Pink Princess Philodendron

The Philodendron Pink Princess is one of the most beautiful plants I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Of course, the moment my daughter saw it, there was no way she was going home without forcing me to buy it. Pink is her favorite color so the moment she saw the pink princess’ variegation she had her heart set on on the plant.

The Philodendron Pink Princess is best known for its pink variegated leaves. It is actually one of the many stunning hybrids that have been created from the Philodendron erubescens. Others include the:

  • Philodendron Imperial Red
  • Philodendron Imperial Green
  • Philodendron Red Emerald
  • Philodendron Green Emerald
  • And more

The Pink Princess Philodendron is a climbing plant that can also trail. Although many growers keep grow it like a regular houseplant. This allows you to enjoy its stunning foliage.

Since the Philodendron erubescens is native to South and Central America, the pink princess also inherits many of its traits, including the preference for the tropical climate conditions in these areas.

Philodendron Pink Congo

Finally, whenever I discuss the Philodendron Pink Princess, another somewhat related plant comes up, the Philodendron Pink Congo. As you can guess, this was another one my daughter wanted.

Thankfully, a friend of mine knew about its history and made sure I didn’t’ go for the scam.

It was tough saying no to my daughter, but after I explained things se begrudgingly relented.

To explain, the Pink Congo is like a pinked-up version of the Pink Princess. That is, instead of just variegations, is had leaves that are entirely pink in color.

Unfortunately, the pink tint is not naturally. Instead, it is a scan trying to ride on the Pink Princess’ beauty. Instead, the pink hues are man-made via chemical injection. As such, the colors don’t last.

It’s somewhat similar to hair dyes where as your hair regrows the chemicals will disappear unless you apply again.

So, in a few months, the Pink Congo will revert to its original green foliage.

 

Pink Princess Philodendron Plant Care

Light Requirements

Light is crucial if you want to keep your pink princess philodendron looking beautiful. However, it can also damage the plant.

From my experience, this pink variegated houseplant needs bright light. But, it cannot tolerate direct sunlight with the exception of the morning sun from an east facing window. There, it will be happy getting 3 to 4 hours of light daily.

Otherwise, it is best that you give it indirect or filtered light. This is especially true for afternoon and summer suns.

I remember making this mistake early on. The philodendron pink princess was one of the earliest houseplants I got. And I read that it needed more light than other plants because of its variegations.

Unfortunately, after leaving it in a south facing window, I started to see scorch marks on its leaves. These are ugly yellow and brown spots of varying shapes and sizes. Don’t be like me.

On the other hand, you also want to be wary of low light. The plant needs more light compared to plants with solid green leaves. And, lack of light will make your pink princess lose its lovely colored variegations.

 

Temperature

Temperature is actually one of the easiest things to care for when it comes to the philodendron pink princess. In general, as long as you feel comfortable in a certain room, it will be happy there.

That’s because it is a tropical plant. As such, it enjoy moderate to warm weather, much like humans do.

I’ve noticed that the plant easily tolerates temperatures between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It enjoys the higher end of the range more than the lower, just so you know.

But, within that range, it seems to grow best between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The two things you want to avoid are:

  • Cold temperatures – anything that’s under 55 degrees. If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, you can keep the plant outside in your garden or patio as well. But, below zone 9, make sure to take it back indoors once the weather starts nearing 60 degrees around fall.
  • Drafts – this includes cold and warm drafts that can come from open windows, doors, air conditioners, radiators or other appliances. Cold breezes can damage the plant. And, appliances tend to dry the air.

 

Humidity

Speaking of dry air, humidity is another important factor when caring for your pink princess philodendron. In fact, because we don’t live in a tropical country, I’d rank this behind watering as the most challenging part of caring for this plant.

I say that because the Philodendron Pink Princess thrives in humid conditions. I’ve noticed that if you keep humidity above 60%, it will give you its prettiest leaves.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

The good news is that it won’t mind average room humidity. As long as you keep it at 40% or higher, the plant will be happy and won’t experience any harm.

The tricky part is summer and wintertime when the air gets really dry.

I highly recommend getting a digital hygrometer so you can easily check the humidity on a daily basis within any area of your home.

In contrast, I remember visiting Southeast Asia where the weather is hot and humid all year long. There, humidity is always above 60% except for a few short hours every few weeks. In that environment, they just left the plants like pothos, philodendrons and even monsteras anywhere and they grew quite quickly.

That’s because there was tons on sun, warm weather and high humidity. All they monitored was watering and fertilizer.

 

How Often to Water Pink Princess Philodendron

As mentioned, this is the area of caring where I put most of my attention to. I remember when I started out, I spent the first few months meticulously monitoring watering and responses of my plants.

Unfortunately, many died. But I did learn a lot.

That helps me understand how much water the pink princess philodendron needed.

