Why is Pink Princess Philodendron So Expensive? Revealed!

Variegated pink leaf
Variegated pink princess leaf (Source: Unsplash.com)

Pink Princess Philodendron is so much in demand, yet only a handful of growers are willing to sell these beautifies that too for three digits.

No wonder that makes it one of the most expensive and sought-after decorative plants to have around in the house.

But, what makes this tropical houseplant so expensive?

Pink Princess Philodendrons are expensive because of their high social status and low supply due to unsuccessful propagations and difficulty to achieve optimum pink shade appropriate for selling.

Mature Pink Princess with variegated leaves
Mature Pink Princess with variegated leaves (Source: Etsy)

Therefore, the growers often demand high prices for their niche products from a handful of buyers, giving the plants royal status.

Read on to find out why they are so expensive, where could you find one, and how to identify a fake?

Was Pink Princess Philodendron Always Expensive?

Actually, Yes! Pink Princess Philodendrons were consistently high in demand but less in supply, making them expensive.

Even if you find the cheap one from an online store, it would still not be pocket-friendly.

A mature Pink Princess would start anywhere over $100 and goes upward to almost $2,000.

As a lifestyle magazine, DOMINO quotes;

When it comes to their collections, the mentality of plant influencers is not all that different from that of a fictional Pokémon trainer: They have got to catch them all.

Ornamental Pink Princess
Ornamental Pink Princess (Source: Unsplash)

This is a good reason why Pink Princess is so expensive yet in demand.

The plant has a status symbol among plant lovers where one plant lover would envy another plant lover for owning a Pink Princess Philodendron.

How Did it Come to Be?

A blog points out; it is a plant that holds its variegation in its DNA, meaning it cannot be made to express different levels of nutrients with more light.

Most of the Pink Princesses you find in the market are grown in the lab using the tissue culture method that sees tremendous success.

This process also helps produce a multitude of plants in the perfect pink shade simultaneously that are available for sale.

tissue culture method
Plant tissue cultures are being grown at a USDA seed bank, the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (Source: USDA)

You may find a few propagated plants at a slightly lesser price, but it may be hard to locate one because even the masterful growers cannot guarantee their plant will turn out pink enough to be sold.

Therefore, a quarter to a third of propagated Pink Princess is thrown away for lacking visible signs of pinkness.

However, not all propagation methods fail when trying to reproduce multiple samples simultaneously.

Read our article on Propagating Pink Princess Philodendron if you want to successfully reproduce one at home.

What Makes Philodendron Pink Princess so Expensive?

It is likely that a grower significantly increases the price to cover the loss incurred on batches of unsold Pink Princess.

However, it is not the only reason these unusual plants are so expensive.

Here are a few reasons explaining why Pink Princess Philodendron is so costly.

1. Lab-Grown Product

Much to our surprise, these tropical plants are not found in their natural setting.

Instead, Pink Princess was initially grown in the lab by combining tissues from different Philodendron mother plants.

Tissue culture is a biological research approach that involves transferring tissue fragments from various plant species or different plants from the same species to an artificial environment for growth.

They are grown as unique Philodendron sub-species that mimic the exact qualities of a tropical plant.

Therefore, it is relatively impossible to determine whether the cuttings are from an original plant or early tissue culture.

Note: A single plant with perfect pink variegation is harder to make even in lab-grown conditions, making them a rarity.

2. Variegations of Leaves

Variegation of leaves is one reason that makes Pink Princess an extraordinary plant.

Although there is nothing special about variegation, many plant lovers find this process unique.

A young Pink Princess Philodendron
A young Pink Princess Philodendron with relatively less variegation (Source: Pexels)

Variegation is a simple genetic mutation that removes plants’ green pigments to change their color to something else.

In the case of Pink Princess, it is the perfect shade of color pink distinct from the green part of the leaf that makes it stand out.

However, variegation is very rare to get in Pink Princess, where your chance of one randomly producing variegation is about 1:100’000.

It is why most plant lovers wish to showcase the plant in their homes for decoration and social media.

3. Increase in Demand

The increase in demand for Pink Princess as a houseplant should be credited to Social Media influencers.

Yes, Pink Princess has only become so popular recently with the advent of social media platforms.

Wired reporter Arielle Pardes points out that in a podcast,

Pink princess is an artificial hybrid developed by breeding two different philodendrons in the 1970s. It was an unusual but ordinary houseplant sold for $6 per plant.

However, with the outburst of social media sharing among plant lovers, it became an instant obsession.

A lady holding a Pink princess
A lady holding a Pink Princess (Source: TikTok)

A single 4-inch plant that cost $6 before is now charged upwards of $150.

It caused a significant increase in demand for the plant that even growers found challenging to meet.

One website even highlights it as a rare houseplant and charges above 120 pounds for a single Pink Princess Philodendron.

How to Identify a Fake Pink Princess Philodendron?

Do not be alarmed when you find a Pink Princess Philodendron advertised for a way lower price on many websites and social media sites.

