Painted Lady Philodendron: Ultimate Care Tips [With Buying Guide]

Painted Lady Philodendron
Painted Lady Philodendrons (source: Etsy)

I have always wanted a plant that had something different about them. My dad suggested that I should get a Painted Lady Philodendron.

It looked like none other than Leonardo Da Vinci hand-painted the flower. The patterns in the plant looked exquisite.

I had to take good care of the beautiful Painted Lady Philodendron!

Painted Lady Philodendron prefers a warm climate with temperatures ranging from 55 to 80°F, a humidity of 65 to 80 %, medium indirect sunlight, and a moist aroid soil mixture. Furthermore, feeding them with a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season would help them thrive.

Beautiful Painted Lady Philodendron planted in a white pot
Beautiful Foliage of Painted Lady Philodendron (Source: indoorsplant.com)

If you are thinking of bringing in this masterpiece of nature, you need to know how to keep them full of life.

I have mentioned all the care tips, common problems, ways to propagate Painted Lady Philodendron, and much more.

Let’s dive deep into this article and read about how to keep your plant smiling.

Overview of Painted Lady Philodendron

Painted Lady Philodendron looks beautiful for the patterns on its leaves.

Let’s know some basic information on this plant.

Scientific namePhilodendron erubescens
Common namePainted Lady Philodendron
NativeCaribbean and Colombia
FamilyHumongous Araceae
OriginHybrid of two parent Philodendrons : P. Erubescens Burgundy and P. Erubescens Emerald Queen
NatureTropical
USDAZones 9-11
Plant TypeVariegated Climbing
Growth Size2 to 5 Feet
Spread1 to 1.5 Feet
Leaf SizeUp to 6 inches
FlowerSmall white and green colored flowers.
Bloom TimeLate spring to mid-summer
AvailabilityRare
Greater demand than supply
ToxicityToxic to pets

Where to Buy Painted Lady Philodendron?

Painted Lady Philodendron is a very rare aroid. Every website or store that sells this plant adds “rare” to indicate its rarity.

Rare things are expensive. Such is the case with this plant. Its price ranges from $30 for cuttings to $400 for the grown plants.

But trust me, this plant’s beauty will not let you fret over the money you spent.

Places to BuyDelivery Period
EtsyIt will arrive in 7-10 days
Garden GoodsYou might receive it within a week
AriodsaleYour plant might get delivered within 10 days.
Plant Circle1-3 days if you reside in Germany, 3-10 days outside Germany
Nursery buyThe delivery time is 5-7 business days
Foliage DreamsDelivery upto 6 days

Painted Lady Philodendron: Ultimate Care & Growing Guide

Painted Lady Philodendron is a pretty household plant that needs utmost care to maintain its beauty.

“Philo” means Love/Affection in the Greek language, and “Dendron” means Tree. In their natural habitat, they love to grow on trees and require support.

Look at the essential requirements and Optimum conditions for the plant to grow.

RequirementsOptimum Conditions
TemperatureMaintain a temperature between 55 to 80°F.
It cannot withstand temperature below 50°F.
SunlightIt will thrive more in bright, indirect light.
Soil ConditionLight, Fertile soil with pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.5
HumidityProvide high humidity of 60-85%
WateringWater once or twice a week but check for the soil moisture before watering.
FertilizingFertilize every two weeks during spring, summer and growth season.
Use slow-release liquid fertilizer.
PruningPrune when you see dry leaf ends and excess growths.
RepottingRepot if the roots are outgrowing the pot.
First repotting can be done after 2-3 years unless some emergency.
Pot SizeChoose a pot that is one or two inches larger in diameter than the root ball of your plant
PropagationPropagated by stem cutting, air layering
Pests/DiseasesMealy bugs, Spider mites and Root rot, Bacterial leaf spot

Read further to know more in detail.

1. Adequate Sunlight and Proper Location

Being a tropical plant, the Painted Lady Philodendron loves bright but indirect sunlight.

But, it would be best to make sure that the sun is not scorching, or it may burn the beautiful foliage of the plant.

Generally, Painted Lady Philodendrons require 70-85% of the total light intensity. The plant will thrive if you keep it in the morning or evening sun for nearly 3 hours a day.

These plants depend and live under the shade of other big trees in their natural habitat. So it would be good to keep them under shades on the patio or indoors.

Sunlight for Indoor Plants
Sunlight for Indoor Plants (Source: UGA Extension)

The plant’s leaves can lose their color and get sunburned in excess light.

When the light they get is low, the plant growth will slow down, and the leaves’ size will diminish to a greater extent.

