(image credits, IG: plantsofkelsey)
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” is a stunning thing of beauty in the world of philodendrons. It belongs to the large Araceae family of tropical forest dwellers. But this specific exotic plant is a hybrid that you won’t find in a natural environment.
Tropical gardeners who grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” all claim that this species is truly a showstopper.
Rightly so. The leaves of this plant unfurl with a deep orange-bronze hue, turning salmon as they get bigger and golden as more time lapses. Finally, a fully grown leaf turns light green gradually taking a darker hue with age.
When all the colors stand together on a single plant, what a flamboyant riot of colors it is!
Although most philodendron varieties are vine-like with a climbing growth habit, Philodendron “Prince of Orange” is a self-header i.e. its petioles are stacked close together and the stem is not visible until the plant really ages.
This makes it perfect for indoor growing.
This plant is no tiny accent plant – it can get quite big if you follow our Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care instructions. So make sure you’re prepared to accommodate the size. Contents
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” Care Guide
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care primarily involves recreating a tropical environment. You need to grow “Prince of Orange” giving plenty of warmth, bright light, humidity and moisture throughout the year. They need loose, well-draining soil rich in organic content. They are suited for ambient room temperatures in the range of 65 – 80°F (18 – 27°C).
When you grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” in a pot or planter, the roots need to get all the nutrition from that limited environment. For best results you should use rich, airy potting soil that drains well and is high in organic matter.
It needs a limited amount of soil substrate, more for stability in the pot than anything else. But if your soil is clayey, avoid it. Use sand instead. This forms the inorganic soil base which can make up to about 50% of the base.
Now you need to supplement with plenty of organic substrate which makes up the other 50%.You can use peat moss, coconut husk, leaf much, compost, organic manure etc.
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care tip: In the above mixture I like to add chunky bits to ensure better soil aeration. You can get creative with this part. Try using crushed walnut shells, coco-chips, crushed bark, chopped wood waste etc. Basically, anything organic and sterile you can find around the house.
Now, if you find all this difficult to organize there’s an easy hack around it. Buy a bag of good succulent mix and add peat and organic manure to it. Boom! You have a great mix to grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” in.
They all say Philodendron “Prince of Orange” is a great shade plant. But in my experience, the plant needs 70-85% sunlight just to have those wonderful colors popping.
If it receives a bit of direct sunlight in the mornings or evenings for even about half an hour, it does wonders to the color display of the leaves. But for the rest of the day it only needs indirect sunlight or bright shade. Direct noon sun exposure is a no no.
If you grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” indoors in shade it won’t die. But the plant will lose the dramatic foliage color and significantly slow down in growth.
They grow faster in semi-bright filtered light.
If you live in cold climatic zones, you should grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” indoors and place them under fluorescent lights particularly in winter months.
The only aspect people tend to get wrong in Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care is watering. While buying the plant the pros will tell you to dry out the soil between watering. In my own experience, these plants prefer even moisture. Just make sure your soil isn’t soggy.
The optimal Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care you need to provide differs according to your specific growing environment.
In the tropics you can grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” outdoors and you can water it every alternate day. If you grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” in a well-draining soil mix as explained above, you can let the top soil dry out 1 – 2 inches before you deeply water again.
This is the watering schedule during spring to early autumn months. In the fall and winter, you can reduce watering but don’t let the soil go bone dry as a general rule.
In the cold northern zones indoors in a pot is the safest way with just bare minimum watering.
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care involves providing plenty of warmth being a tropical plant. The best growth can be seen in equatorial weather zones. The ideal temperature range is between 65 – 80°F (18 – 27°C).
If the temperature gets warmer just place the plant in filtered light and hydrate sufficiently.
Even if you live in a cold country you can still grow this plant indoors provided you keep it at room temperature and it never falls under 55°F (13°C). It survives fairly easily in a heated room. It needs to be kept indoors always in winters.
A humid condition is always welcome when you grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange”. They love being misted and it helps them stay fresh and clean.
But do gently wipe them dry to prevent diseases or mold. Mist them as often as 3 or 4 times a week in winters if your indoor humidity is very low.
