Painted Lady Plant Care: How to Grow This Philodendron

painted lady plant care

The Painted Lady Philodendron is a stunning tropical plant known for its beautiful, variegated green leaves and distinct coloration. Adding this eye-catching plant to your indoor plants collection will enhance its visual appeal and bring a touch of nature’s beauty into your space. As a proud owner of a Painted Lady, it’s essential to understand this lovely plant’s essential care tips and needs.

To help your Painted Lady Philodendron thrive, you’ll need to pay attention to a few key factors. These include providing the right amount of water, ensuring optimal temperature, humidity, and light conditions, as well as using appropriate soil and fertilizing regimens. By doing so, your plant will reward you with vibrant leaves and healthy growth.

As a climbing philodendron, the Painted Lady can be trained to climb support like a trellis or a moss pole for plants. Alternatively, you can simply let it trail down, creating a lush cascade of colorful foliage. Your plant will produce larger leaves as it grows, displaying more interesting patterns and colors.

The botanical name of the Painted Lady Philodendron is Philodendron erubescens. It is a hybrid originating from South America, where it can be found growing in tropical rainforests. As a tropical plant, the Painted Lady Philodendron is accustomed to warm and humid conditions, so it’s important that you replicate these conditions in your home to ensure successful growth.

Painted Lady Plant Care

Caring for your Painted Lady Philodendron is easy and rewarding. Following these plant care basics will help you maintain a healthy, vibrant plant with stunning variegation and heart-shaped leaves.

First, let’s talk about light. Your Painted Lady Philodendron thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Make sure to place your plant in a spot where it will receive at least 5 hours of indirect sunlight each day. Too little light can result in smaller leaves, leggy vines, and fading colors.

Temperature and humidity are essential components of Painted Lady care. This tropical plant prefers a consistent temperature between 65°F and 85°F (18°C – 29°C). It also thrives in higher humidity levels. Consider using a humidifier or placing a tray with water and pebbles underneath your plant to achieve optimal humidity.

Your Painted Lady Philodendron loves well-draining soil. When planting, opt for a soil mix that includes peat moss, perlite, and a well-draining potting mix. Ensure your pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. The optimal soil pH for your plant is slightly acidic, ranging from 6.0 to 6.5.

Watering is a crucial aspect of Painted Lady care. Make sure to water your plant when the top 1-2 inches of soil feels dry. Too much water can lead to yellow leaves and root rot, so finding the right balance is essential.

Finally, fertilizing is essential to promote healthy growth. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. This will help provide your Painted Lady Philodendron with the essential nutrients it needs to flourish.

By following these friendly plant care basics, you’ll be well on your way to nurturing a beautiful and thriving Painted Lady Philodendron! 


A Painted Lady Philodendron prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A good potting mix for this plant should contain a combination of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. These ingredients will help the soil retain moisture while allowing excess water to drain away, preventing the soil from becoming waterlogged. Adding some orchid bark or charcoal to the soil mix can help improve drainage and prevent root rot. It’s important to avoid using heavy, clayey soils that can retain too much moisture and suffocate the roots. A loose, well-draining, nutrient-rich soil mix is best for a Painted Lady Philodendron.

Sphagnum moss can be a good option for a Painted Lady Philodendron. Sphagnum moss is a type of moss that is often used in gardening and horticulture because it is absorbent and can hold water well. It can be used as a component in a potting mix or as a top dressing for the soil to help retain moisture and improve drainage. Additionally, sphagnum moss can be used to wrap around the roots of a plant when transplanting, which can help reduce transplant shock and promote healthy growth. However, it’s important not to use too much sphagnum moss as it can retain too much moisture and cause the soil to become waterlogged, which can lead to root rot. As with any potting material, it’s important to use sphagnum moss in moderation and adjust watering accordingly.


