Philodendron: Red Bristle

Philodendron: Red Bristle

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As you'd expect of a tropical native commonly found under rainforest tree canopies, philodendron squamiferum does best in bright but indirect light. Too much light will discolor those stunning dark leaves.

Popping your plant within a few feet of an east or west-facing window is typically a perfect position. If you have no choice but to sit them beside a sunny south-facing window, use a sheer curtain to filter the light.


Philodendron squamiferum is an epiphytic species that can absorb moisture and nourish from aerial roots. Growing in a container, they appreciate a loose, well-drained potting mix. Combining the likes of equal parts orchid bark, perlite, and peaty soil (with some gravel thrown in if needed to up the drainage) is a good blend. Alternatively, there are plenty of ready-made commercial aroid mixes to choose from.


While not wholly drought-tolerant, it's unlikely to be a disaster if you are occasionally a bit tardy with your watering schedule. Overwatering your philodendron squamiferum, however, is a common killer. These plants don't like wet feet, which leads to root rot and pest infestations.

Rather than having a strict schedule, assess when to water your plant by sticking a finger into the soil. It's best to wait until at least the top few inches of soil feel fully dry before watering again.

Temperature and Humidity

It shouldn't be surprising that this tropical native likes higher-than-average indoor humidity levels—dry air isn't this plant's friend. That means you might have to use a humidifier, group alongside plants with similar requirements, or place the container on top of a pebble and water-filled tray.

They're going to do poorly in chilly, drafty rooms too. You want to select a spot where temperatures don't drop too low—ideally between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

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