Are you a new plant owner of the stunning Philodendron White Knight plant? This stunning plant is starting to become more available (and more affordable!) and as a result, more and more of us are owning one.
If you need some care tips for your white knight philodendron, look no further! We’re going to share all you need to know to have a happy, healthy plant.
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Philodendron White Knight Background
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To be honest, there isn’t much that we know about where this plant came to be! We did a ton of research and came up empty handed except that it is native to the rainforests of South America.
We know it is part of the philodendron species and has those characteristic heart-shaped leaves that most philodendron plants have although these are green and white leaves. The white color is one of the differentiating aspects of this plant.
In the plant world, there are many, many shapes, colors, and varieties to see and enjoy. The Philodendron White Knight is one of the most rare and desired tropical houseplants and it’s easy to see why. It has beautiful reddish brown stems with white and green variegation and the leaves are also variegated in bright white patches to varying degrees.
One thing to remember about these plants – no two look alike. Even on a single plant, no two leaves will ever appear the same (just like other variegated philodendrons like the Pink Princess Philodendron). The variegations on the leaves will always be unique and will depend on their specific growing conditions.
It generally goes by its name of Philodendron White Knight. This is a fairly rare plant due to its low supply and because it is in high demand. It takes longer to grow, therefore, it is harder to find.
The Philodendron White Knight is considered toxic due to its calcium oxalate crystal content. If this is ingested, it can cause both respiratory and digestive issues. Be sure to keep this plant away from both small children and pets.
Philodendron White Knight Care
Image via Sunshine Greens
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As far as watering your White Knight goes, it is best to wait until the top few inches of soil is dry, then water. If the soil remains moist for too long, however, it can suffocate the roots. This can lead to root rot due to the lack of oxygen to the roots.
This will mean you will typically water your plant about once every 7-10 days. Be sure to maintain a regular watering schedule so that your plant remains healthy. Bottom watering is a good method to water your White Knight. Set the pot into a bucket of water for a few minutes to allow it to soak up some water, then let it drain properly.
Your White Knight will thrive when you keep it in bright, indirect light conditions. Too much bright sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it’s important to keep your indoor plant in a location where it receives filtered light.
If it does get any direct full sun, make sure that it isn’t afternoon sun since that is more intense. The light is very important for this plant because it is important for maintaining the variegation on the leaves.
You will want to use an airy, well-draining soil mix for your White Knight. You can do this by selecting a commercial potting soil mix and adding perlite, orchid bark and compost to the mix. Be sure that the soil drains well and there is a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot to avoid root rot. Don’t let your plant sit in moist soil for any length of time.
Using a well balanced liquid fertilizer will be fine for your White Knight. You can do this monthly during the spring and summer months and this should be sufficient. Be sure to follow the directions on the package and don’t over fertilize as this will lead to chemical burn of your plant.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
The optimum temperatures for your White Knight should range between 65 to 80 degrees F. This will help your plant thrive. You should be careful to not let your plant be in temperatures below 55 degrees F as this may cause permanent damage to your plant.
The humidity should be kept at around 70%. If you live in a dry environment, you may want to buy a humidifier to have a more humid environment. You can also use a pebble tray under your tropical plant to keep the moisture level in the air at a good level.
Pests and Diseases
Some of the most common pests for the White Knight are aphids and mealybugs. You will need to periodically inspect your plant to check for signs of infestation. If you find any of these pests, be sure to isolate your plant right away. You should pick off all the aphids you can find. Then you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to wipe off the leaves of your plant.
Mealybugs suck the sap out of your plant. They typically attach to your plant in clusters. Once you identify them on your plant, you should isolate your plant. Then you will want to remove the bugs, then use 70% isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to wipe off the leaves of your plant.
The most common diseases for a White Knight are root rot or leaf spot. Both of these problems are usually related to overwatering your plant. Prevention goes a long way to keeping your plant healthy. Always be sure that your plant is kept in a well draining pot and that you do not overwater it.
Pruning and Repotting
In order to keep your White Knight healthy and looking nice, you will want to routinely prune the leaves. Cut off any dead, damaged or yellowing leaves as well as any stems that are growing in the wrong direction or are too long. If you want a bushier plant, you can also pinch off the tips of the branches.
When it comes to repotting your entire plant, you will want to consider a few things. One is that the looser the roots, the taller and healthier your plant will be. When your plant becomes rootbound, it will become slower in its growth and that is when you should consider repotting it.
Another consideration for when you repot it, is if the plant becomes too tall for the pot it is in. You will want to use a pot that is at least one to two inches larger than the current pot. Also, be sure to use new soil when repotting your White Knight. The soil will lose its nutrients over time, so using new soil will give the plant back some of the nutrients it has lost from the original soil.
Yellowing leaves can become a problem for your White Knight if you overwater. It can also cause root rot or fungal infections. Overwatering will cause the roots to not have enough oxygen and won’t allow the plant to grow properly, thus causing the leaves to turn yellow. Prevention by not overwatering will go a long way to help avoid this problem!
Brown leaves are common issues that can be caused by too much direct sunlight or a lack of humidity. You will need to be careful that your plant does not sit in front of a window with too much light.
Also, you will need to monitor the humidity levels in the room your plant resides in. This plant likes high humidity levels so it should be kept in humidity levels of around 70% to maintain a healthy plant.
Where to Buy
Is the Philodendron White Knight Rare?
The White Knight is considered to be a rare plant since it is high in demand, low in supply, and also takes longer to grow. They are becoming more common amongst the houseplant world now though, so may be easier to obtain.
You will need to increase the light intensity, maintain consistent humidity levels, adjust the watering schedule and prune your White Knight regularly. All of these factors should help get more white variegation on your plant.
Yes, it is a climbing plant. You can get a moss pole for your plant and let it start growing up the pole. It will vine up soon and at some point, it may become large enough to have as a floor plant.
Once you see a Philodendron White Knight, you will see what all the hype is about. They are such a beautiful addition to any houseplant collection with their purplish stems and white and green leaves. The varying coloration of these plants add a lot of interest to any room’s decor.
If you’re in the market for a different kind of houseplant, be sure to find one of these beauties to add some newfound interest in your living space. As always, keep on growing!