Philodendrons are some of the most popular houseplants. Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ is a unique variety which has leaves that change colour over time.
Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ is quite a spectacular houseplant. The leaves change colour over time, ranging from yellow and pink to orange and dark green, with young leaves differing in colour to more mature ones. And while you would assume that such a peculiar plant would be quite demanding, Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ is surprisingly easy to care for!
Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’: origin and characteristics
Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’, also known as ‘Orange Prince’, is a plant variety that is the result of crossing different varieties of the genus Philodendron. Philodendrons are tropical plants which originate from the rainforests of South America and can have a bushy or climbing growth habit. What makes ‘Prince of Orange’ plants unique is their unusual leaf colouring. New leaves are initially a yellow-orange colour and turn dark green as they mature. The leaves, which are oval in shape and taper to a point, emerge from the centre of the plant. This variety grows quite bushy and needs quite a bit of space. With good care and the right location, it can grow up to 90 cm high and wide. The flowers are small, plain and white but when kept as a houseplant, Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ rarely blooms.
Tip: There is a cultivar known as Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange Variegata’ which, on top of having leaves that change colour over time, also shows variegation on the individual leaves.
Growing Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’: where and how
As with most species of Philodendron, Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ does best in partial shade. Choose a bright spot where your plant will receive a little direct sunlight in the morning or evening at most. As the ‘Prince of Orange’ has a tendency to spread out, make sure to give it enough space to do so. Turn the pot regularly to ensure the plant grows evenly. As this plant is native to the tropics, it needs providing with enough humidity to mimic its natural environment. One way of doing so is to place the pot on top of a saucer filled with expanded clay and water. That way, the water that evaporates from the saucer will increase the humidity around the plant. This tropical plant also needs a warm environment with a temperature between 18 and 25 °C all year round.
When potting up your Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’, use a well-draining soil that retains water well, such as our Plantura Organic All Purpose Compost. Our peat-free soil contains enough nutrients to provide your houseplants with all the food it needs for a while after planting. This soil also has a stable yet loose structure and is slightly acidic, making it ideal for Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’. To prevent waterlogging and therefore root rot, create a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot using coarse material such as clay shards or expanded clay.
Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ care
Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ care differs only slightly from philodendron care in general. Apart from turning the plant occasionally to ensure even growth, you will need to water and fertilise your philodendron regularly. For watering, room temperature water low in lime is best. When fertilising your Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’, use a liquid fertiliser for houseplants, such as our Plantura Liquid Houseplant Food. Our liquid houseplant fertiliser not only strengthens the visible parts of the plant with its nutrients, but also contains microorganisms that ensure optimal nutrient utilisation. Fertilise your Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ every four weeks from spring to autumn. In the winter months, it is enough to apply fertiliser every eight weeks. While there is no need to prune ‘Prince of Orange’, you can cut off old or wilted leaves at the base.
Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ needs repotting once every one to two years. The best time to repot plants is in spring. A tell-tale sign that a plant needs repotting is when the roots start protruding through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. To repot your ‘Prince of Orange’, take a slightly larger pot, create a drainage layer at the bottom, and give the plant fresh soil.
The best way to propagate Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange’ is by cuttings. A good time to do this is in spring once the growing season has begun, as it ensures the cuttings take root quickly. To take a ‘Prince of Orange’ cutting, simply cut off a 15 to 20 cm long piece of the stem just below a leaf node. Make sure the cutting has a few leaves. Depending on the size of the mother plant, the stem can be quite thick, so cutting through it may be a little difficult. To avoid squeezing the plant unnecessarily, use a clean sharp knife. Once you have taken your cutting, place it in a growing medium such as our Plantura Organic Herb & Seedling Compost. With its low nutrient content and loose structure, this soil provides ideal conditions for young plants to grow strong and healthy roots.
Once you have potted up your cutting, place the pot in a warm (20 – 25 °C) and bright spot out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Placing a plastic bag over the cutting will increase the humidity and help it grow. Just make sure to air it regularly to prevent the soil and the cutting from starting to mould. Roots should start to grow after about three to four weeks. A little later, new leaves will start to grow too. At this point, you can repot your young ‘Prince of Orange’ into a slightly larger pot with more nutrient rich soil.
If you prefer climbing Philodendrons, another popular species of Philodendron is Philodendron scandens. Find out everything about planting and caring for this type of philodendron in our in-depth article.