Complete Care Guide for an Orange Philodendron

Orange Philodendrons can be a wonderful addition to your garden, home or office. They are hardy plants that do not require more than basic care and common-sense precautions.

Their vivacious colors, ranging from bright yellow, orange, and salmon to green, will light-up interior spaces. Use them to decorate and accentuate the spaces around you.

Taking care of Orange Philodendrons is relatively easy, as long as they are placed away from direct sunlight, though not in dark and damp rooms, kept in well-draining soil, moderately fertilized, not over-watered or left sitting in very wet soil, kept in a comfortable temperature setting, and repotted from time to time as they grow and spread out.

Though they can double in size and span within a year, these plants are self-heading, non-climbers which do not grow beyond a moderate size. Besides the display and size, Philodendrons are also considered ideal plants to keep around since they are known to filter airborne toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.

Where to Plant Them? Indoor and Outdoor

Orange Philodendrons thrive in US Hardiness Zones 9 and up, especially 10b and 11. This includes the Southern parts of states such as Florida, Louisiana, Texas and California, among others.

The conditions in these regions, with temperatures rarely falling below freezing, are ideal for Philodendrons.

While the Orange Philodendron prefers a temperature ranging from 65 to 78 degrees Farenheit (room temperature, in other words), the plants are hardy enough to withstand some temporary fluctuations – the key word being “temporary”. Long term exposures to temperatures below 55 or above 80 degrees can harm the plants. 

Orange Philodendrons are non-climbing and moderate in size – they typically grow to heights of between 1.5 to 2 feet indoors.

They can grow a bit taller in the garden, but still top out at not more than 36 inches. Mature plants typically have a maximum span of 36 inches.  

These characteristics make them ideal plants to be nurtured within apartments, homes or offices, or in outdoor gardens close to the house.

There are both smaller, desktop plants, as well as larger plants that can be made part of large indoor or outdoor displays.

Best Location in the Garden

Zones 10b and 11 are excellent areas to grow Orange Philodendrons in the garden.

They grow in the shades of trees in the wild, which gives a clear indication that they should be kept in the shade or areas of diffused sunlight – and shielded from areas that receive strong, direct sunlight for prolonged periods during the day.

The plants should also be kept away from areas of heavy, continuous rainfall or high winds.

Due to their compact growth area, Orange Philodendrons can be grown as part of a group of shrubs. They are often centerpieces in landscaping or interior decoration – where their new foliage stands out vividly from the surrounding greenery.

Given the temperatures that are comfortable for the plants, Philodendrons can be kept outside continuously only in warm, tropical climates. Also, they need to be fed light amounts of granular fertilizers once every 3-4 months if they stay exposed to the elements outside.

Where to Place Orange Philodendrons inside the House

Prince of Orange plants should be placed in a spot where they can receive ambient, diffused or indirect sunlight for as long as possible throughout the day.

They can even thrive under fluorescent light without significant exposure to sunlight – making them suitable for some interior spaces.

Direct sunlight should be avoided at all costs – the plants will develop sunburn spots and can actually brown from continued exposure to bright light and UV rays. Some yellow leaves are common as they get old and ready to drop off, but if many such leaves develop at once, it may indicate that the plant is getting too much direct sunlight. If, on the other hand, the plant develops long exposed stems with marked gaps between leaf bases, your Orange Philodendron may not be getting enough light.

They require some amount of humidity to survive, but not too much – in general, they prefer dry but conditions. They are great plants for the kitchen or bathroom.

They also do not enjoy temperature fluctuations too far beyond room temperature.

As such, they should be kept away from direct blasts from air-conditioning or heating vents. Unsealed windows or areas with cold drafts are also to be ignored.

The ideal place for Orange Philodendrons is easy to choose – pick a spot where humans would be most comfortable.

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Moving Plants In and Out

In some areas, especially in Zone 9, where the temperature can approach freezing during the winter months, Orange Philodendrons grown outdoors must be taken indoors during winter.

On the other hand, indoor plants may benefit from occasional trips outside – it helps clean the leaves and the soil base.

Unlike some plants, Orange Philodendrons are easy to move back and forth between indoor and outdoor settings. Use this to your advantage to foster a great-looking plant.

Ideal Soil for Prince of Orange

Orange Philodendrons prefer loose, nutrient-rich and well-draining soil, so a sandy mix is usually recommended. The conditions need to be on the dry side. Potting soil for cactus or a succulent mix will work well for indoor plants, but I personally use this one on Amazon.

Nutrients such as moist perlite, peat or vermiculite can be added to the potting soil. Sphagnum peat moss will also work. You can grow Orange Philodendrons in 100% sphagnum peat moss, or soilless mixtures such as peat-perlite or peat-vermiculite.

It may make sense to aerate the soil after you buy a potted plant from the store or have had it shipped – since the soil is often compacted prior to when you receive the shipment.

