A plant that looks just as attractive as it sounds, the ‘Strawberry Shake’ Philodendron is a rare plant with spade-shaped leaves that are light in color when they’re young, but they start to darken into a much richer shade as they get more mature.
The colors really start to come out once your leaves are dark green. You’ll see beautiful patches of creams, yellows, oranges, and reds.
If you’re considering purchasing a Strawberry Shake’ Philodendron or have recently acquired one, this care guide should provide you with everything you need to know to help your plant flourish.
This variety of philodendron is a tropical plant native to areas of the world that are very hot and have high humidity. While your home is likely not similar to a tropical forest, you can still ensure your plant thrives.
You’ll want to keep this plant in a temperature range between 55- and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, a consistent humidity level of 60 percent is beneficial, and your philodendron should be planted in soil rich in nutrients with proper drainage to avoid root rot.
Plant Care Guide
The Strawberry Shake philodendron should be kept in indirect light that is not too bright—avoiding direct sunlight, as this will prevent these delicate leaves from burning.
Conditions that are too low in light won’t support your plant enough. It can also minimize the amount of color your leaves experience as they mature. So, near a south-facing window (avoid the direct sun) can be an excellent spot for these house plants.
The portions of the Strawberry Shake that aren’t green do not have high chlorophyll composition.
This results in your plant having to work overtime to perform the process of photosynthesis. As a result, you’ll usually see the color fade, and the leaves will get darker.
So, if you hear of one of these plants losing its variegation and turning green, this is usually the cause.
Watering Your ‘Strawberry Shake’ Philodendron
The soil of your Strawberry Shake should always be moist to reflect the plant’s natural environment, but you don’t want things to get too saturated.
If the soil remains too wet for long periods, this can lead to root rot or mold growth. On average, the Strawberry Shake should receive one cup of water every ten days. If you notice that the top few inches of your potting mix is dry, it’s time to add water.
Other ways to tell if the soil is dry include wilting leaves and leaves turning brown on the edges, the pot itself feeling very light if you try to move it, and the soil doesn’t feel moist when you touch it.
All philodendrons benefit from well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. You have a number of options if you want to promote this environment for your Strawberry Shake.
You can opt for a potting soil mixture, but feel free to work some additional items into the soil on your own. This can include things like activated charcoal and peat.
Some people with true green thumbs like to make their own mixture that includes potting soil, bark, peat, and perlite.
As mentioned earlier, the Strawberry Shake philodendron should be kept in an environment where the temperature is between 55- and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you expose it to anything below 50 degrees, this can cause irreversible damage. In addition, you should always keep your plant away from drafty areas of the home or windows prone to frost in the winter.
Copying how it exists in its natural habitat, the Strawberry Shake will climb up any pole or trellis that you include in its pot.
This is a plant that doesn’t grow all that quickly but giving it some room to move upwards can sometimes accelerate its growth rate into a fast grower depending on the care and environment.
At its full maturity, this plant will usually stand about three feet tall and around one to three feet wide.
There really aren’t many rules to follow when it comes to pruning your philodendron. However, occasionally it would help if you trimmed off any dead or yellowed leaves.
Also, remove anything that looks diseased. If you think your plant is getting too large, you can either transplant it to a larger pot or cut it back a little bit.
The ‘Strawberry Shake’ philodendron should be fertilized during its peak growing season from spring until fall. Opt for a liquid fertilizer that has been diluted to half of its strength, and feel free to repeat this process once every month or so.
Ensure you’re using a product containing essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium.
Fertilization isn’t necessary for the off-season, as much growth doesn’t occur anyway.
The Process of Repotting
The Strawberry Shake philodendron should be repotted at a young age whenever it starts to outgrow its current environment. Once your plant has begun to level out with its growth, you often don’t need to move it from one pot to another.
This plant likes to remain in its current container as long as possible, and you can go a few years before repotting.
A good time to transfer pots will be if you notice that your Strawberry Shake is experiencing slow growth or some roots poking out through the soil or the bottom of the pot.
Upgrade the pot by about two inches with each repot. Half of the pot should be filled with nutrient-dense soil that drains well.
Place your philodendron into the new pot, shaking off as much excess dirt as possible. Try not to disrupt the roots if possible. Then, fill the remaining spaces with the rest of your potting soil.
And, of course, always use a pot with the proper drainage holes to prevent root rot.
The two methods most commonly used are soil and water propagation.
The following video will show the entire process. One trick she does is wrapping aerial roots with sphagnum moss. This starts new roots for soil. Then, cut and place it in a pot with fresh soil in medium indirect light. Check it out:
Philodendron Strawberry Shake vs. Pink Princess
If you’re curious about the difference between these two plants, here is your answer.
The philodendron Pink Princess leaves have light pink coloring, and the body of the leaves are green. Stems are brownish-red colored.
Strawberry Shake leaves have variegation ranging from green to red, pink, yellow, and orange. The stems are deep red.
This section will cover common problems and how to fix them by providing the proper plant needs.
The two main pests for this plant are scales and spider mites.
These buggers usually stay in one spot and suck the sap from the plant.
Seeing hard brown spots on the leaves or stems could signify scales.
To treat scales, neem oil works excellently. Repeat as needed to eliminate the scales, and use monthly for future prevention.
You’ll know you have spider mites by noticing webbing on the plant or soil. But, then, if you take a magnifying glass, you can see them.
Again, neem oil to the rescue! Monthly treatment using neem oil should do the trick.
Leaves Turning Yellow
The oldest and lowest leaves can sometimes turn yellow and die. When leaves turn yellow it is often the result of overwatering.
To fix, always use your finger to ensure the top couple of inches of your potting soil is dry before you water it.
Isn’t this the same as the ‘Red Emerald” philodendron erubescens?
We can see how you would get these philodendron plants confused, but the difference is that ‘Red Emerald’ and ‘Strawberry Shake’ are hybrids of philodendron erubescens.
Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is the variegated form of ‘Red Emerald.
What’s the cost of Strawberry Shake Philodendron, and why does it cost so much?
At the time of writing, Strawberry Shake philodendron cuttings can be found for $150 to $900. People love the plants’ dark red stems and variegated leaves. There is also not enough supply to meet the demand. So, sellers can charge higher prices.
Are Philodendron Strawberry Shake plants toxic?
Yes, like all philodendrons, these plants contain calcium oxalate crystals and are toxic to people and pets.
Clinical symptoms of philodendron toxicity if consumed or chewed on include:
- Oral discomfort and irritation, possibly coupled with mouth blisters
- Lips, tongue, and other oral cavity areas swelling
- Excessive salivation
- Having trouble swallowing
- Vomiting (not in horses as they do not vomit)
If material from recently cut plant trimmings gets in your eyes:
- Excessive tear production
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Corneal sores (clear globe of the eye)
- Eye rubbing and squinting
If you’ve been looking at the Strawberry Shake Philodendron for some time now, wondering if you would be able to grow one yourself, you can add this plant to your collection. Once you have it established, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to help it thrive.