The Philodendron Bloody Mary is a tropical plant known for its attractive petioles and beautiful foliage. This perennial is easy to care for and enjoys humidity.
If you’re searching for a beautiful and interesting plant to add some character to your space, look no further than the Philodendron Bloody Mary. With its long burgundy leaves, it’s easy to see why this plant is becoming a fan favorite.
In this article, we’re diving into the history and the care needs for the Bloody Mary Philodendron. We also include some options to buy if you want to add this plant to your collection.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Philodendron Bloody Mary?
- 2 Where To Buy
- 3 Philodendron Bloody Mary Plant Size
- 4 Philodendron Bloody Mary Care Needs
- 5 Similar Plants
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Philodendron Bloody Mary?
The Philodendron Bloody Mary has dagger-shaped leaves with shades of red and burgundy and is best known for its attractive petioles.
One interesting feature of this plant is its leaves that have a burgundy color filled with red color fluid. This is why the plant is known as Bloody Mary Philodendron.
In its juvenile state, this plant is known to feature deep orange to burgundy foliage, while a mature plant will sport burgundy undersides while the other side is red. Later on, the colors will turn dark green. It has reddish stems, which makes this plant ‘bloody’ interesting to look at.
As a member of the Araceae family, this perennial thrives well near an east-facing window when grown as a houseplant.
Outdoors, the Philodendron Bloody Mary has a high survivability rate in hardiness zones 9-11.
Origin And Family
This Philodendron plant was first identified in the year 16th century by Charles Plumier. Its native habitat is in the rainforests of Central and Southern America.
P. Bloody Mary belongs to the Philodendron genus in the Araceae family.
Where To Buy
Philodendron Bloody Marys are very affordable to purchase (good news!), with prices ranging from $20 for rooted cuttings to $50 for larger plants.
The Philodendron Bloody Mary is available for sale on Etsy, which is one of the most reliable sites for plant purchases online. We buy most of our indoor plants here at this point.
Philodendron Bloody Mary Plant Size
The Philodendron Bloody Mary grows to about 10-12 feet tall and 9 inches wide as a houseplant. Typically, gardeners place this plan in an east or west-facing window. It’s usually considered a fast grower.
Philodendron Bloody Mary Care Needs
When properly cared for, your Philodendron Bloody Mary will thrive. This plant, with its attractive petioles, adores humidity and wants slightly moist soil, like the majority of Philodendrons.
Water your Philodendron when the soil’s top two inches become dry. Make sure the water flows through the pot’s drainage holes.
Read our thorough care guide below for more specific advice.
While all plants require some level of care, the Bloody Mary Philodendron is considered by most gardeners to be low maintenance. With the right amount of light and soil drainage, you can keep this plant in its best health.
Like most Philodendrons, the growth rate of a Bloody Mary is fast. Indoors, it will reach a mature height of about 10-12 feet.
In terms of potting material and size, it’s generally advisable to use a medium-sized pot made of plastic, terracotta, or clay. The important consideration is for your pot to have at least one drainage hole. Philodendron Bloody Mary does not like sitting in water; otherwise, you could accidentally cause root rot, which is no fun at all.
Moving your Philodendron Bloody Mary into a bigger pot allows more space for its roots to expand. You will typically know that it’s time to repot when the plant is always thirsty, and the soil dries up quickly. This means the roots have overgrown the pot and have formed a compact ball.
Ideally, you’d want to move your plant in a container that is at least two inches wider in diameter. While it may be tempting to go up 6-10 inches wider, don’t do it. You want to increase the pot size gradually to keep the plant healthy.
Typically, you’d want to repot this natural beauty every one to two years. We recommend that you replace old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of standard commercial potting soil.
A standard commercial potting soil is best for Bloody Mary. Sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite are the ideal components of the soil mix. Aeration and drainage are a must for this plant which is easy to care for.
Here are some excellent growing medium options to choose from:
For the Bloody Mary Philodendron, you’ll need neutral to acidic soil with around 5.6-7.5 pH. In most cases, standard commercial potting soil is close to this pH level, so this shouldn’t be a major worry.
