Philodendron Pink Princess (Philodendron Erubescens): Ultimate Care and Growing Guide

Philodendron erubescens

The Philodendron Pink Princess is one of the most stunning and beautiful houseplants to grow. With its dark green leaves and bright pink variegation, this indoor plant is rightly called the “pink princess.” Pink Princess philodendron plants grow well in pots or in hanging baskets where the trailing vines and pink leaves create a stunning showpiece. There is also a pink Philodendron called the “Pink Congo,” however, this not the true “princess”—you’ll find out why in this article.

How to care for Philodendron Pink Princess: for the plant to thrive, grow in a bright spot with indirect light in a pot that has moist, well-draining soil. Water when the top 1-inch (2.5 cm) of soil is dry. Keep humidity medium-high, the temperature between 60°F and 84°F (16°C – 29°C), fertilize once a month and prune stems to encourage bushy growth.

So, despite its exotic look, the pink Philodendron erubescens is very easy to care for. However, due to its breath-taking pink variegation, there are a few essential care tips, especially for this plant. Following this care guide will help to ensure that the dark green-burgundy leaves with bright pink patches stay vibrant.

What is a Philodendron Pink Princess?

The Philodendron Pink Princess—botanical name Philodendron erubescens—is a trailing plant in the family Araceae. Apart from the splendid pink and dark green leaves, the plant is identified by large waxy leaves. These leaves can grow up to 9” (22 cm) long and 5” (12 cm) wide.

The pinkness on the leaves is due to a lack of chlorophyll—the chemical that makes plants’ leaves green. However, some greenness on the leaves is also necessary so that the plants can photosynthesize. Chlorophyll helps to create oxygen and glucose for healthy growth.

Because all types of Philodendron are tropical plants, these pink beauties grow well indoors. You can also grow Philodendron Pink Princess in your garden if the weather permits. Pick a bright but shaded spot for the plant to thrive. You can also take your potted plant outdoors during summer if you live in temperate climates.

What is a Philodendron Pink Congo?

pink princess vs congo Philodendron

Philodendron Pink Princess with variegated leaves (left) vs Philodendron Pink Congo with pure pink leaves (right)

If you see a Philodendron with only pure pink leaves, this is probably the Pink Congo plant. The pink coloring in these plants is not due to any natural processes. Chemicals are injected into the plant to turn the leaves pink. Usually, the leaves on Pink Congo Philodendrons revert to green six to twelve months after buying them.

So, avoid these cheap imitations if you want to grow a true Pink Princess at home. This way, you’ll always have a beautiful plant with spectacular pink and dark green leaves.

How to Care for Philodendron Pink Princess

Before we look at the essential care tips to help your Pink Princess thrive, there is an important question to answer: how to keep the leaves pink?

How to Keep Pink Leaves on Philodendron erubescens

Ideally, you need a combination of green and pink colors for this Philodendron to thrive. The green parts are necessary for photosynthesis. So, if too much of the leaves start turning pink, your plant will starve and eventually die. Too much green—well, it’s no longer a pink princess, is it?

If you notice that new leaves are growing pure pink, prune the stems back just above the leaf joint—node. The node is where your new variegated leaves will grow from. You want to have the last leaf on the stem with balanced variegation.

Light Requirements for Growing Philodendron Pink Princess

Philodendron Pink Princess grows best in bright indirect light. This kind of light provides the ideal lighting conditions for healthy growth and balanced variegation. Filtered light is also excellent—the main thing is that the sun doesn’t shine directly on the leaves. So, the best place is in an east- or west-facing room that gets sunlight for part of the day.

You’ll need to shade your plant if it’s in a very sunny location—like in a south-facing room. Try to keep the pink plant away from the window. Leaves that turn yellow is one way to tell that it’s getting too much sunlight. So, if a few leaves have started yellowing, move the plant to a shaded location.

Naturally, a leaf will turn yellow as it ages—as long as the other leaves look healthy, don’t worry. At the end of the article, you’ll find out how to revive a dying Pink Princess Philodendron.

The Best Potting Soil for Philodendron Pink Princess

The best type of potting mix for Philodendron erubescens should provide enough nutrients, hold moisture, but not become soggy. To create the ideal growing medium, mix peat-based soil with perlite or orchid substrate. The rich, organic peat is fertile and holds moisture, and the other ingredients allow excess water to drain.

