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Philodendron Pink Princess Propagation: 3 Easy Methods!

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Want to learn the basics of how to propagate Philodendron Pink Princess and easily make more of this super popular, always out-of-stock plant? It is easier than you think, and I will teach you 3 easy ways to propagate your Philodendron erubescens ‘Pink Princess’!

You may be familiar with some ways I’ll show you, but I will also explain an unusual propagation method to get the most out of your Pink Princess and easily start several new plants!

propagating-pink-princess

PINK PRINCESS PROPAGATION BASICS

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the basic anatomy of the plant so that you have a basic understanding of the plant and how to propagate.

Check out the photo below of a cutting I made:

pink-princess-propagation

The area where each leaf meets the stem or vine is called a node. The node is where both roots and new growth will form.

You can see the aerial roots where the arrows are pointing. I could have taken this one cutting and made 3 separate cuttings if I wanted, but I wanted to have one nice plant because I raffled off this cutting for charity.

If I wanted to make multiple cuttings, I indicated where to cut with the knives in the photo.

At a minimum, you really just need one node to propagate.

Now let’s take a look at 3 various methods to root and propagate your plant.

PINK PRINCESS PROPAGATION METHODS

1. WATER PROPAGATION

Most of us are very familiar with this one, and it is very simple!

pink-princess-water-propagation

All you need to do is make sure you have one node (the part where the leaf meets the stem) under water, just like in the photo above.

You can see the aerial roots surrounding the node. After a few weeks or so, these roots will extend and grow in the water.

Make sure you have one or two leaves on each cutting.

You don’t need to wait long after the roots start growing before putting the cutting in soil. You can transfer to soil after the roots are maybe an inch long or so. A little shorter or longer won’t make a difference.

Just don’t wait forever!

When you pot up your cutting into soil, I like to use 3 parts of a good potting mix like Miracle Gro and I add 1 part perlite to make it nice and fluffy. This is a great overall potting mix for your leafy tropicals.

Don’t use a huge pot when you’re potting up your cutting. A 4 inch diameter pot is plenty for one cutting.

2. SOIL PROPAGATION

Once you have your cutting, instead of putting it in a vase of water like I did above, you can choose to plant it directly into a pot that contains a soil mix instead. For rooting in soil, I’d recommend a mix that is half soil and half perlite and you will want the node buried under the soil.

This method will require a little bit more baby sitting. You’ll want to keep your potting mix fairly damp to encourage rooting. Don’t ever let it dry out, especially for long periods, or roots may never form.

And don’t worry about “overwatering.” Since half of your potting mix is perlite, it introduces a lot of air and oxygen so it is pretty hard to “overwater.” It is the lack of oxygen to the roots that causes root rot.

By adding enough perlite, we are able to maintain a moist medium that is needed for rooting, but it also helps to prevent rotting!

Increasing humidity is also helpful if you’re doing soil propagation. You might want to loosely place a clear plastic bag as a tent over the cutting, use a humidifier, or place on a tray of moist pebbles.

The final way to propagate Pink Princess and easily increase your collection by a lot is…

3. BARE STEM CUTTINGS

This method is fun, and will result in quite a few plants! You will generally get a new plant at every single node! This method uses segments of the stem and no leaves at all.

This method is ideal if you have bare areas of stem. Or even if you have leaves that look a bit ratty so you can start fresh.

I didn’t pay much attention to giving my plant a good support, so it grew with a really crooked stem.

philodendron-erubescens-pink-princess

I decided to take advantage of this situation to propagate, and give the original plant the moss post that it deserved from the beginning.

I cut most of the plant off to propagate and gave my original plant a DIY moss pole. I made my own and I can’t believe I waited so long to do it! It was super easy and much better than anything commercially available.

pink princess moss pole

With the rest that I cut off, I water propagated the tip cutting I showed earlier in this post, and then used the rest of the stem for bare stem cuttings.

For this method, you want to use a container with a clear lid. Asian takeout containers are perfect for this!

Fill your container with a mixture of half potting soil and half perlite. Moisten the mixture but make sure you don’t have any water accumulated at the bottom.

You’re basically going to cut the stem on either side of each node and completely remove the leaves if you have any leaves. The segments I cut off were about 1 1/2 inches long or so.

Then place each stem cutting half buried in the soil mix as shown below.

pink-princess-stem-cuttings

You’ll want to place the “eyes” facing up. I circled the eyes above. They will appear as a slightly raised pink area. You can see the eye a little more clearly in the photo below.

pink-princess-stem-cutting

The “eye” is where the cutting will start to grow your new plant! Be sure to remove the leaf completely off the stem so that it exposes the eyes.

If you don’t see the eyes or aren’t sure, just place the stem cuttings in the soil mixture anyway. Nature will still figure it out!

When you have placed all your stem cuttings in the soil mixture, close the lid and place it in a bright area, but out of direct sun so you don’t cook your plants!

pink-princess-stem-propagation

Be sure to only use containers with clear lids. You can also cover with clear plastic wrap if you don’t have these types of containers handy.

The clear lid lets light through, but also keeps the humidity high which is so helpful for propagation. Every so often, I remove the lid for a few minutes just to air things out.

