Philodendron Painted Lady Care Infographic

Philodendron Pink Lady is one plant that is on top of most indoor plant collectors due to its bold and striking foliage.

This air-purifying plant eliminates pollutants commonly found in most homes such as formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene and ammonia.

We have prepared a care guide to help you learn all about this beautiful plant, keep reading to find out more.

What Is the Philodendron Painted Lady?

Philodendron Painted Lady is a semi-climbing, variegated plant native to the tropical jungles of Brazil and Mexico.

The plant belonging to the Araceae family is a hybrid of the Philodendron Erubescens Burgundy plant and the Philodendron Erubescens Emerald Queen plant. Philodendron Painted Lady scientific name is Philodendron Erubescens ‘Painted Lady’. 

Philodendron Painted Lady Care

– Water Requirements

The Painted Lady plant has high water requirements and needs to be watered frequently in dry summers. Keep the soil mix evenly moist at all times. Allow the soil to dry out just a bit in between waterings. 

Despite enjoying moist soil most of the time, the plant does not enjoy water-logged soil conditions.

Therefore, it is better to avoid overwatering as it causes root rot and fungus growth around the roots. Reduce the watering frequency in winters as it does not show much new growth and with lower temperatures, water needs also fall. 

The ideal way to water this plant is using the soak and dry method. It means that each time you water the plant, water it thoroughly such that the excess water runs out of the bottom drainage holes. 

Using a moisture meter or by checking the soil each time using your fingers before watering to determine whether the plant needs to be watered. If the soil sticks to your finger, it means that it is still moist and does not need more water. Check it again after a day or two and water only if it feels dry. 

– Light Requirements

Philodendron Painted LadyPhilodendron Painted Lady light requirements are moderate. It prefers medium to bright indirect light to grow well. It can tolerate both direct sunlight and slightly low light conditions but it is recommended to maintain a good balance of both to avoid problems. 

Direct sunlight in the morning and evening is fine but if the sunlight is too harsh in your area, especially in the afternoon, we would recommend keeping the plant in partial shade away from direct sunlight. If bright light is an issue in your home, consider growing the plant under artificial lights. 

– Soil Requirements

Philodendron Pink Lady does not enjoy alkaline soil mixes. It prefers a rich and well-draining soil mix that has lots of organic matter.

Furthemore, you can also use only sphagnum peat moss to grow your Philodendron. Peat moss is a great soilless medium that is airy and moisture-retentive. 

For growing this Philodendron plant in pots or containers, add some sand and perlite to the regular potting soil. You will notice the leaf size increase dramatically if you grow the plant with the support of a trellis or a moss pole. 

To prepare your soil medium, use a mix of potting soil, coco coir, organic compost and some perlite for drainage.

These components will make a balanced soil mix with the right nutrients and aeration. Furthermore, you can also avoid using potting soil and use more coco coir to increase moisture retention. 

Some people suggest using a succulent mix to grow this plant. But succulent mixes are made for dry regions where moisture retention is not an issue. We would recommend preparing a soil mix on your own using coco coir, perlite and bark chips. 

– Temperature Requirements

Temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit work well for this tropical plant’s growth. Bring your plant indoors when the temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not a cold and frost-hardy plant, so bring it indoors as soon as the weather starts to get cold.

Remember to avoid placing your plant near air conditioner vents and heaters as the dry air can cause browning and crisping of the leaf edges. 

– Humidity Requirements

This tropical plant loves to be in high humidity conditions. It thrives in humidity levels between 65 and 80 percent. Regular humidity levels in households are fine but keeping the humidity above 65 percent can improve the plant’s overall growth. 

If you live in a dry area with low humidity, increase humidity levels around your plant by keeping a humidifier or a humidity tray. You can also mist the plant regularly in the summer months to regulate hot temperatures and humidity. 

While misting the plant, be careful not to leave the water sitting on the foliage. Water sitting on the foliage for prolonged periods increases the risk of diseases, pests and fungus.

– Fertilizer Requirements

If you want your Philodendron to have bright green and larger leaves, feed it once a month with good quality, well-balanced fertilizer. At the beginning of the growing season in spring, use a slow-release, all-purpose fertilizer as it reduces the chances of root burn due to a heavy fertilizer dose. 

