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Burle Marx Fantasy Care – Best Secrets Revealed!

Burle Marx Fantasy Care – Best Secrets Revealed!

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(image credits, IG: plantoxylem)

The Burle Marx Fantasy is a striking slow-growing plant from the Philodendron genus with green-grey veined leaves.

Despite being a rare houseplant, this species is considered easy to grow. It requires a rich, fertile peat-based soil mix. It thrives in low levels of bright, filtered sunlight. As an indoor plant, it likes growing in 64 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 30 degrees Celsius). Keeping humidity above 60% has proven to be beneficial to care for this Philodendron. Fertilize in spring and summer using an all-purpose houseplant liquid fertilizer. Water about once to thrice a week depending on the season and how fast the soil dries out.

This Brazilian native is named after Roberto Burle Marx, a rainforest conservation activist, and landscape artist. This undescribed species was found climbing a tree in Burle Marx’s garden.

It is described as one of the most exquisite Philodendron plants. This evergreen plant is a perennial climber but a slow grower. It has unique, dark grayish-green leaves with silver veining.

With all the good things comes a bad one. This plant is toxic in nature, so consumption can cause inflammation in the throat and esophagus. Therefore I would advise you to keep it away from children and pets.

The evergreen nature of Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy makes it a popular ornamental plant for indoor gardens. In this article, I’m sharing some tips and information about the rare Burle Marx Fantasy.



Burle Marx Fantasy Plant Care



Soil is the basic requirement for houseplants. Burle Marx Fantasy will thrive in well-draining soils. The soil should be highly organic and rich with plenty of nutrients. I like planting this Philodendron in peat-based soils. This plant will not thrive well in clayey soils or dry, sandy soils.

The soil mix should also have good drainage properties; otherwise, the soil will retain more water than required. This will suffocate your plant roots because they don’t get enough oxygen, and it starts dying very quickly.

Add a layer of mulch to your potting mix; this will ensure your plant has an adequate supply of nutrients. The soil mix should be acidic to mildly acidic, so maintain the pH from 5.6 to 6.5.

The optimum outdoor planting USDA hardiness zones for this plant are 10a, 10b, and 11.



This plant will require average water. You have to water it thrice a week during summer. I would recommend checking the soil regularly because this frequency varies depending on the temperature.

In winter, most houseplants like less water because the evaporation rate is very slow. I would suggest you water your Burle Marx Fantasy once a week only. But make sure you check the top few inches of soil are dry before giving water to your plant.

Overwatering is a common issue among houseplant owners. Because each plant has different needs and it’s difficult to master your plant’s watering requirements in the beginning. Overwatering your plant will lead to root-rot, fungus infection, and discoloration.



This variety demands less sunlight compared to other houseplants. This Fantasy plant will need bright, indirect sunlight as a houseplant. Therefore I would recommend you keep it in a window with indirect sunlight or in partial shade.

Keeping it under the direct sun can have adverse results; you will notice the foliage turning yellow as the plant starts losing its green look.



This plant originates from tropical, temperate regions; therefore, it likes warm, cozy household environments.

The optimum temperature range is from 64 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to30 degrees Celsius). Cold is the biggest enemy of Philodendrons; therefore, make sure you protect it from freezing temperatures. This can be done in the following ways:

  • Never place it near an air conditioner.
  • Avoid placing it in cold, draughty windows or doors.
  • Always bring your outdoor plants inside during harsh, cold winters.

The simple rule is to remember this plant is a tropical variety; therefore, it is more tolerant to warm climates compared to cold ones.



This plant can adapt to a range of humidity conditions. However, I would suggest keeping the Burle Marx Fantasy in a humid environment for healthy foliage. This plant will really appreciate boosting of indoor humidity. You can do this by misting your plant regularly or by using a simple pebble-tray method.

If you are a very enthusiastic plant parent with some money to spend, get a humidifier to create a tropical home-like environment for your Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy.

The air moisture level for this plant should be 60% or above.



To help your plant grow better, you can add a suitable houseplant fertilizer during early growth or summer and spring. I always use an all-purpose houseplant liquid fertilizer because it is convenient to use, and there are fewer chances of fertilizer burns.

Another good option is slow-release pellets that are applied every six months.

