philodendron-white-knight

Philodendron White Knight Plant Care Guide

Philodendrons are well-known for their sophisticated foliage and characterized spathe and spadix blooms.

The philodendron white knight is an excellent example with its heart-shaped and vibrant green leaves mottled with white patches and splashes.

Some plants owners even report their plants having some all-white leaves. Even the stems are beautiful with a mixture of brown, white and deep purples, making this tropical a rare and highly sought-after find.

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Botanical NamePhilodendron sp. “White Knight”
Common NameWhite night
Size8 to 10 feet tall
DifficultyEasy
Pet FriendlyToxic to pets
Air CleanerYes

Philodendron White Knight Origin

Philodendron white knight comes from the rainforests of South America. The plant is part of the Philodendron genus, which is part of the Araceae family. Typically, the Philodendron white knight grows indoors, but they thrive well outside during mild weather.

How to Care for Philodendron White Knight

The Philodendron white knights are easy to grow for beginners and passive growers because the plant is low-maintenance. Still, it’s a good idea to understand how to grow and propagate these plants for a successful outcome. Let’s look at some of the growing habits of the Philodendron white knight.

Light and Temperature

The Philodendron white knights thrive in indirect medium to bright sunlight. Keep the plant away from direct sunlight. It’s hazardous to the delicate foliage. The most damage occurs to the white mottled leaves and stems.

If the indoor plant remains too long in the shade or low light, a discoloration will form in the variegation. As a houseplant, the ideal location is near a window, but not touching the glass. Glass magnifies heat and will burn the leaves. If the indoors cannot supply enough light to the indoor plants, artificial light from a fluorescent or bulb light should suffice.

An average amount of humidity keeps these houseplants happy. Because Philodendrons are from the rainforests, their lush foliage grew in high humidity levels. The best results for white knights are above 70 percent. In fact, low humidity may have adverse effects on their growth. Even during the winter months, the indoors becomes dry because of the central heating.

Therefore, these Philodendrons need to have moisture during dry weather. Regular misting does the trick. Some people like placing a bowl of water near the plants, helping to keep moisture in the air. Humidifiers work or place several indoor plants together to help increase the humidity levels.

Avoid placing these houseplants near air conditions and heating devices because Philodendron white knights dislike drafts. If not avoided, the plant grows unevenly — first the leaves, then the entire plant.

During the spring and summer months, the air temperature indoors should remain around 65° F to 80° F. If the temperature is higher, give the Philodendron white knights more water and make sure the humidity stays high.

During the winter months, the temperatures need to remain above 55° F. Soil temperature should stay the same as the air temperature and even marginally higher is best. Again, keep the Philodendron white knights away from the window, even during winter. If windows magnify heat during the summer because of the sun, they will also heighten the cold for the lack of sun. Overall, the Philodendron white knights cannot tolerate considerable fluctuations in temperatures.

Water

Water philodendron white nights when the top layer of the soil dries out. The houseplants thrive in moist and well-drained soil. With moderation, water the white knights after testing the soil. In the summer months, water these plants one to three times a week.

In the winter months, water the Philodendron white knights once every two weeks. Avoid overwatering because it causes complications like fungal diseases and root rot. On the other spectrum, underwatering these houseplants for too long will stunt their growth because the soil is too dry to provide the nutrients the Philodendron white knights need.

Fertilization

It works best to fertilize during the spring and summer months with a liquid fertilizer specific to indoor plants. However, slow-release granular plant food is another good option. The purpose is not to over-fertilize your houseplants. Doing so will cause them harm. Besides, over-fertilizing could easily burn the plants or cause them to die.

Flowering

The Philodendron white knights flower during the summer and spring after the plants have matured, about three to five years old. At the first sign, an elongated spadix grows from a covering of expanded spathe. Then, several tiny flowers will appear on the spadix while the spathe still covers the base. Most mature plants will have two to three blooms, opening up at different intervals during the blooming period. The bloom measures 12 inches from its stem to the tip. 

Pruning

If the white knights look thin, snip off some leaves using sharp and sterilized shears. That way, the foliage looks lush and beautiful. Pruning is a necessary aspect of caring for the Philodendron white knights, a process that supports their shape. When these houseplants become doo bushy, it’s time to prune them.

A thorough pruning does the job and keeps these plants happy. The process requires removing the damaged and dead parts of the plant. Pruning also allows the nutrients to flow through these indoor plants. In fact, bushy white knights mean only the bushy part of the plants receive nutrients. The other less bushy will perish if because of the lack of nutrition. Thus, keep these Philodendrons balanced throughout, so the nutrients reach the whole plant.

Repotting

When the roots of the plants appear on the soil surface or grow out of the drain holes, it’s time to find a larger pot. But waiting until the roots appear is not the best indicator. Try to repot these houseplants before surface rooting occurs.