When it comes to watering a Painted Lady Philodendron, it’s important to strike a balance between keeping the soil moist and avoiding overwatering. Here are some tips to help you water your plant correctly:

  1. Check the soil moisture: Before watering, check the soil moisture by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water.
  2. Water thoroughly: When watering, ensure to water the soil thoroughly until water starts draining out of the pot’s bottom. This will help ensure that the roots receive enough water.
  3. Allow the soil to dry out slightly: After watering, allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. This will help prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot.
  4. Adjust the watering frequency based on environmental conditions: The frequency of watering will depend on environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and light levels. When the plant is actively growing in the summer, it may need to be watered more frequently than during late spring and winter when growth slows down.

Overall, avoiding letting the soil dry out completely or become waterlogged is important. Finding the right balance of moisture is key to keeping your Painted Lady Philodendron healthy and happy.

Light and Temperature

A Painted Lady Philodendron typically prefers bright, indirect light. It can tolerate some direct sunlight, but too much direct light can scorch its leaves. It’s important to avoid placing it in low light conditions as this can cause its leaves to become dull and lose their variegation. A good rule of thumb is to place it in a spot where it receives bright, filtered light for several hours a day.

A Painted Lady Philodendron prefers warm temperatures between 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C). It can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures, but it’s important to avoid exposing it to temperatures below 55°F (13°C) as this can cause its leaves to yellow and drop. Additionally, it’s important to avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or drafts, which can also cause stress to the plant. For example, don’t place your plant right near air conditioners. Maintaining a consistent temperature and avoiding extreme fluctuations is key to keeping your Painted Lady Philodendron healthy and thriving.


A Painted Lady Philodendron prefers moderate to high humidity levels. Ideally, the humidity level should be between 50% to 60%. However, it can tolerate lower humidity levels as long as it’s not exposed to prolonged periods of dry air. You can increase the humidity level around your plant by misting the leaves regularly or placing a humidifier nearby.

Another option is to place a tray of water near the plant, which will increase the humidity level as the water evaporates. Maintaining the right humidity level is important for helping your Painted Lady Philodendron thrive and prevent issues such as dry, crispy leaves.

Read More: How to Use a Humidifier for Your Indoor Plants

Common Problems and Solutions

Caring for a painted lady plant may sometimes present challenges, but with the right knowledge, you can easily solve most problems that may arise.

Pests and Diseases: Some common pests affecting painted lady plants are spider mites and mealybugs. To prevent and control these pests, regularly clean the leaves with a damp cloth and inspect the plant for signs of infestation. Treat the affected area with insecticidal soap or neem oil if you notice any pests.

Powdery mildew is a common disease that may affect your painted lady plant, causing a white or gray powdery growth on leaves and stems. To prevent and treat this disease, ensure proper air circulation around your plant and avoid overwatering.

Root Rot and Yellow Leaves: Overwatering your painted lady plant can lead to root rot, seen as a foul smell and mushy roots. To avoid this, use well-draining soil and give the plant a consistent watering schedule. Your painted lady may also show yellow leaves if overwatered or if it experiences direct sunlight or extremely high temperatures.

Toxicity: Painted lady plants contain calcium oxalate crystals, making them toxic to pets and humans if ingested. Keep your plant out of reach of children and pets to avoid any accidental consumption.

Brown Spots on Painted Lady Plant

Brown spots on the leaves of a Philodendron Painted Lady can be caused by a few different factors, including:

  1. Overwatering: If the soil is consistently wet or waterlogged, it can cause the roots to rot, which can lead to brown spots on the leaves.
  2. Underwatering: If the plant is not receiving enough water, the leaves can become dehydrated and develop brown spots.
  3. Low humidity: If the air is too dry, the leaves can become dehydrated and develop brown spots.
  4. Pest infestations: Certain pests, such as spider mites or mealybugs, can cause brown spots on the leaves.

To address the issue, you should first identify the cause of the brown spots and take appropriate action. If the issue is related to watering, adjust your watering schedule accordingly. If the problem is low humidity, consider increasing the humidity level around the plant by misting the leaves or using a humidifier.

