Philodendron Black Cardinal is a tri-shaded, tropical plant that has large, oval leaves. It has charismatic foliage that changes color as it matures. The bronze-colored, new leaves turn dark green in later days and eventually turn deep black as they mature. The burgundy stems hold the leaves upright. The mesmerizing development of its foliage makes this plant a popular Philodendron.
It is a perennial plant that belongs to the group of non-vining Philodendrons; it is a basal and mounding plant. This striking hybrid is an easy-to-grow plant that can be grown indoors without much hassle. Its low-light requirements make it a perfect fit for shady places, such as offices and bathrooms.
- Family: Araceae
- Subfamily: Aroideae
- Genus: Philodendron
Origin and Distribution
This lovely hybrid was developed and cultivated in Florida. It is native to the Caribbean and the tropical regions of America.
Philodendron Black Cardinal Features
Foliage and Stem
This plant has variegated leaves. Its leaves change colors as they mature. Fresh, new leaves are bronze-colored. Their shade changes to dark green. Mature leaves are black in color that shines in bright light. These leaves grow in a rosette pattern. They are held up by multiple maroon stems growing out of the base.
Philodendrons are popular as houseplants because they all are evergreen. They are never empty of their large, green leaves. They do not shed their leaves all at once; their foliage remains fresh, green, and functional throughout the year.
This gorgeo has an average height; this is what most houseplant-growers want. This plant attains a height of 2.5 to 3 feet. It can be placed in any spot; it can embellish every corner with its ideal height. Philodendron Black Cardinal can be placed in the living room, office space, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, patio, or home garden; it will adorn all these spaces.
Growing a Philodendron Black Cardinal in your home is an excellent choice because, along with being beautiful, it is also a natural purifier. It removes unnecessary toxins from the air, such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, ammonia, and trichloroethylene. It will keep your indoors fresh and clean.
Not too hot, nor too cold; this is all that this plant demands. It cannot tolerate high temperatures. It must be protected from the direct sun; direct light exposure can scorch its striking leaves. It is not frost-hardy either. It cannot tolerate a temperature lower than 10°C. If you are growing this beauty outdoors, you must move it indoors during winters.
Any higher humidity level is never too much for this tropical cultivar. It loves high humidity levels. It thrives and flourishes if the moisture in its air is higher, just like in rainforests. However, low humidity can affect the freshness of its leaves. You should mist the plant often to regulate the humidity levels around it. Plant groupings and pebble trays are also effective for this purpose.
This beautiful, leafy Philodendron Black Cardinal is quite drought-resistant. It can retain some water in its leaves, which is why it can survive in times of low water availability. If you are going on a vacation, you need not worry about your Philo drying up so soon; it will survive through easily.
Philodendrons are surprisingly tough plants; they can tolerate a considerable amount of neglect. These are also tolerant of external pressure. But make sure that this black beauty is not being pressed upon by any hard object.
Disease and Pest Resistance
This classy plant does not attract many pests. The only creatures that may inhabit your Philo are aphids and mealybugs. You can get rid of mealybugs by rubbing the plant with a cotton pad dipped in rubbing alcohol. If you do not want to risk your plant for any pest attack, apply insecticidal soap periodically.
Philodendron Black Cardinal is a fast-growing plant that reaches its mature height in no time. New leaves and buds grow at a faster rate, just like the foliage of other Philodendrons. You can increase its growth rate by applying an appropriate fertilizer to its soil every month.
The recommended USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this black beauty are 9 to 11.
This tropical plant, despite being all beautiful, is quite toxic. The fluid in its large, exquisite leaves is poisonous to animals and humans. This fluid contains crystals of calcium oxalate that can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth and other parts of GIT.
Handsome appearance and long life are two appreciated features of this Philodendron Black Cardinal. This plant is quite durable, and it can live inside your rooms for quite many years.
Philodendrons plants are never difficult to grow. This plant can even be grown by beginners who are just learning to grow plants. This plant is a low-maintenance plant that does not need much attention. You can ever grow this plant to learn the basics of gardening because it is so easy to grow.
Every perennial plant needs some time to rest and conserve its energy. This resting stage is called dormancy. Just like other Philos, this plant also goes dormant in winters till the beginning of the next growing season.
