Are you looking for an eye-catching low-maintenance plant for your home? Are you looking for a plant that you can grow indoors easily, but can also be grown as a climbing plant and pointed to grow in different directions – however you like it to grow? Well, then you might just be looking to grow a Philodendron Burle Marx!
The foliage on this beautiful plant is exotic and jungle-like in its appearance. The leaves are a beautiful dark green color. They have kind of an elongated arrow appearance.
They can be grown either in a floor pot or even in a hanging basket. However you grow them, you can choose which direction you want them to grow to create interest!
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Background and History
This plant is named after the famous Brazilian architect Roberto Burle Marx. He was the first architectural designer to incorporate native plants into modern landscapes. The Burle Marx is one of the easiest philodendrons to care for making it a perfect choice for beginners!
It is native to North Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. It is used as an ornamental foliage in parks and gardens because of its ground cover type foliage.
The Philodendron Burle Marx is also called the Burle Marxii or the Burle Marx Philodendron. The scientific name is Philodendron burle-marxii G.M. Barroso.
The Philodendron Burle Marx is toxic to both humans and animals because of the calcium oxalate crystals in all parts of the plant. These tiny crystals are very sharp and will irritate or damage tissues.
You may still grow this plant around young children or pets, but you should just be aware that it is toxic and take the necessary precautions to keep it away from them.
Philodendron Burle Marx Care Tips
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The best way to water to know when to water your plant is when the top two inches of the soil are dry. Don’t wait till the soil is completely dry in the pot and don’t let just the top inch of soil dry out! Be sure to have a consistent watering schedule so that the plant thrives.
Be sure to keep the soil consistently moist, but not wet during the growing season (the spring and summer months). During the cold months you need to allow the upper soil layers to dry out more before watering your plant again. Remember that overwatering is not your plant’s friend!
Your Philodendron Burle Marx plant likes lots of light, but not direct light. You can keep it in a place where there is bright light, but where it is filtered, indirect sunlight.
It is also known to do fine when grown in low-light conditions, so can be grown in an office setting. A north facing window is a great place for your indoor plant!
Because your Burle Marx Philodendron plant is a fast grower, you can use a soil-less mix such as peat moss with sphagnum or coco cubes with coco peat combined.
If you don’t have coco cubes, you can also use dried bark from trees as a substitute. Your soil needs to be nutritious, so be sure to find a high quality soil mix for your plant to thrive.
You can add vermicast to the soil-less mix to provide nutrients. The Philodendron Burle Marx likes the mix to be moist, especially during the hot months of the year. Even though your plant needs good drainage so excess water can get out, you shouldn’t use perlite or sand based potting soil.
Since your Burle Marx is a fast growing plant, it will need some sort of fertilizer throughout the growing season. This will include early spring and summer months of the year but not during the winter months.
You should do this at least once a month. Using regular houseplant fertilizer will be fine. Follow the directions on the package and that should be all you need to know as far as fertilizing goes!
Temperature and Humidity
The ideal temperature range for your Burle Marx are between 60 and 75 degrees F. They will, however, tolerate temperatures lower than most other houseplants. You should avoid any frost or cold temperatures below 50 degrees F to protect your plant.
As far as humidity levels for your Burle Marx, they prefer a higher level of humidity since they are a tropical plant. They can tolerate humidity levels between 30% and 50% humidity, but they will actually thrive when kept in levels of 80% humidity. The higher the humidity, the better for this plant.
Pests and Diseases
The most common pests for your Burle Marx are aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. The aphids and mealybugs will attach to the leaves and suck the sap out of them eventually killing the leaves.
The first thing to remember is that you will need to keep an eye on your plants on a regular basis to check for pests. If you find them, you will need to isolate it from your other plants. Once you do this, you will need to pick the bugs off the plant. Then you can take a swab with 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe the leaves.
For the most part, these plants are pretty much pest free, but also remember that prevention by not overwatering and keeping a healthy plant will go a long way to preventing pests in the first place!
The most common disease for a Burle Marx is root rot. This is very preventable by keeping the soil at an evenly moist level and not letting your plant sit in wet soil. When the roots don’t get enough oxygen, they will begin to rot. Prevention is key!
Pruning and Repotting
For the most part, you should not need to prune your Burle Marx. It is a naturally growing compact and bushy plant. However, if you do want to prune your plant to keep it smaller or more bushy you can! New growth comes from the leaf nodes so keep that in mind when trimming.
If you want to propagate it, you should cut it right above a leaf node on the stem. Be sure to use a sterile pruning shear to cut the stem and take stem cuttings that are between 2-4 inches long. This will give you a good start for your next plant.
As with most plants, the nutrients in the soil tend to lessen with time. After about a year, the nutrients are gone in the soil. This is a good time to replace the soil in your plant.
It is also a good time to remove any compacted soil and give the roots some new non-compacted soil to grow in and receive more oxygen which will promote better growth for your plant.
If your plant’s roots are very tight and root bound or coming out of the bottom drainage holes, it’s time to put it in a larger pot. Get a pot that is slightly bigger than the one it was in and repot it with fresh soil.
Sometimes there are easy fixes for common issues. Most of them are preventative. Having yellow leaves or brown leaves are usually indicative of too much or not enough watering. Brown leaves in a Burle Marx can indicate overwatering and also can mean your plant is not receiving enough humidity.
Another cause can be built up salt in your soil. This can happen when your plant fertilizer builds up in the soil. You will need to give the soil a good flush once in a while.
To do this, all you need to do is turn on the faucet or hose, place your plant under the stream of water, and let it run slowly through the soil. This will push the excess salt out of the soil.
If you have wilting leaves on your plant, this could be due to under-watering. If the soil is dry past a few inches deep, then your plant does not have enough water. Be sure to maintain a regular watering schedule to prevent this from happening.
This usually means you are watering your plant with hard water. You can use plain tap water, but it is best to let it sit out overnight before using it on your plants. This helps the chlorine and other added chemicals from the tap dissipate.
One of the best ways to prevent pests from infesting your plant is proper maintenance. Make sure you dust the leaves of your plant. A lot of pests are attracted to dirty, dusty, unclean plants.
Yes, it is considered a trailing or vining plant. It is a climbing plant and can be pointed to grow in any direction you wish it to grow!
This beautiful emerald green colored leaf plant is a stunning piece to add to your home or office. You will find it is easy to grow, is a fast grower, and will also help purify the air.
It may become one of your favorites over time as you find how much it adds to your home environment. With proper care, these popular houseplants can grow to two feet tall and will keep its bushy width. As always, keep on growing!
Check out some of my other favorite philodendron plants: