Philodendron Black Cardinal
Philodendron,  Plant Care

Philodendron Black Cardinal

In this article we’ll run down how to get the best out of the philodendron black cardinal, the key is bright light and careful watering…

Philodendron Black Cardinal Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Check once a week and water if top inch / 2cm of soil is dry. 
Fertilizer:A balanced fertilizer every 2 or 3 weeks in the summer growing months.
Soil:Well draining.
Temperature:16-28°C (61-82°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Common issues:Root rot.


The philodendron black cardinal is known for it’s dark almost burgundy colored leaves, which start off as red. It is a real show stopper with it’s dark leaves and a red fountain of new growth at the top…

Philodendron Black Cardinal Light Needs

Give your philodendron black cardinal bright indirect sunlight. It will do well in a bit less light and further back from the window, but if it gets leggy, just move it forward. Be careful not to let it get direct sunlight at midday as it will burn the leaves.

How Often to Water

Check the plant once a week and water it if top inch or two (4cms or so) of soil is dry. Do not just water it on a schedule without checking it. These are easy to overwater and this can damage foliage or even root rot, so be careful and let it almost dry out.


Use a balanced fertilizer every two or three weeks in the summer growing months. It will really help the foliage to grow well. Do not use in winter or autumn when the plant grows a lot less.

Philodendron Black Cardinal
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Philodendron Black Cardinal Soil

For a philodendron black cardinal you definitely want to make sure the soil is well draining as they can be susceptible to root rot. Make sure it is loose too, they do not like packed wet soil. They really want plenty of perlite added, some people use a cactus and succulent compost.

When To Repot

If you see roots growing through the bottom of the pot you can repot the plant up a pot size. You can do this any time of year, but the best time is in Spring.


Philodendrons like 50% humidity which is the higher end of household humidity (most households are 30-50%). Give them a misting two or thee times a week. Misting is good as it helps to keep the plants leaves clean from pests, at least at the early stages, it also removes dust which can inhibit photosynthesis. Just be careful with mold.


Philodendrons like this do well in the 16-28°C (61-82°F) range. Normal household temperature is 20°C to 25°C (68-77°F), so these plants will do well in most households. Just don’t let them get too cold in the winter, keep away from draughts.

Where To Buy

Always support your local plant store where you can. These are some fairly rare plants so you may well need a specialist dealer, so try Etsy or our list of Rare Plant Shops.

Philodendron Black Cardinal FAQs and Common Problems

Be careful of root rot as it is a big killer of these plants. I always add extra perlite to help out with drainage and do not water until the top layer of soil has dried out.

What’s the different between a Black Cardinal and other dark philodendrons?

There are a lot of dark leaved, almost red philodenrons out there and there is often some confusion… The black cardinal has oval leaves, some pointy at the end and some round. It is not heart shaped like the black majesty etc. The leaves are much less thin than the dark lord, the black cardinal’s leaves are more oval like a rubber plant. Leaves are shinny in look and texture, and dark red, burgundy black. The black cardinal is not a viney, long philodendron, it is low and bushy.

Is It Toxic To Pets?

According to and it is an irritant to the mouth and esophagus if taken orally. Seek out vets advice if your pet has consumed it.

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Hope you like our guide to the philodendron black cardinal. You might also like these: Philodendron Birkin Care, Water Propagation, Monstera Deliciosa Care.

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