One caution used for planting Philodendrons is to avoid soils with too much compost or bark mixed in, since they tend to invite fungus gnats, which are a natural pest to these plants.

Type of Pot to Choose and How to Plant Orange Philodendrons

When indoors, the Prince of Orange Philodendron plants can be placed in clay, ceramic or plastic pots – check under Watering Guidelines for corresponding adjustments that may be needed.

Pots can be placed in standard planters for floor specimens, with or without drainage holes. It is important to monitor the amount of water that goes into pots without drainage holes since Philodendrons do not like sitting in soggy soil, it may cause root rot and other problems.

In general, the pot should be 1” to 2” larger than the root ball of the plant to allow sufficient space for the plant to spread out comfortably. The top of the root ball should be placed between ¼ to 1 inches of the top of the container, giving enough space for the plant to be watered.

Use of Fertilizers

Fertilizer use should be moderate with Orange Philodendrons. House plants normally thrive when fertilizer is applied over spring to fall. Any all-purpose, foliage preserving fertilizer will work well. Organic fertilizers work exceedingly well, the type used depends on the circumstances under which they are being applied.

Slow-release, granular fertilizers may be mixed in with the soil while potting (or repotting) and planting. If a slow-release fertilizer has been properly applied (talk to the vendor from who you buy your plants) while potting, no other application may be necessary for up to six months.  

Quick-acting, soluble liquid fertilizers can be mixed in with water and utilized in cases where the plant has been in a pot for an extended period of time since some nourishment may be necessary. Follow the instructions on the package to ensure proper dilution and administration. Sans exigent circumstances, applying liquid fertilizer once a month is a good rule of thumb.

Its important to maintain a regular schedule of applying fertilizers once you begin, and not to overfertilize. Too much fertilizer will cause excess mineral build-up in the soil, and your plant will display yellowing leaves, browning leaf tips and/or curled leaf margins. If you see such signs persist, you may need to change or rinse the soil.

On the other hand, slow growth and small plant size could show the need to increase your fertilizer, while pale new leaves may indicate calcium or magnesium deficiencies.

Watering Orange Philodendron Plants

Philodendrons prefer slightly moist, aerated soil. Watering once a week (or even less at times) is sufficient. Overwatering is often more of a problem than the reverse with the Prince of Orange.

They are epiphytes with aerial roots, used to surviving in dry climates.

Misting is typically not required, though placing in areas such as the bathroom could make them flourish.

If the top 1 or 2 inches of the soil is not completely dried out, the Orange Philodendron does not need to be watered immediately.

In particular, check to ensure that the soil is not overly moist right below the surface – sinking a finger through to the first knuckle will provide a clue. While some moisture is needed for the plant to grow large leaves, sitting in soggy soil will hurt it.

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A few other points to consider. Soil sitting in ceramic or unglazed clay containers tends to dry out faster than soil placed in glazed clay or plastic containers.

Also, plant growth will slow during the winter, which means it needs less moisture. Watering needs to be tempered or stepped up based on these factors.

Finally, every individual plant may need to be watered differently. Check the appearance of the leaves, where it is situated, the atmosphere around and the soil conditions before watering.

How to Maintain Humidity for Orange Philodendrons

As explained above, Orange Philodendrons do not need an overly moist environment to survive. While there are some Philodendrons that survive in wetlands, forests and marshes, the Prince of Orange can survive in drier climates.

In general, it does not need misting or overly moist conditions. Placing inside the bathroom or kitchen area may provide an ideal amount of moisture without going overboard.

Repotting Tips

Inside the house or office, Orange Philodendrons may require repotting (using a new pot) every 12-24 months if you want to allow them to grow to their natural sizes. Desk plants should be repotted every 12-18 months and floor plants every 18-24 months.

You may continue with the same pot if you do not want the plant to grow in size. However, if you repot into the same vessel, it is still recommended that you clear away roots, foliage and other debris and put in new soil. The same timeframes as above apply.

Different strategies are required to repot desk and floor plants into a new pot:

  • As mentioned above, repotting every 12-18 months is the recommended option for desktop plants. The new pot should not be more than 1”-2” larger than your existing pot, since more leeway could drown the roots of the plant.
  • For floor plants being put into new pots, a size 2”-4” larger than the current pot is the optimum size, and the process should be undertaken every 18-24 months.

The spring or summer, when the plants are usually in peak health, is the right time to repot.

Tips for Propagation

Orange Philodendrons are relatively easy to propagate. For example, to propagate new plants indoors, cut the stem just above an existing leaf during growing season.

You can choose to sprout it in a water jar, or directly place it in soil, moist perlite, peat or vermiculite. Roots start to sprout within 2-3 weeks. At this point, repot in soil if the plant is not planted already.

This article provides good tips on how to propagate Philodendron from cuttings.

