How to Care for Strawberry Shake Philodendron – 7 Lucky Secrets

The showy Strawberry Shake Philodendron doesn’t just make your mouth water with its name but draws much attention with its distinctive pink and green variegation. With such stunning characteristics, it brings high demand in the indoor plant world. Resulting in a hefty price tag. Yep- these plants can in fact be found going for as much as $400 for a single rooted cutting!

Don’t let the price tag put you off though; these plants are pretty easy to grow. With a little knowledge, you can be sure to display your strawberry shake with pride!

I have been looking for a multi-colored foliage plant for my bedroom for a while and prefer a Philodendron cultivar for its air-purifying properties. Eventually a seedling supplier tracked down a Strawberry Shake Philodendron for me. I wouldn’t usually spend that much on a plant, but at the same time, after researching them and seeing how difficult they are to find, the price was truly justified!

You may have just forked out big bucks for a new plant or have been lucky enough to get your hands on a cutting. Whichever route you went down this review will give you plenty of insight on how to keep your Strawberry Shake Philodendron living its best life!

strawberry shake philodendron

Table of Contents

What Light is Preferred?

hand holding large philodendron on white background

The light requirement for the Strawberry Shake Philodendron is bright indirect light. The brighter the light, the more color you will see in its leaves. Although it can be tempting to put the Strawberry Shake Plant into direct sunlight to see different colors – the harmful rays of bright light will scorch the fragile leaves.

To replicate the filtered light of the tropical rainforest, use a sheer curtain over a sunny window or place the plant near a south-facing window. Morning and evening light won’t do it any harm. However the midday and afternoon light will prove too much for it.

Many plant enthusiasts use a grow light for their indoor plants. Moreover if you want to ensure it is getting enough light, you can install a bulb with 10,000 to 20,00 lux.

Insufficient lighting will cause the Strawberry Shake plant to grow slower, the leaves will be more spaced out, and the stems may elongate to search for the sun. In this case, move the Strawberry Shake Philodendron to a brighter location. In this case you can rest easy knowing it will grow evenly and remain happy.

How Often Should I Water?

silver watering can outside

An important aspect for the Strawberry Shake Philodendron is its watering regime. As with most Philodendron plants, the Strawberry Shake Philodendron should be allowed to dry out partially between waterings. Check the top layer of the soil by sticking your finger in 2 inches (5cm). If it comes out clean and free from soil, you can give it a drink.

Over-watering the Philodendron Strawberry Shake can lead to root rot, which can be fatal to the plant. Rather than sticking to a scheduled watering routine, set a reminder to check the soil twice a week and water when necessary.

If the Philodendron Strawberry Shake is left without water for too long, you run the risk of it drying out, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and drop, which is fatal for the plant.

When it comes to watering the Philodendron Strawberry Shake, use room-temperature water. Let the excess water escape the drainage holes before putting it back on its tray. No worries if you have your Strawberry Shake Plant in a hanging basket; it will naturally drain.

strawberry shake amongst other plants

Assuming you live in an area where the water is hard and full of calcium or other compounds, avoid tap water on the Philodendron Strawberry Shake. These compounds can clog up the soil and starve the roots of oxygen. If the roots don’t receive oxygen, then they will eventually rot.

The water in my area is full of calcium, and even the smallest drop causes a stain. I use bottled drinking water to water and mist my plants, stopping them from looking scaley and keeping their roots healthy.

Is a Lightweight Soil Mix Needed?

The Strawbery Shake Philodendron does well in a soil type that is lightweight and airy. You can create your own soil mix by mixing the following:

  • 1-part all-purpose potting mix (main substrate)
  • 1 part peat moss, coco coir, or sphagnum moss (this chunky material will keep oxygen in the soil)
  • ½-part perlite (this helps with water retention)
  • ⅓-part orchid bark (extra chunkiness to keep oxygen in the soil)
  • ⅓-part worm tea or organic fertilizer (Added nutrients)

strawberry philodendron against fence

A pH of 5.0-7.0 is ideal for the Strawberry Shake Philodendron plant, and you can test your soil by using soil test trips or the levels on a moisture meter. Both of these are available online and in gardening stores. 

If your soil is showing results of high acidity, you can neutralize it by adding garden lime or dolomite limestone. To lower your pH level by 1, use 40 lbs of lime per thousand square feet of yard. 

Suppose your soil is showing high alkaline levels; you can amend the soil by adding sulphur (between 35 and 56 lbs sulphur/1000 sq. ft. to lower soil pH 0.5 units), pine needles, coffee grounds, or organic compost for example.

