Philodendron Green Princess Care
This girl is a bit of newbie to New Zealand. A hybrid from the Philodendron family, called the Philodendron selloum 'Green Princess'. She may have a royal name but she's far from a drama queen. She's a very easy care girl with gorgeous, glossy, rich green leaves (and if you're lucky, some have a speckling of little gold star-dust freckles). We give her an LTLC rating of 1.5 out of 5. Very easy care and low-maintenance provided you're not an over-waterer.
Temperature & Light
Like many in the Philodendron family, she likes medium to bright indirect light. Not a sunbather, especially in summer, as direct light can burn her beautiful leaves and cause brown marks, but she'll handle a bit of direct sun in winter. She'll also handle lower light conditions like the ease-care girl she is, but growth may slow down. Like most of us, she prefers warm temperatures. Aim to keep her above about 12 degrees. Drafts aren't ideal. A light warm wind all good, but don't put her by an open door, or in the path of air from your air conditioning / heat pump.
Lightly, evenly moist - but not soggy. No feet wet please. Lower maintenance than many because the Philodendron Green Princess won't mind drying out a bit between watering, especially in winter, but over-watering is a no go. We feed monthly in Spring and Summer (a half dose of Groconut if you feed weekly, otherwise normal dose fortnightly). A regular drench when the top is dry is a good method for watering this girl. Just let that all drain out and stop dripping before returning her to her saucer or cover pot. Definitely need a pot with drainage holes for this girl.
At our place (we're in Auckland), we water about weekly in summer and fortnightly in winter, but you're best to judge it based on the top couple of cm's of soil being dry. She will thrive with humidity. Not much of an issue in a typical NZ summer but consider a humidifier in winter, or at least a pebble tray below her (make sure she sits on the pebbles not in the water though - no wet feet remember).
We find she goes well in about a 3/4 potting mix, 1/4 perlite mix but if you're an under-waterer, try full potting mix for the extra water retention.
Philodendron Green Princess pro tips & problem solving
We found too much light causes smaller leaves. Find a new spot and new growth should go back to normal.
Another one that's a sign of too much light. If its not due to light though, this is also a sign there's a deficiency, easy fixed with something like Groconut. Try a move and good feed with something healthy.
Burnt / dry leaf tips
Can be due to over-fertilising or a high mineral deposit in the soil (also a side-effect of over-fertilising). If you know it's not due to humidity, then skip the fertiliser for a month and give her soil a good flush with plain water each time you water. By plain water we mean water that's sat out overnight so chemicals like chlorine have evaporated.
Pro tip: In a rush? Boil the water, let it cool, and water right away (boiling water is the fastest way to remove chlorine, about 10 minutes is plenty).
Most commonly due to sunburn in our experience. Time for a new spot.
Took us a while to work this one out. It wasn't till another indoor plant collector said they have the same little golden freckles on their Green Princess. This seems to be normal - and just quietly, we love the gold-dust freckles that look like little stars. You can see them quite well in the photo above. Not all the Princesses we've seen have them though.
No, like all Philodendron, the Philodendron Green Princess is not pet safe. May irritate the mouth if eaten or chewed on. Can be serious if the lips, tongue or airway swells, so we'd be off to the vet to be safe. Keep all in the Philodendron family out of reach of pets (and kids, we shouldn't eat them either!).
LTLC Rating (Love That Leaf Care Rating)
We give the Philodendron selloum Green Princess an easy 1.5 out of 5 LTLC rating. A very easy care member of the Philodendron family provided you don't over-water (that's why she gets a 1.5 instead of a 1). We love that she's not super fussed about light, and prefers medium to bright rather than requires bright light.
In our totally-made-up-based-on-our-own-experience LTLC Rating scale, we give a Boston Fern or String of Pearls a 5 (such a love hate relationship with that plant), a ZZ Plant and a Peace Lily would get a 1.