Conduct a pH test to see if your soil has the right acidity. There are affordable pH meters available online or at garden centers.
To raise the pH level of your soil, add calcitic or dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda. To lower it, you can use sulfur or aluminum sulfate.
Like many tropical plants, Philodendron Bloody Marys are humidity-loving plants that need relatively moist soil throughout the year.
During the spring and summer season, water your plant when the top two inches of the soil are dry. Drench the soil until water drains out the hole at the bottom of the plastic, terracotta, or clay pot. If you’re using a collection tray, make sure to toss out the excess water to fend off root rot and other diseases.
In the winter months, you won’t need to water as much. Continue to water your plants deeply but do it less frequently.
Philodendron Bloody Mary prefers bright indirect sunlight for approximately 6-10 hours a day. It wants to live like it would in Central and Southern America, where it receives dappled light passing through the thick forest canopy. So indirect light is usually recommended. East or west-facing windows work well.
This is an ideal houseplant because of its durability and adaptability. It can also thrive under lower light conditions or medium indirect light, as seen in many homes or offices.
When its leaves turn brown, you’ll know your Philodendron Bloody Mary is getting too much light. Conversely, if it grows leggy stems, that means the plant is not getting enough light.
Several indoor growers forget to fertilize, thinking that water and bright indirect light are sufficient sources of nourishment for their plants. In truth, the nutrients from the soil are just as essential in your plant’s health.
Feed your plant once a month during the spring and summer seasons. A water-soluble fertilizer will work best for your Bloody Mary Philodendron. If you’re using a more potent fertilizer, you may need to dilute it first.
You only need to fertilize once every two months in the colder seasons.
Propagating Philodendron Bloody Mary
There are different ways to propagate houseplants like the Philodendron Bloody Mary. For higher chances of success, follow the steps we’ve laid out below for each unique method.
Stem Cuttings In Soil
One basic method to grow a Philodendron Bloody Mary is by directly planting stem cuttings into soil. If you don’t already have this plant, you can purchase a cutting from Etsy or from your local Facebook Marketplace.
It is best to propagate during the plant’s growing season of spring or early summer months so it will be easier for your plant to recover from transplant shock.
1. Cut. Using clean shears, cut off a healthy section of the plant. Ideally, a cutting is at least three inches tall and should include a few leaves and nodes.
2. Plant. Bury the stem’s nodes in a pot or container filled with damp potting soil. Pinch the soil around the stem or use wooden skewers to hold the plant in place. Too much movement can disrupt root growth.
3. Maintain. Place your container near a window in bright, indirect light. Remember to keep the soil moist.
4. Wait. You can expect new roots in about 2-3 weeks. An emerging shoot is the best indicator that your cutting has successfully grown roots!
‼️PHOTO IS NOT FOR MATURITY REFERENCE‼️— Plant Bae Collective (@PlantBaeCo_) August 29, 2020
This Bloody Mary Philodendron stem with aerial roots is an example of a potentially viable cutting—pinch a few leaves from the bottom to get the nodes and she’s ready for water. Or really moist soil.
Or, as seen here, SPHAGNUM MOSS 🌱✨ pic.twitter.com/BytdCgsrfV
Stem Cuttings In Water
Here are the steps in successfully developing cuttings in water:
1. Cut. Cut the stem just below a node using a sharp knife. Remove flower stalks and lower leaves so your cutting can focus its energy on growing roots.
2. Submerge. Put the cutting in an old glass bottle and fill it with water. Any part of the stem below the water surface should be free of leaves.
3. Maintain. A well-lit window with good airflow is the ideal location for your new plant. Keep a humidifier nearby to keep the leaves perky.
4. Refill. Check every 3-5 days to see if the water needs to be replenished with a clean batch.
5. Transplant. When the roots are about an inch or longer, your cutting is ready to be potted in soil.
Humidity And Aeration
High humidity (between 50%-70%) is best for your Philodendron Bloody Mary.
