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These lovely, blush-pink philodendrons love to be treated like the royalty that they are. If you currently own the Philodendron Pink Princess, look no further: this guide is here to show you exactly how to care for your rare philodendron.
We’ve done the work for you by adding extra care tips, DIY guides, and even a few secret methods here and there. If you have more than one Philodendron under your care, this guide works perfectly, too!
Pink Princess Philodendron General Information
- Scientific Name: Philodendron erubescens
- AKA: Pink Princess Philodendron, Pink Princess Plant, PPP
- Similar to: Philodendron
- Native to: Ecuador, Colombia
- Leaves: Bright pink, Dark Green, Chocolate Brown
- Maximum Size: 2 feet tall, 5 inches wide
- Watering Requirements: Once a week
- Light Requirements: Bright indirect light
- Preferred Humidity: Moderate
- Preferred Temperature: 15 to 27oC (59 to 81oF)
- Soil or Potting Medium: Moist but well-drained, aroid potting mix
- Fertilizer: Fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks with 1/2 strength fertilizer
- Propagation Method: Node, Stem Cuttings
- Toxicity: Non-toxic to pets and humans
Overview of Pink Princess Philodendron
Pink Princess Philodendron care may seem daunting for some because this pink beauty can be expensive to purchase. However, the pink princess plant is like most philodendron varieties; its only difference really being its pink variegation.
The lovely Pink Princess is native to the tropical forests of Ecuador and Colombia, where it grows under trees and generally thrives in high humidity levels. As such, this beautiful plant is perfect for indoor gardens.
The growth habit of this plant is to climb. Technically, the Pink Princess Philodendron is programmed to grow on trees and cling onto them for support, in order to produce new leaves and widen their reach to other branches.
Tips for Growing the Pink Princess Philodendron
To give your plant the best shot at growth, you’ll want to give it a pot that’s large enough for roots to grow into. The best way to estimate pot size is to see the root ball of your plant, and add 2 inches of height and 2 inches of width.
Pink Princess Philodendrons are generally fans of bright, indirect light. Often, indirect sunlight can confuse many a gardener. What exactly does “bright, indirect” sunlight mean?
As mentioned earlier, the Pink Princess Philodendron is found growing under trees in the forests of South America. Because it grows under much larger plants, it doesn’t really receive direct sunlight like a Rose or Cactus does, for example.
So, these tropical plants don’t enjoy too much sunlight. By bright indirect light, what we really mean is about 3-4 hours of sunlight per day, preferably morning sun.
The best type of light you can give this gorgeous plant is found in the North and East parts of your home or garden, where the sun only appears for a few hours. You can check the direction of your home with a Compass app on your phone.
If you don’t live in a home that has any North or East-facing windows, you may consider adding sheer, white curtains to diffuse the sunlight that your Pink Princess Philodendron plant gets.
Why is Light Important?
If you adore the pink variegation of this plant, you need to consider the amount of light you give it. The Pink Princess Philodendron requires just the right amount of sunlight to give out bright pink foliage.
Too much light (4-5 hours) will burn the pink leaves of this plant and may give you only olive-green spots. Too little light (1-2 hours) will produce only dark brown leaves.
The perfect balance of bright indirect light will give you a variegated plant filled with pink spots, olive green shading, as well as chocolate brown foliage!
If your plant isn’t producing enough pink, you need to prolong its exposure to light (not too much though, it may cinch the leaves).
Humidity and Temperature
Like most of the Philodendron family, the Philodendron Erubescens hails from the tropical jungles of South America, where the temperature is warm and the air is humid.
In general, the preferred temperature of the Pink Princess Philodendron is 60-95F (15-35C), with more emphasis on the warmer levels.
With that in mind, any Philodendron plant also thrives with higher humidity levels that are similar to the jungle. Philodendron plants, in general, require a humidity level of at least 50% to thrive in your care. Good levels of humidity will produce new growth and more variegation, too.
The Pink Princess Philodendron is no exception. Your Pink Princess plant requires higher levels of humidity, especially in the winter season.
How To Add Humidity
The most humid areas in your house are the bathroom and shower. If you receive enough sunlight there, you might want to place your Pink Princess in there.
You may also want to bring your pink princess plant in the bathroom while you shower, as the humidity will give them a boost.
The best method to add humidity for your Pink Princess Philodendron is through a humidifier. This device comes in small to large sizes and is filled up with water. Afterward, the humidifier releases this water in a mist-like form, so that your plants can absorb it.
Humidifiers aren’t just limited to Pink Princess plant care. You can definitely purchase larger devices to heighten humidity levels for your other plants.
Misting: Myth or Fact?
Most gardeners swear by misting, aka the method of spritzing your plants with water once a day. This is generally an ineffective method because unlike humidifiers, a one-time application of mist won’t do much for your philodendrons.