If you suspect a pest infestation, inspect the plant closely and take appropriate measures to eliminate the pests. Additionally, you can trim off any severely damaged leaves to encourage new growth.

Repotting Painted Lady Philodendron

Repotting your Painted Lady Philodendron is essential for its growth and overall health. Choose the right time, usually in early spring, to give your plant a fresh environment for the new growing season.

First, carefully remove the plant from its current pot by gently pulling it out while supporting the base of the stem. Assess the root structure; if it’s densely tangled or root-bound, gently loosen the roots before placing it in the new pot.

Select a new pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Ensure the pot is slightly larger than the previous one, offering adequate space for the root system to grow. Fill the bottom layer of the pot with a well-draining potting mix specifically designed for Philodendrons or aroids. combining peat, perlite, and some bark or coco coir can provide an excellent blend for your Painted Lady Philodendron.

Place the plant in the new pot and gently surround the roots with more potting mix, making sure the plant is properly anchored. After repotting, water the plant thoroughly using the soak-and-dry method. This entails saturating the soil and allowing it to drain, ensuring all the roots receive equal amounts of water.

Remember to regularly monitor the moisture levels in the soil after repotting to avoid under or over-watering. Once your Painted Lady Philodendron is settled in its new home, it’s ready to offer you its beautiful foliage for years to come.

Fertilization Techniques

Maintaining your Painted Lady plant’s health and vibrancy requires proper fertilization. In this section, you’ll learn about choosing the right fertilizer and determining the appropriate application frequency and quantity.

Choosing the Fertilizer

When it comes to selecting a fertilizer for your Painted Lady plant, you have a few options. Liquid fertilizers and slow-release fertilizers are both effective choices. Liquid fertilizers are easy to apply and get absorbed quickly, while slow-release fertilizers provide nutrients to the plant over a more extended period.

In addition, you might consider incorporating organic matter into the soil, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to nourish your Painted Lady plant naturally. This can enhance soil structure and provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.

Application Frequency and Quantity

To keep your Painted Lady plant healthy, it’s crucial to apply fertilizer regularly during the growing season, usually from spring to summer. Applying a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks is a great approach. Remember the following points when fertilizing your plant:

  • Before applying the fertilizer, water your plant thoroughly. This ensures that the roots are hydrated and ready to absorb the nutrients.
  • Pour the diluted fertilizer mixture onto the soil around the base of the plant, avoiding direct contact with the leaves. This helps prevent leaf burn.
  • Reduce fertilization frequency during the dormant season (fall and winter) since the plant’s growth slows down. You can skip fertilization altogether during these months or apply it less frequently, depending on your plant’s needs.

Size and Growth

The Painted Lady Philodendron is a beautiful, easy-to-grow indoor plant that adapts to various conditions. As it grows, you’ll notice this tropical beauty develops large, heart-shaped leaves with striking variegation in shades of green, yellow, and cream.

Supporting Painted Lady Growth

A moss pole can be a great way to provide support for a Painted Lady Philodendron as it grows and help it maintain its upright shape. Here are the steps to use a moss pole for your plant:

  1. Choose a suitable moss pole: A moss pole should be tall enough to support the plant as it grows. It should also be sturdy and able to support the weight of the plant.
  2. Place the moss pole in the pot: Insert it into the pot, ensuring it is firmly in place and won’t wobble.
  3. Secure the plant to the moss pole: Gently guide the stems of the plant towards the moss pole and use plant ties or soft string to secure the stems to the pole. Be careful not to tie the stems too tightly, as this can damage the plant.
  4. Water the moss pole: A moss pole needs to be kept moist to help the roots of the plant attached to it. Water the moss pole regularly, or mist it with water to keep it moist.
  5. Monitor the plant: As the plant grows, continue to guide the stems towards the moss pole and adjust the ties as needed. Be careful not to damage the leaves or stems as you work.

