Philodendron Burle Marx Variegated

Philodendron Burle Marx Variegated is one of my favorite plants of all time. It grows beautiful, creamy yellow variegated leaves. On top of that, it is an easy plant to care for and does not require much attention.

Burle Marx philodendron is from the Araceae family, a low-growing shrub that grows in clumps. It prefers bright indirect light and moderate soil moisture. The leaves are heart-shaped and narrow.

You will probably want to buy the plant because of its lush-looking, beautiful foliage.

Its non-variegated version grows much faster. To some people, they say that it grows as fast as weeds.

Its care routine is rather easy as they are neither finicky nor fussy. It also does not attract much pests to it.


Let’s dive in to a little more details about caring for it.

SOIL

Similar to most philodendron, this plant does well in a fast-draining soil. It does fine with typical potting mixes but make sure it is well-drained enough for the roots to breathe. There are nurseries that sell ready-to-use aroid mixes which will work just as well too.

Based on experience, if you are thinking of keeping the plant indoors; it will be better to use a soil-less substrate. Stuff such as coconut chip/husk/fiber/peat will decompose and break down over time as it comes into contact with water. This process can attract pests to nest on them which is rather undesirable especially in an indoor setting.

Therefore, for planting indoors, I would simply recommend to just mix 50% pumice with either 50% peat moss, vermiculite or vermicast or all together. Of course, you can also use chunky stuff such as leca balls or zeolite rocks in place of pumice. I will usually judge the percentage of the mix based on how well-drained I want the substrate to be and also the size of the pot I am using.


WATERING

Water the plant frequently but make sure not to overwater and/or flood the roots. Let the soil have enough time to dry before each session. Use the moisture meter if possible to gauge the best way to determine the amount of moisture in the soil. Alternatively, you can feel the texture of the soil with your fingers to make sure that the top level of the soil is dry. Only then you can water the plant again. If the soil gets water-clogged, the roots will suffocate and rot.

If you give this plant the right growing conditions, it will grow more leaves quickly, which in turn will require shorter intervals between watering. So do check the moisture level of the soil regularly. Although, from my experience, they are slightly forgiving if they were underwatered once of twice. But it is never recommended for the roots can stay dry for too long before it starts showing dry edges on leaves. Try to keep a regular watering schedule.

Generally, I would wait for the soil to dry off between 4-7 days before I start watering my plants again. If the soil does not dry up in about a week, the risk of root rot increases.


LIGHT

This variegated version will prefer bright indirect light to keep pushing out lush foliage. It can withstand short periods of morning sun but avoid giving it harsh afternoon sunlight as it will burn the leaves. Grow lights will work fine for them as well.


HUMIDITY

It should do well in places where humidity is around 60% and above. Their leaves will unfurl just well between this range.

You can always increase humidity indoors with the following:
i) Place and use a humidifier near the plant.
ii) Wrap a wet towel around the base of the pot to increase the humidity.
iii) Mist the plant lightly every morning


GROWTH RATE

The growth rate of this species depends largely on the conditions it is growing in. Generally, if you keep the plant happy with good lighting, proper watering schedule and scheduled fertilizing, it will reward you with very lush foliage. Typically a new leaf every 1-3 weeks is the norm.

Established plant with healthy roots.


TOXICITY

This species contains a harmful substance called calcium oxalate crystals. They are not to be ingested at any cost. If ingested, it can cause some severe illnesses. Therefore, keep the plant away from your pets.

FERTILIZER

Use organic fertilizer like worm castings and/or foliage slow-release fertilizers will do. Since this plant is grown for its foliage, you will want a fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen. The nitrogen helps push out healthy and in some cases, bigger leaves.


PESTS

Pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and scales can attack the plant. The best way to keep pests away is to keep the plant healthy. In any case, if the leaves were to be attacked by the above mentioned pests, one of the recommended methods will be to use neem oil as a periodic control to eliminate them. Spraying it down and wiping the leaves with diluted neem oil every few days will eliminate them from the foliage instantly. Follow up with watering the soil with diluted neem oil which will further clear up the pests and their eggs that are residing in the soil. Doing this can also send neem oil into the leaf’s vascular system and when the sucking pest feeds on them, it will be killed and thus, preventing an infestation of sorts. Watering with neem oil can be done every month as periodic prevention.


PROPAGATION

Like all other philodendrons, the best way to propagate these plants is by cutting the stem. Depending on how it is grown, the stem nodes can be very close to each other which makes it slightly harder to propagate. You should cut about 1-2 inches below a node with aerial roots. In this way, with the aerial roots, the cutting can root much faster in its new media.

Nodes can be very close together.
Do check and cut carefully.
Cutting with node and aerial roots.

Do remember to sterilize your cutting tool before making the cut to prevent bacterial infection.

If the cutting has aerial roots longer then 1-2 inches, you can either pot it straight into soil, spaghnum moss, leca, perlite, water, etc. Keep whatever media or substrate you use moist but do not make it overly wet. If you decide to grow it in water, once you notice additional 2-3 inches of root growth, you can pot it straight into soil.

Even though this plant is easy to propagate, it will take about 2-4 weeks for it to be well rooted and produce a new leaf.


The information above is based on my experience with growing the Philodendron Brule Marx Variegated. If you have any questions for me regarding this plant, please leave them at the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

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