How Do I Make My Pink Princess Philodendron Pink?

how do i make my pink princess philodendron pink

The pink princess philodendron, scientifically known as Philodendron Erubescens, is one of the most popular houseplants today. Its mesmerizing leaves showcase shades of various captivating colors – dark green, light green, white, and bright pink, all on one single plant!

No wonder pink princess philodendron stands apart from the rest and why people go crazy trying to figure out the secret for growing and maintaining the much-coveted pink coloration on the leaves.

If you just brought home a new pink princess or struggled growing pink leaves on the one you already have, this comprehensive care guide with tips is here to help you out!

Table of Contents

Pros of Having a Pink Princess Philodendron

Before getting into details of care, let us first understand why you should invest time, money and effort behind this particular plant.

Visually Striking

Needless to say, the vibrant pink-colored leaves are the showstoppers that lend unmatched beauty to both indoor and outdoor spaces. You can literally brighten up any dull corner by just placing a pink princess there!

Cool Variegated Foliage

You get a combo of leaf colors – dark green, pastel green, pink, cream/white – all in one plant! How cool is that? These varieties are called variegated plants. Most other houseplants have uniformly green leaves.

Air Purifying Properties

Like most other plants, pink princess philodendrons also take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Having a few around your home or office really helps to purify indoor air.

Easy Care Requirements

These plants are quite tolerant and adapt well to varied indoor conditions. So whether you are a beginner or a seasoned plant parent, you won’t have much trouble caring for your pink princess.

Cons of Pink Princess Philodendrons

No doubt, there are way more advantages than drawbacks of getting a pink princess. But to be fully aware, you should also know the following cons:

Expensive Purchase Price

You will likely have to spend anywhere between $150 to $250 or even more for getting a 6 inches pink princess nursery plant. Occasionally rare collectors’ item plants cost $1000+ too!

Slow Growth Rate

Don’t expect your baby pink princess to grow into a large bushy plant overnight. These grow extremely slowly over many years to attain maturity. So you need to have patience!

Chance of Reversion

There is always a possibility of losing the pink variegation and your PPP reverting to the normal green form if you cannot provide ideal care.

Toxicity to Pets

All philodendron species contain calcium oxalate crystals that make the plants toxic. So keep your cats, dogs or any pets away from the leaves. Ingestion may cause swollen tongue, vomiting etc.

Now that you know the key facts about pink princess philodendrons, let’s focus our attention on how to make them pink and what proper care entails.

How Do I Make My Philodendron Pink Princess Pink?

Growing stunning pink leaves boils down to replicating the native tropical environment these plants come from. Here are some key tips to remember:

Provide Ideal Light Conditions

Bright indirect sunlight is absolutely vital for development of pink pigmentation in princess philodendron leaves. A north facing window is usually the best spot indoors.

The more sun exposure over 4-6 hours daily, the darker pink and larger the foliage will be. But too much direct harsh light can burn and damage the leaves.

If keeping outdoors in a patio/balcony under shade – dappled sunlight shining through trees is wonderful! Rotate the pot every few days for even coverage.

Maintain High Humidity Around the Plant

These philodendrons thrive in humidity levels between 60-80%. Recreate a tropical environment for your plant babies!

  1. Some options to raise humidity
  2. Pebble trays with water
  3. Misting the leaves
  4. Using a humidifier
  5. Placing the pot on a moisture retention mat

Higher ambient humidity will prevent dryness along leaf edges and help in water/nutrient absorption from soil.

Water Thoroughly and Allow Soil to Dry Out

Watering correctly is THE number one factor that sustains the health and beauty of any houseplant.

Pink princess philodendrons like moist soil but certainly DO NOT want wet feet for prolonged time. Stagnating water invites root rot issues.

So here is a safe watering technique to follow:

  • Water generously once the top 1-2 inch soil layer becomes dry to touch. Slowly pour water till it starts draining from the pot’s base.
  • Allow all excess moisture to drain away before placing the pot back on its saucer. Never leave standing water beneath the plant.
  • Wait for the soil to dry out again before next watering. In summers when growth is active, this may mean watering every 5-7 days. Reduce frequency in winters.
  • Additionally, spray some water over the foliage every 2-3 days for supplemental moisture.

