The Philodendron “Mccolley’s Finale” (or Philo Mccolley’s Finale) is a unique, highly colorful, and distinct cultivar of the Philodendron plant. Of unknown hybrid parentage, patented by Cora Mccolley in Orlando, Florida, in 2001.
What makes this plant unique to other Philodendrons is that it has been bred to be self-heading (i.e. upright vs. vining). Forming a compacted rosette of bright chestnut red leaves. That change to medium green color with burgundy red shading as they mature.
Other common names for this tri-color hybrid are Blushing Philodendron, Red-leaf Philodendron, and Imperial Red Philodendron.
Mccolley’s Finale Philodendron Care
These plants are easy-to-medium in difficulty to care for. And thrive both indoors and outdoors (USDA zones 9-12) in humid and hot climates similar to Florida. However, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight or cold temperatures will damage this plant.
Mccolleys make great fast-growing indoor plants. And are quite tolerant to air-conditioning, infrequent watering, and lack of fertilization. However, they perform best with regular care and feeding, and retain their form and colors best indoors.
These plants grow best in a well-draining potting soil mix. Perlite, orchid bark, posting compose, and pumice may be added to the soil. In 25% ratios each for optimal drainage.
Mccolleys are prone to overwatering and root rot. So, it’s best to make sure the soil is mostly dry before watering 1-2 times weekly. Mist every once in a while and wipe dusty leaves with a damp towel or cloth.
They prefer medium to bright, but indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight outdoors to maintain vibrant leaf colors. Moderately bright and shaded indoor conditions are best.
Humidity & Temperature
As they are tropical plants, moderate to high humidity (50%+) is ideal. The best temperature ranges are between 60-90°F (16-32°C). Avoid extreme temperatures outside these ranges.
Fertilize these hungry plants 1-2 times monthly. During spring and summer with a moderate amount of diluted general houseplant fertilizer. In the fall and winter, this can be reduced to once every 1 or 2 months, or eliminated entirely. Avoid cheaper fertilizers with high amounts of heavy salts, as these can damage the roots.
Propagation can be done via stem cuttings. With at least one node and two leaves (preferably in early spring or summer). You can transplant the stem cuttings directly into moist soil. Or grow roots (after 3-4 weeks) in a jar of sterilized water before transplanting. They can also be propagated by division or air layering.
Diseases & Pests
This hybrid has been bred to be resistant to bacterial leaf rot and fungal leaf spot. And is quite tolerant of most pests.
However, they may still attract spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, and aphids. Treat with insecticides or regular dishwashing soap and water solution. Regular inspection and cleaning of leaves should keep most pests out.
Overwatering is a more common problem, and can cause root rot and powdery mildew.
All parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate. Which is toxic to both humans and pets if chewed or swallowed. Symptoms include blisters in the mouth, burning sensations in the eyes and mouth, nausea, vomiting, and swelling. Seek immediate medical care if accidentally ingested or chewed.
Philodendron Mccolley’s Finale vs Prince of Orange
The Philodendron “Prince of Orange” shares many similar characteristics to Mccolleys. To the untrained eyes, Mccolleys appear to be a red color version of “Prince of Orange.” However, there are some differences.
Prince of Orange leaves are bright, glossy orange colors. That turn to yellow-green when mature (vs. chestnut red to burgundy shading for Mccolley leaves). Mccolley leaves are also more oval and heart-shaped (cordate) vs. Prince of Orange leaves. Which tend to be more elongated.
Mccolleys have also been bred to be more pest and disease resistant than Prince of Orange in similar growing conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
While not impossible to obtain, Mccolleys are somewhat rare. As these plants are difficult to commercially propagate with seeds or stem cuttings. Mccolleys tend to only be found in certain regions of the world, and can sometimes go for $400 at auction or trade.
Under high humidity and temperatures greater than 85°F (30°C), one leaf grows every week. Resulting in a plant that is 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) in diameter within 6 months of planting.
They can reach full size in 1 year, averaging between 1-3 feet (0.3-1 m) tall and wide. Leaves grow to an average of ~14-16 in. (35-40 cm) long and 7.5-8.5 in. (19-22 cm) wide.
The main differences are in their leaf coloration and shape. Both plants are of similar size. But Mccolley leaves are more oval, heart-shaped, and red-colored vs. Prince of Orange leaves. Which tend to be more orange and elongated.
No, Mccolleys tend to grow upright. While most Philodendrons are climbing plants in the wild. Often clinging onto tree trunks and growing upwards, Mccolleys have been bred to be self-heading (upright) plants and do not tend to vine or climb. Rather, the leaves tend to form rosettes spreading out as they grow.