The gorgeous and highly sought after pink princess philodendron (Philodendron erubescens ‘pink princess’) is at the top of many plant collector’s wish lists, and for good reason. Characterized by deep green, heart-shaped leaves with bubblegum pink variegation, the pink princess is truly unique in the plant world. While it can be easily confused with the Philodendron pink congo, the variegation of the pink princess is stable as it occurs due to natural processes, whereas the pink congo variegation is a result of chemicals that are injected into the leaves, usually reverting back to green a couple months after being purchased.
Learning how to properly care for your pink princess philodendron is the key to ensuring it maintains its brilliant pink variegation. Luckily, as with many plants in the philodendron genus, its care is pretty straightforward.
|Botanical Name||Philodendron erubescens 'pink princess'|
|Common Name||Philodendron pink princess, blushing philodendron|
|Mature Size||2-4 ft. tall, 2-4 ft. wide|
|Soil Type||Loamy, moist but well-draining|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Green, white|
|Hardiness Zones||9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b|
|Native Area||South America|
Pink Princess Philodendron Care
Native to Columbia, the pink princess philodendron is a tropical aroid in the Araceae family. Despite its high price tag, this colorful plant is actually pretty easy to care for. That being said there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure that you are maximizing the variegation on the leaves. While the pink princess produces flowers, the spathes are insignificant compared to the foliage of the plant and it is rare for them to flower indoors.
Providing your pink princess philodendron with enough light is the most important factor influencing the amount of variegation it will have. Choose a location that receives several hours of bright, indirect light. When grown indoors, the pink princess philodendron can also tolerate a couple hours of direct light, which may help to increase its variegation. If you do not have a location in your home that receives enough light, buying a grow light for this plant is recommended. Without enough light the pink princesses leaves will quickly begin reverting back to green and it will lose its stunning variegation.
As an aroid, the pink princess philodendron enjoys airy, well-draining soil that is high in organic matter. A mixture of one part standard potting soil, one part perlite, and one part orchid bark is ideal for the pink princess.
Allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings and then water well. Ensure that your pink princess is never sitting in waterlogged soil as they are susceptible to root rot. It is far easier to overwater your pink princess philodendron than to under water it, so if you are unsure about whether it needs water, air on the side of caution and wait another day.
Temperature and Humidity
The pink princess philodendron does best in warm, humid conditions - although typical household temperature and humidity levels are fine for these hardy plants. Ideally, keep your plant in temperatures between 65 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 26 degrees Celsius) and avoid exposing it to temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
During its growing season (spring and summer) the pink princess philodendron benefits from regular monthly feedings with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Stop fertilizing your plant in the early fall as it enters its dormant period.
Propagating Pink Princess Philodendron
As with most philodendrons, the pink princess can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Not only will this help you create a new plant to share with a friend, but propagation also leads to a bushier plant and can help to encourage variegation (especially if the leaves on your plant have started to revert). Here’s how you can propagate your pink princess philodendron by stem cuttings in just a few easy steps:
- First, choose where you will cut the stem of your plant. You will want your cutting to have 2-3 leaves and 2-3 expose nodes at the bottom of the cutting.
- Using a pair of sharp, sterilized pruning shears or scissors cut the stem and separate your cutting.
- Remove the bottom leaves from your cutting, leaving just 2-3 leaves at the top.
- Set the cutting aside for 12-24 hours to allow the cut edge to callous over.
- Once the edge has calloused, place the cutting in water and put it in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Ensure that the exposed nodes of the cutting are submerged in the water at all times.
- Within 2-3 weeks you should begin to notice new roots sprouting from the cutting.
- Once the roots have grown to at least 1-inch in length the cutting can be transferred back to soil. Use a well-draining potting mix and water thoroughly4.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
The pink princess philodendron is susceptible to a number of common houseplant pests and diseases. Common pests include mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, scale, and fungus gnats. Common diseases include root rot, which is a result of overwatering, and rust spot, which is a result of a fungal infection.
Common Problems With Pink Princess Philodendron
With the proper care, pink princess philodendrons are relatively problem-free. Common issues with these tropical plants usually arise from improper watering, humidity, or light.
Browning edges on the leaves of a pink princess philodendron are usually a result of a lack of humidity which causes the leaves to begin drying out. Unfortunately there is no way to reverse the damage once it has happened, but if you increase the humidity around the plant it should prevent further browning.
The last thing you want to see on your beautiful pink variegation is brown spots, but unfortunately this can happen if you have exposed your plant to light that is too harsh. The delicate pink spots on the leaves are prone to burning under harsh lighting conditions, resulting in large burn spots. Sometimes this can also be a result of a lack of humidity, as mentioned above.
Why is the pink princess philodendron so expensive?
These tropical plants have exploded in popularity due to their stunning foliage, making it difficult for growers to keep up with demand. The cost is especially high since these plants are not easily grown from seed due to their variegation being a result of mutation. This has resulted in sky-high prices, despite the fact that pink princesses are actually relatively easy to care for.
Why is my plant losing its pink variegation?
This is most likely due to a lack of light. Ensure that your plant is exposed to bright, indirect light and avoid low light conditions to promote strong variegation.
Why is my plant getting leggy?
Leggy growth is an indication that your plant is not receiving enough light, causing the leaves to ‘reach’ for more light. Move your plant to a brighter location to prevent new growth from coming in leggy.