Pink Princess Philodendron (Philodendron Erubescens) Plant Care

Pink Princess Philodendron

The pink princess philodendron is one of the most captivating houseplants you’ll see because of its wonderful pink colored variegations. It isn’t often you’ll see a plant this these hues.

What’s even better is that it is easy to care for as long as you know what to give it (which I’ll discuss below in detail). You’ll want to read it so you know how to help the plant keep its pink shades, which it can lose without proper care.

While its botanical name is Philodendron erubescens. It is often called the pink princess philodendron, pink philodendron, pink princess or blushing philodendron. Because of its climbing and trailing nature, it is also categorized as a vining philodendron.

In one glance, you can easily tell that the plant’s crowning glory is its stunning leaves. Its leaves are dark green in color with pink variegation. This is the reasons why the plant sells out quickly in nurseries and garden centers.

The Pink Princess Philodendron

While its pink color is its main attraction, it is important to understand the value of this color to the plant. What I mean by that is you don’t want a completely pink philodendron, even if it looks magnificent.

Why?

  • Pink leaves. These are caused by the lack of chlorophyll, which is the compound that makes plants green. However, chlorophyll is what allows plants to absorb light, which in turn it uses to create energy to survive and thrive. So, without chlorophyll, you’re plant will die sooner than later. This is why an all pink philodendron is a bad sign.
  • Green leaves. These are the opposite. These are filled with chlorophyll. It is also why most plants are green in color especially the leaves (which they use to absorb light). However, if your pink philodendron is all green, then it ceases to become special. While still beautiful, it doesn’t stand out.

So, you want a balance between the pink and green foliage. That’s a sign of a healthy pink princess philodendron.

The Pink Congo

If you look around enough, you’ll see some places sell what they call the “Pink Congo”. This is your pink philodendron with all pink leaves. But, it isn’t because it lack chlorophyll. Although, in some cases, they might very well do.

Instead, Pink Congo are designed to look pretty. They do this by injected chemicals into the plant to make the leaves turn pink. Unfortunately, this is not a good way to do things because artificial chemicals are never good for plants.

Additionally, the “pink” color is only temporary. After a few months, you’ll see it fade away.

So, avoid this “species” if you see them.

Pink Princess Philodendron Plant Care

Pink Princess Philodendron Light

The pink princess philodendron grows best when it received bright, indirect light. It can likewise tolerate direct sunlight, although only for short periods of time. Thus, it is a good idea to keep them away from the path of the sun’s rays unless you have the time to move them manually on a daily basis.

Light and pruning (see the section on pruning below) both play huge roles in keeping your pink philodendron looking bright and vibrant. So, you want to get it right on both counts. Otherwise, the plant loses its value as a showstopper.

Just as importantly, having both elements on point means your plant will get the right balance of pink and green leaves. You don’t want it to have all pink leaves. And, you also don’t want it to have all green leaves.

  • The former, while amazing to look at, isn’t good because green leaves are where chlorophyll is made. Without it, your plant isn’t going to stay healthy for long. Thus, an all-pink philodendron isn’t a good sign, although marvelous to look at.
  • An all green princess philodendron won’t stand out. It just becomes another dark green foliage plant. Nobody likes that especially when you’re expecting a beautiful pink plant.

That said, too much direct sunlight for too long will cause its leaves to turn yellow. On the other hand, not enough light causes it to lose it vibrant pink hue.

  • This makes an east facing window the best spot for your plant. The early morning sunlight gives it a lot of bright natural illumination to soak up. Yet, it is very gentle such that it won’t damage your plant.
  • A west facing window will work. Although, this will depend on where you live and what time of the year it is. If you live in cooler climate conditions, it will do great in this spot. If you live in warm climates and have very hot summers, you’ll want to protect it by moving it a farther from the window or filter the light.
  • With a south facing window, you’ll be applying the same principles as that of a west facing window. But, because of the longer hours, you will want to monitor the lighting conditions throughout the day initially to see how long and how intense the sun gets at different times of the day.

 

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Pink Princess Philodendron Temperature & Humidity

Pink princess philodendrons do best when is warm, humid environments. Ideally, you want to keep the temperature between 60 and 80 degrees. This makes regular home conditions perfect for this plant. This is one reason why it is mostly grown as a houseplant.