Keep humidity at least 50% or higher for the best results in terms of growth and plant health. You can even use humidifiers if you’re growing your Philodendron “Prince of Orange” in a desert dry room.
I prefer to feed Philodendron “Prince of Orange” just organic manure and don’t believe it needs chemical fertilization in addition to this.
All the decomposed and sterile organic soil additives we discussed in the soil section like peat, leaf mulch, bark, and organic manure mixed with soil acts as slow-release plant food.
That said, there are home gardeners who prefer to give their plants a little extra and that is fine too as long as you take a few precautions. You can do a bi-monthly Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care schedule with balanced fertilizer like a 10-10-10. Just people dilute to avoid salt build up.
There is one particular fertilizer that I do find very good for all aroids in general including philodendrons and that is fish emulsion. Applying this once in two weeks indeed gives good results.
The rule of thumb for Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care is to stick to a balanced liquid foliage boosting one. This allows you to dilute the concentration easily. Remember that excessive fertilization deforms the leaves and even kills the plant.
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” is a tricky plant to propagate. Climbing philodendrons are easy to propagate from stem cuttings in soil or water.
But for self-heading varieties such as Philodendron “Prince of Orange”, the usual methods of philodendron propagation don’t apply. It can even test your patience.
There are some workarounds however that I am going to tell you about. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to propagate and grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange”.
You can grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” in a pot on a long-term basis without worrying about it wanting to climb. The self heading growth habit of this flamboyant plant keeps the stem very short and the leaves stack up closely over one another.
The result is that the multi-colored foliage forms a gorgeous rosette formation like a bouquet. The plant does take up lateral space though. So make sure to place it out of the way of traffic.
When the plant is small you can grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” on a tabletop in a small size pot and as it gets larger you could move to the location suitable for that size.
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care doesn’t call for pruning. Just trimming out old and discolored leaves, stems and dried aerial roots with sharp garden shears is quite enough.
It is a good idea to de-head very mature Philodendron “Prince of Orange” plants where the plant head overhangs the pot and a leggy stem is visible. You can carefully propagate the head cutting. The base should produce new growth if all the conditions are right.
You can grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” in a root bound fashion because they are after all epiphytic in nature.
You need to repot them only when they get top-heavy and the roots fill the existing pot. You’ll know from the incredibly slow growth of the plant. Also choose a heavy pot that can support the weight of the plant. Terracotta planters serve that purpose well.
Mature plants may require repotting once in 2-3 years. Repotting should be limited to spring and summer months.
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” Propagation – Step by Step Instructions
Professional growers propagate self-heading philodendrons from seeds or more commonly through tissue culture. Both of these methods are not possible for home gardeners.
I am going to share what has worked for me. The main rule of Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care is to propagate it ONLY when the weather starts becoming warm with high humidity levels. Springtime is ideal to improve the chances of success.
Propagate Philodendron “Prince of Orange” from plantlets
- Choose a mature Philodendron “Prince of Orange” and look for little plantlets at the base of the plant where the thick stem is exposed.
- Let the plantlet grow big enough until it has a couple of leaves visible. This could take anywhere between a month to several months depending on the growth environment.
- Preferably choose a plantlet that has aerial roots which can be encouraged in the plant using the air-layering technique described below.
- After the roots are long enough cut the plantlet off the mother and pot it separately in soil.
- Continue with Philodendron “Prince of Orange” care as usual.
How to air-layer your Philodendron “Prince of Orange”
Keep a 6” ziplock bag, water-soaked sphagnum moss and twisty ties ready.
- Punch a few small holes at the bottom of the bag and place a handful of soaked sphagnum moss inside it.
- Make slits at the top of the ziplock bag such that it gets flaps or wings.
Now let’s look at the plant.
- Look for any aerial root bumps at the base of the plantlet.
- With a sharp clean knife make a small slit under the node where you want your plantlet to root. Just 2mm deep is fine.
- The slit induces rooting but you have to be very careful that you don’t run the knife right through
- With your palm hold the wet moss in the plastic bag, against the cut on the stem without breaking the plantlet.
- Use your free palm to wrap the plastic wings around the stem. Secure this wet moss cocoon there with twisty ties.
