Philodendron Dark Lord: The Best Care, Propagation, and Watering Guide

​​Philodendron Dark Lord is an extremely popular and expensive variety of Philodendrons. They are not only rare plants, but they are also highly sought-after houseplants in the gardening world. This tropical plant has recently gained popularity among plant enthusiasts, owing to its magnificent, dark leaves and ease of care.

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This beautiful plant is known for its unusual and eye-catching leaves, which look like arrows and have cherry-red undersides.

Its leaves start out bright orange or deep pink, then turn blood red, and finally turn a deep dark green with a silvery maroon underside. They can sometimes look all black, which is how they got the name \”Dark Lord.\”

Surely, this Philodendron is ideal for those who want to add a dramatic element to their garden. Learn how to grow and care for Philodendron Dark Lord in this article.

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General Information

The Philodendron Dark Lord is a magnificent variegated tropical plant that belongs to the Araceae family and the genus Philodendron.

It is a hybrid of the Imperial Red Philodendron Erubescens, endemic to Colombia and Panama. These Philodendrons may also be found in Northern Africa, the Philippines, and the Seychelles. It\’s a member of the Araceae plant family.

This gorgeous plant is noted for its unique and eye-catching foliage, which features long, arrow-shaped leaves with cherry red undersides, and huge bright red stems. Since the Dark Lord Philodendron grows quickly and grows large, it is difficult to keep this plant modest.

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Etymology

Philodendron Dark Lord derives its name from its dark leaves, which stand out with their long arrow form and maroon undersides. The leaves can become completely black at times, earning it the epithet \”Dark Lord.\”

Flowering

Dark Lord Philodendron Plants rarely flower. But, first and foremost, this plant is grown for its gorgeous leaves rather than its flowers.

The flowers occur when the plant has achieved full maturity. The blooms are gorgeous, with a white spathe bordered at the base with pink and green borders.

Season of Interest and Purchasing

Having a special beauty is a treasure in and of itself. Dark Lord is a one-of-a-kind plant that is highly sought after in the gardening world. Spring and summer are the best times to grow and propagate these plants. 

This plant is an excellent ornamental plant for gardening both indoors and outdoors. As a result, everyone who likes tropical plants will adore the Philodendron Dark Lord.

Furthermore, it purifies the oxygen surrounding it, allowing you to breathe only pure air. It is available at aroid plant nurseries, some garden retailers, and on any commercial online plant markets.

Growth

The Dark Lord Philodendron is a fast-grower that grows huge over time, making it difficult to maintain this plant modestly. When cultivated indoors, it may reach a height of roughly 6 feet. Like other tropical plants, the warmth of spring and summer kickstarts this plant\’s growth surge.

Furthermore, Philodendron Dark Lord has dense foliage. Thus its leaves are long and glossy, with a purple hue on the margins. They start off orange, then transition to crimson, and eventually to dark green. 

Dark Lord plant standing upright is an 18 to 22-inch-tall plant with dark leaves, long arrow forms, and maroon undersides.

Philodendron Dark Lord Overview

Scientific namePhilodendron erubescens “Dark Lord”
Common namesDark Lord Philodendron
FamilyAraceae
Growth HabitHerbaceous, Epiphytic Vine
Height and Spreadup to 18-22  inches in height, and 1.5 meters in leaf width
Classification based on life cyclePerennial
Origin and DistributionNative to Colombia and Panama
Climate ZoneGenerally mild climate
USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneUSDA Zone 10-11
ColorLarge leaves that starts as deep orange or bright pink, then turning to crimson to dark purple or black

Care Tips

Light Requirements

Philodendron Dark Lord grows best when exposed to bright, indirect light. It requires 70–80% bright, filtered sunlight to grow. During the day, a south-facing window with curtain-filtered sunlight is ideal.

They are light-sensitive and prone to burning. Overexposure to light can induce leaf drooping and yellowing, but it can also indicate poor fertility. During the winter, keep it indoors in a well-lit, warm location.

