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Philodendron Dark Lord Care [How not to kill it?]

The beautiful dark leaves of Philodendron Dark Lord can falter away under improper care conditions despite its easygoing nature.

Philodendron Dark Lord enjoys bright-indirect sunlight, above 60% humidity, rich and well-draining soil, and a warm temperature of 65-80°F to thrive. Monthly application of balanced plant fertilizer in the growing season is beneficial.

If you want to know more about its caring guides and places to buy, continue reading the article.

The article provides detailed information to help you provide a thriving environment for your plant without killing them.

Philodendron Dark Lord Overview

Philodendron Dark Lord allures everyone with its dark, unusual, and peculiar beauty.

Its leaves are its main feature that throws out bright orange to pink cast while young.

Philodendron dark lord foliage
Philodendron has striking, long arrow-shaped foliage with cherry red, maroon, or pink undersides.

Interestingly, this gigantic Philodendron variety is a hybrid version of Imperial red Philodendron erubescens.

For a better understanding, the general plant overview of Philodendron Dark Lord is given below:

Indicator Identity
Scientific Name Philodendron erubescens 'Dark Lord'
Common NamePhilodendron Dark Lord,
Dark Lord Plant,
Dark Knight Philodendron, and
Pink Dark Lord Philodendron.
Family Araceae
Origin Native to Colombia and Panama
Also found in North America, Philippines and the Seychelles
Plant Type Tropical Evergreen Perennial Epiphyte
Growth Zone 9b-11
SizeHeight: About 6 feet
Width: About 3-4 feet
Grown For Foliage
Foliage Type Long narrow striking green hue with maroon undersides
Toxicity Toxic to both humans and pets

Where to Buy Philodendron Dark Lord?

If you want it in your home, stand as a center decor item. Here are some of the few online portals and local vendors where you can get them.

Places to Buy Delivery
Etsy Between 7 &10 days
Aroid MarketWithin 4-7 days
Cowell's Garden CenterWithin 5-10 days

Philodendron Dark Lord Grow and Care Tips

Its leaves are large and broad; thus, it is a filler that can easily occupy your living space.

But, before heading to buy Philodendron Dark Lord, I would advise you to learn about its caring tips.

You might not want to kill such an expensive, vibrant, rare plant.

Parameters Favorable conditions
Sunlight 8-10 hours of bright indirect sunlight
Watering Once a week in summer and twice or thrice a month in winter
Temperature 65°F- 80°F
Humidityabove 60% of the relative humidity
Soil Type Well-draining, consistently moist and rich in organic matter
FertilizerMonthly application of diluted Balanced Fertilizer in Growing Season
PruningOnce in 1-2 years
Repotting 1-2 years after it doubles in size
Pot Size 10 inches deep and about 20 inches in diameter
Propagationvia Stem cuttings and
Air layering
Pest InfestationMealy bugs,
Spider Mites and
Disease InfestationBacterial Leaf and Rust Spots,
Root Rot

1. Sunlight and Temperature

Philodendron Dark Lord adores showering on sufficient light.

It demands 70-80-% of the total indoor light intensity with a temperature of 65-80°F.

To be precise, it requires about 200-foot candles of light to survive. However, you need to provide it with 400-800 foot light candles for their proper growth.

High fluctuation in the intensity of light stresses the plant. Thus, I advise you not to shift your plant location frequently.

However, stunted growth, drooping, browning, yellowing & curling of foliage are the symptoms of improper sunlight.

Similarly, temperature extremities cause stunted growth, bleached foliage, and hindrance in water and nutrient intake.

Tips to Provide Sufficient Light & Temperature

  • The best spot for Philodendron Dark Lord is an eastern-facing window reflecting morning sunlight.
  • Next, you can place them about a foot from the southern or western-facing window.
  • Avoid placing them near the window, as the afternoon sunlight might scorch its leaves.
  • Use frost blankets and heating pads to protect plants from the cold.
  • Provide insulation to the plant during winters to maintain ideal soil temperature. Add mulch, straw, dry grass, etc., on top of the soil.

