philodendron painted lady

Philodendron Painted Lady: Caring for Mother Nature’s Masterpiece

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Houseplant parents would love to welcome gorgeous foliage plants that are tough and easy to please in their home or office. Among such plants, one of the most widely grown favorites is the climbing heart-leaved Painted Lady Philodendron, native to Colombia and the Caribbean.

In this comprehensive guide to caring for the Philodendron Painted Lady, I will share with you my secrets to growing, propagating, and ensuring that your newly acquired plants will provide a stunning, year‐round display.

Philodendron Painted Lady Overview

The Painted Lady Philodendron is an excellent choice for both serious houseplant collectors and novices. There are over 4oo recorded varieties of the Philodendron genus, which are found mainly in the rainforests of Central and South America and the West Indies.

This Philodendron is an evergreen perennial shrub cultivar that produces stunning oval-shaped, vibrant yellow and light green leaves with bright pink petioles. The perennial life cycle of this variety makes it a very durable houseplant. If grown in ideal conditions, this tropical plant can live on for years and even decades.

Plant scientists said that the Philodendron Painted Lady is a hybrid of the Philodendron Erubescens Burgundy plant and the Philodendron Erubescens Emerald Queen plant. This trailing tropical plant from the Araceae family is a fantastic addition to any indoor or outdoor space.

The Philodendron genus has been cultivated widely in the houseplant world. Its most famous variations are the Philodendron Hastatum, Philodendron Atabapoense, Philodendron Serpens, and Philodendron Sodiroi.

The other common names of the Painted Lady Philodendron plants include Meconostigma plant, Calostigma, Sphincterostigma, Baursea, Thaumatophyllum, Arosma Raf, Telipodus Raf, and Elopium plant.

Botanical NamePhilodendron Painted Lady
FamilyAraceae
Commonly Known NamesMeconostigma, Calostigma, Sphincterostigma, Baursea, Thaumatophyllum, Arosma Raf, Telipodus Raf, and Elopium
OriginCentral America, South America, West Indies
SunlightFluorescent light to bright, indirect sunlight
WateringLikes to go dry
SoilWell-draining soil, cactus or succulent mix (partly sand)
Temperature55ºF to 80ºF (27ºC)
Humidity65% – 80% humidity
PropagationStem Cuttings
Re-PottingEvery 2 – 3 years
Pests and DiseasesFairly resistant to pests and disease
ToxicityToxic to humans and animals

Why Is It Called Painted Lady Philodendron?

The ‘Painted Lady’ name of this beautiful Philodendron cultivar came from its stunning foliage that looks like an artist was painting a lady with his brush. It is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces in large bright yellow leaves with green and pink petioles. It provides a pop of charming, bright color and vibe to any indoor space.

Philodendron Painted Lady Features

This plant is a top choice among the most discriminating houseplant collectors. Growing in ideal conditions, this flowering aroid can thrive into a stunning house decor display with its evergreen foliage and well-established root systems.

Height and Spread

If the proper Philodendron care requirements are met, the plant could reach up to 2 to 5 feet in height and 12 to 16 inches in spread. However, other factors may affect the maturity growth of the Painted Lade due to its environment and the amount of care you put into it.

Leaves

The leaves of this plant start with a neon yellow color and eventually fade into a deeper green with heavy mottling. The stems are bright pink throughout their maturity.

Flower

The Philodendron Painted Lady plant rarely blooms and grows flowers. But when it blooms, usually during the late spring or mid-summer season, the flowers of the plant are green or white.

However, if you are growing the Painted Lady Philodendron plant indoors, some houseplant growers would cut off the flowers to preserve the plant’s energy and resources. After all, the Painted Lady plants are mainly grown for their fantastic foliage, not for their flowers, which are only a secondary attraction.

Toxicity

All parts of the Painted Lady plant contain calcium oxalate crystals that irritate the mouth and esophagus. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the Philodendrons away from the reach of children and pets.

Deer and Rabbit Resistance

Like all Philodendrons, the Philodendron Painted Lady variety is quite resistant to deers and rabbits due mainly to their high level of toxicity, which is harmful to common grazers. It is, therefore, an ideal candidate for cultivation outdoors.

Philodendron Painted Lady Care Guide

In general, the philodendrons have a fast growth rate, including the Painted Lady plant. Caring for Philodendron Painted Lady is relatively more straightforward. It is best planted in the spring. Let us delve deeper into the best way to ensure that your Painted Lady plant will thrive in your home.

Ideal Growing Place

This Philodendron cultivar has a semi-vining habit. It thrives best in a well-lit space with indirect sunlight and ample warmth. It is best grown as an indoor plant for its beautiful ornamental display. Unfortunately, this tender houseplant cannot tolerate cold temperatures well.

