Philodendron Bloody Mary Care

Philodendron Bloody Mary Care

The Philodendron Bloody Mary is notable for its beautiful foliage, which makes it extremely popular among plant collectors.

The younger leaves of the plant have a rich burgundy color which, as they mature, becomes greener, but they will always retain that burgundy undertone that gives them their mysterious aura.

This plant is quite low-maintenance and you will not have a hard time growing it, provided you meet its basic requirements.

In this article, we will discuss the proper care of the Philodendron Bloody Mary, so if you are thinking about adding this plant to your collection and wish to learn more about it, just keep reading.

Philodendron Bloody Mary care

Light requirements

The Philodendron Bloody Mary is happiest with indirect sunlight.

If you have to keep the plant in partial shade or low light for a bit of time, do not worry; it will do just fine as long as you do not keep it in those conditions for extended periods.

A Philodendron Bloody Mary that does not get enough light will become leggy as its stem starts growing in the direction of the nearest source of light out of desperation. Legginess is not necessarily harmful to the plant, but it can affect its overall aesthetic and symmetry.

Never put the plant outdoors under direct full sunlight, because this can lead to sun-damaged foliage. The leaves will turn brown and crisp if they get too much direct light.

Remember that this is a tropical plant; it lives in the middle of rainforests where the only light it gets is dappled sunlight that filters through the tree canopy.

It cannot stand too little or too much light for extended periods of time, so do whatever you must to provide it with bright, indirect light.

If you keep the plant indoors, place it next to north- or east-facing window because these windows let in just the right amount of light every day. If the only windows in your home let in harsh light, place a sheer curtain over the window to diffuse the light.

If you live in a place where there is very little natural light, especially during the winters, help your plant out by getting a grow light.

Water requirements

Because the Philodendron Bloody Mary is a tropical plant, it likes its soil to be a bit moist at all times, but never soggy. It does not need to be watered often, but you must remain aware of when it does need watering.

In the warmer months, you will need to water it more often than during the colder months. You can check the soil’s moisture by touching the top of the soil in the pot. If the top two inches of soil are dry, water the plant, but if the soil is still damp, wait one or two days before checking it again.

When watering this plant, do not water it from above. You do not want to get the leaves wet because this encourages fungal growth that can be harmful to the plant. Move the lower leaves to one side so you can directly water the soil in the pot.

If you notice that the leaves are droopier than normal, you might be overwatering the plant. This can lead to root rot, which is a condition caused by prolonged exposure of the roots to waterlogged soil. This drowns the roots, and the dead and rotting roots become susceptible to opportunistic pathogens that make the rot even more aggressive. The rot will spread to the rest of the plant and can even kill it if the issue is not resolved in time.

Correct and timely watering is the best way to avoid both over-and underwatering. Keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times and make sure the plant has proper drainage.

Soil requirements

It is important to use the right kind of soil for your Philodendron Bloody Mary, as this plant is quite particular about its soil quality.

The soil should be well-draining, meaning loose and porous enough to let excess water pass through easily to avoid any sogginess. This reduces the chances of fungal growth and root rot.

The pH level of the soil needs to be between 5.5 and 7.5.

You can also plant your Philodendron Bloody Mary in soilless mixtures, or in pure sphagnum peat moss.

Examples of soilless mixtures include peat and perlite mix, or a peat and vermiculite mix.

The perfect potting medium for the plant is one that holds onto a certain level of moisture while letting any excess water drain away. The plant will be able to get the nutrient it needs even from soilless mixtures.

Temperature and humidity requirements

As mentioned above, the Philodendron Bloody Mary is a tropical plant and does not do well in winter conditions.

While it may not die if left outside during the winter, it is still best to take the plant indoors for the cold season. The temperature inside your house is warmer and more stable, which the plant will prefer. Keep the temperature around the plant at 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the temperature is either below or above this range, the change will negatively affect your plant and can lead to health problems.

Being a tropical plant, the Philodendron Bloody Mary also does best in humid conditions.

If the humidity is too low for it, the leaves will turn yellow and become lumpy.

If you live in a place with a dry climate, increase the humidity around your plant by misting it every once in a while. You can also place the plant’s pot over a pebble tray filled with water. The water in the tray will evaporate and moisten the leaves and the soil inside the pot.

Another trick is to group the plant with other humidity-loving plants so that they can all create a microclimate around each other.

You can also place the plant in one of the most humid rooms in your house, like the kitchen or the bathroom.

If you have the means, buy a humidifier to automatically regulate the humidity in your home without you having to worry about it.

