Of all the plants you can find out there, few are as appreciated as the pink princess philodendron. The leaves are shaped like little hearts and they tend to unfurl whenever they are hit by direct sunlight. The bubblegum pink shades make it even better. Some magazines refer to this plant as a must-have – in fact, it has become one of the most popular plants on social media networks. As a direct consequence, its price has also gone up.
Assuming you get one of these precious and beautiful plants, you need to know how to look after them. The good news is it is not too picky, so you do not have to be a horticulture expert to manage it by the book. The bad news is that a few small mistakes can kill it. All in all, here is everything you need to know about the pink princess philodendron – from living and thriving conditions to care, pruning operations, and potting requirements.
What is Pink Princess Philodendron?
Generally speaking, most people have never heard of the pink princess philodendron. This is because the plant is considered quite rare. The dark leaves and pink shades make it stand out, so most people would do anything to grow it. According to most experts, growing it is fairly simple, as the plant does not have any major requirements.
Scientifically referred to as philodendron erubescens is known as the pink princess. Some others refer to it as the blushing philodendron. The plant was originally discovered in Colombia. It has dark green leaves, and they are shaped like arrows. Sometimes, these arrows are a bit wide, so the leaves look like actual hearts. The pink variegation is what makes it stand out.
As if all these were not enough, if you turn the leaves around and check the undersides, you will notice a copper hue – it could be dark or light. Overall, this plant makes a statement without even trying too hard, hence its popularity. Despite the princess’s appearance, caring is simple because it is low maintenance.
Make sure you maintain the right living conditions. You need to become aware of its requirements in terms of humidity, watering, or soil. Once you get these aspects covered, you can relax – the plant will thrive and succeed by itself. Now, what do you need to know and what does it take to keep the pink princess philodendron happy?
Caring for Pink Princess Philodendron
People who like a bit of color among green leaves will favor the pink princess philodendron because of the way the pink matches the green. It has a good splash and it looks like someone has grabbed a paint brushed and speckled everything around, hence its beautiful and random appearance. Generally speaking, the pink leaves are not uncommon. It is the variation that makes the difference.
Most of the requirements are related to the color of the leaves. Basically, the plant can survive with less care too, but the color depends on how careful you are. It has both daily and long-term requirements – some of them more important than others. Here is everything you need to know before you even get the plant.
If you have had plants before, you probably know already that most of them do require some light in order to thrive. The pink princess philodendron is most commonly grown as indoor light. Sure, it may do well outdoors too, but it depends on the climate. When grown indoors, make sure it gets plenty of light – ideally, it should be placed in a room with medium or heavy amounts of light.
On another note, the light should not be direct. While the room does require plenty of light, it must be indirect. Simply put, do not leave it right by the window. Sure, based on how the light gets in, it might be exposed to direct sunlight every now and then – just keep in mind that too much of it will harm it. If the light hits it, it should not be during the middle of the day.
Direct sunlight is known to scorch its leaves. A couple of hours of direct sunlight a day are more than enough, yet mature plants can take up to four hours. Again, make sure your plant gets direct sunlight early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the intensity is lower. Too much planning? Simply place the plant near a window facing west or southeast.
Watering is just as important for plants and different plants come with different requirements. Too little water will cause the plant to dry and die. Too much water will cause rotting. This is why you have to focus on the optimal amount of water for your pink princess philodendron plant. There is one fact that makes this plant stand out in the crowd.
Believe it or not, the pink princess philodendron can actually live in water. It can grow in a water environment and actually thrive, without having its roots rotting. But then, most people will grow it in a pot, so they will keep it in the soil. At this point, the water requirements are pretty simple – keep the soil moist, but avoid getting it soggy.
Keep an eye on the soil throughout the day. After a week or so, you will get to figure out how thirsty your plant is and you will know the optimal watering frequency. If the top half of the soil is dry, add some more water. On the other hand, if you do want to grow this plant in water, it will do best with rainwater – make sure it is lukewarm.
Again, each plant is different. Some plants will do better with little to no organic matter, while others require it. When it comes to the pink princess philodendron – as well as other plants in this family, it seems that organic matter makes the difference. These plants do not just survive, but they thrive and grow faster when the amounts of organic matter are higher than normal.
Now, there are more types of soil out there that can meet its necessities. One of them seems to be more popular than the others – sphagnum peat moss. The soil composition is not the only thing that matters. You have to pay attention to what it feels like too. For example, the soil should be able to drain properly – in other words, it should not be too packed down.
