Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald Species Profile & Care Guide

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is an exquisite tropical plant known for its majestic, vibrant foliage.

This simple-to-maintain houseplant is a perfect choice if you adore indoor plants with a lush, jungle-like feel.

Read on to discover more about this alluring species and how to care for it in this detailed profile and care guide.

Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald

Profile Overview

Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald, an evergreen perennial plant, has become a staple in indoor plant collections.

Here’s a quick profile snapshot:

  • Common Name: Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald, Red Emerald Philodendron, Blushing Philodendron
  • Scientific Name: Philodendron erubescens
  • Family: Araceae
  • Origin/Native Region: Central and South America, particularly Colombia.
  • Growth Habit: This vigorous climber with its glossy, heart-shaped leaves is often seen scrambling over rocks and trees in its native habitat. In indoor settings, it grows as an epiphyte or hemiepiphyte, requiring some sort of support or structure to climb on.


The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald, or commonly known as the ‘Red Emerald’, is a true eye-catcher due to its distinct aesthetic characteristics.

This tropical plant boasts large, heart-shaped leaves that possess a color mix unique to the species. The surface of the leaves carries a glossy finish, enhancing the plant’s overall appeal.

Texture is also an important aspect of the Red Emerald’s appearance, featuring prominent veins in the leaves that provide a rough yet pleasing texture.

The stem, also a part of the visual appeal, is thick and robust, further strengthening the overall majestic appearance of this green gem.

Leaf Size

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is renowned for its broad and vibrant foliage. Each leaf can range in size from 8 inches to a stunning 16 inches in mature plants.

These generously proportioned leaves contribute to the plant’s overall lush and tropical aesthetic. As a homeowner, you will definitely appreciate the fullness these large leaves bring to your indoor or outdoor green spaces.

Keep in mind that to maintain a healthy leaf size, your Red Emerald Philodendron requires high light penetration and nutritious soil. These are vital elements in supporting the growth and development of sizeable, healthy leaves.

Leaf Shape

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald displays a very distinct and appealing leaf shape, adding to its ornamental charm. Its leaves have a typical philodendron character – large, glossy, heart-shaped, but with a unique twist.

The beautifully broad leaves are pleated, creating a sense of depth and dimension in addition to their already substantial size. These pleats or ridges run from the midrib outward, giving an almost corrugated look.

This unique feature contributes significantly to their aesthetic value, making them extremely popular as indoor decorative plants. This shape also aids the plant’s transpiration process, optimizing overall health and vitality.

Leaf Color

The vibrant hue of the Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is what sets it apart in the foliage world. The mature leaves of this plant are a stunning, glossy dark green, providing a dramatic backdrop for the impressive red undersides.

The young leaves, on the other hand, are an intriguing shade of red-bronze, turning to glossy green as they grow older. The color variation makes this plant an eye-catching element in any indoor or outdoor space.

The intensity of the leaf color may vary depending on the light conditions the plant is exposed to. The brighter the light, the more pronounced the reddish hues on the leaf undersides.

Stem Characteristics

The stem of the Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is an important characteristic that helps identify this plant. This plant features sturdy, thick stems that not only add structure to the plant but also serve as the vessel that transports nutrients from the roots to the leaves.

The stem is mostly green but can have a reddish hue, especially when the plant is young or under stress. This color can also become more pronounced in direct sunlight.

The stems are generally long and straight but can start to vine or trail as the plant matures, especially if given support.

Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald

Mature Size

The mature size of the Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is grand, befitting of its opulent appearance. In its natural tropical habitat, this plant grows extensively – up to 15 feet in height.

When grown indoors as a houseplant though, it will typically reach between 5 and 8 feet tall. Its broad spread, often matching its height, offers a lush expanse of foliage that makes it stand out in any space.

Remember, this plant does appreciate a little room to stretch, so be prepared to provide space for this majestic beauty.

Care Requirements

Caring for your Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is a rewarding task that requires attention to several factors. Each different aspect such as light, water, humidity, temperature, and soil plays a unique and essential role in the health, growth, and overall appearance of your plant.

Thankfully, these requirements often align with what one might expect for a tropical plant, making it simple and straightforward to cater to these needs. Creating a favorable environment that mimics the plant’s natural habitat will ensure its successful growth, development, and longevity.

Light Needs

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald thrives best in bright, filtered light, as direct sunlight can cause leaf burn. It’s an adaptable plant that can survive in low light conditions too, but it won’t grow as vibrantly or as fast.

If you are using artificial lighting, fluorescent or LED lights that replicate the wavelengths of the sun are recommended. Keep in mind that this species has less chlorophyll than other green varieties, so it requires more light to photosynthesize.

If you notice the leaves on your Philodendron becoming elongated or spaced out, it might be an indication that your plant is not getting enough light.