Due to the massive popularity of the plant, some websites even started selling fake Pink Princess, called Pink Congo.

Although not precisely a fake, it is a Philodendron plant native to Congo.

Pink Congo Plant
Pink Congo Plant (source: Etsy.com)

Unlike Pink Princess, its leaves are not naturally variegated but chemically modified to produce a temporary green color.

Here are some tell-tale signs to identify a Pink Congo.

  • Pointier leaves
  • Green leaves on the bottom with pink leaves on the top
  • Full pink shade instead of variegation
  • The small size of the plant
  • Pink Congo leaves revert to green color after 12 months of purchasing.

Pink Congo is modified using Auxin that stimulates ethylene production.

However, the leaves will lose their pink shade over time, turning them green in color.

Therefore, if you find someone advertising Pink Princess online, ensure to check whether they are trying to sell a Pink Congo.

Where to Buy Pink Princess Philodendron?

Thanks to many growers, wholesalers, and retailers showcasing their catalogs online, buying Pink Princess Philodendron has been easy lately.

However, beware of websites advertising fake products or charging extremely high prices.

Here are a few reliable online retailers specializing in Pink Princess.

SellersProsCons
Steves Leaves1. Propagated Pink Princess Philodendrons at a reasonable price.

2. FedEx and USPS shipping option.
1. Shipping will take up to seven days.

2. No international shipping is available.
PLNTS.com1. Buy both baby and mature Pink Princess starting from €19.

2. Free shipping in the order above €75.
1. International shipping available to European countries

2. No shipping to the US.
ETSY.com1. Find a wide variety of Pink Princess from the catalog.

2. International shipping is available.
1. Shipping some products may take over eight days.
Pernell Gerver1. Reasonably priced propagated Pink Princess.

2. A 3" inch plant only costs $15

3. Free shipping on products over $75.
1. Very few choices are available

2. Harder to shop for products online.
Garden Goodies Direct1. Tested products available in different sizes.

2. Delivers within three days.
1. The prices are slightly high.

2. Free shipping is only available over the purchase of $125.

3. $5 per order charge added.

Tips to Take Care of the Newly Brought Pink Princess

Once you successfully brought a plant fresh off the boat, care to provide it an optimum growing condition at all times

A mature plant grown in the right conditions is more likely to maintain its variegated pink leaves.

Here is a guide to help you understand your plant’s requirements.

1. Bright, Indirect Lighting: Pink Princess enjoys bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day. Place them next to a south-facing window but away from direct sunlight.

2. Warm Temperature: It thrives in warm temperatures ranging between 65-79 degrees (18-26°C). Anything below 60-degrees Fahrenheit can damage the plant

3. Appropriate Watering: Water when the top 2-inches of the soil dry out: Schedule watering every 7-10 days in the growing season and once in 15-20 days in winter.

4. High Humidity: The leaves attain full color when the humidity level is around 65-75%. Use a room humidifier to provide adequate air humidity to the plant.

5. Regular Fertilizing: Provide a balanced liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks from spring to summer. Use NPK fertilizer with 20% of each component to boost stem and foliage growth.

6. Control Pests: They are prone to mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, scale, and fungus gnats. Follow this guide to identify and effectively remove the pests.

7. Control Diseases: Overwatering can invite severe root rot, rust spots, and fungal infections. Follow this guide to identify and effectively treat the diseases.

Pink Princess with reverting Leaves
Pink Princess with reverting Leaves (Source: Unsplash)

FAQs About Pink Princess Philodendron

Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about Pink Princess Philodendron.

Why are the Pink Leaves Dying?

There is nothing wrong with your plant. The pink leaves will die off pretty soon, which gives an impression of a sick plant, but it is not so.

The pink leaves are less resilient than green leaves because they lack chlorophyll that helps produce food for the plant.

As they do not work as efficiently as the green leaves, they will die off pretty soon.

However, do not be alarmed because it is not your fault. They push out a new leaf every two to three weeks.

How Long Will it Take for Green Leaves to Turn Pink?

Most plants will not exhibit any pink until they are pretty mature.

Hence, do not expect a young plant to give rich variegated pink leaves.

You should wait a few months during the growing season to see the first instance of pink variegation.

Providing ample indirect sunlight and appropriate plant food will help achieve the signature pink shade.

Why are the Leaves Turning Green?

Some mature plants stop growing the signature variegated leaves.

At this point, the plant starts to overrun with all green leaves, known as “reverting.”

Prune your plant back to the last leaf with some variegation left. If you are lucky, the plant will regrow pink variegations.

Pink Princess with other variegated plants
Pink Princess with other variegated plants (Source: Unsplash)

Conclusion

Pink Princess Philodendron is not rare as it is said to be, but indeed quite challenging to find. Refer above to find the websites where you can shop for Pink Princess.

However, be beware of buying a Pink Princess Lookalike advertised on many different websites. Check for the tell-tale signs and the seller’s credibility before purchasing.

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