During the spring months is the best time to repot. Pick a slightly larger pot, from one to three inches larger. Make sure the container has one to three holes for drainage. One hole in the bottom is okay, but these white knights love well-drained soil, so the more holes, the better.

Repotting is also a time to clean off dead roots, using sharp, sterilized pruning shears. Using loose and well-drained soil is ideal for these beauties.

Pests

Philodendron white knights can attract pests. The most likely insects found are mealybugs, aphids, fungus gnats and whiteflies. Other insects can show up as well. The symptoms of having an infestation include discolored patches, brown spots and leaf curling.

These pests will suck the sap from the plant, except for the fungus gnats. The gnats feed on the root system. The remedy or damage control is neem oil, though other chemicals might become necessary.

Diseases

Philodendrons white knights will get root rot when overwatering occurs. The soil becomes waterlogged, and the root system suffocates. Oxygen stops going to the roots, and the plant drowns.

Yellow patches on the leaves and leaf wilting are symptoms of too much water. Prevention is simple, cut back on the amount of water.

Pests can cause yellow of the leaves, but it also means overwatering. Again, work out a healthier watering schedule for these plants.

How to Propagate Philodendron White Knights

White knights are slow growers, so propagating these plants is not easy. Growers love the beauty of these plants and commit to propagating them despite the hard task. 

Middle of spring to the beginning of summer is the best time to propagate these plants. The two stable techniques are the water method and stem cutting. 

Water Method

The items needed for the water method are a jar, filtered water, sharp, sterilized shears or scissors and patience.

Fill the glass jar with water and set it aside. Cut a stem from the plant. Place the plant cutting in the jar of water, make sure the plant node is underwater. Nodes on a plant are where most cellular activity and growth occur.

Place the jar facing bright, indirect sunlight, where it’s warm, and the humidity is low. Wait for the roots to develop while changing the water once a week.

Once roots form, place the young plant in a container and water to help it grow.

Stem Cutting

The items needed for the stem cutting method are container with holes in the bottom and filled with well-drained soil, sharp, sterile pruning shears, clean stick,

Take the container with the soil and water it, letting it drain through the holes until the soil is moist.

Using the shears, cut a stem from the base, ensuring the stem is healthy without spoilage.

Take the clean stick to make a hole in the center of the container. Place the stem cutting in the hole until it’s firmly attached.

Place the young plant n bright, indirect sunlight, keeping the soil moist until roots develop. Once roots grow, move the plant to an ideal location.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Philodendron White Knight rare?

Yes. The Philodendron white knights are one of the rarest and most coveted indoor plants. It’s easy to understand why. Their beautiful white, purple and brown stems with white variegation leaves that vary in shades of bright white against dark greens. Because of these plants, each one is a unique specimen, unlike any other white knight.

Why is Philodendron White Knight so expensive?

These indoor plants are expensive because White Knight is rare and in high demand among collectors and houseplant enthusiasts. In fact, the more mature the plant becomes, the more it will cost the buyer because the plant takes comparatively long to grow.

What is the difference between Philodendron White Knight and White Princess?

Indoor plant growers get these two Philodendrons mixed up because they are similar. It’s not uncommon for people to think they’re purchasing a white knight when actually it’s a white princess.

However, there are a few distinct characteristics that separate the two plants. The white knight has broader and rounder leaves than the white princess, which has longer and thinner leaves with pointed ends.

The white knight has brown, purple and white stems, whereas the white princess has green stems. Stems of the white knight might also appear burgundy but never green, like the princess.

The knight is also more of a climber if the owner helps it grow that way. Although both plants have white splattered on their leaves, some growers report patches of pink on their princesses on rare occasions. Whereas the knight never grows pink patches.

Is Philodendron White Knight toxic to pets?

Philodendron white knights are toxic to pets and humans. If a pet accidentally eats part of the plant, it will experience terrible irritation. The mouth and throat will burn and swell, including vomiting and diarrhea. Any signs that a pet has ingested any toxic plant take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Philodendron white knights are tropical, luscious variegated plants that belong to the popular Araceae family. Native to South America, the white knights are rare houseplants but in high demand. Their scarcity makes them expensive, which is an excellent reason to learn how to care for these plants.

Coming across a healthy Philodendron white knight is a sight to behold with their heart-shaped, dark green leaves radiating splashes and patches of white. Then, on infrequent occasions, growers report one grew an all-white leaf.

Caring for these plants is easy if you follow the basic rules. Don’t overwater them and keep them in bright, indirect light with healthy humidity levels. 

Learning how to propagate these white knights is worth the time and effort because they are expensive. Thus, they make perfect gifts for those who love to grow indoor plants.

Be sure to check out all of our Plant Care Guides!

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