Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo‘ a.k.a Red Congo Philodendron
Rojo Congo are a great choice when it comes to Philodendron houseplant varieties. With an abundant supply going around and being relatively inexpensive they make a great addition to any urban jungle without breaking the bank. The word ‘Rojo’ is Spanish for the word ‘red’, which this plant gets for its vibrant colored stems. This plant also goes by the name Red Congo Philodendron. The Rojo Congo Philodendron is part of the Araceae family and is also native to South America like other similarly shaped philodendron varieties.
Rojo Congo Philodendron Quick Overview
|Upwards of 42 inches
|Bright indirect light
The mature size of Philodendron Rojo Congo can be upwards of 42 inches in width and 30 inches in height. As this plant grows larger it can get top heavy and fall over. It’s good to choose a planter that will be able to help keep the plant standing upright. This plant is a non-climbing variety that grows its large leaves from the centre base of the plant. They can start off as small plants but with their fast growth, can become big quite quickly.
Rojo Congo Philodendron will grow best when in bright indirect lighting. Morning sunlight is generally okay however, you should avoid any direct afternoon sunlight when the rays are at the harshest as this will burn the foliage. A sign that your Philodendron Rojo Congo is receiving too much light is yellowing and/or pale/scorched leaves. If your plant is in a spot where it isn’t receiving adequate lighting, you will notice it becoming long and leggy as it’s searching for more light.
Adding a blind or curtain to your window will help to defuse the harsh sunlight to avoid burning the plants foliage. Alternatively, if you can’t seem to find that perfect spot in your home, you can always use grow lights. Just like direct sunlight, if your plant is sitting too close to the grow lights, they will burn the foliage. Keeping a safe distance of at least 60cm between your plant and the light will avoid any trouble.
The ideal temperature for growing Rojo Congo Philodendron is between 65ºF-80˚F (18ºC-26˚C). Since this plant is from tropical climates, it does like a warmer environment. This plant can tolerate temperatures reaching up to 95ºF (35ºC) however, it doesn’t tolerate temperatures that drop below 55ºF (13ºC). If your Rojo Congo Philodendron is kept in cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time it can cause plant death. During the cooler months, you should move your plant to a warmer spot in your home.
Rojo Congo Philodendron will thrive when kept in an environment that is kept above 50% humidity. These plant can however tolerate a basic household humidity. You can mist this plant to help with humidity but you should wipe the water off the leaves to prevent any diseases or mould.
Providing a high humidity for your plants will encourage bigger and healthier growth. There are a few thing you can do that can help bump up the humidity in your home. The things you can try are:
- Misting your plants
- Pebble trays
- Grouping plants together
You can read more about increasing humidity in your home here.
You can expect your Rojo Congo Philodendron to require water around once a week. However, this will change throughout the seasons when the temperature and amount of sunlight is changing. Before watering, you should check the top 1-2 inches of soil with your finger to feel if it’s still moist. If the soil is dry, you should give your plant a drink. Drooping leaves can be a sign that your Rojo Congo Philodendron is thirsty and brown crispy edges on the leaves can be a sign of under-watering.
Although this plant likes a slightly moist soil, it doesn’t like sitting in water and you need to be cautious of over-watering. Excess water to the soil can cause it to become waterlogged, which can then cause the roots to start rotting. This stops them from being able to take in any water or nutrients for the plant. This can then cause fungal issues, pest problems and root-rot. A sign that you may have over-watered your Rojo Congo Philodendron are yellow and wilting leaves.
You should fertilise your Rojo Congo Philodendron monthly during Spring and Summer. You can cut fertilising down to every 6-8 weeks during the cooler months (Winter and Autumn). Fertilising your plants helps give them the essential nutrients they need for promoting and maintaining new and healthy growth. Applying fertilisers during the cooler months when plants aren’t actively growing and using the nutrients in the soil can cause salt build up and root burn.
The best fertiliser to use for Philodendron Rojo Congo would be a balanced all purpose liquid fertiliser diluted to half strength. A slow release fertiliser will also work well. You can also create an organic fertiliser by adding things like leaf and bark matter, peat, compost and organic manure to the soil. This acts as a slow release natural fertiliser, which will also help lessen the chance of over-fertilising.
When it comes to fertilising houseplants, you need to be cautious of over-fertilising. A sign that you may have over-fertilised your Rojo Congo Philodendron is brown tips and curling leaves. If you think you’ve over-fertilised your plant you can either change the soil or rinse the fertiliser out of the soil. The water colour will change to clear when the fertiliser has been rinsed out.
For more information on fertilising houseplants click here.
Philodendron Rojo Congo will grow best when in a loose, well draining soil that is rich in organic matter. To achieve a well draining soil, you can add things like orchid bark, peat moss, perlite, charcoal or sand to help with aeration and drainage. Air flow is important in potting soil as it helps to allow the roots to breath. If the plants roots don’t get enough oxygen they can eventually start to rot.
You can add other organic materials like coco coir, mulch chunks and coconut husk to the soil to help restrain moisture. Rojo Congo Philodendron like to be kept slightly moist so it’s important to use materials that will help hold moisture but not make the soil too wet and soggy. You can also add garden compost and organic manure to the soil to add more richness.
Diseases & Pests
The common pests you may encounter on your Rojo Congo Philodendron are Aphids, Mealybugs, Scale and Thrips. However, this plant tends to be quite pest resistant depending on the living environment. The most common diseases your may encounter are Root-rot and Erwinia Blight. For more information on identifying and treating common houseplant pests click here.
The best thing you can do when it comes to pests on houseplants is to try and avoid any pest infestations from starting. There are a few things you can do that will assist in preventing any pest infestations and these things are:
- Checking new plants for pests or isolating new plants for up to a week.
- Check your plants every few days for pests.
- Trim off any dead or dying leaves.
- Wipe down leaves if you notice them getting dusty.
- Keeping your plants healthy. A healthy plant will be able to handle an infestation better than those that aren’t as happy.
- Isolate any plants that have pests.
Following this will assist in keeping pests away as well as catch them early on before any severe infestations are able to start. Keeping plants healthy and in the correct living environments can help to deter any pests from invading your plants.
Philodendron Rojo Congo contains calcium oxalate crystals which is toxic to both humans and pets. If any part of the plant is ingested, symptoms may include a burning sensation and swelling of the lips, mouth, throat and tongue. Symptoms from pets may include vomiting, lack of appetite, drooling and pawing at the mouth.