As with other philodendrons, the pink princess is a tropical plant. So, it prefers areas where there is sunlight all year round. This makes many colder regions here in the U.S. not suitable for it as an outdoor plant.

However, if you live in USDA zones under 9 or 10, you’ll still be able to take it outside during the summertime. This, provided that, you keep it under a shade while getting bright light. And that, when fall arrives take it back inside.

Besides the temperature, you’ll want to keep he plant away from drafty and windy areas. Open windows and doors where warm or cold breezes can come in at any given times are no-no’s. You’ll also want to keep it away from fireplaces, heaters and air conditioner vents. Basically, any place where the temperature can fluctuate up and down outside of its ideal range are not suitable places.

Finally, do keep the plant in locations that have good humidity. Homes and other indoor locations work very well as long as you keep the humidity around 50% or higher.

 

Watering Pink Princess Philodendron

As with other tropical plants, the pink princess philodendron isn’t a fan of too much water. In fact, it will tolerate a little dryness over excess moisture.

Giving it too much water or allowing it to sit in water for long periods of time is one of the biggest issues can kill your pink princess. Unfortunately, it is likewise the biggest problem faced by most houseplants because many owners believe being more generous with water is good thing, which it isn’t.

Thus, the best way to keep your pink philodendron healthy is to allow it to dry out a little. You’ll know this by sticking your finger into the soil. If the top 1 inch of soil is dry, it is a sign to water again. But, if the topmost inch is still moist, wait a little longer before testing it again.

Doing this ensures that you plant isn’t too wet. It also prevents it from getting too dry. You don’t want all the soil to get dry before watering, which is also unhealthy for your plant.

In addition to proper timing, you also want to water it deeply. This means watering until the moisture begins to drip from the bottom of the container. Then, allow all the excess moisture to drain away.

This method of watering thoroughly ensures that all the soil gets moist. But, it also allows excess water to drain so the soil doesn’t get too soggy.

If you don’t let the excess moisture drain, you’ll notice the plant’s leaves turn yellow and gradually wilt. This is a sign of too much water. And, if not corrected, will lead to root rot.

 

Soil

Your pink philodendron likes it best when soil is moist and well draining. It also grows optimally soil that’s rich in organic matter.

That said, it is very important to make sure that it has the ability to drain water. Thus, using a high quality orchid mix is a great option if you don’t want to make your own mixture. You can likewise create your own soil-less mixture using a combination of peat and perlite.

 

Fertilizing

Like other philodendrons, the pink princess behaves differently during the year. Between March to September, it goes through its growing season. Then, during fall and winter, it rests.

Why is this important?

You’ll be using these seasons as a guide when to fertilize and when not to feed your plant.

Ideally, you want to feed it once a month during the spring and summer when it is growing. Many home gardeners will keep feeding it until about October. Then, stop to allow the plant to rest during the colder months before starting again when next spring arrives.

Keep in mind that growing plants in containers is very different from growing them in your garden. Garden soil contains all the organic matter and nutrients that help them grow. In contrast, most potting mixes are not soil at all (unless you get a soil-based mixed).

This means potted plants need regular feeding during their growing season to get the nutrients they need. In this case, you want to use a balanced fertilizer.

That said, you never want to overdo fertilizer. Doing so results in fertilizer burn. This is why it is always a good idea to flush the soil’s fertilizer salts once every 6 months or so. You can do this by pouring water until it begins to drain. Then allow the excess moisture to drip out along the fertilizer residue buildup.

 

Pruning Pink Princess Philodendron

This is probably the most interesting section about the plant. That’s because besides proper lighting, it is pruning that will help your plant keep it wonderful pink hue.

As I’ve explained above, an “all pink” philodendron is not what you want. Instead, you want a good balance between the pink and green leaves.

So if your plants become completely green or completely pink, it is time to prune your plant. This will help it grow back with a more balanced look of dark green with pink variegations.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee. And, you may need to prune it a few times before it starts to balance out again.

That said, an all pink or all green princess isn’t the only time you’ll need to prune this plant. Because of its vining nature, it can get messy and out of control. Similarly, you’ll want to trim it back to control its size and shape.

Plus, doing so on a regular basis gives you a bushier plant that’s not only healthy but also looks fuller.

 

Pink Princess Philodendron Propagation

One of the best features of the pink princess philodendron is that it is very easy to propagate. This means you can grow more of these amazing looking plants when you want without having to go to the nursery to buy them.

