Identify and Care for Black Cardinal “variegated”Philodendron

Hi Gabrielle,

Philodendron hybrid with red, black, green, and white leaves

Philodendron black cardinal variegated

The plant you saw is a Philodendron Black Cardinal “variegated.” This is a “self heading” philodendron hybrid which means it does not become a vine like many other philodendron. The vibrant colors develop as the plant matures. Under ideal conditions the plant develops a blackish red “Spathe” which some refer to as the flower of the plant.

Light: These plants like bright warm rooms, but too much light causes the color in the leaves to fade or even turn brown

Water: Keep the soil barely moist but never soggy.

Humidity: Low humidity causes brown leaves

Food: Fertilize monthly when the plant is actively growing with a balanced food at ½ the recommended strength. If the plant is not producing new leaves, it doesn’t need any plant food.

Soil: Use a rich quick draining soil.  You may have to add a little sand to your usual soil mix if it appears too heavy.

These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants


These plants are considered poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants [Paperback]is an excellent reference to keep around if you have young children and pets. and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 The Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants [Paperback]is an excellent reference to keep around if you have young children and pets. in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous HouseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them.