Philodendron White Knight

Meet Philodendron White Knight: The Most Stunning Philodendron Yet

The Philodendron White Knight is an attractive option for your home if you admire beautiful, variegated plants. Being known for its sophisticated foliage, this plant features large, heart-shaped glossy green leaves with brilliant white patches and streaks.

As a low-maintenance plant, the Philodendron White Knight is perfect for those who want to enjoy plants’ beauty without putting in too much effort. Although it’s easy to take care of, you should keep a few things in mind to ensure that your White Knight stays healthy and happy.

Origin and History

Philodendron White Knight belongs to the Philodendron genus, a part of the Araceae family. The Philodendron genus is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and consists of about 500 species.

The Philodendron White Knight is a cultivar of the Philodendron domesticum species, native to Puerto Rico. It was first introduced to the United States in 1948 by H. Lincoln Foster, an American plant explorer, and collector.

The Philodendron White Knight was created by crossing two cultivars of the Philodendron domesticum species: Philodendron squamiferum and Philodendron corrugatum.

The resulting plant was then propagated by tissue culture, which is a plant propagation method involving taking small pieces of plant tissue and growing them in a controlled environment.

The white knight thrives in a humid, tropical environment. This gorgeous plant has only recently begun to be harvested for export and is rare compared to other Philodendron varieties. Due to its limited supply, it is also expensive but still is very popular due to its breathtaking foliage.

Quick Summary Guide

Lighting: Bright, indirect light
Watering: Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings
Fertilizing: Monthly, during the growing season
Temperature: 18-24 degrees Celsius
Soil Type: Well-draining potting mix
Pests and Diseases: Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, root rot
Toxicity: Toxic to pets if ingested

If you’re looking for a show-stopping plant to add to your collection, the White Knight is an attractive option.

Appearance of The Philodendron White Knight

This Philodendron is an evergreen climber that can reach up to 8 feet in height in ideal conditions. It has large, glossy green leaves with white patches and streaks. The leaves are heart-shaped and measure about 20 centimeters in length and 15 centimeters in width.

The back of the leaves can be a deep purple or dark green, and the stems can display as red or green. It’s true nature’s work of art.

It is mainly grown as an indoor plant due to its ideal indoor conditions and environment. However, it can also be grown outdoors in mild weather. These plants are fast-growing and will quickly climb up any support you provide.

Be sure to give it something to climb on, like a trellis, totem, or post, as it will not do well if left to trail along the ground.

This Philodendron variety is easy to care for, making it an excellent choice for plant beginners or those with busy schedules. Keep reading to learn more about White Knight care and how to keep your Philodendron healthy and happy.

Philodendron White Knight Care

Light

This Philodendron does best in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low-light conditions. However, too little light will result in slower growth and fewer variegations on the leaves.

If you are growing Philodendron white knight indoors, place it near a bright window out of direct sunlight. It can also be grown outdoors in partial to full shade.

Don’t place it in a shady place for an extended period; this will cause the bright white areas to turn green. The white leaves also are susceptible to direct sunlight; they will get scorched if placed in direct sunlight for too long. Ideally, 6-8 hours of daily bright filtered light is enough for its healthy growth.

If you do not live in a sunny area, you can use grow lights to provide the necessary lighting for your plant. Grow lights are artificial lights that offer the same type and intensity as natural sunlight.

You can test the light intensity with a light meter. The ideal range for the Philodendron White Knight is between 500-800 Lux.

Soil

You have to be extra careful while selecting the soil for your Philodendron white knight as it likes to sit in well-draining, nutrient-rich, and slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0.

It is susceptible to soggy conditions as it causes blocks the airflow in the soil, causing root rot and sometimes death of the plant if left unchecked. This Philodendron also doesn’t like to sit in arid conditions for too long.

So use soil that retains moisture but does not create waterlogged conditions. The best option is to use a potting mix designed explicitly for Philodendrons, or you can make your own by mixing 30% potting mix and 70% perlite, orchid bark, pumice, etc.

One of my favorite Philodendron soil recipes:

  • 30% coco coir
  • 40% perlite or pumice
  • 30% compost

Coco coir will help retain moisture, while perlite or pumice will provide adequate drainage. Compost will provide the much-needed nutrients for your plant. You can use organic compost from your kitchen or garden, or you can use commercial compost.

Water

You don’t have to follow a strict watering schedule for Philodendron white knight. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering again.

The best method to water your plant is to water it deeply until the water starts coming out of the drainage hole. It is susceptible to overwatering as it can cause root rot, killing your plant.