However, feel free to try this if it makes your plants healthy. At best, the Pink Princess may grow one or two pink leaves, but humidifiers can guarantee a more robust philodendron.
When caring for Philodendron plants or their aroid cousins (Monsteras, Pothos, etc), you must remember that these plants live in areas where the soil is filled with microorganisms and extremely fertile.
The Philodendron Pink Princess lives in forests where the soil is moist, but always well-draining. This plant is also a vining plant, which means it grows on tree trunks.
Therefore, when purchasing a potting mix for this plant, you need to find potting soil that’s similar to their natural growth habit: They want to grow on trees, and they live in humid areas.
In general, moist but well-drained soil mixes can be bought at your local big-box store. A commercial potting mix is often made up of a mix of perlite, orchid bark, and peat moss as a form of soil. Ask your local store for ‘Aroid Potting Mix’ and you’re set.
However, you may want to make your own potting mix. This not only saves money, but it’s also a fun way to level up your plant care and allows you to see what exactly goes into your indoor plant mixes.
DIY Pink Princess Potting Mix
If you’d like to take your Philodendron Pink Princess care to the next level, this potting mix is perfect for most philodendrons and Monsteras. This soil mix is chunky and allows oxygen to pass through your plant while retaining excess water.
Take 40% peat moss or coco coir, 30% orchid bark, 10% perlite (or pumice), and 10% wormcastings. That’s it!
The Peat Moss (or Coco Coir) provides moisture retention for your plant. The orchid bark, on the other hand, creates air pockets for the roots of your plant to breathe and cling onto for growth.
The perlite will make your mix drain excess water out, while the wormcastings are high in organic matter and feed your pink princess with nutrients.
This mix can be adjusted to your liking; people who overwater will need less peat moss and more perlite, while those who underwater need to add more peat moss.
It’s always a tragedy when a gardener loses their plant, and this sadness triples when the plant is something as expensive and beautiful as a Pink Princess Philodendron.
More often than not, the biggest cause of plant demise is in a person’s watering habits. Too much water may drown your plant, while too little will make it extremely thirsty.
To keep your Pink Princess Philodendron happy, you will have to perfect your watering technique. In general, this pink plant enjoys soil that’s moist, but dries out from time to time. Here are a few time-tested methods:
Moisture meters are foolproof and an essential tool for any newbie gardener. This nifty device allows you to gauge the water levels of your new plant so as not to drown the roots. A general moisture meter level of 4 is perfect for the Philodendron Pink Princess.
When your moisture meter reaches level 4, you need to water that plant again! That’s all there is to it.
If you’re short on moisture meters, your body is equipped with a natural moisture meter that tells you when your pink philodendron needs to be watered.
Simply dig your forefinger down to the second knuckle. If the soil feels like a brownie, moist but not wet, your plant is healthy and doesn’t need water yet. If it feels drier, then watering is in order.
Like a cake tester often found in bakeries, the humble barbecue stick could be all the difference between a healthy plant and an overwatered pink princess.
To use this method, simply dip your stick up to 2 inches down the soil.
Over time, you’ll be able to recognize whether or not the soil of your plant is dry. Usually, you’ll notice that the top inch of soil looks parched and go from there.
Signs of Overwatering, Underwatering, and Root Rot
If you’ve fallen prey to unsuitable watering habits, it may be time to start the propagation process to save your plant (which we’ll talk about later). The biggest signs of overwatering and root rot are the following:
- Yellowing leaves – Instead of the usual green leaves with pink spots, the variegated leaves of the Pink Princess will begin turning a pale, sickly yellow.
- Black, mushy roots – This is the number 1 sign of root rot; roots that fall apart when you squich them are a sign of excess water in the soil.
- Drooping Leaves – If your plant’s leaves are drooping while the soil still looks wet, this may be a sign that the roots of your plant need emergency assistance.
- No New Growth – The Pink Princess Philodendron is generally a prolific grower. If it barely produces leaves after months, a watering and light issue may be the cause.
- No Variegated Leaves – The Pink Princess Philodendron needs sun, but it also needs proper water. If the leaves are only olive green and brown instead of variegated with pink, it may lack water.
General Care Tips for Watering
Less is More
A plant dying from water issues is the last thing you want to see in your Philodendron erubescens. As always, it’s better to hold back on watering instead of watering too much. An underwatered plant is easier to save than an overwatered one.
Spring and summer are the perfect time to water your plants more often than usual. Because plants often enter their growing season at this time, your Pink Princess may need to be watered twice a week or more; make sure to check beforehand!