Using a moss pole can help your Painted Lady Philodendron grow tall and strong while also adding an attractive vertical element to your plant display.

Propagating Painted Lady Plant

When it comes to propagating your Painted Lady Plant, there are two popular methods: stem cuttings and division. Below are the steps to follow for each method.

Stem Cuttings:

  1. Look for a healthy stem with several leaves and at least one aerial root.
  2. With a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, make a diagonal cut below a node, leaving a few inches of stem.
  3. Place the cutting in a glass jar or cup filled with water, making sure the aerial root is submerged.
  4. Change the water every few days to keep it clean.
  5. Wait for new roots to grow, usually within a few weeks.
  6. Once the roots are a few inches long, transplant the cutting into well-draining soil, and treat it as a new plant.


  1. Gently remove the entire Painted Lady plant from its pot.
  2. Inspect the root system and find a natural division point where two sections can be separated.
  3. Carefully pull apart the sections using your fingers, taking care not to damage the roots.
  4. Repot each section into a separate container filled with well-draining soil.
  5. Water both plants thoroughly and place them in their preferred lighting conditions.

By following these guidelines, you can successfully propagate your Painted Lady plant and watch as your collection grows. Remember to take care of your new plants by providing the proper light, water, and soil conditions to ensure their beautiful variegated leaves continue to thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Painted Lady Philodendron climb?

Yes, Painted Lady Philodendrons are natural climbers. They climb tree trunks and other surfaces using their aerial roots in their natural habitat. If you want to encourage your Painted Lady Philodendron to climb, you can provide a support structure like a moss pole or trellis for the plant to latch onto.

Are Painted Lady plants rare?

Painted Lady Philodendrons are considered rare aroids. This is mainly because their commercial demand is much higher than their supply. However, the rarity of these plants has reduced in recent years as they have become more easily available through online plant shops and nurseries.

How to prevent yellow leaves on Painted Lady plants?

To prevent yellow leaves on your Painted Lady plants, ensure that they are receiving the appropriate care. A few factors could lead to yellow leaves:

  1. Watering: Overwatering or underwatering can cause yellow leaves. During the growing season (spring to summer), water the plant when the top 1-2 inches of soil have gone dry. During the dormant season (fall and winter), water when the soil is 50% dry.
  2. Light: Provide bright indirect sunlight for your Painted Lady Philodendron. Less than 5 hours of indirect sunlight per day may cause the leaves to turn yellow and lose their variegation.
  3. Nutrient deficiency: Fertilize your plant regularly with a balanced, liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Apply the fertilizer once a month during the growing season and less frequently during the dormant season.

Regularly monitor your plant’s condition and adjust its care accordingly to maintain healthy leaves.

Are Painted Lady Philodendrons toxic to pets?

Yes, Painted Lady Philodendrons are toxic to pets due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves and stems. Ingestion of these plants can cause oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing in pets like cats and dogs. It’s best to keep the plant out of your pet’s reach to prevent accidental ingestion. If you suspect your pet has ingested part of the plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If You Like Painted Lady Philodendron, You Will Also Like:

There are several types of philodendron varieties that are similar in appearance to the Painted Lady Philodendron. Here are a few examples:

  1. Philodendron Birkin: This plant has striking white pinstripes on its dark green leaves, similar to the variegation on the Painted Lady Philodendron.
  2. Philodendron Brasil: This plant has heart-shaped leaves that are green with yellow variegation. The variegation pattern is similar to that of the Painted Lady Philodendron but with a different color scheme.
  3. Philodendron Rojo Congo: This plant has large, deep green leaves with a reddish tint on the undersides of the leaves, similar to the red stems of the Painted Lady Philodendron.
  4. Philodendron Imperial Green: This plant has large, glossy green leaves that are similar in shape and size to the leaves of the Painted Lady Philodendron.

All of these plants are members of the Philodendron family and have similar care requirements to the Painted Lady Philodendron. They prefer bright, indirect light, moderate to high humidity, and well-draining soil.