The pink princess is a head-turning philodendron variation. After gazing upon it, you’ve decided that you absolutely must have a pink princess philodendron as part of your indoor garden. This guide is for you, as I’ll explain its care in full!
Here’s how to care for a pink princess philodendron:
- Water when the top inch of soil is dry
- Provide bright, indirect light
- Use well-draining potting mix
- Choose a semi-porous pot
- Set temps between 60 and 85°F and over 50% humidity
- Fertilize monthly during the active growing season
If you want to learn about all things pink princess philodendron, then you must read this guide. Ahead, I’ll expand further on the above care facets of this beautiful houseplant. I’ll also share advice on how to combat common pink princess pests and problems!
Philodendron Pink Princess Care
First, let’s talk about the fascinating, awe-inspiring houseplant that is the pink princess philodendron, shall we?
The Philodendron erubescens or pink princess philodendron is one of many varieties of the philodendron. The pink princess hails from Colombia and can reach sizes of five feet wide and two feet tall.
While most philodendron varieties feature patches of creamy white, the aptly-named pink princess has gorgeous baby pink throughout.
If you’re wondering how a regularly green plant can possibly be pink, it’s because the pink princess doesn’t have as much chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a green pigment that aids houseplants in photosynthesis.
Don’t worry; your pink princess will still be able to photosynthesize, just not as readily as greener houseplants like unvariegated philodendrons.
If there’s one thing you should know about the pink princess, it’s this: it’s among one of the most expensive houseplants you’ll come across. People can’t get enough of its delicate pink coloring, so that means many retailers charge a premium to own the plant.
It’s not unheard of to pay $500 for an authentic pink princess philodendron.
Wait, authentic? Yes, that’s another thing I want to talk about.
Pink princesses are regularly confused with another variety of philodendron known as the pink congo.
The pink congo has pure pink leaves with no traces of green. Unlike the variegation in a pink princess philodendron, which is natural, pink congo philodendrons receive a chemical injection that makes their leaves a single color.
Some unscrupulous sellers will market their pink congo philodendrons as pink princesses, selling the plant for high prices even though it’s not worth nearly as much. Unsuspecting gardeners will buy the pink congo assuming it’s a pink princess.
How can you tell the difference between a pink princess and a pink congo?
By its leaves! If your philodendron has several fully pink leaves, then it’s a pink congo.
Even if other leaves are green, wholly pink leaves are not a trait of a pink princess.
Instead, each leaf will feature some pink and some green in a pink princess. How much pink will be variable; the pink coloring could take over most of the leaf or only a small portion.
Pink congo philodendron leaves will not stay pink forever since they’re chemically altered. Between six months and a year later, the once pink leaves become green. They’ll never turn pink again unless they receive another chemical injection.
Pink princess philodendron leaves are pink for the life of the plant. The coloring can fade through poor care though (more on this in a moment). If you take care of your pink princess, its leaves will always be that true pink color.
Caring for Pink Princess Philodendron
Since the pink princess philodendron is a significant investment, you want to get its care right the first time. This section will tell you everything you need to know to grow a happy, healthy pink princess!
Watering a Pink Princess Philodendron
If you’ve owned other philodendrons, then you know to water them when about 50 percent of their soil is dry. For the pink princess, you don’t want to let its soil dry out nearly as much.
Instead, wait only until the top inch of the potting soil is dry and then water it. The fingertip test will tell you how moist the soil is.
When you water the pink princess, feed it generously with H2O. Water should be moving gently and steadily from the drainage holes but not flooding out like a deluge.
By overwatering your pink princess, its beautiful pink and green leaves will soon look sickly and yellow. Frequent overwatering can also set the stage for root rot, a disease that can quickly kill your plant.
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Underwatering will cause leaf wilting and browning, neither of which you want to see in your expensive and beautiful pink princess.
Expect that you’ll water this philodendron variety less frequently in cooler months such as autumn and winter. In the spring and summer, you’ll likely ramp up watering. Let the soil test be your guide!
Bright, indirect light is a must for the pink princess philodendron. Here’s why.
Variegated houseplants are especially finicky about their lighting requirements. If they’re exposed to sunlight for too long or if the light source is too bright like with direct sunlight, then the leaves will burn.
Too little sunlight can cause effects that are just as heartbreaking. In the dark, your pink princess will lose its pink coloring until it’s just a green philodendron.
Since it’s used to the overhead cover of trees in the South American forests, you can grow your pink princess with a larger plant overhead. What most indoor gardeners do is affix a curtain to their window.
The window you choose for your pink princess philodendron matters as well.
Easterly-facing windows, which get more morning light but less afternoon light, are a good choice. Northerly-facing windows are even better since they always prohibit indirect sun.
Avoid westerly-facing and southerly-facing windows for this appealing houseplant. They’re too bright.
Once you find its ideal positioning, the recommended amount of indirect sunlight for the pink princess is about four hours per day.
Best Soil for Growing a Pink Princess Philodendron
A well-draining potting mix is integral for the health of your pink princess.
You can find commercial potting mixes at any gardening supply store as well as online. They’ll usually contain ingredients such as peat moss (aka sphagnum moss), orchid bark, and perlite.
If you’re feeling the financial pinch after buying an expensive pink princess philodendron, you can always make your own potting mix from scratch. It’s easier than you think!
