The gorgeous Pink Princess Philodendron (often abbreviated as PPP) is one of the most sought-after rare houseplants.
Variegation is distinctly prized by plant collectors, and the beautiful splashes of pink that you’ll find on your PPP are what make it so beloved and unique.
One of the best things about variegated plants is that each new leaf will keep you guessing.
Watching a baby leaf unfurl is exciting on its own, but it’s even more magical when each leaf can surprise you with a unique pattern of variegation!
If you’re looking for a fun, vibrant addition to your indoor growing space, Philodendron Pink Princess is a beautiful plant to have! We’re sharing proper care tips, some trivia, and the origin of this versatile plant!
My Experience With Philodendron Pink Princess
I [Allison, the editor] bought a Philodendron Pink Princess in November of 2021 as a birthday gift to myself.
A word of warning: Philodendron Pink Princess can be the gateway plant to rarer and more expensive variegated plants! It got me hooked, and within another month, I had already taken home a Monstera Albo.
I bought my Pink Princess from a local nursery here in Oakland, The Tender Gardener. I did look at online shops, but since I was buying in winter during a cold spell, I didn’t want to risk shipping. There was a 20% off sale for Black Friday so I ended up paying about $100 for my Pink Princess in a 4-inch pot.
After receiving it in the first week of December, it put out two new leaves!
However, both leaves were rather limited in terms of variegation, so I ended up chopping the leaves. I’m propagating them into a new plant to gift to a friend.
I’m hoping the variegation on my PPP goes back to its pretty pops of pink!
[Update July 2022: It did end up going back to lots of pink variegation!]
Where Can I Find a Philodendron Pink Princess for Sale?
Depending on where you live, it may or may not be easy to find a Philodendron Pink Princess for sale. You can either go for cuttings (rooted or unrooted) or fully grown plants.
Typically, you will only find these gorgeous plants in specialty plant stores and not in big box stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot.
However, if your neighborhood shops don’t have access to rare plants like the PPP, you’ll have to go online to find one. It’s getting more common, and you can even find it on Amazon now!
Philodendron Pink Princess Seeds
Don’t buy these! The reason why a Philodendron Pink Princess plant is so rare is that it cannot be reliably grown from seed. A reliably variegated PPP can only be propagated through cuttings from a mother plant.
Philodendron Pink Princess Cuttings
You may buy a Philodendron Pink Princess cutting either unrooted or rooted. If you’re on a tight budget, unrooted cuttings can be fine – as long as you are confident in your ability to root plants!
Note: Make sure that your PPP cutting has a node or it won’t be able to grow new leaves! Reputable sellers will not sell node-less cuttings but if you are buying from someone who is inexperienced, this is something to look out for.
You can get an unrooted PPP cutting for around $25 on Etsy. Here is one seller with a 5-star rating and over 10,000 reviews selling unrooted PPP cuttings.
I recommend getting rooted cuttings so you’ll have higher chances of success. However, this can almost be as expensive as a full plant, so you’ll have to look around for a bargain.
I’ve found rooted PPP cuttings for as little as $40 on Etsy. Here is one from a seller with a 5-star star rating, with around 50 reviews.
Are There Different Types of Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’?
The Pink Princess is a true royalty amongst the Philodendron family because of her highly-coveted splashes of color in shades of pink, white, burgundy, and sometimes even black everywhere in her leaves.
Because it’s such a popular plant, growers everywhere in the world have bred new cultivars to create interesting variegation patterns.
One important thing to note is that the Pink Princess displays natural variations in her variegation patterns. No two leaves are guaranteed to look the same. Sometimes, these specimens are given false common names and sold for profit.
Here are a few names of the Pink Princess Philodendron flying around in the plant community:
1. Pink Princess Philodendron (Common Variegation)
The Pink Princess in its most basic form has big sectoral chunks of pink variegation along its regular green leaves.
Ideally, you’d want to keep a balance between pink leaves for aesthetic and dark green leaves for photosynthesis. You can maintain this balance through regular pruning and good lighting which we will discuss below.
PPP can sometimes push out “half-moon” leaves with one half being completely pink, and the other half being completely green!
You may want to be careful with this variegation pattern though, because it can go both ways. The plant can either revert to fully green leaves which are unremarkable, or push out solid pink leaves which are risky due to the lack of chlorophyll in these leaves.
2. Pink Princess (Marble Variegation)
Plant collectors also go after the Pink Princess Philodendron for its speckled appearance, with random splashes of pink and white across its leaves.
