Philodendron Imperial Red Care: Grow Your Plant Like a Pro

Like its name, Philodendron Imperial Red is a colorful tropical plant that is loved by most gardeners, including myself. It is a low-maintenance houseplant that can brighten up any place where it is kept.

A little care can make this plant grow fast and thrive long. So, in this article, I will let you know about some proper ways to take care of this plant to keep it looking its best.

philodendron imperial red with a few bright red and green leaves placed in a white pot.

I will also share with you the problems that can come up while growing an Imperial Red and ways to fix them. So, go through this post thoroughly to get detailed information about this plant before buying one.

Some Close Relatives of the Philodendron Imperial Red

There are some popular Philodendron hybrids that resemble similar features as the Imperial Red. Here are a few of them you can try out besides getting an Imperial Red.

Philodendron greenThis plant has elongated, long heart-shaped leaves and a deep reddish-colored stem.
Philodendron black cardinalThis plant has elongated, long heart-shaped leaves and a deep reddish-colored stem.
Philodendron emerald princeIt can grow up to 36 to 40 inches wide and 18 to 20 inches tall. This Philodendron has elongated, glossy, oval green leaves.
Philodendron MoonlightEven being a houseplant, a Philodendron Moonlight produces pinkish, large spathe-like flowers. It has bright lemon-colored leaves and as the plant matures the leaves become darker green in color.
Philodendron Red EmeraldThis plant has elongated, long heart-shaped leaves and a deep reddish colored stem.
Philodendron AutumnThis plant has elongated, long heart-shaped leaves and a deep reddish-colored stem.

How to Take Proper Care of an Imperial Red?

Taking care of this beautiful plant with red and green leaves is quite easy. Here are a few tips and tricks you should follow while growing this plant.

Light Exposure


Bright indirect light or moderate to medium light exposure can be enough for this plant to grow and thrive well. Keeping the plant near the window in your room where it can receive enough bright light all day can be a good idea.

Unlike other varieties of Philodendron, this plant cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Your plant can get sunburn and damage if exposed to direct scorching sunlight. However, a very low light is also not good for the plant.

Rotate the plant every few months so, that the back portion of the plant also receives the light. Move the plant to a brighter spot during the winter months where it can get adequate bright light.

Soil Used


Using good quality soil can provide all the essential nutrients that your plant requires to grow and stay healthy. The soil composition should be proper so that your plant stays healthy and survives for a long.

The soil used while planting an Imperial Red must be well-draining and porous. Water can flow freely through a well-draining soil mix and thus prevent waterlogging and root rot.

Maintaining the Ph. level of the soil is also very important. An Imperial Red grows well in mild acidic soil. So, the ph. level of the soil to be used for growing this plant should be between 6 to 6.5. To make sure your plant is getting all the necessary nutrients you need to test the pH. level of the soil regularly.

The best soil to grow an Imperial Red can be the local ball which is easily available on different online sites. This leca ball can provide amazing aeration and drainage for plant roots. You can also mix peat moss, perlite, or coco coir into your soil for better results.

Water Used


Although watering the plant from time to time is very important, check the top 2 inches of the soil before using water. Watering should only be done when the to layer of the soil completely dry out.

Overwatering should always be avoided as it may lead to root rot. The pot where the plant is placed should have enough drainage holes to let the excess water flow out.

Your watering schedule may vary depending on the area you live and the type of soil you are using. Watering your Imperial Red once a week during summer is enough. During winter use water every 10 to 14 days or once a month. Always use room-temperature distilled water.

Fertilizer Needed


Using slow-released or compost fertilizer granules can be the best option when potting this plant. You do not have to use any additional fertilizer when using a compost, slow-release fertilizer. Otherwise, to keep the leaves of the plant lush and large you have to use additional fertilizer.

The formulation of a balanced fertilizer should be in the ratio of 10-10-10. Dilute the fertilizer if you are using a liquid product. Use fertilizer only after watering the soil, to half the strength of the product. Do not use any fertilizer on the leaves.

Humidity Levels


An Imperial Red prefers higher humidity levels and cannot survive in dry areas. Lack of humidity may lead to problems like browning of leaves. So, if you are in any hot, dry location make sure you mist your plant regularly using a little sprayer.

Using a tabletop humidifier can also increase the level of humidity around the plant. You can also use a tray of water and pebbles to increase humidity.

Keeping a humidity reader can be a good idea as it can help you know about the level of humidity in the place where your plant has been kept.

