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Philodendron Ring of Fire Care Guide

Hardy, resilient, and with beautiful, vibrant leaves, the rare philodendron ring of fire is a well-regarded plant that can easily become a signature piece in any room of your home.

It’s a hybrid plant that blends the very best philodendron plants have to offer. It requires care and patience to reach its full potential. But don’t worry – all your efforts will be well worth it. 

The philodendron ring of fire is a straightforward plant to take care of. Requiring moderate temperature, humidity, and careful watering once a week, it will produce beautiful, varied colors year on year when given some TLC. Keep an eye on pests, soil conditions, and sunlight to help it reach its potential. 

Today I am going to show you how to take care of your new philodendron ring of fire. With just a few simple measures, you can ensure it will thrive and flourish.

Why keep a Philodendron Ring of Fire?

Indoor potted Philodendron Ring of Fire plant
Philodendron Ring of Fire Plant

With the name ‘Ring of Fire’, one of the signature features of this philodendron is of course its beautiful, varied foliage color. Expect up to five different colors throughout the year, ranging from beautiful oranges, reds, and pinks to whites and greens. 

Altogether it’s a striking plant that will continue to impress and beautify your home. The leaves themselves are a striking, ‘jagged’ shape, which I think you’ll agree on looks and feels tactile and textured.

The plant’s air-purifying properties are another great sell, which helps remove mild airborne containments. Think of it as a natural bio-filter, which will help improve the airflow in any room you place it in.

Whilst it has a tropical appearance, it does well in average room temperatures. And because it’s evergreen, it will continue to provide lush foliage throughout the year.

I also love that the philodendron ring of fire is easy and practical to take care of. These are hardy, resilient plants that are both pest and disease resistant. The only thing you must strike a balance with is how frequently you water.

Lastly, the philodendron ring of fire is an elusive, exclusive hybrid plant – one which you won’t find in many garden shops. If you do happen upon it, rest assured it’s a statement plant, and a worthy investment to make.

Philodendron Ring of Fire Care Details

OriginHybrid of Philodendron Wendlandii and Tortum
FamilyAraceae 
Common NameRing of Fire
TypeTropical, evergreen
Max Growth (approx)120cm 
Watering NeedsPrefers moist, well-drained, peat-based soil, with regular watering. 
Light RequirementsIndirect, low-light.
HumidityAverage room humidity ranging from 30-50%
SoilMossy soil – slightly acidic (pH range of 6.0 – 7.0)
FertilizerTo improve upon its slow growth rate, add a nutritious, slow-release fertilizer.
SeasonThe growing season is from spring to summer.
Temperature60-75°F (16-24°C). Does not fair well with cold temperatures.
PestsThrips, mealybugs, and spider mites. 
DiseasesLeaf spot, leaf blight, and root rot. 
PropagationPropagate by leaf and stem cutting.
PruningMinor pruning to remove dead leaves.
Re-pottingAs a slow-growing plant, does not require regular repotting.
ToxicityContains calcium oxalates, which are toxic to humans and pets. Symptoms include swelling of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting.
USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneUSDA Zone 9-11

First Steps After Purchase

Check the plant’s initial health – although the Philodendron ring of fire has differently colored leaves, it’s important to check for any dark spots and unusual discoloration, as well as signs of rot and decay on leaves. Also worth checking are signs of pests – thrips leave behind black specs on leaves, spider mites, and mealybugs bite the sides of leaves.

Root check –With your new plant, turn it on its side and inspect its root system. If there are signs of decay on roots, use a sterile knife/shears to cut off affected areas.

Slow growing – because this plant is very slow-growing, it can stay in a pot for a very long time. As such, invest wisely and pick one which has adequate drainage holes to allow excess water escape.

Placement – because the Philodendron ring of fire enjoys average room temperatures and humidity, you can place it in several rooms in your home without any concern. That said, the plant is mildly toxic. Place out of reach of small children and pets.

How to Care for Philodendron Ring of Fire

Watering Philodendron Ring of Fire 

Philodendrons are native to tropical regions, and as such, they’ll appreciate generous watering. But as always, finding a balance is key. Too much water and you can harm your plant. Too little, and it will die of thirst!

