Philodendron Burle Marx Species Profile & Care Guide

Philodendron Burle Marx is a beautiful tropical plant named after Roberto Burle Marx, the famous Brazilian landscape architect who discovered it.

Known for its vibrant, heart-shaped leaves and easy maintenance, this philodendron has become a popular choice among houseplant lovers, especially for those new to planting.

It’s an excellent indoor plant that can add exotic beauty to your surroundings with minimal effort.

Philodendron Burle Marx

Profile Overview

The Philodendron Burle Marx is a popular houseplant, appreciated for its beautiful, heart-shaped leaves and relatively low maintenance requirements.

Here is a brief profile of this verdant beauty:

  • Common Name: Philodendron Burle Marx
  • Scientific Name: Philodendron ‘Burle Marx’
  • Family: Araceae
  • Origin/Native Region: The plant is named after renown Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. It is native to the tropical forests of Brazil.
  • Growth Habit: The plant displays a vining growth habit, making it a perfect candidate for hanging pots or being trained along a trellis. It grows fairly rapidly under the right conditions, producing lush, vibrant foliage.


The Philodendron Burle Marx is a beautifully sculptured specimen known for its gleaming foliage and appreciable appearance. Curving elegantly, the leaves form a striking sight and contribute to the plant’s popularity in home settings.

Its distinctive appearance is largely due to three primary aspects: leaf size, leaf shape, and leaf color. Additionally, stem characteristics and mature size further define its appearance.

Let’s delve into each facet to appreciate how these blend together to produce an undeniably stylish, attractive plant that brings a touch of exotic charm to every living space.

Leaf Size

When it comes to the Philodendron Burle Marx, you’ll find that its leaves are typically large, adding to its distinctive look. On average, the leaf size spans between 8 to 12 inches long and about 4 inches wide.

These beautiful, glossy leaves are quite the sight, displaying an array of architectural forms that greatly contribute to the spectacular overall appearance of this plant.

It’s important to note that the size of your Philodendron’s leaves can significantly rely on their growing conditions, particularly light exposure.

Remember, providing optimal care can lead to your Philodendron Burle Marx boasting its large, healthy leaves.

Leaf Shape

The leaf shape of the Philodendron Burle Marx is one of its most magnificent characteristics. The leaves are paddle-shaped, which are also referred to as ovate-elliptic.

This simply means that the leaves are wide in the middle and narrow at the base and the apex. Giving the leaf a long and oval look, much like a paddle used for kayaking or canoeing.

This charming feature of the Philodendron Burle Marx makes it a stunning addition to your indoor plant collection and an attractive display piece.

The distinctive leaf shape has also earned this plant the nickname ‘Banana Philodendron’.

Leaf Color

The Philodendron Burle Marx boasts an incredibly vibrant leaf color that can be a stunning addition to any indoor plant collection.

These leaves display a rich green color, which may appear even more pronounced or darker depending on various factor like light conditions.

The longevity and vibrance of the leaf color can be leveraged by providing adequate light and care.

As such, ensuring proper care will help maintain the lush and vibrant appearance of your Philodendron leaf color for years to come.

This unique leaf color makes this species an attractive selection for indoor decorative use.

Stem Characteristics

The stems of the Philodendron Burle Marx are quite noteworthy with their thin, elongated, and robust nature. These stems, which can reach several feet in length, are surrounded by tiny sheaths which fall off as the leaf matures.

The stem color often varies from green to reddish-green, contributing to the overall aesthetics of the plant. Climbing or trailing, the stems are durable, flexible, and do well when provided with a support structure.

Planted indoors, you’ll find that they contribute extraordinarily to the cascading effect you’re seeking for in your hanging basket or shelf display.

Mature Size

The mature size of the Philodendron Burle Marx tends to be quite variable, often dependent on the growing conditions, but on average, it will likely achieve a height of approximately 2 to 3 feet when grown in suitable indoor conditions.

In terms of width, it typically spreads out to about 2 feet or slightly more. It’s known for its moderately expanding growth which can efficiently fill in a space over time.

This manageable size makes it a versatile choice for indoor gardening, amicably adapting to pots, hanging baskets, or even as a standalone feature in a room.

Care Requirements

Caring for your Philodendron Burle Marx requires understanding its specific needs regarding light, watering, temperature, and soil conditions.

Like other members of the Philodendron family, this species thrives best in conditions that mirror its native tropical rainforest environment. Therefore, ensuring adequate light, consistent moisture, and a warm temperature are crucial, along with a fertile, well-draining soil.

However, this Philodendron species is known for its resilience and adaptability, often forgiving any slight care lapses. Breaking down these care requirements, you can create a conducive environment for your plant to flourish:

Light Needs

The Philodendron Burle Marx thrives best in indirect bright light. However, this species is highly adaptable and can manage in areas with less light.

Direct sunlight is not recommended as it may cause the leaves to burn or lose their vibrant color. While the plant can tolerate lower light situations, the growth rate may significantly slow down.

This tropical plant prefers a scenario similar to its natural habitats under canopies, thus an east or north-facing window typically works best.

Remember, healthy growth and leaf vibrancy are strong indicators of adequate light levels for your Burle Marx.

