Since its rise to fame, the Pink Princess Philodendron has been a superstar in the gardening world. It’s unique leaf patterns have inspired merchandise, home decor, and of course plant lovers all over the globe. Its gorgeous pink leaves have made this plant stand out among the seas of green. Although it is a rare plant and highly coveted, it is relatively easy to care for if you know the plant’s basic needs.
Still, like any other plant, there are specific things that owners should be aware of, especially when investing in a plant that is as unique as the Pink Princess. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your new Pink Princess happy and healthy in your home including a few secret tips and tricks to keep your princess happy!
Overview of the Pink Princess Philodendron
The Pink Princess Philodendron is an artificially produced hybrid philodendron bred in the 1970s that sits upright and features vibrant foliage ranging from green to pink. Plants can reach about three to four feet tall. Leaves typically appear dark green. A genetic mutation of the plant can cause some leaves to have streaks, splotches or be entirely pink.
Since the variation results from a genetic mutation, cuttings are the only way to produce more of this variety of philodendron. The Pink Princess is exceedingly fickle. Cuttings must be from leaves with the variegation for the new plant to have variegation. This fact makes the production of this plant long and arduous.
These plants reached peak fame in 2018 when the bright pink leaves became a status symbol of sorts. Since then, the Pink Princess has been extremely rare due to the strong ownership desire. The Pink Princess has inspired a following of fan groups and merchandise.
In some cases, copycat sellers seek to recreate the fame of the Pink Princess by selling whats called a Pink Congo- this plant is nearly entirely pink. People end up big bucks for this bubble gum pink houseplant but once they get it home and water it – after a few weeks the artificial colors leave the leaves and it turns green. While still not a bad plant- it is no longer pink leaving many folks disappointed and out a pocketful of cash perhaps!
An exotic cousin to the Pink Princess is the Philodendron Florida Ghost which has green and white leaves giving it is delightfully spooky name. There are in fact over 450 variety of philodendrons from the more common to the highly exotic and rare. Its a lovely household plant to own and I am sure will become your favorite in no time.
This philodendron grows to be about four feet tall with a two-inch diameter in an ideal setting. Leaves are usually between five and eight inches. Leaves vary from a deep green color to a lighter pink. Variation is random and based on genetic mutation. It can be an areal plant, or it can be rooted in soil. It is difficult to propagate because of the genetic mutation but relatively easy to care for otherwise.
Overview of Pink Princess Philodendron Care Requirements
The Pink Princess is very similar to other philodendrons. The main difference is the variegation, which only slightly affects the plant. These leaves lack chlorophyll, so the plant may need more ambient light than other similar plants because they can’t collect as much sunlight.
Watering and soil requirements are very similar to other philodendrons. The plant should be water regularly but never left too wet for too long. The pot and soil should drain well. Owners should pay attention to the leaves to ensure the plant is getting the right amount of water. Discoloration can often hint at other issues.
This plant can be susceptible to root rot due to incorrect watering practices, aphids, and mealybugs. If you are aware of these problems, you can solve them relatively easily. Unfortunately, they do become a bigger problem if left untreated. At times, pests can threaten the survival of the plant.
The Pink Princess Philodendron requires lots of bright light but never direct sunlight. If you want to increase variation in plant leaves, you could try placing the philodendron in brighter, ambient light, although it is vital to remember there is no way to ensure variegation in your plant.
This solution might work in order to increase variation because the pink leaves do not have chlorophyll to produce food for the plant. When there is ample light available, there is more likely to be a surplus of sugars. For that reason, more, lower producing leaves grow. More light can also help dry the soil, so the plant drains quicker and remains healthy.
Overwatering and underwatering can both cause problems with this plant. Depending on the moisture in the air, temperature and other environmental factors, your philodendron may require slightly more or less water. The general rule of thumb is to water this philodendron when the top inches of soil feels dry.
It is vital to make sure your plant is draining, though, to make sure your plant remains healthy. A good pot and potting mixture can help with this. If you notice discoloration in leaves, it could be a sign that this plant is getting an incorrect amount of water. If this happens, try to pay attention to the soil moisture as opposed to the passage of time. When the soil is dry, water the philodendron. Once you get a handle on how often your plant needs water, you are set.
Shallow Watering Versus Thorough Watering
Although you don’t want this plant to get too much water, thorough watering is superior to shallow watering. Shallow watering doesn’t always reach the roots and can dry out the plant, causing problems. If you water the plant thoroughly by watering until clear water filters out of the pot, the water is guaranteed to reach the roots.
Shallow watering can trick owners into watering more than necessary, and even then, the plant struggles because water doesn’t hit the roots. Learning how often and how much to water plants is essential for their survival.
Pink Princess Philodendron Soil Requirements
Soil for this philodendron needs to be nutrient-rich but also well-draining. This type of philodendron likes to be on the dryer side, so the owner needs to ensure that the soil drains well. If you’re worried about your philodendron draining, a terracotta pot may help. The best soil mixture is a combination of peat-based soil and perlite.
