Philodendron Strawberry Shake: Comprehensive Care Guide

If you are looking for a rare and expensive plant to impress your green-thumbed friends, Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is the plant for you.

This gorgeous plant has multiple colors of variegation, including yellow, orange, and red, on its large leaves. Add in the red stems, and you’ve got a breathtaking decorative plant for your house. 

How do you care for Philodendron Strawberry Shake? To keep this rare but lovely plant healthy, use potting soil enriched with perlite and compost, provide medium indirect light, keep temperatures between 55 and 80℉, maintain relatively high humidity, water only when top of the soil is dry, and fertilize monthly during the spring and summer.

Caring for Philodendron Strawberry Shake: Basic Guidelines

If you are going to spend the money to purchase such an expensive plant, it is important to understand everything the plant needs to thrive.

Giving your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ the best care will allow it to keep growing and putting out beautiful leaves for years to come.

Complete Care Guide for Philodendron Strawberry Shake

Like many Philodendron cultivars, the exact origins of this plant are unknown.

The best guesses are that Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is related to Philodendron ‘Red Emerald’ as a hybrid of Philodendron erubescens.

The care requirements for all of these plants are similar. 

Philodendron Strawberry Shake at a Glance

  • Plant Type: Climbing evergreen
  • Scientific Name: Philodendron erubescens ‘Strawberry Shake’
  • Average Height: 3 feet
  • Average Width: 1 foot
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Produces Flowers: Rarely indoors
  • Common Pests: Scales, spider mites
  • Life Expectancy: Perennial
  • Difficulty of Care: Easy

What To Do When You First Get Your Philodendron Strawberry Shake

Most likely, this plant will need to be purchased online and shipped to you, since it is so rare.

In that case, immediately check your plant for any issues that arose during shipping, and water the plant. If there are any concerns, contact the seller to rectify the situation. 

Make sure your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is in an appropriate container with good-draining soil.

Try not to make too many changes when the plant first arrives because it can shock the plant’s system.

Leave the plant separate from your other plants for a couple weeks to make sure there are no pest infestations. 

Ideal Soil for Philodendron Strawberry Shake

The best soil for all aroids (the family including Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake) is a soil that drains well and contains a high amount of organic matter.

A commercial houseplant mix will usually suffice, but incorporate additional substrates like perlite or compost (learn how here) as needed.

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Water Requirements

This plant requires a moderate amount of water. It is very important to prevent overwatering to avoid root rot or other fungal infections.

Check the top couple inches of soil with your finger, and only water when the top of the soil is dry. 

This plant is not drought tolerant, but it is more forgiving than most plants. It is better to err on the side of caution and underwater rather than overwater. 

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Lighting Needs

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ will do best with medium, indirect light.

This means that there is plenty of ambient sunlight coming into a room, but direct sunlight is not touching the plant.

Direct sun will cause the soil to dry out too quickly, and the leaves can be scorched.

Low light is not as detrimental to the health of the plant, but it affects the way Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ looks.

Low light conditions will cause the plant to quickly put out multiple new leaves, but these leaves will be much smaller than the usual size.

In addition, lower light causes the plant to produce more chlorophyll, and therefore green leaves, to produce enough energy through photosynthesis. 

Ideal Temperature Range for Philodendron Strawberry Shake

All Philodendrons are tropical or subtropical plants, so even the hybrid cultivars (which are not found in the wild) prefer warmer temperatures.

Maintain a range of 55-80 degrees Fahrenheit in your home. Try to minimize large temperature fluctuations and keep the plant away from drafty locations. 

Ideal Humidity Level for Philodendron Strawberry Shake

This plant loves high humidity levels around 60-70% but will survive in the humidity range of the average home.

Running a humidifier (like this small, ultra-quiet model)near the plant can help satisfy its preferences without making your entire home feel like a sauna.

Best Location for Philodendron Strawberry Shake

As long as there is enough light, Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ can survive anywhere in your home.

However, since the plant enjoys warmth and high humidity, a kitchen or bathroom with a window creates the optimal environment for this plant. 

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Growth Habits

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is a climbing plant and will do best when given a structure for support.

The height of the plant will depend on this support structure because without support, Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is not able to support its own weight. 

Many people like to use a moss pole for their Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’. This support holds moisture and has enough texture for aerial roots to grab onto. 

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ can be a fast or slow grower, depending on its environment and care.

During the growing season, with adequate water and fertilizer application, this plant can grow quickly and put out many colorful leaves. 

Fertilization Type & Schedule for Philodendron Strawberry Shake

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ will need to be fertilized regularly, typically once a month, during the growing season.

A commercial fertilizer that is formulated for indoor plants will do the job. Many enthusiasts recommend diluting the fertilizer to half strength before applying.

Stop fertilizing during the late fall and winter, because the plant will slow down growth. 

Try to avoid a fertilizer with too many salts, as these can build up in the soil and become toxic to the plant.

