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Imperial Red Philodendron Care [Re-Updated With Finest Grow Tips!]

Showcasing an array of sleeky green and maroon leaves, the Imperial Red Philodendron is a flawless plant for indoor decorations.

Still, its foliage can be a victim of yellowing if you disregard its care concerns!

Imperial Red Philodendron thrives with 4-6 hours of dappled sunlight, 65-80°F temperature, weekly watering during spring and summer, and 50-70% humidity. They prefer well-draining soil with balanced fertilization monthly during the growing season, occasional pruning, and repotting every 2-3 years.

Hence, learn about the daily needs, propagation methods, and failsafe tips to protect Imperial Red Philodendron from pests and diseases.

Imperial Red Philodendron [Plant Overview]

Philodendron Erubescence ‘Imperial Red’ is a hybrid ornamental cultivar of Philodendron species. 

Regarding leaf vein arrangement, color, and shape, the plant is similar to other Philodendron varieties like Red Emerald Philodendron and Philodendron Rojo Congo.
Image represents potted Imperial Red Philodendron
Imperial Reds are tropical aroids with bushy and compact growth rather than a climber.

The plant leaves are huge spade-like leathery foliage ranging from dark red to deep burgundy and green.

Unlike other Philodendron species, the plant is non-vining, with leaves rising from a single stem.

Hence, the plant is solely cultivated for ornamental decor, with a few wild populations.

Have a quick overview from the table to learn more interesting plant features.

Scientific Name Philodendron Erubescens 'Imperial Red'
Common Name Blushing Philodendron

Red Leaf Philodendron

Imperial Red Philodendron
Native Tropical Rainforest within South America
Family Araceae
USDA Zones9-11
HabitEvergreen Perennial Epiphytic Herb
Growth RateSlow to Moderate
Plant SizeHeight & Spread: 2-3 feet
LeafColor: Reddish, Dark Brown, Green & Burgundy

Shape: Oval, Spade-like or Lance-Shaped

Texture: Glossy & Leathery
FlowersInflorescence: Spathe & Spadix
Grown forAttractive Flaring, Vibrant & Dazzling Leaves
Toxicity Poisonous to humans & pets

Imperial Red Philodendron Care & Grow Guide

The parent plant of Imperial Red, Philodendron erubescence, inhabits the tropical forests of South America.

That said, the indoor care demand for the plant dictates its placement in a tropical setting.

An illustration containing entire care tips for Imperial Red Philodendron.
Provide complete tropical care to make your Imperial Red bloom.

1. Sunlight & Temperature

Imperial Red Philodendron requires indirect sunlight and warm weather for proper development.

The Imperial Red Philodendron requires 4-6 hours of bright indirect light with a temperature between 65-85ºF.

Anything below 55º F stunts the development. However, it stresses the plant when the temperature rises to 95º F or above.

So better to place the pot near an east-facing window or 3-5 feet away from a south-facing window to prevent scorching sunlight.

Also, providing 1-2 hours of direct sunlight in the morning completes the left-out light requirement of Philodendrons.

However, don’t leave your Imperial Red in direct sunlight all day, as it will burn the foliage and lead to fading of leaf colors.

Similarly, keep your plant away from heating or cooling vents or north-facing windows during fall and winter to avoid temperature fluctuations.

In rooms with low light, keep the Philodendron under fluorescent lights for 8-10 hours daily to cope with the light requirement.

2. Watering & Humidity

Philodendrons prefer moist soil with high humidity, around 50-70%, to flourish their broad and dark leaves.

Water weekly during the spring and summer but every 10-14 days in fall and winter, with intervals between watering to let the soil dry out completely.

Similarly, you must water less frequently if there is less light, low temperatures, and high humidity to prevent yellow, wilted leaves with root rots led by overwatering.
A potted Imperial Red Philodendron plant
Imperial Red will give thicker, broader, and glossier leaves if kept in a humid setting.

However, to keep the root ball adequately moist, maintain the humidity (not <40%) by installing indoor humidifiers or using humidity trays.

Also, to prevent fungal attacks, use distilled or rainwater only when 1-2 inches of topsoil is dry.

Additionally, apply the bottom watering technique for better results.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

Philodendron Imperial Red grows prefers aerated, nutrient-rich, and acidic soil (6-6.5 pH).

Choose the materials like organic perlite, coco coir, and potting soil for the ideal potting mix in a ratio of 1:1:1 with the monthly application of liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer.

Additionally, applying dilute liquid fertilizer monthly in the spring and the summer helps avoid leaf or root burns and salt build-ups in the soil.

However, cease fertilization in winter to prevent overfertilization as the plant undergoes dormancy.

Also, adding organic materials like leaf litter, kitchen compost, and manure boosts the soil acidity. 

4. Potting & Repotting

Philodendron Imperial Red can easily stay in a poky container 1-2 inches wider in diameter than the root ball as they like to be slightly potbound.

However, when roots poke out from the drainage holes, transfer the plant to a container 2-3 inches more spacious than the previous one with drainage holes.

Repot Philodendron every 2-3 years during the early spring if it shows stunted growth with yellow and droopy leaves or any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Start by watering the plant thoroughly before repotting to make the soil loose and prevent stress.

Fill a terracotta pot with the potting mix, remove the plant from the previous pot, place it in the center, and fill it all the way to the top.

Lastly, water the repotted plant and locate it in an area receiving bright enough, indirect light until it perks up again.

5. Occasional Pruning

Scheduled pruning isn’t necessary for the Imperial Red, but trimming now and then in early spring to remove a dead, yellowing, or diseased leaf befits the growth.