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • 2-inch rule: consider watering your plant when the top 2 inches of soil is dry, which is ideally once per week. Soil should never be too arid, nor too soggy.
  • Drainage: Ensure soil in the container is aerated and drains well. Water should be allowed to travel down towards the roots, and not make soil stale and soggy. Remember to pour any excess water out.
  • Distilled water: tap water often contains harsh chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride, which can harm plants. I recommend using filtered, distilled water.

Philodendron Ring of Fire Light Requirements

The Philodendron ring of light thrives in moderate and low light conditions. Consider bright spaces with indirect light. These plants are known for being great climbers, and so may grow towards light sources quickly. These plants are also known to grow well under artificial lighting, too.

Avoid direct sunlight, as this may stress your plant, dehydrate it and make it harder to find the right balance when watering it. Sunlight can also scorch and discolor leaves.

Temperature

The philodendron ring of fire grows well with average room temperatures, ranging from 60-75°F (16-24°C). For this reason, you can place them in several rooms throughout your house.

That said, as a tropical plant, your philodendron ring of fire can be susceptible to extreme changes in temperature. Cold can prove especially fatal, and it’s important to keep them well cared for during the wintertime.

In general, keep your plant away from fluctuating temperatures in your room, such as near windows, doors, vents, and drafts. With higher temperatures, your plant will grow slower, dehydrate quicker, and require a more watchful eye.

Do Philodendron Ring of Fire Like Humidity?

With tropical origins, it’s no surprise that the philodendron ring of fire appreciates average to high humidity. Indoors, an average room humidity of 30-50% is more than ideal.

If your leaves have brown tips, you may need to increase humidity and help return moisture back into the plant. Spider mites are also a tell-tale sign that your plant is very dry, as these pests thrive in arid environments. You can rectify this by gently misting your plant with distilled water, though be careful not to overwater it either.

Another easy way to improve humidity is placing your pot or container above a tray filled with pebbles and water. Roots never get too soggy, and humidity will increase.

Philodendron Ring of Fire Soil 

To set your philodendron up for success, you need to provide it with the best soil. Peat moss soil is a great option because it is moist, well-draining, and won’t dry out your plant or roots. Soil should have a pH value ranging from 6-7, which is slightly acidic. 

Fertilizing Philodendron Ring of Fire 

The Philodendron ring of fire is a slow-growing plant. As such, you don’t necessarily need to fertilize them that often. That said, you most likely will want to give your plant the best chance in life. So what are your options?

A slow-release fertilizer works best because your plant will be able to absorb nutrients at its very own pace. Choose one which is high in ammonium nitrate to help acidify your soil. Fertilize during the growing season of spring and summer to support new growth.

Propagating Philodendron Ring of Fire (Leaf and Stem Propagation)

If you’re a fan of the philodendron ring of fire, you’re in luck! With one plant, you can easily make more and more of them through leaf and stem propagation.

Don’t worry – if you’re a beginner and not sure how to do this, I’ll take you through each step.

Propagating in Water

Propagating in water is one of the easiest methods you can do because it requires little to no tools and takes only a few simple steps – it is an ideal way for beginners to learn the basics. You’ll be able to spot new growth much easier than soil propagation.

I highly recommend you use distilled, filtered water in your propagation. Tap water may contain chlorine and fluoride which can be determinantal to cuttings.

  1. Find a suitable stem that has some leaf nodes. Cut it at least 3 inches long with sterile shears, scissors, or knife
  2. Place the cutting in a glass or jar and fill with water. Have the root end facing down, and the noes submerged in water.
  3. Place in a shaded area with indirect sunlight.
  4. Replace water in a week to replenish nutrients and oxygen.
  5. You should notice some growth in as little as 2 weeks.

Propagating in Soil

One of the main reasons gardeners propagate by soil rather than water is that if and when the cutting takes hold, it will develop stronger, thicker roots. It does require a more watchful eye because the soil may carry fungi/bacteria, which can be fatal to vulnerable cuttings.

