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Philodendron McColley’s Finale vs. Prince of Orange (Differences and Similarities)

Philodendron McColley’s Finale and Prince of Orange are hard to tell apart at a young age. The differences between them start to be profound after 2 weeks. 

The two are part of the larger Philodendron genus which consists of 489 species of broad-leaved indoor and ornamental plants.

By the way, did you know Philodendrons make the second-largest member group of the extended Araceae family? You should. This post will take a glance at the similarities and differences between these two. 

Comparison Between Philodendron McColley’s Finale and Prince of Orange

Comparison Between Philodendron McColley's Finale and Prince of Orange

Here is a table depicting the differences and similarities between the features of these two plants:

McColley’s FinalePrince of Orange
Height1 – 3 ft. (indoors), can be taller when outdoors2 ft. fully mature
Leaf SizeL 5 – 8” L 5 – 10”
Growth RateFast GrowingFast Growing
Typical toxicity of Araceae-crystals of calcium oxalate can be found throughout the plant’s body; Toxic to both human and petsTypical toxicity of Araceae- crystals of calcium oxalate. Toxic to both humans and pets.
Water Requirements3 times a week (summer); once a week (winter)2 – 3 times in 2 weeks (Summer)
Light RequirementIndirect sunlight, medium-low densityIndirect sunlight, mid-low density
TemperaturePleasant warm temperature between 60 – 75 °F (16 – 24 °C)Between 60 – 75 °F (16 – 24 °C)
Soil Potting mix with good drainage capacity; PH Acidic 6.1 – 7.3 NeutralPotting mix with good drainage capacity PH Acidic 6.1 – 7.3
HumidityTolerant to dry conditionsTolerant to dry conditions
FertilizerBalanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, apply monthly in summer and springBalanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, apply monthly in summer and spring
PotLarger than root ball with drainage holesLarger than root ball with drainage holes
Growth ZoneUSDA 9-11USDA 9b-10

General Appearances and Origin

Young McColleys Finale plants come with cinnamon-colored leaves that transform into deep greenish-red hues with age. A fully mature McColleys Finale can grow to about 2 feet but it’s not uncommon for them to tower to about 3 feet when exposed to optimum light, say, in the verandah or patio. 

Philodendron McColley’s Finale was hybridized by Robert H. McColley in the late 1960s. It shares many characteristics with other patented Philodendron plants like Prince of Orange, Royal King, and Black Cardinal.

Perhaps the biggest difference between them and other varieties like the Prince of Orange – besides the highly colorful shiny, rich chestnut reddish leaves – is the combination of self-heading growth habits, the leaf shape, and the rich red coloration in new leaves.

Prince of Orange, on another hand, as the name suggests, features orange-hued leaves in infancy. These leaves unfurl from the middle of the plant to form an attractive spectacle of colors combining orange hues on pink-violet veins and green blades.

If you are bored with regular green Philodendrons, this can be one of the top options to consider for your floor or tabletop. Another impressive thing is their height – unlike McColley’s Finale, this plant seldom grows past 2 feet.

It will remain short and small anywhere you place them (they really don’t care you placed them in ample light in the patio or the corner of the family room, they’ll not tower into the heaven)

The origin of the Prince of Orange is a little murky, but they are well-hybridized cultivars from a long line of Philodendrons. 

Growth Zones 

McColley’s Finale is slightly more winter-hardy compared to its little orange-hued cousin. For that reason, you can grow it in USDA zones 10 – 11. The USDA growth zones 9 – 11 are ideal for the latter. That doesn’t look like a big difference, does it?


McColleys Finale will enjoy a well-drained but moist organic mix. It dislikes wet, dry, mucky, or sandy soils. It is recommended that you fertilize the soil sparingly, at least 6” off the base. 

Prince of Orange also thrives in the typical soil a philodendron plant would demand – loose, well-drained potting mix endowed with organic matter.

However, if you want them to grow best and produce even glossier leaves with profound orange hues, you should enrich your regular potting soil with perlite or vermiculite.

Even better, you can prepare a simple mix of peat-perlite or peat-vermiculite and push your plant there. It has also been found that sphagnum peat moss (mixed with nothing else) works just as perfectly.

The whole idea is to plant your Prince of Orange in soil that permits water to percolate without sticking around longer. It is also important that you allow the roots to aerate – it can help prevent rotting. 

Similarities Between Philodendron McColley’s Finale and Prince of Orange

Growth Habit

Both of the two are self-heading members of the philodendron genus. They also grow better both in a container and ground cover.


Both plants can be propagated from simple stem cuttings. Just chop off a few stem cuttings by pruning the leggy stems of a mature plant.

Your stem cuttings should have leaf nodes to increase the propagation success. Even better, you can place the stem cuttings in moist soil or water to expose them to optimum growing conditions. Change them often and remember to keep the soils moist and less soggy.

The prepared cuttings will produce roots a little after a month. Transfer the promising cuttings into their pots and watch them grow into captivating indoor plants.

Fertilizer Requirement

Both require very little fertilization, meaning you should be moderate with fertilizer application. If you add too much of it, these plants have been reported to develop brown leaves and curled margins.

You can use any fertilizer approved for houseplants. Light and diluted fertilizers are also allowed– follow the directions provided by the manufacturer.

It is also recommended that you apply it monthly from the start of the spring to the end of the summer. Water-soluble, balanced gel/liquid fertilizers produce the best results.

Because there’s normally much less metabolism in the winter, you should reduce the frequency of fertilizer application around this time.

Huge quantities of fertilizer, or undiluted fertilizer, can be devastating to these two plants as it would lead to mineral oversaturation in the soil.

If you over-fertilize them by accident, there are two proven corrective measures you could employ — you either transfer the plant to a new pot with freshly prepared soil or simply flush the old soil under fresh running water.

If the worst happens and you don’t take any corrective measures, odds are high that you will end up with a burnt plant with yellowish leaves that feature unsightly brownish leaf tips and curled margin. Not beautiful. 

Bright Indirect Sunlight

Both plants are less demanding when it comes to sunlight – no direct sunlight is needed. Keep them happy by letting them have full access to the bright indirect sunlight entering through the windows or balcony. 

Moderate Temperatures –  53.6°F (12 °C) Is Too Low;  86°F (30 °C) Is Too High

Most of the Philodendrons out there cherish pleasant warm temperatures – these two are such Philodendrons. Anything between 16 –  24 °C (or 60 –  75 °F) is ideal for both McColley’s finale and Prince of Orange. Temperatures below 12 °C or above 30 °C will destroy these delicate peeps or slow down their growth.

If you plan to grow them in a colder zone such as somewhere in the deep north, you will need to transfer them to a warm spot in your home immediately after the fall arrives.

Wrapping Up

Philodendron McColley’s Finale and Prince of Orange are closely related and resembling plants. The foliage in McColley’s Finale starts cinnamon-like but tends to age into scarlet or red hues.

At maturity, they start to feel glossy in the palm.  This colorful beauty is one of the best indoor plants you could bring to your office or home.

Moreover, it does impressively when grouped with other suitable plants in verandahs and patios located in pleasantly warm zones.

Although it is a renowned air purifier – thanks to those huge broad leaves that happily sniff all the carbon dioxide and release oxygen – it is also toxic and should not be ingested by humans or pets. You should worry more about kids because cats will find the leaves to be distasteful and avoid them on their own.

If you are looking for something that isn’t McColley’s Finale (of course, there are several other attractive Philodendron hybrids out there besides these two), you should try Prince of Orange.

The reason why you might buy one is its tendency to remain short regardless of where you place it. You will find their green-orange-colored stems and leaves to be super beautiful. 

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