The Philodendron Prince of Orange is a houseplant with a very unique color. The leaves start orange and then become green, so you can always see different colors. This easy-care plant has become popular, but there are some key things to know to help it thrive.
The Origins of This Eye-Catching Plant
The Philodendron Prince of Orange is an eye-catching plant. Plant-breeders in the Netherlands created it in the late 1980s. The plant is a patented hybrid from the Royal Dutch Nurseries.
To make this plant, humans mix two types of Philodendron: P. erubescens and P. melinonii. This plant doesn’t exist naturally. We wanted to create a plant that has bright, young leaves and can grow well indoors.
Characteristics of the Philodendron Prince of Orange
The Philodendron Prince of Orange has a unique growth pattern. Its leaves come from a central crown, not vines.
The large, oval-shaped leaves can grow up to 10 inches long. One of the most distinctive features is the leaf color progression.
New leaves emerge a bright golden orange
Mature to a coppery orange-red
Transition to yellowish chartreuse
Finally, darken to a solid green
So at any given time, you can see a mix of colorful foliage. The plant typically reaches heights of 18–24 inches tall and spreads 24-36 inches wide
To care for the Philodendron Prince of Orange indoors, create a warm and moist environment, like its tropical home. The plant needs bright, indirect light, average room temperatures, and high humidity. Allow soil to dry out slightly between waterings to prevent root rot. If you care for this beautiful philodendron, it will grow leaves with unique vibrant colors.
Providing the Right Light for Vibrant Colors
Light is arguably the most important factor in caring for a Philodendron Prince of Orange. This plant needs bright, indirect light to thrive and produce the signature vivid orange and yellow foliage it is prized for.
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How Much Light Does the Philodendron Prince of Orange Need?
Philodendron Prince of Orange thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Ideally, it should get 4-6 hours of bright daylight each day.
Direct sun is too intense and can scorch the leaves. The more light this plant receives, the more intense the orange and yellow colors will be on new growth. With insufficient light, you’ll notice smaller leaves that lack the vibrant hues.
Choosing the Best Location
An east or west-facing window is ideal for Philodendron Prince of Orange. A north-facing window can work as well if it is unobstructed and receives consistent bright light. A south-facing window is usually too intense, unless filtered by a sheer curtain. You may need to move the plant back several feet from the window
If you don’t have a suitable window, consider supplementing with a grow light. LED plant lights can provide full spectrum light for 12-14 hours per day.
Rotate the Plant Frequently
Rotate your Philodendron Prince of Orange every week or so for even growth on all sides. Without rotation, it tends to lean toward the light source.
Watch for Signs of Insufficient Light
Smaller leaf size, lack of orange/yellow hues, and leggy growth indicate your plant needs more light. Move it closer to the window or add supplemental lighting if needed. Your Philodendron Prince of Orange will grow vibrant leaves when placed in bright, indirect light.
Providing the Right Soil for Healthy Roots
To keep Philodendron Prince of Orange healthy, use soil that drains well and retains moisture. The right potting mix encourages lush foliage growth.
Soil Requirements for Philodendron Prince of Orange
This philodendron grows best in loose, airy soil that drains well but still holds some moisture. The ideal potting mix should have these characteristics:
Well-aerated and porous
Moisture-retentive but not soggy or dense
Slightly acidic to neutral pH
Avoid soil mixes that are too heavy or retain too much water. Dense, compacted soil will lead to root rot.
Making Your Own Custom Soil Mix
You can create an ideal potting mix by combining:
2 parts peat moss or coco coir for moisture retention
2 parts perlite or pumice for drainage
1 part compost or worm castings for nutrients
1 part orchid bark for aeration
Purchasing a Ready-Made Potting Mix
Look for a commercial houseplant or aroid mix made for tropical plants like philodendrons. Avoid regular potting soil, as it stays too wet.
A pre-made mix labeled for orchids or epiphytic plants also works well. Or choose an organic citrus and palm soil blend.