Right Temperature

Unlike all other varieties of Philodendron, an Imperial Red also prefers warm temperatures to grow and thrive. The temperature of the place where this plant has been kept should be around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

This plant cannot tolerate temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and their growth stops when exposed to cold environments.

Being tropical plants, they do not have frost hardiness. So, bring your plant indoors before the temperature starts falling and it has been kept outdoors all day.

Repotting / Transplanting

Repotting should only be done after every 4 to 6 years during spring or summer. Repotting depends on the growth of your Philodendron and is mostly done when the roots start coming out of the drainage holes.

When transplanting your plant make sure you use a pot one size bigger than the current one.


Propagation can help you to get several other new plants without the need to spend your money to buy new ones. Propagation can be done by stem cutting which is a quite simple procedure.

You need to cut a stem above the node from your Imperial Red. Make sure there are a few healthy leaves attached to the stem cutting. Now pot the cutting in a separate container.

You can wrap the base of the stem and plantlet with damp sphagnum moss to encourage root growth if the plantlet only possesses aerial roots.

To moisten it until new roots grow, cover the moss with a plastic wrap. Separate the plantlet from the mother plant and pot it when you see new roots growing.

While propagating always use sharp clean tools to prevent diseases. Also, use a pot with enough drainage holes and use well-draining soil when placing the plantlet in a pot.

To make new plant grow, place the pot in any location with indirect bright light. Do not overwater and only water the plant after checking the moisture level of the soil.

Did You Know

Philodendron Imperial Red is Actually a Hybrid of Two Other Philodendron Species: Philodendron Imperial Green and Philodendron Florida Beauty.

Common Problems While Growing an Imperial Red

Like other houseplants, an Imperial Red can also encounter problems even if proper care has been taken. Here are a few common problems and ways to fix them.

Pests and Insects

Unlike other varieties of Philodendron, this plant also gets affected by pests. So, if you notice insects like aphids or mealy bugs hanging out on your plant then, take action to remove them as soon as possible.

Pests can also be removed by preventing infestations before they affect your plant. Aphids mostly cluster on the underside of the leaves or stems. They are small green bugs and can be removed by using neem oil or insecticidal soap.

On the other hand, mealy bugs can be removed by wiping the affected area with rubbing alcohol. They are mostly found on the underside of leaves and look like little tufts of cotton.

The Growth of the Plant Stops

A plant that is stressed out cannot grow fast and stay healthy. Some signs of a stressed Philodendron can be yellowing and browning of the leaves.

Overwatering the plant often leads to yellowing of leaves. In this case, you need to use fresh well-draining soil by replacing the old soil. Also, reduce watering the plant and only water after checking the moisture level of the soil.

Sometimes, you may see the edges of the leaves to be crisp and brown. This can be due to underwatering or your plant not receiving enough indirect bright light. In this condition move your plant to a brighter location and water it from time to time.


Although an Imperial Red prefers moist soil, overwatering can cause severe damage to the plant. Watering the plant frequently can cause root rot and waterlogging, and thus, the plant develops diseases.

Bacterial and fungal infections are common diseases that affect your Philodendron when the leaves are watered instead of the soil. If you notice brown patches and translucent spots with yellow margins then, it is caused by an infection called Xanthomonas.

In this case, remove all the affected leaves and other parts of the plant and water the plant only when required.

How to Keep Your Imperial Red Problem-Free?

The temperature of the place where the plant is kept should be 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.

The Solution

  • Keep the plant away from cold drafts as it has zero frost tolerance.
  • For proper growth make sure your Imperial Red gets enough indirect bright light.
  • Using organic feed with well-balanced dilute chemical fertilizer can be the best choice for this plant.
  • Moisture and humidity levels should be maintained during the growing season of this plant.
  • To prevent dust and pests, wet wipe the leaves regularly.
  • To avoid bacterial infections, make sure the leaves are dry after wet wiping.
  • To prevent toppling, it is better to grow this plant in a compact ceramic planter.

Wrapping Up

An Imperial Red can be ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. With a little management and care you can easily grow this plant anywhere in your house, office, or garden.

Pruning the plant and adding fertilizer from time to time can make this plant bloom with beautiful foliage. So, get one today as growing hybrid Philodendron cultivars is the new trend.

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My name is Ellie Jonas, and I’m a writer, editor, and lifelong plant lover. With over 12 years of experience in growing different varieties of philodendrons and other indoor plants, I inspire and educate new gardeners with a focus on planet-friendly gardening practices.

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