Philodendron Strawberry Shake is a beautiful houseplant with extraordinary foliage. It is a foliage plant and does not produce flowers when grown indoors
Give it proper light, water, and fertilizers if you want it to grow healthy and variegated leaves.
Low humidity is damaging for its leaves and generally tropical plants need high humidity.
There are many growth factors that you need to know before buying and growing it. In this article, we will discuss all its growing needs, care factors, propagation and problems.
About Philodendron Strawberry Plant?
This philodendron is derived from the philodendron red emerald. But people often confuse it with a pink princess philodendron.
It produces spade-shaped long leaves with cream, pink and red variegations. Remember that not all strawberry shake philodendrons grow the same type of variegated leaves.
Variegation highly depends on your care techniques and the genes of the plant.
Unfortunately, this philodendron variety is revertible means it can turn its leaves into dark green color. But it only happens when there is not enough light for the plant to absorb.
Normally the leaf size stays between 5 to 8 inches again depending on care methods and fertilization.
Indoors, it grows 3 to 4 feet tall and spread 1 foot.
Once you see your plant is growing large you must use a moss pole to support its structure. This way you can encourage your plant to grow a little extra tall.
It has bright red color stems and the good news is its stems produce red air roots. These aerial roots look fabulous and eye-catching.
But for air roots, you have to take care of the humidity because it only grows them in a highly humid growing environment.
Later we will talk about its humidity needs and how you can adjust low humidity.
Philodendron Strawberry Shake Growing Needs
For growing healthy strawberry Shake philodendron, you must expose your plant to bright light. My philodendron is enjoying on east-facing window.
There it gets 2 hours of direct morning light and then bright indirect light for 6 to 7 hours. I have found that a sunny window is the best place for variegated philodendrons.
But in case there is no sunny window at your place. Then you can increase its exposure to light, which means letting it absorb indirect bright light for 7 to 8 hours a day.
Follow this same method throughout the year to full fill its light needs.
I sometimes use Grow lights in the winter season when I see my plants struggling to full fill their light needs.
Always protect it from high-intensity sharp light. After 10 am sunrays become highly intense and hot for the soft and beautiful leaves of this plant.
Watering Philodendron Strawberry Shake Plant
Do not make the mistake of waiting to water until the half-potting soil becomes dry. This is a wrong practice and I have made this mistake in the past.
Then I released that don’t blindly follow any grow guide. Because every plant is growing at different levels of humidity and temperature.
Both these factors directly affect the watering requirement of a houseplant.
In summer and spring, plants need more water and in the winter season you should water less.
It is best if you check the soil moisture before watering your plant.
I am using a Soil moisture testing meter because strawberry shake is a costly plant and I don’t want to damage it by overwatering.
A soil moisture meter is a one-time investment and it makes life easy.
All you need to do is insert it in the potting soil with both hands to avoid damaging both probes. It will show you the moisture reading.
A green bar means good moisture in the soil and the plant does not need water.
The red bar indicates the potting soil needs water. Whereas blue bar means your plant is overwatered and is at risk of root rot.
Before choosing potting soil, you need to look at its moisture needs. Strawberry Shake Philodendron needs moist soil for its entire life.
Which is only possible with regular watering. But a little bit of overwatering can cause root rot.
Therefore, you need soil that holds a good amount of moisture for a long without being wet.
Espoma Organic Potting Soil is the best solution. Moreover, it is suitable for all types of potted plants.
This means you don’t have to store the remaining potting soil. You can use it for growing other types of plants.
Never buy potting soils that are specific to just one type of plant variety.
Organic soil by Espoma has 30 to 35 % of Sphagnum peat, humus, perlite, kelp meal, earthworm casting, etc.
The Myco-Tone is also present in the formula to make plant roots extra strong.
To keep your plant alive for a long time. Pay special attention to grow room temperature.
Sudden or frequent changes in the temperature put stress on philodendrons.
For its safety keep the grow room temperature between 55 to 85 degrees F.
It can handle temperatures above 85 F almost up to 95 degrees F.
But unfortunately, the strawberry shake plants cannot tolerate temperatures below 50 Degrees F.
In low temperatures, its leaves get small dark spots called cold spots. In this condition, you have to remove the damaged leaves.
This destroys the beauty of this rare philodendron plant.
In the winter season change its place and move it to a warm location.
Use a warm cloth and put it under the pot.
Do not place your plant near the heat vents to give it warmth. Artificial heat increases dehydration by increasing the respiration rate in plants.
Humidity Requirement of Strawberry Shake Philodendron
Strawberry shake plant needs high humidity to grow fine. 70% humidity is good for it and it also encourages the red color air roots.
But there is a problem with this high humidity. It also increases the chances of bacterial attacks and it is not possible to maintain 70% all the time.
The good news is this philodendron can live perfectly fine in general home humidity. In short, maintain your home humidity between 40 to 55 %.
Keep it on the higher side if you want to see red air roots on your plant.
Ways to increase humidity:
This is a traditional technique and is very effective. Buy a pebble tray from the market and fill it with water up to the mark.
Then place it under your plant pot and make sure the water level does not touch the bottom of the pot.
