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Imperial Red Philodendron Care Guide – On Point!

The Imperial Red Philodendron is the perfect plant to add minimum color to your collection of compact plants with enough care.

Generally, Imperial Red Philodendron thrives in bright indirect light, temperatures of 65 to 80°F, and humidity of 50%. They prefer well-draining soil with balanced fertilization once a month during the growing season and repotting every 2-3 years.

Stay with the article until the end to understand the requirements other than the above-mentioned basic needs for Imperial Red Philodendron.

Overview of Imperial Red Philodendron

Imperial Crimson Philodendron is a foliage plant with huge leathery leaves ranging from dark red to deep burgundy.

Have a quick overview of the beautiful Imperial Red Philodendron.

Scientific Name Philodendron erubescens 'Imperial Red'
Common Name Blushing Philodendron, Red Philodendron
Native South America
Family Araceae family
USDA Zone9-11
Nature Evergreen
Growth RateSlow to moderate
Foliage Burgundy red-purple at young stage with glossy green on maturity
Plant Height2-3 feet (60-90 cm)

Bloom ColorPurple Flowers with bright red berries
Blooming Time Late Spring to Mid Summer

Toxicity Toxic to humans and pets

Imperial Red Philodendron Complete Care Guide

Although “Imperial Red” sounds intimidating, the plant is easy to grow, and its criteria resonate with your room and house environment.

That said, take a look at the basic requirements of your plant.

A template containing an entire care tips for Imperial Red Philodendron
Provide complete care to make your Imperial Red bloom.

1. Adequate Sunlight and Temperature

Imperial Red Philodendron requires a fair deal of 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 2-3 meters from the east-facing window to prevent scorching light and cold drafts from the windows.

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

However, be sure not to leave your Imperial Red in direct sunlight all day, as it will burn the foliage and leads to fading of the crimson color from leaves.

Similarly, ensure your plants are not in the same room as fireplaces, radiators, ovens, or other heat sources.

In the rooms with low light, keep the Philodendron under fluorescent lights for 8-10 hours a day, especially during the winter.

2. Water & Humidity

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

Water once a week during the warmer months and 10-14 days in winter with intervals between watering to let the soil dry out completely.

Similarly, water less frequently if there’s less light, low temperatures, and high humidity to prevent yellow, wilted leaves with mushy and smelly roots led by overwatering.
A pot containing five to six big green to red leaves of Imperial Red Philodendron
Imperial Red will give thicker, broader, and glossier leaves if kept in a humidity of 70% or more.

To keep the root ball moist, maintain the humidity to the point (not <40%) by installing humidifiers or using the pebble tray method.

Also, water the plant with distilled or rainwater only when 2 inches of topsoil is dry to prevent fungal attacks. Or apply the bottom watering technique for better results.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

The Philodendron Imperial Red shows rapid growth in a porous, nutrient-rich, and acidic soil (6-6.5 pH).

Choose the materials like perlite, coco chips, and coarse sand for the ideal potting mix for Philodendron with the monthly application of slow-release 20-20-20 fertilizer.

A slow-release liquid fertilizer monthly in the spring and the summer, diluted to half, helps to avoid leaf burn and salt build-ups in the soil.

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

Also, you can prepare your DIY mix using potting soil, coco fiber and succulent or cactus mix in a 1:1:1 ratio with organic matter.

Adding organic materials like peat moss, coco peat, leaf litter, kitchen compost, and dung manure boosts water retention.

Meanwhile, go for online mixes like Miracle-Gro Poting Mix, Succulent Soil Mix, and Miracle-Gro Indoor Mix

Note: Mixing peat into a good quality cactus mix combined with organic manure is a simple Philodendron “Imperial Red” care hack.

4. Potting & Repotting

Philodendron Imperial Red can grow in a tiny container 1 to 2 inches wider in diameter than the root ball as they like to be slightly pot-bound.

However, when roots poke out from the drainage holes, transfer the plant to a container 2-3 inches broader than the previous one, having enough drainage holes.

You can do the repotting of Philodendron every two to three years during the early spring if it shows stunted growth with yellow and droopy leaves.

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

Fill a terracotta pot with the potting mix, remove the Philodendron from the previous pot, place it in the center, and fill it back.

Lastly, water the repotted Philodendron Imperial Red and locate it in an area receiving bright enough, indirect light.

5. Occasional Pruning

Pruning isn’t necessary for the imperial red but trimming now and then in early spring or late fall to remove a dead, yellowing, or diseased leaf befits the growth.

Pests attack are uncommon in Imperial Red. However, aphids, fungus gnats, and mealybugs may pierce the leaves and stems and suck the sap.