Use a Peat Moss Based Potting Mix

Avoid using 100% regular garden soil to pot your pink princess. Prepare an airy, well-draining potting mix instead for healthy roots.

Here is an easy homemade recipe:

  • 2 parts peat or coco coir
  • 2 parts good quality compost/worm castings
  • 1 part perlite or bark chips

You can tweak the ratios as desired. This nutrition-rich soil blend will retain some moisture while still having lots of aeration for proper drainage.

Fertilize Every 2-4 Weeks During Growth Season

Applying diluted liquid fertilizers over the spring to summer months is highly recommended. Look for balanced 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 NPK formulations. This boosts adequate nutrient availability for luscious foliage growth.

Completely avoid fertilizing in fall/winters when plants remain dormant. You may alternately use time release pellet fertilizers for longer effectiveness.

Follow all label instructions carefully and fertilize sparingly. Excess salts can accumulate and burn roots.

Prune For Enhancing Shape & Pink Variegation

As the pink princess plant matures with a woody stem, pruning helps maintain its bushy, compact appearance.

Carefully trim away any unusually large, old leaves using sterilized shears. This forces new young leaves with higher pink coloration to emerge from the base.

You can prune away top heavy stems to reshape the plant too. But never overprune more than 20% portions at one time.

Be Patient & Make Adjustments as Needed

Caring for plants is always a continuous learning journey! It may take some trial and error to figure out the exact light and watering needs of your pink princess over time.

Initially focus on establishing optimal conditions mentioned in this guide. Then simply watch new leaves closely as they unfurl –

If they keep growing darker pink & larger = you are doing everything right!

If new leaves remain small or turn green = time to tweak care routines.

With attentive care, the true beauty of pink princess philodendrons will slowly but surely reveal itself – one gorgeous pink leaf after another!

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Caring for pink princess philodendrons can be challenging at times if issues pop up. Here is how to troubleshoot some common problems:

Brown Crispy Leaf Edges

If you notice the leaf margins turning brown and crispy, it generally signals too little humidity around the plant. Especially in dry indoor environments during winter when heating systems run, the ambient moisture gets depleted.

Use pebble trays, mist frequently or get a humidifier to boost levels between 60-80%. This prevents excessive transpiration leading to dry damage along leaf edges.

Curled Drooping Leaves

Drooping foliage that curls downward indicates the plant is severely stressed. It can happen due to overwatering root rot or underwatering. Check the soil moisture and drainage levels.

For collapse due to excess moisture – stop watering altogether until soil dries. Cut away mushy black roots and repot with fresh mix once plant recovers.

If soil is bone dry, get on a consistent watering routine. Also rule out any salt accumulation from fertilizers or chemicals in tap water. Flush the soil if suspicions arise.

White Splotches on Leaves

Sometimes odd white pale patches appear on the foliage instead of pink variegation. This results from mineral deficiencies like low magnesium, manganese or zinc. Fertilize more often with supplements tailored towards philodendrons.

If the white splotching spreads rapidly, another possibility is virus infection. Isolate and propagate healthy stems via cuttings before the virus spreads through the entire plant.

Slow or No New Growth

Inadequate nutrition and light intensity are common reasons behind stunted growth. Review your fertilizing routine – use slightly higher nitrogen formulations during spring and summer to encourage faster leaf production.

Insufficient sunlight also severely affects metabolic processes like photosynthesis and plant growth regulators. Acclimate the plant to slowly increasing indirect sun exposure for vigor.

Mushy Black Roots

Excessive soil moisture inevitably causes roots to rot – they turn mushy black and emit a foul odor. The foliage simultaneously starts drooping and yellowing.

Promptly investigate to check waterlogging damage once you observe such symptoms. Discard all dead roots, dry out the soil completely and hold back on watering for some time. Use fresh well-draining soil mix when repotting.

Be vigilant to quickly catch any arising problems in your pink princess while they remain still treatable!