Watering Frequency

Watering frequency for the Philodendron Burle Marx is vital to the plant’s overall growth and health. It is not a drought-tolerant plant and prefers consistent moisture.

However, it’s crucial not to waterlog the plant, as this can lead to root rot. A good rule of thumb is to water this philodendron when the top inch of the soil feels dry to touch.

Depending on your home’s climate, this might be once a week or every ten days. Make sure to adjust the watering frequency corresponding to seasonal changes, as the plant will require less water during winter months.

Humidity Preferences

The Philodendron Burle Marx thrives in a high humidity environment, similar to its native tropical rainforest habitat. However, it can adapt to moderate indoor humidity levels as well.

To keep your plant healthy and happy, try to maintain a humidity level between 40-60%. You can increase moisture around the plant using a pebble tray with water, a room humidifier, or frequently misting the plant.

Be advised, low humidity can lead to brown leaf tips in the Philodendron Burle Marx. Also, remember to provide adequate ventilation to avoid potential fungal issues.

Temperature Range

The Philodendron Burle Marx thrives in a temperature range of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 29.4 degrees Celsius). It can tolerate lower temperatures down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 degrees Celsius), but for optimal growth and health, keeping it within the ideal range is recommended.

Cold draughts and abrupt temperature changes should be avoided. Remember, if you’re comfortable with the room temperature, your Philodendron Burle Marx probably is too.

It’s important to monitor and adjust the room temperature for your plant, especially during seasonal changes.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

The Philodendron Burle Marx prefers a well-draining soil, typical of many indoor plants. It’s best to opt for a high-quality indoor plant potting mix that can maintain a good balance between water retention and drainage.

This plant is not particular about the pH of the soil, but generally, they perform well in slightly acidic to neutral pH ranges, between 5.5 and 7.

Providing the right soil condition not only promotes healthy growth but also reduces the risk of root rot, a common challenge with Philodendron Burle Marx.

Growth & Propagation

The Philodendron Burle Marx exhibits a moderately fast growth rate and is relatively easy to propagate. It is receptive to both stem cuttings and air layering methods of propagation.

With the correct conditions of warmth, humidity, and light, this tropical plant can provide lush greenery throughout the year.

However, it’s important to understand their preferred growing season, potting and repotting preferences to keep your Philodendron thriving.

Growth Rate

The Philodendron Burle Marx is known for its moderate to rapid growth rate. In ideal conditions, you can expect this species to grow several inches per month, depending on the level of care and environmental conditions.

The plant’s fast growth rate is one of the enjoys that gardeners seek after it as an excellent choice for indoor foliage.

Note that while the Burle Marx Philodendron can grow quickly, it’s also adaptable to a variety of moderate light conditions, which may slow the rate of growth but won’t drastically harm the plant’s health.

Propagation Methods

Propagation of the Philodendron Burle Marx plant can be achieved through stem cuttings. Choose a healthy stem with several nodes and cut it off at the node.

Make sure you sterilize your cutting tool to prevent disease spread. The cutting is then placed in water or moist soil where it will begin to grow roots.

It’s recommended to perform propagation during the spring or early summer when the plant’s growth is most active. Rooting hormone can be used to encourage faster root growth.

This is a direct and easy method, requiring basic care, patience, and a suitable environment.

Season of Active Growth

The Philodendron Burle Marx typically sees active growth during warmer seasons, namely spring and summer. During these seasons, your philodendron requires more frequent watering and feeding than during cooler months.

This is the best time to propagate as well, as the plant is in its prime growth stage. Conversely, during colder, less light-abundant seasons such as fall and winter, growth tends to slow down significantly.

Keep adherence to this seasonal shift in growth habit in mind, as it’s essential for the overall health and development of your Philodendron Burle Marx.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

When potting your Philodendron Burle Marx, it’s crucial to select a pot with adequate drainage. Fill the pot with a well-draining soil mix containing peat moss and perlite.

For younger plants, repotting should be done annually, while mature plants need repotting every 2-3 years. It’s best to repot during the spring season which is the plant’s active growth time.

Always choose a pot that’s slightly larger than the root ball to ensure enough room for growth. Make sure to water thoroughly after repotting to help the plant adjust in its new environment.

Philodendron Burle Marx

Potential Issues

When caring for your Philodendron Burle Marx, you might encounter some potential issues. These problems usually arise due to inadequate or excessive care measures.

They can range from common pest infestations, prevalent diseases, to specific plant sensitivities. Continuously monitor the appearance of your Burle Marx, especially the leaves, to detect and manage potential issues early.

Ignoring these indications could lead to severe damage to the plant. In this section, we will delve into potential problems and guide you on resolving them efficiently.

Common Pests

The Philodendron Burle Marx, like any other plant, may encounter a few pests during its lifetime. The most common unwelcome visitors include mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites.

These pests tend to latch onto the undersides of leaves, feeding on the plant’s succulent tissues and causing damage, including yellowing of leaves, poor growth, and in severe cases, plant death.

Regular inspection of your plant, especially the undersides of the leaves, can help catch any infestations early. If these pests are detected, they can be easily treated using insecticidal soap or a mixture of water and mild dish soap.