Temperature Requirement

The Philodendron Dark Lord prefers growing in situations with stable temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Nothing will go wrong if you provide a comfortable atmosphere for a plant to develop in.

When nurtured at high temperatures, the plant develops a deep crimson hue; nevertheless, temperatures beyond 85 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided. If the plant is kept in such conditions, the rich color will fade, and the plant will become leggy.

Since they are not frost- or cold-resistant, they should never be left outside when the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If this occurs, the plant\’s development will be substantially hampered, resulting in few leaves, wilting, or possibly death.

Water Requirement

Water the Philodendron Dark Lord on a regular basis to keep it wet at all times during the growing season, but don\’t overwater it.

The plant cannot survive for long in wet soil. In the meantime, make sure it doesn\’t go without the moisture it needs.

The soil must be kept moist but not soaked. If a plant is overwatered, its roots may rot. Water the plant once or twice every 7 to 14 days to ensure that it receives enough moisture to stay moist until the next watering.

Humidity Requirement

Philodendron Dark Lord is a tropical plant that thrives in high humidity. The ideal humidity level is more than 60%.

However, unlike other rare Philodendrons, they can endure lower levels without harm. They have done well with humidity levels as low as 35% throughout the winter months.

A humidifier, mist, or pebble tray can surely assist you. These lead to the establishment of a more humid environment, which is ideal for growing various types of houseplants and keeping their long leaves, vibrant colors, and strong stems.

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Soil Requirement

The soil is in charge of the plant\’s health and growth. Philodendron Dark Lord prefers well-drained, airy, and porous soil with a pH range of 5.6 to 7.5. An aroid potting mix, which is appropriate for the Dark Lord Philodendron, can help your plant grow.

You may also build your own soil mix by combining coco coir, sphagnum moss, perlite, orchid bark, worm castings, pumice, and activated charcoal.

Any soil mix can benefit from perlite\’s substructure alteration, which promotes aeration and drainage while reducing compaction, especially in a potted plant setting.

Fertilizer Requirement

Philodendron Dark Lord is not a heavy feeder; however, frequent fertilizer promotes quicker development.

During the spring and summer, feed your plant once a month. Your Dark Lord Philodendron will benefit from a slow-release fertilizer. For this plant, it is typically advisable to dilute your fertilizer.

On the other hand, a modest amount of fertilizer may accelerate the growth of your plant\’s leaves, giving it a beautiful appearance. You may hydrate your Philodendron Dark Lord with distilled water. You may need to use liquid fertilizer on a regular basis to compensate for the nutrients lost.

Space Requirement

The Philodendron Dark Lord prefers shade, or more particularly, semi-shade to indirect bright light. Place this plant 2 feet away from the other plant, near a south-facing or east-facing window, to guarantee ample light.

It may be cultivated in soil or pots, although it likes small spaces and visually appealing containers such as terrariums.

Growing and Planting Tips

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Propagation

The only effective method for reproducing a Philodendron Dark Lord is stem cutting, and not a leaf cutting. This is also what makes it rare. 

Philodendron Dark Lords are grown by taking cuttings from mature plants. This method was largely utilized to develop new cultivars.

Propagation by Stem cutting

  • Choose a mature Philodendron Dark Lord and healthy stems with 1-2 nodes, as well as aerial roots.
  • Cut the stem just below the node and immerse it into the rooting hormone or powder. Plant the stem in the soil mixture. Make sure the roots are submerged, about 2-3 inches deep in the mix.
  • Place the plant in an area with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight after giving it a good watering.
  • After 3-6 weeks, new Dark Lord Philodendron growth will begin to form. Gently pulling on the plant\’s stem base will reveal whether the roots have begun to develop. You can feel the roots developing there.

Pruning

The Philodendron Dark Lord does not require trimming on a regular basis. Consider trimming dead, damaged, turning brown or yellow, or showing symptoms of insect infestation. Since the plant is large and heavy, prune the top section to reduce its size and weight.

Allow the brown or yellow leaves to fall naturally. Pruning dead branches and stubs periodically in the spring and fall promotes healthy growth and improves attractiveness.