Ensure you fertilize the plant six inches away from the base to avoid root burn. Remember not to fertilize your plant during the winter months as it hardly grows and goes into dormancy. Fertilizing in winters or overfertilizing can burn the plant’s roots due to salt build-up.

Try to use urea-free fertilizers for your plant as urea has too much nitrogen that can lead to salt build-up and root burn. You can also try using micro seaweed as it has been shown to relieve the plant of stress. 

– Pruning and Repotting

Since it is a slow grower, it does not need frequent pruning and repotting every year. Prune the leaves or stems when you suspect the presence of any pests or diseases.

Repotting is needed every three to four years when the roots take over the entire pot that the plant needs to be shifted to a bigger pot or container. 

Early spring is the best time to repot this plant. To repot it, move to a pot one size bigger than the previous one. Do not replant in a very big pot as large pots make the roots sit in water for long periods, increasing the chances of root rot. 

For healthier root growth, its roots like slightly loose soil around instead of being root-bound. Remember to repot it every few years for best growth results. 


Propagation can be done through stem cuttings, root division and air-layering. You can propagate the cuttings in both water and soil. We have explained the soil propagation method below. Let us take a look at all three methods of propagation. 

– Stem Cutting Propagation

It can seem difficult to propagate a self-heading plant using cuttings. But if your plant has lots of aerial roots and is big enough, you can propagate it easily. Choose a healthy stem with at least two to three nodes and is about four to six inches long. Make a clean cut just below the node.

Remove the bottom leaves if any and leave only the top one or two leaves on. In a freshly prepared soil mix using coco coir, bark chips and perlite, plant the cutting in it making sure that the nodes are dipped in the soil. 

Place this planted cutting in a bright, warm spot away from direct sun. Cover the pot with a transparent, plastic sheet to encourage faster root growth. It will take somewhere between two to four weeks for the roots to start growing. 

– Air Layering Propagation

For the air-layering method, you need the mother plant and some sphagnum moss. Choose the stem from where you want a new plant. Wrap the moss around the node and make sure that the moss that you are wrapping around was soaked in water before. 

The moisture in the moss helps in growing roots around the node and gives rise to a new plant. Cover the moss with a plastic sheet to capture the moisture and keep a small opening for air circulation and prevent rot. Do not wrap the leaves as it will cause rot.

Spray the moss daily for increased moisture and within a few weeks, you will notice the new roots growing.

Once the roots are big enough, remove the moss and take the cutting with the roots by cutting below the node. Plant the cutting in the soil mix and follow the stem cutting propagation method. 

– Root Division

As the main plant matures and grows old, it often grows pups and small plants. You can use these baby plants to make new plants. The success rate is quite high with this method and it also takes the least amount of time to grow new plants from this method. 

Water the plant one day before dividing it. Remove it gently from the soil mix and look for small offshoots around the sides. Separate them gently without hurting the root ball and plant them in separate pots.

Repot the mother plant in the original pot and let the newly potted plants sit in partial shade until they fully acclimatize to the new soil environment. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and do not let it dry out completely. 


– Yellowing and Drooping of Leaves

Droopy leaves indicate that either the plant is getting too much water or not enough water. Yellow leaves are most often a sign of overwatering due to lack of drainage and damp soil. When the roots are suffocated, it shows in the form of yellow and droopy foliage. 

Prevent this unsightly problem by following a regular watering schedule watering the plant only when the top few inches feel dry while touching. Make sure that the pot you are using has sufficient drainage and that there is no blockage at the bottom. 

If you are a beginner, try to use terracotta pots instead of the plastic ones as the mud or clay in these pots helps in absorbing the excess moisture from the soil and helps prevent overwatering-related issues like rot and fungal diseases. 

– Brown Spots on the Foliage

If you notice brown marks on the leaves and their edges crisping up, your plant is likely getting too much light. Exposure to harsh sunlight causes this problem by burning the leaves. Initially, the leaves will turn yellow with slight browning and over time harsh sunlight can also kill your plant.

To prevent this problem, bring your plant to a shaded spot where it receives indirect light throughout the day. If you are growing the Philodendron outdoors, cover it with a shade cloth to prevent burns in the afternoon. 

– Bacterial Leaf Spot

If you notice brownish-yellow spots with black lesions on your plant’s foliage with the leaves becoming delicate, it is probably due to the leaf spot disease. Crispy brown edges indicate the presence of leaf spot. This disease often targets the older plants but sometimes can affect the younger foliage too.

