Philodendron Burle Marx: Care and Growing Guide

Philodendron Blue Marx
Philodendron Blue Marx (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Philodendron Burle Marx is a low-growing shrub with beautiful heart-shaped leaves.

It’s glossy green leaves will never fail to brighten your mood and home. Apart from being attractive, they are very low maintenance.

Philodendron Burle Marx is a tropical plant and needs a temperature range of 60 to 79°F with bright partial sunlight and more than 50% relative humidity to thrive. Moreover, planting it in well-draining soil with occasional fertilization during the growing season is best for healthy growth.

Philodendron-burle-marx
Philodendron Burle Marx (Source: Unsplash)

Usually, Burle Marx Philodendrons don’t mind little neglect time and again and are very forgiving in nature. However, prolonged neglect can be detrimental to their health.

This article includes all the important activities required to care for your Philodendron.

Please read the article carefully to become a happy owner of a happy and healthy Philodendron.

Overview of Philodendron Burle Marx

The name Philodendron Burle Marx was given to this pretty plant after the name of Roberto Burle Marx.

The general plant overview of Philodendron Burle Marx is given below:

Scientific NamePhilodendron imbe
Common nameBurle Marx Philodendron
FamilyAraceae
OriginBrazil
USDAHardiness Zones 9- 11
NatureTropical
Life CyclePerennial
Growth HabitVine-like
2 feet height
2-4 feet width
FloweringSpring and early summer
FlowerWhite and pink
Funnel shaped
FoliageNarrow, heart-shaped and glossy leaves
ToxicityToxic due to calcium oxalate crystals in sap

Philodendron Burle Marx: Care and Growing Guide

Maintaining a tropics-like climate is the first step towards keeping your Burle Marx Philodendrons happy.

Burle Marx is the best plant to satisfy the green thumb of a plant lover.

Just try to keep your plant satisfied using the following caring instructions:

FactorsOptimal Conditions
Sunlight and LocationBright and indirect light throughout the day.
East or North facing window.
WateringSummer- once a week
Winter- once in two weeks
Ideal Temperature60-79ºF (15-26ºC)
Ideal Humidity80-90%
Soil MixWell draining soil mix
pH- 5.5-6.5
High in organic matter
Fertilizing RequirementsWorm casting and organic fertilizer
only during spring and summer
PestAphids, Mealybugs, Scales, Thrips and Spider mites
DiseaseRoot rot
PropagationStem cutting, Air layering and seeds
Potting RepottingCeramic or plastic pots with 1-2 drainage holes.
Repotting during early spring when the pot becomes root bound or atleast once in 2 years
PruningDuring fall or spring season.
Cutoff long and leggy stems.

1. Sunlight and Location Requirement

Burle Marx Philodendron likes to stay away from direct sunlight. Placing it in a bright spot that receives plenty of indirect sunlight throughout the day is best for its growth.

However, a couple of hours of morning sunlight causes no harm to the plant.

Place your Philodendron in an East or North-facing window where it won’t get exposed to direct sunlight.

Light with 150 Foot candles is the bare minimum for the growth of Burle Marx. However, 300 to 600 Foot Candles are recommended for their optimum growth.

Pro Tip: Rotate your plant every few weeks to help it grow proportionately.

Sunlight Hitting the Leaves
Sunlight hitting the leaves (Source: Unsplash)

Problems Due to Inadequate Lighting and Wrong  Location

  • Burle Marx can still live and grow in a much darker spot; however, it won’t grow to its full potential.
  • Placing the Philodendron in the direct sunlight may burn the leaves causing black scorch marks.
  • In the initial condition of burn, the plants will turn yellow.

Tips to Provide Proper Sunlight and Location

  • Use a sheer curtain of bright color to filter the direct sunlight falling on the Burle Marx.
  • If the room is extremely dark, you can use a grow light (fluorescent light) to provide the light requirement of the plant.
  • A patio or a shaded spot in your garden is desirable to keep them when placed outside.