2. Watering & Humidity

A characteristic feature of tropical plants is that they love consistently moist soil. However, do not confuse moist soil with soggy soil.

Additional Insight- Moist soil is soft, and you can feel only slight moisture. In contrast, you might see water lying on the surface in soggy soil.

The best frequency to water your Philodendron Dark Lord is once a week in summer and twice or thrice a month in winter, with humidity above 40%.

Yellowing, drooping, curling, wilting, and falling off leaves are signs of improper watering & humidity.

Browning of leaves
Humidity above 40% is favorable for Philodendron.

Tips to Provide Proper Watering & Humidity

  • Remove the top 25% of the soil and remove the plant from the container.
  • Gently loosen the soil around the roots.
  • Once the soil is removed, inspect the roots of the plant.
  • If you feel the roots limp and mushy, it has gone root rot. Else the plant is not largely affected.
  • Mist the plant’s leaves with distilled water 2-3 times a week.
  • Using a wet pebble tray is another method to increase humidity.

3. Soil & Fertilizers

Its soil must be well-draining, light, porous, nutrient-rich, and capable of retaining essential moisture.

Additionally, you should avoid using garden soil as it increases soil compaction and reduces air circulation in the roots.

Thus, ensure to feed them once a month in the growing season. As the plant is dormant during winter, you need not fertilize them.

You can use a complete liquid fertilizer or any other sort of synthetic fertilizer in the ratio of 5-5-5 for your Philodendron Dark Lord.

Tips to Provide Adequate Soil & Fertilization

  • Thus, ensure to feed them once a month in the growing season.
  • As the plant is dormant during winter, you need not fertilize them.
  • You can use organic fertilizers like worm casting, chicken litter, animal manure, compost, etc.
  • Organic matter helps to retain the moisture required for your Philodendron.

4. Potting and Repotting

You can opt for both enclosed or open spaces to grow your Philodendron. However, you need to pay special attention if you grow it in an enclosed medium.

Indeed, you do not want to choke your plant’s roots. Thus, choose a container about 2 inches larger in diameter than the root ball.

The ideal pot size to grow Philodendron Dark Lord for staters is about 10 inches deep and 20 inches wide.

Interestingly, its leaves can reach a size of about 18-22 inches when provided with proper care.

Inspect for root-bound through the drainage holes; the roots entangled and poking out are root-bound.

Tips for Potting & Repotting 

  • Remove the top 25% of the soil. Then, gently take the plant out of the pot gripping it from the base while simultaneously tapping the sides of the pot.
  • You can prune the dead and damaged parts of the plant at this point.
  • Then, fetch a clean pot about 2 inches larger than the earlier pot.
  • Layer a few pebbles and fill 1/3rd part with a new potting mix.
  • Place the plant at the center. Then, fill the pot with soil for the sides.
  • Finally, water the plant thoroughly and leave it in a bright corner.

5. Rare Pruning

It pains to cut back your growing Philodendron. But, if you want to maintain a convenient size and want a healthy plant, pruning is essential.

Pruning enhances side growth, thus making the Philodendron bushier.

Furthermore, pruning enhances new growth and plant vitality. However, your Philodendron Dark Lord does not require regular pruning on the brighter side.

Consider pruning them every 1-2 years and prune only dead, damaged foliage, stems, pests, or disease-infested parts.

The major pests & pathogens infecting the plant are Mealy Bugs, Scales, Spider Mites, Root rots & Bacterial Blights.

Tips for Pruning

  • Take sharp, sterilized pruning shears and remove all of the infected parts.
  • Sprinkle soap water or insecticidal soap on the entire plant.
  • Take a blunt knife and scrape off pests like scales.
  • Spray the whole plant with 75% diluted isopropyl alcohol.
  • Dip a cotton ball in the isopropyl alcohol and rub it around the infected parts.
  • Use neem oil for the entire plant.

Growth Habits

The Philodendron Dark Lord is a large-leafed variety of Philodendrons, so you can expect it to occupy your space.

It is a vigorously growing plant that can reach about 6 feet and spread about 3-4 feet.

Moreover, its stem spreads to about 1-2 inches. Besides, its leaves dangling from the stem give it a stunning look.