The Philodendron Painted Lady Plants love to climb and grow upright and spread outwards erectly. It produces bigger leaves when growing onto a moss pole or some support. You can plant this Philodendron in hanging baskets or next to walls to create a “green wall” in your home.

You can grow these species in groups or with other houseplants. You can grow this plant outside next to palm trees or indoors with tree ferns. Other ideal growing places for this plant are balconies and sunrooms.

Water 

The Philodendron Painted Lady plants generally like moderate watering. Generally, you can water the plant once a week in the summer and every 2-3 weeks in the winter. Be sure to use the soak and dry method when watering.

When the top inch of the soil has dried out, pour some water and let it dry between watering. Overwatering is a massive killer for this Philodendron. However, underwatering can also cause the leaves to droop. Therefore, maintain a well-balanced watering routine.

The Painted Lady Philodendron doesn’t like sitting in waterlogged or soggy soil. If left in this condition unattended, it can lead the plant to develop root rot problems. Reduce watering for indoor plants and during the winter months.

Sunlight 

Philodendron Painted Lady plants love fluorescent light to bright, indirect sunlight, and sometimes even partial shade. Place the plants in a well-lit room but not under direct sun exposure because that can scorch their leaves.

If you’re planting the painted lady outdoors, be sure to use a shade cloth to protect the plants from direct sun exposure.

Temperature 

The ideal temperature range for the Philodendron Painted Lady plants is from 55ºF to 80ºF (27ºC). Unfortunately, the Philodendrons cannot handle extreme environments. But it can tolerate a minimum temperature of 50 F (10 degrees Celsius). If it gets extra chilly outside, be sure to relocate your room.

When moving indoors, your Philodendron Painted Lady plants should not be kept directly in front of an air conditioner, vents, or fans when moving indoors.

Soil 

For ideal soil requirements, the Philodendron Painted Lady plants thrive best in rich, well-draining soil, cactus, or succulent mix (partly sand). You can use a cactus mix in pots for these Philodendron plants.

For growing the Painted Lady in a pot, use a regular potting mix and add a few amounts of sand to improve the soil drainage and eliminate soggy soil. The best soil pH for the variety is between 6.1 and 7.3, which is slightly acidic to neutral. To ensure that your Philodendron thrives well, invest in a good quality, well-drained soil mix.

Humidity 

For ideal humidity, 65% to 80% level would be optimal. The tropical Philodendron painted lady plants love moisture. If you live in a dry environment, use a humidifier or a spray misting bottle to improve your indoor humidity level.

Mist the leaves from time to time from the water spray bottle, especially on warm days during spring and summer. Be sure not to allow the water to sit on the leaves. The leaves may become infested with pests and diseases.

Fertilizer

Feeding the Philodendron Painted Lady twice a month would suffice. You can either use water-soluble fertilizer or granular fertilizer. Just be sure not to overfeed your Philodendrons, as this can damage the roots. When feeding, put the fertilizer 6 inches away from the plant’s base.

During its dormancy period in the winter, decrease the feeding to once a month.

Pinching

You can pinch or prune the Painted Lady plants of dead or decaying leaves or any unwanted or excess growth. By doing so, you can improve the overall health of the plant and encourage new growth.

When grooming the plant, make sure also to keep the plant clean and dry. Their leaves may have collected dust and water. Wipe them off carefully as this can attract the pests and cause fungal infection to the plant.

Potting and Re-potting

Repotting for the Painted Lady Philodendron plant is typically every 2 to 3 years. The best time to know when to repot your houseplants is when they have outgrown their current pot. The ideal time to do the repotting is during the spring or summer. These are the growing seasons for the Painted Lady plants.

To repot, you can simply take out the Philodendron from its present pot down to its ball roots. Get rid of the old soil from the roots. Transplant the Philodendron plant into the new container you prepared, preferably larger than the old one. Fill the new container with fresh, nutrient-rich, and well-drained soil.

Growth Zone

If grown outdoors, the ideal growth zone for the Philodendron Painted Lady is between Zone 9b and 11. This plant variety requires 70-85% sunlight, shaded or indirect sunlight. The Philodendron plants should be placed in a warmer spot indoors in the northern end of the growth zone. These plants need protection during the winter months.

The ideal patio zone for the Painted Lady is 4b-11. The potted plant will thrive and flourish in the summer months in colder zones. However, bring the plant inside when the temperature drops to freezing conditions.

Common Pests, Toxins, Diseases & Other Problems

The Philodendron Painted Lady is fairly resistant to pests and diseases. However, common pests may still pester these plants, specifically spider mites, scale insects, thrips, and mealybugs.

Keep the foliage and stem clean and dry to prevent these pests from attacking the Philodendron Painted Lady plant. The excess water or moisture on the surface of the leaves will attract these common pests to the plant.