2. Watering Requirement

Watering Philodendron can be a little tricky if you are not used to keeping houseplants or having a garden.

During summer, the growing season, water once a week, and during winter, watering them once in two weeks is enough.

You will not want to over or under-water your plant as both conditions create stress to your lovely plant.

Philodendron Burle Marx likes thorough watering, however, don’t let the soil stay soggy. So, water carefully to make the potting mix only moist, not wet.

Problem Due to Improper Watering

  • Overwatering causes root rot.
  • Drooping leaves due to underwatering
  • Leaves turning yellow due to overwatering
  • Underwatering causes plants to wilt; leaf tips are curled and turn crisp brown.
Watering Houseplants
Watering Houseplants (Source: Pexels)

Tips to Provide Adequate Watering

  • Inspect the soil regularly and water when the top 1-2 inches of the soil is completely dry.
  • Use a soil moisture sensor to measure moisture and humidity.
  • Check the color and texture of the soil at all times. If the mixture is extremely black, it is unlikely that any further water is required.
  • If the soil is light, hard, and compacted, it has gotten extremely dry and may need to be changed.
  • Do not water from above as its leaves do not absorb water.
  • Water once a week during summer and once in two weeks during the winter season.
  • Use a well-draining soil mix and a pot with enough drainage holes to prevent mushy conditions.

3. Ideal Temperature

Placing Burle Marx in indirect sunlight generally fulfills this requirement.

The ideal temperature for the Philodendron Burle Marx is between 60-79ºF (15-26ºC).

Moreover, it can tolerate up to 50ºF temperature and the higher temperature up to 64ºF. However, extremely low temperatures may cause ill health.

If you still wish to grow the ‘Burle Marx’ outside throughout the winter, keep a watchful check on your plant.

If the plant’s leaves turn brown, it’s time to bring them inside.

Problems Due to Improper Temperature

  • Below 60ºF temperature, the growth of Philodendron starts to slow down.
  • Below 50ºF temperature, the plant stops growing.
  • Yellow and Falling Leaves
  • Leaves edge turning brown and wilting
Philodendron Leaf Edges Turning Brown
Philodendron Leaf Edges Turning Brown

Tips to Provide Optimum Temperature

  • Air conditioners are heaters are good choices to maintain the required temperatures. Make sure you don’t place the plant very near to them.
  • Don’t place the Burle Marx near the single pan window during the winter season.
  • If the temperature exceeds more than 26ºC, watch out for dry soil more often and increase the frequency of watering your plant.
  • Place it at least 4m away from a window to avoid the direct midday sun.
  • For smaller plants, it is also a good idea to use a heating pad to keep the soil warm at all times.
  • Misting occasionally also helps to keep plants healthy during the extremely hot seasons.
  • Place in bright, indirect sunlight daily, but bring the plant indoors when the temperature falls below 60°F.
  • Place near an East-facing window for early sunlight.

4. High Humidity

Being a tropical plant, Burle Marx likes high humidity. Therefore, try to maintain a climate that mimics the tropical climate.

A humidity of more than 80% is needed to keep the plant thriving. However, the plant survives even in the lower humidity.

Burle Marx can survive in very low humidity up to 30%. However, humidity lower than 50% is considered low for the plant.

Problems Due to Low Humidity

  • The plant has brown leaf tips if the humidity falls very low.
  • Wilting Leaves
  • Brown edges

Tips to Provide Optimum Humidity

  • Always try to maintain a humidity of 80-90% to provide Burle Marx thriving environment.
  • You can use a hygrometer to check the humidity condition of the room.
  • Use a humidifier to maintain the humidity to the desired level. But don’t place the plant very near to the humidifier.
  • You can also place a tray with water and pebbles near the Philodendron to provide humidity.
  • Misting the leaves also helps to maintain humidity around the plant. You can use this method occasionally to maintain humidity as misting a lot can cause fungal disease.
Humidifier
Humidifier (Source:Amazon)

You may also like A Complete Guide to Grow and Care Philodendron Atom

5. Proper Soil Mix

Philodendron Burle Marx needs well-draining soil to sustain.