So ensure not to water it until the topsoil is almost dry to touch. Also, ensure the pot has proper drainage to avoid waterlogged soil. It also doesn’t like to sit in very dry conditions for too long as it will make the leaves wrinkled.

If you don’t have a good routine, you may attempt a self-watering planter to help with watering. This will ensure the plant doesn’t dry out and will help reduce the chances of overwatering.

Fertilizer

Philodendron white knight is a light feeder and doesn’t require much fertilizer. You can feed your plant monthly using a well-balanced fertilizer during the growing season. Make sure to dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength to avoid burning the roots.

You can also use slow-release pellets or organic compost as an alternative to liquid fertilizer, but liquid fertilizer is mainly recommended. It doesn’t need fertilizer during the winter when the plant is dormant.

Avoid over-fertilizing as it can cause burning of the roots and leaves. Generally, if you are unsure about the fertilizer, it is always better to under-fertilize.

Again, you can use organic compost to feed your plant as it is an excellent source of nutrients. I like to use worm castings, an organic fertilizer made from earthworms. It is rich in nutrients and helps improve the drainage and aeration of the soil.

Temperature

Philodendrons love warm temperatures and doesn’t tolerate cold very well. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). It is not a cold hardy plant, so don’t expose it to a cold temperature and move it to a warmer place during the winter.

It will experience stress if the temperature goes below 55°F (12°C). Try to keep it at a constant temperature and avoid sudden changes in temperature as it will shock the plant.

Humidity

Remember that Philodendron White Knight belongs to the tropical rainforests with a high humidity level, so it loves thriving in a high humid environment of 70% or more. If the humidity is too low, the growth will either be stunted or very slow.

Low humidity for too long can turn the leaves dry, brown, and drooping. If you live in a dry area, you can increase the humidity around your plant by placing the following ways:

  • Misting your Philodendron regularly
  • Placing a humidifier near your plant
  • Placing it on top of a pebble tray
  • Grouping it with other plants
  • Placing it in humid places like the bathroom.

Pruning

Philodendron White Knight rarely needs to be pruned. You can prune it to remove the damaged or dying leaves and stems. You can also prune it to shape the plant as you like.

Pruning also helps take up the nutrients efficiently and helps in redirecting its growth. Use sharp and clean tools to avoid damaging the plant.

After pruning, the Philodendron white knight may produce new leaves, which is a good sign that it is healthy. Avoid over-pruning (more than 25%) as it can shock the plant and slow its growth.

Repotting

It’s time to repot your plant when the roots come out of the drainage holes or when the plant becomes root bound. You can check it by taking the plant out of the pot and seeing if the roots are out of the soil and curled around it. Repot is in early spring as the plant is actively growing during this season.

Take out the plant from the current pot and gently loosen the roots. Place it in a new pot with fresh potting mix. Make sure the new pot is not too big and only one size larger than the previous one as it doesn’t like to sit in wet conditions for too long.

Water the plant well and place it in a warm and humid place. Try to handle it gently and avoid breaking the roots. Philodendrons don’t like to be disturbed so try not to repot it too often until it get root-bound

Propagation

Stem cuttings can best propagate philodendron white knight. Follow the following simple steps to propagate your plant successfully:

  1. Take a stem cutting of Philodendron white knight that has at least 2-3 leaves. Remove the lower leaves and cut the stem into 2-3 inch pieces.
  2. Dip the end of the stem in rooting hormone powder.
  3. Fill a pot with well-draining potting mix and make some holes in it for good drainage.
  4. Insert the stem cutting 1-2 inches deep in the potting mix. Water the plant well and place it in a warm and humid place.

The cutting will start to root within 2-3 weeks, and new leaves will start to grow. Once the plant is established, you can transplant it to a larger pot and take care of it as described above.

You can propagate stem cuttings in water, but it is better to propagate them in moist potting mix as they develop a more robust root system this way.

You can also propagate by division if you have a mature plant. Propagation by division is best done in spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. Follow these steps for propagation by division:

  • Take out the plant from the pot and gently loosen the roots.
  • Divide the plant into two or more sections, ensuring each has at least one leaf.
  • Plant each section in a separate pot with fresh potting mix and water it well.
  • Place the pots in a warm and humid place and keep an eye on them. New leaves will grow within a few weeks, indicating that the plant has rooted successfully.

Once the plant is established, you can transplant it to a larger pot and take care of it as described above.

