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This wonderful Philodendron has beautiful pink variegation that can cover the entire surface of the leaf and is one of the most popular philodendrons.
The hybrid philodendron variety ‘Pink Princess’ has a modest growth rate, vivid pink variegated leaf, and an erect, vining habit.
True to its P Erubescens parentage, its foliage is dark purplish-green with striking pink variegation. Pink Princess requires medium maintenance.
- Pink Princess Philodendron Care
- Pink Princess Philodendron Care Best-Practice
- Potting Soil That Will Best Care for Philodendron Pink Princess
- Light-Levels That Will Best Care for Philodendron Pink Princess
- Watering Care for Philodendron Pink Princess
- Potting and Repotting
- Philodendron Pink Princess Propagation
- Common Problems with Philodendron Pink Princess
- Possible Causes for Brown or Yellow Leaves on Philodendron Pink Princess
- Frequently Asked Questions About Philodendron Pink Princess Care
- Philodendron Pink Princess Care Wrap-up
- My Book Composting Masterclass Is Available Now!
While Philodendron is generally considered one of the easier indoor plants requiring limited care, the Pink Princess needs some royal care.
But fear not; this article will cover all you need to care for your Philodendron Pink Princess.
Pink Princess Philodendron Care
Below is an overview of Pink Princess Philodendron’s care
|Other names:||Blushing Philodendron|
|Soil:||Use a humus rich, well-draining soil – see the detailed guide below|
|Watering:||Avoid scheduled watering; instead being informed by the dryness of the soil – see the guide below|
|Light:||Bright indirect light or semi-shadow|
|Temperature:||Night: 54 to 68⁰ F (12 to 20⁰ C)|
Day: 68 to 85 ⁰F (20 to 30 ⁰C)
|Humidity:||Philodendron thrives in high humidity but requires adequate air circulation.|
|Propagation:||Propagate by cuttings or division, ideally when temperatures are between 70 to 75 °F (~21 to 24 °C). Full details below|
|Pruning:||Prune to improve a compact plant|
|Fertilizer:||Use organic, slow-release fertilizer in spring.|
|Repotting:||Repotting is generally required every two years. Best done in spring, summer, or early fall. Let root density inform repotting schedules.|
|Pests:||Mealybugs, scale, and aphids. Sprinkle them off with a bit of water.|
|Toxicity:||All Philodendrons are poisonous if ingested, and the sap can irritate the skin. To keep your pets or children safe, place the plant on a high shelf out of their reach.|
Pink Princess Philodendron Care Best-Practice
Our success at growing any plant indoors depends on the following:
- How accurately can we replicate its natural habitat
- How able are we to defend it against local threats (pests and diseases)
Pink Princess is a hybrid of the P Erubescens, also known as the red-leaf Phili. These plants are native to the tropical American rain forests, growing under the tree canopy in humus-rich soil.
Let’s consider the different elements that this environment would offer our princess.
- Soil characteristics – water management, aeration, consistency, constitution, pH, and nutritional content.
- Water needs – availability, need for dry periods, and quantity.
- Light levels.
- Humidity levels.
- Nutritional needs
- Propagation means and alternatives
- A possible response to growing in containers (Potting and repotting needs)
- Potential local risks
These essential elements vary according to the plant species and their evolutionary adaptation to the specific conditions of their natural habitat.
While we can acclimatize plants through hardening off, we cannot change their natural requirements.
Potting Soil That Will Best Care for Philodendron Pink Princess
Pink Princess Philodendron needs soil that drains well yet can retain moisture.
Our ideal soil will provide our plant with adequate aeration (avoiding anaerobic conditions), maintain the proper pH, and ensure the soil has sufficient cation exchange capacity (CEC).
If you’ve had the opportunity to read my Composting Masterclass book, you’d understand why I’m so passionate about using compost, even in potting soil.
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A good potting mix for your Pink Princess Philodendron should include the following ingredients in the given proportions:
- One part compost (25%)
- Two parts coconut coir (50%)
- Half a part of pumice (or perlite) (12.5%)
- Half a part expanded shale, or LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) (12.5%)
Adding compost to potting soil has several benefits; an essential one is the soil’s increased ability to keep nutrients available for plant access.
Cation exchange capacity (CEC) can be seen as magnetizing the soil to keep water and some cation-charged nutrients in the ground.
