Back a few years ago a new pink Philodendron started taking of Plantstagram, the Philodendron Pink Congo. It was making a splash in the plant scene because everyone was all about the Pink Princess Philodendron and then this beautiful strikingly pink Philodendron comes along. But soon in 2019, there was a problem and the question started coming up if the Philodendron Pink Congo was real.
The Philodendron Pink Congo Scam
With the revived obsession of beautiful tropical houseplants due to social media influencers (or as they are sometimes called, plantfluencers) the revival of the Philodendron Pink Princess occurred. What used to be a relatively cheap plant became highly in demand and the price skyrocketed. People wanted pink plants, and they wanted them bad.
Then came along the Philodendron Pink Congo. It was a gorgeous, eye-catching Philodendron with dark green leaves that had matured and newer gorgeous pastel pink leaves on the top of this self-heading Philo.
As people started to collect these plants at a very high price there started to be issues of the pink leaves turning back to green. People were paying hundreds of dollars for what was turning out to be just an ordinary green Philodendron that had nothing special about it.
It turns out the Pink Congo was not a rare plant at all. It was a chemically induced color change and not a naturally occurring variegation.
A post on Facebook from Robert McCracken in July of 2019 revealed that a chemical was used on the plant to stimulate ethylene production which gives the artificial pink color to the Philodendron. You can read the post below.
Kaylee Ellen made a YouTube video with even more information about the Pink Congo not being real.
Are People Still Selling The Philodendron Pink Congo
Unfortunately yes, people are still selling plants labeled as a Philodendron Pink Congo.
You will still find listings on Etsy and other plant shops, remember you are not buying a special Philodendron it is an altered Philodendron and you are spending too much money for something that is not going to look the same as time goes on.
- The Pink Congo Scam Of Houseplant Influencer Instagram. 2020. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2020/02/20/807873782/the-pink-congo-scam-of-houseplant-influencer-instagram