  1. Find a suitable stem that has some leaf nodes. Cut it at least 3 inches long with sterile shears, scissors, or knife.
  2. Fill a container/pot with well-draining, peaty soil. Always ensure there are drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape.
  3. Make a small indent with your finger to create space for the cutting. Place it stem down. Do not submerge any leaves in the soil.
  4. Place your new cutting in a shaded area with indirect sunlight. Gently water to keep the soil moist.
  5. Expect new growth and the development of roots in 5 or so weeks.

How to Repot Philodendron Ring of Fire

Philodendron ring of fire is a very slow-growing plant, and as such you don’t have to worry about repotting it often. That said, after a year or two of growth, you may wish to expand your plant.

Here’s my advice:

  1. The best time to repot your philodendron ring of fire is outside the growing season. Choose autumn or wintertime.
  2. The roots of a philodendron ring of fire are thick, with a trunk-like center. Gently tap your plant on its side and remove it from its current pot.
  3. Gently rub away any soil which has clumped around roots.
  4. With sharp scissors, shears, or knives, cut away dead or rotted parts of roots.
  5. Place your plant in the center of a new, bigger container. Use a new potting mixture – remember, peaty soil works best!
  6. Ensure your new container has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
  7. Water gently and wait to see if water can effectively reach the bottom of the pot.

Pruning and Trimming

Although philodendrons are notoriously good climbing plants and may grow towards a light source, the ring of fire is a variety of which marches to the beat of its own, slow drum. As such, pruning and trimming are not often required.

You may wish to give your plant a haircut on occasion if it has become misshapen. This may be the case during spring and summer when new growth is evident. As always, use a clean, sterile knife, scissors, or shears when trimming.

Also, remember that you may be able to propagate from cuttings so examine thoroughly before disposing of plant matter!

Growth Rate

The ring of fire is a slow-growing type of philodendron, but in my experience is well and truly worth the wait. It grows during spring and summertime. It can reach a maximum height of up to 120cm, with long, vibrant leaves.

Fertilizer can help speed up this growth, though in my experience it is not always necessary. If you’re eager to see new growth, I recommend choosing a slow-release fertilizer that won’t overload your plant. Apply fertilizer in early spring to kickstart new growth.

Do Philodendron Ring of Fire Bloom?

The Philodendron ring of fire generally does not bloom. Common Philodendron Ring of Fire Problems and How to Fix Them

Overwatering

Your philodendron ring of fire enjoys regular watering. But showering it too often can cause more problems than you think you’re fixing.

Overwatering causes your plant’s roots to suffocate. They can’t absorb oxygen and essential nutrients from the soil. The result? Your entire plant will begin to fail.

Signs of an overwatered plant include:

  • Leaves – appear wilted despite moist soil. They turn a pale green/yellow color, drooping down and falling early.
  • Edema – small blisters/bumps on leaf surfaces, filled with water.
  • Root rot – fungi thrive in moist conditions. Too much water in the soil may cause roots to rot, turning mushy, brown and emitting a foul smell.

Some ways to reverse the effects of overwatering and revitalize your plant include:

  • Stop watering now. Only water again when the top 2 inches are dry.
  • Re-pot into a new container with a new mixture. Ensure soggy soil clumped on roots is gently removed.
  • Prune damaged leaves and roots

Pests

As with all plants, you must keep a watchful eye on your plant for pests. Whilst these plants are often hardy, there are three main things to look out for.

Thrips, also known as thunder flies, are a major pest for your new plant. They bite and suck at new growth which then becomes stunted and withered. Thrips also pass along viruses as they feed.

Your next concern should be mealybugs, which are small bugs with a white-cotton appearance. Similarly, they bite plant leaves to suck its’ juices.

Lastly, let’s talk about spider mites. Whilst these pests enjoy a dry, arid environment, they may still cause your plant some problems. 

A tell-tale sign of their presence is white dust and threads on foliage. If your plant has lots of spider mites, this also means it’s being underwatered.

Now, how do you get rid of all these pests? You’ll be relieved to know I have an easy, straightforward solution! 

Simply apply a soapy water solution (or rubbing alcohol) to your plant’s stem and leaves with a cotton bud. Allow it to sit for a few hours before washing clean with distilled water.

Diseases

Here are some common diseases that your philodendron ring of fire may be susceptible to.

