Philodendron Caramel Marble Care from Start to Finish
The Philodendron Caramel Marble is a very expensive, highly sought after plant. I’ve seen it sell for $ although the prices can vary significantly on what you’re buying.
Larger plants are more expensive. Smaller ones are rare to find. And in most cases, what you’ll be buying are stem cuttings.
The reason the Philodendron Caramel Marble is expensive is because of the multiple colors its large, long, serrated leaves produce.
These come in different colors including yellow, brown, tan, pink, light green and all sorts of variegations. Each leaf is also different with some having 2 or more colors.
How do you care for the Philodendron Caramel Marble? This slow growing plant needs plenty of indirect light to maintain its stunning leaf colors. Give it rich potting mix and fertilizer for optimal growth.
Avoid soggy soil and allow the soil to dry between waterings. It enjoys warm weather and high humidity.
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Philodendron Caramel Marble Plant Care
The Philodendron Caramel Marble needs medium to bright indirect light to thrive. Plenty of light is ideal for its colorful leaves.
Ideally, it prefers natural light.
But artificial light is not a problem if you don’t have a lot of window access in your home or want to keep the plant in one of the inner rooms in your home.
In this case, you will need to use fluorescent lighting or LED grow lights.
On the other hand, if you get a good amount of sunlight coming in through your windows, somewhere with 60% to 85% light is ideal.
If you can keep it near a window, that would be great.
But this applies more for an east or west facing window.
Be careful with a south facing window because that side gets the most light during the day. And majority of this happens between late in the morning until mid-afternoon when the sun is very harsh.
Unfortunately, the Philodendron Caramel Marble cannot tolerant this intensity.
And it will cause leaf discoloration initially making them turn yellow. After a while they will turn brown.
In some cases, you’ll see brown or black burn marks appear as well.
Therefore, in a south facing window, keep the plant at least 2-3 feet from the window opening or filter the light using sheer curtains.
On the other hand, while the plant can tolerate low light, I don’t suggest it. That’s because of its beautiful foliage color.
Lack of light will cause them to fade. As such, you’ll lose their vibrancy.
And if the light is really low and insufficiently, the plant will start producing more chlorophyll in a desperate effort to absorb more light.
As a result, the various colors will turn green.
Sadly, the Philodendron Caramel Marble can revert back to all green leaves. And once this happens, you lose them forever at least for that plant.
This is why low light is never a good idea for this plant.
The Philodendron Caramel Marble will tolerate a wide temperature range. But this this tolerance is mostly on the warm side.
Its ideal temperature runs between 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plant is a native of the tropical rainforests of South America. As such, it is used to warm to hot weather as well as lots of rain.
Another aspect of this area is that there are no cold months or winter weather.
This is why the plant cannot stand the cold.
Try to keep it away for temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit as this is about as low as it can tolerate.
Indoors, its temperature preference is not much of an issue.
However, you still need to avoid certain hidden dangers since they can cause unpleasant surprises.
This includes air conditioners or rooms that are cooled by these appliances. Anywhere with cold drafts. And watch out for sudden drops in nighttime temperatures.
In some cases, nighttime temperature can drop more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit which can cause issues.
Outdoors, bring the plant indoors once the temperature starts to drop around late fall. It won’t be able to survive winter weather as it is not cold hardy.
However, if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, the plant will be happy outdoors all year round. That’s because the weather stays sunny and warm 365 days a year in these areas.
The Philodendron Caramel Marble thrives in high humidity. Ideally keep humidity at 60% to 80% if possible.
While this is a bit difficult to do in most homes, you’ll be rewarded with more lush and vibrant colors.
That said, the Philodendron Caramel Marble can tolerate humidity of 40% and slightly lower. However, I do suggest in trying to keep things at 40% and above if possible.
That’s because low humidity can dry the plant.
And you’ll see this in its leaves. Its leaf edges and tips will turn brown and crispy. They will feel very dry and brittle to the touch as well.
This browning won’t recover to their original color.
So, if this happens, you either have to remove the affected leaves if majority of the leaf has turned color. Or snip off the damaged part and reshape the leaf.
The lower the humidity and the longer it stays there, the more brown leaves you see.
As such, I like keeping a hygrometer near my houseplants.
This is an easy way to keep track of the humidity in any room at any point in time. Just take a 2 second glance and you’ll know if you need to increase humidity or not.
If the latter is the case, you can mist the plant regularly or get a humidifier.
I prefer to set up a pebble tray or a humidity tray. Both do the same thing. They take 10-15 minutes to make from extra stuff you have at home.
How Often to Water Philodendron Caramel Marble
Water the Philodendron Caramel Marble once part of the soil dries. It is important to let the soil dry between waterings because the plant is susceptible to too much moisture.
Wet, soggy soil is a sign that you’re overwatering the plant. And it does not like this.
The problem is that its roots cannot tolerate sitting in water for long periods of time. They are epiphytic which means that in the wild, the plant climbs and clings onto trees instead of planting itself in the ground.
Because the roots are suspended in the air, they get a lot of oxygen.
Additionally, while the frequent rains give the roots a plenty of water, these dry up fairly quickly because there is sunlight and lots of airflow around them.
In contrast, if you keep the plant in a pot, wet roots will stay wet as long as the soil does not drain or dry.
This prevents them from breathing if there’s a lot of excess moisture. As a result, they’ll suffocate after a while causing the roots to die. This is when root rot happens.
Therefore, the best way to avoid this is to allow part of the soil to dry before adding more water.
Here, you have two options.
