The Story Of One Of The Most Popular Houseplants In History

Hey there, plant pals! Get ready to dive into the mind-blowing tale of a houseplant that’s taken the world by storm—the philodendron pink princess.

Buckle up and prepare for a wild ride as we unravel the incredible journey of this leafy legend. From its humble beginnings in the lush rainforests of Colombia to its dazzling debut on the Instagram scene, this pink princess has stolen hearts and turned homes into veritable jungles.

But hold on tight, because this story is no walk in the park. We’ll uncover hidden secrets, encounter unexpected twists, and witness the plant world’s version of a rollercoaster ride.

So grab your watering cans and join us on this epic adventure through the captivating story of the philodendron pink princess. You won’t believe what’s in store!

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This is the story of one of the most popular house plants in history, the plant that started it all. With its unique coloring, it led to a boom in pink house plants.

By any means necessary, even if that meant chemically inducing plants to create pink. This is the story of the philodendron pink princess.

The story begins in the tropical mountainous rainforest of Colombia, a hundred miles east of Medellin.

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Growing up trees, the philodendron urubessens, an epiphyte, showcased its blushing appearance. Augustine and Coke first described this large leaf species found in Colombia in 1854.

It is speculated that the pink princess is a hybrid of philodendron urubessens and other philodendrons, but the exact history of where the pink princess came from remains unknown.

The resemblance of the pink princess to its potential parent, urubessens, is strikingly similar. It is very likely that the pink princess appeared as a seedling in the Florida-based greenhouses of Robert McCauley, a prolific breeder of philodendrons who created thousands of hybrids from the 1960s to the 1990s.

The plant was primarily propagated through stem cuttings to preserve its unique pink color.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the pink princess remained relatively rare and expensive. Its retail price ranged between thirty and a hundred dollars before the common use of e-commerce.

Plant enthusiasts had a tough time finding it, as it was scarce and not readily available.

However, with the rise of plant hunting and the advent of e-commerce, the availability and price of the pink princess began to change. By 2010, the pink princess was brought into tissue culture in Asia, which naturally decreased its price.

Initially, the tissue culture resulted in segmented variegation with more blocks of green leaves and patches of pink. But through stem propagation and multiple generations, growers were able to achieve heavily marbled leaves.

Local growers in the Florida area, known as Gabriella Growers, sold the pink princess for a modest price of six dollars and fifty cents. However, everything changed in 2018 when Shane Malloy of Gabriella Plants noticed a surge in the plant’s popularity.

A large wholesale order came in, and the buyer offered two dollars extra per plant. This prompted Gabriella Plants to set up an online store and price the pink princess at fifty dollars, well above its historical price. The plants quickly sold out, and a waitlist of over 1,000 people formed.

The waitlist continued to grow, reaching over 5,000 people in 2019, while the price per plant increased to one hundred dollars. Demand for the pink princess was skyrocketing, with cuttings selling for a hundred dollars each on Facebook groups, and large plants fetching over two hundred dollars.

The plant craze for indoor plants in 2020 further fueled the popularity of the pink princess, making it one of the most Instagrammable plants of all time.

In April 2022, Costa Farms, a large commercial grower, released their tissue-culture-grown pink princess philodendron, which sold out rapidly.

However, the plants received varied reviews, with some having little to no variegation and others showing better variegation. Nonetheless, the plants were still highly sought after.

In 2023, the highest variegated versions of the pink princess can still fetch between 50 and 200 dollars, but it has become more common to find them in big box stores for prices ranging from five to thirty dollars.

Costa Farms continues to release the new marbled version of the pink princess, which remains highly popular and in-demand.

With the booming trend for pink plants and the potential profits, scammers have also been attracted to the pink princess trend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the philodendron pink princess?

A: The philodendron pink princess is a popular house plant known for its unique coloring, featuring pink variegation on its leaves.

Q: Where does the pink princess plant come from?

A: The exact origin of the pink princess plant is unknown. It is speculated to be a hybrid of philodendron urubessens and other philodendron species. Some believe it first appeared as a seedling in the greenhouses of Robert McCauley, a renowned philodendron breeder in Florida.

Q: How much did the pink princess plant cost in the past?

A: In the early 2000s, when the plant was relatively rare, it was priced between thirty and a hundred dollars. However, with the rise in availability and popularity, the price increased significantly over time.

Q: Where can I buy a pink princess plant?

A: Pink princess plants can be found at various plant nurseries, online stores, and even big box stores. Availability may vary depending on the region and demand.

Q: How can I propagate a pink princess plant?

A: The most common method of propagation for the pink princess plant is through stem cuttings. By taking a healthy cutting and providing it with proper care, you can encourage root growth and establish a new plant.

Q: Are all pink princess plants the same?

A: No, pink princess plants can exhibit variations in their variegation patterns. Some plants may have more pronounced pink variegation, while others may have less. It is important to note that individual plants can differ in appearance.

Q: Why are some pink princess plants more expensive than others?

A: The price of pink princess plants can vary based on factors such as the size of the plant, the quality and intensity of variegation, and its rarity. Highly variegated and larger plants tend to command higher prices.

Q: Can I grow a pink princess plant outdoors?

A: Pink princess plants are primarily grown as indoor house plants. However, in suitable climates, they can be grown outdoors as long as they are provided with the right conditions, such as shade and protection from extreme weather.

Q: How do I care for a pink princess plant?

A: Pink princess plants thrive in bright, indirect light and prefer well-draining soil. They should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry, and it’s important to avoid overwatering. Regular pruning and occasional fertilization can also help maintain their health and appearance.

Q: Can I propagate a pink princess plant from a leaf cutting?

A: Pink princess plants are typically propagated through stem cuttings rather than leaf cuttings. Stem cuttings have a higher chance of success in producing a new plant with desirable variegation.


I’m just a plant lover from Central Florida with a passion for sharing knowledgeable facts about all things plants.

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