Philodendron El Choco Red

Philodendron El Choco Red

Without a doubt one of the most loved philodendrons, we run down all you need to know about philodendron el choco red care and propagation.

The key to caring for this plant is to keep it humid and well lit but do not overwater it.

Philodendron El Choco Red Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Water when the top half of the soil is dry, check once a week.
Fertilizer:A high nitrogen feed once a month in spring and summer 
Soil:A mix of orchid bark, perlite and regular compost.
Temperature:18°C to 25°C (64-77°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops or Etsy.
Other names:Philodendron rubrijuvenilum ‘El Choco Red’.
Common issues:Root rot from overwatering.


Welcome to our guide to the philodendron el choco red, know for the impressive red hue to it’s leaves. I love this plant and it has come down a lot in price recently, although still not cheap!

See also: Philodendron Splendid, Philodendron Mamei Care, Philodendron Pink Princess Care, Philodendron Rugosum, Philodendron Florida Ghost, Philodendron Billietiae.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

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Light Needs

Keep it out of direct sunlight, but as much bright indirect sunlight as you can give it.

How Often To Water A Philodendron El Choco Red

Water it when the top half of the soil is dry, check once a week with your finger. You do not want to over water a philodendron so be careful, and make sure you don’t leave excess water in the external pot after watering time.

Tip: underwater this plant rather than overwater it, they must not sit in soggy soil as they get root rot easily. Check the soil and only water if mostly dry, and make sure you don’t leave the pot sat in any excess water.


Give your plant a high nitrogen feed once a month in spring and summer to encourage growth.


A mix of orchid bark, perlite and regular compost is a great chunky and well draining mix for a Philodendron El Choco Red. For more on Philodendron soil see our guide on what to buy or how to make your own: Philodendron Soil.

When To Repot

Check the plants roots twice a year, at the start and end of the of growing season. If the roots are crowded, repot it.


60% humidity will get the best out of the plant, they are tropical houseplants and like a humid environment. I like to keep my philodendrons humid to get the best out of those big leaves.

Tip: Keep them humid, aim for 60% in the day and they’ll be ok with a bit less at night. You can buy a humidity meter (affiliate link) to keep an eye on maximum and minimum levels.


18°C to 25°C (64-77°F) is optimal, but they will withstand down to 10°C(50°F) at night.

How To Propagate Philodendron El Choco Red

They are fairly straght forward to propagate. You should take a cutting including one leaf and it-s node. Then, after a few hours when the wound has fully heald, yu can then pot it up in a cup of moist sphagnum moss. Moss is great as it is realtively clean and keep the roots both aeriated and moist which helps with rooting. Keep it humid and in indirect sunlight to encourage it to root. When it is well rooted you can move it to soil.

Philodendron El Choco Red - close up
Philodendron El Choco Red – close up

Is It Toxic To Cats?

They are toxic if ingested, causing vomiting or irritation, although unlikely in most cases to result in death. Seek vets advice if your pet eats any.

Is It A Climber Or Crawler?

Philodendron El Choco Red is a climbing philodendron.

el choco red chonk

As the plant is expensive, a lot of people buy chonks ( a mode cutting with no branch or leaves) to root and grow it from there. It has to be said that this quite a risky way of doing it as the chance of them rooting and producing a plant is much lower than other propagation methods. Personally if you are looking to save money I would but a larger plant, take a cutting and wait for it to be well rooted, then sell the main plant on again.

el choco red USDA Zone

Zones 9b-11.

Philodendron El Choco Red Vs Luxurians

There are a few differences between the el choco red vs luxurians. The luxurians is s crawling philodendron, it grows sideways like gloriousum, the el choco is is a climber. The luxurians has fewer but much bolder veining too.

Philodendron El Choco Red Vs Verrucosum

The el choco red looks very much like verrucosum from a distance with big chunky, veiny leaves. The philodendron el choco red vs verrucosum can be told apart by looking at the petiole which is hairy on the verrucosum, and not on the le choco red. They are really similar in other aspects as they are both climbing, red-hued philodendrons.

How Do You Root El Choco Red?

The best way to root an el choco red is to take a cutting with one leaf and one node, leave it for an hour or two for the wound to heal, then plant it up in moist sphagnum moss to root. Keep it humid, warm and well lit and it will root over then next few weeks.

You can also root it in water, soil, perlite or leca. I prefer moss as you get less rot than soil but more air to the roots.

Philodendron El Choco Red Scientific Name

Philodendron rubrijuvenilum ‘El Choco Red’.

Where To Buy

Try our list of Rare Plant Shops. Or Etsy.

FAQs And Common Problems

Root rot from overwatering is a real issue with philodendrons, so make sure you use a well draining mix and do not let them sit in wet soggy soil.

Additional Resources


Other Articles You Might Like

Hope you enjoyed this guide, you might also like our other articles: Philodendron Dark Lord, Philodendron Splendid, Philodendron Mamei Care, Philodendron Pink Princess Care, Monstera Pinnatipartita Care, Monstera Obliqua, Philodendron Rugosum, Philodendron Florida Ghost, Philodendron Billietiae.

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Philodendron El Choco Red
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