Philodendron Black Cardinal Care Techniques

Philodendron black cardinal does not grow black leaves. It grows burgundy leaves that become too dark and look black in color.

In the initial growing stage, the plant only produces pure burgundy leaves. As it gets mature the leaves become darker, close to the black color.

Black cardinal is an easy-to-grow philodendron plant. It needs indirect bright light, medium fertilization, and a good amount of water to grow. Indoor temperature and humidity are good for the plant. You don’t need to make any changes to them.

If you like to have a dark foliage plant in your indoor plant collection. Then you should check this article to know more about the growth and care tips for black cardinal philodendron.

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About the plant

Philodendron black is a medium-height plant. Generally, it grows near about 2.5 to 3 feet tall and spread half feet.

The big size leaves look very beautiful and make it a unique plant in the philodendron family.

Your methods of care and maintenance will decide the health and leaf size of the plant. Therefore, you should read this care guide before growing it.

3 feet of height of an indoor plant is normal. Such plants are easy to maintain and they look good in big size rooms.

Another good thing is you don’t need to worry about where to put the black cardinal. Because it is a floor plant, you can place it anywhere in your sweet home.

The best thing that I like about this plant is it does not require frequent maintenance (pruning & trimming).

Pruning is required in the spring season to remove the old and yellow leaves. This way you can keep your plant disease-free and clean.

Light Needs

Like other philodendron plants, it needs indirect bright light. Your plant will grow healthy and produce lots of beautiful leaves in bright light.

But you should protect it from direct sun rays to avoid sunburn and dehydration.

If you want your plant to produce shining bright burgundy leaves. Then you need to expose it to the morning and evening Sunshine.

Because the warm sun rays increase the production of chlorophyll. A higher amount of chlorophyll means a deep color of leaves.

Remember that it cannot survive in mid-day light. The high-intensity light can damage the plant leaves. It will lose its natural dark color and turn yellow.

Brown tips are also a sign of over-exposure to the sun or too bright light.

Indoors, place it a few feet away from the sunny window. If you see your plant stretching toward the source of light. Then move it close to the window and it will grow dense.

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Potting Soil

This is an important part of plant care. Mostly we use a general-purpose potting mix for growing houseplants.

But in the case of the Black cardinal philodendron things are a little different.

General potting soil absorbs lots of water which is not good for the good health of black cardinals.

Also, the regular potting mix becomes heavy when watered. This put negative pressure on plant roots. Philodendron black cardinal roots become weak when they work under some stress.

This results in weak plants with medium size leaves.

To avoid such issues, use African violet potting soil. This type of soil is well-draining and lightweight. It does not become compact after watering plants.

Moreover, potting mix for violets reduces the chances of root fungus and leaf fungal diseases.

Keep in mind that the pH of the soil must be between 5.5 to 6.5 pH. This is the perfect pH range for the plant.


The deep watering technique is the best option to avoid all watering-related issues.

For watering black philodendrons place the pot in the water tub and let the roots absorb desired amount of water.

Then after about 10 minutes lift the pot and place it in a dry place.

Let it drain water through the bottom hole and it will take 30 minutes to do so.

Then empty the saucer and place your plant in its location. This is an easy and safe watering technique for particularly this plant.

For the next watering session,

Let the top 2 inches of the soil dry before watering. This method of watering will prevent overwatering and root rot issues.


In order to help your plant to produce large size shining leaves. You should give it a nutrient boost in the form of liquid fertilizer.

Any high-quality general-purpose foliage fertilizer will do best. Use it only once per month.

Before using the supplement, you should read the instructions written on the bottle carefully. Because every manufacturer makes different potency fertilizers.

So, they have little different dilution instructions.

Spring and summer are the only fertilizing time. Skip it in the winter season.

Temperature & Humidity

You do not have to worry about room temperature and humidity. All the USDA hardiness zone are good to grow indoors.

The general room humidity and temperature are best for it. No need to make changes to it.

Just make sure your black cardinal cannot come in contact with cold winds. Because it is a frost-sensitive plant and cannot survive in cold weather.

You can bring it outside but only in spring and summer. Once the winter hits, bring it back indoors and place it in a warm place.

Do not let the cool conditioned air and hot air flow towards the plant. Both conditions are deadly for it.


Once you see that your plant is not growing tall and it look uncomfortable in its current pot. It is time to repot it in a new home.

Following are the best repotting steps:

Buy a plant pot 2 inches deep and wider than the current pot

Fill it with new potting soil to its half.

Gently take out the plant from it old pot

Inspect the roots, if you find damages cut the damaged part

Place it in the new pot and fill the remaining empty portion of the pot

Tap around the plant to help it stand firmly.

Give some water to the base of the plant and follow regular care.


The sap of the plant contains calcium oxalate crystals. This ingredient is toxic to humans and pets. Keep this plant away from your pets.

Because all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested.

Stomach pain, burning sensation, and vomiting are a few common and early toxic symptoms.

Immediately contact the nearest poison control center once you see these symptoms in your pets.


Frequent pruning is not required for the black cardinal. Prune old and yellow leaves just to maintain the good health of your plant.

By pruning, you can keep your plant in the desired size. If necessary, you can prune the healthy growth, to keep it under controlled size.

Then use these new cuttings to grow more black cardinal plants.


The black cardinal philodendron is very beautiful. You will definitely think about propagation to have some more black cardinals.

You have two options one is stem cutting and growing it in water. In this method, you need to change the water when it gets dirty and unclear.

But I recommend the root division method and it is better than the stem cutting technique.

Just unpot the plant divides its roots into different sections. Then plant each divided section in a separate pot. This way you will have multiple black cardinals propagated plants.


Its beautiful deep burgundy leaves make it a unique houseplant. The large size leaves are easy to maintain and care for.

Just choose the right potting soil and water it only when requires. Your plant will never face any problems. For more information contact us anytime.

Commonly Asked Questions:

How big does a Philodendron Black Cardinal get?

In its natural habitat, the black cardinal grows more than 3 feet tall. But indoor growing cardinal only reaches 3 feet in height and a total width of 50 cm.

If you give it proper nutrition, water, and light. Then you will get large size leaves. Under ideal growing conditions.

Black cardinal leaves grow 1 foot long and 20 cm wide.

Is the Philodendron Black Cardinal Rare?

No, the black cardinal philodendron is not a rare plant. It is easily available in most garden centers and nurseries in the United States.

The propagation is simple and this is the reason nowadays it is also common in Europe and many cities in Australia.

Is Philodendron Black Cardinal a Climber?

It is a self-heading plant which means it cannot climb like vine plants. Plants with large size leaves cannot climb.

They are well suited for indoor places like homes, offices, and shops.

There are some climbing varieties of philodendron. The climber philodendrons produce aerial roots. These plants need some kind of support to maintain their structure.

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