Philodendron Ring Of Fire: Detailed Care Guide For This Rare Plant

The rare Philodendron Ring of Fire is the holy grail of plants for Philodendron fans and indoor gardeners worldwide. The large, deeply serrated leaves are variegated with different red, orange, green, and cream hues that make them seem as though they are on fire. Getting hold of one isn’t easy because they sell out fast and cost a fair bit more than most other Philodendrons.

The Philodendron Ring of Fire is the most sought-after Philodendron in the world. Its individual variegated, multi-colored leaves put on a stunning show, and no two plants are the same. It cannot be reproduced from seed only by propagation and requires specific environmental conditions to thrive.

Philodendron Ring of Fire is a hybrid plant with a non-specific lineage that can only be reproduced through propagation. This contributes to its rarity and high price. The variegated leaves on one plant are all different and can display as many as five distinct colors, so it is stunning.

Distinguishing Characteristics

The plant is a terrestrial, tropical epiphyte that can climb up around window frames, walls, bookshelves, or rain tendrils from hanging pots. Epiphytes tend to grow high up in cracks in the rocks and branches of trees rather than in the dense soil on the ground.

The leaves are up to sixty centimeters or twelve to sixteen inches long and can be blotchy, mottled, striped, or speckled. They are broadly toothed along the edges. No one leaf is the same, and every individual plant is unique. It belongs to the Araceae family and grows about eight feet tall.

The leaf color varies depending on the temperature, amount of sunlight, and soil type in which the plant is growing.

Growth Rate and Size

The Philodendron Ring of Fire is slow-growing and can sprout roots from trailing or climbing stems. They are not hard to grow but need consistent temperature and humidity to thrive.

How To Care For the Philodendron Ring of Fire

The plant is not challenging to care for but may require more attention than many other houseplants. An attentive and patient owner will reap the colorful rewards this gorgeous plant has to offer.

Close up of the Variegated Leaf of Philodendron Ring of Fire

Temperature and Humidity Requirements

The Ring of Fire is a hybrid of two tropical plant species, so it needs warm temperatures to grow. The ideal range is between sixty-five to eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Still, significant temperature fluctuations even in the recommended range should be kept to a minimum because the plant is susceptible to temperature changes in its environment.

The temperature should be at the upper end of the range in the growing season for optimal growth. In winter, the plant goes dormant, and lower temperatures will ensure the development of new roots. Individual plants may vary slightly in their temperature preferences.

Keeping such a valuable plant indoors is best because conditions are more consistent and not subject to vagaries in the weather. The correct humidity range is thirty to sixty percent. If this is not natural to your region, you may need to purchase a humidifier.

If you can afford it, you could group several plants to create a mini biome to increase humidity levels. The Ring of Fire prefers higher humidity levels than many other plants and grows best at sixty percent humidity or more.

Use a spray bottle containing distilled water at room temperature to mist both sides of the leaves in the summer months. Make sure that water doesn’t accumulate on the leaves and stems.

You can place a single plant on a flat tray filled with water, stones, gravel, or pebbles to create more humidity around the plant. Just don’t let the pot sit directly in the water. Humidity should not be more than eighty percent if you want to avoid fungal and bacterial diseases.

Read more: Philodendron Plowmanii: #1 Top Care Tips

Watering Guide

You cannot afford to neglect your Ring of Fire. Improper or irregular watering could cause its health to fail, and it could die. The soil must be kept moist without getting soggy and must not dry out between waterings.

Add water slowly to the substrate until you see it running from the pot’s drainage holes and leave it to drain for some thirty minutes.

The Ring of Fire needs more water in the growing season, and depending on humidity, air circulation and temperature may need to be thoroughly drenched every three or four days. Never let the substrate become dehydrated.

When the plant is resting in the autumn and winter, it may only need water every two weeks. Tap water treated with fluoride and chlorine can be harmful, so watering the plot with filtered, distilled, or bottled water is better. If, for some reason, you don’t have access to these, allow a large container of tap water to sit for forty-eight hours.