The table below gives the overview of the character of soil mix suitable for Burle Marx:

Soil PropertiesImportance
Well aeratedFor undisturbed growth of roots.
Constitute Organic matterWorks as slow releasing feed.
Well drainingTo prevent water logging condition which can be detrimental.
pH5.5 to 6.5

Potting-mix high in organic matter is best for Philodendron.

You can use the following combinations to make your potting mix:

  • 2 parts coco peat + 2 parts bark + 1.5 parts perlite + 1.5 parts charcoal + 1 part worm castings + 0.5 part sphagnum moss.
  • 100% sphagnum peat moss
  • 1 part peat + 1 part perlite/ vermiculite
sphagnum-peat-moss
Sphagnum Peat Moss (Source: Amazon)

You can also easily buy soil mix for Philodendron from amazon. Some of the recommendations for the best soil mix is:

6. Proper Fertilization

Burle Marx doesn’t need a lot of feed to grow but adding some slow-release fertilizers in the soil mix while repotting makes the plant thrive. Fertilizing makes the leaves larger and glossy.

Fertilize your Philodendron Burle Marx once every one or two months with a macronutrient-rich liquid foliage houseplant fertilizer.

Avoid using fertilizer during the winter months since the plant requires fewer nutrients during this time.

Problems Due to Improper Fertilization

  • Overfertilization causes roots and leaves to burn.
  • It also makes plants weak and makes them vulnerable to disease and pests.
  • Under fertilization slows down the plant growth, and the plant becomes stunted.
  • Brown Edges on the plant’s leaves.
  • Very slow or no growth.
  • The crust of fertilizer on the soil surface.
Salt Build up due to Overfertilization
Salt Build up due to Overfertilization

Tips for Proper Fertilization

  • Dilute the fertilizer to half its strength while fertilizing.
  • Philodendron requires fertilizer with NPK ratio of 20:20:20.
  • Slow-release fertilizer should not be used in conjunction with soluble fertilizer.
  • Always use a fertilizer high in nitrogen content.

Pro Tip: Always water the plant thoroughly before feeding. As fertilizing in dry soil damage the roots.

Some fertilizer recommendations for Burle Marx Philodendron are:

In addition, you can also use organic fertilizers for your Philodendron Burle Marx. Some of the best organic fertilizers that your Philodendron would love are listed below.

  • Eggshells: It is a good source of calcium, which is essential for developing a robust cellular structure.  You can boil the eggshells in water, let them cool, and then use them as irrigation. Alternatively, crush the eggshells and mix them into the soil before planting or transplanting a new plant.
  • Fertilizer with Fish Tank Water: It is a good source of Nitrogen. So, if you have a fish tank at home, remember to preserve the water every time you clean it so that you may use it to water your Philodendron.
  • Coffee: It contains nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. As a result, you may use the coffee waste to enrich the soil of your plants. Avoid overusing it, since it might cause your philodendron to become too acidic.

7. Growth Habits

Philodendron Burle Marx is a low-growing shrub with about 60 cm (2 feet) in height and 2-4 feet in width.

Because of its small physique, it is perfect to be grown indoors in a room as well. This plant fits perfectly in a small space as well.

However, outdoors in its native environment, it grows much taller and exhibits trailing or vine-like growth habits.

8. Foliage Growth

Burle Marx Philodendron is one of the popular houseplants due to its beautiful foliage.

It bears large, bright, and glossy leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped, narrow, and up to 25cm in length.

The foliage is dark green with rich texture and bearing lots of aerial roots.

Moreover, the stem is red, complementing its beauty while providing an exotic look.

