Today I am going to talk about the very rare philodendron plant. Philodendron Red Moon is super rare and it is difficult to find in garden stores and online sites.
Luckily, I got mine from my neighbour. She loves to grow indoor plants like me.
Without going deep into the story let me tell you that I have good experience with Red Philodendron.
I’ll share it with you so that you can know what it takes to grow this plant and how to keep it healthy for its entire lifespan.
I will also talk about the problems that are common with this plant and the solutions.
What is Philodendron Red Moon?
The philodendron Red Moon is an ornamental houseplant with beautiful leaves. It does not produce flowers its real beauty is its colorful leaves.
It grows lime-yellow leaves with a few completely red or orange leaves. Red leaves naturally get some yellow patches on them.
Do not expect that red philodendron grows all red leaves.
It is not possible because only green leaves are able to absorb light energy. In the absence of green leaves, your plant dies due to no photosynthesis at all.
Nature has designed this plant in a way that some of its leaves stay green forever. They absorb light and moisture from the air.
The normal height of this plant is 2.5 to 3 feet. The leaf size is 6 to 9 inches long depending on the age of the plant.
How to Grow and Care for Philodendron Red Moon
Bright light, moderate watering, moderate fertilizing, and high humidity are secrets to success. If you are choosing this plant then you have to give it proper care.
It is not like Philodendron Hope that grow even in low humidity and low light.
Below are proper care and maintenance techniques:
Anywhere between 350 to 500 FC is perfect bright light. You can measure the amount of light it is receiving with a light meter.
To produce red leaves this Red Moon Philodendron needs bright light for 7 to 8 hours in a day.
Do not expose it to direct sun rays. They are too bright and hot for the soft leaf tissues of this plant. Choose a place where it can get plenty of dappled light.
If you have a sunny window then you don’t need to worry about its light needs.
Because you can place it on the bright sunny window sill and let it grow and thrive in natural light. But there is one condition that is it only needs morning sunlight.
After 9 am sun emits highly intense light waves, which are harmful to the philodendron red leaves.
Sunburned leaves are the main problem that is the result of highly intense light exposure.
My plant is enjoying an east-facing window. To protect it from harsh light, I have installed shear curtains.
Remember that leggy and slow growth are the signs of low light. Whereas yellow leaves, brown leaves, and dry soil indicate too much bright light.
It needs a good amount of moisture and aeration. For moisture use perlite and coco coir. These two substances hold a good amount of moisture for a long time.
The main benefit is they do not make the potting soil wet.
Perlite is a naturally porous material and it has tiny holes in the pebbles. They absorb the water and let the roots take it from them when they need it.
Coco coir is a high-quality potting material. It has good aeration and excellent draining capabilities.
By adding coco coir, you are making the potting soil fast-draining and aerated.
The next thing is adding some organic material that easily gets breakdown. I prefer compost because it is organic and cheap.
(We should also focus on minimizing the growing cost of a plant.)
60% coco coir + 20 Perlite + 10 % compost + 10 % orchid bark (for root support).
You are free to adjust the number of ingredients as per your experience and soil knowledge.
Watering Philodendron Red Moon
When it comes to watering tropical plants one thing quickly comes into mind, they are prone to root rot.
Their roots cannot handle the wet or soggy soil. But the plant demands a good amount of moisture.
The trick is using well-draining soil with moisture-holding capacity. And follow the soil testing watering method.
Here we use a finger or chopstick to check the moisture level of the potting soil.
If the soil contains a good amount of moisture in its top layer. We do not give water to the plant.
But if the top layer of potting soil is dry this means your plant is thirsty. It is the perfect time to water thoroughly.
I prefer the pour method for watering Philodendron Red Moon. No need to use the bottom water technique unless it is dehydrated.
You forget to water it for days.
Why Tap Water is not recommended:
Tap water contains chlorine and fluorides. In some parts of the country tap water is hard water and is not drinkable.
Such water contains many minerals that are not safe for plants.
Even if your tap water is safe to drink, even then you need to verify that it is free from chlorine.
You can check it by visiting the local water authority website.
Chlorine is damaging to plant roots and it is not a plant nutrient.
My advice is simply to use filtered water if you love your indoor plants. Or fill a bucket of tap water 24 hours before watering.
Let it sit for 24 hours and then use the top half of the bucket of water. This way the chlorine sits at the bottom and you can use tap water safely.
Fertilizing Philodendron Red Moon
Now, this is the interesting part because the health of your plant depends on fertilizers. They are essential for indoor growing plants.
The soil we use contains a limited amount of nutrients. They are not enough to support a plant for its entire life.
When plants absorb nutrients from the soil it gets depleted.
To keep the plant soil nutrient-rich, we need to use synthetic or organic fertilizers.
For this plant use synthetic liquid fertilizers. They are inexpensive and fast-acting nutrients.
Choose any brand that you believe is good and made excellent fertilizers.
Boost your plants with synthetic nutrients only in the spring and summer seasons. Do not use nutrients in the winter season.
Some people add compost or compost tea in the winter season because they are organic. Don’t do this because plants go into dormancy in the cold season.
They do not need any type of nutrients. Save them to use in the active growing seasons.
Temperature is big deal in Philodendron Red Moon care. 55 to 85 Degrees F is the range. A little bit of fluctuation is not a problem. As long as it stays in the ideal temperature range.
Once it drops below the line your red moon plant starts suffering from cold.
The stored moisture starts freezing and this break the cell walls of leaves. This results in dark spots on Philodendron Red Moon leaves.