Some owners add other components to this soil, but this mixture will work. The peat holds all the nutrients that the plant needs to survive, while other aspects of the mixture allow water to drain quickly and efficiently, ensuring that the plant doesn’t sit in water.
Location and Temperature Needs
The Pink Princess is usually kept indoors as a houseplant, so the location doesn’t matter as much as the temperature. The Pink Princess thrives at around room temperature, somewhere between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to keep your philodendron outside, as long as the outdoor temperature is between these temperatures, your plant should be fine.
Above all, the Pink Princess doesn’t do well with extreme temperatures. Make sure the pot doesn’t sit next to a radiator or an air conditioning unit. Ensure temperature changes are slow, within the range of temperatures the plant can handle.
Special Requirements such as: Humidity, Air Circulation, Water Quality
Air circulation and water quality are not a big deal with the Pink Princess, but humidity is vital to the plant.
The Pink Princess requires relatively high humidity. This can be done in several ways. If you live in an area with high humidity, that might cut it. Otherwise, if you group several plants, they will raise the humidity of the surrounding area, and that will work. You can also use a humidifier or a pebble humidifier to bring up the humidity in the area. If you don’t want to buy a humidifier, you can gently mist the leaves with warm water every couple of days. If it’s hot, you will need to mist the plants once or twice a day.
The plant thrives at about a 40% humidity level. Any less than that, the leaves may begin to dry out or suffer.
Plant Feeding/fertilizing Requirements
Like other plants, if you want to promote extra growth, you can choose to add fertilizer. If you use peat as soil, you don’t need to fertilize, but fertilization can give your plant the extra boost.
If you choose to fertilize, keep in mind that during winter, like other plants that require sunlight, the Pink Princess will naturally grow slower because of the shorter days. This occurrence is not a problem with fertilization; it is just how the plant works.
There are many popular fertilizers that plant owners could use. One of the most popular for leafy plants like this philodendron is Dyna-Gro Grow. If you aren’t interested in that fertilizer, look for fertilizer with micro and macronutrients that are urea-free.
Remember, fertilizers are no replacement for the necessities of survival, like sunlight, water and nutrients. Use fertilizers to improve plants that are already thriving, not to fix plants that are struggling.
Additional Tips For Success with the Pink Princess Philodendron:
If all goes well, you probably won’t need all of these tips. If you want to go above and beyond with your Pink Princess, or something is happening to your plant that you don’t understand, here are the extra expert tips. You can learn to propagate, prune and replant your philodendron. Or, if your plant gets sick and you don’t know what is wrong, this section can help you learn about some of the diseases that might afflict your philodendron and what to do about it.
– Planting and Pots
When planting your Pink Princess, make sure you do it in a temperate room. Pink Princesses don’t love extreme temperatures when the roots are insulated; they don’t last very long when their roots are out in the open.
When repotting, make sure you have the right potting soil on hand. You want about a 60 to 40 mix of peat soil to perlite or orchid substrate. Fill about a third of the container with the soil mixture before placing the plant in. Carefully fill the soil mixture around the roots. Make sure the pot is about a third larger than the original pot. If you are worried about draining water from your plant, use a terracotta pot to tenure excess water will drain. Always use a pot with drainage holes on the bottom
Pruning is possible but not necessary. If you want to prune, there are certain guidelines you should follow to ensure your plant stays healthy. Since the pink princess is a philodendron, you can follow the general guidelines for philodendrons for most of the pruning process.
If you want to do a large amount of pruning, you should do so in fall or spring. You can prune yellow or brown leaves whenever because they are no longer contributing to the plant. You can prune if a plant is too big and is taking up too much space or if it’s looking spindly. Pruning should help significantly with either problem.
First, sterilize your knife or pruning shears. This practice can help prevent disease in your plant. Then, cut off older, yellow or spindly vines. Try to cut the vines where they connect to the main stem or at the soil level. Make cuts with a sharp knife or sharp pair of scissors. Sawing at vines can cause unnecessary trauma to the vine and cause other leaves to suffer.
Make sure you leave plenty of green on your plant. Remember, pink leaves don’t produce chlorophyll, so they can’t keep a plant alive. They are pretty, but green leaves are necessary for the survival of the plant. If you have too many green or pink leaves, prune back the leaf color that is overcoming the other to get more balanced variegation.
Propagating Pink Princesses can be done in the same way as you would with other philodendrons, but the variegated leaves add some difficulty. When you have a mature plant, you can propagate a Pink Princess.
To propagate, use a clean, sharp pair of pruning scissors or a knife to cut off a stem with several leaves. If you want the propagated plant to be variegated, you must propagate from a variegated leaf. Since the variegated leaves have no chlorophyll to keep the plant alive, you have to propagate a green leaf that can keep the vine alive. Then, place the cutting in a cup of water or a pot of very moist soil. Make sure none of the leaves are submerged. Propagating Pink Princesses is very frustrating because it takes a lot of time and practice. Take your time, and don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out.