Fertilizers are a great addition to plant care for houseplants provided used according to the label instructions. Add the fertilizer a few inches away from the plant base; this will ensure the nutrients reach the plant properly through the soil. And no chemicals reach the plant directly.



Repotting for this plat is only performed when necessary. Mostly when the plant has outgrown its pot as the roots start growing out from the drainage holes or the sides.

Another situation where you should repot your plant is where it stops growing or has very slow growth without any obvious reason.



This plant is famous for its low maintenance because it grows very neatly and needs minimum grooming. However, there is no harm in trimming or pruning it once a year to maintain its bushy appearance.

Make sure you wear protective gloves and wash your hands after handling or pruning your plant.



This plant can be propagated easily in spring or summer. Two common methods are discussed below:


  • Cut a healthy stem from a Burle Marx Fantasy plant. Use sterilized pruning shears and make a clean, inclined cut just below the node. Make sure you don’t entirely separate the stem from the plant.
  • Now open the cut using a toothpick or any other sharp object. You have to cover this part of the cut with soil or sphagnum moss.
  • To enhance the growth process, I like adding a rooting hormone.
  • Now cover the node with a small plastic bag and tie it. The stem should remain attached to the parent plant in propagation via air-layering.
  • Within a few weeks, tiny roots will start emerging from the moist cut. Now you can remove the plastic bag to separate the stem from the parent plant. Cut the stem and transfer it to a pot.

Stem Cuttings

  • Cut a 6 inches long healthy stem from a mature Burle Marx Fantasy plant. I would suggest taking cuttings from the tip of the plant.
  • Make the cut ¼ inches below the node. To locate nodes on the stem, look for tiny bumps. Use sharp scissors or shears for cutting the stems.
  • Remove all the extra leaves, especially in the lower part of the cutting. But the final cutting should have at least 2-3 leaves on it.
  • Now you have to choose the growth medium. You can either keep it in water or soil.
  • If your growing medium is soil, bury the node inside the soil and keep the soil moist.
  • For water propagation, the node should be under the water, and the leaves should be upright, outside the water. Position the cutting in such a way that the leaves never touch the water surface.
  • Use chlorine-free water. It is better to let the water sit for one night. This will ensure the chlorine dissipates.
  • Store the cutting in a location with indirect sunlight. In addition to sunlight, the cutting also needs warm temperatures. Root formation occurs at temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 23 degrees Celsius).
  • The cutting will start sprouting small roots in 2-4 weeks.



This plant’s primary feature is the green foliage with a textured surface. It rarely blooms as an indoor houseplant; however, in its natural habitat, it produces insignificant white flowers. These are mainly utilized for reproduction.



The dark leaves have prominent veining. I considered this plant a 2 in 1 houseplant because you get to enjoy two forms of foliage throughout the growth.

The Fantasy plant has different leaves in the juvenile and mature stages.

Unfortunately, only a few growers have experienced the adult version of the leaves because this plant takes very long to reach maturity.

The leaves have such a unique texture it appears as if someone has carved the pattern on them. They grow overlapping each other to create a bushy look.

Philodendron Burle Marx Fantasy is a slow-grower, but the foliage is worth the wait and effort. The young leaves are small but elongated and have a length of 4-8 inches. They are dark green with grayish-silver web patterns on the surface.

The leaves have intricate, deep green veins that resemble a spider web. They vary in shades of green and silver. The mature leaves are bluish-green without any silver veining. These are about 9 inches in size.

If you grow this plant in a terrarium or vivarium, the leaves will grow 4 inches long.

As an indoor house plant, this beauty can grow anywhere from 12 to 20 inches. With vertical support, this plant has an upright growth pattern, and without any support, it grows in a spreading manner.


Winter Care

Winter is the perfect season for houseplant pests. Most households have a suitable environment for their growth in cold months. Pests love extra heat, high humidity, and lack of sunlight. Just like other living things, plants need protection from seasonal changes. You can follow the below tips for winter care:

  • Use water at room temperature because too cold or too hot water can shock the plant roots.
  • Avoid adding plant feed or fertilizer during winter because this will disturb the natural cycle. You can resume feeding in early spring.
  • Check your plant regularly for pests.