Like many types of aroids, this Philodendron variety has aerial roots. These draw moisture and nutrients from the air. Philodendron plants also have subterranean roots. So, you can grow your pink plant in a soilless mixture such as sphagnum moss or peat-pearlite.

Although these “princesses” aren’t fussy growers, they need to grow in moist soil. So, the following advice in caring for a pink Philodendron is proper watering.

How to Water Philodendron Pink Princess

As a general rule, only water your plant when the top 1” to 2” has dried out. When you water, pour water in the pot until it drains out the bottom. This type of watering technique ensures the plant roots get enough nourishment, and the pink leaves grow healthy. Water your Philodendron as often as it needs when the soil is partly dry.

The most common mistake when watering a Pink Princess is trying to look after it too much. Over-watering will lead to several growing issues, including root rot, yellowing leaves, and a wilted appearance. Instead of watering on a set schedule, test the moisture content of the potting mix first. Press on the soil—if there’s no moisture, water the plant. Otherwise, hold off watering until the soil dries out more.

There are a few reasons why thorough watering is better than shallow watering. If you only water plants a little, the roots won’t get enough moisture. So, although you seem to be caring for your plant, it could still show signs of under-watering. Also, fungus gnats live in the top 1” to 2” soil and love damp conditions. If you don’t let the top part of the soil to dry out, you are only creating an environment for bugs to thrive.

The Best Temperature for Philodendron Pink Princess

Philodendron Pink Princess plants thrive in average room temperatures. The best temperature range for healthy growth is between 60°F and 84°F (16°C – 29°C). However, if you can keep the temperature above 65°F (18°C), that is even better. Follow that temperature guide if you grow your pink-leaved plant outdoors in containers.

One important thing to remember is that you should protect Philodendron plants from direct heat or cold drafts. So, in the winter—keep the plant away from hot radiators. In the summer—avoid placing the plant pot in air conditioning streams or beside an open window.

Here’s a good tip to know if the temperature for your Pink Princess if right—if you feel comfortable at home, “she” will also feel good.

Philodendron Pink Princess Care: Humidity

Pink Princess Philodendron plants—like most tropical houseplants—need plenty of humidity. Usually, average household humidity is too dry for these plants. To hydrate your plant’s leaves, mist the leaves, put on a humidifying tray, or use a room humidifier.

Here is your guide to getting humidity levels right for a Philodendron Pink Princess:

  • Misting the leaves—Use a spray bottle and spray a fine mist above the plant’s leaves. Finely mist the leaves every two to three days. In hot, dry weather, you may need to spray the leaves every day.
  • Room humidifier—Use a room humidifier if you have many tropical plants. Ideally, you need around 40% humidity for your plant to feel happy.
  • Pebble tray humidifier—One of the easiest ways to get increase humidity for plants is to place them on a humidity tray. To make one of these, place a layer of pebbles on a wide tray. Fill the tray with water until it reaches halfway up the small stones. Place your plant pot on the pebbles.
  • Group houseplants together—You can also place your houseplants close to each other. This proximity creates a natural humid atmosphere, similar to their native environment.

Fertilizer for Philodendron Pink Princess

Houseplants growing in pots need regular feeding to encourage healthy growth. The best type of fertilizer for a Pink Princess is a balanced liquid fertilizer with micro and macro nutrients. Feed your plant every four weeks during the growing season—spring and summer. Stop fertilizing during fall and winter when growth slows down.

A high-quality fertilizer helps your plant grow healthily and vigorously. But remember, that more isn’t always better. In fact, too much fertilizer can be detrimental to your plant’s health. A buildup of mineral salts can cause root burn to hinder growth.

To prevent a buildup of fertilizer salts, flush the soil every four to five months. All you need to do is run water slowly through the potting mix for about two to three minutes. Resume regular watering and feeding when the top 1” of soil has completely dried out.

If your Pink Princess lacks essential nutrients, you will notice slow growth and small leaves. The variegated pink and dark green leaves could also lose some of their vibrancy.

