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30 Must-Know Philodendron Dark Lord Care Tips

30 Must-Know Philodendron Dark Lord Care Tips

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If you’re trying to grow the Philodendron Dark Lord, start here! The Dark Lord is a tropical perennial known for its massive foliage, and it grows well with proper lighting and aroid potting mix.

While it may sound spooky, the Philodendron Dark Lord is an incredibly beautiful and interesting plant that’s also easy to grow. In this article, we’re offering tips for growing this tropical beauty – and suggestions on where to buy it. Read on to see this Philodendron Dark Lord care guide!

What Is Philodendron Dark Lord?

The Philodendron Dark Lord is sometimes known as Dark Lord, Dark Lord Philodendron, and Dark Knight Philodendron. It is a tropical plant famous for its massive dark-colored foliage, as it is cleverly named.

Belonging to the Araceae family, this perennial has leaves that are arrow-shaped and dark green with a maroon underbelly. Indoors, it appreciates humidity near an east or west-facing window.

You may also grow Dark Lord Philodendron plants outdoors if you are living in hardiness zone 9b-11.

Origin And Family

The Dark Lord is part of the Philodendron genus in the Araceae family. It is native to Colombia and Panama’s rainforests. As a tropical houseplant that is easy to care for, it has become a recent favorite for many indoor growers.

Philodendron Dark Lord is a hybrid variety of the Imperial Red Philodendron Erubescens.

Where To Buy

Philodendron Dark Lord is a rare plant that’s in high demand, but you can find them at many nurseries and local plant stores at reasonable rates. Ordering online from Etsy is also a hassle-free and more cost-efficient option.

The Philodendron Dark Lord has expensive prices ranging from $70 for small plants to $100+ for larger ones.

Philodendron Dark Lord sold in Etsy

Philodendron Dark Lord Plant Size

The Dark Lord is a Philodendron plant that grows to be approximately 6 feet tall indoors. It thrives well near an east or west-facing window because of its height capacity, light requirements, and high humidity needs.

Philodendron Dark Lord Care Needs

Your Philodendron Dark Lord, with its massive foliage, will flourish if you take good care of it. This plant loves humidity and relatively moist soil throughout the year.

Water your Philodendron Dark Lord when the top two inches of the soil are dry. Make sure to give it a full drench, allowing water to run down the bottom of the pot. In terms of lighting, bright indirect light is best for this plant.

Take a look at the more specific growing tips we’ve written below to keep your Philodendron Dark Lord healthy and happy!

Care Difficulty

The Dark Lord Philodendron is often regarded as easy to care for. If you wish to grow this amazing plant successfully, make sure you keep an eye on the amount of light it gets and the soil aeration.

Growth Rate

This species of Philodendron plant measures up to 6 feet in height when grown in an indoor environment. Like in the case of most tropical plants, the warmth of spring and summer jumpstarts this plant’s growth spurt.

In its juvenile state, the foliage of P. Dark Lord starts out as a deep orange. The mature leaves then change to blood red and finally turn dark green at the top with a metallic maroon underside. 

This plant is very easy to grow, but it can quickly become quite unmanageable if left unpruned. In general, Philodendron plants grow at a fast speed, including the Dark Lord. 

Potting

This tropical plant has adjusted well to indoor living and can thrive in almost any type of potting material. Plastic, terracotta, or clay planters will work best for the Dark Lord for most growers. Using moss poles to keep the plant standing upright is also a good idea as this plant is a climber.

In terms of sizing, you’d typically want to use a large pot for this plant which is known to have fast-growing roots. As long as your pot has drainage holes at the bottom, your plant should be generally fine against root rot.

Repotting

Moving your Philodendron Dark Lord into a larger pot allows more space for its roots to expand. You will typically know that it’s time to repot when you see roots protruding through the drainage holes.

Typically, you’d want to repot this tropical plant every one to two years. It is ideal to replace old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of aroid potting mix in the new pot.

Soil

An aroid potting mix is a suitable choice for the Dark Lord Philodendron. Add together components such as coco coir, sphagnum moss perlite, orchid bark, worm castings, pumice, and activated charcoal to make your own soil mix. Keep in mind that this plant prefers a relatively moist medium.

Make sure your chosen soil type accommodates good drainage and aeration so the roots can breathe better.

We recommend the following potting mixes:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $10.39
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
Black Gold 1310102...image Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control $16.45
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix...image Miracle-Gro Potting Mix 2 cu. ft. $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $18.49

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pH

For this Dark Knight Philodendron, you’ll need a soil pH of around 5.5 to 7.5, which is neutral to acidic. If you’re worried about pH, you can order a simple pH meter device online to check your soil.

If the pH of your soil is too high, you can add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to improve acidity.

On the other hand, if the pH is too low, you can add baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash to your soil.

