This plant features on the ‘Top 5 plants of 2021‘ for a reason – it’s gorgeous pink variegated leaves!
Only recently available in Mauritius, it’s flying off the shelves and nurseries are rushing to keep up with demand. I was lucky to get my hands on one before the craze hit, and now I’ve added another two to my collection (but who’s counting?).
As mentioned above, what makes this plant so popular is the pink variegation. Keeping the pink variegation is not always easy, as it can quickly revert to a ‘Green’ Pink Princess, and well, who wants that?
It’s important to understand that the amount of pink your plant will have is embedded in its DNA, and it may or may not produce lots of pink variegation; but the below care tips will help support your plant in maintaining whatever pink it produces.
Variegation on any healthy plant is basically a lack of chlorophyll. This means, that part of the leaf provides no support to the plant, in terms of photosynthesis and food production. Too much variegation will eventually lead to plant decline and eventually death.
So, its important that your PP gets good light. Place your plant in an East facing window, or in an area that gets morning / evening light. Avoid direct sun in the middle of the day as the sun will damage the leaves. If your plant doesn’t get adequate light it’ll revert back to being it’s green self.
Like most philodendrons, the Pink Princess likes a good drink. Thoroughly water your plant, ensuring water freely flows out the bottom of the pot – don’t let it sit in water.
Water again when the top 1 – 1 1/2 inches of soil is dry.
You want to make a potting mix that is loose and high in organic matter.
A mix of Peat moss, bark & perlite offers good nutrition, moisture retainment and drainage.
Fertilise your PP during the growing season. If you’re potting up your plant you can mix in slow release granules, but this is not always recommended in hot climates. Therefore, it’s recommended to substitute every 3rd watering with a balanced liquid fertiliser.
Snip! It’s very easy to propagate these plants – just make sure your cutting has a leaf, a node and an aerial root. You can propagate in perlite, water or sphagnum moss. Direct cuttings in soil works too, but rooting success rates are not always as high.
Loss of pink variegation? Move your plant closer to a light source. If the last few leaves have been all green, you can snip your plant back to the last variegated leaf. This will help to jumpstart the variegation again (provided you have your plant in sufficient lighting).
Wilting/Looking Limp? Have you been watering too much? Or too little? If yes to the first, check for root rot, trim off the dead roots, and repot it in a loose potting mix – good luck!
Slow growth? Give it more light, fertilise if needed, or see if its time to pot up.