Propagating Pink Princess Philodendrons

Propagating from cuttings is an effective way to get more plants absolutely free! And watching baby plants generate from just stem nodes is highly fascinating too.

Follow these simple steps for propagating pink princess philodendrons –

Step 1: Take stem cuttings

Cut off a healthy stem around 5-6 inches below a leaf node using a clean knife or shears. Try to select younger, smaller stems with preferably 2-3 nodes.

Step 2: Trim away lower large leaves

The fewer leaves connected to a new cutting, the lesser water loss happens before roots form. So carefully trim away lower big foliage but leave the top small leaves.

Step 3: Dip cutting & node in rooting hormone

Use a rooting compound powder containing auxin hormones to tremendously speed up root growth from nodes underwater. Even a basic honey dip works quite well too.

Step 4: Place cutting in small vase/bottle

Select a transparent narrow-necked glass bottle, vase or jar to act as a mini greenhouse for root development. Fill with room temperature filtered or distilled water.

Step 5: Add water when levels drop

Keep the vessel in bright indirect sunlight. Remember to top off water as levels go down to keep the lower stem node always submerged. Change water every 4-5 days to prevent rotting.

Step 6: Transplant when roots exceed 2 inches

Within 3-6 weeks, thick white roots should sprout from the nodes underwater. Gently tug to check root length before planting in soil. Transplant into the potting mix once roots surpass 2 inches.

Be Patient – propagation success rates are irregular due to the variegated nature of PPPs. But new plants truly retain the coveted foliage colors!

Interesting Facts About Pink Princess Philodendron

Beyond just the beautiful looks, pink princess philodendrons have some fascinating facts connected to them –

Originated as random mutation – The pretty pink variegated sport occurred totally by chance likely in the late 1990s on a plantation in Thailand or Florida.

Technically not a philodendron – Botanically pink princess is a variety of Epipremnum genus, not Philodendron. But the common names remain interchangeably used.

Rare & expensive collectors item – There is huge demand but limited supply exists for these slow growing coveted houseplants, making them costly!

Named after British royalty – The name references Princess Diana who was lovingly called “The People’s Princess” due to immense popularity similarly like this plant variety among houseplant fanatics!

Toxic to pets if ingested – Like most philodendrons, the pink princess also contains irritating calcium oxalate crystals in all plant parts making it harmful for animal consumption.

So beyond the aesthetics, the backstory and origins of pink princess philodendrons are equally engrossing for loyal fans!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are answers to some common concerns regarding growing pink in philodendron princess houseplants –

How do you keep pink Princess philodendron pink?

Bright indirect sunlight is absolutely vital to sustain the pink coloration in princess leaves. Also provide consistently warm humid conditions around the plant along with proper water, soil and fertilization. Slowly tweak variables based on new leaf responses to establish the “sweet spot” for your individual plant.

Why is my pink princess not pink?

There could be a few reasons for lack of pink tones –

Insufficient sunlight
Low humidity
Overwatering or underwatering
Using tap water containing salts/chlorine
Too much or too little fertilizer
Normal aging of older leaves
Evaluate all care aspects and make suitable adjustments to remedy. Focus attention on newly emerging leaves.

How do you encourage variegation on pink princess?

Variegation refers to the spectacular, multicolored foliage with shades of dark green, light green, pink and white/cream all present together.

Follow these tips to enhance variegation:

Site in the brightest spot possible without direct sun. A northern window is best.
Maintain warm and very humid surrounding air to prevent leaf burn or browning edges
Use distilled or rainwater instead of hard tap water
Let soil dry out moderately between each watering
Apply balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during growth period

Why is my philodendron pink princess so dark?

Deep dark green leaves result from too little light exposure. Pink princess requires very bright, indirect light to thrive.

If the plant sits too far away from a window or does not get sufficient sun hours per day, the leaves will fail to develop light green and pink areas.

Gradually move the pot closer towards an unobstructed north facing window for best results. Slowly acclimate to increasing light levels to avoid sun scorch.

Why is my pink princess turning green?

It is fairly common for pink princess philodendrons to lose some pink variegation and turn greener as they mature. Older leaves naturally age and fall off.

