Philodendron Congo Rojo Species Profile & Care Guide

The Philodendron Congo Rojo is a tropical plant celebrated for its robust and attention-grabbing foliage. Belonging to the araceae family, it features large, glossy leaves that infuse a vibrant, exotic touch to indoor and outdoor spaces.

Horticulturalists alike admire this species for its striking leaves, easy care requirements, and ability to thrive in varying conditions. This article seeks to offer a comprehensive understanding of the Congo Rojo’s species profile and care guide.


Profile Overview

The Philodendron Congo Rojo is an alluring indoor tropical plant. To know it better, let’s explore its key specifics:

  • Common Name: Philodendron Congo Rojo
  • Scientific Name: Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo’
  • Family: Araceae, also known as the Arum family
  • Origin/Native Region: This plant is a hybrid and does not have a natural habitat, but most of its parentage is tropical and subtropical.
  • Growth Habit: The Congo Rojo exhibits a tight clump growth habit, and its leaves grow from a central point, forming a semi-upright habit with an open growth pattern. This plant neither vines nor climbs.


The Philodendron ‘Congo Rojo’ is a striking plant that draws attention with its unique appearance. This species is characterized by its large, glossy, heart-shaped leaves that unfold in a deep, burgundy red color.

As these leaves mature, they gradually fade to a darker green, while retaining a hint of their original red hue. This combination of colors gives the Congo Rojo an alluring aesthetic that truly sets it apart from other indoor plants.

Its sturdy, upright stems also contribute to the overall impression, as they showcase the foliar beauty of this species to its best advantage.

Leaf Size

In the Congo Rojo Philodendron, the leaf size is one of its standout features. On average, the leaves grow to about 20-30 inches in length and 10-15 inches in width.

They are impressive and sizable, making them the beautiful focus of the plant. Their extensive size also contributes significantly to their capacity to purify the air.

As they mature, they retain their large size, which causes the plant to take on a spreading shape. Proper light exposure and adequate care will ensure that your Philodendron Congo Rojo maintains its stunning large leaves.

Leaf Shape

The leaves of the Philodendron Congo Rojo are one of the plant’s most distinguishing features. They have an intriguing elliptical shape, broad at the center and tapering towards the ends.

This unique shape, coupled with a well-defined central vein, gives the leaves a striking appearance that enhances the aesthetic appeal of the plant.

When new leaves emerge, they are rolled inwards along the vein line, further accentuating their natural charm.

Understanding the leaf shape is crucial as it aids in identifying the plant, evaluating its health, and perfectly outlining its care needs.

Leaf Color

In the case of Philodendron Congo Rojo, as suggested by “Rojo”, which is Spanish for red, the leaf color is of particular mention. When new leaves emerge, they have a brilliant red hue, which is atypical for most plants.

Gradually as the leaves mature, they transition from their striking red color to a burgundy and finally settle into a deep green.

Throughout this process, the undersides of the leaves often retain a reddish tone and the stems remain a rich red color, a unique characteristic that adds visual interest and makes this plant stand out among other indoor plants.

Stem Characteristics

The Philodendron Congo Rojo boasts impressive stem characteristics. The stems are quite thick, sturdy, and robust, supporting the weight of the large, vibrant leaves.

They’re generally a dark red to almost purple color at maturity, which also contributes to the plant’s dramatic appearance. The new growth often starts out as a deep, almost burgundy, red and matures to the darker coloration.

The robustness of the stems ensures they are able to hold up under the weight of the leaves, which is particularly important as this philodendron can grow to a substantial size.

Mature Size

The Philodendron Congo Rojo can reach an impressive size, making it a striking addition to any interior. Typically, this plant can grow to be around 2 to 4 feet in both height and width.

However, under optimal conditions, it might even exceed this, growing up to 5 feet tall. The size of this plant greatly depends on the care it receives—regular watering, sufficient light, and the right soil can encourage it to reach its maximum potential.

