El Choco Red is a Philodendron from the Choco region of Colombia, though it can also be found in Ecuador. They are plants that primarily exist in the wild as vining plants that cling onto other plants nearby without establishing their roots in the soil.
However, they can also grow in the soil and make excellent indoor plants. When they are young, they have deep red leaves that slowly turn green as they mature. They are stunning at any age.
You may wonder if their care differs from that of other Philodendrons. Overall, taking care of a Philodendron El Choco Red is the same as taking care of any other Philodendron. They propagate in the same ways and have the same care requirements.
El Choco Red Philodendrons need bright, indirect sunlight, humidity over 50%, well-draining soil, temperatures between 65 to 85°F (18 to 29°C), frequent watering and are considered great propagators using stem cuttings in water or soil.
If you have owned a Philodendron, you are more than ready to take care of the El Choco Red. And if you haven’t, don’t worry; they have relatively easy care requirements.
How Do You Care For a Philodendron El Choco?
Part of the popularity of owning a Philodendron is that they are easy to care for. It isn’t any different for the Philodendron El Choco Red. They have low requirements and just need a little care occasionally to grow.
The main things to consider when taking care of a Philodendron El Choco Red are:
- Growth support
You can ensure that you have a happy and healthy plant by making sure you have all of these things. While it may seem like a lot, they are relatively easy requirements.
El Choco Red Philodendron prefers to have a lot of bright but indirect light. Though it can handle more or less, the colors aren’t as bright, and growth slows down. Additionally, too much sun can harm your plant, especially the leaves, which may burn.
Philodendrons can handle humidity below 50% but prefer humidity around 60% or higher. Make sure they are in a room with lots of humidity to do their best. Placing them near other plants often helps.
Philodendrons need soil that drains well. You can use a well-draining potting mix or make your own out of indoor potting mix, perlite, and orchid bark. These three ingredients should be in a 1 to 1 to 1 ratio, so it is easy enough to make.
Things like coffee grounds make excellent natural fertilizers, but you can also use liquid fertilizers found in the store. You want ones with a high amount of nitrogen. To best fertilize the plants, you want to use the fertilizer at half-strength and usually once a month only during the growing seasons.
Philodendron El Choco Red prefers temperatures around 65 to 85°F (18 to 29°C). They can’t handle temperatures much below this range as they aren’t equipped to handle cold weather and frost.
Keeping the soil too wet attracts bugs and fungi. To reduce the chances of this, ensure your soil dries out completely between waterings and that the water can drain via drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Additionally, you can use things like neem oil to keep away pests.
While El Choco Red grows in a humid and tropical area of the world where it rains most of the time, these Philodendrons don’t naturally grow in soil. Instead, they have aerial roots that cling to trees and branches. This means that they often don’t sit in water.
This is important for indoor versions of these plants as well. They enjoy having a lot of water but don’t want to sit in it. Ensure the top 2 inches (5 cm) are dry before watering again.
El Choco Reds have vines that like to cling and attach to things. To stop them from spreading everywhere or not growing as much, put a trellis or a moss pole in their pot. This gives the plant plenty of space to grow and expand and looks rather pretty.
Does Philodendron Like to Be Misted?
For tropical plants, humidity is important. Philodendrons can usually be misted every day. They can’t stand for humidity to drop much below 50% without some stress affecting the plant. Misting daily is a great way to help keep the humidity up.
However, you can also use other methods, such as bringing a humidifier into the room or creating an evaporating pebble tray that releases water into the air over time.
Can I Put Coffee Grounds in My Philodendron?
Coffee grounds can be a good idea if your Philodendron El Choco Red grows slowly. You can mix used coffee grounds into the soil or use a mix of half water and half coffee to water your plant occasionally.
Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and other beneficial nutrients, but they must be used in moderation, or you can add too much nitrogen to the soil and cause harm to your plant.
Is Philodendron El Choco Red a Climber?
Philodendron El Choco Red is considered a climber. They have long vines that will grow and spread upward if given something to cling to. You can use things like a trellis, moss pole, coconut coir pole, or make something up for yourself.
Even something simple like a decorative ladder or a bookshelf is often enough to give this Philodendron something to cling to and climb upwards on.
How Much Light Does a Red Philodendron Need?
Most Philodendrons prefer bright but indirect light, including those with red like El Choco Red or the Philodendron Imperial Red. They can do okay under low-light conditions, but those that don’t have a lot of solid green usually need a little more sun than Philodendrons with a lot of green.
This is because of their leaves. The green in plants comes from chlorophyll, which is used to turn the energy from the sun into something usable for the plant. The fewer green leaves the plant has, the more light they need and the more time it takes in the light.
Since Philodendron El Choco Red can have redder leaves, they usually prefer to have brighter light and more of it throughout the day.
Where Is the Best Place to Put a Philodendron?
Philodendrons, including Philodendron El Choco Red, prefer places with bright but indirect sun. The best place to put them in your home is near a south-facing window with a thin covering. That way, they get plenty of light throughout the day but don’t get harsh, direct sunlight that can damage their leaves.
How to Propagate El Choco Red?
El Choco Red Philodendrons are considered to be great propagators. They grow quickly and are quick to settle down in a new environment after a cutting.
The most common method is to use stem cuttings to propagate. You will need to use sterilized tools before beginning any cutting. This prevents bacteria from getting on your plant and infecting the area where you cut.
Then, you will decide where you want to cut. You want to make a cut on your El Choco Red that includes at least one node. Ensure the area where you cut is clean and free of dirt.
While stem cuttings are the most popular method for El Choco Red, they can be propagated any way that any other Philodendron can. Another popular way is to include a node with an aerial root already formed to encourage faster growth. Other options are leaf-bud cuttings and root division.
Your El Choco Red can then be propagated either in soil or water. Many people prefer water as you can watch the roots grow without worrying about problems such as root rot.
When propagating in water, you just want to stick it deep enough that the node or nodes are in the water and the cutting is pointing down. The rest can be outside of the water. Change out the water every two or three days. When the plant starts to grow roots, you can transplant it into the soil.
When propagating in soil, you would put it in the same soil your adult El Choco Red would enjoy. You want to ensure the pot you put the plant in isn’t too big and has drainage holes at the bottom.
Make sure the soil stays damp but not wet, and wait. Your plant will start to grow in about four weeks or so.
For a better chance of your El Choco Red Philodendron to root and grow healthy, people suggest using a rooting hormone to promote growth and putting cinnamon powder around your plant to encourage root growth and act as a fungicide.
Philodendron El Choco Red may look different from other Philodendrons. Still, their care and propagation requirements are pretty much the same. They prefer humid, warm areas with lots of indirect sunlight.
El Choco Red Philodendrons have low care requirements, grow quickly, and are considered great propagators using stem cuttings in water or soil. They enjoy humidity over 60%, well-draining soil, fertilizer, temperatures between 65 to 85°F (18 to 29°C), frequent watering, and a support like a trellis or moss pole.
They can be propagated best with stem cuttings that include at least one node but can also propagate via the roots or a leaf. They are expensive plants to find fully grown, so being able to propagate them in your home or to buy a propagation plant is a great option.