Potting and Repotting

Philodendron Dark Lord may be grown in ceramic, terracotta, or clay pots since they allow for better aeration and prevent your plant from overwatering diseases.

Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches bigger in diameter than your plant\’s root ball. It would allow you to inspect the roots without having to remove the plant from its container.

Repot it in the first few days of spring every year or every two years. When repotting a mature Dark Lord plant, ensure the new container has drainage holes, is two inches larger than the old one, and is filled with fresh, high-quality potting soil.

Philodendron Dark Lord Care

LightBright indirect light
TemperatureIntermediate to warm, 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit
WaterOnce a week, increased in summer, decreased in winter
SoilAiry, well-draining soil; not too loose; African Violet or Aroid Soil Mix
FertilizationRegular household fertilizer or liquid formula, once a month in spring and summer, every 6-8 weeks during fall and winter
SpaceSubstantial amount of space to spread
PropagationVia stem cuttings
BloomingRarely blooms, enough sunlight and maturity needed
PruningRegular pruning for shape maintenance
PottingRegular potting mix, use of horticultural charcoal, orchid bark, perlite and coco coir

RELATED: 9 Stunning Rare Philodendrons; With Tips To Help Them Thrive

Problem and Troubleshooting

Overwatering

Overwatering is the most common cause of stunted, sluggish growth with yellowing leaves. Excessive water consumption causes insufficient soil moisture or moisture stress, preventing the plant from acquiring enough oxygen and nutrients to create chlorophyll, resulting in root rot, sogginess, and irreparable root damage.

Check for correct drainage in your planter and, if feasible, create adequate air space around the roots to alleviate this problem.

Underwatering

The leaves of your Philodendron Dark Lord initially become yellow and then have brown spots when the plant is thirsty for a prolonged length of time. The brown leaves on the plant are also caused by scorching, which occurs when it is exposed to direct sunlight.

To fix this issue, growers may suggest periodic watering and keeping the plant out of direct sunlight to preserve it. Inspect the soil mix, and if you notice dried, compacted lumps of soil, replace them. Make an airy, well-draining mix instead.

Nutrient Deficiency

Nutrient deficiency manifests itself as stunted development, browning leaves, paler patterns, and other symptoms. Two prevalent plant diseases are bacterial leaf spot (blight) and fungal root rot.

Feed your plant to encourage root penetration and thicker leaves to avoid this problem. On the other hand, this houseplant doesn\’t require much fertilizer if you use a high-quality organic potting mix.

The level of the fertilizers should also be checked because too much concentration might affect plants and cause your Philodendron Dark Lord to grow slowly or stunted.

Flowering Problems

The majority of philodendrons rarely produce flowers. Even though philodendrons are flowering plants, they must mature before they bloom. Philodendrons may yield fruit and blooms with an exquisite look when they are grown properly and reach maturity.

But don\’t worry, this Philodendron Dark Lord is renowned for its exquisite foliage, even if it rarely bears blooms.

Pests

There aren\’t many bugs that like to feast on Philodendrons, but you might find aphids and mealybugs. With cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol, you can get rid of mealybugs. Pests can be kept away by spraying the plant with water and insecticidal soap every so often.

Good soil, light shade or bright indirect light, and a place that doesn\’t get frost.

Diseases

Your Philodendron was made to be resistant to many common houseplant diseases, so you don\’t need to worry too much.

Root rot is the most common disease that affects philodendrons. Root rot happens when a plant\’s soil stays too wet, and the roots can\’t breathe, which leads to a fungal infection.

The leaves turn yellow and fall off, and the stems get soft. Meanwhile, the roots turn black and smelly.

You might be able to save your Philodendron Dark Lord by cutting off all the diseased parts and replanting what\’s left in new soil in a clean pot.

Problems with People and Animals

Toxicity

Calcium oxalate crystals present in all parts of Dark Lord Philodendron are harmful to both pets (including cats and dogs) and humans. These are what make the Philodendron Dark Lord toxic.