Bear in mind the Congo Rojo’s mature size when choosing a place for it, as it will need plenty of room to grow and flourish.

Care Requirements

Caring for the Philodendron Congo Rojo efficiently can be achieved once you understand its specific needs. This means giving the plant the ideal amount of light, water, humidity, and temperature.

Such conditions come hand in hand with ensuring the soil type and pH levels are correct. With the right care, your Philodendron Congo Rojo will thrive and develop into a striking addition to your indoor greenery.

It’s known for its high adaptability to indoor conditions, but being aware of its preferences can help prevent any issues and maintain the plant’s overall health.

Let’s take a closer look at each aspect of care.

Light Needs

The Philodendron Congo Rojo prefers bright but indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can lead to yellowing leaves, a common sign of light burn.

On the other extreme, too little light may cause the plant’s leaves to become long and leggy. The optimal condition is a spot with filtered natural light, like near a north or east-facing window.

If this natural light environment is hard to achieve, artificial lighting like fluorescent lights can be a good substitute.

Adjust conditions as necessary based on the plant’s signs of distress or unhealthy growth.

Watering Frequency

The Philodendron Congo Rojo is pretty forgiving when it comes to watering; however, it appreciates a regular schedule. Generally, you should water your Philodendron Congo Rojo when the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.

This could be once a week or once every 10 days depending on your indoor environment and the season. Make sure never to let the plant sit in water for a prolonged period as this can lead to root rot.

A good soaking and thorough draining are what this tropical houseplant prefers. Monitor the moisture levels regularly and adjust your watering schedule as necessary.

Humidity Preferences

Philodendron Congo Rojo thrives best in environments with high humidity levels. This plant attains its optimum growth in a relative humidity range of 50-75%.

If you’re growing this plant indoors, maintining a high indoor humidity becomes especially important during winter months, when indoor air tends to become dry.

To increase humidity around your plant, consider misting the leaves, placing a tray of water near the plant, or using a humidifier.

Consistency is key when it comes to the Philodendron Congo Rojo’s humidity preferences, so keep the humidity level as constant as possible for the healthiest plant.

Temperature Range

The Philodendron Congo Rojo prefers a temperature range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius). This tropical plant does not tolerate cold well, so it is essential to maintain this optimal temperature range for its good health.

During the colder months, ensure it’s kept well away from drafty windows or doors. It’s worth noting that abrupt temperature changes could stress the plant, potentially causing leaf drop.

Therefore, try to provide stable and consistent temperature conditions. In very warm climates, the plant may tolerate slightly higher temperatures as long as it has enough moisture and shade.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

The Philodendron Congo Rojo prefers a well-draining soil type, particularly an indoor potting mix that is peat-based. This type of soil allows for the necessary air circulation around its roots, promoting overall plant health.

The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, falling within the range of 5.6 to 7.5. Amend the potting mix with a bit of sand or perlite for better drainage if it’s too heavy or compact.

Applying organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure can enrich the soil further and nourish the plant.

Growth & Propagation

The Philodendron Congo Rojo exhibits a moderate to fast growth rate under suitable conditions. Its growth might vary with different contributing factors such as light, water supply, and soil type.

Propagation of this plant species majorly occurs through stem cuttings, which root readily in water or a moist medium. Its active growth season is primarily in spring and summer months, making it the optimum period for propagation. To maximize growth, it is advisable to repot the plant every few years in a pot with proper drainage, using soil rich in organic matter.

Growth Rate

Philodendron Congo Rojo is known to have a moderately fast growth rate. Given favorable conditions, it can add several feet to its height each year. In a typical indoor setting, you can expect this species to grow about one to two feet annually.

While it doesn’t attain maturity as quickly as some indoor plants, its steady growth adds a dynamic, vibrant feel to indoor spaces. Remember, its growth rate will depend heavily on care conditions such as lighting, humidity, and feeding.

Well-cared-for plants often enjoy quicker, more robust growth, while those in less-than-ideal conditions may grow more slowly.

