Philodendron Bloody Mary is a beautiful, glossy-green plant with long thick leaves. These plants have stems of a unique burgundy color with leaves that grow abundantly in all directions. This particular growing habit allows you to style it in various ways around the house. But as beautiful as they are, Bloody Mary Philodendron is a rare species, and it is hard to get your hands on it. Nevertheless, these gorgeous plants are a stunning addition to the collection of every houseplant-lover and have always been popular in demand.
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Philodendron
About the Genus Philodendron
Philodendron is a large group of flowering plants in the Araceae family. As of 2015, the genus officially has over 400 species, becoming the second largest genus in the family.
Historically, philodendrons were first collected during the 1600s. Georg Marcgraf reported one of the earliest collections. However, the plant was scientifically discovered and classified by Charles Plumier. Ever since he collected around six species of the genus, many more have been found. To this day, the search continues, and the classification of the genus keeps evolving. Currently, the genus is divided into three subgenera, namely Philodendron, Meconostigma, and Pteromischum. Philodendrons are also divided into several sections and subsections. The list goes on and on.
However, all of these plants are unique and different from each other but equally famous because of their beautiful foliage and ornamental characteristics.
Origin and Distribution
Philodendrons have a different distribution from the tropical parts of America and the West Indies to the swamps and riverbanks of Australia, Africa, and Asia. The native origin of Bloody Mary Philodendron is said to be Central America.
Bloody Mary Philodendron Features
Foliage and Stem
As mentioned before, this plant is famous for its beautiful foliage and colorful stems. The new growing leaves sometimes start developing with a reddish color and then grow up to become their typical green selves. The stems are long and red, and they grow leaves abundantly. These leaves are smooth, veined, long, and pointy, growing in all directions. As they mature, the leaves grow longer to such a length that they hang downwards covering the pot.
Interestingly, these leaves have a red-burgundy undertone develop filled with a red-colored fluid. This particular feature is why they are named as Bloody Mary.
Fortunately, for people who are considering growing this plant, this species is of an evergreen nature. It means that if given the proper Bloody Mary Philodendron care, it will stay beautiful and healthy all year long regardless of the seasons that pass by.
Under the right care and environment, these Aroid plants can grow as tall as 10 to 12 feet and spread as wide as 9 inches. This growth, however, depends on the individual growing capacity of the plant and how you take care of it. The space you give this plant to grow also determines how tall it will be. Plants that are put away in a congested area tend to slow down in terms of growth and do not grow as tall as they should.
Ideally, these plants like to live in moderate temperatures. So, if the temperature fluctuates too low or too high from their range, they tend to get upset and do not grow as fast.
Interestingly enough, even though these plants do not die immediately under dry conditions, they do not mind a little humidity around them either. They have an average tolerance to moisture.
Since it can do well without water in the air and under warm temperature, Philodendron Bloody Mary will not die immediately under drought-like conditions. Still, it is best if you do not test its patience. It might be ok to leave it unattended under warm temperatures for a couple of days, but any longer than that, and the plant may start to look unwell.
The thick, glossy leaves and sturdy stems may be able to tolerate external pressure to some extent. They may not die right away if stepped on or kept under pressure for some time, but keeping them in a congested space may stunt their growth in the long run. Hence, it is suggested that you keep these plants in an open space so that they can grow without being pressurized by any external objects. When these plants are juvenile, make sure you keep them somewhere safe and high to avoid being stepped on. Keep them especially away from kids and pets so that they are not played with.
Unfortunately, philodendrons are not disease resistant. The most common problems that they face are Erwinia Blight, Pseudomonas Leaf Spot, and Xanthomonas Leaf Spot. Their symptoms include yellow leaves, lesions, holes, and slowed-down growth of the plant. If your plant is living under inadequate conditions or extreme environments, it is especially prone to catch one of these diseases.
Thus, it is straightforward to avoid these problems. All you have to do is make sure that the plant is under the right conditions, and all of its requirements are being fulfilled in the right amounts. Take the opportunity to inspect and examine the plants every time you trim or groom it. Make sure there are no signs of abnormal growth or discoloration around the plant’s leaves or stems.
The most common, and most annoying, pest attacks that a philodendron plant can encounter are by aphids and mealybugs. With these, the earlier you catch them, the better you can manage the situation and reduce the damage. Keep inspecting the plant now and then to make sure that they are no unwanted visitors hiding under the leaves or around the stems. In case you do find something of the sort, you can use insecticide or pesticide to get rid of this problem.
Make sure that you isolate the plant first so that whether it’s a disease or a pest attack, none of the other plants are affected by it.
Under the right Bloody Mary philodendron care, these plants are reasonably fast-growing and show quick progress in terms of size and health, especially in their growing seasons. Slowing down of growth should be taken seriously, and the underlying problem should be solved as soon as possible.
Another reason why you should keep these plants high up and away from pets and children is that it is highly toxic if ingested. It may cause mild to severe symptoms depending on how much of it is eaten. These symptoms may range from stomach ache to a swollen tongue, and inability to breathe correctly.
Apart from being evergreen, and continuously lush throughout the year, these plants are also of a perennial category, which means that they have a life cycle lasting for years if given the proper care. This durability allows them to be a great ornamental plant so that you don’t have to worry about replacing them soon after you put them in the house.
Given that it does have some particular requirements in terms of temperature, humidity, and water, it is not exactly the lowest in regards of maintenances. However, it does not involve anything special for its care either, so it will not cost you more money, time, or effort than any other plant in your collection.
Philodendron Bloody Mary Care
Moderate temperatures, indirect light, and frequent watering are essential to keep these plants green and healthy. You can fertilize them during the growing seasons and re-pot them as necessary. The plant is not hard to take care of but is very particular about some of its requirements.