In humans, it causes symptoms such as difficulty breathing, stomach discomfort, eye and skin irritation, and nausea. Similarly, drooling, vomiting, irritation, pawing at the mouth, and other symptoms can be seen in dogs.

Philodendron Plants Meaning and Symbolism

Philodendrons are believed to enhance indoor air quality and represent good health, vitality, and wealth. This plant\’s leaves are formed like flames, symbolizing the fire element in Feng Shui.

Additionally, Philodendrons are thought to symbolize a love of nature, making them the perfect choice for people who are enthusiastic about gardening and eco-friendly living.

They also represent personal growth, making them the ideal gift for anyone undergoing a major life transition or working to better themselves.

They stand for personal development, making them a fantastic present for someone going through a significant life transition or making changes in their own life.

General Meaninglove of nature, passion for eco-friendly living
SymbolismPersonal growth

Landscaping and Gardening Ideas

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Companion Plants

If you like plants but prefer the dark side, \”Black Magic\” petunias and black succulents will make your landscape extra magical. And if you like \”goth\” plants, this is a must-have addition to your plant collection.

\”Black Magic\” Petunias

The Black Magic Petunia is a hybrid cultivar that produces some of the most true-to-black flowers available. Adding these plants to your garden will assist in providing drama and depth.

The vivid green leaves and deep black blossoms draw attention to other brilliantly colored flowers. These plants are rather simple to grow. This is a fantastic companion plant for your philodendron dark lord if you want a witchy or goth vibe.

Black Succulents

It\’s a dense black succulent with broad, pointed leaves piled into a lovely rosette. While these little perennials only reach a height of 4 inches, the real enchantment is in their thick, fluffy rosettes.

These succulents are low-maintenance and may instantly brighten up a drab area. This is also an excellent companion for your Dark Lord.

Landscaping Ideas 

Philodendron Dark Lord has rich, velvety black leaves. It will undoubtedly draw attention to your home as it grows into a triangular-shaped form with burgundy undersides. Place a moss pole in the center of the pot and fill it with other companion plants to create a stunning display.

What to plant withOther Aroids, Monsteras, Bird of Paradise, Areca Palms, Fire Spike, Heliconia, Variegated Arboricola, Croton, Chenille Plant, Pentas, Most Tropical Plants
What NOT to plant withBasically nothing

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Should I give my Philodendron Dark Lord a pole for it to climb?

As Philodendrons are climbing tropical plants, a climbing pole covered with moss or coco coir can help keep it stable. In fact, the dark lords I\’ve seen that look the healthiest usually have a pole or stakes for support.

The pole also makes it easier for the roots to attach to the mesh, which leads to stronger growth.

  1. How can I speed up the growth of my Philodendron Dark Lord?

If you want your Philodendron Dark Lord to grow faster, put it in a warm place with a lot of bright, indirect light and 1–3 hours of direct, cool morning sun. You\’ll also need to make sure the humidity is high and give the plants a full fertilizer.

  1. Does my Philodendron Dark Lord Like Full Sun?

The Philodendron Dark Lord can handle 1–3 hours of bright, direct morning sun, but not more than that. This will burn and scorch the plant, making the leaves look bad with brown edges and even black spots.

  1. Where can I buy a Dark Lord Philodendron?

Philodendron Dark Lords are hard to find and are very sought after by people who collect plants. Sometimes you can find them on Etsy or at a special nursery. Be ready to join a waiting list or bid on this plant online, especially if it\’s already grown up.

  1. How much does it cost to buy a Philodendron Dark Lord?

Prices will vary based on the size, age, and condition of the plant, but in general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $570 for this plant.

Conclusion

Philodendron Dark Lord is a wonderfully magnificent plant. The name of this Philodendron comes from its dark, triangular leaves with rich burgundy undersides and dark red stems. It goes well with other tropical plants and requires little maintenance.

Remember to keep Philodendron Dark Lord away from children and pets since it contains dangerous calcium oxalate crystals.

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