Fertilizer requirements

You can fertilize your Philodendron Bloody Mary because it is a fast-growing plant and consumes nutrients from its potting medium quite quickly.

Use any fertilizer designed specifically for houseplants. Feed the plant once a month in the warmer months and once every two months during the colder months.

This is because the plant actively grows during the spring and summer, so it needs more nutrients during that time. It does not grow as active during the fall and winter, which is why feeding is only done every two months.

Repotting the plant

You will know to repot the plant when you see the roots starting to grow out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

This basically means that the roots have run out of space to grow in the soil. If you let this go on for too long, the roots will form a ball that can become so compact that it may start to rot, so you need to be vigilant about recognizing the right time to repot.

Remove the plant from the old pot, and if you need to remove some of the roots, cut them off with a sterile knife. Remove any brown or black roots too, because those are rotten.

The new pot should be one size larger than the old one, and you should use fresh potting mix in the new pot.

Repotting should be done just before the plant starts actively growing again, so do it towards the end of winter or early spring. This means that as the plant recovers from repotting, it will also be growing new foliage.

Pruning the plant

The Philodendron Bloody Mary does not really need to be pruned unless you feel you really need to.

If the plant is becoming too big for your home, then by all means prune it. Proper pruning should result in the plant maintaining the same aesthetic and any changes should be subtle.

Start with the older leaves that may have turned yellow, and then cut off any stems that you think have grown too long. Make sure you use sterile tools so that you do not accidentally contaminate the plant with bacteria or fungi from other plants.

You can sterilize the tools by washing off any visible dirt or mud and then dipping them in a solution of bleach and water. Make sure you rinse the tools in water afterward, because the bleach is corrosive if left on the tools for too long.

You can also just wipe the tools down with some rubbing alcohol.

When cutting a stem, cut above the node. Leaving the node on the plant is necessary because this is where the new leaves and stems will grow from.

If you cut the stem below the node, it will remain a stub.

Propagating the plant

This plant is quite easy to propagate and the best time to do this is in the spring and early summer.

You can propagate the Philodendron Bloody Mary through seed, leaf-cutting, stem cutting, mound layering, and air layering.

Starting from seed is a slow process and the layering techniques are for more seasoned growers.

For the typical gardener, propagation through stem cuttings is the most advisable route.

To do this, you need to choose a stem on the parent plant and use a sterile knife to cut it off.

The cutting needs to be five to six inches long and should include at least one node.

Prepare a container with a moist growing medium and stick the stem at least three inches into the medium, making sure that the node is under the soil.

Place the container in a warm spot where it can get bright, indirect light. Do not expose the cutting to direct sunlight because this can kill it.

After a few weeks, check the root growth by gently pulling at the plant. If there is resistance, it means the roots have grown in nicely and you can transfer the plant to its own new pot.

After transferring it, you can care for it as you would a regular plant.

Does the Philodendron Bloody Mary produce flowers?

No, the Philodendron Bloody Mary does not flower. Despite that, it is beautiful enough with its colorful stems and leaves. The younger leaves have a rich burgundy color that becomes greener as they mature, but they will always have a dark red undertone.

As long as the plant’s stems are strong and healthy, they will continue to produce more leaves.

Plant growth

Your Philodendron Bloody Mary will thrive as long as you provide it with its basic needs.

A healthy plant can grow as long as 12 feet and can be up to nine inches wide. The height and width will depend on the plant’s environment and the care that it gets.

This plant is a climber, just like other Philodendrons, and it is also fast-growing. A plant with plenty of space will grow taller than one that is grown in a smaller space. A restricted area will slow and limit the plant’s growth.

These plants grow on the trunks of trees in their natural habitat, so you will need to place it near a structure it can climb, such as a trellis or a pole.

The leaves have long, red stems and can reach four inches long and two inches wide.

The older the plant gets, the longer its leaves become, which gives the plant its distinct, droopy look. 

Conclusion

The Philodendron Bloody Mary is a beautiful houseplant known for its burgundy leaves and red stems. This plant is easy to grow and propagate, and also adds depth and color to any indoor plant collection.

This plant likes bright, indirect light to thrive. Water it just enough to keep the potting medium moist, but not soggy.

The room where the plant is kept should be neither too cold nor too warm, and there should be some humidity because this is a tropical plant.

This plant can be propagated through seeds, leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, and layering. Stem cutting is the easiest and most commonly used method.

If you are thinking about adding a Philodendron Bloody Mary to your collection, we hope this article has steered you in the right direction. It is a great plant that even novice gardeners will be able to grow quite easily, and its beautiful foliage will add drama to any living space.

Image: istockphoto.com / Christopher Davidson