How to Care for Philodendron “White Princess”

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In this post, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about the White Princess Philodendron, from basic care needs to the reasons that yours might not be doing as well as it could be. So, let’s get into it.

The Philodendron erubescens “White Princess” plant is an evergreen ornamental houseplant from the Araceae family, native to the rainforests of South America. Its most distinctive feature is its variegated foliage, which displays an elegant combination of green and white tones in marbled patterns, giving it a sophisticated and exuberant look.

The leaves of the White Princess Philodendron are heart-shaped, with a smooth, shiny texture. They grow on long, thin stems that can reach up to 10 to 15 inches in length. The plant can grow to about 4 feet in height, and thrives in a warm, humid environment, with regular watering and well-draining soil.

Often confused with the White Knight and White Wizard Philodendrons, the White Princess develops narrower and pointed dark green leaves with very accentuated milky white variegation (with some pink or purple spots), giving it a striking and distinctive appearance.

Additionally, the petioles and stems of Philodendron White Princess take on a pinkish hue, compare to Philodendron White Wizard’s green especially when when a new leaf emerges.

Also read: What’s the Difference between White Princess, White Wizard, and White Knight Philodendrons?

Taxonomy

Common nameWhite Princess Philodendron
FamilyAraceae
TypePhilodendron
Grouperubescens
Variety/cultivarWhite Princess
OriginsSouth America
FragranceUnscented
Leaf typeEvergreen
Leaf colorWhite, Green
Flowering colorWhite, Green
Width at maturityUp to 4 feet
Height at maturityUp to 4 feet
ExposurePartial shade
Pet friendlyNon Pet Friendly

This plant is a hybrid variety of Philodendron, and its name does justice to its beauty, evoking the image of an enchanted princess. It is a popular choice among indoor plant enthusiasts because of its adaptability and ease of care. It adapts well to a variety of indoor environments, from living rooms to offices, as long as the lighting is controlled. It can be used as a hanging or made to climb on supports.

Is Philodendron White Princess rare?

The Philodendron White Princess is one of the rarest most sought after varieties, not only by collectors, but also by those who want to give a tropical touch to their interiors with a wow effect.

It is desired for its glossy green leaves with white and silver markings, which give it an elegant and sophisticated appearance. It is also a popular plant for growing indoors due to its attractive appearance and its ability to survive in lower lighting conditions.

Why is Philodendron White Princess so expensive?

Because the White Princess Philodendron is difficult to grow, its availability is always very limited. Just like with other variegated plants, the White Princess Philodendron also requires a little extra love.

The variegated parts of the leaf do not contain chlorophyll (the green dye in leaves that plants use to capture light and convert it into chemical energy used for photosynthesis) and therefore produces less energy.

Care

Like other Philodendron varieties, the White Princess is a relatively easy plant to care for. So much of the time, when houseplants start to go downhill, it’s because you’re not adequately replicating their natural environment, and you’re merely guessing their needs.

Here are some care tips and cultural requirements:

Lighting

Philodendron White Princess thrives in areas with bright indirect light. It is able to adapt to a wide range of lighting conditions, from moderate lighting to partial shade, but does not tolerate intense direct sunlight. Direct exposure to the sun can damage the sensitive leaves.

The white variegated parts of the plant are particularly sensitive to this and lots of things, but bright direct sunlight is a definite no-no. So if you’re going to keep them in an area that receives some sun, just make sure it’s only kind of gentle morning and evening sun and not harsh midday sun.

During the winter months, when they’re not receiving as much natural light, and the hours of light they’re receiving are a lot less, you can move your plants under grow lights to kind of try and keep them as active as you possibly can. They may go into natural dormancy period over winter, which is totally normal and nothing to worry about.

If they’re not receiving sufficient light, one thing you might start to notice over time is that your plant becomes quite kind of stretched out and gangly, as opposed to full healthy bushy. The other thing is the variegation can start to actually fade and kind of not be as prominent.

Keeping the leaves clean as well is also super important, not just because it helps prevent things like pests but also because a build-up of dust and dirt essentially kind of acts as a shield and stops your plant from being able to absorb all of the light it needs in order to photosynthesize and grow healthily.

Additionally, regularly wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and maintain their shiny appearance. It’s also just so much easier to monitor the state of your plant if it’s not covered in a layer of dust. As I say, they’re really fast-growing plants, and they do kind of tend to chase the light quite quickly.

So just rotating their pots every few weeks or so so that they can absorb equal amounts of light from all angles and not become too kind of leaning or lopsided is a really good idea.

Water

Proper watering is essential for the successful cultivation of this plant. Keep the soil slightly moist, but avoid soaking it, as Philodendron is sensitive to excess water. It is advisable to water when the soil begins to dry superficially.

You can check the soil moisture by inserting your finger about 1 inch into the soil. If it feels dry at this depth, it’s time to water. It is important to avoid overwatering, as excessively wet soil can cause root rot and damage the plant.

Under-watering is always better than over-watering because it’s usually so much easier to save a plant that’s been under-watered as opposed to over-watered.

The rate at which you need to water your plant will vary, depending on your house’s temperature and humidity. For example, if you’ve got a really hot house with loads of natural light and really high humidity, then it’s going to dry out at a completely different rate compared a dark, cold house, with low humidity.