Watering Frequency

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald thrives on a balanced watering regimen, allowing the soil to dry out to some extent between watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other water-related diseases.

It’s advisable to water it once a week or when you notice the top inch of the soil getting dry. Adjust the frequency in extremely hot or cold weather.

Remember that it’s better to underwater than to overwater this plant. The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald displays wilted leaves when under-watered, but will bounce back quickly once properly watered.

Humidity Preferences

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald thrives in high humidity environments. This tropical plant enjoys a humidity range between 40% and 80%, closely mimicking its native rainforest conditions.

It’s important to maintain a humidity level that accommodates the Red Emerald’s preference, as it can greatly influence the plant’s overall health and vitality.

If you’re growing this plant indoor, consider placing it in a naturally humid room like a bathroom or kitchen, or use a humidifier. Misting the leaves regularly can also help maintain the plant’s preferred humidity level.

Temperature Range

Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald thrives best in warmer conditions similar to its tropical rainforest origin. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 65°F (18°C) to 85°F (29°C).

It can tolerate minimum temperatures down to 55°F (13°C). Below this, it may manifest signs of cold stress. It’s important to keep the plant away from drafts, sudden temperature changes, and direct contact with windows during winter.

Indeed, this Philodendron species is not frost-tolerant and it’s best to bring it indoors if outdoor temperatures drop significantly.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald prefers well-draining soil. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil, in equal parts, makes an excellent environment for this plant.

These elements combine to allow good water retention while still permitting excess to drain away easily, reducing the risk of waterlogging. This plant tolerates a wide range of pH levels but thrives best in mildly acidic to neutral soil, with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.0.

Regularly testing and amending the soil can help keep your Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald healthy and thriving.

Growth & Propagation

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald exhibits a moderate growth rate under ideal conditions. This section outlines the growth patterns of the plant, including its seasonal cycles and overall growth habits.

Additionally, it features key propagation techniques that can help you increase your inventory of this spectacular tropical indoor plant. You’ll get to understand the best seasons for propagation, the required environmental conditions, and the specific steps to follow when potting and repotting.

By understanding these processes, you can ensure your Philodendron Red Emerald’s health and longevity while enjoying its exciting journey of growth and reproduction.

Growth Rate

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald, like many Philodendrons, boasts a moderate to fast growth rate. Its potential growth depends on the care it receives.

Providing the right balance of light, water, and nutrition can result in impressive, healthy foliage. However, even under less than ideal conditions, this plant tends to perform rather well, showing steady growth throughout the growing season.

It’s important to remember that while it’s a fast-growing plant, patience is key. The more time it’s given to grow, the more stunning its foliage will be. So, give it time and it’ll reward you with a lush display.

Propagation Methods

The Red Emerald Philodendron provides you with a multitude of propagation options, which primarily include stem cuttings and air layering.

For stem cuttings, simply slice just below a node or a leaf joint, let the cut surface to dry out and then place it in water or moist potting mix – soon enough, roots should begin to emerge.

For air layering, essentially mimic natural vine layering by bending a long vine downwards into a pot filled with soil without cutting it away from the parent plant.

The node should take root while still attached, allowing you to cut a new, rooted plant from the parent.

Season of Active Growth

The term ‘Season of Active Growth’ refers to the period during which the Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald experiences a surge in growth.

Typically, this season is during spring and summer months when the weather is warm and there is an abundance of sunlight.

During this period, the plant’s leaf development is at its peak and it absorbs nutrients at an increased rate.

It’s essential to provide optimal care during this season, such as appropriate watering, sunlight exposure, and fertilization, to promote robust growth and ensure the overall health of your Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald thrives in a well-draining potting mix suitable for indoor plants. When selecting a pot, choose one that’s slightly larger than the root ball, ensuring it has ample drainage holes.

As for repotting, do so every 2-3 years or as soon as you notice an overcrowding root system, wilted leaves, or stunted growth. During repotting, carefully loosen the roots, trim off any that are discolored or mushy, and place in the new pot with fresh potting mix.

Always repot in late winter to early spring, prior to the active growth season. Reestablish the normal watering schedule only after noticing new growth.

Potential Issues

When caring for the Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald, you may encounter a few potential issues that can impact the health and growth of the plant. 

Common Pests

Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is usually very hardy, but it can be infested with pests. The most common pests you’ll see on your Red Emerald are aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites.

Aphids are tiny green bugs that feed on the leaf’s sap. Mealybugs appear as white cotton-like masses on the plant. Scales are flat, oval-shaped insects that attach to the plant and absorb its nutrients.

Spider mites are tiny mites that leave spiderlike webbing on the plant. It’s crucial to check for these pests regularly and treat at the earliest sign of infestation using appropriate insecticides or insecticidal soaps.

