How to Care for Philodendron Ring of Fire?
Sought because of its unique appearance, the Philodendron Ring of Fire is a rare find. Its most attractive feature is its leaf coloration that can display hues of orange, red, cream and green.
Leaf colors can change depending on season or light exposure, often all colors appearing simultaneously on different leaves.
It’s worth mentioning that the Ring of Fire Philodendron is a hybrid that came about from the crossing of the Philodendron Wendlandii and Philodendron Tortum.
Just because it’s a hybrid, it doesn’t mean it’s finicky or difficult to grow. In fact, this philodendron likes and thrives in the same environment as other philodendrons.
Check out my Philodendron Ring of Fire plant care tips below for a quick and easy primer on how to care for this tropical beauty.
Size & Growth
Unlike other philodendron varieties, the Ring of Fire variety is a slow grower. It’s also not a tall growing plant, reaching a maximum height of 3.3 feet.
The size of the leaves is more impressive, however. This multicolor plant produces leaves that can grow as wide as 16 inches and as long as 24 inches.
The leaves grow upwards, feature curly edges and a display of around five different hues, making this plant an eye-catching addition to your home.
Because they’re climbers, you can grow them in floor planters, or simply in hanging baskets. I notice that leaves tend to grow larger when the plant has a support structure and it’s allowed to climb upwards.
Indoor light conditions might not always be ideal for most plants, but it kind of works out well for the philodendron ring of fire.
Placed near an east or south-facing window, protected by direct sunlight, the plant receives bright light throughout the day.
Filtered light also works well and so does a partially shaded spot when grown outdoors.
Although it can survive in dimmer light conditions as well, its lovely fiery colors will not come through unless it receives enough light.
Artificial grow lights can also be used to ensure that your philodendron receives enough light, especially if there isn’t much natural light coming into your home.
It’s important to keep philodendrons out of direct sunlight which will scorch the leaves easily, especially if it’s exposed to direct light during the afternoon when the rays of the sun are the strongest.
The watering needs of the Ring of Fire philodendron is influenced by seasonal changes and temperature changes.
When the air is dry and temperatures are high, the philodendron must be watered more often because of the increase in evaporation.
Spring and summer coincide with the plant’s growth season and increased water demands.
In winter, when temperatures drop and the growth of the plant slows down, the plant’s watering needs are also reduced.
Therefore, it’s difficult to set up a watering routine that works every time. Instead of doing that I recommend that you check the moisture level of the soil at least once or twice a week.
If the top layer of potting mix still feels moist after the previous watering, check back in a couple of days, and continue checking back until the top layer starts to feel dry.
When the top two inches or so of the potting mix feels dry, you can go ahead and water your Ring of Fire.
Overwatering is potentially a bigger issue than underwatering. That’s because overwatering can lead to something called root rot. And if the roots of your plant rot, it’s difficult – and often impossible – to nurse it back to health.
The reverse – underwatering the plant – is another scenario that’s not ideal for the philodendron, especially because hybrid or not, these are tropical plants whose soil should be slightly damp at all times.
At this point you may be wondering how to balance these needs – consistently moist soil and avoiding overwatering? This is where the quality of the potting mix comes in.
A rich, nutritious soil that drains well is excellent for growing philodendrons. Avoid using regular potting mixes exclusively.
They hold on to water and they’re prone to compaction, suffocating the roots of your philodendron.
Philodendrons can be grown exclusively in water or in potting mixes amended with substrates that offer drainage such as peat, vermiculite, perlite or coconut coir.
Adding compost to the mix will create a nutritious environment that will retain a bit of moisture and allow the rest to drain.
Because a mix that contains these elements is loose and not heavy, it also allows for the roots to be well aerated, warding off potential root rot issues caused by fungi or bacteria.
These mixes are easy to make on your own but they’re also available commercially. It’s truly worth making an effort in choosing the right potting mix for your philodendron because it will pay off in the long run.
Temperature & Humidity
As a tropical plant, the Ring of Fire philodendron prefers mild to warm temperatures and it’s adapted to growing in temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees F.
Temperatures below 55 F are not tolerated and likely to cause tissue damage and plant death. But even temperatures much higher than 80 F can also lead to scorched leaves and loss of moisture.
It’s not possible to grow this plant outdoors in climates with cold winters and freezing temperatures. The ring of fire philodendron must be winterized indoors in such areas.
When placed indoors or grown exclusively indoors, you’ll need to watch out for temperature fluctuations caused by AC units, a drafty window, or heating vents.
These can induce temperature shock that will cause wilting and damage to leaves such as discoloration or leaf loss.
In terms of humidity, this variety has average humidity needs. The recommended humidity range for most homes – 40-60% – works well for the philodendron Ring of Fire as well.
Extremely dry environments or extremely humid ones can cause either an uptick in pest problems or fungal leaf issues.
You can fertilize your philodendron once or twice during the growing season with a heavily diluted formula. Because it’s a slow growing variety it has low feeding requirements.
You can use fertilizers formulated especially for philodendrons or fertilizers formulated for foliage plant.
Alternatively, you can use a time-release fertilizer when planting the philodendron. This will save you from having to remember to fertilize periodically.
Potting & Repotting
Not growing as fast as other varieties, the philodendron ring of fire does not need to be repotted often.
They do well growing in 8 inch pots and will only require repotting after a couple of years or if the plant is visibly too large for its pot.
When repotting, use fresh potting mix and try to schedule any repotting activities in spring when the plant’s metabolism is at its peak.
How to Propagate Philodendron Ring of Fire?
You can propagate the philodendron ring of fire with the help of stem cuttings that you can root in water or directly in moist potting mix.
Harvest cuttings with a sterilized blade, cutting them to about 6-8 inches long. Make sure the stems feature a couple of leaf nodes as well.
Place the cut end in water or potting mix (keep the mix moist by spraying it), provide bright but indirect light, warmth and humidity and wait for the cutting to root.
Roots should emerge within a month, during which you’ll need to be extra careful not to allow the potting mix to go dry but also not to drench the mix in water.
Because it may be difficult to attain this balance, I simply root them in water. Even then, make sure to replace the water every 3-4 days to keep it clean.
– How Much Does the Philodendron Ring of Fire Cost?
Because it’s a rare variety that grows slowly, the Philodendron ring of fire it’s also one of the more expensive philodendrons on the market with prices ranging between $70-$150, depending on the size of the plant.
– Does Philodendron Ring of Fire Bloom?
Philodendrons don’t easily bloom indoors and even outdoors they take their time to grow to their maximum height before putting out any blooms.
As a hybrid variety, the Ring of Fire may be even more difficult to coax into blooming. In any event, philodendron blooms aren’t nearly as impressive as their foliage.
– Is Philodendron Ring of Fire Toxic?
Yes, all philodendrons are toxic to cats and dogs, and even humans, so set up prevention measures when keeping this plant in a home with pets or kids.
Keep out of reach of your children or pets, and even you should take precautions in handling the plant such as wearing gloves when pruning or repotting.
The philodendron Ring of Fire is a rare philodendron variety that costs a pretty penny but makes up for it with a dazzling display of colorful leaves.
Despite being a hybrid and despite being rare, it grows in the same conditions as other philodendrons.
With plenty of light, a good potting mix, warmth, and a bit of attention to details, you too can grow a colorful philodendron indoors or out.