Watch the deep burgundy leaves flourish and add an exotic touch to your home with this Philodendron Black Cardinal Care Guide!
Albeit the exotic leaves exuding a glorious sheen might trick you into doubting your green thumb, this Philodendron Black Cardinal Care Guide has your back. With some care and lots of love, you can easily grow and enjoy this beautiful plant in your own home.
- Botanical Name: Philodendron erubescens ‘Black Cardinal’
- Prized for glossy dark burgundy green foliage that looks almost black
- Grows to a height of 2-3 feet
- Thrives in a temperature range of 65 to 85 F or 18-29 C
- Loves bright, indirect sunlight
- Toxic to pets
Philodendron Black Cardinal Plant Profile
Prized for its magnificent appearance, the lush, velvet-textured foliage of the Philodendron Black Cardinal emerge with an orange to bronze shade that takes a deeper purple coloration as it matures. Standing at a height of 2-3 feet tall, the dark foliage showers an almost black hue, carrying mystic whimsical vibes wherever displayed.
The heart-shaped leaves grow somewhere between 6 to 12 inches and emit an extraordinary shine under the first rays of the sun, while the lower side has a much-muted appearance with a matte burgundy hue. Imagine a houseplant that stands bold in your living without asking a lot of your time in its grooming—that’s Philodendron Black Cardinal for you!
Ideal Pot Size
Get an one size bigger pot than the plant’s root ball, so the roots get enough room to breathe without pooling excess water—potential reasons behind root rot. A 4-6 inches pot will do the job pretty well, which can be upgraded to the next size once roots start peeping out of the drainage holes.
Unglazed clay pots, classy ceramics, textured pot covers, or shiny metal planters—options are endless to complement this stunner. Ensure to drill enough drainage holes at the bottom.
Philodendron Black Cardinal Propagation
Propagating Philodendron Black Cardinal through stem cuttings is a simple and effective way to increase your plant collection. Here are the steps to follow:
- Look for a stem that is at least 6 inches long and make a cut just below a node using sterile clippers.
- Dip the cut end of the stem into a rooting hormone, brushing off the excess. This will encourage root growth and increase the success rate of the propagation.
- Prepare a pot with a well-draining potting mix and plant the hormone-coated end of the stem, gently firming the soil around it.
- Water well and place the container in a warm, bright location. You can cover the container with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse-like environment.
In about 3-4 weeks, you will see new growth emerging. Once the roots are established, you can gradually acclimate the new plant to normal indoor conditions.
Requirements for Growing Philodendron Black Cardinal
Philodendron Black Cardinal maintains the exotic gloss if grown in bright, indirect sunlight. Do remember that too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while too little light can turn the plant leggy, stealing its vibrant color. If you notice that the plant is not getting enough light, expose the plant to artificial light sources.
An ideal spot will be near the North or Eastern windows where the plant can enjoy a few hours of mild morning sunlight.
The houseplant prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter with a slightly acidic pH of 5.5-6.5. An ideal potting mix should consist of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite to provide the right balance of water retention and drainage. Using typical garden soil will suffocate the roots, so ensure to amend it with a good amount of gritty sand to improve aeration.
You may also add a layer of gravel or stones to the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.
Like most of its cousins, Philodendron Black Cardinal likes to be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Keep an eye on the top two inches of the medium and water when it feels dry to the touch. Follow a weekly deep watering session and let it seep out of the drainage holes to maintain the right moisture balance.
Temperature and Humidity
Philodendron Black Cardinal requires warm and humid conditions to thrive., making it ideal for indoor environments. The optimal temperature range for this plant is between 65 to 85 F or 18-29 C, and a minimum of 50 F or 10 C. Keep heat lamps or indoor greenhouses handy if the temperatures fall below the point in your place.
The plant prefers humidity levels of about 50-70%. Mist the plant with tepid water or place a pebble tray near the plant to maintain the moisture level in the air.
Philodendron Black Cardinal Care
This gorgeous houseplant is not a heavy feeder, but it can benefit from regular fertilization. A balanced, 10-10-10 water-soluble blend can be applied once a month during the spring and summer.
Dilute the fertilizer to half its strength to prevent root burn. Also, hold back during the dormant seasons, i.e., fall and winter.
Pests and Diseases
Philodendron Black Cardinal is a relatively pest-free plant, but it can be susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Regularly inspect the plant for signs of infestation, such as sticky residue, white specks, or webbing. If you notice any of these signs, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil spray to clear them.
Clean the glossy foliage to prevent dust buildup, which can attract fungal issues. Also, keep from overwatering and allow enough air circulation.