Variegated Burle Marx

Philodendron Variegated Burle Marx Care Guide (And Where to Buy)

Choosing a philodendron is perhaps challenging, because there are so many varieties. The Variegated Burle Marx is an option that provides beauty to your indoor garden, and adds interest and beauty even if it is the only plant inside your home. You likely want to know what the Variegated Burle Marx looks like, and how to care for it. Help your plant thrive when you get answers to common questions and follow tips to help maintain the beauty and variegated features of the plant.

The Variegated Burle Marx

The variegated pattern is one feature that is likely to draw people to choose this plant. It is easy to care for, which means that beginners and people with plant care expertise are likely to be able to grow the Variegated Burle Marx. There is more that you should know about the Variegated Burle Marx, including detailed care of the plant, how big it gets and factors that influence the variegation of the leaves.

What Does the Plant Look Like?

A picture of the Variegated Burle Marx

The Variegated Burle Marx is one of hundreds of species of philodendron. The plant is named after famed landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. He discovered it growing in its native Brazil. Marx liked to use native plants when creating his landscaping designs.

The Burl Marx Philodendron grows as a tropical shrub when in its native rainforests of Brazil. The long, heart-shaped leaves have a glossy texture and deep veining. The plant provides a jungle or tropical vibe, and has leaves with vibrant shades of green, yellow and possibly other subtle shades.

How to Care for the Variegated Burle Marx

Does it seem like the Variegated Burle Marx is likely to be difficult to care for because of the variegated pattern in the leaves? Perhaps you feel that the plant is difficult to care for if it grows taller than your other plants.

The truth is that the Variegated Burle Marx is surprisingly easy to care for if you follow the care tips. The plant is rising in popularity, so do not let the fact that some sites indicate that it is a rare plant keep you from buying it.

Caring for the Variegated Burle Marx requires that you know where to place the plant for optimal lighting and growth, and how to water it to keep your plant healthy. One important factor in caring for the plant is understanding the possibility of your Variegated Burle Marx reverting to all green if you do not grow it in conditions that help to maintain the variegated leaves.

Mixed colors Burle Marx

How Often Do You Water a Variegated Burle Marx?

Overwatering the Variegated Burle Marx causes the same damage that other plants often suffer from when they are watered too often or they receive too much water at one time. It is crucial for you to water the plant properly if you want to maintain its healthy appearance and natural beauty.

Tips to water the plant include:

  • Do not allow the plant to dry out completely between waterings
  • Do not allow the soil to become water-logged during watering
  • Stick your finger an inch or two into the soil and water if the soil is dry
  • Scale back watering during colder months

Make sure that you do not water your Variegated Burle Marx if you insert your finger into the soil and the soil is wet. Do you feel moisture when you conduct this test? Then wait a few days before you water the plant.

Should I Mist the Plant?

Do not be afraid to mist your Variegated Burle Marx. It likes the humidity of its natural tropical habitat.

Some people keep the plant in their kitchen, or even a spacious bathroom. The faucets in the kitchen and bath, and the showerhead, help to provide the humidity to keep your unique plant healthy and lush.

Mist the Variegated Burle Marx if you do not place it in the kitchen or bathroom. Mist the plant every few days to help increase humidity.

A picture of a Variegated Burle Marx with water on it

How Much Light Does the Plant Need?

Maintaining the right amount of light is critical for the Variegated Burle Marx. Providing the proper light helps the leaves to maintain their variegated pattern.

Failing to provide the right amount of light risks the plant reverting and losing the variegated pattern. What does it mean when someone says that the plant can “revert?”

A Variegated Burle Marx that does not receive enough light can turn, or “revert” back to having all green leaves.

Place the plant in an area where it receives bright, indirect light. Do not place it in an area where it receives direct sunlight, or you risk having a plant with scorched leaves.

Are you limited on where you can place your Variegated Burle Marx and have no other option but to place it where it receives direct sunlight? Filter the bright sunlight by using sheer curtains. Place in an east-facing or west-facing window area.

Some sources claim that it is okay to place the plant in areas with low light. The plant tries to revert to all green leaves if it is in an area with low light.

Soil for the Variegated Burle Marx Plant

Do not use heavy soil. Proper drainage and aeration are important for this plant.

Consider that the plant is native to a natural habitat that has leaves, bark, and plenty of organic material on the floor of the habitat. Use an organic potting soil, and add a mixture of perlite, compost, bark or charcoal.

Make sure that the pot has a good drainage hole before you add the soil to the pot.

What Kind of Fertilizer Do I Need for My Plant?

Fertilize your plant only during the growing season. Use a liquid fertilizer for philodendrons. Fertilize once a month.

Failing to fertilize the plant slows its growth. Some people choose not to fertilize their plant, or they fertilize it less often than recommended by the manufacturer to keep their Variegated Burle Marx to a certain size.

How to Propagate a Variegated Burle Marx

You can easily propagate your Variegated Burle Marx with a high success rate.

Follow these steps, which include:

  • Use pruning shears
  • Cut a stem and node from the mother Variegated Burle Marx
  • Place into a jar of water or into moist soil
  • Move to a larger pot once roots appear

Some sources suggest that you use a rooting hormone on the bottom of your cut stem with node, and that you then insert the cutting into moist soil. Choose the method that you prefer, or the one that you have the most success with when propagating this plant.

How Big Does the Variegated Burle Marx Get?

Several factors determine how big the Variegated Burle Marx gets when you grow it. Most people grow it inside their home. Growing it outdoors will allow the plant to grow taller and to grow as a shrub in some areas.

Do not grow it outdoors if you do not live in a humid environment with temperatures similar to those native to the plant. Colder, wetter temperatures can result in root rot or other conditions that affect the health of the plant.

The Variegated Burle Marx typically reaches a height of two to three feet. Conditions such as how often you fertilize it, light, and how often you water the plant may affect the growth of your plant.

Common Problems for the Plant

A picture of a Variegated Burle Marx with root rot.

The common problems for the plant are similar to those of many other philodendrons.

Root rot is one example of an issue for the Variegated Burle Marx. Do not overwater the plant. Make sure that you always provide well-draining soil to help prevent root rot.

Avoid extreme temperatures and make sure to provide the proper lighting to prevent plant stress.

Many philodendrons are resistant to some problems that may affect other types of plants. They do still have issues with certain pests, particularly if you do not take measures to prevent or treat the plants for pests.

Mealybugs and thrips are some pests common to houseplants, and may attack philodendrons.

Watch for spider mites. Are the leaves dying or looking unhealthy? Do you see a white, sticky substance on your plant? It likely has spider mites.

Picture of spider mites

Do you have gnats in your home, and think that they are coming from your drain? The Variegated Philodendron may have an issue with fungus gnats. Some unsuspecting plant enthusiasts bring plants home that already have fungus gnats in the soil. They feed on rotting roots and organic materials.

Fungus gnats live for only about three weeks. One female can lay hundreds of eggs within that time, which means that every few weeks, you can have hundreds of new fungus gnats in the soil of your Variegated Burle Marx and in your home.

Do not purchase a pest control product that kills or prevents pests from attacking your Variegated Burle Marx without making sure that the pest affecting your plant is on the list provided on the product label. Follow manufacturer instructions when treating pest problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Sources




- leaves of Aechmea bromeliifolia from Northeast Brazil




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