Crispy leaves and browning edges often suggest a lack of humidity in houseplants. Consider getting a humidifier, or place your plant in well-lit spaces that are naturally higher in humidity (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms).
Generally, warm temperatures are best for your plant, and this temperature range can be between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bigger consideration for this plant is consistency. Sudden temperature changes can heavily damage the P. Bloody Mary. In cold weather, protect your plant against cold drafts by closing windows and sealing any opening. Please keep it away from heat vents that can dry the foliage.
Unfortunately, it is toxic to both pets and humans as it contains calcium oxalate crystals. If eaten, you can expect swelling of the tongue, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing.
It’s recommended to use gloves when handling this plant to avoid skin irritation. In most cases, ingesting this plant is considered non-life-threatening.
|Botanical Name||Philodendron Bloody Mary|
|Origin||Central and Southern America|
|Leaf Color||shades of red and burgundy|
|Recommended Home Placement||near an eastern-facing window|
|Light||bright indirect light|
|Soil||standard commercial potting soil|
|When To Water||Water when the top two inches of the soil are dry.|
|When To Fertilize||once a month during growing season|
|Toxic To Pets?||Yes - symptoms include swelling of the tongue, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing|
|Common Pests & Diseases||spider mites, brown tips, yellow leaves, root rot, aphids, mealybugs, drooping leaves|
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems
The Philodendron Bloody Mary is not a disease and pest-resistant plant. Here are some of the common problems, diseases, and pests – and ways to treat them.
Aphids can eat the mature leaves and leave a mark on them, resulting in black and brown patches. The best option for aphids is a neem oil insecticide, which doesn’t hurt the plants but can do a number on the aphids.
There’s a chance mealybugs could infest your Philodendron Bloody Mary. These nasty parasites suck the sap from the plants, stunting the growth or even killing your Bloody Mary.
Like most pests, mealybugs are no match for Neem oil. Use a neem oil insecticide and spray it around the dagger-shaped leaves and stem.
If your Bloody Mary Philodendron has mealybugs, quarantine it from the rest of your indoor garden.
Brown Leaf Tips
If the tops of your Philodendron become brown and crispy, it’s usually one of a few different things. It could be that you’re over-fertilizing or that the plant is getting too much sun. In most situations, though, it’s that your home isn’t humid enough. See our tips on humidity to make sure your home is conducive to growing this plant.
Mealybugs and some mildews, both known to affect the Philodendron Bloody Mary, can cause leaves to droop. These problems can also be caused by overwatering and fertilization issues.
Root rot, much like it sounds, means your roots are literally rotting. This is a pretty common killer for Philodendron Bloody Mary. And indoor gardeners are notorious for overwatering their plants, which is the main cause of this disease.
Follow our water guidelines carefully to help prevent these issues.
The best way to avoid root rot in Philodendron Bloody Mary is to monitor how much water it receives carefully.
Here’s my Bloody Mary Philodendron. Out of nowhere she started putting out all this new growth. Looks like I’m gonna have to get her a proper moss pole to climb. pic.twitter.com/fF0UYqPya5— Donuts (@JellyDonutsRule) August 2, 2021
Love Philodendron Bloody Mary? Check out some of its Philodendron cousins:
Philodendron Mamei – This is one of the most decorative philodendrons out there. If you can get your hands on this rare beauty, you’ll be delighted to see it spruce up your space.
Philodendron goeldii – The ‘Fun Bun’ that sparks joy. This attention-seeker sports dramatic spiraling stems—a true diva.
Philodendron Florida Ghost: This plant with leaves resembling flying white ghosts is the only ghost-like figure that brings serenity. Who said ghosts are scary?
Philodendron Bipinnatifidum: If you’re looking for a filler plant, then this one’s for you. However, it may start out as a filler plant, but as it grows, it becomes the center of attention.
With its attractive petioles, Philodendron Bloody Mary is an exotic plant to add to your home. If you follow this Bloody Mary Philodendron care guide, you’ll be able to grow this plant with ease.
Do you have a Philodendron Bloody Mary? We want to see it! Please send pictures to [email protected], and we might share them on our blog.
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