Why Are My Philodendron Leaves Turning Red?

Sometimes, you’ll notice that the leaves of your philodendron plant change hue. The color of healthy philodendron leaves are green.

But, the color could change from red to green. There are a variety of conditions that can cause your philodendron plant change color. Nearly all of these issues can be fixed.

The leaves of Philodendron plants can turn red in certain instances. The reddened leaves could be due to Anthocyanins pigmentation, Phosphorus Deficiency, or too A lot of Sun exposure. Additionally, a lack of Light, or underwatering could be the cause of the problem. It could also be a camouflage technique to protect new Growth from predators.

Should You Worry About Philodendron Turning Red?

It is a sign to be concerned when your philodendron plant is causing reddening. It is due to numerous factors that can trigger the reddening. It is important to look at your plant to determine the reason for the red hue.

Therefore, take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.  

Causes Philodendron Leaves Turning Red

Many factors can cause the red coloration of the philodendron plant. Certain philodendron species have reddish hues. Some may change color frequently due to a variety of reasons.

Anthocyanins Pigmentation

The red coloration of any Philodendron plants is caused by the red pigment called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a protection mechanism in plants. They are found in deciduous plants just before the beginning of autumn.

This role of protection is to prevent damaging the cells by environmental factors in plants. The functions of repair in the philodendron plants is closely linked to anthocyanins. The red hue of the philodendron plant represents an effect of the primary causes.

The plants of Philodendron trigger anthocyanins when the plant metabolism decides that it is appropriate. Other reasons for red coloration in the philodendron plant depend upon the actions of anthocyanins.

The secondary causes stimulate the plant’s metabolism to create anthocyanins which are the pigment that gives the color red.


To maintain the anthocyanin concentration at a low level The primary triggers that increase the anthocyanin pigments’ levels must be controlled.

It is impossible to eliminate anthocyanins by themselves in the Philodendron plant. It is ideal to identify the factors that trigger the production of the red pigment and then work on eliminating those factors.

philodendron variety pale yellow and green

Xanthomonas Leaf Spot

In the philodendron plant Xanthomonas leaves spot can be described as a bacteria infection that affects the leaves. The infection begins with a small speck of water-soaked lesions along the leaf’s margin. Lesions appear initially translucent , but they later change to brown or red.

After a while the lesions begin to spread to any area of the philodendron plant. They look like a water drop that is surrounded by a red-colored pigment. Certain lesions can join together to form a huge red patch on your philodendron.

The relative humidity of the air determines the speed of spreading of the lesions. If there is a dry air, the lesions are spread out slowly. The lesions appear to be dry, and very tiny in size. The philodendron plant appears to have red spots scattered throughout the leaves.

If the humidity is high and the spread of lesions is increased and the lesions that result on your philodendron plants are large and swollen. Lesions can become a huge reddish patch.

To eliminate Xanthomonas leaf spot in the philodendron plant you can apply an chemical treatment. Like other bacterial infections it is eliminated through spraying on the plants with a antibacterial water mixture.


Xanthomonas leaf spot can be spread between plants other when they are close to each other. To prevent it from spreading be sure to keep an adequate distance between the plants. It is helpful to move affected plants away from other plants.

Avoid splashing while watering your philodendron plants. Water is a facilitator of the transfer of bacterial. It is also recommended to remove affected leaves of your philodendron plant.

The frequency for Xanthomonas leaf spot infection is influenced by the temperature. Between 82degF and 85degF the risk of contracting is very high. To prevent this from happening ensure that the temperature is at or above 90degF.

Exposure to Cold Temperatures

As with other broad-leaved species The philodendron plant can change color during winter. The plant metabolism creates anthocyanins that protect cells of the plant from damage in the winter months. Anthocyanin is an red color on the leaves.

In colder weather, anthocyanins can also function as a cell-based antifreeze. The pigment is produced naturally. It is not harmful on the philodendron plant.


Anthocyanins’ production in colder weather is a normal and harmless metabolic process. Therefore, it doesn’t require any adjustment procedure. If you discover that your philodendron plant has turned red in winter, there may not be a need to intervene.

If the philodendron plant suddenly becomes red in other seasons it could be reason to be concerned. If you determine that the area where the plant is located has a cold temperature, take steps to rectify the problem. It is recommended to move your plant into a more warm area.

Phosphorus Deficiency

A lack of certain nutrients can cause reddish coloring to the philodendron plant. The most frequent nutrient deficiency that causes this red color is a phosphate deficiency. The phosphate nutrient is linked with a better development of the leaf in a variety of plants.

The absence of it, consequently, can result in a decline in leaf quality. The reddening of leaves in philodendron plants indicate this decline.