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

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

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

Imperial Red Philodendron: All About Growth Rate

Because of the broad, wide-bodied stems, Imperial Red Philodendron occupies more space than many people believe.

The plant not only expands widely but may also grow rather tall, reaching a height of 4 feet indoors and ascending when it finds support to cling to it.

Similarly, Imperial Red will bloom from May through July after reaching maturity, giving out purple flowers with bright red berries.

The plant goes by the name “Blushing Philodendron” or “Red leaf Philodendron,” for they feature glossy, broad, and oval-shaped red new leaves that turn dark green on maturity.
A bloom of Philodendron having purple spathe containing white spadix is growing from a pot.
The Imperial Red give bloom during the mid-summer only after they reach maturity.

Similarly, it has solid and rigid stems that allow the plant to grow straight up as it grows.

Toxicity of Imperial Red Philodendron

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

According to ASPCA, all the parts of the Philodendron, including leaves and stems, contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals.

Coming in contact with or ingesting the Philodendron 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 chew on the Imperial Red Philodendron.

Propagation Methods for Imperial Red Philodendron

When propagating the Imperial Red plant, time is the most crucial aspect. So better do it in early spring or summer to maximize your chances of success.

Tissue cultures are the most frequent way gardeners cultivate Philodendron Imperial Red.

However, you may also grow them at home using stem cuttings or air layering.

Propagate Imperial Red Philodendron Via Stem Cutting

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

  1. Choose a healthy stem that has at least two or three nodes.
  2. Take a 4- to 6 inches long cutting using a sterilized pruner or scissor.
  3. Fill a tiny container with a new potting mix and place the stem cutting dipped in rooting hormone (optional) in the center and fill them back.
  4. Cover the plant-containing pot with a plastic bag to boost the humidity and protect it from external enemies.
  5. Place the plant in a bright area away from direct sunlight.

The cutting will establish roots in around 3 to 4 weeks.

You may verify the root development by gently pushing on the plant. It should be able to resist, indicating that roots are developing.

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.

  1. Look for the tiny aerial roots that sprout from the plantlet and let them develop to make the stem visible.
  2. Place the aerial roots in a damp sphagnum moss and cover it with a clear plastic bag. Make sure there are no leaves caught in this wrap.
  3. Spray the sphagnum moss well via the open-top in the plastic bag daily to prevent the moss from drying out and compacting.

    Allow two to three weeks for new roots to emerge.

  4. Care, remove the plastic wrap and some moss around your new roots. Make sure the roots appear to be in good shape (white is a good sign)
  5. Using clean scissors to cut the plantlet below the new roots would be best.
  6. Place the plantlet in a damp sphagnum moss bundle in a transparent container to view the root development.
Note: Wait for Imperial Red Philodendron’s roots to be established entirely before repotting them into the ground or potting soil to prevent stressing the plant.

Where to buy Imperial Red Philodendron

With all the information on the care of Imperial Red Philodendron, you are ready to bring a new one home.

Look at the sites to buy a new Philodendron.

StoreDelivery Time
Amazon11-12 business days
Garden Goods3-5 business days
Planterina2-3 business days
Etsy11-18 business days

Imperial Red Philodendron Vs. Red Congo

The most familiar member of Philodendron mistaken with Imperial Red is Rojo Congo or Red Congo, for they both have large, red hue leaves.

However, the difference also lies in the leaves. The leaves of Congo are larger (about 10 inches or more), while Imperial leaves do not exceed more than 7 inches.

Also, the size attained by an Imperial Red is about 3 feet in height and width, and that of a Rojo Congo is 4 feet in height and width.

FAQs About Philodendron Imperial Red

1. Why are the Leaves of my Imperial Red Curling?

Various factors, including pests, overfertilization, and water shortages, cause the curling of leaves. However, the primary cause of this plant’s failure is water.

After being in an overly dry environment, leaves will curl within a day or two.

2. Why is the Color of my Imperial Red Changing?

The leaves will turn from a deep burgundy or maroon red or even pink to a deep emerald green before transforming to a green leaf with a reddish tinge as the plant ages and matures.

Such change is perfectly normal behavior.

3. Is Philodendron Red Imperial rare?

Yes. The Imperial Red Philodendron is a rare indoor plant, a hybrid from the Philodendron genus.

They feature unique blooms having purple sheath with creamy spadix and glossy leaves that change color from red to green as it climbs on the circle of life.


Hybridized self-headers, Imperial Red Philodendron, is ideal for any indoor condition to place on a shelf in the kitchen or bathroom.

With the proper care and love, your Imperial Red will thrive and grow in no time.

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