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How to Care For Philodendron Pink Princess

If you’re looking for something that is at once elegant and different from most other houseplants, then the pink princess philodendron (Philodendron erubescens ‘pink princess’) might be just what you need. The deep, dark green leaves with bright pink variegation is what gives this vining plant its unique appeal.

Pink Princess Philodendron Variegated Leaves with green and pink in a gray pot.

Image Source: Raining624

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In the world of indoor plants, there aren’t many options for those who prefer something a little bit more whimsical unless you count the peace lily or fiddle-leaf fig as cute and quirky. But if you’re looking for something that is at once elegant and different from most other houseplants, then the pink princess philodendron (Philodendron erubescens ‘pink princess’) might be just what you need.
The deep, dark green leaves with bright pink variegation is what gives this vining plant its unique appeal. This article will explain everything you need to know about growing a pink princess philodendron indoors and out, including light, water, temperature and humidity requirements.

What is a Pink Princess Philodendron

Pink princess philodendron foliage and training up a trellis.
Image Source:A collector's wishlist item, the pink princess philodendron carries beautiful pink and green variegation in its leaves.
At the top of many a plant collector’s wishlists, the pink princess philodendron plant (Philodendron erubescens ‘pink princess’) is a highly sought-after, rarer tropical plant. Its foliage features dark-green leaves with pink variegation, and if you’re lucky, sometimes fully pink leaves! Native to South America and Columbia, the pink princess is an aroid loving moisture, humidity, and lots of sun.
They tend to be slow to moderate growers branching out in a vining fashion. Being vining plants, pink princesses are great for hanging baskets, shelves, trellises, and moss poles.
Oftentimes confused with Pink Congo philodendron, the variegation in a pink princess comes from natural processes. The pink leaves on the Pink Congo philodendron are chemically injected to induce plant hormones that temporarily would change the color of its leaves and revert back to green after 6-12 months. We do not recommend purchasing a Philodendron Pink Congo so buyer beware!
Pro Tip Icon
Buyer Beware: Pink Congo Philodendron
The pink leaves on the Pink Congo philodendron are chemically injected to induce plant hormones that temporarily would change the color of its leaves and revert back to green after 6-12 months. We do not recommend purchasing a Philodendron Pink Congo so buyer beware!

What causes variegation in a pink princess?

The pink color on the leaves is caused by a lack of chlorophyll in the leaves. Because chlorophyll is important for healthy plant growth, some greenness on the leaves is also necessary for the plant to survive. Ironically, variegation has been generally seen as a symptom of the plant being sick.
After all, natural variegation comes from plant mutations and because of the lack of chlorophyll, makes it difficult for the plant to get the energy it needs efficiently. However, due to its unique aesthetic, variegation has become every plant parent’s dream over the last few years. 
The pink princess is actually a manmade hybrid of Philodendron Erubescens although no one can trace its true origin. It actually was fairly common and cheap back in the 70s. Due to the rise in demand today, it’s now considered a rare plant.

Quick Pink Princess Plant Care Guide

Botanical Name
Philodendron Erubescens ‘Pink Princess’
Common Names
Pink Princess Philodendron, Philodendron Pink Princess, Pink Philodendron, PPP
Family
Araceae
Difficulty
Intermediate
Plant Type
Evergreen, perennial vine
Growth Rate
Moderate
Sun Exposure
Bright, indirect light. Low light causes variegation loss.
Water
Moderate, make sure to let top soil dry between waterings
Soil Type
Well-draining, houseplant soil mix (perlite, peat moss, pumice, etc)
Humidity
Moderate to High (50%+)
Temperature
60-80 degrees Fahrenheit
Propagation
Stem Cuttings
Growing Season | Bloom Time
Spring, Summer
Window Locations (Ideal)
South, West-facing windows. East-facing (lower light)
USDA Hardiness Zones
9, 10, 11
Toxicity
Toxic to dogs and cats
Pests
Aphids, Mealybugs, Spider Mites, Thrips
Issues/Diseases
Root rot, yellow leaves, brown leaves
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Pink Princess Philodendron Care

A well sought after plant with a high price tag, the pink princess philodendron is an easy to care for beautiful plant. Tropical plant native to Colubmia and South America in general, this philodendron loves warm, high humidity levels, lots of bright indirect light, and moist soil. Lets dig into the best pink princess plant care tips and how to best take care of your new philodendron to upkeep its beautiful, pink leaves!

