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I've had this plant for about 2 years- always in the same spot. So far it seems to be ok with watering about once a week and occasionally spraying its leaves. It is growing new leaves quite often but recently one of them turned red. I'd like to know:

  • what kind of plant is it?
  • are the red leaves a warning sign of an issue?
  • how often should I water it?
  • should I repot it to a bigger pot? and what type of soil does it typically need?

Thanks!

plant1

plant2

Update 23 June: 5 leaves turned more orange. 3 of them fell off

plant3 plant4

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It looks like an Imperial Red Philodendron. It is supposed to produce the reddish leaves.

As a general rule, water plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Unnecessary re-potting is a main cause of plant failure. You should only re-pot a plant if it is root-bound (although some plants like to be root-bound). A couple of good signs of a plant that is root-bound and possibly in need of re-potting is a constant need for watering (the soils dries up within a day or two after watering) and no new growth. Your plant does not have those signs so it very likely does not need to be re-potted. Philodendrons do well with regular commercial potting soil.

From the pictures, it looks like your Philodendron is suffering from a couple of possible problems. The brown patches, damage and discolorations on the leaves could be from improper watering and too much light. Philodendrons are mostly low light plants that do not do well with direct sunlight.

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    Thanks very much for all the information! My apartment is Northern facing with no direct sunlight, so I must be watering incorrectly – KBula Jun 18 at 16:54
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    Hi Avlar, I posted an update on my plant above. 3 leaves have fallen off (including one of the orange/red leaves from the initial photos) and two more look about ready to fall off. It's also a mix of old and newer leaves. I did some googling but it's unclear to me if I am under- or overwatering. The soil feels dry, but its behavior seems more like it's overwatered. Can you please help me? Thanks already in advance! I also noticed that my plant does indeed get some direct sunlight for a few hours in the morning. I've moved it to a shadier spot to try to help that. – KBula Jun 23 at 16:38
  • These kinds of Philodendrons handle being under-watered much better than being over-watered. Over-watering is a problem that happens over a long period of time, so it takes time for the plant to recover after the over-watering problem has been corrected. Honestly, from the pictures you originally posted, I would have been very surprised if those leaves had NOT fallen off. Give the plant some time to recover. There will likely be a few more leaves fall off. Just keep watering it properly (allowing the top 1-2 inches dry before watering) and make sure it gets good, indirect light. – Avlar Jun 23 at 18:06
  • Another thing that I wanted to mention is you should remove all the dried leaf sheaths (the brown, papery things attached to the center stem) and cut off the leaf stems that no longer have a leaf. Removing dead plant material from the plant and the top of the soil helps prevent problems with mold/fungus. Also wipe the leaves with a damp cloth (or paper towel) about once a week to remove any dust or dirt on them. Just a thin layer of dust can significantly reduce photosynthesis and interfere with respiration. – Avlar Jun 23 at 18:44
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    I removed all the dead/dry parts like you said and will monitor the soil wetness. Fingers crossed! Thanks again for your help – KBula Jun 24 at 16:09

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