Today we are going to talk about the Philodendron Painted Lady. This philodendron produces variegated yellow and green leaves.
If you are a beginner then you should start your plant journey with a painted lady. It needs a shady place to grow, moderate watering and occasional fertilizing are secrets to success.
A painted lady only grows 2 to 5 feet tall depending on the care techniques. My plant is 3.5 feet tall with large variegated blades.
In some cases, people report less variegation. The common cause of this problem is a low amount of light in grow room.
This guide will discuss all the growing needs and care techniques. So, that our readers can grow it easily with less care.
Let’s Jump to the main part:
How to Grow a Philodendron Painted Lady Plant?
In its natural habitat painted lady grows under the canopy of large trees. There it enjoys high humidity and warm weather 365 days a year.
The good news is you don’t need to mimic the same growing environment at home. Because this philodendron is adaptable and our home environment is suitable for it.
Just take care of the below growing requirements to grow a healthy thriving plant.
The minimum light requirement for a painted lady is 250 FC. But for its good health and excellent variegation it needs bright light for 6 to 7 hours per day.
300 to 400 FC is the excellent range for variegated philodendrons.
You can use a light meter to measure the amount of light in different parts of your home.
Then according to the results choose the best place for your philodendron.
Keep in mind that in low light conditions, the leaves of this variegated plant stop growing. It will lose all the variegation.
The new leaves grow small in size and their stems become leggy.
On the other side, redness on leaves, and burned leaf tips indicate too much bright light. Having a Plant light meter helps to prevent all light-related problems.
Watering Philodendron Painted Lady
For watering your plant follow a simple rule called the moisture check method. And you will never face overwatering or underwatering-like conditions.
In the soil moisture check technique, we only water our indoor plants when the top layers of soil become dry.
Don’t worry this method is not harmful to your plant. In fact, all greenhouses and professional growers recommend it.
If you are an experienced grower then you can check the moisture by poking your finger in the soil.
Most of the growers like me prefer using a soil moisture check meter. It is an inexpensive device and tells us the exact level of available moisture in potting soil.
Nowadays we have 3-way soil moisture meters. They tell us about the moisture, Light, and pH of the soil. If you have the budget then you must invest in it.
Quality of Water and Plant Health
Philodendron painted lady is an expensive plant and I do not recommend tap water for it. I know tap water contains a limited amount of chlorine in it.
Which most growers think is not harmful to the plants. But why take risk of your plant when you have another safe option (filtered water)?
Chlorine is damaging to plant roots and once roots get damaged a plant can die in a few days.
Filtered water is easy to absorb from the potting soil. It does not contain unwanted substances and is safe for watering houseplants.
You can use any soil mix as long as it is made for tropical plants. I use general potting soil and add coco coir and perlite to it.
Buying different ingredients in bulk is easy and less expensive for me. Because I have hundreds of plants in my garden.
I Grow them to sell in my local nursery.
For hobby growers, it is best to use commercially made potting soil. You can choose the quantity of soil mix as per your requirement.
I have found some good potting mixes on Amazon (have a look).
Fertilizer for Painted Lady
To make your plant grow fast, you should supply it good amount of nutrients. Organic nutrients are best for all types of plants but they do not give quick results.
I prefer synthetic liquid nutrients and general-purpose houseplants fertilizers are best in this case. They are affordable, contain all necessary nutrients, and give instant results.
Read the instructions on the bottle and dilute as per the method. Use filtered water for dilution.
Spring and summer are the right seasons for fertilizing indoor plants.
To prevent fertilizer burn, you must stop feeding your plant in the winter season. The overuse of fertilizers will not make your plant extra strong.
Overfeeding can kill your plant in a week. To reduce your fertilizer expenses, add a few ounces of compost to potting soil.
Normal home temperature is good for it. You don’t need to worry about in this case. For your general information, it needs a temperature between 60 to 85 degrees F.
Protect the painted lady from sudden temperature changes, hot winds, and cold winds.
Do not place it near the heat vents or in the direct flow of the air conditioner.
Hot airflow makes its leaves dehydrate and they will turn brown and crispy. Whereas the cold winds slow the rate of transpiration and respiration in philodendrons.