To stop reddening due to deficiency in phosphorus, include phosphate fertilizer in your potting mix. But, it is important to take your soil to test it first. It is essential to confirm the presence of phosphate before making any action.

It is important to be cautious not to apply excessive amounts of fertilizer containing phosphate. In excess, it can cause lower soil quality in the potting mix. The excess fertilizer can also burn the roots or cause death.

Salts and Heavy Metal Absorption

If you use too many fertilizers or deicing agents, the leaves of your philodendron might change color to red. Fertilizers and deicing agents are made up of heavy metals like aluminum and zinc. If the plant metabolism detects the presence of these heavy metals, anthocyanins will be created as a measure of protection.

The result is the appearance of reddened leaves on your philodendron plant. Metals with heavy weights could be found naturally in the potting mix.


It is important to select the correct potting mix. Check your soil using the laboratory prior to planting your philodendron plant. Additionally, be careful not to use too many fertilizers and deicing agents.

Under Watering

The problem of underwatering can lead to the condition known as chronic drought. Many other causes can cause this deficiency. Roots that are not developed properly in the philodendron plant could result in chronic drought.

Long periods of time without watering your philodendron plants is the main reason for the ongoing drought. If the plant isn’t getting sufficient water, the leaves become chlorosis-prone and change color to red. Unproperly planted plants expose the roots of the philodendron plant can cause reddening.


A prolonged drought requires you to supply more irrigation to the philodendron plant. It is important to water your plant on a regular basis. Also, make sure that the roots of your plant are protected by the soil and free from any damage.

Poor Drainage

Incredibly, the extremes in water availability to your philodendron plant can lead to the reddening of leaves. Insufficient water in a badly draining potted philodendron plant can lead to a condition called hypoxia. The excessive water decreases the oxygen content within the soil and thereby inflicting a death on the roots.

Many compacted soils are not draining properly. Incorrect soil amendment can lead to poor drainage, too. In soils that are saturated, the roots die, and the philodendron plant changes color.


It is important to ensure that the pot where you plant your philodendron is a bit drained at the bottom. These holes are used to drain any excess water out of the container. Additionally, you should choose soil that has average compaction properties.

Avoid causing irritation to your philodendron plant by overwatering it. Make sure that your regular irrigation is dependent on the amount of moisture in the soil. Make sure to use well-drained soil to make your potting mix.

Mechanical Damage

If you smash or twist the stems or leaves of your philodendron the plant will often turn red. The crushing causes the accumulation of anthocyanins in the crushed portion. The crushed area changes color to red.


Avoid inflicting physical harm to the plant philodendron. Keep it out of paths or areas where it is likely to be trampled. It is not recommended to place the plant too close to the wall.

When the plant is moving it could hit the wall and cause bruises to the leaves. The damaged part will change color to red.

Attack by Pathogens

Philodendron plant is susceptible to attacks by fungi, viruses and a few bacteria. The pathogens cause the color of red “battle zones” on the leaves. The plant metabolism creates anthocyanins in order to fight off the invaders. pathogens.

The leaves are reddening on the philodendron plant caused by the pathogen attack is noticeable. It can be seen in patches on any point on the leaf, not only the edge.


It is recommended to apply the appropriate chemicals to eliminate pathogens. It will be helpful if you removed pathogen carriers like insects.

Too Much Sun

The exposure of your philodendron plant excessive sunlight is the main cause of the plant’s reddened appearance. The sun’s rays cause excessive transpiration. The excess transpiration decreases the amount of water within your plant, causing the plant to develop a red color.


Make sure your philodendron plants are kept away from doors and windows in areas where the sun’s intensity is high. If it’s not possible for the plant to be moved, you can put up an overhang to shade it. You can also keep the plant hydrated regularly to prevent water loss due to transpiration.

Lack of Light

Plants like philodendron, as all other plants that require light for photosynthesis. Insufficient light causes the loss of chlorophyll, a the plant’s color will change, and eventually reddening of the philodendron plant.


Place your plant in an area where it will get sufficient sunlight. It is possible to take your plant out every now and then so that it can get sunlight.

Camouflage to protect new Growth from Predators

Philodendron plants frequently change their leaves to protect themselves from damage caused by animals. The plants that sprout from philodendron are reddish. The plant releases anthocyanins into the newly sprouted growth, making it appear redder and less likely to be eaten by animals.


The reddening that is caused by the protective metabolism of the plant isn’t detrimental to your philodendron plant. If the growth of your plant is red, it is nothing to worry about.

Key Takeaways

Anthocyanins are the reason for the red coloration of the philodendron plant. External factors like water, pathogens, and temperature trigger anthocyanins production. To prevent reddening of your plant’s philodendron You must address these secondary issues.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)