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Burle Marx Philodendron

The Philodendron spp. of family Araceae is an excellent ornamental plant in gardens, easy to care, which can be also used as potted houseplant. It is a perennial evergreen plant with diversified leaf shapes and leaf colors.

Burle marx philodendron is named after Roberto Burle Marx, a noted landscape architect. It has longer and more glossy leaves than the parent plant. This hybrid cannot survive frost and is most often grown as an evergreen houseplant, although it makes for a good groundcover in warm climates. Since it is a climbing plant, it dangles delightfully from hanging baskets.

Condition Requirement

Water and Hardiness
Native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, burle marx philodendron enjoys a warm and humid growth environment and is unhardy. The suitable temperature for growth is 20 to 30 ℃. In winter, the temperature should be above 10 to 15 ℃ and the relative air humidity should be larger than 80%. It likes an environment with high humidity, so dry environments should be avoided and remember to water it in time.

Burle marx philodendron likes sufficient filtered light or slight shade. When planted indoors, it is suitable to be put at a place in front of a window with bright sunlight, good ventilation and no strong direct sunlight, which is 51 to 102 cm away from the window. When it is planted in a garden, it is recommended to plant it besides a tree or a rack for climbing. Variegated varieties need better light conditions. In case of insufficient sunlight, the color of its leaves will fade, affecting its growth as well.

Burle marx philodendron needs a loose, fertile and sandy culture medium and the suitable pH value is 5.5-5.6. The formula ratio of culture medium can be 1/2 peat + 1/4 perlite +1/4 garden soil, and special culture soil for Philodendron spp. can also be directly bought. Adding humus to the culture medium will make the plant grow better.

Care Guide

Burle marx philodendron is often propagated by cuttage. Cut its stem into 2-4 sections, insert them to moist sand, and they will take root at 20 to 30 ℃. Division is also a common propagation method. Separate the rooted seedlings in the growth period and transplant them. The spacing is preferably above 20 cm so that the plants can be fully stretched. It is preferable to add little nitrogen fertilizer to the medium to promote their growth.

Burle marx philodendron likes a moist environment. Soil should be kept moist and plant should be watered thoroughly. Burle marx philodendron rarely hibernates, so sufficient water supply should be ensured in all seasons. It is recommended to water it three times a week and often spray water on the plant and its surroundings for humidification. It is recommended to water them in the early morning. In addition, it is preferable to wipe off the residual water on the leaves, so as to effectively prevent the leaves from being burned by sunlight or breeding germs. Tap water should be avoided as far as possible which contains dissolved minerals, and it is best to use rainwater or distilled water instead.

Burle marx philodendron likes fertilizer and it is recommended to add some slow-release fertilizer in the culture medium when repotting every year. In addition, fertilizer should be added regularly, for example, spraying thin liquid fertilizer once every 2 weeks. Watering should be suspended 1 day before fertilization. 2 hours after fertilization, spray leaves with clean water to remove residual fertilizer, so as not to damage the leaves.

Burle marx philodendron does not need fine pruning since it climbs and the natural plant type is pretty good. It is recommended to cut off the withered or diseased leaves, and dead or rot roots when repotting and changing soil so as to avoid nutrient consumption and promote the growth of new flowers and leaves.

The leaves of burle marx philodendron can be harvested to be the decoration to other flowers in a vase. The best harvest time is morning or evening rather than the hot noon. The water content of the plant is high in the morning and the plant has accumulated a lot of nutrients after a day of photosynthesis in the evening. Therefore, the plant harvested at these two time points can have a relatively long vase life.

If burle marx philodendron is too dense, it can be divided when repotting. The too dense plants should be separated and it is better to have 2-3 clusters in each flowerpot. It is recommended to divide the plant once every 3 years or so. Without division in a long time, its growth will be affected.

Seasonal Precautions
In summer, attention should be paid to keep the soil moist, foliage spraying can be done frequently and fertilizer should be added. At this time, burle marx philodendron grows vigorously. In case of water and fertilizer insufficiency, the lower leaves are easy to turn yellow and fall off. In winter, the plant grows slowly and the water can be reduced. It should be placed at a bright place indoors for care and a high room temperature should be maintained so as to prevent the leaves from fade.

Common Problems

Why do the lower leaves of burle marx philodendron fall off?
The cause may be lack of sunlight or water. Provide it with proper growing condition, and cuttage or ramets can be used for regeneration. The bare stem can be placed on the surface and then proper sunlight and fertilizer should be given according to the Care Guide. This method can quickly improve its ornamental property, but it cannot be used for a long time.