Common Diseases

Though the Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is generally hearty and resistant to many diseases, it can sometimes be affected by bacterial blight, root rot, and leaf spot.

Bacterial blight can cross through the plant’s vascular system, causing wilting and yellowing of leaf margins. Root rot, often the result of overwatering, causes browning and wilting of the leaves.

Leaf spot, another common disease for this species, shows as browning or yellowing spots on leaves. By keeping your plant in the preferred environmental requirements, you can reduce the risk of disease.

Regularly examining your plant for any signs is key in early detection and successful treatment.

Other Sensitivities

Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald can be sensitive to abrupt changes in its environment. It might not respond well to variations in light intensity, being moved frequently, or inconsistent watering routines.

Further, it may react negatively to harsh chemicals in some tap water or if exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods.

This sensitivity might manifest in drooping leaves, discoloration, or slow growth. It’s important to pay attention to these signs, as they might be your plant’s way of communicating its discomfort.

For a happier and healthier plant, try to maintain a consistent care routine and environment.

Special Features & Uses

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is not only an ornamental plant but also has several fascinating features. These include its lush, vibrant foliage and tremendous adaptability, making it ideal for indoor use.

Due to the unique aspects of this plant, it is used differently compared to other houseplants.

Unique Characteristics

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald is distinguished by its vibrant, lush foliage. The richness of the red stems against the dark green, glossy leaves creates dramatic visual interest.

It’s the blend of colors that really sets it apart – the blend of copper-red beneath the leaves to the bright green surface. Another intriguing feature is how the plant creates its own support system by developing aerial roots.

These roots grip onto surfaces, enabling the plant to climb or trail accordingly. This growth style means, your Red Emerald Philodendron can become an elegant vertical element in your decor scheme as well.

Decorative Use

The Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald can be used an exquisite houseplant, bringing a unique sense of tropical ambiance to your home or office interiors. This plant’s strikingly deep red stems contrasted by vibrant green leaves make it an eye-catching piece of living decor.

In addition, these plants can be trained to climb, making them perfect for using them as decorative vines. Their aesthetically pleasing appeal and relatively easy-to-care nature has made them a popular choice among interior designers and plant enthusiasts alike.

Whether placed on a table, shelf, or hanging basket, the Red Emerald enhances the aesthetic appeal of any space.


Just like other Philodendrons, the Red Emerald is toxic due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, it can cause symptoms ranging from oral irritation, increased salivation, and vomiting.

It can also irritate the skin upon contact, causing redness, itching, and swelling. Consequently, this plant should be placed out of reach of children and pets.

Always make sure to wash your hands after handling to avoid any accidental ingestion or contact with your eyes. Despite its beauty, caution is necessary when growing and handling this plant due to its toxicity.

Additional Tips & Tricks

Providing optimal care for your Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald goes beyond simply following its basic care requirements. It’s also essential to know some helpful tips and tricks that can enhance the health and beauty of your plant.

This includes understanding correct fertilization practices, maintaining the right pruning routine, and providing supportive structures as per the plant’s growth.

These important aspects ensure that your Red Emerald thrives in its environment and continues to be a stunning addition to your indoor or outdoor garden. 

Fertilization Recommendations

To keep your Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald vibrant and thriving, it’s crucial to fertilize it properly. Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer, such as a diluted 20-20-20 formulation, every month during the growing season (spring and summer).

In cooler months, reduce fertilizer application to every 6-8 weeks. Always water your plant thoroughly before applying fertilizer to prevent root burn.

If leaves turn yellow or brown, it could be a sign of over-fertilization. Remember, less is often more when it comes to feeding Philodendrons.

With correct fertilizer treatment, your Red Emerald is sure to showcase its exceptional foliage and growth characteristics.

Pruning & Maintenance

Taking care of your Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald involves regular pruning to maintain its shape and appearance, especially since it’s a vigorous grower. Use clean, sharp shears to remove dead or yellow leaves and leggy stems to encourage bushier growth.

Furthermore, cleaning the leaves with a soft damp cloth also maintains the plant’s health by removing any dust that can block sunlight absorption.

It’s best to do this in late winter or early spring, during the start of the growth season. Regular maintenance keeps your plant robust and allows it always to present its striking visual appeal.

Support Structures

In their natural habitat, Philodendron Erubescens Red Emerald plants are epiphytes, meaning they grow on other plants and derive their nutrition from the air, rain, and accumulated debris.

To mimic this growth habit, support structures such as moss sticks, trellises, or other forms of support are often used for indoor cultivation. This not only encourages natural climbing behavior but also promotes the development of larger, more mature leaves.

Remember to provide the plant with something to climb on right from the beginning to avoid damaging its delicate aerial roots later on.

Philodendrons   Updated: October 25, 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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