Basically, it likes moist soil. But be careful not to water it too much that the soil gets soggy. This will put it at risk of infections. It does not enjoy overwatering and underwatering, so you need to find a balance.

Just as importantly, the time of year affects when you water the plant.

During its growing season (spring and summer), it thrives on soil moist. Come wintertime, allow the soil to dry a lot more. You can let the soil dry from between the top quarter up to halfway during this time and the plant won’t have a problem.

Similarly, how you water is just as important.

I like to wait until at least the top inch of soil is dry before watering again. You can wait a little longer all the way until the soil gets halfway dry between waterings. That plant won’t mind and won’t get underwatered as well.

When watering, pour right into eh soil. you can use a watering can or just leave the hose on the rim of the pot. Allow the entire root ball to get soaked. You’ll know when this occurs as the water will start dripping from the bottom holes of the container. Then stop.

I always make sure to let any excess liquid drain off. Thus, I typically water the plants in the sink or in the shower depending on how big the plant is.

 

Pink Princess Philodendron Potting Soil

Your Pink Princess Philodendron enjoys loose, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant is an epiphyte living in the forest where the soil is fertilizer is the climate is humid. As such, you want to mimic that kind of environment as much as possible.

The easiest way to get the right potting soil for your pink princess is to pick up an Aroid mix from your local nursery. Many carry them, but not all do.

Another option is to create your own DIY potting mix. Here’s an easy recipe you can use to get started. Then adjust it as needed. Keep in mind that your home environment is different from every other grower’s. So, you may need to make subtle changes to get the best results.

Making your own mix is cheaper, so you save money. Plus, it helps you learn more about what each plant wants and doesn’t want. So, you can customize potting mixes yourself over time.

  • 40% peat moss or coco coir (coco coir is a more sustainable alternative to peat moss)
  • 30% orchid bark
  • 10% perlite
  • 10% worm castings

The peat moss or coconut coir allows the substrate to retain moisture. The bark is there to increase air circulation as it is chunky and leaves lots of air pockets.

Meanwhile, perlite (you can use pumice as an alternative) improves drainage. And, the worm castings add organic matter (nutrients) that the plant likes.

Together, these ingredients will give you soil that the pink princess philodendron can thrive on. You can adjust the percentages based on how the plant responds.

 

Fertilizer

With fertilizer, you have tons of options. I remember getting confused by the sheer number of kinds of fertilizer when I first started.

My rule here is keep things simple,

For my pink princess philodendron, I use a balanced liquid fertilizer. You can use a 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 concentration. Both do really well.

I always dilute each application by half the recommended strength. And, make sure to apply when you water the plant. Never do so when the soil is dry. That increases the risk of fertilizer burn.

Like water, fertilizer is harmful when overdone. That’s because they leave mineral salts in the soil. which can cause fertilizer burn on your plant’s roots. This happens because plant food is made form chemicals.

As such, some growers I know skip fertilizer products and use a combination of compost and worm castings. Others opt for organic fertilizer which is more expensive, and you get less concentration as well. But these also leave fewer salt residue.

I like to use synthetics since they give you more value for your money. As such, I also flush the soil every few months to avoid excess salt buildup in the soil.

In any case, all your pink princess needs is one application every 2 to 4 weeks. Start with every 4 weeks and gradually increase if the plant isn’t growing as excepted. Remember, less is more with fertizlier.

You only need to feed it from spring to early fall. Stop feeding in winter as the plant takes a breather to gear up for the next growing season .

 

Pruning

The philodendron pink princess is a slow grower. You can help it along by focusing on these 3 aspects of care:

  • Sunlight
  • Moist soil
  • Fertilizer

Keep in mind that while a bit more of these 3 factors can increase growth, too much of any of them also damages the plant. I prefer to stay on the safe side and let the plant grow at its own pace.

That said, it is worth noting that the pink princess philodendron can grow to as high as 60 feet in the wild.

As you would guess, the plant is a climber. And, if it detaches from the ground, it can turn completely epiphytic. This means it will cling onto a tree or larger plant and grow upwards on that surface.

Thankfully, it does not grow anywhere close to that indoors, otherwise, you could end up with something like Jack and the Beanstalk.

As a houseplant, you’ll often see it grown:

  • In pots on its own – this usually allows it to reach between 1 to 2 feet tall.
  • To climb a pole – this is when it gets taller than 2 feet high. In rare cases, as high as 12 feet.
  • Hanging from a pot or basket – you can let it grow longer by not pruning it here

Depending on which way you want to display the plant, you may or may not have to prune is as much.

Since its leaves are its main attraction, you want to keep those as much as possible. But, do prune any dead or damaged leaves. Similarly, if you see leggy stems, trim them off which will help correct them when they regrow.

