If you ever want a simple but eye-popping houseplant in your home, I’ve got just the right one for you – meet the Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’. She’s beauty, she’s grace, but she’s not from the United States. So what is this plant exactly?
Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ is a slow-growing, vining houseplant with variegations. It has reddish stems and glossy green leaves with splotches, streaks, and blocks of pink on it. Like all Philodendrons, it belongs to the Arum/Araceae family and is relatively easy to care for.
Below, I elaborate more on this plant and everything you need to know to care for it:
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Table of contents
What is a Philodendron Pink Princess?
- It is a distinct Philodendron variety known for its pretty pink markings on its green leaves.
These different colored parts of the leaves are known as variegations. In this plant, they are pink; but for others, they may be white or cream. Sadly, as pretty as the leaves are, they are not that efficient for the plant’s growth.
As a variegated plant, it grows slower than its non-variegated counterparts. This is because the colored parts of the leaves don’t contain chlorophyll which is essential in making food for the plant, i.e., photosynthesis. Hence, these plants must have a balanced set of green and pink/white/cream leaves. Otherwise, they will lose their variegation and push out more green leaves to sustain the plant.
Then there’s the Philodendron ‘Pink Congo’. This particular plant should NOT be confused with a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ because it has green stems with full-on pink and pointier leaves. If you’re someone who loves pink, this plant seems like a dream come true. But I hate to break it to you – it is just a fleeting beauty.
Remember what I said about variegation? They will only last long if they have a set of green leaves to keep them alive. With the Philodendron ‘Pink Congo’, this doesn’t make sense. But that is because this plant is chemically induced to make all the leaves pink. Within a few months, they all turn back to green. Pretty scummy, right? So try to steer clear of this fake pink plant.
- It is a cultivar of the Philodendron Erubescens, i.e., the red-leaf Philodendron, originating from South America and native to Colombia.
Like all philodendrons, the Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ is a climbing/vining tropical plant from the Arum/Araceae family. They hate frost, so you’ll want to make sure to keep them inside where it’s warm if you live in colder regions. They are also toxic to pets and humans upon ingestion. So try to keep them far away from the reaches of little grabby hands and paws.
In the wild, it can also produce flowers that look similar to an Anthurium or Peace Lily’s flowers. Except it is a white spadix (the bumpy stalk center) encapsulated within a pink spathe (modified leaf). But as a houseplant, it rarely flowers.
You’ll also find some of your favorite houseplants in this Arum/Araceae family, such as Monsteras, Peace Lilies, and the elusive Philodendron ‘White Princess’. I’ve written a couple of articles on these plants, so feel free to check them out here below:
- Training an Indoor Monstera to Climb – With Helpful Tips
- Are Terracotta Pots Good For Monsteras?
- Do Monsteras Like To Be Misted To Grow Better?
- Peace Lily Flowers Turning Brown: The Why & How to Save It
- Peace Lily Root Rot – How to Treat & Prevent it
- What Is A Philodendron White Princess & How To Care For It?
- It is a costly plant because it’s often propagated by tissue culture to reproduce the pink variegations.
Unlike some plants, a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ doesn’t have stable variegation. The pink markings occur thanks to a random genetic mutation. No offspring are guaranteed to look like the donor/mother plant, whether propagated by stem cuttings or grown from the seeds. Although, in some rare cases, developing a cutting from a reverted PPP may give you that pink plant you desire. You can read more about that in this Reverted Variegation article.
You can find them for 50 bucks per plant on Costa Farms, but you’ll have to be fast because they are often sold out. You can also try your luck on Etsy, where you can find stem cuttings, but the cheapest you’ll probably get is around the $20 mark. But like I said, there’s no guarantee you’ll end up with a pink-variegated Philodendron.
Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ Care 101
So you finally got your hands on this coveted pink-leaved houseplant. Now, you must arm yourselves with the correct how-to-care guide to ensure they stay alive! Here are six crucial needs to keep your Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ flourishing:
- Plant in well-draining soil, preferably with 4:6 ratios of perlite/vermiculite and potting media. You can use a readily-made Aroid mix as well.
