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How to Care for Philodendron Burle Marx?

Named after Roberto Burle Marx, the first architect who used native plants in modern landscape designs, this Philodendron plant is a beautiful example of low-growing tropical shrubs.

The rich texture of the heart-shaped leaves and the great ability to adapt, makes this Philodendron a popular houseplant among plant enthusiasts.

In this article, I am going to walk you through the most important care tips of the Philodendron Burle Marx. Read thoroughly to find out what this beautiful tropical plant requires to reward you with healthy leaves and stunning growth!

Size & Growth

Philodendron Burle Marx is a small-sized plant, and the maximum height it can usually reach is only two feet. Regarding the width, it grows between two and four feet.

Light Requirements

As many other plants I covered in my articles, the Philodendron Burle Marx enjoys bright, but indirect light. It can also survive in a low light environment as well, but to really thrive, it needs the right amount of indirect sunlight.

Direct sunlight can seriously damage the plant, it can cause black scorch marks on the leaves, discolor them or even burn right through them.

To create the perfect environment for your plant, try to find a spot for it where it can get enough natural light without being exposed to direct sunlight. Place your plant in a north or east-facing window.

Watering

When it comes to watering your Philodendron Burle Marx, you should follow the watering methods for most Philodendron plants.

The very first goal is to keep the soil moist, while making sure you don’t overwater your plant, nor dry the soil out. Overwatering can easily lead to different plant diseases and can cause root rot.

Although, there is a difference between watering requirements during different seasons. Water your plant regularly through Spring and Summer, keeping the soil moist all the time. But during the colder seasons, you can let the soil dry out a bit between waterings.

Soil Type

The Philodendron Burle Marx plant enjoys well-drained soil. Thanks to its ability to excess water drains through the drainage whole on the bottom of the pot, this type of soil is perfect to prevent extra water from building up in the soil.

In case of overwatering, water blocks oxygen from getting through the roots and the lack of oxygen can quickly lead to root rot.

The very first sign of the roots rotting away is a significant change of color: the roots will slowly turn dark brown or black. Another sign is the typical rotting smell.

To prevent the unlucky effects of overwatering, I recommended using sphagnum peat-moss or 100% peat-perlite. While they provide perfect aeration, these soils can also hold into the water for your Philodendron plant.

On the contrary, avoid clay and clay-like materials, as they don’t have the ability to hold as much water as your plant will need to stay hydrated.

Aim for good-quality acidic or mildly acidic soil and make sure that the pH level of the soil mixture is between 5.6 pH and 6.5 pH.

Temperature & Humidity

The ideal temperature for your Philodendron plant is between 60 °F (16 °C) and 75 °F (24 °C). Lower temperatures than this range can significantly slow down the growth of your plant.

If the temperature drops below 50 °F (10 °C), your plant will stop growing.

As a tropical plant, Philodendron Burle Marx enjoys high-levels of humidity. While they can survive in rooms with low humidity, they won’t be able reach their full potential.

Luckily, you have a lot of options to keep moisture in air in order to copy the tropical climate your plant can truly thrive in.

Here are some of the methods you can try to create humidity:

  • You can use a humidifier to improve the humidity level in the room your Philodendron is placed in.
  • Mist the leaves using a spray bottle. As the water evaporates, it creates moisture around your plant.
  • Use the pebble tray method to increase the level of humidity in the room. All you will need is a tray, pebbles and water. Here’s how to build up your tray:
  • Fill the tray with pebbles.
  • Pour water into the tray. Make sure the water level is almost to the top, and it doesn’t overtake the pebbles.
  • Place your Philodendron on top of the pebbles, so the evaporating air can directly go to your plant.

Fertilizing

To help your Philodendron plant grow, use a good-quality slow-release fertilizer or an all-purpose fertilizer. Whichever you choose, the most important thing is to use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.

I recommend feeding your plant once a week during the growing period and as the cold weather arrives reduce it to once a month. Water your plant to make sure the soil is moist before you feed your plant. If the soil is dry during feeding, the fertilizer can seriously damage the roots.

Potting & Repotting

As the roots become compact and form a tight ball, you will know that it is time to report your plant. Prepare a pot that is 2-3 incher larger than the previous pot, so your plant can have plenty of room to stretch and grow.

Schedule the repotting before the growing seasons. A good timing is the second part of winter or early spring, just before your Philodendron begins to grow new leaves.

How to Propagate Philodendron Burle Marx?

When it comes to propagating your Philodendron Burle Marx, you have two options to do it: propagation by stem cuttings and by air-layering.

Here are the steps to follow:

– Stem cuttings

  1. Use a pair of sterilized pruning shears to cut a two to four inches long stem right below the node.
  2.  Let the freshly cut stem cure by leaving it in a warm room for seven to ten days. Wait until one end of the cutting is calloused.
  3. Prepare the potting mix in a pot that has drainage holes on the bottom.
  4. When the cutting is ready to be planted, use your finger to make a hole in the soil. Place the cutting inside and pack the soil around it.
  5. Find a bright place for your freshly repotted plant and don’t forget to water it and fertilize it.

– Air-layering

  1. Use a sterilized knife and cut a sharp two inches long and deep wound into the stem.
  2. Take a toothpick and push it through the wound to keep it open and easy-to-access.
  3. Use sphagnum peat-moss and rub is around the wound and the stem to moisten it.
  4. Tie a string around and wrap a plastic wrap around the stem. You can use a duct tape to make it stay on.
  5. Prepare a pot with drainage holes at the bottom and fill it with good-quality potting mixture.
  6. Once you can see three inches long roots growing, you can cut off the new plant from the mother plant below the peat-moss.
  7. Remove the plastic wrap and place your new plant into the soil.
  8. Place the pot in a bright location where your Philodendron can get plenty of filtered sunlight. Don’t forget to water it.

Wrapping Up

Thanks to its decorative aspect, the great ability to adapt and the easy propagation methods, Philodendron Burle Marx is a great way to bring some tropical vibe indoors.

To enjoy the beauty of this shrub, all you need to do is to water and feed it regularly and find a way to keep the humidity level enjoyable for your plant.

Updated: October 1, 2020

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