To prevent this problem, immediately stop overhead watering as moist and humid conditions attract the bacteria. Isolate the infected plant, remove its affected parts and treat the remaining plant with a copper fungicide to control the disease spread. 

– Curling of Leaf Tips

If your plant’s leaves have suddenly started to curl inwards with brownish edges, it is due to overfertilization. Overfeeding causes excessive salts to accumulate in the soil further leading to root burn. 

Treat the problem by reducing fertilization and by using a slow-release fertilizer instead of heavy ones. Flush the soil with water to avoid salt accumulation. Replace the soil mix and repot the plant in fresh soil mix if the problem persists. 

– Mealybugs

Mealybugs are tiny, sap-sucking pests that target the plant’s tender leaves and stems. The best way to get rid of these unwanted pests is by using an organic neem oil spray on the affected parts. Wipe your plant’s leaves with an alcohol solution regularly to prevent their spread. 

– Spider Mites

Spider mites are more likely to affect your plant if you live in a dry area where maintaining high humidity levels is an issue. These insects are attracted to dry and hot weather conditions. They are hardly visible to the naked eye unless there is a heavy infestation.

Treat your plant with soap water or an alcohol solution to kill the mites. If the infestation seems severe, use an insecticidal soap solution for better results. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about the Painted Lady. 

– Is the Philodendron Painted Lady Rare?

The plant is rare due to its bold, variegated leaves that give it a striking appearance. The variegation makes it a rare plant compared to other Philodendron varieties. 

– Is the Painted Lady Philodendron Toxic?

This philodendron can be poisonous if ingested. Most philodendrons are toxic to humans and animals. We recommend keeping it away from the reach of kids and pets. It has high levels of calcium oxalate crystals that can cause issues such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and inflammation. 

– Why Has My Philodendron Painted Lady Reverted Its Variegation?

Please note that it is not possible to bring back the variegation once your plant loses it. Variegated leaves have less chlorophyll than green leaves. Chlorophyll is required for the process of producing food called photosynthesis. 

The plant reverts to green because it needs to photosynthesize to grow and produce food for itself. This loss is also due to sudden changes in temperatures and humidity levels. Maintain the appropriate growing conditions required by the plant to avoid losing variegation.

– What Is the Philodendron Painted Lady Origin?

This plant was not discovered. Instead, it was created from two other Philodendron parent plants. 

– How Big Does the Painted Lady Grow?

The Painted Lady Philodendron grows upright and spreads in an outward direction. It can grow two to five feet in height and 12 to 16 inches wide depending on the growing conditions in your area.

In winters, the plant goes into the dormancy phase. It will stop growing any new leaves or stems until early spring when it will sprout new growth. 

Its growth rate is slow and it typically takes about five years for it to reach maturity. The rate of growth, however, also depends on other factors such as light, water, humidity and temperature.

– How Big Do the Painted Lady Leaves Grow?

The leaves have a glossy and leathery texture and can grow up to six inches long. The younger leaves have a more yellowish shade but as the plant matures, it turns to bright green. 

– Why Is It Called “Painted Lady Plant”?

The bold foliage makes the plant look like it has been painted with a brush. It is due to these speckled leaves that the plant gets its name – Painted Lady Philodendron. 

– Does the Painted Lady Flower?

The plant grows flowers but it is not too often that it goes into flowering. The blooms are white, cream and green in shades and have an unpleasant smell. If your plant goes into flowering, remove the flowers by cutting them as they unnecessarily absorb the plant’s energy and have no use. 


The painted lady can be grown easily even by novice gardeners. Let us take a quick look at some important care tips before you can grow them. 

  • It is a plant suited for warm and humid tropical climates where it grows under indirect light, warm temperatures and high humidity conditions. 
  • Prepare a well-draining, chunky soil mix with good moisture retention and lots of organic matter. 
  • Keep the humidity levels high for glossier and larger leaves. Occasional misting and keeping a humidifier helps to do so. 
  • The plant grows epiphytically, so if you want it to grow faster with bigger leaves, use moss poles and trellis for extra support. 
  • Repot the plant every few years when its roots start coming out of the bottom drainage holes. You can propagate the plant using stems, air-layering and root division method. 

We hope our care tips have helped you know all about the growth requirements of this gorgeous tropical plant and you will soon get one for yourself! 

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