The Philodendron Prince of Orange is a striking plant that adds color and dimension to a space without being demanding. This once-hard-to-find houseplant is a regular at most plant stores and is even known to sometimes be available at big box home improvement stores and supermarkets. Officially known as Philodendron erubescens ‘Prince of Orange,’ this charmer is a hybrid related to other self-heading Philodendrons like the Pink Princess, Green Emerald, Red Emerald, and Rojo Congo. Philodendron Prince of Orange care is easy, but here’s what you need to know.
The Philodendron erubescens is native to Columbia and thrives in tropical rainforests. The Prince of Orange boasts bright red stems, but the foliage is the real draw. The broad, arrow-shaped leaves come to a point and slightly curl downward at the end.
This easy-care houseplant features bold foliage. New leaves are bright orange but may also exhibit red or yellow tones before displaying a medium-hued orange. The orange fades into a neon green or chartreuse before sinking into a subdued dark green. Only juvenile leaves showcase brilliant colors. As the leaves age, they change color. The dark green provides a nice contrast against the brightly colored new growth and helps the young leaves to stand out.
The Philodendron erubescens is a natural and skilled climber, but the Prince of Orange cultivar tends to keep a more bushy form. Mature plants stand a few feet tall.
Variegated Prince of Orange
There’s a variegated version of this plant known as Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange Variegata.’ Young leaves feature shades of yellow and orange in random and organic patterns. Ultimately, leaves do fade into a glossy, dark green. The Prince of Orange Variegata is still considered rare, so be prepared to search if you want to add this lovely specimen to your collection.
One of These Things is Not Like the Other
The Prince of Orange is easily confused with the Philodendron McColley’s Finale. The leaves of the Prince of Orange are slightly narrower, but this is only apparent if you’re a Philodendron expert or you can compare mature plants side-by-side. The easiest way to distinguish these two plants is to examine new leaves. New foliage on McColley’s Finale is red. The Prince of Orange leaves may look reddish when they first unfurl, but they soon settle into an orange hue.
How Much Light Does the Philodendron Prince of Orange Need?
The Prince of Orange needs bright indirect light. Direct light will burn the leaves, so while a sunny, south-facing window seems like a good fit, hang sheer curtains or move the plant a few feet back from the window.
Some colorful plants benefit from increased sunlight, but the leaves of the Prince of Orange will transition from orange to green no matter how much light it receives. Increased light will cause the plant to grow faster, so the leaves will transition more quickly, but increased light will also help the plant push out new leaves as soon as possible. Plants that receive low light may have muted colors, so if you want to get the most vibrant, dazzling orange possible, find a sunny spot.
Grow Big and Strong
Rotate the plant so each side receives even sunlight. If you don’t periodically spin the pot, the plant will lean into the sunlight to get as much light as possible. Give the pot a quarter turn every time you water or get on whatever schedule works for you. Rotating the pot will help the plant grow upright.
Prince of Orange Water Needs
Water the Prince of Orange when the top few inches of the soil are dry. The most effective way to gauge the dampness of the soil is to stick your finger in the potting mix. Get the entire root ball wet when it is time to water. Allow excess moisture to drain through the container, and remove any standing water from the cover pot or saucer.
Yellow, wilting leaf tips that eventually turn brown and progress closer to the stem indicate overwatering. The plant is underwatered when the entire leaf forms a yellow hue or the stems and leaves droop.
Soil should be moist but well-drained. The soil should hold some dampness, but allow most of the water to run through, preventing root rot. Rich soil is beneficial and will support new growth. Most houseplant potting mixes are a good choice and provide the necessary support.
Temperature for Prince of Orange
The Prince of Orange is a tropical plant, so it likes warm weather, and most homes are warm enough for this stunner to thrive. Warm temperatures between 65° to 80° F are best. Keep the plant away from drafty windows and doors and heating and cooling vents.
The lovely foliage will look amazing on a porch or patio during the summer, but monitor the temperatures to protect the plant. Sweltering temperatures will cause the leaves to wilt, while temperatures below 55° F can be fatal.
Does the Philodendron Prince of Orange Need Humidity?
The Prince of Orange prefers increased humidity but is willing to settle for average humidity. Extra dampness in the air helps this tropical beauty thrive. Humid areas, like kitchen or bathroom windowsills, are good locations.
Dry, brown patches form along the edges of the foliage when the air is too dry, or the leaves will curl. Help your plant by grouping several plants to slightly increase the humidity in the immediate area and also create a curated look.
If necessary, bring in a humidifier or a pebble tray with water. Be mindful of seasonal changes. Most areas have plenty of humidity during the summer, but the air may become too dry during the winter.
Prince of Orange Fertilizer Basics
Houseplants need help with nutrition, so fertilizing is vital to help your Prince of Orange thrive. Give the plant monthly feedings using a diluted, balanced fertilizer. Only feed your Philodendron during the spring and summer, and stop fertilizing when the plant is dormant.
Pruning Prince of Orange
Most Prince of Orange houseplants only grow a few feet tall and wide, so pruning is not generally necessary. Large plants can be cut back to fit a space but hold onto those cuttings to propagate. Older leaves near the base will naturally die, so fading foliage can be removed to redirect energy into new growth.
Does the Philodendron Prince of Orange Bloom?
The Philodendron Prince of Orange does bloom. A red spathe surrounds the white spadix flower and grows on spikes that emerge between the foliage. Houseplants seldom set flowers, and the foliage is much more impressive, so many plant owners choose to remove the flower spike to encourage leaf production.
When to Repot Prince of Orange
Repot your Prince of Orange every one to two years as needed. This Philodendron is a moderately fast-growing plant, especially when the care is on point, so it may be necessary to repot annually. Roots growing through drainage holes, peaking above the soil, and slowed growth are the usual signs that your plant needs a new container. Always select a container with drainage that is one to two inches larger so the roots have room to spread.
Philodendron Prince of Orange Propagation
Propagating is an effective way to expand your plant collection, and it’s especially helpful if you have a somewhat rare plant, like a Prince of Orange. Create more plants via cuttings. Each cutting should have growth nodes and a couple of leaves. The cutting only needs one node to set roots, but a cutting with at least two nodes doubles your chances of success.
Place the cutting in soil, sphagnum moss, or water so the nodes are covered. Keep the soil or moss damp but not soggy, and freshen the water weekly. Roots should grow in a few weeks. Water- or sphagnum moss-propagated plants can be transplanted into potting mix when the roots are at least one inch long. Keep the soil damp for the first few weeks before slowly scaling back on the water and settling into a regular watering routine.
Is the Prince of Orange Pet Safe?
The Philodendron Prince of Orange is not safe to have around pets. Philodendrons contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. Eating or just chewing on the foliage or stems can cause swelling and discomfort of the tongue and mouth and gastrointestinal problems. While this is a lovely and colorful plant, be aware before bringing it home if you have pets.
Prince of Orange Styling Tips
The Philodendron Prince of Orange has a compact growth habit and can be displayed on a tabletop. Large plants will be a few feet tall and are a good candidate for a plant stand to brighten a corner or anchor a console table. The Prince of Orange is not much for trailing or climbing, so don’t bother with a hanging basket or trellis. Give this plant a bold or decorative container because as it grows up, the pot will always be visible.
Philodendron Prince of Orange Care Tips
The Philodendron Prince of Orange puts on a dazzling foliage display that is truly stunning. This Philodendron is an easy-care houseplant that does not require constant attention to look its best. Set your Prince of Orange up for success by selecting a sunny spot and only water when the top few inches of the soil are dry.