Propagation Methods

The Philodendron Congo Rojo propagates most effectively through stem cuttings. Select a healthy stem of about 4-6 inches long that contains at least 1 or 2 leaves, and make a clean cut below a node.

You can then plant the cutting into a pot with well-draining soil mixture. Keep the soil slightly moist but not overly saturated, and place the pot in a warm, bright location, away from direct sunlight.

With proper care, including adequate humidity and watering, the cutting will form roots within a few weeks. This method allows you to grow a new Philodendron Congo Rojo with the same characteristics as your original plant.

Season of Active Growth

The Philodendron Congo Rojo typically undergoes active growth during the warmer months, from late spring to early autumn. This is the period where you will observe its vibrant leaves unfurling and new shoots popping up. Throughout this active growth season, the Rojo demands more frequent watering and heavier feeding to sustain its rapid development. Contrarily, it tends to grow slower, requiring less maintenance in the colder months. Knowledge of your plant’s active growth season can guide you on when to adjust its care habits accordingly, ensuring an optimal environment for your beautiful Philodendron Congo Rojo.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

The Philodendron Congo Rojo doesn’t require frequent repotting and generally, it is only necessary once every 2-3 years. Choose a pot that is 2 inches wider than the existing one when repotting, ideally with good drainage.

Ensure to use a soil mix that is well-draining, such as one part perlite or sand to two parts peat moss. When potting your Philodendron Congo Rojo, place it at the same level it was in the previous pot.

Avoid planting too deeply, as it might lead to root rot. Always repot in the spring or early summer when the plant is at its most vigorous.

Potential Issues

Even with the best care, your Philodendron Congo Rojo might face some potential problems that you should be aware of.

These include common pests and diseases that can affect this species, as well as other sensitivities related to its care. Let’s look into each of these issues in more detail:

Common Pests

The Philodendron Congo Rojo is unfortunately susceptible to several common household pests. These include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scale insects.

Mealybugs are small, unarmored scale insects that appear as white cottony masses on the leaves and stems.

Spider mites are tiny, spider-like pests that can cause the leaves to turn yellow and stippled.

Aphids, tiny pear-shaped insects, tend to feed in clusters and can cause the leaves to curl, yellow, and distort.

Scale insects are small, oval-shaped pests that attach themselves to the stems and undersides of leaves.

Regular inspection and prompt action can control these pests effectively.

Common Diseases

Philodendron Congo Rojo is generally a healthy and hardy plant, but it can be susceptible to certain diseases.

Root rot is a common issue and is usually the result of excessive watering. If you notice yellowing leaves that fall off easily, this could signal this disease.

Another disease to watch for is leaf spot, characterized by dark, wet spots that appear on the leaves. This is typically caused by bacteria or fungus and can be managed by pruning affected leaves and avoiding water contact with the foliage.

Lastly, watch out for blight, which can occur if the plant is in a chilly and overly damp environment.

Other Sensitivities

Philodendron Congo Rojo can be sensitive to a few factors beyond pests and diseases. Specifically, it dislikes being moved or disturbed often, as this can disrupt its growth pattern and overall health.

Moreover, this plant prefers a consistent environment and can react negatively to sudden changes in temperature, light, or humidity levels. Also, be mindful of over-fertilization; too much can lead to salt buildup in the soil, causing browning leaf tips.

It’s important to carefully monitor and maintain the plant’s conditions to ensure the health and longevity of your Philodendron Congo Rojo.

Special Features & Uses

The Philodendron Congo Rojo stands out for its unique characteristics and versatility. It offers more than just a splash of greenery in your home or workspace; it provides a stunning amalgamation of aesthetics and durability.

This section delves into the distinct aspects of this plant species that set it apart from the rest, touches upon its decorative properties, and elaborates on its safety aspects, particularly its level of toxicity.