The plant will grow towards the source and, thus, be leggy in search of the light source.

If they do not get adequate light, they won’t produce the required energy, which results in slow growth.

Even though the plant is affected by the intensity of light, it can do well in medium light and indoor fluorescent or grow lights.

Tips for Providing Proper Light

  • Place the plant in a bright room with no direct sunlight falling on the foliage. Keep the plant at least one meter away from the window to avoid damage.
  • Rotate the plant occasionally to ensure even growth.
  • You can place it outside during winter, but make sure you bring it in before the cold night strikes.
  • You can use artificial lights if the sunlight is scarce in winter. A few hours under grow lights can fulfill the lighting needs of a Painted Lady Philodendron.
  • Avoid moving the plant from time to time. It takes time to adjust to the new light environment.

2. Proper Watering

I’d recommend you not mess up the watering because improper watering invites many problems.

The Painted Lady Philodendron prefers dry soil rather than wet soil. So make sure you let the soil dry between waterings before watering the plant again.

Generally, you should water the plant every 7-8 days in summer and every two to three weeks during winter. You can change the schedule depending on the soil condition.

Lack of water in plants renders the root and stem weak as an adequate amount of water is required for photosynthesis, along with other factors.

Overwatering is a serious problem that blocks the root of the plant. The root cannot transfer required nutrients to the plant, damaging the plant and rotting the root.

Watering the plant
Watering the plant (Source: Pixabay)

Save an Underwatered Painted Lady Philodendron

The soil of underwatered Lady Philodendron looks completely dry, and the plant bends down to give a wilted look.

Revive your plant in time to minimize damage.

  • Water the plant immediately as you discover that the soil is drier than it should be.
  • Drenching is another method to let your plant fulfill its water needs evenly. But remember not to over-drench it. Remove once the air bubbles top forming.
  • Keep the plant in space with ample light. Repeat the process a few times but let the soil dry completely before drenching again.
  • Consider placing your plant in a high humidity area. You can use a room humidifier to increase the humidity content in the air.

Save an Overwatered Painted Lady Philodendron

Overwatering invites root rot, which has proven dangerous for my plant. Other problems like slow growth of plants, stunting, and drooping of the foliage, can also occur.

Follow these if you don’t want your plant to suffer the same fate.

  • If the damage is not so extreme, let your plant heal naturally. Leave it as it is, stop watering for quite some time, and see if it shows some signs of revival.
  • Inspect thoroughly for root rot. Take the plant out of the pot and inspect its soggy and limp roots.
  • Remove all the brown parts from the root and let the roots dry for a while.
  • Use bio fungicide to minimize the damage done by root rot.
  • Repot the plant to a new potting mix. Make sure the pot has enough suitable drainage holes.

Tips to Provide Adequate Watering

  • Check the moisture content of the soil either by inserting your finger 2 inches inside the soil or by sticking a dry stick inside the soil.
  • If your stick shows a darker shade, the soil is too wet. The soil is dry if the stick doesn’t change color, and the soil has a dry texture.
  • Consider watering the plant only if the top 3 inches is brittle and dry.
  • Constantly water the plant from the base of the plant, not the top.
  • Keep watering the plant until the water shows in the drainage hole in a watering routine. Make sure the water passes well through the drainage hole.
  • Use a moisture meter to inspect the moisture and water if the soil moisture is very low.
  • Water the plant with water that is lukewarm or at room temperature. Excessive cold water or hot water may damage the plant.
  • Reduce the watering frequency during winter and rainy seasons.
Soil Moisture Meter
Soil Moisture Meter (Source: Amazon)

3. Ideal Temperature

Being a tropical plant, Painted Lady Philodendron enjoys a warm temperature.

Painted Lady Philodendron enjoys a temperature ranging from 60°F to 80°F (16°C to 29°C). This range promotes the best growth forPhilodendron painted lady.

Ensure the temperature doesn’t drop below 55°F (12.5°C) as the plant cannot survive cold temperatures.

Cold temperature freezes the cells in the plant and blocks the passage of nutrients.

Although the plant is tropical, it won’t flourish above 95°F. Always move your plant outside if the weather turns chilly and frosty to protect the plant from it.

Excessive sunlight will cause the soil to lose moisture more quickly than it should, as it can cause the plant to increase the water and nutrients uptake, and sometimes the root can clump.

Similarly, low temperatures can decrease the plant’s enzyme activity, which in turn reduces the intake of nutrients in the plant.