Soils with low CEC (like sand) cannot retain moisture and nutrients; they simply flow through the soil.
While sphagnum peat moss is often given as the default potting mix, I have found that coconut coir is a better option. One of the main reasons I prefer coconut coir is its ready inclination to accept watering.
Coconut coir has outstanding water retention and drainage abilities, with most forms of coir holding up to nine times their weight in water.
This natural air-to-water ratio helps nourish plant root systems without oversaturating them or putting them at risk of root rot.
Unlike perlite, pumice manages water well while boosting aeration.
Expanded shale, like pumice, does not break down like organic materials, so the soil stays aerated for years. It helps make potting soils airy, light, and water-retentive.
Potting Soil Basics
You have several options to replicate your spider plant’s natural soil environment. While the spider plant is native to forested moist river valleys, the succulent roots enable the plant to cope during extended dry spells.
Even though this article is focused on watering the spider plant, the guidelines can be applied to any houseplant.
We’ll be reviewing the technical aspects of potting soil’s water and air management capacities, different substrates, and everything that contributes to growing healthy indoor plants.
In growing any plant indoors, six factors relating to potting soils need consideration:
- Moisture management – a balance between drainage and moisture retention
- Air Management – avoidance of anaerobic conditions
- Nutrient management – an ability to store and release essential plant nutrients
- The role of microorganisms in plant resilience and needs
- Plant requirements for acidic or alkaline soil (pH requirements)
- Plant anchorage – ensuring the media isn’t so light that the plant cannot remain reasonably erect in winds
The Essential Elements of a Good Potting Soil
Our physiological composition allows us to go without water for a maximum of three days and without food for three weeks (depending on our physical reserves).
Plant roots, like humans, need access to water and air; if submerged in water for an extended period, roots will drown.
Balancing Moisture Retention and Aeration
A carefully graded soil allows the water to drain to the bottom of the pot, where it builds up a little before escaping from the drainage holes.
The fractional difference between added and drained water amounts to the water retained in the soil.
If the soil is healthy, it contains micropores that trap air even when flooded, allowing it to retain air essential for the plant’s continued health. These two soil attributes are field capacity and saturation porosity.
- Field Capacity is the water content remaining after saturation and drainage.
- Saturation Porosity is the air content remaining in the soil after saturation and drainage.
Your Philodendron Pink Princess wants access to water without being drowned, i.e., a balance between water and air availability.
To measure these interplaying factors, test the soil mix before planting, using a container of known volume and manageable draining holes.
Inexpensive yet effective components with good drainage and water absorption include perlite, calcine clay, bark, pea gravel, and granite grit.
|Material||Saturated Porosity (SP) – Air||Field Capacity (FC) – Water|
|Calcine Clay (Turface or Haydite)||28%||40 – 60%|
By concocting these ingredients, an ideal potting mix can be created for any plant, including succulents, bonsai, orchids, and, you guessed it, your Philodendron Pink Princess too. But what else is needed to meet the demands of your plant?
Light-Levels That Will Best Care for Philodendron Pink Princess
According to the University of Illinois, Philodendrons (also the Peace Lily and Pothos) are considered low-light plants, meaning they can be kept at a North-facing window (in the Northern hemisphere).
However, because the variegation compromises the photosynthesis capacity of the plant, provide your Philodendron Pink Princess with medium light by keeping it near an East or West window.
In the Northern hemisphere, medium bright light (250 – 1000 foot-candle) indoors will be provided by the sun entering an east or west-facing window. The sun entering south-facing or west-facing windows will provide high light (500 – 1000 FC) indoors.
Most plants require a period of darkness to develop correctly, so illuminate them for no more than 16 hours each day, especially if artificial light is combined with natural light.
Plants generally need light above 750-foot candles for optimum development. You can provide that by giving them artificial light that is 15 watts or more per square foot of growing space.
For plants that require low to medium light levels, a fixture with two fluorescent tubes is enough.
Watering Care for Philodendron Pink Princess
Overwatering is the main reason why potted plants die. When surrounded by water, roots can’t breathe – as crucial to roots as to humans.
The general rule is to only water when necessary. To decide when to water, one may utilize the following techniques:
- Touch-Test: The most accurate test for soil moisture is to feel how dry the potting soil feels. If the mixture is dry at your fingertip after inserting your finger up to the second digit, it needs water.
