How to Care for Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald?
With deep red veins and heart-shaped leaves, the Erubescens Red Emerald Philodendron is native to Colombia. It’s a flowering plant, producing deep red flowers, but not indoors though.
Still, you can enjoy this plant solely for its foliage too. Its shiny green leaves look beautifully against the deep red veins adding color and an exotic touch to any living space.
Caring for the Red Emerald Philodendron is bound to be easy, especially if you’ve been growing philodendrons before.
Size & Growth
At maturity, the Red Emerald will reach a height of 6.5 feet and a spread of about 5 feet.
Like many other philodendrons, this too is deemed a fast-grower.
The plant has a climbing pattern, therefore, a moss pole or trellis will help it grow upwards and support its weight.
Tropical plants that live under the canopy of trees have a difficult time adapting to direct light.
Even though their climbing pattern can be explained as an evolutionary trait in the sense that the plant is climbing to reach more light, philodendrons usually will only receive filtered light or indirect light.
Placed near a screened window or exposed to bright, indirect light, the Red Emerald will thrive.
Gentle direct light like that in the early morning or late afternoon is unlikely to affect it, but strong direct light will damage the leaves, causing sunburn and discoloration.
Placing the plant near an east-facing or west-facing window is a good way to make sure it receives an optimal amount of light, without it being too much.
The Red Emerald Philodendron does not enjoy watering extremes. Add too much water too often, and you can end up causing rotting at the root level.
Add too little water or water infrequently, and the plant gets dehydrated.
Whenever you’re watering philodendrons, keep an eye on the moisture level of the soil.
A soil that’s a bit dry at the top level indicates that it’s safe to water the plant.
Wet, soggy soil should be avoided, but watering correctly is not what it’s all about. The quality of the potting medium also matters.
When the potting medium of your philodendron is fast-draining and retains a bit of moisture without becoming waterlogged, you’re on the right track to avoiding overwatering issues.
That said, the soil should be rich but lightweight and airy to allow water to percolate out of the pot.
Adding perlite, sphagnum moss, sand, coconut coir or bark to the soil will make it less prone to compaction, which you need to help aerate the roots.
Temperature & Humidity
There’s a good reason why these plants have adapted so well to our indoor environments — our normal indoor temperatures work great for philodendrons.
The Erubescens enjoys temperatures between 55 F and 80 F. They’re not cold-hardy or frost-resistant, so don’t forget them outdoors when temperatures dip below 50 F.
As far as humidity levels are concerned, philodendrons thrive in a humid environment.
The higher range of the humidity recommended for humans will work great for the red emerald too.
Humidity levels at around 60% are great for this plant. If the air is too dry in your home, you’re going to need to find ways to increase humidity levels.
A humidifier offers a quick and easy solution to lack of humidity, while using a tray of pebbles with water also helps supplement humidity levels.
Occasionally misting the plant can also increase humidity levels, but with misting there’s a risk of triggering fungal leaf diseases, so use this method sparingly.
Fertilizing philodendrons is easy, especially because they don’t need specialized fertilizers, nor do they need very regular fertilizing.
So, fertilizing the Erubescens Red Emerald once a month is enough. Use a diluted all-purpose houseplant fertilizer.
You can even use a slow release fertilizer when potting or repotting the plant to save you from monthly fertilizing.
There’s no need to be ‘generous’ with the fertilizer. Use only a weak solution to avoid causing fertilizer burn or mineral build-up in the soil.
A good fertilizer will help your Red Emerald philodendron grow vibrant and larger leaves.
Potting & Repotting
While the plant is still young, it will grow fast, outgrowing its pot easily, so you’ll be looking at repotting every year.
Once the plant gets established, repotting will be needed less frequently. As the plant has a climbing growth pattern, it will require a pole or other structure to climb on.
You may need to tie the main vine to the pole to help it attach to it and grow upward.
An established plant that already climbed on some sort of support structure can be difficult to repot. If you don’t manage because of the weight of the plant and it climbing on the support structure, it’s enough to replace only the top level of the soil.
How to Propagate Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald?
When repotting you can divide the plant, making sure that each section of the root has at least two shoots. Alternatively, harvest stem cuttings in spring and root them in moist potting medium or water.
I prefer to propagate philodendrons through the stem cutting method. I find it’s easy and has a high success rate.
Harvest stem cuttings that are 4 or 6 inches long with a couple of leaf nodes still on the stem. Remove the lower two leaves and plant in moist soil so that the lower two nodes are under the soil level.
Keep in a warm location, out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not wet or soggy.
If rooting in water, replace the water every 2-3 days. Likewise, keep the stem cutting out of direct light and make sure any remaining leaves aren’t touching the water (they can rot).
In a couple of weeks, new roots should start forming. Wait for them to become at least an inch long before moving the stem cutting to a pot.
The Red Emerald philodendron is not difficult to grow and makes a colorful addition to any living space. It enjoys high humidity, warmth, and dappled light.
Keep the plant hydrated but don’t overwater. Overwatering is one of the number one issues why many philodendrons fail to thrive indoors.
Check the moisture level of the soil, keep out of direct light and your philodendron will reward you with a luscious growth.