Potted plants are a brilliant way to add accent colors to the interior of your home, and if you are a fan of pastel pink or love the rare and unusual, you must check out the pink princess philodendron! It is one of the rarest philodendron species, characterized by chewing gum pink variety on iconic dark green heart-shaped leaves.
Undoubtedly, this plant—Philodendron erubescens ‘pink princess’– is really unique. The leaves are accentuated with pink and warm, deep chocolate brown; the stems are bright dark red. Its pink color is suitable for the plant’s common name, the blushing philodendron.
With your interest at the top, let’s talk about the pink princess in philodendron, including why it is so rare, how to grow one in your home and even how to spread it in an attempt to have more than one of these beauties.
General philodendron information
Philodendrons are very popular houseplants, especially in people who have just started with plants or think they have a black thumb. They are native to tropical forests, grow downstairs and climb trees. In turn, the beautiful deciduous plants are fantastic climbers, can withstand lower light conditions and are incredibly easy to care for.
What makes the pink princess unique?
With over five hundred different philodendron species, why is this so unique?
Pink princesses are rare – and expensive – because they are challenging to reproduce. They are almost impossible to grow from seed, and when propagated, cultivation cannot guarantee that the young leaves of new plants will be pink or pink enough to be classified as a pink princess philodendron.
Leaf variation occurs when a mutation in the cells results in a lack of chlorophyll, the pigment that makes the leaves green. This variation can occur genetically (eg asexual reproduction) or occur randomly. The challenge is that the spread of a motley stem cuttings does not always result in a start with the same pink color.
When buying a plant, make sure it is a real philodendron princess and not a Pink Congo philodendron. Unfortunately, some sellers try to deceive buyers by selling them Pink Congo, a plant that can be chemically altered to change the leaves completely pink. Eventually, all the pink leaves will change back to green.
Many reputable sellers on Etsy and social media platforms use propagation techniques to clone new starts from their mature plants. To be sure, check out their reviews and only buy from someone with a good reputation.
The key to maintaining the bright pink variety of your plant is to take good care of it, especially to make sure it gets the right type and amount of sunlight. In addition, it is easy to maintain because it is a philodendron. This group of plants is known to be low maintenance, so they are good for beginners.
Your pink princess needs very strong indirect light to retain its beautiful color. Too much direct sunlight burns the leaves. Too little light and the beautiful leaves will quickly start to turn green and lose their fantastic variety. Indoors, your plant can withstand a couple of hours of direct light, but no more.
If your home does not get enough “good light” or only has spots with a lot of direct sunlight, it is recommended that you buy a cultivation lamp to complement your plant. When you invest in a princess pink philodendron, you want to do everything to keep it beautiful.
Pink princess plants prefer to stay a little on the drier side. Let the top inches or two dry out and then water the potting soil well. Thorough watering on a less frequent schedule encourages better root growth and prevents overwatering. Make sure your plant never sits in excess water; they are susceptible to root rot.
Temperature and humidity
Philodendrons thrive indoors because they prefer ambient temperatures between 65-79 ° F. They do not like cold, so avoid exposure below 60 ° F. This means keeping them away from cold, draughty window sills during the winter. They also love areas with higher humidity in your house, such as the bathroom or at the sink, because of their tropical origins.
Unfortunately, many homes are dry and the humidity drops even more during the cold, dry winter. To create localized areas with high humidity, you can run a humidifier at your plants or place them in a pebble tray that has a small amount of moisture at the bottom.
Give your philodendron pink princess a dose of a balanced liquid fertilizer each month during the active growing season. You can follow the mixing instructions on the label or give your plant half the amount. Liquid formulations are easy to dilute in water and then use the solution to water when the soil is dry.
Problems with pests and diseases
Common pests are the same as all other houseplants: aphids, fungal mosquitoes, mealybugs, scales and spider mites. If you have insects in your plant, spray the entire foliage, top and bottom, with insecticidal soap. Root rot is a problem due to overwatering and cannot be treated with chemicals; Rust stain is a common fungal infection that can be treated with neem oil.
The process of spreading a pink princess is not difficult. Philodendrons are known for how well stem cuttings take root in water or plant media. The challenge, however, is whether the pink variety will be visible in the newly propagated plant. As mentioned above, even with a greatly multiplied mother plant, there is no guarantee that the new start will continue the mutation.
- Pink princess philodendron
- Pruning shears or scissors
- Clean glass or jar
- Container with drainage holes
- Cultivation media (perlite, sphagnum moss, coconut and pot mixture are all excellent choices)
Prepare stem cuttings
- Choose the best cuttings on the plant. You want it to have a very motley pink leaf at the upper end, at least a handful of leaves and a couple of nodes on the stem.
- Use sharp, sterilized scissors or pruning shears to cut the stem clean and remove the cuttings from the plant.
- Remove the lower leaves, keeping at least one or two on the upper end of the stem.
- Set the stem cut on a paper towel or napkin for up to 24 hours to allow the cut stem to become tender.
Once the cut edge has hardened, you can root it in a clean jar filled with water or immediately plant the cuttings in a container filled with culture media. You should see new roots grow from the stem nodes in about two or three weeks, and existing aerial roots will be extended.
- Water method: Place the stem in a jar of water and place it where it gets strong, indirect light. Make sure the nodes are constantly immersed in water and change the water every other day to minimize bacterial growth. When the roots are about an inch or so long, transfer the cuttings to a container of well-draining potting soil or coconut.
- Growing media method: Fill a container with any culture medium and plant the cuttings in the middle so that the nodes are buried. Place the container where it gets strong, indirect light and keep the surface moist but not wet. After a couple of weeks, gently pull the plant – if there is any resistance, the roots have begun to grow.
Regular pruning of your plant controls the size and shape, which encourages the plant to put out new leaves and become fuller and busier. It also removes dead leaves and helps promote new growth that will hopefully become the desired pink philodendron-heart-shaped foliage. Always use sharp, sterilized scissors to make pruning cuts.
The pink variegated leaves can die after a while on the plant. When they are pink instead of green, they have no chlorophyll and cannot photosynthesize and produce food. This is why the plant naturally tries to get more green leaves instead of the beautiful pink ones.
Tips for growing Pink Princess Philodendron
- Browning edges on the leaf edges of philodendron varieties are usually due to lack of moisture. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common problems with these plants. When the humidity is low, the leaves dry out, and there is no way to reverse the damage. Increase the humidity around the plant to prevent further browning.
- If your plant is losing its variegation – and this is because the leaves are losing their green variety OR losing their light pink spots – prune your plant back to just above a well variegated leaf.
- Replant your pink princess philodendron plant every year to every other year in a new pot. Transplanting refreshes the growing medium and prevents the plant from becoming rooted.
- A philodendron, regardless of its variety, is a vine. It uses its aerial roots to climb and grows best when it has a trellis or moss rod to attach to and grow upwards.
- Keep your plant away from pets and small children, as the leaves are poisonous.
- Aerial roots can be trimmed back if they become too long and appear ugly, as long as the plant does not use them to climb up a support structure.
- Plant in a water-, navy- or coral-colored pot to emphasize the beautiful pink variety.
- Combine with upright plants to create a dramatic screen that “moves” in several planes. Jade plants, ZZ plants, a bird of paradise and bamboo palms are excellent choices. You can also wrap the trunk of a money plant with moss to give the pink princess a structure to climb on.
- Group with colorful plants like a snake plant with intense yellow variety or a bromeliad or kalanchoe with bright orange or yellow flowers.