Shiny Foliage of Philodendron Burle Marx
Shiny Foliage of Philodendron Burle Marx (Source: Etsy)

Tips to Make Philodendron Leaves Bushy

  • Trim or pinch the tip of the Burle Marx to control the growth.
  • Always cut the stem just above the node so that plant will develop branches from the cut point.
  • Cut off the long and leggy stems.
  • Lack of light makes the stem of Burle Marx long and leggy, so provide with enough sunlight to keep it bushier.

Also, read about How to Make a Philodendron Bushy?

9. Flowering Habits

After completing the dormant period of the winter season, the Burle Marx produces flowers in the early summer season when the temperature starts to return to the optimum.

The flowers are white and pink with a funnel shape.

Burle Marx blooms easily in its native forest of Brazil, where the tropical climate is naturally found. However, making it flower indoors in a pot is very difficult.

A year-round of the perfectly regulated environment along with proper feed and water may gift you with its beautiful flowers after the plant matures.

Tips to Make Philodendron Blue Marx Bloom

  • Use a quality potting mix that is lightweight, fast-draining, and full of organic matters.
  • Make sure to provide plenty of indirect light, humidity, and evenly moist soil throughout the year.
  • Fertilize your plant regularly during growing seasons.
  • Maintain optimal temperature throughout the year.
  • Repot regularly to provide enough space for root development.

10. Common Pests in Philodendron Burle Marx

Philodendron is not affected by pests a lot. But there may be pest occurrence rarely when the plant is weak due to an ill environment.

Some common pests of Philodendron are aphids, mealybugs, scales, thrips, and spider mites.

These insects suck the plant sap, and very high infestation may be detrimental to the plant.

Name of PestSymptoms
AphidsTiny grey or black colored insect cover the leaf.
Mealy BugsWaxy bugs that have cotton-like substances wrapped around them
Scale InsectTiny, waxy pests.
Yellow or rust-colored spots can be seen on leaves.
ThripsTiny bugs that look like little threads
Spider mitesRounded-shaped black or red-colored mites.
Silky web can be seen around the plant.

Solutions

  • Pick and remove the insects if they are small in number.
  • You can also use rubbing alcohol diluted with an equal portion of water to wipe off the pests from the stem.
  • Spray neem oil when the infestation is high.
  • You can also remove the mealybugs with a strong water spray, but don’t forget to cover the soil before spraying to prevent overwatering.
  • Use a yellow sticky trap to control flying pests.
  • Use low toxic insecticidal sprays like pyrethrin or insecticidal soaps if you want to use chemical methods to control pests.
Neem Oil for Pests Control
Neem Oil for Pests Control (Source: Amazon)

Preventive Measures

  • Always use clean and pest-free potting mix and propagation materials. 
  • You should check and quarantine the plant before bringing in a new plant to your collection.
  • Optimal growing conditions help to keep Philodendron healthy and prevent pest attacks.

11. Common Diseases in Philodendron Burle Marx

Burle Marx is a hardy plant and is happy even in slightly unfavorable conditions.

The disease that most commonly affects this Philodendron is root rot.

Root rot attacks Burle Marx when the water is saturated for a prolonged period, causing roots a lack of oxygen.

Such conditions make the root prone to fungal and bacterial infections, causing root rot.

The most common causative agents for the rot in Burle Marx are Phytophthora, Fusarium, and Erwinia.

The plant becomes brown with black spots around the base, and roots are brown or black with a mushy appearance.

Solutions

  • Water the plant consciously. Stop watering if the plant shows symptoms of root rot.
  • You should replace the plant with another cutting as the plant affected by root rot is hard to be healthy again.
  • You can use a copper fungicide, Benomyl, or other fungicides for the chemical treatment of rot.

Preventive Measures

  • Use well-draining soil mix.
  • Add a layer of small pumice to the bottom of the container to prevent the drainage hole from being clogged with soil.
  • Provide some space between the plants to allow airflow.
  • Discard the soil if the plant gets infected.