Temperature

When it comes to temperature, White Princess Philodendron always prefer it slightly warmer and don’t always cope particularly well with lower drops. Ideally, you want to keep them up between 65 and 85 degrees Fahreheit to ensure optimal development.

Make sure that that temperature is fairly consistent and steady and not constantly fluctuating up and down. They’re also really sensitive to cold drafts, so keeping them in an area that receives good airflow is brilliant, but just make sure it’s not too cold and breezy.

Humidity

These are tropical plants, and they’re always going to do best in an environment that provides at least 50 humidity, but the more the better to keep them happier. If you can provide them kind of 70 or 80, they will love you even more.

A great way to maintain this humidity is by using humidifiers running pretty much all the time in my house just because I’ve got so many plants. But you can also use pebble trays, which basically just sit underneath your plants, and as they evaporate, release humidity and keep your plants happy.

Another very cheap (it’s actually free) alternative is to group lots of your plants together, and as they transpire and naturally produce humidity, essentially acting as a humidifier for each other.

It is important to provide an environment with good air circulation to prevent moisture build-up on the leaves. Additionally, avoid cold drafts and extreme temperatures, which can harm the plant’s healthy development.

You’ve also got to be quite careful if you’ve got radiators or fan heaters running because this can take away so much of the natural humidity from the air. A great tip is to put a cup of water on top of it so that when the radiator heats up, the moisture will evaporate and kind of restore a bit of the humidity to the environment for your plants.

Fertilizer

Fertilizing is important to promote healthy growth and a vibrant foliage pattern. It is recommended to fertilize once every 4-6 weeks, during the growing season (spring and summer) using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

This means that adding some extra nutrients into your plant care routine is going to really help encourage and support new growth. Opt for a fertilizer with an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) formulation of approximately 20-20-20 to meet this plant’s nutritional needs.

Fertilize it during the spring and autumn months every 7 or 10 days using liquid fertilizers. For its part, in summer and winter, space it to once a month.

If you’ve never fertilized your plant before, start with a little bit less than it says on the bottle and just gradually building it up over time just so you don’t send your plant into shock.

Why is my White Princess Philodendron losing variegation

There are actually quite a few reasons that the white variegated parts of your plant might not always do as well as the green bits and might kind of start to brown and not look very nice. The most common culprit is a light imbalance.

If the plant isn’t getting enough light, it will start sacrificing the white variegated parts because they can’t absorb light and photosynthesize like the rest of the plant. It typically opts to let go of those parts to conserve energy and prioritize green, healthy growth.

Similarly, too much direct sun can scorch and burn the variegated part of the leaves. Another really common causes for browning leaves, particularly the white variegated parts, is lack of humidity.

Repotting or Transplanting

Your Philodendron will need to be repotted  approximately every two years (preferably in early spring), depending on location and care. Choose a pot with good drainage to prevent water from accumulating in the roots.

Use a well-aerated substrate rich in organic matter, such as a mixture of peat, perlite, and pine bark. Plant the plant seedling so that the crown is slightly above ground level. Make sure the container is in a location where the plant can grow freely, allowing room for its expansive leaves.

Assuming you’ve used good quality soil, you probably won’t need to fertilize them for a few months anyway because they’ll be getting all the nutrients they need from that.

How to propagate Pink Princess Philodendron

The Pink Princess Philodendron can be easily propagated to make a new little baby plants. There are several ways to do this but by far the easiest and most common method is by cuttings.

Use sterilized pruning shears or scissors to make a cut in the middle of the stem. Basically just want to make sure that any part of the plant you’re cutting has a node on it. This is important because they’re the bits where your roots are going to grow from.

After cutting, seal the ends of the stems to prevent contamination. You can then choose to propagate it in water, moss, perlite or clay.

FAQs

Is Philodendron White Princess toxic to pets?

Yes, like many other plants in the Araceae family, White Princess Philodendron is considered toxic to pets, such as dogs and cats, if ingested. Parts of the plant contain toxic compounds, including calcium oxalate, which can cause gastrointestinal irritation, excessive salivation, vomiting, and, in severe cases, more serious problems such as difficulty breathing. Keep out of reach of pets and children.

Is White Princess Philodendron a climbing variety?

They’re climbing plants, so they really love having something to kind of attach themselves to and pull themselves up as they grow. I would highly recommend, if you can, growing them on a moss pole.

Why are the leaves of my White Princess Philodendron yellowing, withering, or browning?

Withered and soft leaves indicate that the plant is not receiving enough water or is suffering from water stress.

Yellowing leaves on the othe hand are sign of excessive watering, lack of nutrients or root problems.

As for brown leaf tips, they are a sign of a very dry environment, inadequate watering or lack of humidity.

What are the benefits of white Princess Philodendron?

White Princess Philodendron has the ability to filter out toxins in the small layer of air around it, such as formaldehydes, trochloroethylenes, and benzenes, making it an excellent choice for offices and bedrooms.

We really hope this post was useful. If anyone has any questions or wants to know about something we didn’t cover, then feel free to drop me a comment down below, and we’ll do our best to help.

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