Soil temperature range
Appropriate soil temperature range (Source: University of British Columbia)

Tips for Maintaining Ideal Temperature

  • Move your plant from locations in which direct sun falls on the foliage as that may burn the plant.
  • Keep your plant away from the drafty windowsill, Air conditioning vents, or electric fans.
  • During the plant’s dormant period, arrange a greenhouse to provide artificial heat to the plant and keep it smiling.
  • Use frost blankets and heat mats to keep your plant safe from cold extremities.
  • Cover the top layer of your soil with mulch like dry grass straw to insulate the plant and protect it from extreme cold properly.
  • Although painted lady deals more damage from extreme cold than extreme heat, mist the plant when the temperature is higher than the plant can take.

4. High Humidity

Belonging to tropical conditions, the Painted Lady  Philodendron prefers high humid conditions.

Keep the plant in a relative humidity condition of 60%-85% and see the plant thrive to its fullest.

It can also survive average humidity of 40-45%, but it will result in the leaves turning out to be small.

Higher humid conditions will ensure that the leaves are fully developed and have bright natural colors.

Maintaining humidity is not as necessary as maintaining temperature, water, and fertilizers for this plant.

If the humidity is relatively low, then the plant loses water quickly.

Effect of humidity on leaves
Effect of humidity on leaves (Source: Wikimedia)

Tips for Maintaining High Humidity

  • Use a humidifier when the humidity of the area drops lower.
  • Occasionally mist the plant to maintain the humidity. But remember not to leave the leaves full of water for a more extended period as it may invite pests and diseases.
  • Group the plant with other plants to share their humidity but make sure all the plants are healthy and free of pests.
  • You can put the pot above or near a wet pebble tray.

5. Proper Soil Mix

The quality of soil you use impacts the growth of the plant. The plant will have a happy growth if the soil conditions satisfy the plant’s needs.

The Painted Lady Philodendron prefers rich, porous, moist soil with high nutrients.

Soil pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.5 proves to be perfect for the growth of this plant.

Painted Lady Philodendron can do well in soil potting mixes for aroids. Use a blend of a large chunk of orchid bark, coco peat, perlite, and compost.

Soil Mix
Soil Mix (Source: Pexels)

It would be best to choose a lightweight potting mix for the plant. You can also plant in a succulent or well-draining cactus mix.

A lightweight mixture retains most of the soil mixture and lets the weak root system of the plant develop without any obstacles.

Here are some potting mixes that you can use for Painted Lady Philodendron;

6. Proper Fertilization

Like most indoor plants, the Painted Lady Philodendron needs a certain amount of nutrients to grow well.

Fertilize Painted Lady Philodendron every two weeks during its growing season (spring and summer). Avoid fertilizing in winter when the plant is dormant.

Plants like Painted Lady Philodendron absorb nutrients from the soil. So, you need to fertilize the plant to provide them with extra nourishment.

Proper fertilizers with the right nitrogen content can give you lush green foliage and make your plant look nourished.

You can use a quick-release liquid fertilizer to provide the required nutrients but remember to fertilize every two weeks.

Alternatively, you can use a slow-release fertilizer three to four times a year to let the plant “take it slow.”

If you overfertilize the plant, the leaves may look burned, and the edges may turn brown, the plant’s growth may slow down, and eventually, the plant may die.

Salt Build up due to Overfertilization
Salt Build due to Overfertilization

The plants will lose their natural color, and lesions will appear on the root and stem if you underfertilize the plant.

My Recommended Fertilizers for Painted Lady Philodendron;

Tips to Fertilize Painted Lady Philodendron Properly

  • Painted Lady Philodendron prefers weak liquid fertilizers, so you need to dilute the fertilizers according to need.
  • For example, You need to put 1/4 teaspoon of Dyna-gro fertilizer in a gallon for it to work perfectly.
  • Fertilize the plant 6 inches away from the base while fertilizing.

7. Growth Habits

The Painted Lady Philodendron starts with beautiful foliage and retains its beauty as it grows up.

Generally, this plant is a variegated climber that grows from 2 to 5 feet and spreads as wide as 1.5 feet.

The main attraction for this plant is its leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped and beautiful, with yellow and little green spots. The yellow color of the leaves changes to green as the plant ages.

The stem flaunts bright pink color and has red petioles. The leaves grow as much as 6 inches long. This plant takes nearly five years to reach its full potential.

Painted Lady Philodendron
Fully grown Painted lady philodendron (source: Walmart)

Painted Lady Philodendron rarely bears flowers. The flowers are white or green.

It would be better to cut off the flowers as they take up all the resources required for the flower and have an unpleasant smell. The flowers bloom in late spring to mid-summer.

As it is a semi-climbing plant, you may need to add some stakes for its support if the plant is indoors. If it is outdoors, your plant will find support on its own.