Allow me to take a moment to explain these soil amendments and why they’re so important to the health of your pink princess.
Worm castings, which are worm poop, might not be palatable, but the castings make it easier for a plant to hold onto nutrients. The soil will also be aerated and have decent water retention.
Perlite aerates the soil as well and will improve water retention, but not to a high degree. Pumice, which is a hard volcanic rock, can loosen up compacted soil, even if that soil has clay in it.
Orchid bark is a common soil amendment that maintains soil moisture while allowing water to drain fast. Coconut coir, which comes from coconut husks, does the same as orchid bark.
Best Type of Container to Use
Your pink princess philodendron prefers well-draining conditions, so a semi-porous pot will suit this houseplant best.
I’d recommend a pot material such as terracotta or clay with a plastic liner. These materials are very porous, but the inclusion of the nonporous plastic liner will maintain moisture in the pink princess philodendron’s pot – just not for too long.
Glazed terracotta or clay without a plastic liner works just as well since glazing the materials makes them somewhat nonporous. They’ll still absorb water, but not as lightning-quick as they usually do when untreated.
Plastic pots are too nonporous for the pink princess, as are glazed ceramic pots. Unglazed ceramic is somewhat porous, so you can always try that if you can’t find any clay or terracotta pots.
Pink Princess Philodendron’s Ideal Temperature and Humidity
The preferred temperature range for the pink princess is 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you keep your office or home set to a room temperature range (between 59 and 77 degrees), then your pink princess will be happy.
Do you like it hot? So too does this philodendron variety. The pink princess can withstand temps beyond the mid-80s into the low 90s. However, I wouldn’t recommend exposing the pink princess to temps that are much hotter than that.
Sun scalding can occur, which could burn the pretty leaves. The leaf edges can dry, and the leaves might roll up, obscuring the pink color.
If you want to leave your pink princess on a windowsill outside so it can enjoy a temperate summer day, make sure you pull it back inside around noon.
Philodendrons are not particularly cold-tolerant, and that’s true of the pink princess as well. If temperatures are 55 degrees, it’s already too cold for this plant. Move it to a warmer environment right away.
The pink princess, besides enjoying warm temps, also likes humidity. Your plant will look healthiest and most variegated if its humidity is over 50 percent. As a reminder, the average relative humidity in most buildings is between 30 and 50 percent.
Thus, you’ll need a humidifier to meet the moisture requirements for this philodendron. It’s worth it for that dazzling coloration!
Best Fertilizer for a Pink Princess Philodendron
When spring gets underway, the pink princess philodendron’s active growing season begins. It’s time to fertilize this plant.
Use a liquid fertilizer, diluting it with water until it’s half-strength. The macronutrient ratio should be balanced so your houseplant receives equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
Fertilize your pink princess monthly until summer ends. Then you can wait until next spring to fertilize. Seeing as how this philodendron is dormant by winter, there’s no need to fertilize it then. It won’t grow.
Some indoor gardeners fertilize their pink princess more frequently during the growing season, doing so every two weeks rather than once a month. You can try this if you want, but I always caution you to beware of the signs of over-fertilization.
The pink princess’s leaves could drop, and they might turn brown, yellow, or black. Growth will stop and, in some cases, you could see a whiteish crust on the soil, which is excess fertilizer.
Common Issues with Pink Princess Philodendron
Although I hope your experience growing the pink princess philodendron will be smooth sailing, I recognize that that won’t always happen. That’s why I want to talk about the issues you might come across as you raise this lovely houseplant. I’ll also provide prevention tips and treatments!
No one wants bugs sucking the precious plant juices of your pink princess philodendron, but aphids and mealybugs can’t resist this houseplant. Here’s what you do when you spot ‘em.
From fluffy white wooly aphids to tiny green, yellow, or black ones, aphids come in all sorts of colors. They’re usually spotted in clusters, which can make detecting them easier.
Roughly 400 out of the 5,000 different species will eat plants. Females can be born already pregnant so infestations can spread in nearly the blink of an eye.
You can remove aphids in many ways. A sprinkling of diatomaceous earth does the trick, as do essential oils, neem oil, and even some water and dish detergent. For truly brave indoor gardeners, you can manually remove aphids.
The same warm, moist conditions that allow the pink princess to grow also encourage mealybugs to thrive. These insects especially enjoy tropical plants, and what’s worse, they can spread diseases. They must be dealt with swiftly.
Neem oil, insecticidal soap, isopropyl alcohol, and water with dish detergent will all remove mealybugs. You can let the circle of life play out by introducing lacewings to your indoor garden too.
Chemical pesticides also work but should be used as a last resort due to the damage they wreak.
Is your pink princess philodendron still giving you problems? Here are some fixes to try today!
- Plant legginess: When a plant’s stems are longer than the rest of the plant, that’s due to a lack of sunlight. The stems are growing towards whatever light they can get. You may also notice that your pink princess looks faded. Increase its light right away.
- Misshapen leaves: The coloring of the pink princess philodendron’s leaves is fine, but the shape is all off. The leaves look deformed. This can happen due to a lack of light or lack of moisture.
- Little variegation: If your pink princess has a few speckles of pink but is mostly green, follow my care tips above. A healthy plant will usually be more variegated than an unhealthy, unhappy one.