Besides these, pruning is really used to limit the plants size and shape. And, it also works really well to make the plant bushier.

 

How to Propagate Pink Princess Philodendron

The easiest way to propagate your Philodendron Pink Princess is through stem cuttings. There are other methods like division and air layering. But, since stem cuttings give you excellent success rates and is very simple to do, I’ve never found the need to have use the others.

Here’s how to propagate the Philodendron Pink Princess through stem cuttings.

  • Pick a healthy stem that’s at least 4 to 6 inches long. Ideally, choose a stem with at least one or more leaf nodes.
  • Using a sterile pair of pruners (or other cutting tool) take the cutting just below the leaf node. Note that this is different from when you prune. There, you want to cut above the leaf node so the plant can use that node the grow again. But, here, you want to take the leaf node with the cutting since that’s where the roots will grow from.
  • Plant the stem cutting in soil and water it. Then, leave it in a warm, bright location with good humidity. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • It will take between 3 weeks to a month for the cutting to grow roots.
  • You can check by either tugging the cuttings lightly or taking the root ball out of the container. I like to use small plastic pots which make the latter easy to do. This lets me check if there are roots established.
  • As the plant grows, you can then transplant it to a regular pot with fresh potting mix.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Pink Princess Philodendron

I’ve only needed to repot my plant once every 2 or so years after it matured. There was more repotting when it was young and growing.

The only time you need to repot is when it becomes pot bound. A sure sign of this is when roots start sneaking out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

The best time to repot is during spring or at the latest early summer. This gives the mother plant time to recover and the new plant to grow quickly since this period is its growing season.

When repotting, choose a container that is 1 to 2 inches wider in diameter than the current pot. You can go with any kind of pot you want, be it plastic, terracotta or others. I haven’t seen a big difference with using one kind over the others.

Also have fresh potting mix on hand to replace the spend potting soil. This will allow the plant to recover and grow again after repotting.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes. The pink princess philodendron contains calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic when ingested. This can cause digestive tract irritation, nausea, vomiting, and mouth swelling.

So, it is a good idea to keep young children and pets away from the plants since they may accidentally ingest parts of the plant.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

I’ve added the following sections below to help you troubleshoot common problems that the pink princess philodendron may have.

 

Growing Problems

When it comes to growing, I’ve noticed two common problems that many growers experience:

  • Lack of growth, stunted growth, no new growth – if your plant is not producing leaves even after a few months, it means something’s happening. Usually, it is because of lack of light or feeding. The former more than the latter in most cases if you use the right soil. If the plant is getting enough light, check water. The pink princess love moist soil but hates overwatering. Finally, make sure it is humid enough.
  • No variegation or loss of variegation – the plant’s pink variegated leaves are its crowning glory. As such, it’s a shame if it loses it. Usually, lack or loss of pink variegations is due to lack of light. It does this to adjust to low light by tuning green to absorb more. if the plant is getting enough light, the other cause is probably lack of water.

 

Brown Leaves and Tips

Browning leaf edges and tips usually points to lack of moisture. This causes the leaves to turn brown and crispy.

With the Philodendron Pink Princess check for humidity. Ideally it should be over 50%, although consistently staying above 40% seems to work fine as well.

Since humidity can drop really low at times where I live, I have a digital hygrometer near my plants. This makes it easy to tell what the humidity is any moment.

If humidity drops, it is time to mist. You can likewise give the plant a shower. Another option is to cover the plant with a plastic bag. You can create a tent above it keep the moisture.

 

Yellow Leaves

On the other hand too much watering can turn the plant’s beautiful leaves yellow. This is a more alarming sign as you can’t really tell how long the overwatering has been happening.

When I see yellow leaves, I start looking for potential causes. Too much sun can cause yellowing leaves as well.

But if it is overwatering, I will take the plant out of its container and check the roots. Hopefully, there’s no rotting. If there is, I’ll prune the black roots and repot.

 

Drooping & Wilting

Drooping can have many different causes. I like to check the soil to see if it is dry or wet.

  • Wet soil often means too much water and the possibility that the roots are damaged. Thus, I take the same measure as the previous case and check the roots for any problems. Then, repot with fresh potting soil
  • If the soil is dry, a droopy plant is likely underwatered. Thus, I’ll water it immediately. In about 1-2 days, it should begin to start coming alive again.

 

Pests

The Philodendron Pink Princess is relatively resistant to pests. I haven’t had to deal with any so far. The key is keeping the plant healthy and doing regular inspections just in case.

A weak, stressed or sick plant is more prone to pests. If this happens, it will likely attract mealybugs and aphids. Similarly, overwatered plants tend to attract fungus gnats.

 

Diseases

Just the same, too much watering can lead to a host of diseases. The worst of them being root rot. But, it is not limited to that.

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