Strawberry Shake Philodendrons are expensive and rare. If you’ve managed to find one, you will want to protect your investment by keeping your plant happy and healthy.
Hobbyists love Strawberry Shake Philodendrons because of their swirling, multicolored leaves, which appear in various shades of pink, red, orange, yellow, and white.
Every plant is unique, so your Strawberry Shake Philodendron might look like an orange creamsicle, limoncello, or strawberries and cream.
Despite its appearance, your Strawberry Shake Philodendron is a tropical plant, not ice cream.
We’ll teach you how to care for your Strawberry Shake Philodendron, from making sure it gets enough light to getting rid of pests.
Strawberry Shake Philodendron Care Sheet
- Scientific Name: Philodendron erubescens “Strawberry Shake”
- Origin: Colombia, South America
- Temperature: Regular room temperature – 55-80ºF
- Humidity: Medium relative humidity – 50-70%
- Light: Medium–indirect morning light is best.
- Water: Keep soil slightly moist and water less in the winter.
- Fertilization: Feed once a month in spring/summer growing seasons.
- Repotting: Yearly at first, difficult once the plant begins to climb
- Toxicity: Toxic to humans and pets – toxicity category 2.3
- Pests: No major problems with regular cleaning (aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects otherwise)
- Propagation: Cuttings and aerial roots
How to Take Care of Your Strawberry Shake Philodendron
As tropical plants, Strawberry Shake Philodendrons like warm temperatures and high humidity. Their care needs also differ in the summer and the winter.
Getting the Temperature and Humidity Just Right
Fortunately, the Strawberry Shake Philodendron thrives in room-temperature environments.
As long as the temperature doesn’t change suddenly, get too hot (above 80°F), or drop below 55°F, they tend to be happy.
To keep your plant stable, keep it away from windows and consider keeping it in a warm, humid room, like a kitchen or a bathroom.
Strawberry Shake Philodendrons prefer medium humidity, so if you live in a dry environment, you can always mist them – or invest in a humidifier.
Of course, you will also have to get the light and watering right.
Light for Strawberry Shake Philodendrons
Like other tropical plants, Strawberry Shake Philodendrons prefer medium, indirect light – like the light that filters through tropical canopies.
DO place your plant near an east-facing window, but DON’T let it get direct sunlight.
When in doubt, opt for shade because Strawberry Shake Philodendrons can tolerate low light but will burn in the sun’s harsh rays.
Think of it this way – your Strawberry Shake Philodendron loves the sunrise, but it does not want to deal with the hot, afternoon sun.
However, remember that too little light can cause the leaves to turn yellow – or lose their distinctive colors. If your Strawberry Shake Philodendron starts losing its variegation and turning green, move it to an area with more indirect light.
Watering a Strawberry Shake Philodendron
Keep your Strawberry Shake Philodendron moist, but don’t let it get too wet.
In other words, water if the top layer of soil is dry, mist between waterings, and keep your plant in a pot with good drainage to get rid of excess water.
Also, don’t be afraid to slow down watering in the winter.
The Strawberry Shake Philodendron grows in the spring and summer and rests in the fall and winter.
Use regular houseplant fertilizer to feed your philodendron once or twice per month in the spring and summer, and reduce fertilization to every other month in colder weather.
In general, Strawberry Shake Philodendrons need much less attention in the fall and winter.
Strawberry Shake Philodendrons grow quickly, especially when they are young. Also called parlor vines, philodendrons are vining plants that attach themselves to various vertical surfaces.
When you first get your plant, you may need to repot it annually, preferably every spring. Once your plant starts climbing, however, repotting may be more challenging.
If your strawberry shake philodendron starts growing up instead of out, refresh the soil and fertilizer once a year.
No matter what, choose a pot with good drainage, so your plant does not retain excess water.
What Soil Should I Use
Your Strawberry Shake Philodendron prefers loamy, well-drained soil with a neutral or slightly acidic pH.
Most standard potting mixes work well, but if the mixture is too heavy, you may need to mix in some sand to make draining easier. Be sure to add fertilizer so the soil remains nutritious for your fast-growing plant.
You can also use our Aroid Sol Mix Recipe to help ensure your plant gets enough drainage and nutrition. Key ingredients include perlite, orchid bark, and worm castings.
Philodendron plants are poisonous because they contain “needle-like calcium oxalate crystals.”
If a child or pet eats any part of a philodendron plant, they will experience immediate pain and irritation.
Swelling can cause problems in the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat. The poison can even irritate the digestive system, and in rare cases, it can obstruct the airway.
Please keep your Strawberry Shake Philodendron away from children and pets.
Problems and Solutions
Despite the high price tag, Strawberry Shake Philodendrons are quite hardy and easy to propagate.
Most problems can be solved with preventative care. For example, wiping down your Strawberry Shake Philodendron once or twice per month can prevent spider mites, aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs. Add neem oil for extra protection.
If you notice a pest problem, you can solve it the same way. Scrape off the bugs, wipe the leaves with water and dish soap, and spray neem oil over the plant.
To avoid fungal infections, keep the leaves and stem of your philodendron dry. Water from below and regularly wipe your plant to ensure it does not get “leaf spot disease.”
As always, fungal diseases can be treated with fungicides in their early stages.
Also, we previously discussed Strawberry Shake Philodendrons losing their unique colors (variegation). If this occurs, it’s probably because your plant is not getting enough light.
Move your plant near an east-facing window and filter the light with a curtain (or even another plant); the colors should return in no time.
Pruning and Propagation
Philodendrons don’t need a lot of pruning, but you can trim old leaves if you choose. Make sure you use clean, sharp pruning scissors and cut where the stem meets the vine.
The same cutting process applies to propagation. Simply cut a section with multiple aerial roots and plant it in a new pot.
Be sure the soil is warm and moist – and that the roots make contact with the soil.
Alternatively, you can place a stem cutting in water and wait until aerial roots form (usually within a month or two). Just make sure the cutting has at least one leaf and one root nodule.
Spring is the best time for propagation because your philodendron will already be growing.