If you keep your Pink Princess alive long enough to notice roots protruding from the pot, congratulations, it’s time to replant. Replanting can be intimidating, especially if your Pink Princess seems to be thriving in the pot it’s in currently. When roots start to pop up, though, the pot is likely getting to be too small.
Luckily, replanting is pretty easy. It is best to replant during spring or fall, but in emergencies, you can replant whenever. Make sure you are in a temperate location because the roots will be briefly out in the open air. Make your mixture of potting soil and fill the bottom part of the new pot. Pull the plant out of the old soil and gently brush off the remaining soil. Cut off any old or withered roots. THen you can replant. Press the dirt softly but firmly around the base of your plant. Make sure all the roots are covered.
After you replant, water the new pot thoroughly. Place the pot in a bright area. Try to make other circumstances as pleasant as possible while the plant adjusts to the new space.
– Diseases or Pests
There are several diseases and pests that this philodendron is more prone to, of which owners should be aware.
Philodendrons are prone to root rot, and the Pink Princess is no exception. When this philodendron is watered incorrectly, sits in water or gets watered shallowly several times, the roots may start to rot. If this occurs, in the simpler cases, owners need only skip a couple of days of watering to let the plant dry out and reassess their watering schedule. In more serious cases, you may need to get rid of saturated soil, switch to a pot that allows more drainage, and replace the peat with dryer soil.
Philodendrons are also susceptible to mealybugs and aphids.
If your plant has white tufts on the stem or leaves, you probably have a mealybug infestation. Mealybugs can pose a serious problem to both the infested plant and nearby plants, but if you can catch them quickly, you have a great chance of getting rid of the problem entirely.
First, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and wipe off the leaves and stem. Then make a mixture of about a cup of rubbing alcohol, a quart of water and a few drops of dish soap. Spray this mixture on the whole plant, 1-3 times a week, until you don’t see any more bugs or white spots. This solution may take longer or shorter based on how bad the infestation was. If you have other plants in the same room, quarantine the infected plant as much as possible. It is best to clean your tools between cutting each plant. That can help to stop the spread.
If you see small, pear-shaped, almost invisible or lightly colored bugs on the stems or leaves of your plant, your philodendron is infested with aphids. Aphids are also relatively easy to clear up, but you also have to quarantine your plants from each other. Aphids typically can’t fly, but in crowded populations, they can develop the ability. This ability allows them to move from plant to plant.
There are a variety of ways to get rid of aphids. One way is to sift flour onto the plant. Flour can work to constipate the insects and get rid of the infestation. Another way to get rid of the bugs is to mix water and a couple of drops of dish soap. Spray or wipe this liquid on the entire plant twice a week, or often enough to get rid of the infestation.
Whatever the problem is, it will be easier to solve if you catch it quickly. Make sure you keep an eye on your plant to prevent pests and diseases from becoming unsolvable.
This philodendron is toxic to household animals and humans. Both the stems and leaves are dangerous and can have harmful side effects. If you have small children or animals that often chew on plants, make sure your Pink Princess is out of reach.
This plant can cause swelling and burning of the lips, mouth and throat. It can also cause vomiting and diarrhea. If a pet or child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is vital to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Ingesting large amounts can potentially be dangerous. Victims can suffer from dehydration as a result of vomiting and diarrhea. Of course, the simple fix is to ensure that the plant is out of reach of anyone who would put it in their mouth.
FAQs on the Pink Princess Philodendron
Is the Congo Plant the Same as the Pink Princess?
No, the congo plant looks very similar to the pink princess, except its leaves are a bit pointier, and for the most part they are all pink. Apparently they have been chemically gassed in a greenhouse producing a plant hormone that temporarily changes the color of its leaves. Once it leaves the greenhouse it begins the process of going back to a standard green plant.
How can I make all of the leaves pink?
There is no way to ensure the color, but regardless, you do not want all of the leaves of the plant to be pink. Pink leaves can’t produce nourishment for the plant (no chlorophyll), so if all the leaves on your plant are pink, you should prune them back leaves until you have an even mix of colors on your plant.
Why are the pink leaves turning yellow or brown while the green leaves stay green?
This event may be a sign of a lack of sunlight or nutrients. More likely, these leaves are dying because they don’t contribute to the plant. This occurrence is natural. If the other leaves start to wither, then you should evaluate what your plant is lacking.
Why are the leaves wilting and turning colors?
That is likely a problem with too much water or lack thereof. Evaluate if your plant has been getting enough water or if it has been soaking in water.
How do I know when to water?
As you get to know your plant better, you will know better when to water. When starting, it is best to keep tabs on how your plant is looking, so you can gauge how often you should water. Push a finger into the soil. If it is dry one to two inches down, you can probably water again.
How do I know if I’m watering thoroughly?
You will know you’re watering your plant thoroughly and not shallowly when you water, and clear water drains out of the bottom of your plant. If no water drains, you are not giving the plant enough water to reach the longest roots.