Understanding these aspects will provide you with a more comprehensive knowledge of the Philodendron Congo Rojo and help you glean the maximum utility and gratification from its incorporation into your indoor or outdoor spaces.

Unique Characteristics

The Philodendron Congo Rojo stands out among its fellow philodendrons with its distinctive coloration.

While most philodendrons display shades of green, the Congo Rojo is noted for its stunning burgundy-hued leaves, which develop into a deeper red-brown as they mature.

Another impressive trait is the plant’s robust growth, with its compact and low-lying bushy habit making it an attractive choice for home interiors.

Unlike many other species, it does not exhibit the common vining characteristic, instead, its growth is more upright and crowded, which adds to its ornamental value.

These unique features make this species a favorite among plant enthusiasts.

Decorative Use

The Philodendron Congo Rojo is widely cherished for its remarkable beauty, serving as a striking piece of decor in various spaces.

Its vibrant, burgundy-red-hued leaves can add a splash of color to any room, making it an excellent choice for interior spaces like living rooms, offices, and even bathrooms.

Outside, it is often used in landscapes to add tropical vibes to patios, decks, and garden borders.

This versatile plant’s robustness and nearly year-round aesthetic appeal make it not only an attractive decorative element but also a sustainable and low-maintenance choice for both indoor and outdoor plant enthusiasts.


Though the Philodendron Congo Rojo adds a vibrant touch to your home décor, it’s important to note its toxicity. This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals which are harmful if ingested.

Both humans and pets can experience irritation in their mouth, throat, and digestive tract if any part of the plant is consumed. Symptoms might include difficulty swallowing, drooling, and vomiting.

Keep this plant out of reach of children and pets. It’s always recommended to use gloves while handling the Congo Rojo to avoid any skin irritation.

Despite this attribute, its visual appeal and easy maintenance often outweigh this concern for most indoor plant enthusiasts.

Additional Tips & Tricks

For the best care of your Philodendron Congo Rojo, being proactive will prove beneficial. Regular observation will catch any issues early on, such as pest infestations or uncomfortably dry soil.

When introducing a new plant to your home, consider quarantining it for a week or two to ensure it does not harbor any pests or diseases that can spread to other houseplants.

Ensure the plant is rotated periodically to promote balanced growth, as leaves will naturally reach out in the direction of sunlight.

With the right care, your Philodendron Congo Rojo will bring you an abundance of joy and brighten your home with its stunning foliage.

Fertilization Recommendations

For the optimal growth of your Philodendron Congo Rojo, proper and timely fertilization is crucial. To keep the plant lush and vibrant, it’s advised to feed it with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two to four weeks during its active growth season, generally in spring and summer.

In the fall and winter, reduce fertilization to once a month as the plant’s growth slow down. Always dilute the fertilizer to half its strength to avoid over-feeding and damaging the roots.

Always water your plant thoroughly after fertilizing to help distribute the nutrients evenly and prevent root burn. If using organic compost, apply it on the soil surface every 2-3 months.

Pruning & Maintenance

The Philodendron Congo Rojo requires only minimal pruning. You might occasionally need to remove any yellowing leaves or suckers that form at the base of the plant to maintain a clean appearance.

Remember to always use clean and sharp tools for pruning to avoid introducing any disease or pest.

Beyond this, routine maintenance simply involves monitoring the plant for signs of pests or disease, ensuring the plant is receiving the right amount of light and water, and maintaining optimal temperature and humidity conditions.

Proper and regular maintenance will help keep your Philodendron Congo Rojo healthy and robust.

Support Structures

The Philodendron Congo Rojo doesn’t necessarily need a support structure as it’s more compact and upright than some traditional vining philodendrons.

However, providing a moss pole or other support can help promote more vertical growth if desired. It’s important to remember that introducing a support structure should be done carefully to avoid damaging the roots.

When your Congo Rojo has grown quite big and the stems get too heavy, introducing a steak could help support it.

The use of support structures can also contribute to a more aesthetic indoor or outdoor plant presentation.

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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