Also, aphids, fungus gnats, and mealybugs may pierce the leaves and stem and suck the sap.

Meanwhile, irregular brown patches along the leaf edge and brown spots with yellow margins indicate Imperial Red suffers from either Erwinia blight, Xanthomonas infection, or Pseudomonas Leaf spot.

So, remove them by spraying insecticidal soap and neem oil or dabbing the area of infestation with alcohol-dipped swabs.

Trim off the affected leaves when you notice the irregularities and spray copper-rich fungicide over the plant to control further spread.

Imperial Red Philodendron [Growth & Flowering]

Because of the broad, wide-bodied stems, Imperial Red Philodendron occupies a decent amount of space indoors.

The plant expands generously and grows tall, reaching 2-3 feet tall with a similar spread indoors and ascending even more when it reaches maturity.

Similarly, Imperial Red will bloom from late spring to early summer with vibrant inflorescence containing red spathe and white spadix, bearing minute flowers.

The plant goes by “Blushing Philodendron” or “Red Leaf Philodendron,” featuring glossy, broad, and oval-shaped darkish-red leaves that turn dark green on maturity.
Image illustrates inflorescence of Imperial Red Philodendron
The inflorescence of Imperial Red Philodendron consists of a bright red spathe and creamy whitish-blue spadix.

Due to the color, shape, and leaf arrangement, the plant shares many resemblances with other Philodendron varieties.

This is because the plant is a hybrid cultivar of Philodendron erubescence, and horticulturists cultivated the plant with selective traits to increase its ornamental value.

Imperial Red Philodendron [Toxic Traits]

Although the exotic appearance of the Philodendron Imperial Red may be striking, they are highly toxic to dogs and cats.

ASPCA mentions that all the parts, including roots, leaves, and stems, contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals.

Coming in contact with or ingesting the plant parts irritates the mouth and gastrointestinal tract of the pets

In addition, it can induce vomiting, drooling, and nausea with swelling in the mouth in severe cases.

So contact the following helpline numbers if your pets or kids chew or accidentally swallow the plant parts.

Imperial Red Philodendron [Propagation Methods]

To propagate the Imperial Red Philodendron, you better do it in early spring or summer.

You can also grow them at home using cuttings or an air layering process.

Although the plant produces seeds after flowering, the seeds may not stay true to the parents after germination.

Additionally, tissue culturing is another method of propagating the plant, but it is a bit complicated indoors.

Further, you can root the cuttings in water first and transplant them into the soil after they grow 2-3 inches long.

1. Propagate Imperial Red Philodendron Via Stem Cutting

Among all the methods, stem cutting is the easiest and most common technique for Imperial Red Philodendron.

  • Choose a healthy stem that has at least 2-3 nodes.
  • Take 4-6 inches long cutting using a sterilized pruner.
  • Fill a 6-inch wide terracotta planter with a fresh potting mix.
  • After, dip the stem cutting in the rooting hormone and shove the cutting in the center.
  • Cover the cuttings with a perforated plastic bag to boost the humidity and warmth.
  • Following this, place the plant in a dappled light away from direct sunlight.
  • The cutting will establish roots within 3-4 weeks.

You may verify the root development by tugging the plant.

It should be able to resist, indicating that roots are developing.

2. Propagate Imperial Red Philodendron Via Air-Layering

Many prefer the air-layering method as there is less risk to it because you only cut the plant when the roots have developed and not before.

  • Look for the tiny aerial roots that sprout from the plantlet and let them develop to make the stem visible.
  • Place the aerial roots in a damp sphagnum moss and cover it with a clear plastic bag.
  • Make sure no leaves are caught in this wrap, and poke some holes for aeration.
  • Moist the moss well from the holes in the wrap daily to prevent the moss from drying out and compacting.
  • After, allow 2-3 weeks for new roots to emerge. Remove the plastic wrap and some moss around your new roots.

Ensure the roots appear in good shape (white is a good sign).

  • Cut the plantlet an inch below the new roots and transplant it in a damp sphagnum moss bundle in a transparent container to view the root development.

Imperial Red Philodendron for Sale

A mature Imperial Red Philodendron’s price is high owing to its ornamental traits and cultivation methods.

But here are some sites to bring home a new Philodendron Imperial Red plant at a reasonable cost.

Shops/ SitesExpected Delivery Period
Plant VineWithin 2 days after placing an order
Gabriella PlantsWithin 1 week after placing an order
Kens PhilodendronsWithin 2-9 days after placing an order
EtsyWithin 20 days after placing an order

Imperial Red Philodendron Vs. Red, Green & Pink Varieties

Some members of Philodendron mistaken for Imperial Red are Philodendron Rojo Congo, Philodendron Emerald Red, Philodendron Imperial Green, and Philodendron Imperial Red Pink.

All the plants have similar toxicity traits, stem colors, leaf arrangements, and shapes, but the main difference is the foliage colors, growth habits, leaf size, and overall plant size.
Image represents a leaf of Philodendron Imperial Red
When in the course of maturity, Imperial Red Philodendron has green leaves which slowly attain a reddish-dark tint.

Rojo Congo or Red Congo have wider and darker leaves, with a more vigorous growth rate and large size than Imperial Red.

Likewise, Emeral Red is a climbing or vine cultivar with greener leaves, while in Imperial Red Pink, the leaves have dark red and pink variegations.

However, the leaves stay green in Imperial Green and don’t adorn a darker-reddish shade at maturity.

From Editorial Team


The hybridized self-heading cultivar, Imperial Red Philodendron, is ideal for any indoor condition to place on a shelf in the kitchen or bathroom.

To sustain their leaf colors, you must add a touch of tropicality to their daily care routine.

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