This pattern has been popularly called marble variegation, and it’s quite common in many variegated plants (such as the Marble Queen Pothos).
This mottled pattern is more fun to look at, plus it’s healthier for your plant in the long term compared to dominantly variegated leaves! As beautiful as a fully pink plant is, the plant still needs the green pigment for energy.
The PPP can manage small patches of variegation easier than big chunks of pink which might eventually take over the plant.
3. Philodendron ‘White Anderson’ or ‘Pink Anderson’
Philodendron ‘White Anderson’, sometimes called ‘Pink Anderson’, is a new cultivar which is native to Indonesia.
While there is limited available information on this unregistered cultivar, it is said to be a hybrid between Pink Princess and Philodendron ‘White Knight’.
White/Pink Anderson can be distinguished through its variegation that emerges as light pink but ultimately turns white as the leaves mature. Its burgundy petioles, color patterns, and leaf shape are similar to its parent, the PPP.
This new hybrid has been mistakenly marketed as Variegated Red Anderson. You might find that name confusing because there is already a registered Philodendron called ‘Anderson’s Red’!
4. Pink Princess “Black Cherry”
It is common for sellers to assign marketable names to the Philodendron Pink Princess which aren’t recognized by the International Aroid Society. One such example is the “Black Cherry.”
Be careful with spending unreasonable amounts of money for these unregistered “rare” cultivars! There is no guarantee that this variegation type can be maintained in the long term.
The variegation of the Black Cherry appears to be a rich, vibrant red against dark leaves. The leaves also appear to be thicker and more robust than a regular Pink Princess.
While it is typical for young leaves of the PPP to emerge as burgundy (instead of the usual dark green), owners of this Black Cherry variety claim that the leaves remain dark-colored even as they mature.
Philodendron Pink Princess Care Guide
Pink Princesses are easy to care for but are slower in growth compared to other Philodendrons because of its variegation.
It has a lot of aesthetic potential as a climbing vine. Give it a moss pole or any other structure to climb on if you want a a taller plant with larger leaves.
You can expect your Pink Princess to be resilient against common problems and pests! In the rare event that you spot mealybugs, aphids, fungus gnats, or spider mites, organic treatments are usually enough. Spray the leaves with diluted neem oil, or manually remove the bugs using a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol.
The root system of a Pink Princess has good resilience. It can tolerate consistently moist (but not wet) conditions, as well as short periods of drought.
Philodendron Pink Princess Light Needs
Lighting is the most important aspect in caring for a Pink Princess Philodendron. This plant requires a very delicate balance between bright indirect light and partial shade.
Pay attention to what the leaves of your PPP are telling you! If it gets too much sunlight, the reddish black leaves of the PPP will turn green, and the pink variegation will turn white.
Conversely, if it’s getting too little light, your Pink Princess can lose its variegation by pushing out more green leaves which are able to capture more light. In that case, you may want to supplement with grow lights.
If you decide to move your plant to a brighter and warmer area, don’t forget to acclimatize it first by gradually increasing the hours of exposure to its new location.
If your Pink Princess is already out in the open, use a shade net to filter the sun. Direct sunlight can burn its pink foliage.
Philodendron Pink Princess Watering Needs
As a vining plant, the Pink Princess has developed a tolerance for short periods of dryness. Let the soil partially dry out before giving your PPP a deep watering.
Check the top inch of soil for moisture. When it’s dry, pour water over the plant generously until excess water starts flowing out of the drainage holes.
Adjust your watering schedule according to your location and the time of the year. The Pink Princess can benefit from constantly sitting in slightly moist soil during its growing season in the summer, and reduced watering in winter.
Philodendron Pink Princess Soil Needs
Most aroids prefer a well-aerated, fast-draining soil mix and the Pink Princess Philodendron is not any different. Your PPP won’t like sitting in compact, soggy soil.
Add some gritty materials to your soil mix to improve drainage and prevent root rot. These materials can include perlite, coco cubes or coco chunks, orchid bark, pumice rocks, lava rocks, and vermiculite.
The rest of your soil mix components should be nutrient-rich, water-retaining organic matter such as coco coir or cocopeat, sphagnum peat moss, compost, among others.
Need an aroid soil recipe? We have one in this article!
Don’t want to make your own? You can buy a philodendron-specific aroid soil potting mix here.
Philodendron Pink Princess Temperature & Humidity Needs
Native to the rainforests of Colombia, the Pink Princess Philodendron thrives in high humidity and warmth. Like most tropical plants, the PPP can’t tolerate the cold. The ideal temperature is above 60°F (15°C), and the humidity level is 50% or higher.
