Philodendron Imperial Red Houseplant Care Guide

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Philodendron Imperial Red is a stunning plant that produces dark foliage. As a new leaf grows, the leaf will stand out and have a bright red hue. This is an easygoing houseplant great for beginners or anyone wanting a unique houseplant.

Philodendron Imperial Red care directions.

  1. Water. Philodendron Imperial Red like to be kept moist which is why it’s important to give this plant well-draining soil. Water this plant when the top inch or two of soil is dry and make sure to water thoroughly.
  2. Light. Philodendron Imperial Red enjoy bright indirect sunlight but can tolerate lower light. Do not place this plant in direct sunlight as this can scorch the foliage.
  3. Fertilizer. Fertilize Philodendron Imperial Red during the active growing season which is typically spring through summer with a natural or synthetic fertilizer. Depending on where you live, you may need to fertilize year round if you notice new growth year-round.
  4. Humidity. Philodendron Imperial Red are tropical plants and love humidity at around 60% but can live in lower humidity conditions. I have mine living in 30% humidity which is average household humidity.

Here’s what you need to know to keep your Philodendron Imperial Red thriving in its new home.


Philodendron Imperial Red thrive in bright indirect sunlight but can tolerate lower light.

A room with east, south, or west facing sun is great for this tropical houseplant. You can also place this plant under plant grow lights.

If you don’t have adequate sunlight for your plants, I recommend using plant grow lights. I love and use T5 Barrina grow lights and have them running on a timer for 13 hours every day.


Water Philodendron Imperial Red when the top inch or two of soil is dry. Make sure to water your plant thoroughly. You’ll know if you’re watering correctly if you see water coming out through the bottom of the pot.

If you tend to be an underwaterer or overwaterer, invest in an affordable moisture meter which will tell you when the soil is dry or moist. I really believe moisture meters has saved so many of my houseplants from being overwatered.

Since this plant likes to stay moist, well-draining soil is a must.


Philodendron Imperial Red thrive in well-draining soil just like most houseplants. An easy soil recipe is 2 parts coco coir, 2 parts perlite, and 1 part orchid bark.

If you don’t want to make your own houseplant mix, use something like Fox Farm Ocean Forest potting mix. This mix contain a high quality blend of the best ingredients for your houseplants.

You can also grow this plant in a leca or lechuza pon substrate if you prefer a semi-hydroponic method of growing plants. Philodendron are easy houseplants to grow in semi-hydroponic.


Philodendron Imperial Red thrive in regular home temperatures of 70°F to 80°F.

Just like other houseplants, do not place this plant in a spot that does get drafts (keep away from windows, doors that lead to the outside, or vents).


Philodendron Imperial Red enjoy fertilizer during the active growing season. Fertilizer gives your plant the nutrients it needs to thrive in your home.

Fertilize your Philodendron Imperial Red when the plant is actively growing. For me, that’s year round since I live in a place that doesn’t really get winter. Fertilize using a slow release granule fertilizer or an organic or synthetic fertilizer.

I use both Key Grow Solutions Blue Butterfly and Dyna Gro. I pick one of those fertilizers and get about a spoonful and mix it into a gallon of water. I use this gallon of water to feed all of my houseplants.

If you are using a non-organic, synthetic fertilizer, it’s always recommended to dilute the recipe in half because of how strong the N-P-K ratios are. If you are using an organic fertilizer, you typically do not have to worry about diluting the recipe because the N-P-K ratio is so low.


Philodendron Imperial Red are tropical houseplants and love higher than average household humidity. Humidity levels between 60%-80% are ideal but I’ve also found this plant can live in normal humidity conditions. Like I mentioned earlier, my plant is growing in average household humidity of about 30%.

If you find that you want your plant to live in higher humidity conditions, read these tips to increase humidity.

  • Put high humidity plants together in a group. When you group high humidity plants around each other, this creates a humid microclimate. The plants will continue to release moisture around each other through transpiration.
  • Place a pebble tray underneath your high humidity plants. I purchased small rocks at a hardware store and placed them on a planter tray. Place your planter on the tray. Put enough water in the tray until it hits the planter bottom and the water will evaporate around the plant.
  • Get a humidifier and run it daily near all of your houseplants.
  • Mist your plants. Some people say this doesn’t help, but I think it does so I continue to do it.
  • Place high-humidity plants in your bathroom. I place certain high humidity plants in my shower and they’re thriving.
Use a hygrometer to check the humidity around your plants.


