Identify and Care for Black Cardinal “variegated”Philodendron

Saw picture of this gorgeous plant. Could you identify it for me and tell me how to care for it? Have a cat, is it poisonous??

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.