Generally speaking, the pink princess philodendron will survive in a healthy temperature range of 55 to 95 degrees F – about 13 to 35 degrees Celsius. Obviously, going to the limits of this range will not help your plant thrive. It will survive, but it will not grow too fast. Moreover, its leaves will be smaller than normal, so it pays off to maintain the temperature somewhere in the middle.
The plant is happiest if the temperature is maintained between 75 and 84 degrees F – 24 to 29 degrees C. Keep in mind that even if exposed to lower temperatures for a small period of time, the plant will still be affected. For instance, if the temperature might drop below the recommended limit in the evening – your plant will suffer.
The fact that the pink princess philodendron was originally discovered in Colombia means the plant is used to live in a tropical environment. In fact, growing it in a different climate might be a bit more difficult. If you live in a tropical place, it will thrive. From this point of view, the pink princess philodendron will also love high humidity standards.
Failing to meet the humidity standards will not kill the plant though. However, it will affect its overall appearance. If you meet the requirements, you will notice the shiny foliage. You will spot a bit of lushness. Fail to do so and the leaves will look dull, with no shininess. Luckily, there are ways to help it thrive, even if the climate is different.
If you live in a different climate, simply spray it with water every now and then. Have a sprayer nearby and give it a few puffs every now and then. Mist it on a daily basis and it will get its lush back. It is important to know that the pink princess philodendron goes dormant in the wintertime. At this point, you should avoid misting it.
You do not necessarily have to provide fertilizer to your pink princess philodendron, yet it might help at times. Generally speaking, if you meet all the other requirements in terms of light, water, soil, temperature and humidity, fertilizer becomes useless. But then, some gardeners choose to be on the safer side and feed it.
Should you decide to feed your plant further, make sure you opt for a slow-release fertilizer. The fertilizer must be given during the springtime and the summertime. You need to add a bit of fertilizer every eight weeks or so. Too much of it will not necessarily help the plant – instead, it could hurt it. Also, avoid adding fertilizer in the wintertime.
Height and Growth Rate
The height of the pink princess philodendron depends solely on the conditions you provide. If you meet all the requirements, the plant will most likely surprise you with its growth. It can reach up to 23 inches in height. Smaller plants that grow in a different environment are less likely to reach this height, so the plant is often considered a mini one.
Leaves are the elements that make a difference in the appearance of this plant. Again, if you provide the right growing conditions, leaves will grow up to eight inches in length. As for the width, it can go up to five inches. Again, if you do not provide the optimal conditions, leaves will be much smaller in size and they lose their shininess.
The plant itself is not a very fast grower. Even if you do provide all the requirements, the plant will not skyrocket. It will not grow overnight. Proper care will not rush the growing process. Since it is less likely to get out of control, most people prefer it for indoor uses. It will never climb on walls or invade nearby spaces.
How to Propagate Pink Princess Philodendron?
The pink princess philodendron can be propagated in a few different ways. Each option involves a different technique and comes with both pros and cons. The easiest way to do it is through cuttings, so this is what most people do. The good news is propagating the plant is fairly simple – with or without experience.
Propagate Through Cuttings
This is the easiest way to propagate the plant. You will need to get all your tools ready. You have to sterilize the tools, but you will also need some safety items – like gloves. If you already have these plants, you will have to decide which one can be propagated. Ideally, you should opt for the healthiest one – actively growing and quite large.
Look around the plant and find a healthy stem. Start with a small incision – count around six inches from the stem. The cut must be under the node – around a quarter of an inch. Come up with more cuttings, as some of them may die in the process. You want better results and a high success rate. All in all, once you have the cuttings, get a jar and fill it up with water.
Throw all the cuttings in there. Make sure the nodes are entirely immersed. If the water is below the nodes, your cuttings may die or take longer to grow. Leave them in water for around four weeks. The cuttings growing roots can go in pots. The soil must be light – most importantly, it must be easy to drain when watering it.
Keep in mind that the pink princess philodendron also grows in water. It is entirely up to you to decide how you want to grow it. During the initial time in the water, make sure you check the water levels on a daily basis. If it drops, simply fill the jar up. As a general rule of thumb, the roots must be thoroughly submerged – even after the plant is fully grown.