If you see signs of any insects above attacking the plant, use a bottle spray with soap water or insecticidal soap to eliminate the pests. You can also apply Neem oil or rubbing alcohol to clean the infected leaves.

Browning spots on the leaves

When you see brown patches on the plant, this is more likely caused by direct sunlight exposure. When the Philodendrons are exposed to too much sunlight, the leaves will turn to a pale or dry appearance. Simply put your plant in a shaded area or a warmer spot that receives indirect sunlight.

Fungal leaf spot diseases

Brown spots with yellow halos on the leaves may also be a sign of leaf spot disease. Other signs also include black-eyed lesions and dark areas on the leaf. When you see these symptoms on your Painted Lady houseplants, use a sterilized cutting tool to remove the infected leaves. Apply a fungicide solution while you are at it.

If the leaf spot disease is left untreated, it will affect the other healthy leaves, spreading the disease. Avoid watering overhead the plant to prevent the spread of the disease.

Bacterial blight

The Painted Lady plant can also be affected by bacterial blight. Dark green spots appear on the leaves, which have a bad smell. You can prevent this by keeping leaves and stems dry and avoiding overhead watering.

Tip curl leaves

Overfertilization causes tip curl to the Philodendron’s leaves. The tip of the leaves will curl downwards and eventually turn brown. You can prevent tip curling by not overfeeding the plant. If you use a slow-release fertilizer, be sure to flush the soil with water.

Toxins

This Philodendron variety is a toxic plant that can cause inflammation and swelling. Because of its climbing nature, be extra cautious about the vines and ensure they are out of reach of children and pets.

Propagation

Philodendron plants are easier to propagate. When propagating the Painted Lady Philodendron, you can simply do this by stem cuttings. Here is an easy step-by-step guide to follow:

  • Choose a healthy Painted Lady mother plant
  • Using a sterilized cutting tool, cut off 4 to 6 inches stem with some nodes and leaves
  • Put the freshly cut stem into a pot with a well-drained soil mix
  • Place the pot in a spot with a warm temperature and indirect sunlight
  • Water the new plant adequately.

You can also propagate the Painted Lady stem cuttings in water. Just follow the same procedure above except that instead of planting the stem directly in the soil, you do these steps:

  • Prepare a container or a jar with water
  • Put the freshly cut stems into the container
  • Place it in a warm spot with indirect sunlight
  • Change the water regularly at least 2 to 3 days
  • Wait 10 to 20 days for the roots to develop
  • When you see roots growing to at least 3-5 inches, you can move the new plant to a pot filled with well-drained soil.

Water propagation requires patience. In some cases, the stem cuttings may not even show signs of root growth for about 2 weeks.

Another propagation method is air layering. Plants can be propagated this way before any actual cuttings are taken from mature plants. To do this, you need to:

  • Prepare sphagnum moss and soak it in water for an hour
  • Choose a healthy stem from the mother plant and wrap the moss around the node and the support using a regular plastic sheet. [Avoid wrapping any leaves]
  • Puncture a small opening in the wrapper for air circulation
  • Keep the moss ball moist by spraying it with water every day
  • Roots will start developing in 2 to 3 weeks
  • Gently remove the wrapping and some moss around the roots
  • Use a scissor or blade to cut the stem below the node. The stem cutting should have at least 2 leaves on it.
  • Put the stem cutting in a transparent container and add fresh sphagnum moss to it.

Follow the same care tips mentioned above.

Philodendron Painted Lady Mature Timeline

Week 1: This is the propagation period as described above. Be sure to put the new plant under suitable growth conditions. If you’re doing the water propagation, change the water every 2 to 3 days.

Week 2-3: This is the period for roots development. From the nodes, it will develop into roots in both soil and water-propagation methods.

Week 3-4: This is an excellent time to transplant the plant from a water-propagated stem to plant it to the soil pot. Invest in high-quality soil mix for faster growth. Keep a healthy balanced watering routine at this stage.

The growth rate for the Philodendron Painted Lady plant varies depending on the growing conditions and environment. However, it typically takes about 5 years for this plant to reach maturity.

Is Philodendron Painted Lady Rare?

Some houseplant growers tout the Philodendron Painted Lady plant as a rare cultivar of the Philodendron collection. Depending on where you live in the United States, the Painted Lady may not be hard to come by, thanks to various online houseplant stores selling this gorgeous plant.

The Bottom Line

Philodendrons are very popular among houseplant collectors. Aside from their striking foliage, they are easy to grow and care for, making them a great choice for beginners. If grown in ideal conditions, these tropical plants can live on for decades in your home.

If you consider bringing this home or adding this to your collection, don’t hesitate to get this special treasure created by Mother Nature.

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