Common Diseases

The Philodendron Burle Marx is not prone to many diseases, but overwatering can cause root rot. It’s crucial to avoid letting your plant stand in water to prevent this occurrence.

Additionally, if you notice yellowing leaves, it may indicate a different issue like bacterial blight or fungal infections.

These conditions often arise from high humidity or excess moisture and can be treated by removing affected leaves and reducing watering.

Regular visual inspections for changes in leaf color or texture can help manage these problems early.

Other Sensitivities

Philodendron Burle Marx can exhibit certain sensitivities. Notably, it’s sensitive to overwatering and poorly draining soil which can lead to root rot.

It is also sensitive to direct sunlight which can damage its foliage, causing a sunburn effect. Therefore, it’s crucial to provide this plant with a bright, indirect light.

They also have a sensitivity to cold temperatures and cold drafts, which can lead to leaf damage or plant stress. It’s important to keep your Philodendron Burle Marx in a location with a stable temperature range suited to its needs.

Adjustments may be necessary according to seasonal changes.

Special Features & Uses

The Philodendron Burle Marx is a plant with several unique features that make it particularly interesting for plant enthusiasts and decorators alike.

Its waxy, heart-shaped leaves provide a visual richness, while it also serves functional uses. Whether you are planning to spruce up your indoor space or you seek non-toxic plants for a kid-friendly surrounding, the Philodendron Burle Marx can meet your varied needs. 

Unique Characteristics

What sets the Philodendron Burle Marx apart from its other philodendron cousins are its long, elegantly shaped leaves.

The leaves are oblong with a heart shaped base, with coloration that can range from deep green to a lighter, almost silver hue.

As if these characteristics weren’t distinctive enough, each leaf is marked with subtle, wavy striations. They tend to purge older bottom leaves while simultaneously growing new ones at the top, often leading to a draped effect.

This combination of unique features makes the Philodendron Burle Marx an absolutely stunning addition to any plant collection.

Decorative Use

Philodendron Burle Marx serves as a stunning decorative houseplant that adds an impressive tropical element to your interior design.

Its elegant and glossy foliage, combined with the low maintenance required, makes it a perfect pick for plant lovers, beginners, and those who appreciate green beauty indoors.

Its cascading tendril-like growth can embellish tabletops or shelves, while potted specimens can serve as floor plants.

Additionally, you can use them extensively in border landscaping or as understory plants in shaded garden areas.

Hence, the Philodendron Burle Marx is a true darling in the world of indoor and outdoor decoration.


As with many plants in the Philodendron genus, the Burle Marx species contains calcium oxalate crystals.

These can be toxic to pets and humans when ingested, leading to symptoms such as oral irritation, swelling of the mouth, tongue, and throat, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

It’s advisable to keep this plant out of the reach of small children and pets. In case of accidental ingestion, seek immediate medical or veterinary help.

Wearing gloves when handling the plant might be recommended to avoid any potential skin irritation.

Remember, safety first when dealing with your lovely Philodendron Burle Marx.

Additional Tips & Tricks

When caring for your Philodendron Burle Marx, it’s important to remember a few additional tips and tricks. Regularly check your plant for any signs of pest infestation or disease, and take immediate action should any issues arise.

Providing appropriate support can be beneficial for this vining plant, which prefers to climb or trail. Regular trimming not only helps to maintain its shape but also encourages bushier growth.

Lastly, while it’s not a heavy feeder, applying a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two to three weeks during the growing season can give your plant a welcome boost.

Fertilization Recommendations

Philodendron Burle Marx isn’t a heavy feeder, but appreciates a boost during the growing season. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio like 20-20-20 is suggested.

Apply it approximately once a month, from spring through late summer. Always use it at half the recommended strength to avoid salt buildup in the soil, which could damage the roots.

Remember, a well-draining soil is key to avoid over-fertilization. During the dormant winter months, hold off on fertilization.

Plants in lower light environments may also require less frequent feeding. Always monitor your plant for signs it may need more or less feeding.

Pruning & Maintenance

A significant part of caring for your Philodendron Burle Marx involves regular pruning and maintenance. Pruning aids in keeping this plant healthy and visually appealing.

Due to its rapid growth, it can sometimes develop leggy stems, which you should prune back to maintain a compact form. Cut just above the leaf node using a clean, sharp tool to promote new growth and prevent disease introduction.

Yellow or dying leaves should also be removed for health reasons. It’s important to clean the leaves occasionally, as their large size tends to accumulate dust.

A gentle wipe with a soft, damp cloth will suffice.

Support Structures

The Philodendron Burle Marx, like many Philodendron species, is an epiphyte or “air plant.” Therefore, they naturally gravitate towards climbing or trailing.

Support structures such as a moss pole or a trellis can help your Philodendron to grow in a controlled manner.

Attaching the plant to the structure can be done using plant ties or even gently tucking the aerial roots into the moss.

By providing a support structure, not only can you influence the aesthetic shape of your plant, but also promote healthier and more vigorous growth.

Houseplants   Philodendrons   Updated: October 30, 2023
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
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