendrons of this kind are good on all types of supports, except for complex figures - trellises, walls, simple moss trunks, circular or pillar-shaped supports. Wet moss coated foot types are preferable to conventional. Philodendrons look great on stumps and snags.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Giant transplantation is carried out only when he himself gives signals of a lack of space for development. Until the roots of the plant appear in the drainage holes, there is no need to transfer blushing philodendrons into new containers. The standard is the frequency of transplantation of 3-4 years for old bushes and 1-2 years for young plants. In those years when a transplant is not carried out, the topsoil is carefully removed and replaced with a fresh one.
For philodendrons, transplantation can be carried out at any convenient time in the spring. They with sufficient care can be transplanted in the summer-autumn period. Delaying with a transplant, if the plant has nowhere else to grow, is an worse option than transplanting in non-standard terms.
This is one of the plants that grows well in the simplest substrates. Soil for Aroids, a universal ready-made substrate, adjusted by draining additives or a self-made permeable soil mix will work equally. Dense, heavy soil for this type of philodendron is not suitable to the same extent as for all others.
Breathability of the soil is very important. For example, for blushing philodendron, you can prepare a simple mixture of leaf, sod soil and humus taken in equal proportions, to which pine bark was added for loosening. A great option is to use a mixture of a special substrate for orchids and a universal substrate.
Philodendrons adore additives of inert components, horse peat, perlite, sand, vermiculite and coconut soils. But in pure inert soil it is undesirable to grow them.
Blushing philodendron is one of the plants that are well suited for hydroponics. It can be grown in containers with automatic irrigation, in classic and simplified versions of hydroponic plants.
A high layer of coarse-grained, high-quality, not inclined to accumulate drainage water must be laid at the bottom of the tank.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
In the spectacular red-purple species of whole-leaf philodendrons, problems often arise due to improper care, and not damage by pests or diseases. Both dampness and drought can cause the same reaction - the appearance of spots, blackening of the edges of the leaves. With any hypothermia on the root system, rot can hardly be avoided, as with excessive watering.
Of the pests on the reddening philodendrons, spider mites, felt, thrips, which love to spread in extremely dry air, are more common. With medium and high humidity, they are almost not afraid of the plant. But scale insects love large leaves and, when infected, collections quickly spread throughout the crown.
When buying enough adult plants during the adaptation period, simpler, smaller leaves may appear, and this phenomenon is mainly caused by a sharp change in air humidity. If new plants produce “wrong” leaves, it is worthwhile to raise the air humidity and gradually change it, lowering it only when normal growth is restored.
Reproduction of blushing philodendron
The reddening philodendrons grow well and quickly reach full decorativeness even when grown from miniature cuttings with bare roots. Actually, private flower growers most often sell them in the form of small shoots. Vegetative propagation methods are considered the most productive and simple.
For cuttings, apical cuttings cut from 2 to 3 internodes are best suited. But much smaller stem cuttings can also take root, however, in this case it is better to place them under the hood and process them additionally with rooting accelerators.
Full-fledged cuttings - segments of the stem with several internodes - can be rooted either by deepening in the soil or by the non-standard method without planting in the substrate, laying horizontally on moist, light soil and ensuring that light moisture is kept constant. Aerial roots begin to develop from the nodes on the handle, and after the appearance of signs of growth of lateral shoots, plants are planted.
Blushing philodendron can also be propagated using air layers. It is irrational to bend the whips of the plant, they simply make a vertical cut in the selected section of the trunk. For the reddening philodendron, only the method of wrapping with moss is suitable, which is fixed around the incision and kept steadily moist until the roots are released.
Separating the shoot from the mother plant, it is worthwhile to cut lower, 1 cm above the first top leaf, leaving about 1 cm of twig.