Why does not burle marx philodendron take root as for cuttage?
In terms of cuttage, the plant with a bare base is hard to take root. The propagation method of air layering (peel the branch in a ring, wrap it in a plastic film, and fill in moist culture medium in the gap) can be adopted. After rooting, the branch can be cut at the place of rooting and then transplanted in a flowerpot.
Why does burle marx philodendron produce abnormal leaves?
The leaves of burle marx philodendron are susceptible to variation in both high and low temperatures, resulting in a change in leave shape. The leaf shape change is generally irreversible and it requires pruning.

Why do the leaves of burle marx philodendron turn yellow or fade?
The causes may be insufficient sunlight, excessive fertilizer, too much water, and long period of drought soil, poor drainage or permeability, and low temperature damage. Leaf discoloration is reversible and it should be given appropriate sunlight and fertilizer according to the Care Guide. The low temperature environment should be avoided and it should be kept away from the air conditioning fan. If the leaves turn yellow and are discolored seriously, they can also be pruned to save nutrients.

How to deal with root rot?
Reduce water supply and control the amount of daily watering. Replace the flowerpot or transplanting, replace the soil to well-drained and well permeable culture medium and use suitable materials according to the recommendations in the Care Guide. Avoid too wet soil due to water accumulation, ensure smooth drainage at flowerpot bottom, and avoid water accumulation in the tray. It is also recommended to prune the root system with scissors in time and cut off the rotten part. It may not be salvageable in case of serious root rot.

Why do the leaf tips of burle marx philodendron wither?
The causes may be too low air humidity; long-time drought and water insufficiency of soil; excessive pesticides or fertilizers. The leaf tip withering is generally irreversible and the withered tips can be gently pruned with scissors. If the leaves wither and fold and the soil surface is dry, the plant may be lack of water and needs to be watered in time. If the leaf tip is yellow and the soil surface is wet, it may be caused by too much water. Standing water in the tray at the flowerpot bottom should be poured in time or some materials should be padded on the flowerpot base so as to drain excessive water.

How to deal with the dark color leaves?
The leaves in dark color may be caused by fertilizer insufficiency. It is recommended to add a little more nitrogen fertilizer to make the leaves bright, or to prune off excess branches and leaves to concentrate the supply of nutrients. Dark leaves may also be caused by water insufficiency. If the leaves are covered by dust, it is best to gently wipe the leaves with wet soft cloth, or dip diluted beer to wipe the leaves, which also plays the effect of fertilization.

Pests and Diseases

Leaf Spot
Leaf spots often appear in the warm and wet season in late spring. The disease symptom are that there are elliptic, long and light reddish brown spots on the leaves, and then they are enlarged to irregular large patches with black spots. In case of this disease, care should be taken to improve the ventilation conditions around the plant to avoid excessive humidity. The diseased branches and leaves should be removed in time or mulch should be replaced or added to prevent the spread of pathogens. The Bouillie bordelaise or a special fungicidal fungicide can be sprayed to effectively control the leaf spots.

Anthracnose often occurs on new branches and tender leaves. The disease symptom is the leaf strips, which are water-stain-shaped in dark brown. They look like scalds by boiled water. And later, they turn yellow brown and in the shape of moire, and the margins are disease strips are not obvious. In case of this disease, care should be taken to improve the ventilation conditions around the plant to avoid excessive local humidity. The diseased branches and leaves should be removed in time or mulch should be replaced or added to prevent the spread of pathogens. Bouillie bordelaise or a special fungicide can be sprayed to control anthracnose.

Mosaic Disease
The mosaic disease may appear in all seasons. The disease symptoms are that patterns form at the leaf segment, there may be strips on the plants, and necrotic spots may appear in case of severe disease. This disease is dispersed via sap. In case of this disease, the ventilation conditions around the plant should be improved to avoid excessive humidity and the diseased branches and leaves should be removed in a timely manner. Disinfection should be carried out properly.

Spider Mites
Spider mites often appear in warm and wet seasons. If the leaves are red and then yellow, the plant may be affected by spider mites. It is sure that it is affected by spider mites when there are 5 mm insects on the leaf back and some spider-web structures. The leaf backs should be washed with water and then sprayed with a special pesticide to remove mites. The spider mites can only be completely eliminated after several times.

Aphids often gather at the tender stems and leaves of plants and are visible to the naked eye. Aphids are easy to appear in case of long-time sunlight insufficiency. Water can be used to wash in case of a small amount of aphids. In case of a large amount, a special pesticide can be used to kill aphids.

Scale Insects
Scale insects often appear in the hot season in summer and they gather at the tender stems and leaves. Water can be used to wash in case of a small amount of aphids. In case of a large amount, a special pesticide can be used to kill aphids.

Other Uncommon Pests or Diseases
Moreover, there are some less common pests and diseases listed below that need your attention
Bacterial Leaf Spot


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