Caring for variegated plants

Variegation in plants stems from mutation as the plants are bred and grow. Historically, variegation was seen as a sickness in the plant. Because of the lack of chlorophyll in variegated regions of the plant, these types of plants tend to be more fragile and require nuanced, proper care.
If a plant has less chlorophyll, it isn’t able to absorb as much sunlight as healthy or their unvariegated counterparts. Therefore, light is one of the most important characteristics in maintaining a variegated plant like a pink princess. Low light conditions can cause the variegation to revert because the plant needs more chlorophyll to support itself in such conditions.

Growing Outdoors

These plants thrive in USDA hardiness zones 9, 10, and 11. If you’re growing outside of these areas, make sure to bring your plant indoors for the winter. Although pink princesses love light, they are not tolerant of prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
Outdoors, plant them in a bright but shaded area. The warmer the weather, the easier it is for soil to dry out so make sure you’re keeping the soil moist when growing outdoors. Due to its aerial roots, the pink princess plant grows great on the trellis, moss poles, fences, and walls adding a stunning, colorful decor to your outdoor space.

💧 Water

Allow the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil to dry between waterings and water thoroughly allowing water to drain through all the way so as to not water log the soil. Overwatering can cause soggy soil and make the pink princess plant susceptible to root rot. Make sure to plant in a pot with drainage holes.
Overwatering is one of the most common issues, especially with the philodendron pink princess, so be cautious when in doubt. As a rule of thumb, once a week is a good watering cadence.

☀️ Sunlight

Pink Princess philodendrons love bright light. You will want to place them in a spot that receives several hours of bright, diffused light. South-facing windows are ideal for receiving bright light the majority of the day.
West-facing is another option for window placement as west-facing windows receive bright, indirect light for half of the day.
Pro Tip Icon
Pro Tip: Maintaining PPP Variegation
Light is key to maintain variegation of the green and pink leaves. Make sure your ppp is receiving bright, diffused light.
Light is a key factor in determining the pink variegation on the plant’s leaves. Without enough light, the pink princess can revert back to green leaves and lose the pink variegated leaves that make it so stunning.
To increase variegation, you can expose the pink princess to a couple of hours of direct light. If you don’t have an easy light source, grow the pink princess near a grow light to make up for the lack of sunlight and maintain variegation. 

🌡️ Temperature and Humidity

The pink princess thrives in warm environments with high humidity levels. They are somewhat hardy plants and will thrive in most household environments with the right water and light care. The most ideal temperatures for pink princess are between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are not frost tolerant plants, so avoid growing them in conditions below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re growing outdoors, make sure to overwinter if temperatures fall below 60 degrees.
To encourage humidity and moisture, you can use a small humidifier in your space. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can place the plant on top of a tray of pebbles and water. Misting is also another option, especially in hot, dry weather. Grouping houseplants together can naturally encourage higher humidity to support the plant’s growth.

🌱 Potting Soil 

Potting soil for the philodendron pink princess (PPP) should retain moisture and be well-draining so as to not become soggy. The most ideal growing medium for these plants is peat-based soil with drainage enhancers such as perlite and orchid bark.

Since these philodendrons have aerial roots, you have an option of growing in a non-soil-based medium such as 100% sphagnum moss or peat and perlite mixtures. If you want to aid your plant in absorbing key nutrients and trace minerals while fighting off disease and pests, add worm castings to your soil.