Repotting Philodendron Pink Princess

Philodendron erubescens should be repotted once a year when they’re young and then every two years after that. Repotting your plant gives you the chance to refresh the potting mix and also encourage growth. Larger containers provide the roots with more room to grow. Another benefit of repotting is that it prevents the plant from becoming rootbound, which helps with drainage.

How should you repot a pink princess? Because this is one of the most expensive houseplants you can grow, it makes sense to care for the plant. Please follow this guide on repotting a Philodendron Pink Princess:

  • The day before repotting, thoroughly water the plant to help minimize stress.
  • Get a new pot that is 1” to 2” (2.5 – 5 cm) larger than the current one.
  • Remove the plant from its container and gently remove all soil from the roots.
  • Carefully inspect the roots for signs of rot or disease—prune as necessary. Healthy roots should be white or light tan and flexible, not mushy.
  • Half-fill the new pot with suitable a potting mix and put the plant in.
  • Make sure that the Pink Princess is at the same height as in the previous container.
  • Fill the remaining space with potting soil.
  • Gently press around the stems to support the plant.
  • Water thoroughly.

How to Prune Philodendron Pink Princess

A Philodendron Pink Princess benefits from regular pruning. The best time to prune your plant is in spring or fall—just before or just after the growing season. You can prune off any leaves that appear yellow or dying. Proper pruning can encourage vigorous growth and prevent leggy stems from spoiling the plant’s appearance.

To prune a Philodendron erubescens, always make a clean cut just above the node—the place where leaves attach to the stem. New pink and dark green or burgundy leaves will grow from the node. Pruning not only helps encourage new growth but helps control height if space in your room is limited.

Propagating Philodendron Pink Princess

Philodendron Pink Princess propagation is extremely easy. Growing new plants from stem cuttings is an easy way to get more of these delightful trailing houseplants. They can also make great gifts for your friends or family.

The best way to propagate these beautiful pink Philodendron plants is by stem cuttings. Here is how to propagate your plant:

  • Cut a stem just below one of the nodes, making sure that there are three or four healthy pinkish leaves on the stem.
  • Place the cutting in a jar of water.
  • After a few weeks, roots should appear.
  • Wait until the roots are 2” (5 cm) and then plant the rooted Philodendron cutting in a pot that is filled with a light potting mix.

The other Philodendron Pink Princess propagation method is by root division. When you are repotting the plant, you can divide the plant if you’ve got four or more stems at the roots. Carefully separate the roots, so you have at least two or three stems in each new plant. Repot as instructed above.

Philodendron Pink Princess: Pest and Diseases

Philodendron erubescens is a hardy indoor plant that is reasonably resistant to diseases and pests.

Philodendron Pink Princess pests—The most common pests are mealybugs or aphids. Please read this article to know how to spots the signs of common houseplant pests and how to get rid of them.

Philodendron Pink Princess diseases—Most diseases that affect the plant are due to watering issues that cause root rot. Only water the plant when the soil is partly dry. Wilting leaves can be a sign of too much water or not enough moisture.

Is Philodendron Pink Princess Toxic?

Pink Princess Philodendron plants are toxic to pets in your home. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states that variegated philodendrons are toxic to cats and dogs. The sap contains calcium oxalate crystals, which cause severe irritation to the skin or when ingested.

FAQ About Philodendron Pink Princess

Although your “pink princess” isn’t a fussy houseplant, there are a few signs that “she” is becoming stressed. Here are some answers to common questions about caring for the plant.

Why are the pink leaves turning yellow?

Yellow leaves are often a sign of too much direct sunlight or watering issues. So, check that your pink Philodendron is not in the sun’s rays throughout the day. It’s worthwhile checking the moisture and then adjusting the watering as necessary.

Remember that older leaves naturally turn yellow. So, if you’ve only got one or two leaves that look a bit off, there is probably nothing to worry about.

Why are Philodendron Pink Princess leaves turning brown?

Over-watering or under-watering can also make the leaves turn brown. However, it’s good to check the size of the pot. If the container is too large for the plant, you can quickly get moisture problems.

How can I encourage pink variegation?

Your Philodendron Pink Princess needs plenty of bright, filtered light to keep a balance of dark green and pink. If your plant starts developing mostly green leaves—let’s face it, no one wants a “Green Prince”—prune some of the leaves back to just above the last variegated leaf.

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