Philodendron Painted Lady, scientifically known as Philodendron erubescens, is a striking tropical plant that will catch your eyes with its gorgeous variegated green and yellow leaves.
With its vibrant foliage and relatively low maintenance care requirements, the Philodendron Painted Lady is an excellent choice as far as indoor plants go for both beginner and experienced plant enthusiasts.
Philodendron Painted Lady
The Philodendron Painted Lady is native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Its stunning foliage features heart-shaped leaves with vibrant green leaves with yellow variegation, accented by brilliant pink or red stems. This unique coloration is what gives the plant its charming common name, “Painted Lady.”
This philodendron variety is a vining plant, making it perfect for hanging baskets or allowing it to cascade from shelves and tabletops. Its trailing vines can grow quite long, creating an elegant and dramatic display in your home. That said this plant has a slow growth rate so it will take its time before you have an impressive plant hanging around a moss pole.
How to Care for Philodendron Painted Lady
- Light Requirements
- Cleaning and Maintenance
- Toxicity Information
- Pests and Common Issues
Quick Summary of Painted Lady Plant Care
Plant name: Philodendron Painted Lady (Philodendron erubescens)
Common names: Painted Lady plant
Native to: Central and South America
Lighting: Bright, indirect sunlight; can tolerate some shade
Care: Maintain evenly moist soil, provide moderate to high humidity levels, and warm temperatures, protect from drafts, avoid direct sunlight, use filtered or distilled water
Common problems: Yellowing or browning leaves, root rot, over-fertilization, pest infestations
Toxicity: Considered mildly toxic; can cause skin irritation and mild digestive discomfort if ingested
The Philodendron Painted Lady plant care starts with good light. This one thrives in bright, indirect light. While it can tolerate some shade, providing enough light is essential to maintain its vibrant foliage. Find a spot near a window with lots of indirect natural light, but avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, which can scorch its delicate leaves.
If it doesn’t receive enough light, it will start losing its signature variegation.
Maintaining the right moisture levels in the soil is critical for the health of your Philodendron Painted Lady. As with many other plants, it’s best to forget the watering instructions that came with the plant as the watering routine depends on the conditions you have in your home. Instead of adhering to a fixed routine, monitor the soil’s moisture content and adjust your watering frequency accordingly.
Be cautious not to overwater the plant, as it should not be waterlogged. Factors such as pot size, soil type, and environmental conditions will influence how often you need to water. To determine when it’s time to water, check the top inch of the soil – when the top inch of the soil is dry (don’t wait for it to be crack dry) this is the ideal time to water your plant.
Use room temperature, filtered, distilled, or rainwater for your plant for best results. Some tap water with a high mineral content can harm the leaves and lead to tip burn. If you must use tap water, it is best to allow it to sit for 24 hours before watering to allow chlorine and other chemicals to dissipate.
Humidity and Temperature
Theis Philodendron plant loves an environment that is high in humidity. It will tolerate lower humidity relatively well, but if you want it to really grow use humidity trays (pebble tray) or even an air humidifier to give it optimal growing conditions.
In terms of temperature, the Philodendron Painted Lady prefers temperatures ranging from 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). Avoid exposing it to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) and protect it from cold drafts, which can harm the plant.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Regularly remove any yellowing or dead leaves to promote healthy growth. To keep the plant’s foliage clean and free from dust, gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or use a soft brush to dust them off. Avoid using leaf shine products, as they can clog the plant’s stomata and hinder its ability to breathe.
If you notice any pest infestations or signs of disease, address them promptly to prevent further damage. Isolate the affected plant if necessary to prevent the issue from spreading to other houseplants.
The Philodendron Painted Lady does not have high fertilizer requirements. During the growing season, which typically spans from spring to early fall, you can fertilize your plant with a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended strength. Avoid fertilizing during the winter months when the plant’s growth slows down.
Over-fertilization can harm the plant. Be careful not to directly apply fertilizer to dry soil, as this can lead to root burn. If you prefer natural fertilizers neem oil is always a good option.
If your Philodendron Painted Lady has outgrown its current pot or the roots have become crowded, consider repotting it. Repotting is typically needed every two to three years to provide the plant with fresh soil and more space for growth.
When repotting, choose a pot that is one size larger than its current one. Ensure the new pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Gently remove the plant from its old pot, loosen the root ball, and place it in the new container with fresh potting mix.
The Philodendron Painted Lady thrives in well-draining, high-quality potting soil. You can also mix your own soil by combining regular potting mix with perlite or orchid bark to improve drainage. Ensure that the soil retains moisture but doesn’t become waterlogged, as this can lead to root rot.
Propagating the Philodendron Painted Lady is relatively straightforward and can be done through stem cuttings. Here’s how to do it:
- Choose a healthy stem with several leaves.
- Using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears, make a cutting just below a node (the small bump on the stem where leaves and roots grow).
- Place the cutting in a glass of water or a container with a well-draining potting mix.
- Keep the cutting in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight.
- Change the water or check the soil regularly to ensure it remains consistently moist.
- Once roots have formed, which may take a few weeks, transplant the cutting into its own pot with well-draining soil.
Propagation is a great way to share the beauty of your Philodendron Painted Lady with friends and family or expand your collection of these lovely plants.
The Philodendron Painted Lady is considered mildly toxic to humans and pets. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause skin irritation and mild digestive discomfort if ingested. It’s advisable to keep this plant out of reach of children and pets, especially if they are prone to chewing on houseplants.
If accidental ingestion occurs, seek medical attention immediately. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling the plant to avoid any potential skin irritation.
Pests and Common Issues
The Philodendron Painted Lady plant care includes keeping an eye out for pests. This one is relatively resistant to pests, but it’s essential to monitor your plant for potential issues. Common problems and pests to watch out for include:
- Mealybugs: These small, white, cottony insects can infest the plant, especially in warm and humid conditions. Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove them, and isolate the affected plant to prevent spreading.
- Spider Mites:These tiny pests can create fine webbing on your plant’s leaves and cause discoloration. Regularly misting your plant can help deter spider mites.
- Yellowing Leaves: Occasional yellowing leaves are normal, but consistent yellowing may indicate overwatering or poor drainage.
- Root Rot: Overwatering and inadequate drainage can lead to root rot. Trim affected roots and repot your plant in fresh soil.