For indoor growers, use humidifiers to keep your PPP happy. Alternatively, you can put your pot over a flat tray of pebbles filled with just enough water. This will create a vapor around your plant that increases humidity.
If you start noticing crumpled leaves with browning edges, it’s probably a sign of lack of humidity. Your PPP might also push out smaller and smaller leaves.
Ventilation is also important for the PPP. Put up electric fans or choose an area with good airflow (such as near open windows) to avoid fungal diseases.
Philodendron Pink Princess Fertilization Needs
The Pink Princess doesn’t typically need plant food, but it can appreciate a monthly application of liquid fertilizers in weak concentrations. As a general rule, shade-loving plants don’t need as much fertilizer as plants that thrive under the full heat of the sun do!
You may also opt for slow-release fertilizers with a balanced N-P-K ratio. These controlled-release pellets will supply your plant with the nutrients it needs for 6 months. If you wish to use other types of plant food, remember to follow the instructions on the product label.
The best time to feed your plant is when it’s actively sprouting new leaves.
Pruning Philodendron Pink Princess
Despite its vining tendencies, the Pink Princess Philodendron’s foliage can be thickened and made more bushy through proper pruning. Use clean shears to trim the stem in between the nodes, encouraging new growing points.
[Note: A node is a small bump on the stem that looks almost like a “pimple”, a roundish bump that juts out slightly from the rest of the plant’s stem.]
Pruning also helps in maintaining a balanced variegation. If the top leaves of your PPP are turning fully pink or fully green but you prefer a speckled pattern, find the most evenly variegated leaf and cut slightly above its node.
Pruning just above your chosen leaf will encourage the new growth to copy the pigment pattern of the leaf below it.
Propagating Philodendron Pink Princess
To propagate Pink Princess Philodendron plants, you can choose among the following methods:
1. Stem Cuttings: Make a cutting with at least one leaf and a node. Without a node, your cutting can never sprout new buds! Dip the cutting in cinnamon or rooting powder to disinfect the wound and encourage faster rooting. Plant directly in sterile potting mix then water the soil. Keep this in a bright shaded area until it’s stable.
2. Water-propagate. Take a cutting and let it sit in a glass of water until it grows roots. Mix in liquid rooting hormone if you have some at home. Don’t forget to replace your water every 3-5 days to avoid bacterial infections. Once the roots are long enough and there is evidence of new growth, plant the cutting into soil.
3. Air-layer. Similar to the process of grafting, cover the stem of your PPP with sphagnum moss using cling wrap. When you notice aerial roots growing through the moss, cut the stem and plant it to a new pot. Don’t forget to remove the cling wrap afterwards!
Repotting Philodendron Pink Princess
Here are steps to follow in repotting your Pink Princess Philodendron:
- Loosen the soil. When your Pink Princess is root-bound, remove it from its pot. I find that the best way to loosen the soil without disturbing the roots is by tilting the pot sideways and tapping all around the sides with my shovel.
- Transplant. Gently tug at the plant. Once it comes out, carefully transplant it into a pot with good drainage, preferably twice as wide and as deep as the root ball. Fill the pot with a growing medium similar to the one it’s used to.
- Support. If the stem is too tall, give it a coco pole or moss pole to climb on, or a bamboo stick to lean on.
- Care for it. Pour water on the soil and keep the plant in a shaded but bright area. It is not a good idea to apply fertilizers or any treatments before the plant has gotten the chance to stabilize.
Philodendron Pink Princess FAQ
Read on if you have more questions about the Pink Princess’ price and availability, its variegation behavior, and toxicity.
What hybrid is Pink Princess Philodendron?
According to Steve Lucas (a botanist who was a core part of the International Aroid Society), there was a grower from Florida who claimed to have bred and patented the Pink Princess from multiple Philodendron parents (one of them being Philodendron Erubescens).
While the original batches of the Pink Princess were mass-reproduced through plant tissue culture, growers all over the world are now propagating this plant through cuttings.
Why are Pink Princess Philodendrons so expensive?
In recent years, the Pink Princess Philodendron has gained mainstream popularity in the international plant community. You may have seen countless plant influencers and vloggers flexing their PPP on social media. Now everyone wants to get their hands on one, driving the hype higher along with the prices!
Most growers propagate the PPP from cuttings, and variegated cuttings will take longer to develop into full plants. The slow growth, combined with the ever-present demand for this uniquely pink Philodendron, keeps the market prices high.