🌻 Fertilizer

Pink Princess loves to be fertilized during the growing season in Spring and Summer. Fertilize monthly with a liquid houseplant fertilizer (20-20-20). If using slow-release fertilizer, make sure you’re watering consistently. If the plant is dry for a prolonged period of time, salt damage can occur.
Pro Tip Icon
Pro Tip: Use High Quality Fertilizer
 Make sure to use high-quality, liquid houseplant fertilizer with micronutrients like calcium and magnesium. Cheap-quality liquid fertilizers can contain heavy salts damaging the roots of your plant.  Stop fertilizing your plant in the early fall as it enters dormancy in fall and winter.
Overfertilizing
Too much fertilizer is detrimental to your plant’s growth. Fertilizer contains mineral salts that can accumulate in the soil and cause root burn when the root tips become blunted, brown, or black.
This stumps the growth of the plant. To prevent fertilizer burn, you will want to cleanse your soil every couple of months by running water slowly through the potting mix for a couple of minutes. Let it fully drain and resume your regular care routine.

✂️ Pruning and Maintenance

Pruning your PPP (Pink Princess Philodendron) will encourage new growth and keep your plant looking bushy and healthy. The most optimal time to prune is during the plant’s growing season in spring (and summer) so it can quickly recover. 
When pruning, use sterilized garden shears or scissors. To sterilize, you can disinfect with alcohol or bleach to prevent the spread of disease. You will want to prune any leaves that show disease or are damaged. Prune your plant above a leaf node (where the leaf attaches to the stem of the plant). After pruning, you will see new leaves sprout from the same area.
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How to Repot Pink Princess Philodendron

Generally, you should consider repotting your PPP every one to two years. Signs that you need to repot your pink princess include stunted growth, roots coming out of your pot’s drainage hole, and root rot. When you’re ready to repot, follow these steps:
  • Step 1: Select a container 1 to 2 inches larger than your last container to give your pink princess’s roots more room to spread their legs. 
  • Step 2: Gently remove the plant from the pot. Softly brush away any soil and soil clumps bound to the roots.
  • Step 3: Unbundle any root balls and inspect the roots closely. You will want to trim any dead, mushy, brown or black roots (sign of root rot). Use sterilized shears when trimming.
  • Step 4: Fill up your new container with soil to stabilize your new plant to level you prefer once planted. 
  • Step 5: Place your plant in the new pot and back-fill with fresh, well-draining soil. 
  • Step 6: Water and follow proper maintenance for your newly repotted plant!

Common Pink Princess Pests and Issues

Pink princess philodendron variegated foliage with pink and green leaves.
Image Source:Pink Princess can be susceptible to common houseplant pests. In particular mostly to do with over watering.
Like most houseplants, the pink princess is prone to common issues due to improper light, water, and feeding conditions. Let's cover how you can prevent and address the most common ailments:

Leaves are reverting and losing variegation

Loss of variegation is most commonly caused by a lack of light. Because variegated parts of the pink princess’s leaves lack chlorophyll, this houseplant needs bright light in order to maintain its health. If the pink princess isn’t receiving enough light, it’ll start to produce more chlorophyll reverting the leaves’ variegation so it can sustain itself.
To solve this problem, place your pink princess in a spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight.

Leaves are curling

If your pink princess leaves are curling, this is a sign of either a dry or cool environment.
Check whether your pink princess is placed next to an air conditioner, an exterior door, or a window that receives cold drafts. Move your plant away from these areas.
If you live in a low humidity area or are running a heater during the winter, you’ll want to ensure your pink princess is receiving enough proper moisture. To increase humidity, you can use a small humidifier, place your plant in commonly humid areas such as the laundry room or bathroom, or place your plant on top of a tray filled with pebbles and water. Grouping houseplants together can also encourage more humidity.

Yellow Leaves

The most common cause of yellow leaves is overwatering which can also lead to root rot. Overwatering doesn’t always mean watering too much. It can also mean that the soil doesn’t drain well.
First, make sure you are letting the top soil dry between waterings.
Second, if you feel like you are following a proper water care schedule, look at repotting your pink princess into a well-draining potting mix (see soil section) that includes peat moss, perlite, pumice, or orchid bark to encourage draining.
Other causes can include bug infestation, nutrient deficiency, or sunburn. Inspect your plant for any bugs and make sure you place your plant away from direct sunlight.
If it’s been a while since you last repotted your plant, we recommend repotting with a fresh, nutrient-dense soil mix. You can add compost or worm castings to your soil to encourage nutrient absorption and pair it with fertilizer for added nutrition.