- The plant needs to be kept in bright shade.
- The moss needs to be kept moist for a few weeks until you can see brand new roots growing through them. This may take a few weeks.
- Remove the plastic and the moss carefully without breaking your new roots.
- With sharp sterile scissors separate the plantlet along with its new roots.
- Pot the plantlet and grow it in shade until it is well established.
View this post on Instagram
Common Problems with Philodendron “Prince of Orange”
Philodendron “Prince of Orange” is by and large pest and disease resistant unless the care conditions are suboptimal. Here are some of the common problems the plant may face.
Irregular wet patches on the leaves
If the tan patches look water-soaked and give off an unpleasant odor then you’re looking at a bacterial infection such as Erwinia blight or Pseudomonas leaf spot. The disease normally affects juvenile plants.
This bacterial infection spread through moisture i.e. water droplets on the leaf surface. You must isolate the plant from others in your garden.
Then eliminate the affected leaves cleaning the scissors before and after the operation. Stop misting the plant and keep the leaves dry. Water only at the roots. Bactericides are usually not needed.
Sudden dark patches on the leaf
This is usually due to cold draft exposure. Remove the damaged leaves and move your plant indoors.
Sudden wilting of leaves or yellowing
The main cause of this is root rot caused due to overwatering. It may also be due to a fungal infection of the roots. Check the roots of the plant immediately. If it’s a juvenile you may not be able to save the plant. Otherwise you can salvage the head and try to propagate it as explained above.
Yellow leaves / brown leaves
If the edges of the leaf start getting brown and crispy then you’re underwatering. If the leaves turn yellow even with consistent watering it could be the result of overwatering.
This plant has shiny vibrant foliage. If you see the colors looking a bit dull or drained it is typically an indicator of insufficient lighting. This plant is marketed as a shade plant. But it only means it can tolerate shade, not flourish in it. Try moving your plant to a bright spot.
If you choose to grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange”, you needn’t worry about pests. Common sucking pests such as aphids, moths (worms), fungus gnats, mealybugs, scales, shore flies, and thrips are rarely seen.
The best way to control this is a regular application of insecticidal soap and neem oil as prescribed on the package. Also, an occasional water bath of the leaves helps too.
Tips to keep Philodendron “Prince of Orange” problem-free
- Maintain temperature above 70°F (21°C) throughout the year and at every circumstance above 55°F (13°C)
- Indirect sunlight or bright shade is the best lighting to grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange”
- Loose well-drained soil with plenty of organic content is the best
- Keep the soil evenly moist during growing months but never soggy wet
- Wash the leaves regularly to get rid of pests and dust. Give them good air circulation after washing
- High humidity through regular misting promotes good growth and shiny foliage
- Grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” in a relatively compact pot, ideally a terracotta or a ceramic one for base stability
- Repot in spring just before the active growing season
Frequently asked questions about Philodendron “Prince of Orange”
Is Philodendron “Prince of Orange” toxic to cats?
This plant is toxic to pets. This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals just as in other plants in the Araceae family.
Chewing the plant will release these chemicals causing tissue penetration and irritation of the mouth and GI tract.
Pets consuming any part of the plant could exhibit symptoms such vomiting, loss of appetite, and excessive drooling.
Can you propagate Philodendron “Prince of Orange” from seeds?
Technically, yes. But this needs the plant to flower and when grown indoor in pots they rarely flower.
The method adopted by professional nursery growers is tissue culture.
How do I make Philodendron “Prince of Orange” look bushy?
This is a type of self-heading philodendron that you can’t prune. You can make it grow bushy by giving it a good foliage inducing fertilizer and enough bright light to encourage solid growth.
Should you mist Philodendron “Prince of Orange”?
Highly recommended to encourage lush growth. But follow it up with good air circulation so that there’s limited scope for spread of infections.
Philodendrons are lush-growing large plants. Unless you have a full-fledged tropical greenhouse it may be difficult to keep collecting different species.
So, for those wanting to grow just one or two species of philodendrons I would greatly recommend that you grow Philodendron “Prince of Orange” because this is an absolute stunner.