Growing & Caring for Philodendron Prince of Orange

Philodendron Prince of Orange

The Philodendron Prince of Orange is a great plant to have in your collection if you want to add a splash of color amongst the greens.

Unlike many philodendrons, this doesn’t climb or trail. Instead, it is self-heading (non-vining). Its leaves also grow upwards from the center allowing to you see its bright colors instantly.

What makes it unique is the multiple colors that the plant has. You’ll often find a combination of them since the change colors as they grow.

New growth appear orange, then transitions into a yellowish color. And, in the final stage of the leaf’s life cycle, it turns dark green.

The plant can grow to between 2 to 3 feet tall and about 3 feet wide. Thus, it makes for a good floor plant.

Finally, it is fairly easy to care for. But, there are a couple of things where you want to pay attention to as I’ll discuss below.

Philodendron Prince of Orange Plant Care

Philodendron Prince of Orange Light

The philodendron prince of orange is a fairly resilient plant ins that it can tolerated different lighting conditions. But, it does best under bright, indirect light.

Similarly, it won’t have a problem with low light locations. However, it is worth knowing that the less light there is the less vibrant its colors get. As such, the plant’s orange color is at its best when it gets bright light.

One thing to remember is to keep it out of direct sunlight. Keeping it under the sun’s rays will scorch its leaves. Similarly, too much harsh sunlight for long hours on a daily basis will turn its leaves brown.

As such, you want to give it filtered, indirect or dappled light.

This makes an east or north facing window ideal spots for the plant. Similarly, a west facing will work with a little more precaution. That’s because this direction gets a good amount of mid afternoon sun, which is when it is most intense.

A southern exposure not only receives afternoon sunlight but also has the longest hours of light each day. Here, you want to be able to cover the window with something translucent or keep the plant at least a few feet from the window.

Outdoors, it thrives in bright shade. This is the best condition for it outside because it is easier to get more brightness there. So, you want to keep it hidden from the harsh afternoon sun while still getting enough illumination.

Another thing worth noting is the plant likes to lean towards the light. So, it is a good idea to rotate it every few weeks. This allows It to received a balanced amount of light on add sides in order to achieve balanced growth.

If getting enough bright light is a struggle where you live, consider using fluorescent lights. You’ll need to provide the plant with longer hours of light because this doesn’t contain the entire light spectrum the sun does.

But, it will keep your philodendron prince of orange happy.

 

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Philodendron Prince of Orange Temperature & Humidity

Since the Philodendron Prince of Orange is native to Central and South America, this hybrid enjoys warm humid conditions. The good news is, it is well-suited for indoor environments like homes and offices.

The reason being that it enjoys climate conditions similar to what humans do.

Keeping temperature between 60 and 75 degrees produces the best growth for the plant. And, it can tolerate slightly warmer conditions. But, going much higher or dropping below 60 degrees will cause the plant’s growth to slow.

More importantly, once go below 50 or 55 degrees, it will begin to get stressed.

As such, the plant is hardy to USDA zones 9 to 11. If you live in these areas, you can keep grow the plant outdoors all year round.

Otherwise, it is a good idea to keep it in a container. This will make it easy to move it indoors once winter approaches.

The philodendron prince of orange’s tropical natural also means that it enjoys humid conditions. While it prefers higher humidity, it will be happy as long as you keep humidity at 50% or higher.

It can likewise tolerate lower humidity without wilting or deteriorating. However, it won’t be able to achieve its best colors.

philodendron prince of orange

source: wikimedia commons

 

Philodendron Prince of Orange Watering

Your philodendron prince of orange thrives when soil it kept consistently moist. This will allow it to produce large leaves with vibrant colors.

Unfortunately, this is what makes watering the plant a little tricky. In general, the plant is easy to care for. But, it there’s one aspect you want to stay vigilant in, it is watering.

That’s because the Prince of Orange is an epiphyte. As such, its aerial roots like moisture. But, they are sensitive to overwatering. In fact, they cannot stand soggy or muddy soil as it hates sitting in water.

Too much water means that all the small air pockets in between the soil are filled with water. As such, air cannot get through. And, because a plant’s roots need oxygen, this will cause them to rot.

Similarly, dry soil or lack of moisture will leave you with a sad looking, unattractive plant.

So, striking a balance is key.

As such, keep the soil moist during spring and summer. But, allow it to dry a bit more in the winter since it takes longer for moisture to try.

The secret to keeping the plant happy with watering is t always check before you water. You can do this by feel or using a moisture meter. If you’re staring out, the latter is a good choice as it is precise. Using it will also give you time to gain experience in feeling the difference between wet, moist and dry soil.

Once the top 1 to 2 inches of soil dry out, it is time to water. But, never before this happens.

Always err on the side of caution. That is, when in doubt, always go with less water than more water. Your prince of orange philodendron can tolerate weeks without watering.

When you water, always do so thoroughly. Then, allow the soil to completely drain.

Finally, here are a few things to watch out for.

Yellow leaves is a sign that there’s a watering issue.