Because of their long trailing vines, it is easy to propagate them through stem cuttings. Here’s how.

  • The best time to propagate via stem cutting is during spring. You’ll also want to do it while pruning your plant because the trimming process is the same.
  • Pick a healthy stem. You want one with at least two or three leaves. Make sure that the leaves are healthy and look good.
  • Cut the stems below their nodes. Depending on how experienced you are and how many new pink philodendrons you want to grow, you can cut one or more stems. The reason being propagation doesn’t have a 100% success rate. And, if you’re just starting out, you may want to have a few extra backup ones.
  • Put the cuttings into a jar filled with water. Then, wait.
  • Within a few weeks, the stem cuttings should start to root.
  • Once the roots are about 2 to 3 inches long, you can move them to a pot with fresh soil. You can likewise leave it in water for a little longer before moving. It’s up to you.

If you don’t like waiting for a plant to root and grow from “scratch”, another option is to propagate your pink princess through division. This is messier and takes a little bit more work.

But, it allows you get a “fully grown” or semi-grown plant instantly. Here’s how.

As with stem cuttings, the best time to divide your philodendron is during the spring. But this time, you’ll want to divide it when you repot your plant because the process goes through similar steps.

  • Remove the plant from its current pot.
  • Choose a healthy section of the plant. This you’ll want to start from the top picking a healthy stem with beautiful pink leaves. Then trace it down into the roots and mark the area of the root ball where the roots go down.
  • The section your marked is what you’ll separate from the rest of the roots. Ideally, you want to pick a section that has 2-3 stems attached to it. Again, this has to do with getting a fuller plant.
  • Repot both the new and mother plant in their own pots, giving each one fresh potting mixes.
  • Water each of them thoroughly.

 

Pink Princess Philodendron Transplanting & Repotting

You will want to repot your mature Philodendron erubescens every couple of years. Although, you’ll often be able to tell when its time to move it to a larger container just by looking at the plant.

Once you see roots starting to grow out of its container, or if the plant is getting to big for its current pot, it is time to move it to something bigger.

Repotting is very important because it allows your pink princes philodendron to keep growing optimally. Leaving it in smaller pot will stunt or slow growth. Additionally, when you repot, you’ll be able to supply it with fresh potting soil that’s less compact that one that’s spent.

Finally, keeping the plant in a smaller container results in it becoming root bound. This reduces draining and increases the risk of overwatering.

Here’s how to repot your pink princess philodendron.

  • The best time to repot is during the spring. During its growing season it is better at overcoming the stress and shock of being transplanted. Plus, it will be able to take full advantage of fresh potting soil.
  • Before you take the plant out of the container, make sure you have the new container and fresh potting soil on hand. This makes the move seamless.
  • Gently take out the plant from the container. This is often easier said than done, so be patient. With rootbound plants, it will be harder since the root ball will be compact and larger in size squeezing against the container. Make sure not to jar or jolt the plant which increases the shock.
  • Once you get the root ball out, inspect it. You want to dust away excess dirt and soil. You also want to trim off soggy roots and brown colored roots. Finally, untangle the roots that have curled around one another.
  • Fill the new pot with potting soil. Use the plant to gauge how high you need the soil at the bottom of the pot to be.
  • Insert the root ball into the pot and fill the extra space with potting mix. Pat down but not too tightly. Remember you want to keep soil loose.
  • Water thoroughly

 

Toxicity

As beautiful as they look, pink princess philodendron are toxic to your pets and humans as well. So, if you own cats or dogs, you’ll want to keep them away from this plant.

The reason being that they contain calcium oxalate crystals in their sap. So, when the leaves or stems are ingested, this causes irritation in the mouth, throat and digestive system. It likewise irritates skin which makes it a good idea to wear gloves when pruning or working with this plant.

 

Pests and Diseases

A well cared for Philodendron erubescens will be resistant to pests and diseases. However, because of overwatering and the fact that it likes humidity, it can be susceptible to both, due to excess moisture.

When it comes to pests, mealybugs and aphids are the two most common enemies of this plant. So, make sure to inspect your plant on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, the main culprit for disease is overwatering. This is both true in the soil as well as on its leaves. So, it is crucial to avoid watering too much or too often.

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