Propagate Through Division
Propagating the pink princess philodendron through division is also relatively simple – many gardeners rely on this method because it is fast. You need to water the erubescens. It must be fully dampened. The soil should be loosened up a bit. Take the plant out and divide the roots into two or three equally sized sections.
Make sure you get two shoots – more are also accepted, depending on the size of the root. The original plant should then go back into the pot. The new growth needs to go in a different container – add some fresh soil as well. Mist the new plant on a daily basis. Water just as often and you should have a new plant within a few weeks only.
Pink Princess Philodendron Repotting
Repotting the pink princess philodendron does not come with any requirements. Normally, you should repot it when you notice the roots are about to outgrow the current living space. If this is your first plant, it could be difficult, so you might need to dig around the edges of the pot a couple of times a year to check.
Simply get a larger pot first. Dig around the plant and take it out – you can leave plenty of soil around the roots, rather than risk disturbing them. Put it in the middle of the new pot and fill it with new soil all around it. The good news is you will not have to repot too often, as the plant grows slowly.
How to Prune Pink Princess Philodendron?
Prune the pink princess philodendron if you notice the leaves are getting slightly yellow. Sometimes, the issue occurs when the plant outgrows its pot. It rarely happens though. A snip can also be made if the new growth is spindly. Aerial roots could cause issues if not pruned regularly.
Get some protective equipment – like gloves, as well as pruning shears. As with pretty much any plant out there, make sure you do not make any cuts under the leaf node. That is where the stem and the leaf meet.
Is Pink Princess Philodendron Poisonous?
The pink princess philodendron is poisonous and toxic. This is why you are meant to use gloves when you handle or touch this plant – no harsh reactions though, but they could be problematic in allergic people. The plant is also toxic to pets – such as cats and dogs. Its sap has calcium oxalate crystals, which will cause irritations. The sap is also harmful if ingested.
Pests and Diseases
Mealybugs and aphids represent the most common pests that could harm the pink princess philodendron. You will notice a sticky substance on the stems – simply use insecticidal soap for plants or neem oil to get rid of them. Mealybugs look like mildew – kill them quickly with alcohol or they will destroy the plant.
When it comes to diseases, the pink princess philodendron is not associated with any major issues. In fact, most problems are caused by people. Watering issues could cause the roots to rot, so you need to respect their requirements in the smallest details.
Why Is Pink Princess Philodendron So Expensive?
There are a few reasons wherefore the pink princess philodendron is so expensive. First of all, compared with other philodendrons, gardeners or growers cannot always achieve that pink style. No one can guarantee it. Therefore, the plant may sometimes keep green and it cannot be sold as a pink princess. At this point, it becomes a bit of a waste for gardeners.
Other than that, the recent popularity of social media networks has also added to the price. For example, you can find good-looking plants with three-digit prices out there. Sticks are cheaper if you want to grow the plant yourself, but then again, you cannot be 100% sure that you will obtain that stunning pink appearance.
How to Keep Pink Princess Philodendron Pink?
The pink princess philodendron color is given by its DNA, so some plants may simply not get those pink nuances. On the other hand, the pink color is given based on the plant requirements too. If the plant has good DNA and you look after it properly, there are no reasons wherefore it should not become pink.
On the same note, it is important to know that lighting is probably one of the most significant factors in the process. The more indirect light it gets, the brighter and more attractive those leaves will be. But at the same time, make sure the light is not direct. Direct sunlight might be tempting, but the leaves are very likely to get sunburn, so you will harm the plant.
Common Problems With Pink Princess Philodendron
Most issues are associated with the leaves and the plant is basically showing you that it is not happy. If leaves drop and cannot stay upright, it means the plant is slowly drying out – usually because of excessive watering. Alter the watering schedule and you will notice some improvements. Once the problem is fixed, leaves will rejuvenate in no time. It is about trial and error.
Sometimes, the edges of the leaves may also turn brown. At this point, the problem is associated with humidity. Too much misting could be the issue. Fix it and the foliage will grow back in no time. You can also try isolating those leaves in bags – like tents. This way, they get their own humid environment. If this fix does not solve your issue, you may have to cut them off and start all over again.
The bottom line, the beautiful and unique appearance are the factors that have made the pink princess philodendron so popular these days. The plant is relatively easy to grow and does not have any major requirements, yet the existing ones are quite strict, so you need to ensure the optimal environment for it to thrive.