A Beginner’s Guide to Growing and Caring for Pink Princess Philodendron

The breathtaking Pink Princess Philodendron, also known as Philodendron erubescens or ‘pink princess,’ is a plant that plant collectors often covet. Its deep green, heart-shaped leaves adorned with bubblegum pink variegation make it truly unique. Unlike the Philodendron pink congo, whose variegation is caused by chemicals, the pink princess boasts natural, permanent variegation. If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your home, this remarkable plant is an excellent choice.

Understanding the Pink Princess Philodendron

The pink princess philodendron, scientifically known as Philodendron erubescens ‘pink princess,’ belongs to the Araceae family and is native to Columbia. While it may come with a hefty price tag, this stunning plant requires minimal maintenance to keep its beauty intact. However, there are a few crucial factors to consider to ensure the best leaf variegation possible.

Perfecting the Plant’s Environment

Light plays a crucial role in determining the level of variegation in your pink princess philodendron. It thrives in spots that receive bright, indirect light throughout the day. It can also tolerate a few hours of direct light when grown indoors, which may enhance its variegation. If your home lacks adequate natural light, using a grow light is a great alternative.

When it comes to soil, the pink princess philodendron prefers a loose, well-draining medium rich in organic matter. For optimal results, a mixture of standard potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark in equal parts is recommended.

Watering and Temperature

To prevent root rot, it’s crucial to let the top half of the soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering is more detrimental than underwatering, so when in doubt, wait another day before watering. Pink princess philodendrons thrive in warm, humid conditions, making an average home environment suitable. Aim for temperatures between 65 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 26 degrees Celsius), avoiding temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).

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Feeding and Pruning

Consistent monthly feedings with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season (spring to summer) are essential for the pink princess philodendron’s well-being. However, once the plant enters its dormant period in early fall, it’s crucial to stop fertilizing.

Pruning is an effective way to encourage bushier growth in your Pink Princess Philodendron. By cutting the stem between nodes, you can stimulate new growth points. The best time to prune is in the spring, just before new growth begins.

Planting and Propagation

The pink princess philodendron can be propagated through stem cuttings, resulting in bushier plants and potentially enhancing variegation. To propagate your plant, ensure the stem cutting has two to three leaves and exposed nodes at the base. After removing the bottom leaves, let the cut edge callous for 12 to 24 hours. Once calloused, place the cutting in water, ensuring the exposed nodes are submerged. In about two to three weeks, you should notice new roots. Repot the cutting in well-draining potting soil with a minimum root length of 1 inch.

Repotting and Common Pests

Young Pink Princess Philodendrons grow quickly and require repotting once a year, while older plants can be repotted every two to three years. When choosing a pot, ensure it provides ample space for root growth. Look for pots with proper drainage or use a plastic container with drainage holes placed in a larger decorative pot. Keeping an eye out for pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is important, and you can control these organically. Root rot and rust spot are common diseases, but adjusting watering habits and maintaining suitable light and humidity levels can help prevent them.

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If you’re interested in more indoor plant tips, check out the Ames Farm Center for a wide range of resources and products to enhance your plant-growing experience.

Remember, the Pink Princess Philodendron may be a bit finicky, but with the right care, it will reward you with its stunning variegation and vibrant colors. So go ahead and bring a touch of elegance into your home with this remarkable plant!