To prevent temperature stress, you must move your plants indoors in the winter season. Also, move it from the large windows and doorways.
Place them in a warm place but not near the heat vents. The direct flow of hot or cold air is damaging to the plants.
General home humidity is enough or Red Moon Philodendrons care. The ideal humidity level is above 80%.
It is not possible to maintain it all the time and is not good for human health.
The good news is this plant can easily grow in moderate home humidity. I use a hygrometer to measure the humidity of my grow room.
On low-humid days, I collect all my plants and put them in a single room.
Grouping plants is beneficial on low-humid days.
I don’t use pebble trays because I have 70 indoor plants. It is not possible to buy 70 pebble trays and then care take of the water level.
I am using a humidifier for my costly plants. It is the best method of increasing humidity. No need to mist water or do anything that is time-consuming.
Just invest some money in a good humidifier and use it for life long.
Pruning is only required to keep it fresh and alive. Use a sharp and sterilized knife to cut the yellow and dead leaves.
It is not a very fast-growing plant so you will not need to prune it frequently.
Once in 2 to 3 months is enough for its good health.
To keep it thriving, maintenance is a very important part of Philodendron Red Moon care. Use a clean cloth and wipe its leaves to remove dirt and dust particles.
This prevents many indoor plant diseases and keeps its leaves shining and beautiful.
Unfortunately, Philodendron Red Moon is toxic to humans and animals. The ingestion of its parts results in red moon toxicity.
The sap of the plant is toxic because it has calcium oxalate crystals.
Vomiting, drooling and stomach pain are a few of its warning signs.
It needs repotting once in 2 years. The mature size of this plant is 2.5 to 3 feet. It is not a tall plant and has a small root ball.
A little bit root bound condition is good to keep the root ball healthy.
Repotting signs are:
- The plant grows too big.
- Roots are visible over the top soil surface.
- Starts growing slower than normal.
- Soil dries out quickly.
- Less soil in the pot.
- Soil coming out of the drainage hole with water.
Use 2 inches wide and deep pot for repotting Red Moon Philodendron. Also, use fresh soil and cut the infected roots if any.
For the first few days, your plant may show some repotting stress like wilting or droopy leaves. Within 5 to 7 days, it will regain its health.
No need to do anything in this condition it is totally normal with newly potted plants.
Philodendron Red Moon Propagation
We will go with an easy propagation method and for the Red Moon Philodendron stem cutting is the best propagation method.
In this technique, we take a couple of stem cuttings and use water or soil as a growing medium.
In my experience water is the best growing medium for propagating houseplants.
Do the following:
- Cut the healthy stem to almost 5- or 6-inch long with a few healthy leaves.
- Apply rooting hormone at the edge and take a jar of clean water.
- Use sterilized shears to make a cut just under the leaf node
- Dip the cutting in a water jar by keeping the leaves above the water level.
- Place the jar in a warm location away from direct sunlight.
- Change the water regularly and keep eye on the development of roots.
- Transfer the cutting into the soil when stem cutting grows 1-inch-long roots.
Every houseplant owner face problem with plants at some stage. Below are the common problems with Philodendron Red Moon and their solutions.
It is common with philodendrons plants. But this does not mean you cannot prevent pest infestations.
Use neem oil spray once in 20 days to prevent pests. Also, use a clean cloth to wipe its leaves, and never mist water on red moon leaves.
In case your plant is infected, in this condition, the best solution is to use insecticidal soap and rinse your plant.
Here you can use tap water.
Take your plant outdoors and rinse, and keep it separate until you see healthy signs.
After the treatment allows your plant to drain extra water. Use neem oil spray to heal it ASAP.
Red Leaves Revert Back
This is the nature of variegated philodendrons. They revert their leaves back to green color if you do not give them proper care.
Low light is the main cause of less variegation in this plant and Philodendron Paraiso Verde
Improve the light conditions and the red moon philodendron will get back its variegation in a few days.
This is the reason I always insist people use light meters.
Yellow Turning Leaves
When you see yellow-turning leaves on your plant. This means there is something wrong with the soil and its moisture level.
In short, if you give too much water to your plant, the potting soil becomes waterlogged. This results in root rot.
To prevent further damage and to correct the damages immediately change the potting soil.
Use fresh soil but before that wash the pot with soap and inspect the roots. Cut the damaged roots and re-plant them in the same pot by using new soil.
Lack of humidity results in brown leaf tips. Plants absorb a good amount of moisture from the indoor air. If the air does not hold sufficient moisture.
This pushes plants to use stored water in leaves.
This makes leaves out of moisture and brown tips are the first warning sign followed by brown crispy leaves.
Curling New Growth
If the new growth of leaves is curling. This means too bright light is the cause and they are folding themselves for protection.
Reduce the brightness of your grow light or move your plant to a less bright place.
Do not use fertilizers in this situation. Your plant is already suffering from a condition, let it heal first.
It is not common in philodendrons plants but overuse of water and contaminated soil can cause stem rot.
This bacterial infection is tough to treat. It is better to prevent it by using natural fungicides like neem oil.
Also, water your plants carefully without wetting the leaves.
After watering use a cloth to dry the philodendron leaves.
Philodendron Red Moon is the perfect plant for indoor spaces. It has beautiful red variegated leaves. Supply a good amount of water and fertilizers to keep it thriving.
Neem oil is necessary to use for pest prevention and fungal disease prevention.
Only stem cutting propagation method is preferred.
Visit us again for more information on different types of indoor plants.