Water

Proper watering is an important factor for houseplants. Too much, and you might invite diseases like root rot and fungal infections. Too little, and the plants might end up with browning, undernourished leaves. For optimal health, Dark Lord generally prefers relatively moist soil.

One way to check for moisture is to stick your finger in the pot. When the top two inches of the soil are dry, you’ll know it’s time to give your plant a drink.

Drainage holes and aerated soil are must-haves for the Dark Lord. You don’t want your plant sitting in water for an extended period of time.

Light

Philodendron Dark Lord prefers bright indirect light for approximately 6-8 hours daily. Remember, you’re attempting to replicate how it grows in the rainforests of Colombia and Panama. In most cases, being near an east or west-facing window is ideal for this plant.

When the Dark Lord becomes pale yellow with brown patches on some leaves, you’ll know it is getting too much light. Conversely, if its growth starts to get stunted, that means the plant needs more light. You may need to move it from its shaded location to an area with higher light exposures. 

Fertilizer

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 spring and summer. A slow-release fertilizer will work best for your Dark Lord Philodendron. It’s usually a best practice to dilute your fertilizer for this plant.

You only need to fertilize around late fall and in the colder winter months every six to eight weeks.

Propagating Philodendron Dark Lord

You can easily reproduce your Philodendron Dark Lord through various methods. Check out the step-by-step instructions for each propagation method below. 

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Directly planting stem cuttings into the soil is the easiest method to propagate a Dark Lord. This plant’s growing season is in the early spring to summer, so it’s best to take cuttings during this time.

Stem Cuttings In Water

Water propagation is another easy method to root your Dark Lord Philodendron cuttings. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Cut. After harvesting a healthy cutting, take off the bottom leaves from the cutting

2. Add to Water. Put your cutting sit in a cup of water. Remember, there shouldn’t be leaves below the water.

3. Place In Light. Place your cutting under bright, indirect light and good air circulation. 

4. Humidify. A humidifier nearby can boost your plants’ chance of rooting.

4. Refill. Replace the water every few days. MakKeep the nodes submerged for faster root growth.

5. Transplant. Once the roots are long enough, plant your cutting into clean, well-aerated soil. Keep the soil moist to help the roots adjust.

Humidity And Aeration

Philodendron Dark Lord is a rare perennial that loves high humidity. We recommend keeping the air humidity levels around 70% above for best results.

Aside from absorbing water through its roots, your plant will also need nourishment from the moisture in the air. You can keep bowls of water to evaporate nearby, or you can invest in a humidifier that is more consistent in improving humidity for your plant.

Temperature

Generally, warm temperatures are best for the survival of your new plant. The ideal temperature range can be between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bigger consideration for this beautiful plant is consistency. Sudden temperature changes can heavily affect the Dark Knight Philodendron. In cold weather, protect your plant against freezing temperatures by closing windows and sealing any opening. Keep it away from heat vents that can dry the foliage.

Toxic

Unfortunately, the Dark Lord Philodendron contains calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to pets (including cats and dogs) and humans. If consumed, you can expect swollen lips and tongue, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting. This plant is also known to cause skin irritation. The best way to handle this plant is to don gloves while caring for this new dark lord philodendron. 

In most cases, this plant is considered non-life-threatening. 

SoilCare Specifics
Botanical NamePhilodendron Dark Lord
Common NameDark Lord, Dark Lord Philodendron, Dark Knight Philodendron
Plant FamilyAraceae
OriginColombia and Panama
Plant Typeperennial
Leaf Shapearrow-shaped
Leaf Colordark green with maroon underbelly
Recommended Home Placementnear an east or west-facing window
Growth Ratefast
Lightbright indirect light
Soilaroid potting mix
When To WaterWater When the top two inches of the soil are dry.
When To Fertilizeonce a month during growing season
Preferred pH5.5 to 7.5
Humidity Range70% above
Toxic To Pets?Yes - symptoms include swollen lips and tongue, difficulty swallowing, and vomitting
Common Pests & Diseasesspider mites, brown tips, fungus gnats, scale insects, yellow leaves, root rot, aphids, mealy bugs, drooping leaves
Dark Lord Philodendron photo from Pinterest

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

Overall, I would say that the Philodendron Dark Lord isn’t disease or pest-resistant. Here are some quick tips for curing common ailments, as well as some general suggestions to keep your plant healthy.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are common pests, particularly among Dark Knight Philodendron plants. At first, spider mite damage appears as small, brown, or yellow patches on the leaves of your plant. You might also discover that your plant has slowed or ceased to grow.

To get rid of spider mites, begin by washing off your Dark Knight Philodendron with a sink nozzle, a pressure sprayer, or a garden hose. Additionally, you can spray the leaves with neem oil or insecticidal soap, but make sure to cover all surfaces, including the underside of leaves!