12. Common Propagation Methods

Philodendron Burle Marx is a very easily propagated plant.

The easiest and highly used method is stem cuttings. Moreover, it can also be propagated by air layering and seeds.

The best time to multiply Burle Marx is spring or early summer.

1. Propagate Via Stem Cutting

  • First, take a sterile and sharp shear and cut a stem about 1 cm below the node. Your stem cutting should contain a node, some aerial roots, and at least one leaf to be suitable for using in propagation.
  • Now, place the stem in a jar with water, immersing node, and aerial roots. Make sure leaves are not immersed.
  • Place the cutting in the same condition for a month. Don’t forget to change the water every 3-4 days.
  • Then, the cutting will have at least 5 cm long roots, which can now be transferred to a pot with potting mix.
  • After planting, place the pot in a north or east-facing window and provide feed and water as a normal mature Burle Marx.
Philodendron Burle Marx Cuttings
Philodendron Burle Marx Cuttings (Source: Etsy)

2. Propagate Via Air Layering

  • For air layering the Burle Marx, use a sterilized knife to make a 5 cm long and deep wound in the stem.
  • The wound should be kept open for roots to grow so that you can push a toothpick into the wound.
  • However, if a node already has healthy ariel roots, you can skip this step and use the node for air layering.
  • Now, take a handful of sphagnum moss and put it around the wound or ariel roots, completely covering it.
  • Tie it with a thread and wrap it with plastic or duct tape.
  • Inspect it regularly to watch the growth of roots. If the moss seems to be dry, you can add water by opening the wrap.
Air_layering
Air layering (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
  • When the roots are at least 5cm in length, they are ready to be planted in a pot filled with a well-draining potting mix.
  • After planting, place the pot in a north or east-facing window and provide feed and water as a normal mature Burle Marx.

3. Propagate Via Seeds

If you are lucky enough to have your Philodendron Burle Marx, you can collect seeds and use them to multiply your plant.

  • Seeds can be collected in the summer season and planted immediately.
  • But don’t forget to give them 24-48 hours of treatment in some lukewarm water.
  • Plant the seeds 1/3 inch (1 cm) deep and at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart in the soil.
  • Cover the soil with plastic wrap to maintain a high level of humidity, and set the container with the seeds in bright indirect sunlight.
  • Don’t let the soil dry and keep the other conditions the same as for a mature plant with a temperature of about 21 degrees Celsius.
  • Once a week, use a spray bottle to spray water on top of the soil to keep it wet (not soggy).
  • Within a month, the seeds will germinate and be ready to be transplanted on a bigger pot.
Baby Plants Developing From Seeds
Baby Plants Developing From Seeds (Source: Pixabay)

13. Potting and Repotting

Ceramic or terracotta pots with proper 1-2 drainage holes are suitable for the growth of Burle Marx.

These pots are best to provide moist soil conditions for plants.

Correct size, material, and drainage holes are important to look after while selecting a container for Philodendron Burle Marx.

The best time to repot a Burle Marx is before the active growth begins, i.e., during late winter or early spring.

Repotting should be done when the pots become root-bound. It can be known when the roots come out from the drainage holes.

Potted Philodendron Burle Marx
Potted Philodendron Burle Marx (Source: Etsy)

Problems Due to Improper Pot

  • Small-sized pots become root-bound very fast, requiring frequent repotting.
  • Very big pots and pots without drainage holes store more water than necessary, creating soggy conditions, causing root rot.
  • Prolonged root bound condition results in brown leaves and slow growth.

Tips for Selecting Proper Pot While Repotting

  • Use a pot that is at least 2 inches larger than the root ball while potting.
  • Repot the Burle Marx every 2-3 years interval unless roots are poking from the drainage holes.
  • Select a pot 2-3 inches bigger in diameter while repotting.