The slow rate of these processes directly impacts the growth rate of plants. They go into dormancy and stop growing.
Humidity is linked to the leaf health of your painted lady. High humidity is required to keep the leaves shining and glossy.
But it is not possible to maintain high humidity indoors.
The interesting part is this philodendron is so adaptable and can live in normal home humidity.
A normal home humidity is between 45% to 60%.
Below 45% is low for this plant and use a hygrometer to measure the humidity of grow room.
Then in low humidity cases use a pebble tray and fill it with water. Place your plant over it and you are done.
Make sure the water in the pebble tray stays at the optimum level.
The next easy-to-follow solution is a plant humidifier. Place it next to your plants and turn it ON.
Pruning is a process that is used to control the size of a houseplant. In this process, we use sterilized tools and cut the yellow and dead parts of the plant.
This way you can keep your plant in desired shape and size. After trimming, spray neem oil on your plant.
Also, use a clean soft cloth to clean your plant leaves, and remove dust. This step is helpful to prevent fungal diseases.
Moderate-growing plants do not need frequent repotting. Repot your philodendron-painted lady once in 2 years.
Soil loses its nutritional value over time.
Once the potting soil become depleted you cannot make it fertilized again by adding fertilizers.
You have to change it.
The second reason for repotting is roots feel suffocated in the pot.
- Water your plant 24 hours before repotting. This will lose the soil and make the process easy.
- Unpot your plant and place it on a newspaper.
- Take a new pot and add fresh soil to it.
- Place your philodendron in it and add some water.
- Place the pot back in its place and follow regular care.
Philodendron Painted Lady is toxic to humans and pets. The sap of the plant is toxic. Ingestion of its parts can cause excessive drooling, stomach pain, sore throat, etc.
Immediately seek medical help.
Philodendron Painted Lady Propagation
Propagate it by cutting a 5 to 6-long stem with some leaves. Make a clean cut under the stem node. This is called a growth point or growth node.
Place it on a newspaper and take a glass jar, add fresh water to it.
Apply rooting hormone on the cut of the stem.
Submerge the stem in a glass jar, and makes sure the leaves stay above the water level.
Store it in a warm and humid place away from direct sunlight. Cover the base of the glass jar with paper to prevent fungus build-up.
Regularly change the water and you will see new roots in 15 to 20 days. Transfer it to potting soil when the new roots are more than 1 inch long.
Troubleshooting Painted Lady Philodendron
Spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnats are common enemies of a painted lady. They live under the large leaves.
Pests give birth to their larvae in the leaf cells. They make tiny holes in leaves to access leaf cells.
All these are called sap-sucking pests. You can get rid of them in a single solution which is rubbing alcohol.
No need to identify the pest type just pour some rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad and wipe each leaf.
In case it is not possible to wipe each leaf then use pest-killing liquids. Rinse your plant with it and get rid of nasty pests in a few minutes.
Less or No Variegation
Variegation is linked to the amount of light your plant is receiving. If it is getting less light then you will not see heavy variegation.
In fact, in low light painted lady leaves lose variegation and become dark green.
The stem also becomes stretchy.
To correct this problem simply move your plant to a brighter place. Where it can enjoy bright light for 7 to 8 hours.
It will heal automatically in a few days.
This is one of the biggest problems with philodendrons. It is a result of the overuse of water. To identify root rot in your plant, check the soil and leaves.
If the leaves are yellow and the soil is saturated with water, also smells like rotten eggs. This means the root ball is infected and is decaying.
Unpot your plant and remove soil from its roots. Wash the roots with clean water. Take a sharp knife and cut the infected parts.
Wash the pot with warm water and dishwashing soap.
Dry it with a clean cloth and add fresh soil to it. Place your plant in it and add some water to add moisture.
Move it to a bright place and if possible, expose it to morning sunlight for 1 to 2 hours.
Philodendron Painted Lady need bright light and high humidity for healthy growth. Pests are a common problem and you can prevent them by keeping your pant clean.
Neem oil is an excellent option to prevent fungal diseases.
Fertilize it in the active season to help your plant to grow better.