How to care for your Philodendron ‘prince of orange’
- Positioning and light
- Is it pet friendly?
The ‘Prince of Orange’ Philodendron is a man-made hybrid; though the original species has origins in Central and South America. It gets its name from its uniquely hued leaves which may change colour over time. Getting up to around 60cm in height indoors, they’re fairly easy to maintain.
Positioning and light
Although this plant will tolerate lower light levels, they are better placed in bright light, but not direct sunlight to keep the colour of the leaves bright. As with most other tropical jungle plants, direct sunlight will scorch their leaves. They’re quite happy to be popped in an office with fluorescent lights by the way. They do tend to lean towards the light, so rotate the pot every now and then so it doesn’t become lopsided.
Provide them with a really good potting mix which contains some bark to provide a well-drained environment which will allow for proper soil aeration. Do stay away from preparations that contain peat, as it has been known to cause pseudomonas blight, which appears as yellowing to grayish brown spots on the leaves.
They only need to be watered sparingly with tepid water – not cold or hot water, allowing the surface of the soil to dry out before you water again – but don’t let the potting medium dry out completely, or to become too soggy. Peaty potting mixes that are kept wet may be a great calling card for fungus gnats, which although difficult to spot, are fortunately easy to eliminate.
Temperature and humidity go hand in hand, with the intensity of the one affecting the efficacy of the other. Although they’re hardy enough when it comes to temperature, regular room temperature will be fine, do try to maintain at least 50% humidity indoors, especially in winter when air tends to become a lot drier. The best way to boost humidity for your tropical plants is to set up a cool-mist humidifier near them.
They need a similar fertilising regime as most other tropical indoor plants – feed them monthly from spring through summer with a half-strength balanced liquid leafy houseplant food. And then for these active growers, once every two months in winter when their growth is slower. Do not over-fertilise though otherwise it will cause the leaf tips and margins to turn brown or curl up.
If the new growth on your Philodendron isn’t opening up, it’s often because it’s not getting enough of something, usually light or water. They’re not prone to many pests or diseases if they’re looked after properly, although the most common disease that may affect them is black spot. This appears as dark blotches on the stems or leaves, and is easily controlled by removing the affected parts and destroying them. As with most potted plants, watch out for root rot.
Your plant may flower in the right growing conditions, and once the flower is spent, prune the stalk out to ensure your plant remains looking great. Also cut off any dry older leaves.
Is the Philodendron prince of orange pet friendly?
The Philodendron Prince of Orange needs to be kept away from pets. If you notice that your dog or cat has eaten any of the leaves or stem they will need to visit their vet as soon as possible. Digestion of this plant can cause respiratory and digestive problems.