Philodendron El Choco Red is a beginner’s philodendron plant. It is from the Araceae family and grows beautiful heart-shaped leaves.
It is a rare and costly plant with good demand. It is best to find it in local garden centers before searching it online.
El Choco Red Philodendron needs bright light and normal humidity to grow healthy and strong. To keep it thriving supply a good amount of fertilizer in the active season. Moderate watering is recommended to keep the soil moist and red philodendron happy.
Below are the further growth and caring needs of Red Philodendron.
What is Philodendron El Choco Red?
Philodendron el choco red is easy to grow a plant of the philodendron family. It grows beautiful heart-shaped leaves.
The top surface of the leaves is dark green with light green veins. The red underside of the leaves makes this plant very beautiful.
As the plant moves toward maturity the red underside starts turning green.
The normal height of this plant is 4 to 5 feet. But when we grow it indoors in plant pots. It stays short near about 3 to 3.5 feet tall.
The leaf size and velvety texture remain the same.
For best growth, you must give it proper fertilizers in spring and summer. The light energy directly affects the leaf size and leaf health.
It can survive in low light but bright indirect sunlight is recommended. General houseplant fertilizer is best to use to full fill its nutritional requirements.
Like other philodendrons plants, it needs well-draining and organically rich soil.
How to Grow and Care for Philodendron el choco red?
As I said it is easy to grow red philodendrons in almost any part of the country. Its care needs are similar to philodendron Verrucosum.
Follow the below care guide and grow a happy and thriving El Choco Red Philodendron.
Light Needs of Philodendron El Choco Red
Red Philodendron needs filtered bright light to grow. The good news is it can survive in low light but this will affect its leaves and leaf color.
My red philodendron is enjoying on an east-facing window. There it gets morning sunshine for 2 hours and then shaded bright light for rest of the day.
This way I keep my philodendrons healthy and thriving. Do not place it in direct sunlight for long hours.
The highly intense sun rays are harmful to its leaves. Its leaves store lots of moisture in them and this keeps them velvety and shining in low humidity.
The direct sun rays increase the temperature of its leaves. To save itself from hot rays the plant starts using the stored leaf moisture to cool down its temperature.
This increases the chances of dehydration and as a result, your red philodendron develops sunburn signs.
The redness on its leaves is a sign of exposure to hot sun rays.
Therefore, to prevent light problems place your plant in indirect bright light for 7 to 8 hours maximum.
Watering Red Philodendron
Again, like other topical plants, it needs moderate watering. Extra use of water results in root rot.
But before watering your plant you must know how to check; your plant is thirsty and needs water.
There is a simple method of checking it and is called the soil testing technique.
Plants absorb water from the potting soil and you need to check the soil. If the soil has a good amount of moisture, it means your philodendron is not thirsty.
And if the soil is drying and has already lost enough moisture. This indicates your plant has uptake the water from the soil.
Now it’s time to give a good amount of water to the soil to add enough moisture to it.
Before watering your plant, use a soil testing meter or insert your finger in the soil to check the moisture. Then give water accordingly.
The next thing that can protect red philodendrons from overwatering is a plant container with drainage holes.
Choose plant pots that have 2 or more holes in their bottom plate. These holes are designed to drain extra water out of the soil.
Also use terracotta plant pots the material of these pots is porous and allows air to dry the soil in a few days.
The combination of these 3 techniques can save your plant from accidental overwatering.
Choosing healthy soil is very important to grow el choco red. In its natural habitat, red philodendron grows on the trunk of large trees.
Epiphyte plants like it do not damage their host.
When we grow el choco red at home we need fast-draining soil. A soil that drains water quickly and also holds some amount of water to keep the soil moist.
Slight moisture is sufficient to keep the red philodendron thriving.
I use perlite + General potting soil + orchid bark in equal amounts.
You can use any fast-draining potting soil formula. Just make sure that the soil you use must have perlite in it.
It is the essential ingredient of Philodendron el choco red potting soil.
Adding compost to the formula is your choice. I do not use it for growing El Choco Red.
65 to 74 Degrees F is the ideal temperature. Up to 95 degrees F is not a problem as long as humidity is sufficient in the environment.
The general home temperature is best for growing it indoors. This means you don’t need to do anything with the temperature.
You must bring it inside if it is growing outside in plant pots before the winter season.
Keep in mind that Philodendron el choco red cannot survive in cold temperatures. The water in its leaves starts freezing and damaging the leaf cells.
As a result, you see small circular spots on its leaves.
On the other hand, do not place it near the heat vents to protect it from cold weather. The hot air increases dehydration.
If the leaves of your plants are turning yellow and brown this means they are near the heat vent. Immediately give them some water and change their location.
Remove the brown leaves and your plant will grow new leaves in a few days.
Humidity is an important part of philodendron plant’s life cycle. Generally, they need humidity above 75%.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to keep the home humidity above 75%. This is too much air moisture for humans.
The good news is El Choco Red philodendron can easily survive in general home humidity.