If you are concerned with the amount of salts in your soil, place the plant in the sink and rinse the soil for a few minutes.

Allow the soil to drain completely before returning the plant to its usual location. 

Signs of Nutrient Deficiency

  • Nitrogen deficiency – older leaves turn yellow, stunted growth
  • Phosphorus deficiency – older leaves turn dark green, plant drops leaves
  • Potassium deficiency – older leaves will wilt and turn brown
  • Calcium deficiency – new growth is stunted
  • Magnesium deficiency – yellow edges on leaves
  • Sulfur deficiency – new growth turns yellow

Pruning Philodendron Strawberry Shake

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ does not have any specific pruning needs.

All plants should have dead or dying leaves removed to prevent the plant from wasting nutrients. Once a leaf turns yellow, it will not survive. 

Does Philodendron Strawberry Shake Produce Flowers?

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ rarely produces flowers when housed indoors. As an outdoor plant in tropical environments, it will produce spathe flowers.

Spathe flowers have a stem covered in tiny flowers that is surrounded by a curled leaf.

Is Philodendron Strawberry Shake Toxic?

All Philodendron plants, including Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’, are toxic to humans and animals.

The plants contain calcium oxalate crystals which can irritate the skin when sap is secreted.

If ingested, Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ can cause difficulty swallowing, drooling, and vomiting due to the irritation.

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Propagation

Most people who own Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ are true plant enthusiasts, and they are familiar with water propagation.

This method of propagation is easy and fun, since you get to watch the roots grow from the cutting. 

Stem Cuttings in Water

1. Take a Cutting

Use sterilized garden shears to remove one or more leaves from your plant.

Make sure that the cutting includes at least one node (location where the leaf meets the stem and an aerial root is usually visible). 

2. Place Cutting in Water

Place the cutting in room temperature water, with the node below the surface and the leaves above it. Move the container to a location with medium, indirect light. 

3. Wait 4-6 Weeks

Typically, it takes 4-6 weeks for your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ cutting to produce enough roots to be transplanted.

You will want to see multiple roots that are a couple inches long before moving it to a more permanent home. 

4. Transplant Cutting to Soil

Once your roots are long enough, plant your cutting in well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist for a week or two as the plant transitions and the roots develop. 

Stem Cuttings in Soil

You can also propagate your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ cutting in soil. The process is similar, except you will place the node end of the cutting directly into moist soil.

Place a bag over the cutting to maintain humidity and keep the soil moist. Gently tug on the cutting to see when adequate roots have taken hold. 

Repotting Philodendron Strawberry Shake

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ will benefit from annual repotting if your goal is keep the plant growing larger.

Repotting is also a great time to divide your plant into multiple smaller plants.

Try to only repot your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ at the beginning of the growing season to allow plenty of time for healthy root growth.

When To Repot Philodendron Strawberry Shake

Before you decide to repot, you should first check the roots and make sure they are at least beginning to wrap around the edge of the pot.

This is the perfect time to repot because the plant has spread its roots throughout all the soil but it is not yet suffering stunted growth from being root bound. 

Signs That It’s Time To Repot

  • Stunted growth (not related to pests or disease)
  • Roots are around the edge of the soil
  • Roots are growing out of the drainage holes
  • Annually, if your goal is a large plant

How To Repot Philodendron Strawberry Shake

1. Check for Signs That It’s Time To Repot

If you plant meets one or more of the above criteria, then it is time to repot.

2. Choose Your New Pot

Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger than the current container. It is important that the pot contains drainage holes to prevent soggy soil around the roots.

3. Fill Pot Halfway With Soil

Add a couple inches of good-draining soil to the bottom of your new pot.

Gently remove the Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ from the old pot and shake off the old soil. 

4. Place Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ In New Pot

Place your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ in the new pot and loosely place soil around the roots.

You do not want the soil to be packed down, but carefully tapping the pot will help the soil to move down throughout the roots. 

5. Water Thoroughly

New soil holds moisture better than old soil, but you will still need to water the plant thoroughly after repotting.

Keep the soil more moist than usual for the first week to allow the roots to settle in.

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Common Problems & Solutions That Work

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Common Pests

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ can be affected by most household pests. A couple of the most common pests are scales and spider mites. 

Scales

Scales are similar to the hated mealybugs; they will suck the sap from your plant.

However, scales do not move around the plant, they choose one location to feed from for most of their life.

Signs of Trouble

Scales look like hard, brown spots of the stem or leaves of Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’. The overall health of the plant will be declining. 

Solution

Adult scales can be killed with alcohol on a cotton swab, but it might be easier to rinse the plant under a gentle shower. This will help remove many of the adult pests.

Treat the plant with neem oil, insecticidal soap, or a commercial insecticide to kill larvae and eggs.

I recommend using this organic neem oil. It’s gentle on the plant but tough on the pests.

Treatment may need to be repeated until the plant is clear of pests.

Prevention

To prevent pests from getting to the plant through the soil, periodically treat the soil with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution.