Providing the Proper pH
Philodendron Prince of Orange grows best in slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Test the pH of your potting mix and amend if needed.
Repotting for Fresh Soil
Repot your plant every 2-3 years in fresh soil, or whenever the roots have filled the pot. This prevents salt buildup and provides nutrients.
Your Philodendron Prince of Orange will grow well and have colorful leaves in soil that drains well and holds moisture.
Providing the Right Humidity and Temperature
Philodendron Prince of Orange thrives in warm, humid conditions similar to its native tropical habitat. Focus on providing consistent moisture and avoiding temperature extremes.
Ideal Humidity Levels
This plant prefers consistent humidity of 50-70%. The higher the humidity, the better. Lower humidity causes leaf tip burn and brown edges.
You can increase humidity levels for your philodendron by:
Using a humidifier or pebble tray
Misting the leaves daily
Grouping plants together
Ensuring Adequate Air Circulation
While higher humidity is better, also ensure proper airflow around the plant. Stagnant air encourages fungal diseases.
Ideal Temperature Range
Philodendron Prince of Orange does best with daytime temperatures of 65-80°F and nighttime lows above 60°F.
Avoid exposing it to temperatures below 55°F or rapid temperature shifts. Cold drafts and overheating can shock the plant.
Location Affects Temperature
Place your plant away from hot and cold air vents, open windows, and drafts. East or west-facing rooms provide a more stable temperature.
If your home gets cooler than ideal in winter, use a space heater or grow lights to maintain temperatures above 60°F.
With warm, humid conditions and stable temperatures, your Philodendron Prince of Orange will thrive indoors. Monitor moisture levels and air circulation closely.
Providing the Right Amount of Water
Watering properly is key to keeping your Philodendron Prince of Orange healthy. Understanding its water needs will allow you to maintain vibrant foliage.
Philodendron Prince of Orange prefers consistently moist but not soggy soil. Allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out between waterings.
Water less frequently in winter when growth slows. In summer, check soil daily and water as needed to keep moist.
Water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom drainage holes. This ensures the entire root zone is hydrated.
Let excess water drain fully before returning the plant to its decorative pot. Never leave standing water in the saucer.
Signs of Underwatering
If you wait too long between waterings, you may notice:
Leaves becoming limp, droopy, or shriveled
Leaf edges turning brown and crispy
Slower, stunted growth
Signs of Overwatering
If soil stays soggy, you may see:
Yellowing or dropping leaves
Mushy, blackened roots
Foul odor indicating root rot
Philodendron Prince of Orange prefers soft, non-alkaline water around neutral pH. If using hard tap water, allow it to sit out overnight before watering.
Humidity Affects Water Needs
In lower humidity, your plant will require more frequent watering. Increase humidity to help the soil retain moisture longer.
Pay close attention to your plant’s needs, and you will be rewarded with vibrant orange foliage. Adequate water keeps Philodendron Prince of Orange thriving.
Providing Proper Fertilizer
Although Philodendron Prince of Orange doesn’t need much food, using fertilizer at specific times helps it grow well and have vibrant leaves.
This plant has moderate fertilizer requirements. Feed monthly during the active growing period from spring through summer. Dilute liquid fertilizer to half or quarter strength.
Choosing the Right Fertilizer
Select a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. Look for equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.
Organic options like fish emulsion or compost tea also work well. Avoid high-nitrogen formulas.
Apply fertilizer according to label directions. Thoroughly water the plant first before fertilizing. Pour diluted liquid fertilizer evenly over the soil.
Too Much Fertilizer
Overfertilizing can burn roots and leaves. Flush soil with clean water if you see signs of fertilizer buildup.
Fertilizer in Winter
Limit fertilizer in fall and winter when growth naturally slows. You can feed lightly every 6-8 weeks during cooler months if desired.