8. Potting and Repotting

The painted lady has firm and well-established roots, so it doesn’t require frequent repotting.

Use a pot that is slightly bigger than the rootball of the plant. I prefer repotting the plant to one bigger pot once it outgrows the previous pot.

You can use hanging baskets, ceramic pots, and plastic pots to pot the plant. Ensure that whatever pot you are using has enough drainage holes.

The plant is a slow grower, so you do not need frequent repotting. Consider repotting only if the plant has overgrown the pot, which can take 2 to 3 years.

You should repot the plant when it is in the “growing phase,” i.e., spring or early summers.

Proper soil mix for Repotting
Proper soil mix for Repotting (Source: Pexels)

Steps to Repot Painted Lady Philodendron

  • Water the plants thoroughly a day before the repotting.
  • Gently take the plant out of the pot by grabbing the bottom stem with both hands.
  • Take a new and clean pot and layer the bottom with pebbles.
  • Fill the pot with a potting mix layer and place the plant in the middle of the mix.
  • Fill the sides of the plant with the potting mix but keep in mind to leave some space in the pot for future fertilization.
  • Water the plant thoroughly after repotting.
  • Take care of the plant as much as you’d have taken care of that plant in the previous pot.

This video would be helpful too,

If you want to know in detail, read our article: How to Repot a Philodendron?

9. Pruning When Necessary

Painted Lady Philodendron doesn’t require much pruning as the plant grows slowly compared to other indoor plants.

Once in a while, cut off the dry leaf ends and excessive growth to maintain the plant well.

You must prune the plant to avoid making it look ugly. Look for the unhealthy and diseased sections in the plant and prune them.

If the leaves and stem have gone brown and there is no going back, prune from the node’s base.

Toxicity of Painted Lady Philodendron

Unlike other indoor plants that look cute, Painted lady philodendron can be pretty toxic.

The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that irritate the eye, throat and may disturb your digestion if ingested.

You need to be careful about their vines as these plant loves to climb. Keep this plant away from small kids and your pets.

Propagation Method for Painted Lady Philodendron

Being one of the rarest plants to have indoors, you would like to have many of these plants in your household.

On top of that, the beauty this plant offers makes you want to multiply it as much as possible.

The best time to propagate this plant is during their growing season, spring and early summer.

Painted Lady Philodendron can be propagated via Stem Cuttings, and Air layering.

Let’s look at the things you should consider before propagation.

Materials RequiredPurpose
Gardening KnifeTo cut stem
Gardening GlovesTo be safe from scales
Painted Lady Philodendron Potting MixPotting Medium
Rooting HormoneFor optimized growth
Ceramic PotBest for Painted Lady Philodendron

Propagation via Stem Cuttings

In Soil Medium

  • Choose a stem growing from the main stem with at least two or three leaf nodes and cut it with a sterile pair of scissors. Ensure the cut piece is at least 4 to 6 inches.
  • Prepare an appropriate potting mix with sphagnum peat moss and perlite.
  • Put the freshly cut stem in a rooting hormone and then the prepared mix.
  • The roots will develop after three to four weeks. Take good care of it and grow yourself a beautiful household plant.

In Water Medium

  • From the same method as above, choose the right stem.
  • Get a jar of water and keep it overnight to eradicate all the chlorine content. This will also bring the water to room temperature.
  • Place the stem in a jar of water. Make sure you removed the lower leaves, and no leaf is submerged in the water.
  • Leave at least 1-inch space on the top of the water vessel and keep it away from direct sunlight, or the root will develop algae.
  • Change the water every two to three days.
  • The root will start to form in 2 to 3 weeks. Once the roots are 3 to 5 inches long, it can be transferred to the soil.
Water Propagation
Different plants propagate via water (Source: Pixabay)

Propagate via Air Layering

This is one of the most interesting propagation methods. You can propagate the plant without cutting it from the mother plant.

  • Prepare sphagnum peat moss. Soak the moss in water one  hour before starting the process.
  • Choose a healthy stem and wrap the peat moss around the node.
  • Use plastic sheets to wrap the peat moss.
  • Make sure to keep a small hole for air circulation and not wrap any leaves in the process. The leaves may rot.
  • Mist the moss ball regularly to keep it moist. You’ll see roots in 2-3 weeks.
  • Unwrap the ball and remove the moss around the roots. Cut below the node and take the cutting. Make sure that the cutting has at least two leaves in it.
  • Put the cut in a transparent pot with potting mix and properly care for it.
An example of Propagating plant from Air Layering
An example of Propagating plant from Air Layering(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

I prefer propagation via stem cutting as it is an easy and simple propagation method.