- Tap the Pot: When potting mix in a clay pot starts to dry up, it shrinks away from its sides. Use a stick or your knuckles to tap the pot’s side. Water is required if the sound is hollow; if the sound is dull, the soil is moist.
- Estimate weight: It’s easy to see a weight reduction as potting mixtures dry up.
- Assess soil color: As potting combinations dry, their color will shift from dark to lighter.
Deep watering removes accumulated salts and ensures that most of the roots in the bottom two-thirds of the pot get enough water. Empty the tray, and don’t let the pot sit in the accumulated water.
You need to use a pot with plenty of drainage holes on the bottom corners for the best results. The tray often blocks drainage holes only on the bottom – unless you space them off the tray.
The Role of Water in Plant Care
Water serves many critical functions in all living organisms. In plants, water plays a pivotal role in photosynthesis and serves as a transport vehicle for mineral salts (ions) and carbohydrates.
Water also plays other roles in your plant’s life:
Water as a Constituent
80–90% of the fresh weight of herbaceous plants and more than 59% of the fresh weight of woody plants are made up of water.
Water as a Solvent
More compounds dissolve in water than any other substance, making it the universal solvent. As a result, water serves as the medium in which biological reactants are dissolved in cells for chemical reactions.
Water as a Reactant
In the biochemical reactions of the cell, water is a reactant.
One of these processes is photosynthesis, where water provides hydrogen protons necessary for producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), and the electrons are ultimately used to reduce carbon to a carbohydrate.
Water also contributes to the oxygen that is produced during photosynthesis.
Water is also a reactant in the hydrolysis of plant food reserves like starch. Water molecules are injected between the glucose units of the starch polymer during starch hydrolysis, converting starch to sugar.
Water as Essential Transport
Water circulation carries the minerals from the soil across the root, up the stem, and throughout the plant. Carbohydrates, which develop in photosynthesis, are also distributed through the plant by water.
In the growing medium, plant roots create a branching network, and the ends of the youngest roots are responsible for water and mineral salt uptake.
These root hairs are located directly behind the tips of root branches, developing as the outer layer of the root’s cells becomes more extended, increasing the surface area for absorption (by osmosis) of the soil’s available mineral and water content.
Water as a Component of Growth
Small cavities (vacuoles) form during cell division, absorbing water that transports mineral deposits. As the water diffuses into the tiny vacuoles, it creates pressure inside the cell, causing them to expand and increase.
As the cells mature, they no longer grow but maintain water pressure inside as the vacuoles merge and unite into a central vacuole. The walls get so thick that they lose elasticity.
Water and Turgidity
Water pressure against mature cells’ interior helps keep their form.
If the pressure is lost (for example, due to excessive evaporation, mortality, or exposure to salt solutions), the cells may lose their turgidity and become flaccid.
Many tissues, such as leaves and annual plants without lignin or other reinforcing components, take their shape from the turgidity of cells.
Water and the Plant’s Thermal Stability
Water requires more heat energy to raise its temperature than other common substances.
Because of this, plants, composed primarily of water, may absorb a large quantity of heat (such as from sunshine) while slowly increasing in temperature.
Similarly, the same number of calories must be wasted to drop the water temperature (for a plant), allowing plant temperature to stay close to air temperature during brief cold spells.
The high water content in a plant helps aid temperature stability while air temperatures fluctuate.
The Philodendron Pink Princess is a tropical plant and prefers warmer temperatures. Indoor plants should be exposed to minimum temperatures of between 54 to 68⁰ F (12 to 20⁰ C) and daytime temperatures between 68 to 85 ⁰F (20 to 30 ⁰C).
When propagating, try to maintain a temperature above 74⁰ F (23⁰ C)
The essential part of managing humidity for your Philodendron Pink Princess is keeping it constant. Fluctuating humidity levels will cause your plant to lose leaves. Aim to maintain a humidity level of above 60%.
An ideal indoor humidity level for humans is between 30% and 50%. A 50% humidity level means that the air holds half the total amount of moisture it can contain.
To achieve a 60% relative humidity level, you will need to implement one of the following three solutions:
- Cluster plants together so that their combined transpiration boost RH
- Place the pot in a tray of LECA that is kept damp. The evaporation will boost RH
- Acquire a humidifier, opting for one that provides a reasonable cycle between needing a refill.