Philodendron Black Cardinal Care
Philodendron Black Cardinal care involves weekly waterings and frequent misting. This tropical beauty needs bright, indirect light and 18°C to 25°C temperature. It must be grown in a room with 70% or above humidity. It must be fertilized every month in the growing season and every two months in winters.
This black Philodendron has the same requirements for watering as its other fellow species. It prefers to be watered only when its topsoil gets completely dry. The best way is to check the dryness by the finger rule. Put your index fingers into the soil and see if it is still damp or not. You can water it once or twice a week according to how fast its soil dries.
If you do not want your plant to have droopy leaves, water it just right; over-watering and under-watering can lead to floppy leaves.
Although an all-purpose potting mix suits most plants, this black tropical beauty does not grow well in such a compacted and congested soil mix. This is because compacted soil can retain a considerable amount of water, and thus, it can lead to fungal diseases.
Well-drained, loose, organic soil is preferable for this plant. African violet soil mix is what your plant will love; however, you can also make a potting mix on your own by mixing equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. These ingredients will increase aeration and will let the water drain quickly.
This Philodendron Black Cardinal variegated needs morning and late afternoon sun for its shiny and glossy leaves. However, keep it away from direct sunlight in midday; it can harm its exquisite foliage.
You should place it in a spot where it receives bright, indirect sunlight; partial shade is best for its proper growth. This gorgeous plant will do well in an east-facing window sill; it will adorn the whole room for that bright spot. If several leaves turn yellow at the same time, there is a chance that your plant is getting more than enough light exposure.
Philodendron Black Cardinal grows well in a temperature range of 18°C to 25°C. This is an average room temperature of a household in the tropical region. This plant needs a temperature of about 15°C at night. This average temperature range makes this Philo black cardinal a perfect choice as an indoor houseplant; it will thrive indoors.
This stunning Philodendron must be placed in a highly humid atmosphere. It is better if you provide it above 70% humidity. This high humidity level is necessary for the lush growth of its gorgeous foliage. The normal humidity level in houses is far lower than the actual requirement of this pretty Philo. You must regulate and increase its humidity. This can be done by misting the plant frequently. This practice increases the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.
This fast-growing beauty needs to be fertilized every month with essential nutrients. It needs macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) for healthy growth. The fertilizer should also be rich in micronutrients, calcium, and magnesium. The recommended fertilizer for this non-vining plant is the slow-release, liquid fertilizer. Always dilute the fertilizer before adding it to the soil.
You should feed this Philodendron Black Cardinal every month in the growing seasons, summer and spring. The feeding frequency must be cut down in winters; it must not be fertilized before 6-8 weeks. If the growth rate of your plant is slower than normal, it indicates that your plant is not getting enough fertilizer.
Grooming and Pruning
This eye-catching plant is popular for its showy leaves. These leaves must be groomed and trimmed from time to time to maintain a striking appearance. You should prune it before the growing season or in fall; yellow and old leaves must be removed before the growth of new ones. Slight trimming can also be done if your plant has become leggy and is taking up extra space. You can prune your plant in any shape you like.
Black Philodendron does not need occasional re-potting as it does not grow much taller. It needs to be re-potted once it outgrows its pot size. This happens after every 2-3 years. Repotting this gorgeous fella is as easy as repotting other Philodendrons. Here are some tricks to help you out.
- Water the plant one day before the repotting process to reduce stress.
- Check for any infected roots.
- Trim the old leaves.
- Always repot the plant in a pot that is at least 2 inches bigger than the previous one.
Philodendron Black Cardinal is a complex hybrid that is difficult to propagate through seeds. However, you can easily propagate it through stem cuttings and plant division.
- The stem cutting method is similar to the propagation of other Philos. You just have to take a healthy stem cutting by using a sharp blade and plant it in soil medium or water.
- When you are repotting the plant, you can divide it into two parts and grow them as separate plants. This way is the easiest way to propagate your Philo, and you will not even have to do the ‘wait’.
Now that plants have become a significant part of the indoor décor, you must choose a plant that is perfect in all aspects. Philodendron Black Cardinal is one such plant. It is a beautiful, low-maintenance plant that happens to be a natural purifier too. What better choice could you have? This plant will keep your indoors beautiful and clean at the same time. This gorgeo can be grown in any indoor space or corner. It can be grown even in a shaded-office space; it can lighten up any spot.