Choose one of the above methods and go propagating your favorite plant.

Common Problems in Painted Lady Philodendron

1. Common Pests

This beautiful plant does not invite many pests to it, but that doesn’t mean it is safe from these pesky minor bugs.

Some common pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, aphids, scales attack the plant when the plant is in a weakened state.

Let’s see some common symptoms of pest attack.

PestsSymptoms
Mealy BugsWhite cottony substance appears on the leaves.
AphidsHoneydew with black sooty mould fungus can be seen in the leaves of the plant.
ScalesBrown structures appear on leaves.
Leaves start to lose color.
Spider MitesSpider like webs can be found on the nodes.

Now let’s see how to solve this problem and prevent this from happening.

Solution

  • Pests like mealybugs can be sturdy, but neem oil or other horticultural oil works perfectly against them.
  • If you see any symptoms on your foliage, use rubbing alcohol to kill the mites.
  • Spray your plant’s foliage with insecticides or soap water to kill the spider mites.
  • You can remove the pests like scales using a blunt knife or blades.
  • You can use pesticides or insecticides containing pyrethrin.
Neem Oil for Pests Control
Neem Oil for Pests Control (Source: Amazon)

Preventive Measures

  • Do not keep the foliage moist or wet for too long, as this may invite pests like spider mites.
  • Wipe your plant’s leaves every week to prevent any damage from happening.
  • You should regularly inspect the plant for any pests or symptoms of pest infestation.
  • Separate healthy plants from infected ones to prevent damage from spreading.
  • Make sure the plant is not standing on soggy soil.

Read more: How to Identify Insect Eggs on Leaves and Treat Pest Infestation?

2. Common Diseases

Like pest infestation, diseases are not too big an issue for your plant. That doesn’t mean it is not susceptible to infections and diseases.

Diseases can be caused by problems like overwatering, soggy soil, heat, and other factors.

Painted Lady Philodendron can be affected by diseases like Bacterial blight, leaf spot, pale leaf color, and root rot.

Causes and signs of the diseases are mentioned below.

DiseaseCauseSymptoms
Bacterial BlightPseudomonas syringae pv. glycineaIt begins with small, water soaked spots.
Later, the center dies and turns brown.
Leaf SpotAlternaria brassicaeBrownish, tan or black spots on leaves.
Pale Leaf ColorLack of chlorophyllPlant starts losing its color.
Root RotRhizoctonia spPlants stunt, wilt and discolor.
Roots appear brown and mushy.

Look for the solution and preventive measures below.

Treatment

  • Quickly clip or cut the infected leaves from the plant with sterilized scissors without applying any further damage.
  • Check the root for root rots. Repot if you find any signs of root rot.
  • Prepare a new potting mix to move the plant and keep the plant away from other plants to reduce damage.
  • Spray fungicides on the whole plant.
  • For pale leaves, also called Chlorosis type 1, move the plant to the sun as an immediate measure.

Preventive Measures

  • Avoid watering the plant overhead as it may invite bacterial blight.
  • Do not let the water stay for too long on the plant’s foliage and let the water dry out between watering.
  • Inspect the plant occasionally for diseases.
  • Spray the plant with fungicides once or twice a year.

Want to read more about neem oil and how to use it in indoor plants? Read “How to Use Neem Oil on Indoor Plants?

FAQ About Painted Lady Philodendron

Is Painted Lady Philodendron Variegation Stable?

The beautiful pattern and the colors on the leaves of the Painted Lady Philodendron are there to stay.

Yes, the variegation of Painted Lady Philodendron is stable.

Are Painted Lady Philodendrons Expensive?

Alas, beautiful things are a bit costly.

Painted Lady Philodendron is considered expensive, and if you are low on budget for house plants, you’ll be getting “Painted Lady Philodendron” without the “-ted Lady Philodendron.”

Because variegation is essentially a rare mutation in these plants, variegated Philodendron variants are more expensive than unvariegated Pspecies.

It starts from $25.22 on Etsy and is very cheap compared to other websites.

Painted Lady Philodendron
Painted Lady Philodendrons (source: Etsy)

Conclusion

If you see this plant in the morning, this beautiful plant is sure to keep your mood jolly for the rest of the day.

If the required conditions are met, and you give proper care to the beautiful Painted Lady Philodendron as it deserves, it is sure to prosper to its fullest.

Be happy, get a Painted Lady Philodendron!

Want to read about the other Philodendron species? Read “Philodendron Giganteum: Where to Buy, and Care Tips

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