Skip to main content

Plant of the week: Pink princess philodendron, a royally rare plant

We millennials love pink so much that a shade of pink is named after us, so it’s no surprise that the philodendron pink princess is such a popular plant. Although rare and a more considerable investment than other, just as beautiful, plants, the pink princess is a favorite among those who love the contrast of dark green with bright pink. This makes it extra scary to get your pink princess and not know how to care for it properly. Read on to see exactly what this plant wants and how you can care for it so that it thrives!

philodendron pink princess
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is a pink princess?

The philodendron pink princess is a trailing plant that’s a part of the Araceae family. The pink princess’s real name is Philodendron erubescens, which inspired its other name, “blushing philodendron,” since erubescens means “blushing” in Latin.

The waxy leaves can grow up to 9 inches long and 5 inches wide. This plant is natural to tropical environments, so it will need conditions that simulate that climate. They’re part of a group of plants called aroids, plants like monsteras, pothos, and ZZ plants that live in the “understory” of the forests. This means these plants are used to getting low amounts of light but lots of water. They all have waxy leaves and roots that help reduce the amount of water they absorb, and it also means they can be propagated in water and even live in water full time. Just remember that if you decide to put your plant in water for a time, it will get harder for it to adapt to soil the longer it lives in water.

Pink princess is not a pink congo

There’s a bit of controversy around pink plants, and sometimes the pink princess gets unfairly looped into the mess. To make a long and ugly story short, some plant sellers tried to profit off the “pink plant” trend by injecting a philodendron with chemicals that would unnaturally alter the color of the leaves to a shade of pink. This plant is known as a pink congo, and is not a legitimate plant. The pink variegation will revert to green within six to 12 months after the plant has been injected. Unfortunately, many plant enthusiasts have spent good money on these plants only to find out they’re fake. So be sure you’re buying a true philodendron pink princess not to get scammed like so many others have.

philodendron pink princess
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Care tips for the pink princess philodendron

Since this is a more rare plant, it’s imperative to fully understand its needs before you even bring it into your home. Not only will it cost you more money to replace this rare plant, but it will be harder to find a replacement since they can be difficult to find.

Water

Since they’re used to adequate water, the pink princess prefers its soil to stay almost consistently moist. However, it’s a pretty resilient plant and will survive if it’s left to dry out every so often. To avoid it getting too wet or too dry, invest in a water meter and check the soil every week to see if it needs anything. Then, when the soil begins to reach “non-moist” levels, give it a good soak until the water comes out of the drainage hole.

Light

Because of its pretty pink leaves, avoid putting this plant in direct light. The sun can burn and kill the pink princess quickly. Instead, find a spot with bright indirect light.

Food

This plant will grow leaps and bounds from early spring to fall, provided with a balanced fertilizer about every four weeks or so. Just be sure not to overfeed the plant, as this can quickly kill it.

Humidity

Those tropical conditions will mean this plant wants more humid air than some of the other plants in your collection. You’ll want to keep the humidity level at least above 50 percent, but ideally, it would stick around 60 to 65 percent.

Temperature

The pink princess is a tropical plant and prefers to be in rooms on the warmer side. However, it can survive anything between 55 and 95 degrees. So the average temperature of a home (65 to 75) is ideal for the princess.

Toxicity

It is toxic to cats and dogs and should be put in a room or area of the home where these furry babies can’t reach it. If ingested, the pink princess can irritate the mouth and stomach.

Additional tips

Every new owner of a philodendron pink princess wants to know how to keep the leaves pink. This is a somewhat tricky question. Too much pink and the plant won’t have enough green leaves to produce chlorophyll to keep the plant alive, but too much green and you’ve now lost the “pink” to your pink princess. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your plant at a ratio of 50/50.

To do this, keep an eye on the plant as it pushes out new leaves. If you notice that the new leaves are all green or all pink, prune the vine back to the node where you were getting leaves with a good mix of green and pink. However, don’t do this at the first sign of an all pink or all green leaf. Instead, allow the plant to grow a few more, and if the next three or four leaves are still all one color, it’s time to prune.

If you’ve fallen in love with the pink and green combination like so many of us have, the pink princess is a fantastic plant to add to your home. Just be sure to provide it with the right amount of light, keep an eye on the variegation, and don’t feed it too often.

Editors' Recommendations

Rebecca Wolken
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rebecca's has written for Bob Villa and a Cincinnati based remodeling company. When she's not writing about home remodeling…
The best large indoor plants for an instant statement this spring
Add these houseplants to your indoor space for seasonal flair
Areca palm

When you first foray into the world of houseplants, you might be tempted to pick out dozens of small indoor plants to fill out your collection. But sometimes less is more — having one statement floor plant can make a major impact when it comes to home styling. This year's large houseplant trend is a stark departure from the maximalist indoor jungle aesthetic of the early pandemic days. Now, it’s all about a measured approach to collecting houseplants and integrating them into your space.

While choosing a big houseplant seems straightforward, it can be a daunting undertaking if you’re a novice to indoor greenery. If you’re feeling a bit intimidated, read this guide to learn how to choose the best large indoor plants for your home. 
What counts as a large indoor plant, and why should you get one?

Read more
Jade plant care: A complete grower’s guide
Keep your jade plant happy and healthy with these tips
A small jade plant in a pot with other succulents

If you love the way trees look but don’t have the space or time to care for them, then why not opt for a jade plant instead? This lovely plant is shaped just like a miniature tree, but in actuality, it's a succulent. Jade plant care is simple, and these cute plants make marvelous house or office plants.

Under the right conditions, they can even bloom, growing many small white or pale pink flowers. If you want to try growing jade plants in your home, then this is the care guide for you. From planting to propagating, we’ll walk you through all the jade plant care steps you need to know to keep your plant healthy.
Planting your jade

Read more
Elephant ear plant care guide: What you need to know
How to grow the gorgeous elephant ear plant
Elephant ear plant leaves

Foliage plants are often used as a backdrop or filler, but there are some species that truly deserve to be the star of the show. While most showy foliage plants are colorful, some rely on size and shape to make an impression. Elephant ears are one such plant. These large, gorgeous plants will capture you and your guests’ attention, whether you grow a small indoor variety or let one of the larger plants take up space in your yard. To help you get started growing these beautiful plants, here is our elephant ear plant care guide.

Planting elephant ear plants
Elephant ear plants grow best in rich, well-draining soil. Amending the soil with compost before you begin can help improve poor soil if you aren’t sure that the soil in your garden is rich enough. Choose a planting site in full or partial sun. Elephant ears need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day, so avoid planting them too close to larger plants or structures that could cast shadows over them. Additionally, choose a space that is at least a few feet away from other plants. Elephant ears can grow quite large, so it’s important not to crowd them.

Read more