The water should be tepid because cold water can shock the roots and cause the leaves to drop.

Light Guide

Philodendron Ring of Fire plants sold by nurseries have usually been cultivated in greenhouses under medium light conditions, so the plants are not used to bright light. When you first get it, try to maintain the same light conditions and gradually accustom the plant to brighter light.

The colors multiply and become more intense in bright light, and it grows faster too. Exposing the Ring of Fire to direct sunlight can burn the leaves.

Soil and Potting Requirements

Because it is a slow-grower, Philodendron Ring of Fire does not need frequent repotting. It likes being slightly pot-bound. The substrate should be changed every two years because it can become contaminated as chemicals accumulate and nutrients become depleted.

The plant loves rich organic potting soils that drain well and are adequately aerated. Many plant specialists recommend aroid mix. This consists of thirty percent potting soil, twenty percent peat, shredded sphagnum moss, a few handfuls of horticultural coal, forty percent bark, and ten percent perlite.

Do not use dry sandy or wet, muddy soil.

You could also try a substrate consisting of equal parts peat moss, coco coir, and perlite to which a little well-aged compost and mulch have been added. The soil must be able to remain moist without becoming saturated.

Fertilizer Requirements

Liquid fertilizer diluted to half the strength recommended on the bottle can be applied once or twice in the growing season. It isn’t necessary if the soil mix is rich enough and you have added some time-release fertilizer granules.

Quick Care Tips For the Philodendron Ring of Fire

Hand holding a young philodendron ring of fire planting in pot

This plant requires regular and frequent attention, so it is not the plant for you if you are very busy or go away often. You need to monitor environmental temperature and humidity, and the moisture of the substrate every few days and prevent the soil from drying out.

Philodendron Ring of Fire is easiest to care for in temperate climates. If you live in more extreme weather conditions, you will need to put in more work.


Pruning is not strictly necessary, but you may need to remove dead or diseased leaves from time to time. The plant grows slowly, so you want to encourage as much growth as you can. If it is outgrowing its living space or the leaves look a bit untidy, you can prune it back with some pruning shears.


Propagation can be done from stem cuttings up to eight inches long with two or more leaves on them. Prepare the substrate in advance. Dip them in root hormone and place them in the damp substrate.

Make sure that the cutting is deep enough in the substrate to stand on its own. Put the cuttings in bright, indirect light and wait for the roots to grow. This typically takes between two and three weeks, when you should see little shoots emerging. To increase the humidity around the cuttings, you can place a plastic bag over the top.

Another more challenging propagation method is to wrap the aerial roots of the epiphytic stems in wet peat moss wrapped in cling wrap. It takes about three weeks for the roots to take hold. Once they have, cut the stem and place the cuttings in a pot with the usual substrate.

Philodendron Ring of Fire plants must be in tip-top condition to produce aerial roots. This only occurs when the temperature, light, and humidity are just right.

Don’t be discouraged if you fail in propagating cuttings at first. Propagation can be a slow and somewhat hit-and-miss affair. Root hormone is highly recommended.

Related: Philodendron Pedatum: Growing The Oak Leaf Philodendron

Pests and Diseases

Mealybugs and spider mites like the warm, humid conditions in which the Philodendron Ring of Fire grows. Thrips can cause the leaves to become pale and silvery. Keeping the soil around the plants clean discourages thrips. These bugs are all sapsuckers that drain the plant of nutrients.

Treat any infestations with a mix of water, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap in a spray bottle. Wiping the leaves with insecticidal soap also works. Fortunately, the plant is resistant to most diseases as long as there is sufficient air circulation and you keep excess moisture to a minimum.

The plant is toxic so keep it out of the reach of pets and children.


Philodendron Ring of Fire is much treasured and highly valued among indoor gardening enthusiasts. Its five-colored beauty is striking and the sought-after reward of a patient and attentive owner. It requires more care and attention than many other indoor plants, but it’s worth it.