As its leave gets pretty big, its stem and upshoot might find it difficult to uphold the plant.

Thus, I advise using a moss pole to stabilize the plant. Besides, most moss poles help in the development of healthier aerial roots.

Toxicity of Dark Lord

Consider keeping your Philodendron Dark Lord away from children and pets, as it is toxic.

It contains small crystals of calcium oxalates as a toxic element.

It exhibits symptoms like difficulty breathing, stomach irritability, eye and skin irritation, and nausea in humans.

Similarly, in pets, you can see signs like drooling, vomiting, irritability, pawing at the mouth, etc.

You can benefit from these emergency helplines if your pets ingest the plant.

Did you know that The University of California has categorized Philodendrons into third and fourth-class toxicity levels?

Propagation Method for Philodendron Dark Lord

Generally, propagating Philodendrons is easy and quite straightforward. As the plant produces healthy aerial roots, propagation becomes easier.

If you want to propagate Philodendron Dark lord, consider using the asexual propagation method.

Here are two different methods to Propagate Philodendron Dark Lord.

  • Propagation via Stem cuttings
  • Propagation via Air layering

1. Propagating Philodendron Dark Lord via Stem Cuttings

It is the easiest method of propagating epiphytic Philodendron. I use the same method while propagating my Philodendron Dark Lord, which is simple and easy.

Here are the steps to propagate Philodneron Dark Lord via Stem cuttings.

  • Inspect for a healthier matured stem with aerial roots. Check if the part is infested with pests or diseases.
  • You can take multiple cuttings if you like, but ensure each stem possesses a node and 1 or 2 leaves.
  • Then, make an incision just below the node.
  • Leave the cuttings in the air for a couple of hours for callous formation.
  • At this point, you can apply some of the rooting hormones to the cuttings. It prevents antifungal growth and acts as a catalyst for rooting.
  • Insert your cutting into the pot so the nodes can be buried 2-3 inches deep into the mix. Afterwards, fill the remaining space with the potting mix.
  • Rinse the plant and leave it in a brightly lit space.

2. Propagating via Air Layering

It is a slightly lengthy and more complicated process compared to Stem cuttings. But, hey, the method is highly successful though you might need extra effort.

Here are the steps to propagate Philodendron Dark Lord via Air Layering

  • Choose a healthier stem with nodes. You can consider taking any nodes with or without the aerial roots.
  • Fetch a transparent plant bag about 6-7 inches large. Also, ensure to take a string or a firm thread.
  • Now, poke a couple of small holes at the bottom of the bag. Then, supply it with a handful of wet sphagnum moss.
  • Afterwards, tear the plastic bag into two flaps from the top. Grab the two flaps of the plastic bag firmly holding the sphagnum moss.
  • Now, tie the two flaps around the node of the plant. Ensure that the sphagnum moss well surrounds the nodes.
  • You need to keep the sphagnum moss consistently moist. Thus, moisten it by spraying water from the premade holes.
  • After a couple of weeks, you can see roots poking out of the plastic bag. Then, it is time to separate the stem from the plant.
  • Then, plant the new cuttings in the soil as directed above.

Also, Watch,

FAQs about Philodendron Dark Lord

How to Maintain the Philodendron Dark Lord’s Coloring?

Generally, factors like low humidity, harsh sunlight, low light, nutrition deficiencies, pests, and disease infestation are responsible for the hideous color of Philodendrons.

The problem can be solved by maintaining a conducive environment.

Is it Normal for Philodendron Dark Lord’s Leaves to Turn into Different Colors?

Philodendron Dark Lord is popular for its striking color that changes with the leaf’s maturity.

Its leaves change from bright orange or pink to blood-red, turning to dark green foliage with maroon undersides. It is thus natural for Philodendron Dark Lord to change color.

From Editorial Team

Philodendron Dark Lord is a rare variety that needs proper care to thrive. The ideal growing environment for it is an environment that mimics tropical climatic conditions.

High humidity, warm temperature, consistently moist substrate, and bright indirect light are keys to maintaining its health and color.

Bring the variety home and enjoy the tropical vibe with coloring effects.

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