I tend to stick with coffee grounds to apply to my acid-loving plants. It’s a great way to use up kitchen scraps! Add one teaspoon to 1 liter of water and let it sit overnight. The following day I water the plants by filtering the coffee grounds through a cheesecloth. Do this once per week and your Strawberry Shake Philodendron plant will continue looking fabulous.

strawberry on wood background in grey pot and tray

Should I Have Warm Temperatures?

Essential temperatures for the Strawberry Shake Philodendron are between 60-86F (15-30C). Although it can tolerate temperatures above and below this range, prolonged exposure will cause plant stress. Stress from colder temperatures will cause the plant to go into dormancy resulting in stunted growth. Whereas stress from hot temperatures will cause the plant to dry out and shrivel up to a crisp. Due to the natural habitat of the tropics of South America, the Philodendron Strawberry Shake rarely sees temperatures lower than 68F (20c).

During the winter months, if you live in one of the cold zones, you can either use a heat pack or a heating pad to keep it warm. Cool temperatures can affect the variegations on the plant, causing it to revert back to green leaves. Whereas the higher temperatures in the summer months will produce faster growth with a more variegated form.

strawberry shake philodendron on beige background with climber

My house gets pretty cold in the winter, so I use oil-heated radiators rather than fan heaters. These are less likely to dry out the air, and my house plants don’t seem to be affected by it.

The Strawberry Shake Philodendron is not tolerant to frost. Hence, if you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate, by all means, you can plant your Philodendron Strawberry Shake outside. Make sure you are not likely to expose it to any freezing temperatures in the winter months.

A good rule of thumb is your own comfortable temperature. If you are comfortable without wearing too many layers, then your Philodendron Strawberry Shake will be too!

Do I Need to Fertilize?

hand holding strawberry shake against white background

Regular fertilizing of the Philodendron Strawberry Shake will keep it healthy and promote growth. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can be used every 4-6 weeks from early spring to late fall. A balanced fertilizer with a ratio of NPK 10-10-10 (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) is recommended for the Strawberry Shake Philodendron plants.

Using a liquid fertilizer, you can dilute it to half the strength recommended on the label. It is important to take care to avoid over-fertilizing, which can cause burn damage to the leaves and cause excess salt to build up in the soil.

There are several signs to look out for when it comes to nutrient deficiency in the Philodendron Strawberry Shake plant:

Slow growth– Slow growth indicates a lack of nutrients in the soil and can be amended with fertilizer.

Pale leaves– Leaves that are yellow or pale green indicate a lack of nitrogen.

Stunted growth– If the Philodendron Strawberry Shake stops growing or produces small leaves, this is a sign of a lack of nutrients and can be fixed with fertilizer.

hand holding black plant with strawberry shake philodendron

There is no need to fertilize over the winter. The Strawberry Shake plant will become dormant during this time and can survive on the nutrients from the soil.

As we come into spring, I make sure that I set a reminder on my phone calendar to alarm me of when to fertilize and check the water. Sometimes life gets a little busy, and you can forget that you are looking after plants!

What Humidity Is Ideal?

two hands holding plant in black pot

An aspect that makes the Strawberry Shake Philodendron so easy to care for is its great tolerance to a wide range of humidity levels. The optimal humidity level is 40-70 %, but in fact it can tolerate humidity above and below this range. Because of this tolerance to humidity fluctuations, the Strawberry Shake Philodendron is an ideal plant for those indoor gardeners with air conditioning or central heating in their homes.

Although this plant can withstand this variation in humidity, it is important to avoid very low humidity. This will eventually lead to the leaves drying out and crisping. Meanwhile high humidity levels will promote healthy faster growth of the Strawberry Shake Philodendron plant.

To control the humidity levels in your home for your Philodendron plants, you can use a humidifier or mist your plants with a spray bottle of water. Alternatively, you can set the potted plant on top of a tray with pebbles and water, which will transpire and create an immediate humid environment.

Some of my humidity-loving plants are kept in the bathroom, so when I shower, the steam creates the perfect environment for them. Too much humidity can cause some fungal problems with the Philodendron Strawberry Shake plants, so I recommend not making it too sweaty for them!

What Pests Are a Problem?

A few problems have however been reported with the Philodendron Strawberry Shake. It is not a pest-resistant plant, and you can encounter infestations of Spider mites, Scale insects, and Mealybugs.

Scale Insects

scale insects underneath leaf

These look like small brown or gray lumps on the leaves and stems of the Strawberry Shake Philodendron, and they can cause the leaves to lose their color and wilt over time.

Spider Mites 

These are a common pest across all Philodendron plants and can be difficult to detect. The tiny spiders create small webbing across the leaves and create yellow and white spots on the plants’ tissue.


