Philodendron Caramel Marble – (Complete #1 Care & Propagation Guide!)

philodendron caramel marble top view of variegated philodendron with yellow and green marbled leaves

If you’re looking for to SPLURGE on an easy-to-grow variegated plant, check out the Philodendron Caramel Marble.

It is a relatively compact (growing up to 2 feet (61cm)), upright-growing Philodendron with beautiful wavy-edge leaves. Leaves are marbled in green, yellow, caramel brown and – if you’re lucky – pink hues. 🙂

Care-wise, make sure you give it plenty of humidity (>60%), at least 6 hours of bright indirect light and stable temperatures of 60-85 degrees F (16-29 degrees C). Avoid heavy, soggy soils and use neem oil fend off pests.

But, be prepared to pay a pretty penny for the Caramel Marble. It can cost upwards of US$1,000 for a small starter pot!

Wait, why is the Philodendron Caramel Marble so expensive?

A combination of tightly controlled supply and sought-after variegation makes the Caramel Marble very expensive.

Historically this cultivar was passed on through a tight-knit group of US growers. You can find them more easily now, but will still likely have to buy this through niche growers on Etsy or Facebook groups rather than in store.

How to care for your Philodendron Caramel Marble

Light

Philodendron Caramel Marble needs bright, indirect sunlight and should be kept out of direct light. Direct light, both natural and artificial, will burn and damage the plant’s leaves.

At the same time – while it can handle some low light conditions, this isn’t ideal. Instead, aim to provide the Philodendron Caramel Marble with at least 6 hours of bright, indirect light. 

We like placing ours near an East-facing window, where it sits happy 🙂

philodendron caramel marble with marbled leaves of yellow, pink and green

Water

While the Philodendron Caramel Marble does like moist soil, it is susceptible to overwatering, which will lead to root rot.

Because of this, it’s best to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. ONLY when the top two inches of soil are dry, go ahead and give the Philodendron Caramel Marble a drink of water.

It’s also a good idea to use a long-spouted watering can when watering.

What about bottom watering?

Bottom watering can help prevent overwatering the Philodendron Caramel Marble, while also ensuring the plant is watered deeply. This is done by setting the bottom of the Philodendron’s pot in a few inches of water and let soak for ~20-30 minutes.

We like to do this in a small sink, where the water is draw up through bottom drainage holes in your plant’s pot.

The exact time taken to bottom water depends on how large the plant is. So check to see how moist the soil is every 10 minutes. Remove the plant from the water once the soil is damp.

Humidity

According to University of Connecticut, Philodendrons are native to the West Indies and tropical Central and South America, which means they receive a lot of humidity in their natural habitat.

Most homes have an average humidity level of about 40%, which the Philodendron Caramel Marble can tolerate. However, this plant grows best when humidity levels are closer to 60%….or higher!

Thankfully, you can increase the humidity level near the Philodendron Caramel Marble by using a humidifier, or setting the plant on a drip tray.

A word of caution – we don’t recommend misting your Philodendron, as bacterial or fungal leaf spots can result from wet leaves.

Temperature

Warm temperatures are needed to keep the Philodendron Caramel Marble healthy and happy. For the best results, make sure the temperature is a mild 60-85 degrees F (16-29 degrees C).

Additionally, make sure to keep the Philodendron Caramel Marble away from areas where the temperature will fluctuate drastically. Areas such as next to entry doors, drafty windows, or heating/cooling vents are not a good location for Philodendrons…. trust us, your variegated Philodendron will shed its pretty leaves if left near a drafty door! 🙁

Growth

Philodendron Caramel Marble is a slow-growing plant.

Ours took around 2 years to reach its mature height of ~2 feet (61cm) – not very tall at all! Unlike many houseplants, it doesn’t “climb”, rather stands upright, with its leaves branching outwards.

Soil or Growing Medium

We’ve started growing our Philodendron Caramel Marble in LECA, which has done wonders for the plant.

It’s the ultimate loose and airy mix, and the way that the clay pebbles prop up the plant means that it is never sitting in a pool of water. Pool of water = overwatered plant = root rot.

If you prefer a more traditional potting mix, we’ve found success with this mix too:

For this particular Philodendron that is prone to overwatering, we like using some succulent potting mix as this has better drainage qualities. Mix this with standard indoor potting mix.

We also lighten the mix with coco coir.

Fertilizer

The Philodendron Caramel Marble doesn’t require a lot of fertilizing, but a little goes a long way.

  • Apply a dilute solution of Dyna-Gro Grow during the spring and summer growing months.
  • Add ¼ teaspoon for every 1 gallon.
  • Use this every time you water so that your plant receives a steady stream of nutrients.
  • Hold off fertilizing in the fall and winter months.

If you prefer an organic option, worm castings is also a great choice. Apply a thin layer, around a quarter of an inch (0.6 cm), to your pot at the start of Spring.

small baby leaves of a philodendron caramel marble which are pink and green

Repotting

All plants need repotting when they outgrow their containers. But because the Philodendron Caramel Marble is a slow grower, you do not need to change its pot very often. Once every 2-3 years is usually sufficient.

  • If you notice the roots of your plant poking through the drainage hole, it is time to change its pot.
  • When choosing the new container, make sure that the pot has excellent drainage to avoid root rot.
  • In addition, the new container should not have an extreme size difference from the previous one. A pot that is about 2 inches larger is perfect.

To repot, gently lift the rootball from its container, using your fingers to loosen the soil. Next, place the plant in the new pot that already contains some potting mix and allow it to settle.