  • If you notice leaves having both yellow and brown colors, its means you’re overwatering.
  • if foliage that get completely yellow with crispy spots or edges means lack of water.
  • If you’re not sure which it is, feel the soil. If it is dry, odds are you’re underwatering. If the soil at that moment is even slightly moist, then you’re overwatering.

 

Soil

Since your Philodendron Prince of Orange is sensitive to overwatering, using loose, well-draining soil is crucial. It will help remove excess liquid during times you happen to overwater.

Keep in mind that well-draining soil is different from light soil like sand, which drains water too quickly for the plant. As such, if you use this kind of soil for your Prince of Orange, it will end up dehydrated as the moisture will escape a bit too quickly before the plant is able to absorb enough water or nutreints.

As such you have a number of options with potting mix.

If you prefer to go with a commercial mix from the store, choose either:

  • Cacti or succulent mix
  • African violet mix

Both are designs for plants that like your philodendron, prefer well-draining medium.

Similarly, if you already have regular potting mix at home, you can use with that. But, do add either:

  • Perlite
  • Coarse sand
  • Vermiculite
  • Pumice

These will help improve drainage for standard potting mix to make it work for your prince of orange.

Last but not least, here are some DIY potting mix options:

  • 100% sphagnum peat moss
  • Peat and perlite
  • Peat and vermiculite

As you can see, there are many ways to achieve the same results. It is just up to you to see which you prefer. And, which one produces the results you’ll be satisfied with.

 

Fertilizing

The plant is a light feeder. As such, it is better to stay on the more conservative end rather than be aggressive. Be on the lookout of brown leaf edges and tips. This is a sign of overfeeding.

That said, the plant does grow faster when properly fed. This is especially true when given enough light and watered correctly.

As such, during spring and summer, feed the plant once a month with organic houseplant fertilizer. This is ideal because organic plant food leaves much less salt residue in the soil. This prevents leaf and root burn.

However, it is more expensive and contains a lower dose. So, you don’t get the same bang for your buck compared to synthetic fertilizer.

So, you can likewise go with the latter. Although, if you do decide to use synthetic fertilizer, do flush the soil every 4 to 6 months to get rid of the mineral buildup in the soil.

Besides the liquid fertilizer, which quickly releases the plant food into the soil, you can also opt for slo release fertilizer.

This come in pellet form (granular), allowing the plant food to be dispersed into the soil at different times. This requires fewer feedings and distributes the dosage over time.

 

Pruning

Pruning is not a big issue or task for the philodendron prince of orange. For the most part, trimming is needed only to contain the size of the plant and manicuring purposes.

As always, prune old, dead, dying or damaged leaves as they aren’t healthy for your plant. This allows the plant to use all its energy and resources in the fresh and healthy growth instead of wasting it on deteriorating parts.

The one other thing you want to do is to watch out for flowers. In spring, your prince or orange may produce small white flowers. This happens more if grown outdoors. But, it can likewise occur with mature houseplants.

Since you want the plant to focus all its energy on foliage, trim off these flowers to they don’t detract growth from the plant’s main attraction, its leaves.

 

Philodendron Prince of Orange Propagation

Besides being easy to care for, the Philodendron Prince of Orange also propagates well. This allows you to create clones of the beautiful mother plant.

The best time to do this this during its growing season. Ideally, the early in the season, the better. This will allow it to grow quickly right after your plant it.

While there are a few ways to go about propagating your philodendron prince of orange, leaf and stem cuttings are the easiest. As such, most growers use one or the other.

With stem cuttings, you can either propagate in water or soil. I prefer to use water since you can see the roots develop. Similarly, cuttings grow faster in water than soil. And, I’ve noticed that propagation success increases in water.

In any case, once you’ve made the cutting, place it in a jar or glass of water.

The stem cutting should begin to root in 2 to 3 weeks. And, once the roots develop past an inch or so in length, you can move it to potting soil.

 

Philodendron Prince of Orange Transplanting & Repotting

Depending on how quickly your philodendron prince of orange grows, you may need to repot it every 1 to 2 years.

The best time to repot is during spring as this will allow the plant to recover from the shock faster. It will also let it take advantage of more space.

When repotting move the plant to at most a container that’s 2 or 3 inches larger. You don’t want to go too big because lots of soil, when watered will drown the plant.

This will result in root rot without you even overwatering the plant because its environment (too much soil) takes care of that for you.

 

Toxicity

The entire plant is toxic. So, keep it away from young children, cats and dogs. Chewing on any part of ingesting the plant can cause minor to serious side effects.

 

Pests and Diseases

Philodendron Prince of Orange don’t have a lot of problem with pests and diseases. Again, this is another aspect that makes it easy to care for.

As you probably already know by now, pests are a headache because they take a while to resolve. Similarly diseases are problematic.

As such, keeping a healthy plant is your best defense as its resistance to these issues are higher when provided with the proper loving conditions.

That said, you may still experience pests. The most common include mealybugs, spider mites and scale insects. Fungus gnats are also attracted to excess moisture as well as peat-based potting mixes.

Finally, there’s always the risk of root rot. The good news is, it is completely preventable as long as you don’t overwater the plant.

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