Identified as tiny white fuzzy-looking insects that suck the sap out of your plant. They generally move around the plant in clusters and are visible to the eye. If the infestation is in its early stages, you can use a cotton bud soaked in rubbing alcohol and rub it over the leaves and other affected areas of the plants. 

Alternatively, you can try blasting them off with a spray hose and then using a neem oil soap solution spray to protect the plant from any further risk.

Spider mites, Mealybugs, and Scale insects can all be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. You won’t see the insects die immediately, but the numbers will reduce and eventually disappear.

The best way to combat these critters is by mixing one teaspoon of neem oil with four drops of dishwashing soap into 1 liter of water. Apply the organic pesticide spray once a week, and you will disrupt the buggers enough for them to relocate.

mealybugs on leaf

Other problems that can occur with the Philodendron Strawberry Shake are brown leaf tips, root rot, and drooping leaves. Brown leaf tips can result from low humidity, underwatering, or root rot.

Try adjusting the room humidity and checking the moisture level in the soil to help the plant recover. If the problem continues, you may need to check the plant’s root ball to see if it is intact.

Root rot results from poorly draining soil, overwatering, or high humidity levels. Usually, a foul-smelling odor will be present with root rot. 

You can take a look at the root system and check for any reddish-brown roots. Root rot will usually stunt the growth of the Philodendron Strawberry Shake. If there are signs of rotting roots, gently trim away the damaged roots and re-pot into well-draining soil.

Drooping leaves on the Philodendron Strawberry Shake usually indicates underwatering; give the Philodendron plant a good soak to cheer it up. It will soon bounce back to its vibrant self as a result.

young strawberry shake philodendron on white table

About the Strawberry Shake Philodendron

Initially discovered in the wild in Ecuador in the 90s, the Strawberry Shake Philodendron is a natural hybrid variety of the Philodendron erubescens that belongs to the Araceae family.

The foliage of the Strawberry Shake Philodendron is made up of large oval-shaped leaves with variegation ranging from red, orange, and pink to green – hence the reason for its funky name!

The Strawberry Shake is a relatively slow grower, but with proper care and the correct environment, it can reach heights of up to 2-3 feet (60-90cm). What’s great about this Philodendron plant is its tolerance to a wide range of growing conditions. This feature makes it ideal for homes and offices.

leaf with morning dew and water droplets

As the plant matures however and it experiences different lighting, the variations of color and patterns on the leaves will in fact change. Most Philodendron Strawberry Shake plants will produce new growth of yellow leaves. Over time, the leaves will additionally turn cream and pink when in lower light conditions.

Because the Philodendron Strawberry Shake is a climbing plant, its aerial roots can be used to train and cover a moss pole or even pot into a hanging basket for instance.


Is Philodendron Strawberry Shake rare?

Yes, the Philodendron Strawberry Shake is a rare plant. Due to this plant’s high demand and short supply, it has a high price tag.

What is a Philodendron Strawberry shake?

The Strawberry Shake Philodendron is a variegated version of the Red Emerald Philodendron variety. It is a perennial climbing plant from the Aracea family and will reach up to 3 feet tall.

How do you get more variegation on a Strawberry Shake?

To get more variation on the Philodendron Strawberry Shake, ensure it is kept in Bright indirect Sunlight for 6-8 hours daily. Temperature also affects the variegated leaves of the Philodendron Strawberry Shake. Keep the Philodendron Strawberry Shake in a temperature range of 60-86F (15-30C).

How do you take care of a Strawberry Shake plant?

To take care of the Philodendron Strawberry Shake use a well-draining potting soil mix that is light and airy. Place the Philodendron plant in bright indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours daily. Maintain a temperature range of 60-86F (15-30C) to keep your plant healthy. Water only when the top of the soil is dry, and combat any pests using a neem oil foliar spray.

Hard to Find but Beginner Friendly

The hard-to-find Philodendron Strawberry Shake is a beginner-friendly plant that is guaranteed to make your plant-loving friends jealous! With its adaptation to various light cycles, it can be placed in many positions in the home. 

The unique beauty of the Philodendron Strawberry Shake never gets boring as it changes color with its variegated form. You can display the Strawberry Shake plant in a hanging basket or grow it on a moss pole. I have even seen the Strawberry Shake grown on a heart-shaped trellis which looks absolutely stunning!

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Alex Tinsman
An avid plant and flower lover! Ever since he was little, plants, flowers, and shrubbery of all kinds filled his life. Alex credits this fascination with nature's beauty to his mother and grandmother who were - and still are - dedicated gardeners. It's now Alex's mission to pass that same love for plants onto others and show them it's as easy as pie to bring nature inside.

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