Leggy growth

Leggy growth commonly occurs when your plant isn’t receiving enough sunlight. Place your plant in an area that received bright, indirect sunlight such as a South-facing window. To give your plant a bushier appearance, you can prune the plant. This will encourage new growth. 

Root Rot

The dreaded root rot ails thousands of plants every year. If you are seeing that your pink princess has yellow leaves, stumped growth, drooping, or just looks plain sad, you may want to inspect its roots for disease.
Root rot is caused by waterlogged soils by improper watering (overwatering) or soggy soil that doesn’t drain well. Unfortunately, if you suspect root rot, the only way to truly know is to uproot the plant and check the roots. 

Treating Root Rot

  • Step 1: When you uproot the plant, gently shake off remaining soil and carefully undo any root balls. If you see roots that are yellow, brown or mushy, this is a sign of root rot.
  • Step 2: You will want to use sterilized scissors or shears to trim away diseased roots.
  • Step 3: You can disinfect the roots using 1 part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water and drain into a spray bottle. Spray the roots with this solution to disinfect. For those who prefer less harsh and more organic disinfectants, you can use cinnamon and cinnamon oil to treat your roots.
  • Step 4: After disinfecting, repot your pink princess in fresh, well-draining soil and water your plant.
Make sure you’re following a proper care schedule.
If you’d like more in-depth prevention and treatment for root rot, checkout our guide here.

Pests

Like most houseplants, pink princess philodendrons are also susceptible to common pest infestations from spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, fungus gnats, white flies, and more. 
First, you’ll want to be on the lookout for symptoms of infestation which include yellowing leaves or spots. For most of these infestations, you’ll see visible signs of the infestation. Make sure to check the undersides of the green and pink leaves.

Spider Mites
Watch for white, grainy debris on the underside of the prayer plant leaves. This is a sign of mites’ shredded skin. Treat by wiping the leaves with a damp cloth daily and increasing humidity around the plant.
Mealybugs
If you notice your plant looks like it is covered with snow or white spots, these are mealybugs. Quarantine your plant immediately so infestation doesn’t spread. Using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, wipe all visible mealybugs from the plant - including undersides of leaves, leaf joints and folds, and base of the plant. Treat your plant daily until infestation is gone. You can also use neem oil and insecticidal soap. 
Thrips
Thrips are small, straw colored insects. Blotchy brown discoloration can be an indication that thrips infestation is present. Quarantine your plant immediately so infestation doesn’t spread. As a first step, hose down the plant in the sink or shower to dislodge the insects. You can also use a spray bottle and a microfiber cloth to wipe each leaf. Then, use neem oil or insecticide soap. Apply every one to two weeks until you no longer see bugs.

Where to buy Pink Princess Philodendron?

Ready to create a centerpiece for your living space. Adding new plants and greenery can liven up any home space. You can find pink princess philodendrons and other rare plants on Neverland. Our vetted merchants grow high-quality plants that are backed by a trust guarantee.

FAQs for Pink Princess Philodendron


Is Philodendron pink princess easy to care for?
Although it's a rare plant, pink princesses are generally easy to care for. Bright, indirect light and consistent watering are key to a healthy pink princess.
How much light does a pink princess philodendron need?
Generally, we recommend 4-6 hours of bright, diffused light. Avoid direct sunlight. Place near South or West facing windows.
Can a reverted pink princess go back to pink?
Yes, do not worry! With the proper light care and a drop of patience, new leaves that emerge can contain variegation and become pink. Make sure your pink princess is receiving 4-6 hours of bright light everyday.
How do I know if my pink princess is overwatered?
Symptoms of overwatering often include yellow or wilted leaves. This can be caused by root rot or overfertilization causing salt buildup in the soil.
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