Philodendron Rojo Congo
Scientific name: Philodendron tatei ssp Melanochlorum
Synonym: Red Congo Plant, Philodendron Congo Rojo
The Philodendron Rojo Congo is a fabulous shrub forming hybrid of the ever-popular Philodendron houseplant species. They have gorgeous large foliage that starts out a deep burgundy red hue and in time matures to dark green, creating contrast and texture in any plant decor arrangement.
Philodendrons are native to South America and often are found growing in the understories of the jungle, in warm humid conditions. However, The Rojo Congo is a cultivated species that is a cross between the Imperial Red Philodendron and the Tatei, which in turn are themselves both hybrids, but still loves the same conditions as its wild family members, making for a fairly easy-care plant with a fuss-free attitude to indoor living.
Toxicity: Philodendrons are known to be toxic to both pets and humans if consumed.
- Brown edges on leaves: There are many causes for dry leaf tips on Philodendron Rojo Congo but the most common cause is underwatering and dry air. Even though Philodendrons can be drought-tolerant they prefer their soil to stay barely moist to thrive. Prolonged exposure to dry soil will cause brown crisp edging on your houseplant. Rectify this by watering on a more regular basis and checking the soil often to see how dry it is. If watering is not the issue, then dry air can be the cause of leaf tips drying out. This is easily remedied by placing your plant on a pebble tray.
- Yellowing leaves/droopy: Overwatering is the leading cause of houseplant expiration in most homes. Yellowing leaves is the first sign of a plant that is being overwatered. Amend this by allowing your soil to dry out two-thirds of the way before watering again. Be sure that your planter is draining correctly and use the guide of watering weekly during summer months and less often in winter.
- Washed out foliage/ Brown crisp patches: As much as your Philodendron loves bright light, too much direct sunlight can leave your leaves looking dull and washed out. Direct sunlight can also burn the foliage leaving unsightly brown patches on the leaves. Monitor the light around your Philodendron, if it is harsh, relocate your plant to a bright but sheltered spot.
- Stunted growth/small leaves: Your houseplant may not be getting enough light. If the leaves are deep green and your plant has small leaves, this is a clear indication of a lack of light. Philodendron Rojo Congo prefers medium to bright light to thrive, this will also encourage vibrant foliage, so if your plant is not performing well it is best to relocate to a brighter spot.
- Mould or Fungus growing on stem or soil: This can be commonplace with the more shrub or self-heading forms of Philodendron due to lack of air circulation and overly moist soil. It is of utmost importance to not allow the potting medium to become overly saturated and to provide your plant with good airflow. If mould forms, remove gently and sprits down your plant with a fungicide or copper-based solution such as Copper Soap. Then relocate to a position with better air circulation.
- Pests: Pest problems are uncommon with Philodendron, however, stressed houseplants can be susceptible to pest infestations leading to excessive yellowing fronds and leaf drop. Mealybug, scale and spider mites are common indoor plant pests and can weaken your plant relatively quickly if left untreated. Adjust environmental stressors for your house plant and treat infestations with an organic pesticide.
- Origin: The Philodendron Species is native to South America (Rojo Congo is a cultivar)
- Height: Average 60cm height indoors with a spread of 76cm.
- Light: Best with medium to bright filtered light.
- Water: Allow the soil to dry out two-thirds between watering. Prevent prolonged dryness.
- Humidity: Average room humidity is sufficient, will appreciate a Pebble Tray.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 24°C.
- Soil: A well-draining moisture retentive organic potting mix is sufficient.
- Fertilizer: Use a well balanced organic fertilizer once a month during Spring through Summer.
- Repotting: It is best to re-pot your Philodendron Rojo Congo once it has become pot bound or is top-heavy. Re-pot plant into a container one size bigger than its previous container with good drainage. Be sure to use an organically rich well-draining potting mix.
- Propagation: These Plants are generally propagated via seed, however, if your plant produces offshoots these can be separated out once they are at least one third the size of the parent plant and have a viable root system. Re-pot in a planter that is large enough to hold the root ball without being too large. Keep evenly moist and in bright filtered light until well established.