The Philodendron Ring of Fire: A Comprehensive Guide to Caring for Your Variegated Philodendron
Philodendron or otherwise known as the philodendron genus, is one of the most popular and common houseplants out there. It’s easy to take care of and very resilient, which makes it great for beginners! While there are tons of varieties of philodendrons out there, one that seems to be popular among homeowners and plant enthusiasts alike, is the Philodendron Ring of Fire (philodendron scandens). But, like all plants, philodendrons do require some attention in order to live long, vibra
What is a Philodendron?
Although you may be familiar with pothos and spathiphyllum, you might be wondering what a philodendron is. In fact, you’ve probably seen them on a few occasions without realizing it; many are mistaken for trees because of their unique trunk-like appearance. But a philodendron is actually an herbaceous perennial vine native to tropical Central and South America. It’s recognized by its long leaves that range in shape from round or oval to heart-shaped (although there are more than 1200 different varieties). Some philodendrons have variegated leaves, giving them an eye-catching ring-of-fire look.
How do I know if I have a variegated one?
If you have a philodendron that has green leaf spots and streaks along its edges, your plant is likely variegated. But if you aren’t 100% sure, look at other leaves. If they are bright green with no color variation, then you don’t have a variegated one on your hands! (Check out our How to Identify plants post to learn more.)
The philodendron ring of fire is a vigorous houseplant that does best in bright, indirect light. It can tolerate lower light, but will struggle and drop leaves if left in a dark corner. Take care not to place it directly beneath or next to a window as it may dry out from direct sun exposure. If you’re having trouble keeping your plant alive through its first year, place it near a south-facing window or other area with plenty of natural sunlight.
Tips for Maintaining the Variegation
The variegation in a Philodendron ring of fire (also known as a crown) is genetic, so be careful when you decide where to plant it—you don’t want it near other plants that will have an impact on its variegation. Keep your ring of fire away from direct sunlight and heat sources, like vents and open windows. Be sure not to overwater or underwater.
Watering the plant
Most people can remember where they were when they first heard that plants need water. Water is crucial because without it, a plant will die. Unfortunately, unlike with humans and animals, there’s no one set amount of water required per day. Watering frequency depends on several factors including type and size of plant and overall environment conditions in your home or office; thus making proper watering a key element in successful philodendron care. When it comes to giving your ring of fire philodendron enough H2O you’ll want to start off slowly by misting its leaves thoroughly during your first few weeks together.
Fertilizing the plant
If you have a philodendron in soil, fertilize it once a month with an all-purpose fertilizer. The amount and frequency will depend on how quickly your plant grows. An increase in leaves usually indicates that it needs more nutrients. If that’s true, go ahead and fertilize again. However, don’t overfeed your plant by feeding it too often or too much at once; excessive amounts of fertilizer can burn its roots and damage its growth.
Repotting Instructions and Tips
While many philodendrons are relatively easy plants to care for, there are a few varieties that can cause trouble if not properly cared for. One example is Philodendron ring of fire. The most important part of caring for any philodendron plant is paying attention to it and keeping track of when it needs to be repotted. The signs vary based on your plant’s type, but you will want to inspect your plant regularly. If any roots are coming out around or poking through the pot itself, it needs repotting. It is much easier (and less expensive) if you catch it early.
Pests, Diseases, and Troubleshooting
To some, a sick or damaged houseplant is simply an aesthetic issue. But for those that grow their own plants and have them in their home or work environment, a sick plant can be extremely frustrating. The good news is that it’s often pretty easy to tell when your plant is not feeling well; look out for things like spots on leaves, changes in leaf color, wilting, drooping leaves etc. Once you know what problem you’re dealing with it becomes easier to find a solution; there are numerous articles available online (and here on our site) that cover how to deal with common pests and diseases as well as simple troubleshooting tips such as watering frequency and other care basics.
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