The evaporating water vapors make a balloon of humidity around the plant.
If humidity is 40% and you want it to increase by 5% to 7%. Then grouping technique is the best solution.
Place all your houseplants together in one room. Make sure there is at least 2 feet distance between each pot.
Philodendrons are tropical plants so they can handle water droplets on their leaves. For a 3 feet tall plant use 3 sprays to cover the entire length.
This way you can prevent bacterial leaf disease which is a result of wet leaves for a long time.
In this method always use filtered water.
Fertilizing Philodendron Strawberry Shake
Fertilization is a must for philodendron strawberry shake plants. Because fertilizers help this philodendron to grow more variegated leaves.
You can use any type of general houseplant fertilizer that you can easily afford. Give it a nutritional boost just once in 30 days.
Spring and summer are the best time for fertilizing philodendrons.
Stop using nutrient supplements in the winter season. It is the dormancy time of houseplants means they do not grow at this time.
They just keep alive and use their stored glucose. This is the reason plants become weak in cold weather.
The Strawberry shake plant has no pruning needs. But for general health and maintenance, you should trim the old and dead parts of the plant.
Mostly bottom leaves become yellow because they are old leaves.
Once a week use a damp cloth and clean its leaves. This way you can prevent many common problems and pest attacks.
Repotting Strawberry Shake Philodendrons
Repotting is a must for fast-growing plants. This plant is not a fast grower but you need to repot on time.
Lift your plant pot and check under it. If there are roots coming out of the bottom hole. This means the current pot is now small for the size of the root ball.
The second sign of repotting is visible roots over the top surface of the soil.
If any of the condition is true use 2 inches large pot than the current one and repot your plant.
Water your plant 24 hours before repotting it to make the soil loose.
This helps you to easily take out your plant from its pot without damaging its roots. The type of pot material does not matter for it.
Unfortunately, this beautiful variegated philodendron is toxic to humans and pets. Actually, the sap contains a toxic substance called calcium oxalate.
Sore throat, Swallow lips, and stomach pain is early warning signs of philodendron toxicity.
Immediately call the doctor for help.
Propagating Philodendron Strawberry Shake Plants
- Stem cutting is an easy method of propagation. Below are the steps of propagation.
- Choose a healthy stem that is disease free and has some healthy leaves.
- Take a glass of water and dip the stem in it, making sure the leaves stay above the water level.
- Store the glass away from direct sunlight in indirect bright light and a warm place.
- Regularly change the water when it gets dirty and unclear.
- Within 12 to 17 days, you will see tiny new roots.
- Shift stem cutting to potting soil once the roots grow 1 to 2 inches long.
Risk of Pest Infestation
Healthy and hygienic philodendrons never face pest infestations. Pest attacks are more common on weak and unhygienic plants.
If you do not clean its leaves and leave them dirty this doubles the chances of pest infestation.
Aphids, mealybugs, and scales are its common enemies. Once you see them on your plant immediately use rubbing alcohol and wipe each leaf including stems.
Do not spray rubbing alcohol on your plant.
If the problem is worse and they are eating philodendron leaves. Then use insecticidal soap and rinse your plant with tap water.
Then after rinsing spray neem oil to speed up the healing process.
Damaged Root Ball
Overwatering is the leading cause of decaying roots. Extra water in potting soil blocks the air pockets, resulting in root rot.
This fungus starts easting its roots and your plant becomes weak and slowly dies.
Yellow leaves at the top and on the sides of the plant are signs of overwatering. For double sure also check the potting soil.
If the soil is saturated with water and it smells like rotten eggs this indicates roots are decaying.
To prevent overwatering, one should learn watering techniques and must use a soil moisture tester.
Leaves Losing Variegation
If you see your plant leaves suddenly turning dark green. This means there is a problem with the light in the room.
Your plant is getting an insufficient amount of light and it is unable to make a sufficient amount of food for itself.
This turns the variegated leaves into dark green color.
To reverse this process just move your plant to a bright place. Where it can get plenty of indirect bright light for 7 to 8 hours.
It will take 8 to 10 days to regain its variegation.
Brown Crispy Leaves
Strawberry shake plant leaves are velvety and smooth to the touch. If their tips are turning brown and crispy.
This indicates low air moisture and this problem is serious for your plant.
Move it to high humid place and do not mist the water at this time. Turn ON the humidifier or place it in your bathroom for 24 hours only if there is good air circulation.
Open the bathroom window for fresh air flow and for the protection of your plant from bacterial infections.
Dark Spots on Leaves
circular spots on leaves.
There is no specific pattern of these dark spots.
The only solution we have is fungicides. Use copper-based fungicides to kill the fungus bacteria.
At this stage do not use homemade fungicides like cinnamon and others because they will not.
Keep your infected plant separate until it shows new healthy and disease-free growth.
The Philodendron Strawberry Shake plant is easy to grow houseplant even for beginners. It is expensive therefore, pay attention to its light and watering needs.
Use a soil moisture tester to prevent overwatering.
Keep it clean to protect your plant from diseases and pests.
For more information on the strawberry shake plant leaves us a comment below or you can e-mail us the images of your plant.