- Provide bright but indirect sunlight. Keep the plant away from the direct sun; otherwise, it will scorch the leaves. Grow lights may not be enough for this plant to develop well, so ensure there’s enough natural light to go around. Otherwise, your Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ may revert. More on that later.
- Water once a week after the top 1-2 inches of soil dries out. Never allow the potting media to dry out completely. You want to ensure it is constantly damp for the plant’s best development.
- Feed monthly from spring to summer with diluted liquid fertilizer. Stop fertilizing when winter arrives, as the plant’s growth will be even slower in this cold season. But if you prefer using fertilizers less, you can opt to feed the plant once every three months instead.
- Place in a warm room with high humidity. Keep the plant far away from cold drafts and have a humidifier nearby so the plant can really thrive.
- Tie the plant to a stake or pole to help it climb upwards. You’ll want to do this during the initial planting to avoid damaging the roots. But you can also do it when you repot the plant as well. This will encourage the plant to take up more space vertically rather than trailing out of its pot as it develops.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? As long as you give it the best care, a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ will chill in your house and keep growing with little to no problems.
Additional Care for Growing a Philodendron Pink Princess
But wait! That’s not all. Here’s some extra stuff to keep in mind if you want to be extra thorough with your Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ care:
- Prune the plant once a year in spring or summer if there are more pink leaves than green ones. Again, while it is pretty, it’s not helping the plant grow. So you’ll want to cut these off to give your Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ a fighting chance to keep developing. You can try propagating the variegated cutting if it has some shades of green. But if it doesn’t, admire it for 5 seconds, take a picture, then woefully throw it away like the old lady at the end of the ‘Titanic’ movie.
- Propagate any stem cuttings, provided there is one green leaf and 2-3 nodes. But fair warning: don’t expect it to produce variegated leaves right off the bat. As I said before, the ‘pinkness’ is a random genetic mutation that can appear or not appear on any new leaf. So it may only appear after the plant has garnered enough green leaves to support itself. If it doesn’t, well, at least you get more plants out of it! You can learn more about stem-cutting propagation in this article.
- Repot the plant after 2-3 years in a slightly bigger pot. You won’t have to worry much about repotting this plant because it grows slowly anyway. But the procedure itself is pretty straightforward. You can follow the repotting instructions with vertical support in this Monstera article.
- Do a weekly pest & disease check on the plant. Like all houseplants, a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ may have infestation or infection problems. Common ones to look out for are bacterial leaf spots, tip curls, and magnesium deficiency. This concise article on common Philodendron diseases from PennState Extension sums it up nicely, along with the solution. As for pests – aphids, scales, spider mites, and mealybugs are the common culprits. You can read this article on common houseplant pests to learn how to get rid of them.
Common Problems of Growing and Care for a Philodendron Pink Princess
While there may not be many problems when taking care of this plant, you may run into some things that will stump you. But have no fear! I’ve got them listed out here, so you know what to watch out for:
- Pink variegation on leaves turns burgundy or reverts, aka Reverted Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’/Burgundy Princess.
If your plant doesn’t get enough sunlight, it will show its displeasure in the most spiteful way possible – it’ll lose the pinkness in its leaves. You don’t want this happening, especially if you spent more than a few bucks to get the plant. I’ve written a Reverted Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ article to help you understand what you can do when this happens.
- Brown burn marks on the leaves.
If you’ve become paranoid about losing the pink markings in your plant, there are better solutions than shoving it by the window with direct sunlight. You’ll end up scorching the foliage instead. This is not to be confused when the plant reverts because it affects even the green leaves, not just the variegation.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to recover the burnt leaves. Snip these off and let the plant recover in a sunny room with translucent curtains to offset the intense sun rays.
- Dried, brown tips on the leaves.
The brown tips won’t recover. You can trim them off the plant so it doesn’t look ghastly. But, the plant won’t grow unless you address the underlying problem.
The leaves drying out indicates a lack of moisture somewhere. The likely reason for this is low humidity, underwatering, or overwatering. Here’s what you need to do when this happens:
- Check the soil first.