Of course, you can also introduce natural predators of spider mites such as ladybugs, lacewings, and Stethorus picipes beetles (dubbed as the “Spider Mite Destroyer”). The amazing thing about these bugs is that they will feed on spider mites, but they won’t harm your plant!

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small insects that feed on organic matter in the soil. Their larvae eat fungi, organic materials, and roots, and this can be detrimental for your Dark Lord.

If you see these grayish-black bugs, you should start reducing your watering schedules (not enough to harm the plant, but enough to let the topsoil dry in between waterings to dissuade adult gnats from laying eggs).

Hydrogen peroxide kills fungus gnat larvae on contact. Spray your topsoil with four-part water one-part hydrogen peroxide solution.

Scale Insects

Adult scales are sedentary and covered in a waxy coating, but they will give birth to extremely small crawling bugs.

Armored scales can be scraped off, but you will need to do it gently using an old ID card or with your fingers. Take care not to rip the leaves of your Philodendron Dark Lord.

Use insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or neem oil to suffocate scale insects. When you see active crawlers, spray your plant with a general pesticide, and follow it up with a second application after a week. 

We recommend some products below:

Aphids

Aphids are tiny bugs that will eat the leaves of your Philodendron Dark Lord, resulting in black and brown patches.

Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat an infestation. Weak concentrations of dish detergent can also kill aphids without harming your plant. Choose a product that is free of fragrances, such as Ivory Liquid, for example.

Start by diluting one teaspoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, then increase the ratio as necessary. Spray this solution on your affected plant, especially on the underside of leaves, where aphids can usually be found.

Mealybugs

Your tropical houseplant can become a victim of a Mealybug infestation. Using their sucking tubes to feed on the plant’s sap, these parasites will weaken your Dark Knight Philodendron.

As a preventive measure against a wide range of diseases, I recommend a monthly application of neem oil on your houseplants. Remember to dilute the neem first and to spray only when the weather is cool.  

In the event of an infestation, take a cup of rubbing alcohol and a teaspoon of fragrance-free dish soap, and then mix them with water in a spray bottle. Spray that on Dark Knight Philodendron twice a week until the mealybugs are gone.

Brown Leaf Tips

If you notice browning tips on the leaves of your Dark Lord, you might need to double-check on a number of factors.

Make sure the humidity in your home is not too low. Filter the sunlight with curtains if it’s shining too harshly on your plant. Don’t apply too much fertilizer. Let the water flow through the soil for several minutes to flush out excess minerals and salts.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on your Philodendron Dark Lord are typically an indication that your plant is thirsty. In this case, your plant will usually perk back up once it’s watered. It might also help to increase the humidity.

Be careful! Pest-infested plants can have droopy and curling leaves at first but will eventually develop other signs such as spots, stunted growth, and a general decline in health. Always check on the underside of leaves if you suspect any issues with pests.

Yellow Leaves

If you see yellowing leaves on your philodendron dark lord, you might need to consider several factors to determine the culprit. Are you watering your plant too little or too much? Is your plant getting enough light? Did you fertilize your plant recently? Are there sudden changes in the weather?

Of course, bottom leaves that turn yellow can also just be an indication that your plant is growing and the leaf’s energy has been spent. In this case, simply pluck off the yellowing leaves so the plant can focus on growing new green leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot can kill your Dark Knight Philodendron. Given the difficulty of treating root rot, prevention is the best course of action.

Give your roots some breathing room by providing a well-aerated soil mix. Chunky and gritty materials such as river sand, horticultural coal, orchid bark, perlite, pumice, lava rocks, coco cubes, aqua soil, and many others will significantly improve the drainage for your plant.

Climate is also an important consideration before deciding to water your plant. If your plant is in a location without abundant access to sunlight and good airflow, moisture will take longer to evaporate. Always check if the soil is dry about halfway down the pot before giving your plant a thorough drink.

Similar Plants

Love the huge bright red stems and massive foliage of the Dark Lord? Here are some other similar plant options you should try:

Philodendron Pedatum: No plant has as lush foliage as this one. And this is why the Pedatum is a popular addition to beautify any random plant collection.  

Philodendron Mayoi: With leaves that stand out wherever it’s placed, the Mayoi is every plant enthusiast’s dream. It’s a perfect choice for beginners to care for because it requires little care.

Philodendron Mamei: Commonly used as a decorative potted plant, this Philodendron can bring life to any indoor garden. Spruce up your space with this beauty.

Philodendron Goeldii: This captivating plant is a fun one to have. Its unique spiraling stems are sure to spark joy no matter where it is planted.   

Conclusion

With its massive, dark-colored foliage, Philodendron Dark Lord is a captivating ornamental plant that looks stunning indoors. You’ll have no trouble growing this plant if you follow our care instructions!

Have you got a Dark Lord? We want to see it! Please submit photos to [email protected] so that we can share them on our blog.

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