Philodendron Pink Princess is not a hungry plant, and I like to use organic fertilizer (blood meal, bone meal, kelp, guano, etc.) on my indoor plants.
A complete mix includes nitrogen, phosphate, potash, and magnesium. Repeat a quarter-diluted application every two months for the first year, then gradually increase the amount of fertilizer to half-dilution every 4 to 6 months as the vine grows.
Once the plant is established, fertilize it in early spring and in October. Don’t fertilize during the winter when the plant is not actively growing and needs to hibernate.
Using Epsom Salts
Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) lowers the pH and provides magnesium and sulfur, two nutrients often deficient in alkaline soils. Benefits of magnesium for your Philodendron Pink Princess include:
- Aids photosynthesis by helping your Philodendron Pink Princess create chlorophyll
- Promotes healthy cell division and protein formation
- Increases Philodendron Pink Princess’ ability to retain water
- Allows the Philodendron Pink Princess to take in and use phosphorus
Magnesium has a poor cation exchange capacity (CEC), i.e., it binds poorly to soil particles. The only way your plant gets access to it is if it remains in situ near the roots.
Only invest your money in the Pink Princess variety of pink Philodendron, which features pink variegation and dark green colors on the same leaf.
Its most distinctive characteristic is the Pink Princess plant’s foliage, which has huge, glossy, dark-green leaves with hot pink variegation.
From a distance, the underside of the leaves may seem copper or chocolate in hue, mainly because the dark green and pink tones blend to produce a largely chocolatey tint.
The plant has an epiphytic, vining growth habit, which causes it to develop aerial roots from nodes and attach itself to supports. If a trellis or moss pole is present, the plant will develop in an upright position.
Potting and Repotting
The Pink Princess prefers slightly rootbound conditions, so don’t rush to repot. Repotting should only be done once you notice roots growing out of the pot’s drainage holes or the pot’s water-holding capacity is noticeably limited.
Philodendron Pink Princess is simple to repot, but avoid buying a markedly larger pot than the one the plant is already in. Ideally, the new pot should only be one size larger than the current pot.
Always cut directly above the node when pruning a Pink Princess or any other vining plant, for that matter. This indicates that the portion you removed lacks a node close to the cut end.
This type of pruning stimulates the Philodendron to produce strong leaves.
To assist in maintaining the plant’s energy and to keep it in excellent health, it is advised that you remove any damaged or diseased leaves as soon as you notice them.
Get your Pink Princess clipped to encourage balanced variegation in each leaf if you see it is generating either green or only pink leaves.
Always cut directly above the node when pruning a Pink Princess or any other vining plant, for that matter. This indicates that the portion you removed lacks a node close to the cut end.
Philodendron Pink Princess Propagation
Cuttings or air-layering are both simple methods for growing the Philodendron Pink Princess. In 3–4 weeks, cuttings take root in water or vermiculite; in 1-2 weeks, buds will begin to grow under warm conditions.
The best practice is to group many rooted cuttings into a single container.
Propagate Philodendron Pink Princess in water
Find a section of your Philodendron Pink Princess vine with a few leaves and a few nodes, then propagate it in water (where the leaves and roots grow out of the stem).
Cut at a 45-degree angle, about a quarter-inch below a node, with a clean set of shears.
If you cut below a node, the node will be part of the cutting. Because that is where new roots will grow, it is crucial to add.
Place the cutting in a jar with room-temperature water, ensuring that at least one node—preferably more—is submerged. If there are any leaves below the surface, remove them gently because they have a propensity to decay.
Within the first week or two, you should notice little roots forming, but it will be at least a few weeks before the roots are sufficiently long to allow you to pot the cutting. Give the roots room to grow to a few inches.
You can treat your cutting like a typical plant after you’ve placed it in potting soil and given it a good watering!
Propagate Philodendron Pink Princess in Vermiculite
To propagate your Philodendron Pink Princess in vermiculite (or perlite, or pumice), start with the same first step to take a cutting.
Place the base of your cutting into a small container with moistened vermiculite. Make sure at least one node, more, if possible, is buried. Don’t bury any of the leaves – instead, remove them.
Keep the vermiculite moist (but not wet), allowing the roots to develop. Regularly misting the vermiculite keeps it sufficiently moist for root growth.
Before a new root system forms, at least a few weeks will pass. You may check this by giving the cutting a very light tug after about a month.