  • Erwinia blight – caused by a bacteria that targets new leaves, this blight affects your leaves, creating dark green or yellow spotting which spreads quickly. Older leaves may become wet-looking with lesions. Bactericides containing copper are an effective way of slowing the spread.
  • Rust – this is a fungal disease that is very common in philodendron plants, and causes unsightly spotting on leaf surfaces and leaves falling prematurely. Spread by spores, the only cause of action you can take is removing dead, affected parts of the plant.
  • Root rot – a clear result of overwatering, root rot causes your plant’s root system to turn brown, mushy, and emit a foul smell. You can fix this easily by removing your plant from its container, turning it on its side, and examining the roots. With clean shears, cut off infected areas and repot in new soil.

Black Spots on Leaves

Leaf color is a signature feature of the philodendron ring of fire. And black spots are an unwelcomed color and a sure sign of problems in your plant’s health.

Black spots or lesions can be caused by either a fungal or bacterial infection. The earlier you see them and act accordingly, the better the outcome for your philodendron ring of fire. Unfortunately, both fungus and bacteria exhibit the same kinds of symptoms.

  • With a sterile knife or shears, cut away infected parts.
  • Remove pests that may be the cause of transmission
  • Use a fungicide with copper, as this is very effective in protecting plant tissue
  • Repot your plant in a new container, with a new mixture. 

Philodendron Ring of Fire leaves Falling off 

Leaves falling off prematurely is a tell-tale sign of improper watering. Both underwatering and overwatering can cause this issue. Whilst philodendron enjoys frequent watering, there is always a chance you’re overdoing it. 

When caught in time, the effects of overwatering can be easily reversed. Reduce your current regime. A good rule of thumb is to only water your plant when the first two inches of soil are dry – this usually amounts to once per week.

Brown spots on Philodendron Ring of Fire leaves

Brown spots on colorful leaves should be a cause of concern for any philodendron owner. Sadly, there can be more than one cause for this.

Firstly, it could be a sign of a fungal infection, such as the previously mentioned ‘rust’. Remove affected areas to limit its spread.

Dehydration and underwatering may also be playing a part in browning leaves. Use distilled water to avoid harsh chemicals further damaging leaves, and increase your watering frequency. 

Because of its tropical origins, you can gently mist leaves to help retain some moisture on the plant. Move your plant into a shaded area so that it’s not dehydrated from direct sunlight.

Philodendron Ring of Fire Leaves Curling

Remember, your philodendron ring of fire enjoys frequent watering. Leaves curling is a sign that your plant is desperately trying to conserve water.

Gradually increase the level of watering. Ensure that soil is well-drained and aerated, so that water can sift through to the bottom and reach the roots.

Toxicity – Is a Philodendron Ring of Fire Safe?

As with all philodendrons, the ring of fire contains calcium oxalates. When ingested, they’ll cause swelling of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and also vomiting. Keep out of reach from small children.

What about cats and dogs?

As with many mildly toxic plants, the symptoms are much worse for cats and dogs. If your pet is showing signs of swelling, discomfort, or nausea, my advice is to bring them to the vet immediately. 

General Philodendron Ring of Fire Care Tips

  • A healthy philodendron ring of fire will have a multitude of colors on its leaves. But always pay attention to brown and black spots – which are a cause for concern.
  • Whilst a tropical plant, your philodendron will enjoy average room temperatures of 60-75°F (16-24°C) and are suitable for all rooms of your home.
  • Avoid placing your philodendron in direct sunlight.
  • Vulnerable to thrips, spider mites, and mealybugs. Regularly inspect for bite marks on new growth and black flecks for the presence of pests.
  • Water your plant with filtered, distilled water, to avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Only water when the top 2 inches of soil are dry.
  • Keep room humidity at 30-50%. To increase, gently mist leaves.
  • If you want to increase humidity, you can mist the plant’s leaves.
  • Signs of overwatering – limp leaves with brown spots, and white fuzz growing on the top layer of soil.
  • Signs of underwatering – leaves curling inwards, new leaves are withered, reduced growth and soil is rough to touch.
  • Philodendron ring of fire is mildly toxic. Keep out of reach from children and pets.