Signs to Repot Philodendron Burle Marx

  • Your plant is root-bound.
  • Roots start poking up from the soil and out of the drainage holes.

Steps for Repotting a Philodendron Burle Marx

  • Water the plant thoroughly a day before repotting to make it easy to remove the plant from the pot.
  • You can turn the plant upside down while carefully holding the plant with stem and leaves. Then tap at the base of the pot to remove the plant completely.
  • Then, carefully remove one-third to half part of the soil from roots. And, cut off the extra-long roots, but make sure to protect thick roots near the base.
  • Now plant it on a new pot with fresh potting mix, water it thoroughly, and place it in bright indirect light.
Repotting Plants
Repotting Plants (Source: Unsplash)

Want to know about correct method of Repotting your Philodendron? How to Repot a Philodendron

14. Pruning Requirements

Pruning Burle Marx is not necessary. However, you can cut back the stems that are long and leggy.

Prune the leggy stems to make the plant more compact and bushier.

Besides, you can cut off the diseased and dying leaves or plant parts to make the plant healthy and happy.

Tips for Properly pruning Burle Marx

  • It is best to prune the Burle Marx during the spring or fall season.
  • Always make a cut just above the leaf node so that a new stem or leaf can grow from the same point.
  • Always use well sterilized and sharp shears to prune the plant.
  • You may also prune the root balls and long roots while repotting.

15. Toxicity in Burle Marx Philodendron

The ingestion of Burle Marx Philodendron is considered to be toxic to humans and pets.

The toxic component present on the sap of Burle Marx is calcium oxalate crystals.

This component, when ingested, causes negative effects on our body and immune system.

Therefore, always place this houseplant away from the reach of pets and children.

Prince of Orange is toxic to catd
Cat near Indoor Plant (Source: Pixabay)

If ingested, the chemical may cause swelling of the throat, causing difficulty in swallowing.

In more severe cases, nausea and vomiting may also be seen.

Additional Tips to Keep Philodendron Burle Marx Problem-Free

Burle Marx is an easy plant and has very few issues while growing. Keep them in moist soil in a bright place, and they will thrive.

If you want your Philodendron to be healthy and at its full potential, follow all the tips mentioned earlier.

Besides, also look at the following tips to keep it free from all problems:

  • Don’t use clayey materials in the soil mix. They hold more water than required and may cause root rot.
  • Using drinking water while watering may be too hard for your Philodendron causing water spots on leaves. So, instead, use distilled water to keep it healthy.
  • Never let the pot sit on water for too long; it causes danger of overwatering. Therefore, remove the water from the drip tray regularly.
Healthy Foliage of Philodendron Burle Marx
Healthy Foliage of Philodendron Burle Marx (Source: Amazon)

FAQs About Philodendron Burle Marx

1. Why is my Philodendron Burle Marx Losing Leaves?

Dropping leaves of Burle Marx Philodendron is mostly caused to overwatering the plant.

Don’t water the plant to make the soil soaked completely to prevent your plant from losing its beautiful leaves.

2. Why is my Philodendron not Growing?

Slow growth and small leaf size of Philodendron are mainly caused due to inadequate fertilizer supply to the plant.

Besides, inadequate watering, light, temperature, and root-bound conditions may also cause similar problems.

You can add fertilizer rich in micronutrients like calcium and magnesium to make your Philodendron grow.

3. Do I Keep or Prune the Blossoms of Burle Marx?

Philodendrons rarely bloom indoors. Also, even when they bloom, the flower is open for only two days.

Hence, you may want to keep and enjoy the view of your blooming Philodendron when it flowers.

Conclusion

The simple growth and propagation methods and their attractive beauty make the Philodendron a popular houseplant plant.

Besides, it is also known to help remove toxins from the indoor air.

Adding this vibrant plant to your collection will be the best decision that you will never regret.

Also read about the Philodendron Bipennifolium: Care and Growing Guide. This plant is known for its uniqueness, shape and color.

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