The fall and winter season are less conducive for philodendron pink princess growth. You may notice that the leaves aren’t growing as much and that your plant looks stunted with its growth. Don’t worry about it; this tropical plant isn’t adapted to cold temperatures and isn’t likely to grow.
While the Pink Princess Philodendron adores bright indirect light, sunlight is generally different for each zone and area in your locality. The more light your plant gets, the more water it needs. Same for less light: if your plant doesn’t receive as much, it doesn’t need as much water either.
Aside from sunlight and water, the Philodendron Pink Princess enjoys having a feed or two. This plant does well with 1/2 strength fertilizer every two weeks or one full dose of fertilizer monthly.
A general fertilizer works well as plant food for your pink philodendron; 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 concentrations are recommended. (Related Article: 10-10-10 Fertilizer)
As with watering, it’s always better to lessen the amount of fertilizer than overdo it.
Pests and Diseases
Like most Philodendron plants, your Pink Princess is susceptible to a few bugs. Aphids and spider mites are particularly common in the Pink Princess Philodendron.
Generally, there are two options for pests: you can either prune the affected leaves or use a pesticide to counteract insect populations.
Chemical pesticides may leave a strong smell and may damage the plant and soil. We recommend this method.
Propagating The Philodendron Pink Princess
The luscious, dark green and pink leaves of the Pink Princess Philodendron are a sight to behold. What better way to show its beauty to the rest of the world than by multiplying these variegated leaves?
Instead of buying a new Pink Princess every time, it might excite you to know that the propagation process is extremely easy and yields great results when done properly.
The best time to do this is during the growing season of this plant, which is usually in between the spring and summer. For other parts of the world, this can be done all-year round.
To multiply your pink princess, do the following:
- Check the stem of your philodendron pink princess for a node.
- The node appears as a small, reddish-pink bump. These nodes are also called aerial roots.
- For best results, find a part of the stem that has more than 1 node. 2-3 nodes heighten the chances of propagation.
- Prune your plant, leaving at least half an inch on either side of the node.
- Drop the stem in a glass with enough water to cover at least 2 inches of the node, and you’re done!
Once the node grows long enough roots (around 2-5 inches, or proportional to the size of your plant), your Pink Princess is ready for transfer.
Take your pink princess philodendron stem out of the water and place it in a suitable potting mix that is moist but well-drained (check the earlier part of this guide). Give it a thorough watering.
Afterward, check back every few days and water your plant as usual! In a month or two, you’ll have a new pink princess philodendron!
You can prune your plant as many times as you like for more. The dark green leaves mixed with pink can get particularly addicting to grow and multiply!
To grow a pink princess philodendron from just a stem cutting, the process is similar to water propagation.
- Choose a healthy, thick stem growing from your plant. This stem must have at least 2 nodes.
- Prune off any leaf or leaves attached to the stem, leaving just the nodes.
- Make sure to leave at least 2 inches on either side of the nodes. These may also grow leaves and prolong the life of your cutting while it begins growing.
- Place the cut part on a potting mix filled with just peat moss, or a chunky mix with orchid bark and perlite.
- Make sure to line the stem horizontally (parallel to the soil). It must be lying down so that the nodes can grow roots.
- Make sure that the pot you choose is suitable for the size of your cutting. A rectangular pot that is enough inches long as the cutting works well. Any fitting pot will also do.
- Mist your mix evenly and cover.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Philodendrons need sunlight?
All plants need sunlight, and the pink princess is no exception. To make it grow to its maximum height of 24 inches long, you’ll need to give it adequate lighting and watering. Oh, and don’t forget to prune it and change pot sizes when necessary!
How often do you water a pink princess Philodendron?
This highly depends on how much sunlight you receive. The more sun, the more watering is required. The less sun, the less water.
In any case, your Pink Philodendron will need watering when the pot feels light, the soil looks parched, and if the plant is drooping. Once a week is an average time, but our watering guide earlier will help you water without keeping track of the days.
How do I make my Pink Princess Philodendron pink?
While the pink leaf of this plant is what it’s most known for, you don’t want an entirely pink leaf. Pink Princess Philodendrons thrive best when they have leaves with dark and green patches; a healthy plant will have an assortment of colors.
Though you can turn your plant’s leaf pinker over time with proper growth and care, a pink leaf isn’t sustainable. Any plant with variegation on its leaves lacks chlorophyll; the variegated part of the leaf cannot take in nutrients and light as well as the non-variegated parts.
If the leaves of your Pink Princess are turning pinker by the minute and overtaking the other leaves, it may be time to prune it back. Aim for more green and brown leaves than pink ones.
However, if you lack variegation and want to promote more variegated leaves, it may be time to give your plant more exposure to sunlight. This will help the leaves turn lighter and promote variegation. You can check the first part of our guide on sunlight requirements for more information.