Toxicity – Keep Children and Pets Away from the Philodendron Prince of Orange

Philodendrons are toxic to humans and animals. As such, no parts of the plants should ever be ingested – they will inflame, and could badly damage, the soft tissue inside the mouth and throat.

Handling them may cause skin irritation from touching the sap, so plant owners should wear gloves for safety, this is something to remember during occasional pruning.

Homeowners with small children or pets should take special care in this regard.

Signs of Trouble and What to Watch Out for

There are some natural signs that your Prince of Orange may be experiencing some problems. These could include:

  • Yellowing leaves – these could take two forms, either (a) some leaves completely yellowed and other leaves developing brown spots, or (b) multiple leaves showing a mix of yellow and brown. The FAQ section below describes how to tackle them.
  • Leaves yellowing towards the base of the plant and falling off – this could indicate that the plant needs to be pruned.
  • New growths appearing stunted or clenched – As the FAQ section discusses, this could indicate that the plant requires more nutrients or space to grow.
  • Dusty surfaces – Orange Philodendrons must be dusted regularly for plant health.
  • Droopy leaves – this could indicate either over-or underwatering.
  • Too many yellow leaves or sunburn spots – signs of overexposure to sunlight.

Pest Management

Orange Philodendrons have a number of natural pests, such as aphids and mealybugs principally, but also spider mites, thrips, whiteflies and scale insects. Fungus gnats could be a source of problems if they are present below the surface of the soil in which the plant is potted.

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Pest infestations show up in different ways. Pests like aphids draw nutrition from the sap of the plant, this in turn causes malnourishment and stunts the growth of the plant – especially new growth.

It is also common to find damaged leaves – for example, spider mites will cause leaves to lose their bright green colors and assume a washed-out brown look.

While home remedies such as alcohol or dishwashing soap may be effective on the pests, they can cause leaf burns on the Philodendron plant.

It may be worthwhile to choose among different remedies available on the market, including horticultural oils, pyrethrins, neem oil, organic and low-toxic insecticidal oils and sprays. Using these in the right proportions per directions from manufacturers is key to maintain plant health.

Some other natural remedies may be available for outdoor Philodendrons. For example, an aphid infestation outdoors can be effectively controlled by introducing ladybugs into the area where the plant beds are placed.

Other Maintenance Tips

The Orange Philodendron plant, if kept indoors, should be rotated frequently to ensure that all sides receive equal exposure to light. A number of other cares should be exercised, including the following:

  • Dust the leaves from time to time. This will both ensure that the plant is able to photosynthesize better and also enhance its ability to improve air quality around the area by absorbing air-borne toxins.
  • While dusting, and in general, examine the leaves – both top and bottom – to make sure that there are no telltale signs of bad health or pest infestations. Aphids, for example, can be spotted in clusters on the undersides of leaves.
  • Continue checking the soil just below the surface, as mentioned above, to ensure that the moisture level is proper. The display of the leaves will be greatly enhanced with a little bit of attention to this issue.
  • Check for yellow and brown spots. This may be due to overwatering or underwatering. The differences are mentioned under the FAQs below.
  • Check to see if new growths (usually the most vivid leaves) are opening out properly. If not, it may be a sign that the plant does not have enough room to grow and spread out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Owners of Orange Philodendrons often ask variations of the following questions. Answers and solutions are provided below.

The leaves on my plant are turning yellow. What’s wrong?

Yellowing can be caused by either overwatering or underwatering. Orange Philodendron leaves do naturally turn a pale yellow when they reach a certain age and could be close to falling off. If many leaves turning are yellow overall, and there are distinct brown spots with crispy edges on other leaves, that is typically a sign that the plant needs water. If, on the other hand, a number of leaves turn a mixture of yellow and brown, that usually indicates overwatering.

The new growths on my plant won’t open up. What do I do?

The plant’s growth may be getting stunted without sufficient quantities of nutrients. This could be due to a lack of light, which should be easy to check. If that is not an issue, check if your Orange Philodendron has adequate moisture, which can cause the plant to shrivel. A long-term reason for new growths getting stunted or stuck could be the size of the pot as the plant grows.

The Leaves on My Plant are Drooping. What’s wrong?

Droopy leaves usually indicate that the plant is overwatered, though the condition can also occur due to underwatering. It should be easy to check out the cause. Luckily, the plant recovers very quickly once the watering is corrected.

How often should I repot?

Refer to the answers under repotting above. The answer varies based on whether the plant is placed on a desktop or a floor, and also whether or not you want to leave room for growth.

How often should I fertilize?

The Orange Philodendron is a hardy plant that does not need a whole lot of sustenance, but adding fertilizer once a month, as suggested above, would be a good idea.

I may have too much fertilizer by mistake. What do I do?

Some symptoms of overfertilization are mentioned above. If you think you have overfertilized, there are a couple of simple remedies – either repot the plant with new soil or rinse the soil out under running water.