- If it’s dry, then give your plant a good thorough soak.
- If it’s too wet, the plant may be suffering from root rot and be in need of repotting. Here’s an article on how to fix root rot in indoor plants to help you out. If you are a serial over-waterer, you might want to pick this moisture meter from Amazon up. It has stopped me from accidentally drowning quite a few plants now.
- If it’s not a watering problem, it’s probably a humidity problem. Some of my tropical plants, like the Fiddle leaf fig and Calathea, can be a bit ‘princess-y’ when it comes to humidity. Luckily, I found that having this hygrometer and humidifier from Amazon makes things waaaaaaaaaaaaay easier for me. I can track the room’s humidity levels AND adjust them as needed. I highly recommend getting these starter tools if you’re new to the plant owner life or have been having unexplainable brown tips on a few plants now. You might also switch water sources to see if the brown tips may also be caused by hard water or fluoride.
Frequently Asked Questions about Philodendron Pink Princess
A Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ is hard to propagate because the pink markings are unstable and don’t appear consistently. The variegation is a random genetic occurrence that cannot easily be replicated by stem cuttings or growing the seeds. The only reliable way to reproduce the pink plant is by tissue culture, which is a lengthy and costly process.
It is relatively easy to care for a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’. The plant needs indirect sunlight, weekly watering, high humidity, and a pole/stake to grow upwards. So long as you provide the best care for the plant, it’ll develop well.
A Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ can grow up to 4 feet tall as an indoor plant. Keeping in mind that the variegated plant grows pretty slow, it may be a while before it reaches that height. On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about repotting the plant too often.
A Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ readily reverts if there’s a lack of sunlight. The pink variegation turns into a burgundy color, indicating the presence of chlorophyll to absorb sunlight as much as possible. Unfortunately, this is an irreversible change. Even if the plant has enough green leaves to go around, the pink markings are unlikely to appear again.
Give adequate indirect sunlight to maintain the pink markings on a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’. If it starts to revert, i.e., turn burgundy, or there are more pure green leaves, the plant is not receiving enough sun. Often when the plant reverts, it’s very hard or unlikely for it to produce pink leaves again. So ensure you get the plant’s light needs right.
$50 to $100 is the average price for a small Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ with decent variegation (2022). Some cuttings can be priced at about $20, but there’s no guarantee it’ll produce a plant with pink markings. However, it’s worth a try to propagate cuttings from a reverted PPP because they may grow pink leaves again.
A Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ grows relatively slow compared to its non-variegated counterparts. This is mainly due to the limited chlorophyll available on its leaves, leading to decreased photosynthesis. But so long as the plant’s basic needs are met, it’ll grow just fine.
It’s necessary to place a pole/stake for a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ growth. They are climbing/vining plants that benefit from vertical support, leading to bigger leaves and better development. Without it, the plant will end up flopping out of its pot. But if you’d like to keep them small, pruning them once a year will promote bushier growth.
Overall, a Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’ is a gorgeous and reasonably manageable houseplant to care for. If you manage to snag one for your plant collection, be mindful of its light needs, and you’ll get to enjoy its lovely pink presence for a long time. Happy planting!
- Mushy leaves on Philodendron Pink Princess. #678899 – Ask Extension. (n.d.). Ask2.Extension.org. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://ask2.extension.org/kb/faq.php?id=678899
- Philodendron Diseases. (2016). Psu.edu. https://extension.psu.edu/philodendron-diseases
- NParks | Philodendron “Pink Princess.” (n.d.). Www.nparks.gov.sg. https://www.nparks.gov.sg/florafaunaweb/flora/8/5/8541
- Plant database entry for Blushing Philodendron (Philodendron erubescens “Pink Princess”) with 25 images, one comment, and 19 data details. (n.d.). Garden.org. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://garden.org/plants/view/115168/Blushing-Philodendron-Philodendron-erubescens-Pink-Princess/
- Philodendron “Pink Princess” – Plant Finder. (n.d.). Www.missouribotanicalgarden.org. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=269192&=