Propagating a Philodendron Imperial Red is more difficult than other houseplants because of how close together the leaves are. To propagate this plant, you can take stem cuttings or use the method of tissue culture.

Common Questions

Are Philodendron Imperial Red rare?

Philodendron Imperial Red aren’t that rare but I’ve also found them to be difficult to find in person. I bought my houseplant at a local plant shop. I’ve yet to see this plant at any big box stores.

How much is a Philodendron Imperial Red?

Philodendron Imperial Red costs about $15 for a 4 inch pot.

How do you care for Philodendron Imperial Red?

To make sure your Philodendron Imperial Red thrives in its new home, place it in a spot getting bright indirect sunlight. If you want to see the fastest growth possible you can place this plant in a spot getting higher humidity, but it’s not necessary.

These plants were bred to be incredibly easy houseplants so they don’t really need all of that extra care.

Are Philodendron Imperial Red fast growers?

Philodendron Imperial Red are medium to fast growers.

Do Philodendron Imperial Red climb?

Philodendron Imperial Red aren’t really known for climbing but instead known for being a statement houseplant that takes up a lot of floor space.

Are Philodendron Imperial Red poisonous?

Yes, this plant is highly toxic to both animals and humans.

Why is my Philodendron Imperial Red yellow?

Philodendrons are known to turn yellow when the plant is not receiving adequate water.

Use a moisture meter to figure out the correct time to water your plant. If you stick your finger in about 1-2 inches and the plant is dry, it’s time to water thoroughly.

Why is my Philodendron Imperial Red leaves curling?

Philodendron Imperial Red leaves curl when the plant is thirsty. Make sure you’re watering your plant on a proper schedule.

Do Philodendron Imperial Red like to be misted?

You don’t need to mist your Philodendron Imperial Red. These are easygoing houseplants that don’t need a ton of extra care.

How fast does a Philodendron Imperial Red grow?

This plant isn’t a slow grower and not necessarily as fast as Philodendron Brasil. I’d say it’s medium speed.

Does Philodendron Imperial Red fenestrate?

Philodendron Imperial Red leaves do not fenestrate. Instead the plant gets larger and covers more floor space.

How big does a Philodendron Imperial Red grow?

Philodendron Imperial Red can grow up to four feet tall depending on the conditions the plant is growing in.

How do you know if your Philodendron Imperial Red is happy?

If your Philodendron Imperial Red plant is growing and the leaves are maintaining its beautiful dark foliage, your plant is most likely happy.

Is Imperial Red toxic to pets?

Yes, this plant is toxic to pets and humans.  You can get more information on toxic and pet-friendly plants at ASPCA here.

Common pests

I haven’t had any pest pressures on my Philodendron Imperial Red, but some of the most common pests for this houseplant include spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and aphids. These pests can hurt your plant which is why prevention is key.

To help prevent any pest infestations on your plant, here’s what to do.

  • Inspect your houseplant before bringing it home.
  • Treat your new houseplant with a natural or synthetic pesticide when you bring it home.
  • Quarantine your houseplant away from your other houseplants for at least two weeks.
  • Regularly check your plants for pests. This is also a great time to clean your plants.
  • Cut off dead leaves as dead matter can attract bugs.

If you find a plant that has pests on it, quarantine the plant away from your houseplants and clean the plant with an organic or nonorganic insecticide. I use Bonide Systemic on my plants as a preventative and Captain Jacks to kill pests.

I spray the plant and wipe down the leaves and stems twice a week for a month until I know the infestation is gone. Make sure to check all of your other plants as it is easy for pests to spread.

Bonide Systemic Granules are a great way to get rid of unwanted pests.

Common issues

Brown tips: If your Philodendron Imperial Red has brown tips, this may mean you aren’t giving your plant enough sunlight. Place your plant in a spot getting bright indirect sunlight or under plant grow lights.

Yellowing leaves: If your Philodendron Imperial Red has yellow leaves, this can mean you’re not watering your plant correctly. Invest in a moisture meter which will help you water your plant at the correct times.

Curly leaves: If your Philodendron Imperial Red has curling leaves, this may be due to the plant being thirsty or being placed in a spot that is drafty. Do not place this plant near a door leading to the outside, window, or vent.

Key Points To Remember

Philodendron Imperial Red are stunning plants that don’t ask for much. These are great beginner houseplants that can tolerate any household humidity and even tolerate lower sunlight.

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