If you’re an aggressive waterer, make sure to wait until at least the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried before watering again.
On the other hand, if you’re not in hurry, you can wait until the top 50% to 75% of the soil has dried before watering.
Essentially, anything between these two ranges works well and will keep the plant happy.
Philodendron Caramel Marble Potting Soil
Rich organic, airy, well-draining potting soil is ideal for the Philodendron Caramel Marble.
Always make sure that you use soil with good drainage.
The reason for this is to mimic its living environment in the forest. As such, good aeration and drainage are crucial.
This will allow the soil to quickly drain excess water. Thus, letting the root dry faster after you water.
In doing so, they’re able to get the oxygen they need while getting sufficient moisture as well in the process.
The simplest way to achieve this kind of soil is to get a bag of Aroid mix.
Aroid mixes are designed specifically for plants that belong to the Araceae family. So, you can use it for philodendrons, monsteras, anthuriums, pothos and many more.
If you prefer making your own potting mix for the Philodendron Caramel Marble, you can likewise do so by combining equal parts of:
- Sphagnum moss
- Orchid bark
- Horticultural charcoal
- Worm castings
The moss will retain some water to keep soil moist and also let the roots stay hydrated. The perlite, bark and charcoal all improve drainage.
Additionally, the bark and the charcoal are chunky which lets air easily circulate through the substrate so it can reach the roots.
Finally, the worm castings add organic matter to the soil.
The Philodendron Caramel Marble needs fertilizer to sustain its growth and maintain its beautiful colors. But is does not need a lot of it.
Therefore, be careful not to overfeed the plant.
This is a common mistake by beginner gardeners as they have the misconception that more nutrients is a good thing.
While the logic there is correct, there’s the other part of commercial fertilizers.
And that is the salt content.
Unfortunately, plants don’t like salt. And when you add more fertilizer, you’re not only adding more nutrients to the soil but also salt.
As the salt builds up, it becomes toxic.
This is how fertilizer burn can happen. And it can damage the roots and turn the leaves yellow.
That said, only use fertilizer when the plant is actively growing. This occurs in spring and summer.
Apply only once a month using a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.
Don’t fertilize the Philodendron Caramel Marble during fall or winter as the cold weather will slow down its growth.
When it is not growing much, it won’t need the nutrients. So, what you end up with is a lot of excess salts and minerals in the soil.
The Philodendron Caramel Marble is a slow grower. But it will get big.
Unlike other philodendron varieties, it does not get too tall. However, it will spread outwards to the sides considerably.
That’s because its leaves grow that way.
So, you’ll see them get longer at an angle towards the sides (at less than 45 degrees) in different directions.
Its leaves are magnificent at they will grow to over 2 feet long and over a food wide.
Since its leaves and long stems make up the entire plant above soil level, there is no pruning needed.
You certainly don’t want to remove any of its large, serrated, colorful foliage. At least not unless they’re damaged, discolored, diseases or have other issues.
How to Propagate Philodendron Caramel Marble
The Philodendron Caramel Marble is commonly propagated from stem cuttings. Although, you can divide the plant as well.
Stem cuttings are straightforward and easy which makes them popular with home gardeners.
Additionally, you have the option to propagate in water or plant the cuttings directly into soil.
Here’s how to propagate Philodendron Caramel Marble from stem cuttings.
- Choose healthy stems. Make sure that each candidate has at least one node and a few leaves on it.
- Take a sterile cutting tool and cut just below the node. This ensures that the node comes along with the cutting.
- Prepare a pot and fill it well-draining soil.
- Apply rooting hormone to the bottom end of the cutting. Then plant it into the soil with the node buried under.
- Water the soil and keep the pot in bright, indirect light.
It will take about a month for the roots to develop and begin to establish themselves into the soil.
Alternatively, you can propagate in water as well.
Here, instead of planting the cutting in soil, you place it in container filled with water. Make sure the nodes are submerged in the liquid.
It will take about 3-4 weeks for roots to develop.
Once the roots reach about 2 inches long, you can transfer them from water into potting mix.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Caramel Marble
The Philodendron Caramel Marble will need to be repotted every 2 years.
Note that if you do get a young plant, you’ll need to repot more often as it will be growing much faster during this time.
However, once it matures, this stabilizes to around once every 24 months.
That said, I don’t suggest you follow that figure blindly.
Instead, listen to what the plant is telling you.
You can do this by looking under the pot once every 6 or 12 months.
Here, check to see if there are nay rooting extending outwards from the bottom drainage holes. If there are, that’s your sign that the plant is looking for more room to grow.
This is your signal to repot.
Ideally, repot during spring to early summer since this is the best time to do it.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Philodendron Caramel Marble contains calcium oxalate crystals. These are toxic when ingested.
That’s because they get activated when chewed, swallowed or consumed.
Therefore, it is important to keep the plant away from where young children, dogs and cats play as it can be a poison risk if they happen to ingest the leaves.
Philodendron Caramel Marble Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests are not a huge problem for the Philodendron Caramel Marble. But they can happen.
While the plant as natural resistance to these bugs, these only work if it is healthy.
As such, try to keep it healthy and give it the proper living environment. On the other hand, a weak, stressed or sick plant is susceptible to these pests.
Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs and scale are the most common pests you may encounter.
You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of them.
Overwatering is the main thing to watch out for with diseases. That’s because it can cause all sorts of bacterial and fungal infections.
Additionally, it also can lead to root rot.
Note that excess moisture not only affects the soil but also the leaves.
Therefore, avoid wetting the leaves.
This can lead to various leaf diseases including leaf spot.