If you’re like most people, you might be familiar with the ever-vibrant heartleaf philodendron. But you’re not like most people because you’re reading this article about Philodendron Prince of Orange.
Recently considered as a ‘plant collectors’ specimen, this plant is a must-have houseplant for any serious plant lover.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a plant that can add the perception of warmth, spark conversations, and light up your otherwise dull interiors, then you should add ‘Prince of Orange’ philodendron to your houseplant collection.
The ‘Prince of Orange’ plant lives up to its royal expectation since it’s a sturdy, self-heading, and compact growing plant with bright new orange leaves that are very easy to grow and care for just like its sister version – the ‘Pink Princess’ philodendron.
In today’s post, I’m going to discuss everything you need to know about philodendron prince of orange including identification, propagation, growing requirements, common problems, and expert care tips so that you can successfully grow this rare and expensive plant.
What’s Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’
How to Identify the ‘Prince of Orange’ plant?
Philodendron is a diverse genus of flowering plants in the Araceae family. It is one of two genera commonly referred to as "philodendron" -- the other being Monstera. The name comes from the Greek words Philo ("love") and dendron ("tree").
They are usually grown for their foliage, which may be green, red, brown, orange, or variegated. Prince of Orange, in particular, is a cultivar in a group of hybrids called the Red-leaf Philodendrons (Philodendron erubescens).
Other cultivars include ‘Black Cardinal’, ‘Burgundy’, ‘Pink Princess’, ‘Red Empress’, and White Princess.
If you want to tell the ‘Prince of Orange’ apart from the rest of the cultivars, you should check the leaves. The ‘Prince of Orange’ philodendron has bright orange new leaves and is a good choice for a compact growing plant.
As the plant matures, the leaves begin to turn green. Therefore, the younger leaves are bright orange while the older leaves are green.
Noteworthy characteristics (Plant Profile Summary)
Common name(s): Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ or Prince of Orange plant.
Scientific/Botanical name: Philodendron erubescens ‘Prince of Orange’.
USDA Hardiness zones: 10 to 12 if growing outdoor.
Mature Height: Up to 2 feet tall.
Mature Spread: Up to 1.5 feet wide.
Growing habit: Compact and Self-heading (all stems/leaves originate from a central base).
Native Area: A hybrid with roots in Southern America (Colombia).
Blooming Time: Inconsequential flowering (grown for foliage).
Toxicity: Poisonous to pets and humans.
Is Prince of Orange Plant Toxic?
Yes. Although philodendrons are some of the most common houseplants, they’re all toxic to cats, dogs, and humans.
This is because their leaves contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals similar to other plants in the Araceae family. When ingested, it could cause drooling, oral pain, decreased appetite, vomiting, and pawing at the mouth.
Be sure to protect your pets and loved ones especially the children by placing the plants far away from their reach.
Philodendron Autumn Vs Prince of Orange
If you don’t know how to distinguish an ‘Autumn’ philodendron from Prince of Orange or vice versa, don’t worry because you’re not alone.
In fact, I’ve seen reputable plant nurseries and garden centers label a Prince of Orange as Autumn. It’s nobody’s fault since these plants are so much alike than they are different.
So, what makes them similar?
They are all self-heading philodendron hybrids that grow upright without any support. Besides, the color of their leaves which changes as they mature does look the same to the untrained eye.
But these two philodendron cultivars are quite different.
Difference between philodendron Prince of Orange and the Autumn philodendron
Leaves shape: The leaves of Autumn philodendron are narrow in shape while Prince of Orange leaves appear wider in comparison.
Leaves color: 'Autumn' has leaves that start out coppery-red to purplish and eventually change to olive green. 'Prince of Orange' produces new leaves that are a bright shiny orange that matures to green.
Light requirement: The Prince of Orange philodendron does well in low light and maintains its orange color in all levels of light while the ‘Autumn’ needs bright indirect sunlight to thrive.
How to Propagate Prince of Orange Philodendrons?
You can propagate the Prince of Orange plant in 3 simple steps as follows:
Step 1: Remove a healthy-looking leaf from the mother plant.
Step 2: Insert the leaf on some moist potting soil in a pot or flat with about 2 inches of soil.
Step 3: Keep it warm and damp. When you see roots and some micro-shoots growing from the base of the leaf, pot it up.
Generally, you can propagate philodendrons by division as well as from seed.
The vegetative reproduction of slow-growing, long-lived species is most commonly done by division.
In this process, a piece of the stem with at least three nodes is removed from an existing plant. The cutting is then planted in the soil and will begin to grow from the new nodes.
Philodendrons can also be propagated from seed although rare.
To do this, remove the seeds from the fruit, wash them thoroughly in warm water, and allow them to dry out overnight. Sow the seeds about 1/4-inch-deep in moist potting soil.
Keep them warm (80 degrees F) and moist (not soggy) for about two weeks until they germinate.
Where to Grow your Philodendron Prince of Orange
As already established, this philodendron cultivar is self-heading (non-vining) and grows to only 2 feet tall making it an ideal plant to use as a floor accent. The stiff, dark red leaf stems hold the large leaves upright.
Besides, you can grow them in smaller pots and place them on a porch or by a window with indirect sunlight, but they may also do well in sunnier areas.
The Best Potting Mix for Philodendron Prince of Orange
The best potting mix for philodendron prince of orange is one made from bark and sphagnum moss. This provides a well-drained environment and allows proper aeration of the soil.