The water requirements of this plant vary with the season and the climate. During the warm, windy seasons, the watering sessions become more frequent because the soil dries out quickly. Keep the soil moist by watering frequently yet adequately. During winter and rainy seasons, it is best if you allow the soil to dry out before watering it again completely. The plants tend to be sensitive to over-watering during this season, so you need to be extra careful.
A typical, high-quality, well-drained soil substance is perfect for a Bloody Mary Philodendron. No water must accumulate around the rules inside the soil, so make sure that the components and texture of the soil are such that it does not get water-clogged quickly. A pH between 5.6 to 7.3 is ideal for these plants.
Keep your Bloody Mary under bright lights, but make sure that no scorching rays are hitting its leaves directly. These plants adapt well to low lights but certainly cannot tolerate direct sunlight. The leaves get sunburnt quickly, so you need to take special care of where you are putting the plant inside the house in terms of a light it is receiving. It is advised that you keep the plant in a naturally well-lit room or behind sheer curtains or shade cloth.
The optimum temperature range for these plants is 16 to 24 degrees Celsius. Any lower or higher than this range will make the plant unwell. Thus, make sure you shift your Philodendron to a more suitable spot as soon as the temperatures start to fluctuate during chilly winters or harsh summers.
For this species, it is all about moderation. They prefer being kept hydrated enough to not dry out during the warm, windy days, but also do not complain if the weather becomes a little dry for some time. However, keeping it under low humidity for a more extended period of time has its consequences. Mist the plant during the hot, windy summers, and make sure that your plant’s foliage does not look thirsty or dry.
Because it is a fast-growing plant, fertilizers can help boost it’s growing speed by several folds. Feeding during the growing seasons of spring and summer can especially help stimulate new growth and improve the health status of the plant, however, during the winter season, shift to a monthly routine of fertilizing. You can feed the plant with basic houseplant food. It does not require any special fancy fertilizers. However, make sure you do not opt for cheap fertilizers as those contain harmful salts that accumulate in the soil and kill your plant silently.
Similarly, because it is fast-growing, Bloody Mary Philodendron tends to outgrow its current pot pretty quickly. In such a case, it is crucial that you re-pot the plant as soon as possible. A root-bound philodendron slows down its growth. Every time you think that the roots have become compact, and have formed a tight ball inside the pot, prepare a bigger pot, at least 2 to 3 inches larger than the current one, and re-pot the plant, preferably during the late winter or spring seasons.
Grooming and Pruning
It is a good idea to keep your plants clean and groomed all the time. Not only will this make them look healthy and happy, but it will also stimulate healthy hair new growth. Prune off excess growths, remove dead leaves, and mist the plant to wipe it clean. Take this opportunity to inspect the plant thoroughly to make sure there are no best or diseases threatening the species.
Cultivation and Propagation
These plants can be propagated by dividing them into rhizomes, tubers or bulbs. You can even use stem cuttings for breeding this species. You can propagate them in both, moist soil or water. Simply choose whichever method suits you best. The best time to do this is during the spring or early summer season.
Propagate Through Rhizomes:
- Divide the plant appropriately.
- Place it in a prepared pot with suitable soil mix.
- Now put the pot under suggested conditions. Water and feed it frequently.
Propagate via Cuttings
- Sterilize and sanitize your tools and pieces of equipment. Also, remember to wear protective garments so that you don’t hurt yourself.
- Cut off a piece from the stem of the plant with a knife or blade, at least 2 to 3 inches long.
- If you want to propagate this stem cutting in water, simply fill up a jar with water. Make sure you fill it up to 1 inch below the rim.
- Some people also suggest leaving the water sitting overnight to let the chlorine dissipate first.
- Place the cutting in the jar. Remember to submerge at least one or two nodes in the water while two to three leaves are sticking out of it.
- Place the jar of water in a warm, well-lit room. Let it grow. You can change the water regularly every 2 to 3 days.
- Once you start seeing roots developing, you can shift the plant to a soil pot.
- If you plan to propagate the stem cutting in soil, simply put the cutting in a prepared soil mixture and put the pot under optimum conditions.
- Water it appropriately and shift it to a bigger pot once you see proper root development.
Day 1-7: Place your cutting in the desired medium and place it under appropriate conditions.
Week 2-3: Visible Roots will start to grow at this point, in both the soil and water-propagated Philodendrons. Water and feed the plant generously, but do not overdo it.
Month 2-4: You can now transfer the baby plant to a bigger pot with prepared soil mix. Treat it like a mature plant and water it accordingly.
Displaying Bloody Mary Philodendron Plant
These beautiful plants look gorgeous, sitting in an empty corner. They can be statement plants when fully mature, so keep them in a spot where its beautiful foliage can be appreciated. As the leaves start to grow downwards after a particular age, Bloody Mary Philodendron looks excellent sitting on high shelves and in hanging baskets. Just make sure you keep it out of the reach of kids and children.
Bloody Mary Philodendron For Sale
It is particularly hard to get your hands on this species because it is rare and always in demand. However, if you do find it for sale, remember to properly inspect the plant under the leaves and behind the stems to make sure it is perfectly healthy.
Philodendron Bloody Mary is a beautifully lush plant that is easy to style and maintain inside the house. Even though it is not exactly low maintenance, it does not require any special or fancy care either. As it matures, it develops into a beautiful climber, aroid plant that becomes an ornamental statement structure inside any room. Just make sure that you keep it away from pets and children because it does not tolerate any external pressure and is also very toxic if ingested accidentally.