But if the new emerging leaves also lack pink hues, it generally indicates insufficient brightness. Other reasons could be incorrect watering,poor drainage, inadequate humidity etc.

First make all possible adjustments to care routines. If that does not help, the plant may be reverting to its ordinary non-variegated form.

Why is my pink princess turning white?

If the pink portions slowly fade to off-white or yellowish areas instead, it is likely a sign of over-exposure to sunlight.

The leave cells get bleached and lose their ability to synthesize pink pigments. Immediately move the pot away from the light source and shield it with a sheer curtain.

Also check if any chemical product or salt build up is preventing pigment formation. Flush soil to eliminate toxicity if suspected.

What does an overwatered pink princess look like?

Check for these visible signs if you suspect overwatering damage –

Leaves start yellowing and wilting
Soft, mushy stems
White fungal growth on potting mix
Drooping foliage with curled brown edges
Slow growth and small leaves
Base of stem turns black and rotted

Immediately stop watering the affected plant until drainage improves. Discard any doomed leaves or stems by pruning. Allow the soil to completely dry out before next watering.

Why isn’t my PPP pink?

There could be a few reasons why your pink princess philodendron lacks the iconic pink coloration –

Inadequate indirect sunlight exposure
Low humidity and dry air causing leaf scorch
Compacted soil preventing drainage after watering
Excessive mineral salts from overfertilization
High amount of chlorine/fluorides in tap water
Normal reversion of variegation as plant ages
Newly unfolding leaves may take some time to develop color

Carefully evaluate all probable causes and make suitable adjustments to remedy.

What does a reverted pink princess look like?

Over time, it is possible for the striking variegated foliage of pink princess philodendrons to revert back to the ordinary green form. This mostly occurs due to suboptimal care.

When reversion happens –

The plant loses all or most of the delightful pink shades
Leaves transform to plain green color without other markings
Pink only remains on older leaves but new leaves stay all green
Growth rate slows down noticeably
You can rescue plants caught early during reversion. But severely reverted specimens rarely recover variegation even with corrective care.

Should I prune my pink princess?

Occasional pruning is beneficial for pink princess philodendrons. Carefully trim away any unusually large, ragged, damaged or excessively old leaves using sterilized shears.

This forces new young growth from the base which have better pink variegation. Only remove up to 20% of foliage at one time or it risks stressing the plant severely.

You may also prune away overgrown, top heavy stems to restore a neat, compact appearance. Use the cut portions for propagation in water!

Why is pink Princess so expensive?

Several unique traits make pink princess the “diva” of houseplants resulting in lofty price tags –

Highly desirable & rare variegated foliage
Difficult to propagate commercially
Slow growing nature as tropical understory plants
Need very meticulous care to maintain coloration
Vulnerable to reverting to non-variegated state
Thus, owning this gorgeous pink beauty comes attached with a premier price point due to excessive time, labor and risks involved in growing them.

How often should I water pink princess?

There is no fixed watering frequency – timing varies depending on factors like season, pot size, humidity, soil composition etc.

Rather than following a calendar schedule, check soil dryness as the indicator.
Water thoroughly only when the top 1-2 inches become dry.
Always allow excess moisture to drain freely from the pot’s base.
Let the soil dry out once more before repeating.

During summer months, this drying out period generally takes 5-7 days. Increase intervals up to 10-14 days during colder winter months depending on indoor heating.

In Conclusion

Growing perfect pink variegation in princess philodendrons requires paying attention to multiple care aspects simultaneously. Start with the basics of –

  • Placing the plant in bright indirect sunlight
  • Maintaining warm & very humid conditions
  • Watering properly and allowing drainage
  • Getting suitable potting mix
  • Applying balanced fertilizer

Thereafter keep observing new leaf growth and continue tweaking variables to dial into the “sweet spot” for your individual plant. Patience along with some trial and error is vital in this journey with the pink princess!

Cathryn Thompson

Hi, I am Cathryn Thompson. I am a full-time blogger. I ditched my 9-5 job many years back to explore life a bit more. In this blog, I like writing about everything that can save us from the monotony of regular life and live our life to the fullest.

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