The Q&A Archives: Princess Plant

Question: We have 2 princess plants that have mostly red leaves and they look very sickly, what do they need? They have been struggling for about 2 years.

Answer: Princess plant is considered semi-evergreen; cold weather will cause reddening of the foliage and may even cause the leaves to drop. I'd cut the plant back in early spring (March in your growing area) to encourage healthy new growth. Princess plants grow best in loamy, well-draining soil. If your soil doesn't drain well, or you don't water deeply once each week during the growing season, you plant will struggle. If the plants are relatively new, you can dig them up, amend the soil with organic matter and then replant. If the plants have been in the ground for several years, the root system is probably well established and might resent being disturbed. In this case, I would leave them in the ground, fertilize lightly in spring and water them deeply once each week. Established roots will eventually adapt to the growing area and you'll be rewarded with lush new growth - it will just take a bit longer.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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