Depending on your country of origin and the number of growers or sellers near your area, the Pink Princess Philodendron can sell for as low as $30 for juvenile plants and fresh cuttings, and up to $2,000 for mature plants.
On average, you can find a PPP with decent size and variegation for roughly $100. The price will increase along with the age and size of the plant, as well as the uniqueness and prominence of the variegation.
What is the difference between Pink Congo Philodendron vs. Pink Princess?
As the demand for the Pink Princess skyrocketed in recent years, growers found creative ways to recreate the pink color that we all love.
The same chemical being used by succulent farmers in Asia to bring out vibrant stress colors in Echeverias is now being used to artificially induce variegation in aroids. The Pink Congo is a Philodendron that came about as a result of this new practice.
Because of its bubblegum-colored top leaves, the Pink Congo was simply meant to be marketed as table centerpieces in special events. Its Indonesian name appropriately translates to “Chameleon” and you’re about to learn why!
At first glance, the fully pink top leaves of a Pink Congo will look identical to the juvenile leaves of a Pink Princess. But beware! The vibrant pink color of a Pink Congo is temporary. When the plant uses up the chemical that induces its variegation, it will revert to green and will completely stop sprouting any pink leaves.
If you are a plant collector who likes leaves that remain pink, opt for the naturally-variegated Pink Princess instead. After all, the market prices for a Pink Congo can go as high as the triple-digit prices for a Pink Princess.
How to tell apart Philodendron Pink Congo vs. Pink Princess?
An easy way to tell apart a Pink Princess from a Pink Congo is by looking at the pattern and prominence of the pink color in their leaves.
If there are small, random patches of pink and sometimes white variegation anywhere on the leaves, then the plant is most definitely a Pink Princess.
If the top leaves have surfaces that are completely covered in a bright pink color (almost as if they were painted over), then the plant is most likely a Pink Congo.
Approximately within 6-12 months after being purchased, the pink-colored leaves of the Pink Congo will turn green in an unnatural pattern, usually starting from the tip. In the photo above, you can see one pink leaf of the Pink Congo already starting to revert.
Another subtle distinction between the two plants is that the Pink Princess will have more pointed leaf tips than the Pink Congo.
Why is my Philodendron Pink Princess not pink?
The PPP has an unstable, unpredictable variegation. Like a true Princess, she will keep you guessing what she wants to do next! To understand why your plant is not sprouting pink leaves as her name promises, first let’s review why leaves are usually green in the first place.
Chlorophyll is a natural compound that captures light then turns it into food for plants. It also gives plants their green pigmentation. In simpler terms, plants which have more green surfaces will have more energy to survive longer!
Variegated plants such as the Pink Princess Philodendron contain instructions in their DNA to produce leaves with vibrant colors not found in regular plants.
However, if the PPP does not get enough light that it needs, it will choose to make green leaves so it can have more surfaces to capture bright light and therefore, survive longer.
[Editor’s Note: Sometimes you will see plants called “Philodendron Burgundy Princess” – it just means that it’s a Philodendron Pink Princess, but it has reverted to the point where the grower no longer expects true pink coloration.]
How do you encourage variegation in the Pink Princess Philodendron?
If your Pink Princess is not as pink as you want her to be, don’t worry! The key to encouraging pink, variegated growth is in increased lighting plus a little bit of stress.
Start by increasing the amount of indirect sunlight that your PPP receives. If it’s an indoor plant, move it as close as possible to a bright windowsill or consider investing in a LED Grow Light.
Plant hobbyists also know a little secret in the industry: Stressing your plant can bring out its wonderful colors, as long as you do it in moderation!
Generally speaking, plants become greener the happier they are. That means they are getting as much water and nutrients that they want for them to stay green.
If you want to encourage pink growth, slowly reduce the amount of water that you give your Pink Princess. Also, stop fertilizing for a few months. Slightly depriving your plant of its needs could bring out some lovely stress colors!
Is Philodendron Pink Princess toxic?
The Pink Princess, like all Philodendrons, is toxic to both humans and pets.
The plant sap contains calcium oxalate crystals which are poisonous upon ingestion, and irritating for the skin on contact. Symptoms include burning sensation on the lips, tongue, and throat; swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and in extreme situations, difficulty breathing.
Please be responsible in handling plants, especially around children and pets. Seek immediate medical advice if any symptoms occur.
Eliza is a writer and a plant hobbyist from the tropical country of the Philippines. She views gardening as an art, but she has made it her mission to learn the scientific aspect of anything that grows on Earth.