If there is resistance, a root system has developed, and you can plant it (them) in a potting mix (see above)
Air-Layering Philodendron Pink Princess
The phenomenon of air layering propagation frequently happens in nature. An example is when a low branch or stem reaches the ground and establishes roots.
The newly rooted stem receives identical genetic material directly, and this stem can then be severed from the parent plant to begin a new plant.
Air layering is relatively easy to do. Coconut coir that has just been wet is wrapped around a damaged stem portion.
Peel the bark off a section of a branch in the middle, then wrap moss over the wound and fasten it with floral ties or plant twine. To keep the moisture in, cover everything with plastic wrap.
Roots will emerge in about three weeks, after which you can cut below the rooted section for Philodendron Pink Princess plant duplication. I think that’s so clever.
Common Problems with Philodendron Pink Princess
Philodendron generally has few pest problems but is occasionally affected by insects or diseases. Root rots, with symptoms of brown or nonexistent roots, are commonly promoted by overwatering.
Blackening of the leaf margins or tips can be caused by overwatering, inadequate watering, or excess fertilizer (because of the buildup of salts in the soil). The discoloration of the soil is often accompanied by leaves becoming yellow.
The most common insect pests infesting Philodendron Pink Princess in homes are mealybugs and scales. Mealybugs appear as white, cottony masses, frequently in the leaf axils, on the lower surfaces of leaves, and even on the roots. Check out my article on dealing with mealybugs.
Scales look like bark-colored bumps on the stems and leaves and are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the plant material on which they feed. These pests may produce copious amounts of honeydew (many, but not all, do), so the leaves and nearby surfaces may be sticky and sooty mold may develop.
Infested plants become stunted, and with severe infestations, plant parts begin to die. Pesticides may be used to control these insects, but often it is better to discard the plant and start over with clean plants or cuttings.
Spider mites occasionally infest Philodendron Pink Princess and can easily be controlled with a thorough cleaning and frequent applications of insecticidal soap.
Low light can result in loss of variegation. Low temperatures or abrupt changes from very high to moderate temperatures can cause scattered brown patches, usually located in the center of the leaf, especially if plants are thriving.
Possible Causes for Brown or Yellow Leaves on Philodendron Pink Princess
There are eight reasons you Philodendron Pink Princess can start developing yellow or brown leaves (both of which are a poor color match for pink)
Ineffective Potting Soil
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most common causes. If we have a very compact substrate that retains a lot of moisture, the roots of our plants will rot, which will cause their leaves to turn yellow or brown.
If we do not measure the amounts of fertilizer given, there is a reasonable probability we’ll burn the plant’s roots. Rot burn will affect your plant within days, causing the leaves to turn yellow or fall off.
Sometimes we think that the more direct sun, the better they will grow, but our Philodendron Pink Princess does not like direct sunlight. As a hybrid of a tropical plant, it prefers medium light – too much light will burn the leaves.
Depending on the pest, it can affect the roots or the leaves. With roots, we can only see the damage when we repot. If your leaves have chlorosis, check your roots if all the other environmental conditions haven’t recently changed.
This is also one of the most common causes. If we over-irrigate or use water with a lot of chlorine (direct from the tap without resting), we will end up damaging the roots in the same way as if we have poor potting soil.
Too Much or Too Little Water
In this case, we can observe it at the tips of the leaves. It is likely due to a lack of humidity if they are brittle and brown.
It is likely due to excess moisture if they are brown or yellow and softer. This can cause fungus, so we must be cautious.
Not many people take this point into account, but it is very common to lose several leaves or even all when buying a plant. There is no need to worry as the plant needs some time to adapt.
The vast majority of the time, when we have a plant with yellow leaves, it is due to this. We must remember that as the plant grows, the leaves below contribute less to it and receive less light than the rest of the leaves since they cover them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Philodendron Pink Princess Care
Philodendron Pink Princess Care Wrap-up
The Philodendron Pink Princess is a true gem in the houseplant collection, with its beautiful variegation making it stand out. You’re in for a fantastic treat if you’re prepared for a possibly wide range of growth and coloring.
If you look after your Pink Princess Philodendron, it will continue to produce beautiful leaves for many years. If you love indoor plants and Philodendrons, you may also be interested in my other articles on other indoor plants: 25 Types Of Philodendrons The Ultimate Houseplants List.
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