Pet Safety & Toxicity

Philodendron white knight contains calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic to both pets if ingested, so it is best to keep it out of reach of your pets.

If you think your pet has ingested this plant, immediately take it to the vet. Some of the symptoms of its toxicity in pets include drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Common Problems

Philodendron white knight is a tough plant and doesn’t have any severe problems. If you provide it with all the necessary care, it will stay happy and keep thriving well. However, sometimes it can encounter the following issues:

Powdery Mildew and Leaf Spot:

Philodendron white knight is mainly affected by fungal diseases like powdery mildew and leaf spot. These diseases are caused by humid conditions and can be controlled by providing good airflow to the plant and avoiding overwatering it.

Yellow Leaves:

Philodendron white knight leaves can turn yellow due to too much direct sunlight or overwatering. Place the plant in indirect sunlight and allow the topsoil to dry before watering it again.

Root Rot:

Philodendron white knight is susceptible to root rot if it is kept in wet conditions for too long. It limits the oxygen supply to the roots, and they start dying eventually. Use a well-draining potting mix and avoid overwatering the plant.

Pests Infestation:

It is essential to inspect your plants regularly for any pest infestation. If you see any pests, act immediately to eliminate them, or they could spread to others nearby.

Philodendron white knight is mainly affected by mealybugs and spider mites. These pests suck the sap from the leaves and cause them to turn yellow and drop off. You can control them by regularly spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil solution. Other insects include Fungus gnats, whiteflies, and scale.

Mealybugs:

These pests suck the sap from the leaves and cause them to turn yellow and drop off. You can control them by regularly spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil solution.

Spider mites:

These pests are primarily found in hot, dry conditions. They spin webs on the plant and suck the sap from the leaves.

Fungus gnats:

These insects are primarily found in damp conditions. They feed on the roots of the plant and cause it to become weak. You can control them by ensuring that the potting mix is well-draining and providing good ventilation.

Whiteflies:

These pests are primarily found in hot, humid conditions. They suck the sap from the leaves and cause them to turn yellow and drop off. You can control them by regularly spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil solution.

Scale:

These pests are primarily found in hot, humid conditions. They suck the sap from the leaves and cause them to turn yellow and drop off. You can control them by regularly spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil solution.

FAQ:

Q: Can stem cuttings propagate Philodendron white knight?

A: It can be best propagated by stem cuttings or division. The stem cuttings should be taken from a healthy plant at least four inches long.

They should be placed in a well-draining potting mix and kept moist until they start to root. The division can be done by carefully separating the offsets from the main plant and potting them up.

Q: Why are my plant leaves turning brown?

A: There are several reasons why leaves might turn brown. It could be due to too much direct sunlight, overwatering, or pests infestation. Try moving the plant to a shadier spot and letting the topsoil dry out before watering it again. If you see any pests on the plant, try spraying it with an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution.

Q: What is the best potting mix for Philodendron white knight?

A: A well-draining potting mix is best for this plant. You can make your own by mixing equal parts of perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss. Alternatively, you can also use a commercial potting mix for Philodendrons.

Q: Is Philodendron white knight toxic to pets?

A: Yes, it is toxic to both pets if ingested. Some of the symptoms of its toxicity in pets include drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you think your pet has ingested this plant, immediately take it to the vet.

Q: What is the best way to control pest infestation?

A: Pests are controlled mainly by spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil solution. You can also try to prevent them by regularly inspecting the plant and removing the pests by hand.

Q: Where can I buy Philodendron white knight?

A: You can buy Philodendron white knight from a specialized plant vendor, Etsy, or if you are lucky, at a local plant swap meet. These plants are relatively rare and could cost upwards of $1000 for a healthy mature plant. If you can find some stem cuttings that are a reasonable price- grab them!

Q: What are some other rare Philodendrons?

A: Some other rare Philodendrons include the following:

  1. Philodendron hederaceum ‘Laciniatum’
  2. Philodendron erubescens
  3. Philodendron bipinnatifidum
  4. Philodendron Hastatum
  5. Philodendron Ring of Fire

All of these plants are pretty rare and difficult to find. They would make a great addition to any Philodendron collection!

Conclusion

The Philodendron white knight is an easy-to-care plant that can brighten up any space. With its beautiful leaves, it’s no wonder that this plant is a popular houseplant.

By following the simple tips above, you can keep your Philodendron white knight healthy and happy for years to come! Thanks for reading!

Do you have any tips on how to care for Philodendron white knight? Share them with us in the comments below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.