Removing Hard Water Spots

If you use tap water for your houseplants, the leaves will develop spots mostly on the upper side because of the hard water. I have prepared the following guidelines based on my experience:

  • The first step is to mix red or white vinegar with lukewarm water. You can add one teaspoon of vinegar to a quarter glass of water.
  • Dip a soft, clean cloth in this solution and rub it on the leaves that have visible hard water spots. Makes sure you do this in a circular motion.
  • Wash these leaves with clear water. Now get a dry cloth and soak the remaining moisture on the leaves. You cannot leave the water sitting on the foliage because that can cause fungal infections.
  • If you want to go one step extra, you can apply a mixture of mayonnaise and warm water to enhance the shine on the leaves. This homemade mixture is safer than commercially available shine products.



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Common Problems for Burle Marx Fantasy

This is a low maintenance plant; however, protecting it from pests and other issues depend on the precautions and the plant hygiene you maintain.

Scale insects are common pests for houseplants and ornamental shrubs like Burle Marx Fantasy. These oddly shaped pests have over 1000 species. When your Fantasy plant is infected with scale insects, it has chlorotic leaves, poor growth, and low plant vigor.

Untreated plants become so weak that they may even die. To get rid of scale insects, you either need rubbing alcohol or neem oil. Dab the infected part with cotton balls soaked in neem oil or alcohol. You should also prune and remove all infected leaves if they are badly damaged.


Tips for Growing Burle Marx Fantasy

  • In dry and extremely warm weather, give your plant more water to keep the soil moist.
  • Keep it in a bright location with filtered/indirect sunlight. You can use sheer curtains or a shade cloth that gives 20 to 40% shade.
  • Always ensure the potting soil is fully saturated after watering, and the plant never remains dry for too long.
  • Avoid adding water until the top few inches are dry.
  • Avoid exposing this plant to frequent fluctuations in temperature.
  • Use heat mats if your indoor climate is too cold or it does not fall in the desired range.
  • If you live in an extremely dry climate, mist your plant for humidity.
  • At night maintain the temperature between 53 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • To maintain the appearance, clean the leaves with a damp cloth every few days.
  • Plants that are exposed to more bright sunlight need more food than those living in low light conditions.


Frequently Asked Questions about Burle Marx Fantasy


My Burle Marx Fantasy has small brown spots; what are these?

These brown spots are part of the normal patterns on the leaf surface. Unless your plant has huge, irregular brown areas, it might be suffering from brown leaf spots.


Is this plant a fast grower?

This is a slow-growing Philodendron that takes time to reach its adult stage. But remember that soil type, water, temperature have a significant impact on the growth rate of this plant, therefore maintain optimum conditions.


Does this plant require any support for growth?

This plant really appreciates some support like moist posts to reach optimum growth. The roots also need something to attach.


Is the Burle Marx plant and Burle Marx Fantasy the same?

These two are entirely different plants but are often misunderstood because of the similarity in the names. Burl Marx is a comparatively large plant with big, shiny leaves that resemble elephant ears.


Will this plant survive for a few days without high humidity?

This plant is highly adaptive to several climates. It will not die in a low humidity environment for a few days. However, avoid doing this because low humidity can impact the growth of this plant.


Is Burle Marx Fantasy drought resistance?

This plant is moderately drought resistant. This means they will do just fine if you skip watering two, three times. This resistance is only for mature and healthy plants because the young Burle Marx Fantasy can die due to lack of water.


Is this plant frost-hardy?

This plant is not frost hardy; the minimum winter temperature for this species is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.


My plant has started losing the veining patterns, is something wrong?

As the Burle Marx Fantasy plant matures, it loses the intricate veining pattern. This is part of its growth cycle.


How many hours of artificial lights are required for Philodendron plants?

For a foliar plant, 12 to 14 hours are necessary. But for flowering Philodendrons, you have to provide 16 hours of artificial light per day.


This attractive houseplant can decorate any corner of your house. This popular Philodendron is always in high demand. It can be placed anywhere in pots or baskets.

The aesthetic leaves have patterns and a rough, leathery texture. This perennial hybrid is a durable houseplant that will thrive in your garden for several years as long as you care for it.

Compared to the green display it offers, this plant is low maintenance because it does not require any extra effort.

This was my dream plant for so long since no one exactly knows where it originally came from. It definitely has all the qualities of a perfect houseplant; striking leaves, slow-growing, and amazing appearance.

Read about Philodendron Burle Marx.

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