After a few weeks, you should start to get some growth! You will have best success if you propagate this way during the Spring or Summer when plants are actively growing.

Here is one of the two containers after less than 2 months!

pink-princess-propagation

You will obviously have to remove the lid once growth starts to occur to allow for room. Be sure to keep the medium moist. Once the cuttings each have a leaf, you can transplant into its own pot.

After each stem cutting had at least a couple leaves, I went ahead and transplanted each into its own small pot. This time, I buried the original stem below the surface.

The fun part about this method is that you will have a lot of new plants and each one will be different. Not all will exhibit the same variegation, and you might just get the one gem that you’ve been looking for!

POTTING MIX VS. SPHAGNUM MOSS PROPAGATION

After I conducted the 3rd propagation method with bare stem cuttings in the takeout container, I made a few observations.

Once I removed the sprouted stem cuttings out of the take out container, I placed each one in a separate small pot. I placed some in a potting mix and perlite blend, and the rest is moist sphagnum moss. At this point, none of the cuttings had any root system yet, even though they all started to grow leaves.

I allowed them to grow for several weeks, and what I noticed though that the ones that I had moved into sphagnum moss went on to develop a beautiful root system, while the ones that I had moved into a potting mix STILL had no root system.

Take a look at the long, pink roots on this cutting that was growing in sphagnum moss. It grew quite a few roots and was quite vigorous!

pink-princess-propagation-moss

Now take a look at this cutting that was in the potting mix/perlite blend for a while. NO roots!

pink-princess-propagation-soil

Every single one of the cuttings that I had transferred to sphagnum moss had developed a root system. NONE of the ones in potting mix/perlite had a root system. This led me to conclude, at least in this case, that propagation in sphagnum moss will lead to a superior root system development.

Once the ones growing in sphagnum moss grew a good root system, I transferred them to a pot with my normal potting mix (3 parts of miracle gro and 1 part perlite) to continue growing.

If I were to do this 3rd propagation method again , I would start all the bare stem cuttings in sphagnum moss from the start.

For any of the 3 Pink Princess propagation methods above, you may want to avoid doing this in the Winter to maximize success.

MORE RESOURCES

Be sure not to miss my other posts on Philodendron Pink Princess:

Philodendron Pink Princess: A Grower’s Guide

and

Pink Princess Philodendron: 11 Critical Problems & Fixes!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

OHIO TROPICS PLANT CARE STOREFRONT

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Jamie Macnamara Loflin

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

My PPP water prop have been going for close to a month now. I have 4 different points that are going out now but they are growing out white/green. The plant looks happy but are these roots? Are they leafs? I am not sure.

Raffaele

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Hi Jamie! Go ahead and email me using the contact form on my website. When I respond, you can attach photos and I can tell you what's going on.

JMM

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Thank you for the post, very useful !

Can you please elaborate and if possible show an image on how to do the following?

How deep do I cut around the nodes?

“You’re basically going to cut the stem on either side of each node”

Raffaele

Tuesday 5th of January 2021

Hi there! You'd cut straight through the stem on either side of each node. I'd say maybe at least a half inch on either side, and cut straight through. You are severing the stem on both sides, with the node in the middle. You can see the photos where I laid the segments on top of the potting medium to root as an example. I hope this clarifies what you're asking. :-)

Josue

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Hello. I am waiting for my ppp to grow a bit more and wait for the spring time/ summer to do this but did you happen to dry out the stems/ get calloused before you attempt these methods or just cut and place?

Raffaele

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Hi Josue! I did not let them callous (although it won't hurt if you let them dry for a few hours or even a day). Each one of the cuttings produced growth :-).

Lisa

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

Hi! This is SUCH a helpful post! I’ve recently had success using the stick method with a Melanochrysum and in spaghnum moss instead of soil. I’ve now got some PPP stem cuttings that I’m going to use with your method. Do you think spaghnum moss is just as effective? Or would you recommend rooting in soil and perlite (as you did)? Not sure if it makes a difference that I’m doing this during winter?

A few of the leaf cuttings turned brown almost immediately after cutting (not sure if they became sun stressed?) and I may just take the leaf off and do more soil propagations.

Thanks for your help! :)

Lisa

Wednesday 30th of December 2020

@Raffaele,

Wonderful. Thanks so much! I decided to use your method (with a Chinese takeout container too) and already see the PPPs are budding!! :)

Quick follow-up question - do you spray the soil to re-moisten or carefully water (without leaving water at the bottom)?

Raffaele

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

You're very welcome Lisa! Either method will work. Just make sure to keep the medium moist and you will be fine. :-).

Michelle

Friday 4th of December 2020

Thank you for this super helpful post. I read in a plant group that to speed up the water-rooting process, you can stick a golden pothos cutting in with your ppp cutting, and it will help root faster. Something to do with pothos having a natural rooting hormone.

Can you verify this?

Raffaele

Sunday 6th of December 2020

Hi Michelle! I've heard that many times too, but I can't verify unfortunately! I'm not sure if it's a real thing or a legend. Sorry I can't help more!