Repotting Provides Nutrients
When repotting your Philodendron Prince of Orange in fresh soil, this will provide all the nutrients it needs for 2-3 months.
Your plant will grow well and have colorful leaves if you use a balanced fertilizer often.
Propagating Philodendron Prince of Orange
Philodendron Prince of Orange is a patented hybrid and propagating it may infringe on the breeder’s rights. Consider other colorful philodendrons if you want to propagate.
The Challenges of Propagating Philodendron Prince of Orange
This particular philodendron is a proprietary plant developed by a professional breeder. It is protected by plant breeder’s rights, including a US plant patent.
Therefore, growing this mix could violate the patent owner’s rights to their ideas. The only legal way to acquire this plant is by purchasing it from an authorized grower.
Why Propagation Is Restricted
Breeders invest significant time and money into developing new plant hybrids. Patent and breeder’s rights allow them to recoup their investment during the period of exclusivity.
After patent end, propagation is allowed. But Philodendron Prince of Orange is still under patent protection.
If you want to grow more orange philodendrons, try non-patented kinds like Philodendron Brasil. While not exactly the same, these offer similar leaf colors and growth habit.
You can legally propagate these by taking stem tip cuttings. Just be sure you properly identify the plant first.
Purchasing vs. Propagating
For Philodendron Prince of Orange, purchasing a plant is better than attempting propagation. You can appreciate the beauty of this type and respect the breeder’s rights.
Avoiding Common Problems
While generally easy to grow, Philodendron Prince of Orange can encounter a few issues. Being aware of potential problems allows you to identify and treat them early.
Dealing with Pests
This philodendron is prone to common houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Inspect leaves regularly for signs of bugs.
Treat infestations immediately by spraying neem oil or insecticidal soap on plants. You can also wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove pests.
Overwatering can lead to fungal issues like root rot, evidenced by foul odor, mushy roots, and yellow leaves. Improve drainage and cut back on watering.
Bacterial diseases like leaf spot cause brown spots on leaves. Remove affected foliage and avoid wetting leaves.
Causes of Yellowing Leaves
If you notice yellowing older leaves, it could indicate:
Insufficient nitrogen fertilizer
Too much or too little water
Excessive light causing leaf burn
If your plant becomes spindly and leggy with sparse leaves, it likely needs more sunlight. Move it closer to a bright window or add grow lights.
Keeping Leaves Vibrant
To keep leaves orange and prevent greening, give them bright indirect light, humidity, and ideal temperatures all year.
Monitor your plant closely and address issues promptly. With proper care, you can avoid most problems and maintain a thriving Philodendron Prince of Orange.
Conclusion: Enjoy the Vibrant Colors of Philodendron Prince of Orange
With its stunning leaves in shades of orange, yellow, and green, it’s easy to see why Philodendron Prince of Orange has become so popular. This eye-catching houseplant will bring a vibrant pop of color wherever it is displayed.
Key Takeaways for Care
Caring for a Philodendron Prince of Orange is relatively straightforward. Give it bright, indirect light. Keep it in a humid place with moderately moist soil. Make sure the room temperature is average. Feed monthly and watch for pests. Avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot.
Patience Is Needed
Keep in mind that this plant grows slowly and it takes some time for it to reach its mature size and full coloring potential. But the wait is worth it when those vivid orange leaves emerge!
An Easy Care Houseplant
Philodendron Prince of Orange is a great houseplant for beginners or experienced plant parents. It is less demanding than some other philodendron varieties. If you follow the simple care rules, you’ll get a low maintenance, colorful plant for indoors.
Enjoy the Changing Colors
One of the best parts of growing Philodendron Prince of Orange is watching the progression of leaf colors over time. The mix of orange, yellow, chartreuse and green creates a rainbow effect. Moving the plant to catch the light will keep the foliage vibrant.
With the proper care, Philodendron Prince of Orange’s uniquely colored leaves will brighten any living space. This eye-catching plant is sure to be a conversation starter!