Philodendron erubescens: Blushing philodendron

Family: Araceae
Common name: Blushing philodendron, Red-leaf philodendron, Imperial red philodendron

If your balcony garden does not get enough sunlight, Blushing philodendron is one plant that you should definitely have. They thrive in low sunlight areas, and do not like direct sunlight. Blushing philodendron plants can grow to a height of 18 meters climbing on some supporting structure, though most garden plants only grow about 3-4 meters.

They have broad, glossy-green leaves which have a reddish-copper tint on the bottom surface. New leaves and stem are also deep red in color, giving the plant its name Blushing philodendron. In face, the red stem is one distinguishing feature of this exotic plant.

Though they are climbing plants, it does not latch on easily to all surfaces. So you might have to tie the main stem to the supporting structure initially. They can also grow horizontal to the ground, with their stems rooting at the nodes.

Blushing philodendrons also produce deep red flowers like those of Anthurium or Spathiphyllum with a broad spadix and tall, long spathe. There is one more variant of the Blushing Philodendron called the ‘Pink princess’ with pink and green variegated leaves.

These plants are originally from South America and prefer warm, tropical weather. They are also good indoor plants since they can thrive in low light. But like all indoor plants, it is ideal to place them near a window where they can get some indirect sunlight. Blushing philodendrons are also ideal plants for amateur gardeners since they can tolerate being neglected for some time.

But they will have beautiful, glossy leaves and flowers if they are taken good care of, with regular watering and fertilization. Watering should be done after checking the soil in the pot, and making sure that the top of the soil is completely dry before watering again. It is always better to underwater indoor plants, than overwater them, since too much water can lead to root rot and drooping leaves.

Growing Blushing philodendrons in one corner of your garden can give your garden a tropical ambiance with their broad, glossy leaves. These plant will also have epiphytic roots hanging from the stem nodes at various points, and these are capable of absorbing nutrition for the plant. They can also develop into proper roots if they touch the soil.

Philodendrons like Agalonema or Chinese evergreens have calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves, and is toxic to humans and animals. This can irritate the mucous tissue of mouth and nose on contact.

Propagation is through stem cuttings, which have some aerial roots or nodes in them.