However, mixing these components to achieve an ideal potting mix on your own might not always be possible. In such a case, I’d recommend this ready-made Potting Mix for Tropical plants.
Using peat-based potting mix has been known to cause root rot or pseudomonas blight, which appears as yellowing spots on leaves, which later turn grayish brown and have a water-soaked appearance at their centers.
Watering should be done with only room temperature to cold water. Using hot or warm water will cause the plant to drop leaves and possibly develop root rot.
Pot the Plants in a Container with Drainage Holes
Philodendrons need a deep pot with at least one bottom drainage hole. You can use either plastic or clay pots, but make sure they have plenty of holes for good drainage.
In case you need to spark your creativity in selecting the pots, read this article on 13+ Best Indoor Pot Planters for Home Decoration.
Watering Your Philodendron Plants
Always allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out between waterings. If a plant becomes very droopy, you may have overwatered it and chances are its roots have become too wet.
To correct this, do not water it for a few days, but do not let the plant completely dry out.
Overwatering Your Prince of Orange
Most philodendrons will droop when they are too wet or wilt when they become too dry. Drooping foliage is often a sign that the plant has been overwatered or is suffering from underwatering.
Drooping from overwatering is often accompanied by mushy, rotting roots. Wilting or drooping leaves can also be a sign of disease or pest problems.
Underwatering Your Prince of Orange
Turning brown and crispy indicates that the plant has been underwatered—it may even wilt and drop its leaves.
If you want to learn the best practices for watering most potted plants, read this article - How to Water Potted Plants and Keep them Happy
Prince of Orange philodendron is a light feeder which doesn’t require regular fertilizer application.
You should fertilize only during the active growing phase using a liquid houseplant fertilizer once every three to four weeks.
Take care, not to over-fertilize the plant otherwise it will cause the leaf tips and margins to curl or turn brown. To err on the side of caution, apply the fertilizer at half strength.
Repot the Plant when it Outgrows its Pot
When repotting becomes necessary (roots coming out of the drainage holes), use a pot only 1 or 2 inches larger in diameter.
If necessary, repot in the spring when active growth begins or in early summer. It is not recommended to repot again until the plant has finished blooming.
Prince of Orange Philodendron Light Requirements
Avoid placing Prince of Orange in direct sunlight, which can burn its foliage.
This is a low-light plant, whether you grow it indoors or it's planted in the landscape. Site it where it receives indirect light, mindful that light levels change from season to season.
Philodendrons will do best with an eastern exposure or dappled sunlight through an open window. Place the pot away from drafty windows or heating vents that may dry out the soil.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
Temperature and humidity always go hand in hand. The availability and intensity of one will always influence the other. And yet these two are important for the survival of your Prince of Orange.
Luckily, these hardy plants will do just fine in regular room temperatures. But ideally, keep your plant in temperatures between 60 and 75° F and avoid exposing it to temperatures below 55° F. Otherwise, they’ll develop dark brown blotches as a result of cold injury.
When it comes to humidity, like other plants native to the tropics, Prince of Orange philodendron thrives under conditions of high relative humidity. This presents a problem as we move plants indoors.
According to the University of Missouri, the average interior setting during winter has a relative humidity lower than that of the Sahara Desert!
Therefore, you should consider using an indoor plant humidifier to improve the environment for your plants.
Pruning Prince of Orange Philodendron
Given the right growing conditions, your philodendron Prince of Orange will begin flowering. After a while, the flowers will be spent leaving behind unsightly flower spikes.
In this case, you can prune out the spent flower stalk to keep the plant looking great. Besides, you should occasionally take the time to cut off the dry older leaves.
Pests and Diseases Management
These plants may be susceptible to mites, mealybugs, and aphids. You can easily control all these pests with an application of a systemic insecticide, such as Orthene as a final resort.
Otherwise, you should use preventive measures which include providing the plant with the right growing conditions as explained in this article.
The most common disease that affects Prince of Orange plants is called black spot or blight.
It appears as dark blotches on the leaves and stems. You can control Black Spot by removing all affected plant parts immediately and destroying them.
The second most common disease is called root rot or pseudomonas blight.
It appears as yellowing spots on the leaves, which later turn grayish brown and have a water-soaked appearance at their centers. Mostly caused by overwatering.
To control the disease, improve your watering practices and remove all the affected plant parts before destroying them.
Care tips for philodendrons Prince of Orange in summary
-Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch.
-Do not allow water to remain on foliage or in rosettes long enough to drip onto the soil below.
-Fertilize during spring and summer months with a liquid houseplant fertilizer once every three to four weeks at half strength.
-Trim off spent flowers stalks and old dying leaves
-Apply insecticide mix of one teaspoon Orthene, 2 teaspoons canola oil, and 1-gallon water for control of mealy bugs, aphids, and mites. (This will not kill spider mites).
-Apply systemic insecticide mix of 3 teaspoons Orthene, 1 tablespoon Neem oil, and one-gallon water for control of black spot or blight on leaves.
-Change the soil every two years with a fresh potting mix made from bark and sphagnum moss.
-Clean the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust
Most plant lovers are drawn to philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ because they are so easy to care for and their leaves give the appearance of being "alive". I hope you too feel the same way.
And in today’s post, you’ve learned how to make them appear more lively. With good care, these plants are durable and can grow up to 2 feet making them such great candidates for your floor accent.
I hope you’ve found this article insightful. If you did, consider giving it a share!