You can also preventatively treat the plant with neem oil once a month. Check the plant regularly for any signs of scales.

Spider Mites

Spider mites get their name because of the thin webbing they produce. The pests are so small that the webbing is usually the first sign of an infestation. 

Signs of Trouble

The plant’s health is most likely declining by the time you notice spider mites. The most obvious sign is thin webbing on the plant and soil.

Using a magnifying glass will allow you to see if the tiny mites are present on the plant.

Solution

Treat the plant with neem oil or an insecticidal soap to eliminate the spider mites.

If you’d prefer to use a commercial insecticide, check that it is effective for spider mites. Not all common pesticides are toxic to spider mites.

Prevention

Unlike most houseplant pests, spider mites enjoy dry air. Keep the ambient humidity around your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ high, and mist the leaves regularly.

Monthly neem oil treatments will effectively prevent most pests, including spider mites.

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Common Diseases

While there are a host of potential bacterial and fungal infections that can affect Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’, the most common problem that people run into is root rot from allowing the roots to sit in wet soil for too long. 

Root Rot

Signs of Trouble

The first sign of trouble is usually when the lower leaves start to turn yellow and eventually drop. You may also notice the base of the stem turning dark brown and getting mushy.

The most obvious sign is in the soil – the roots will be black and dead. 

Solution

Since root rot is a fungal infection, you want to immediately disinfect the healthy parts of the plant.

This can be done with a dilution of hydrogen peroxide or a copper-based fungicide, like this organic treatment.

Remove all infected roots, stems, and leaves. Repot the remaining parts of the plant into fresh soil, after removing as much of the old soil as possible. 

Prevention

Overwatering and allowing the roots to sit in soggy soil is the cause of root rot. Use a pot with drainage holes. Only water when the top couple inches of soil are completely dry.

If this is a recurring problem, let the soil dry out even more between watering.

Other Common Problems 

The most common concern with Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is yellowing leaves. This is usually seen on the lowest and oldest leaves first.

Yellowing Leaves

Signs of Trouble

The lowest and oldest leaves begin to turn yellow. Eventually, these leaves die and drop off the plant.

Solution

Reduce the frequency and amount of watering. Yellowing leaves is an indicator that you are overwatering your plant. 

Prevention

Allow the top couple inches of soil to completely dry out between waterings. Always use your finger to test your soil before watering. 

Philodendron Strawberry Shake Common Questions

How Much Does Philodendron Strawberry Shake Cost?

Depending on the size of the plant and the amount of variegation on the leaves, Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ costs from $500 to over $1000.

These plants are rare, which drives up the cost.

How Do You Identify Philodendron Strawberry Shake?

The identifying feature of Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is the multi-color variegation. Leaves can have varying shades of green, yellow, orange, and red. The stems are deep red.

Is ‘Strawberry Shake’ the Same as ‘Red Emerald’?

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is the variegated version of Philodendron ‘Red Emerald’. They are both believed to be hybrids of Philodendron erubescens

Can a Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ Revert? 

Many Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ owners have reported their plant reverting to green leaves with no variegation.

Others have reported that their reverted plant has been able to regain variegation.

Low light can cause a plant to revert, so always keep your Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ in adequate lighting. 

Why Is My Philodendron Strawberry Shake Changing Color?

That’s part of the beauty of Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’! The leaves tend to be lightest when they first emerge and will darken over time.

In addition, the usually pink variegation can also come in orange, yellow, and red. 

Is Philodendron Strawberry Shake a Hybrid?

Yes, the Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is a hybrid plant with unknown origins. Many believe it is descended from Philodendron erubescens.

Is Philodendron Strawberry Shake Stable? 

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is not considered stable as it is possible for the amount of variegation to increase or decrease based on conditions.

Without proper lighting, this plant may revert to all-green leaves.

Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ vs. ‘Pink Princess’

The stems of Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ are a bright red while ‘Pink Princess’ have brownish-red stems.

‘Pink Princess’ leaves are strictly green and light pink while ‘Strawberry Shake’ can have many shades of green, pink, orange, yellow, and red. 

3 Key Tips for Success With Philodendron Strawberry Shake

1. Find a Reputable Seller

If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars on a plant, it is important to make sure you are purchasing your plant from a reputable seller.

Check for reviews from other buyers and guarantees on any shipping issues.

2. Don’t Overwater

Overwatering is not healthy for Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’, and it can also lead to a deadly infection of root rot. 

3. Maintain Medium, Indirect Light

The diverse variegation on Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’ is the main selling point, so it is important to create an environment that maintains that coloration.

Medium, indirect light will provide enough sunlight so that the plant does not need to put out more green leaves for photosynthesis. 

Conclusion

Whether this plant is worth hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars is up for you to decide.

However, if you decide to purchase a Philodendron ‘Strawberry Shake’, you can now feel confident that you will be able to provide complete care to this rare plant.

Graphic outlining care of Philodendron Strawberry Shake