Normally we have home humidity above 40% which is fine for growing red philodendrons.
In case humidity is low you can use a plant humidifier to increase it or use a pebble tray to comfort your growing El Choco Red.
Do not mist water on its leaves because wet leaves and a warm environment are the natural birthplaces of leaf fungal bacteria.
It is bacteria that is fungi type and slowly eating the leaves. The early warning signs are small black spots on leaves.
Leaves suddenly start turning yellow and develop multiple dark spots on them. Copper-based fungicides are the only solution for leaf fungus bacteria.
The Red Philodendron is a climbing plant it produces areal roots and uses them to climb. I use moss poles to support my El Choco Red.
Climbing support helps my plant to grow faster and produce large size leaves.
If you want your plant to grow straight and grow large leaves. Then you must give it support for climbing.
Climbing is its natural behavior and this way plants spend their entire energy on growing their parts. Because it already has nice support that is holding its structure.
Fertilizing Philodendron el choco red
Moderate fertilization is recommended to grow a beautiful el choco red. This philodendron produces extra beautiful leaves. So, it needs little bit extra nutrients than other philodendrons.
The best part is normal houseplant fertilizer is all it needs. No need to buy costly houseplant fertilizers.
Only fertilize this plant in the spring and summer seasons.
These are the active growing seasons. Stop fertilizing in winter it is the dormancy period of tropical plants.
Houseplant fertilizers come in concentrated form. Dilute the solution in water before use.
To prevent overfertilization use fertilizer according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
Skin irritation, redness, stomach pain, sore throat, etc are common signs of toxicity. All parts of red philodendron are toxic to animals and humans if ingested.
The calcium oxalate in its sap irritates the stomach juice and lining.
Keep it away from the reach of your kids and pets.
You should also wear gloves while trimming your plant.
Root bound is a condition that is deadly for Philodendron el choco red. Only repotting on time can prevent this situation.
But before repotting you should check the signs of repotting. Lift your pot and check the bottom hole. If the roots are growing out of the drainage hole.
This indicates that your plant needs immediate repotting because the current pot is too small for its root ball.
- Give some water to lose the potting soil.
- Take el choco red out of its pot and inspect the roots.
- Use water to remove soil from its roots.
- Use 2 inch deep and wider pot than the current pot and fill it with soil to its half.
- Place red philodendron in it and fill the remaining pot with new fresh soil.
- Water the plant and place it in an indirect bright place.
It is not a bushy plant so it needs infrequent pruning. Use sharp shears to trim the damaged parts and yellow leaves.
This way you can prevent pests and common houseplant diseases.
Before using shears, you must sterilize them to kill bacteria. I use rubbing alcohol to disinfect my pruning tools.
Then after pruning disinfect them one more time before storing them.
Philodendron el choco red Propagation
Seed propagation of Philodendron el choco red takes too much time and is less successful. We need a quick and safe solution.
Stem cutting and air layering are two successful methods of red philodendron propagation. In these two methods, I found stem cutting easy and more successful.
Therefore, I will only teach you stem-cutting propagation.
- Clean your plant leaves with a damp cloth and identifies the healthy stem with a few leaf nodes.
- Cut this stem 6 inches long and make sure there is one leaf node at the bottom part of the cutting.
- Take a glass of water and dip the cutting in it.
- Before placing the cutting remove all the bottom leaves. We need 2 leaves for propagation.
- Also, use the rooting hormone to increase your success chances.
- Place the glass of water in a safe place away from direct sunlight.
- Within a few days, the stem cutting will develop new roots.
- Transfer the cutting into the pot once the new roots grow 1 inch long.
Philodendron el choco red is not a pest resistance plant. Aphids, Mealybugs, and Scales are common pests. They suck the sap of the plant and destroy it completely.
Regularly inspect your plant while watering. Use rubbing alcohol to wipe each leaf to get rid of these insects.
You can use insecticidal soap to kill harmful pests. This soap is extremely beneficial to kill all types of philodendron red pests.
I use neem oil to prevent pest infestations and also keep the plant pot, its leaves, and surroundings neat and clean.
Cleanliness helps me to prevent pests and diseases.
Yellow Turning Leaves
Red philodendron leaves turning yellow indicates too much moisture in the growing medium. To heal your plant trim the yellow leaves.
Slightly take your plant out of its pot and cut the infected roots with a sterilized knife.
Use fresh soil and wash the plant pot with dishwashing soap to kill fungus bacteria. Now fill the pot with new soil and plant your El choco red in it.
Underwatering and overwatering are two possible causes of droopy leaves. Check the soil to identify the cause on time.
In underwatering immediately give a good amount of water to your plant. Do not stop watering until it starts draining from the bottom.
Whereas if the soil is saturated with water, then repotting is the only solution (explained above).
Philodendron El Choco Red is the perfect plant for beginners. Its eye-catching leaves make it a unique philodendron.
East-facing window is very beneficial for growing it. General fertilizers are helpful to keep it thriving.
Use high-quality fast-draining soil that has some amount of perlite.