Wait 24 hours after repotting before watering. This allows any damaged roots to heal, and for your plant to recover from transport shock (YES this is a real thing!).

Toxicity

Unfortunately, your Philodendron Caramel Marble is toxic when ingested by pets or humans. This is due to insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in its stems and leaves. These crystals pierce tissue and cause skin burns, gastrointestinal pains, nausea, and vomiting.

Place this plant in an out-of-reach spot if you have pets or small children. If you have sensitive skin, use gardening gloves when you are propagating or pruning off vines, as the plant sap may be irritating.

Propagation

If you want to propagate your Philodendron, stem cuttings are a really easy way! Propagate during spring, when growing conditions are optimal 🙂

We prefer rooting in water, as this increases its chance of successful propagation, then transferring to a moist potting mix after the roots have grown.

Propagation using Stem Cuttings

In the first method, you will be using stem cuttings to propagate your plant.

  1. Identify a healthy-looking stem with at least one node (this is the knobby bit on the stem).
  2. Snip it with pruning shears just below the node.
  3. Leave the stem cutting to callous for about half an hour.
  4. Optional step: dip the cut end in rooting hormone. This stimulates root growth, but isn’t 100% necessary.
  5. Place the stem cutting into a jar half-filled with room temperature water. Ensure nodes are submerged below the waterline but that no leaves are submerged. (You’ll see roots growing from the nodes later on!)
  6. Place the stem cutting in a warm location with plenty of indirect light. If you can, place a humidifier next to the jar, and set it at 80% humidity.
  7. Refresh the water every few days.
  8. After 2-3 weeks, you’ll see little roots growing from the nodes.
  9. Once the roots grow 1 inch (2.5cm) long, plant your rooted cutting into its permanent pot.

Pruning

The Philodendron Caramel Marble doesn’t require much pruning.

You can snip off any dead, damaged, or dying leaves as needed with a pair of clean, sharp pruning shears. Pruning can also be helpful to maintain the shape and size of the Philodendron Caramel Marble.

Common Pests and Issues

Your Philodendron Caramel Marble is not particularly susceptible to pests or diseases. However, no plant is 100% immune.

If a problem arises, these are usually due to i) cross-infection of houseplant pests like spider mites or scale; or ii) fungal diseases that arise from an overwatered plant.

Regularly checking your houseplants for pests and adopting good watering practices honestly will save you from 90% of potential problems. We also like using a dilute solution of neem oil to fend off potential pests.

Troubleshooting

Why is my Philodendron Caramel Marble losing its variegation?

The most common reason why the Philodendron Caramel Marble is losing its variegation is due to not enough light.

This plant needs at least 6 hours of bright, indirect light to maintain its stunning variegation. If you’re seeing fading in the variegation, try upping the amount of sun the Philodendron Caramel Marble receives.

If your home doesn’t get much natural sunlight, you can use a grow light to give your plant much-needed light! Just make sure that your plant is ~2-3 feet (61-91cm) away from the light source so as to not burn the leaves.

Why are the leaves yellowing?

There may be a couple of reasons.

As mentioned, the occasional old leaf that turns yellow is natural, as your plant sheds older foliage to make way for new growth.

However, if yellowing is not confined to the occasional old leaf, this is usually a sign of improper watering.

  • Check the soil’s moisture to confirm if your problem is under or overwatering, the latter being more common.
  • Underwatering is easily solved by giving your plant a good soak.
  • But if you have a severely overwatered plant on your hands, check out our guide on rescuing your plant before root rot kills it!

Lastly, yellow leaves may be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Ensure you are using high-quality liquid fertilizer. We like using Dynagro Grow, which is nutritionally complete.

close up of a single philodendron caramel marble leaf with serrated (wavy) edges and marbled yellow-green hues

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Philodendron Caramel Marble a climbing plant?

No it is not! It is a self-heading type Philodendron, meaning that it grows upright. This means it DOES NOT need a moss pole or grow stick to live its best life 🙂

This is also a key way to differentiate the Philodendron Caramel Marble from the Philodendron Ring of Fire. The latter is a climber, while your Caramel is not. 🙂

Can I grow Philodendron Caramel Marble from seed?

We don’t recommend it.

Philodendrons can be grown from seed, but the process can be time-consuming and take many years before the plant reaches maturity. PLUS, when grown from seed, the Philodendron Caramel Marble may not have the variegation you’re looking for.

Stick to propagating via Stem cuttings instead – its quicker and easier!

Similar Plants and Varieties

Here are some other variegated Philodendrons that you might want to explore:

  • Philodendron Giganteum Variegata – gigantic cream and green leaves make this easy-to-grow Philo pretty eye-catching.
  • Philodendron Warscewiczii – an unusual plant with yellowish-green leaves that emerge heart-shaped before “branching out” into a snowflake shape!
  • Philodendron Ruizii – a drought-tolerant Philodendron with long leaves that grow in a “bird’s nest” formation. There is a variegated version with light green and white patches.

Wrapping Up

For a thriving Philodendron Caramel Marble, ensure you give it:

  • High humidity >60%;
  • Bright, indirect light more than 6 hours a day
  • Stable and mild temperatures
  • Water only when topsoil is dry;
  • Choose a soil that drains well;
  • Use a slow-release or diluted fertilizer so as not to damage the roots, and deliver a constant stream of nutrients.

As you can see, the requirements are pretty par for the course when growing tropical houseplants. Even beginner indoor gardeners can do well with the Philodendron Caramel Marble.

Deborah

Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.