How to Care for Philodendron “White Knight”

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The White Knight Philodendron is a unique foliage plant known for its captivating beauty and easy maintenance. This comprehensive guide offers insights into how to care for and grow this stunning indoor plant.

The Philodendron erubescens “White Knight” plant is an evergreen, climbing houseplant native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America and the West Indies.

It develops shiny and pointed leaves, ranging from light green to dark green, with irregular white cream-white stripes of variegation on the surface. If you’re fortunate, you might even observe a hint of burgundy. The stems, usually purple and brown, also have irregular white variegation.

It stands out from his colleagues (the White Princess and the White Wizard), with its dark purple and white climbing tribes. In addition, it’s larger than the White Wizard, with leaves exhibiting more variegation, typically divided into half white and half green. Compared to the others, it is the most striking to encounter.

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

Basic info

Common NameWhite Knight Philodendron
Scientific Namesin. Philodendron erubescens ‘White Knight’
FamilyAraceae
TypePhilodendron
Grouperubescens
Variety/CultivarWhite Knight
OriginsCentral and South America, West Indies
FragranceUnscented
Leaf TypeEvergreen
Leaf ColorWhite, Green
Width at Maturity1 – 3 feet
Height at Maturity5 – 8 feet
ExposurePartial Shade
Pet FriendlyNon-Pet Friendly

Is the White Knight’s variegation stable?

The exclusive White Knight is highly sought after due to its variegation. The intricate and beautiful pattern on the leaves adds a unique charm and contributes to the overall appeal of these plants. The variegation will differ from leaf to leaf. One leaf may emerge with little or no variegation and the next leaf may emerge with little or no green.

This is all part of the charm of this houseplant, but be aware that good light will promote variegation development. The combination of green and white colors is necessary for your ‘White Knight’ to thrive. The green parts are essential for photosynthesis. So, if too many leaves start to turn white, your plant will have trouble feeding itself and may die.

On the other hand, if you have too much green, you lose what makes your plant a ‘White Knight ‘. If you notice new leaves growing in pure white, prune the stems just above the node (the place where your new variegated leaves will grow). Ideally, you try to keep one last leaf on the stem with balanced variegation.

For optimal growth and consistent variegation, it’s essential to ensure sufficient light. More light generally results in increased variegation, but caution is necessary to avoid sunburn. Therefore, providing bright indirect light and a bit of morning direct sunlight appears to be ideal for bringing out the vibrant variegation.

Flowering

Although Philodendron ‘White Knight’ is primarily appreciated for its foliage, it can also produce inconspicuous, spike-shaped flowers. However, its flowering is rare indoors and is not considered the main characteristic of this plant.

The White Knight Philodendron can be used as a hanging plant or made to climb on supports. As a climber, it will benefit from the support of a trellis or moss pole so that it can develop larger leaves. However, unlike some variegated plants, they tend to maintain a relatively consistent size even as they climb. Failure to provide your plant with a moss pole will cause it to lean.

White Knight Philodendron care

Despite being rare, Philodendron White Knight is one of the easiest Philodendrons to care for. The approach is quite similar to other Variegated philodendrons.

A true collector’s plant, indispensable in the personal urban jungle of any indoor plant lover!

Light

Philodendron ‘White Knight’ prefers bright to medium indirect or diffused light but can also tolerate dim areas very well. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight, as this may burn the plant’s delicate leaves. It can however withstand the first and last rays of the day well, so a little bit of morning or evening direct sunlight can be good for them in bringing out the variegation.

Good lighting will allow the white foliage to keep all its shine and beauty. Your plant mustn’t expose your white knight to direct light or the color of your leaves could lose its vibrancy, especially in those parts where it has variegation. Knight will be a super-plant.

Tip: The leaves of this plant can accumulate dust and dirt, which can clog the pores and make it difficult for the plant to breathe. To keep the leaves clean and dust-free, you can use a soft, damp cloth or sponge to gently wipe the surface of the leaves.

Watering

Philodendron ‘White Knight’ prefers the soil to be kept slightly moist. Water once a week and bi-weekly in cool weather, allowing the soil to dry between waterings as excess water could rot the roots or cause fungus to appear.

Compared to other varieties (like, for example, the Pink Princess, which does not tolerate over-watering at all) the White Knight is a little bit more forgiving when it comes to watering. It can tolerate over-watering and also a bit of drought. However, this doesn’t mean that you should over-water or underwater your plant

Your philodendron must have good well-draining soil, a chunky potting mix that dries out fast. If you have them grown in a more compact or moisture-retentive potting mix, do water them a little bit, do make sure you have them dry out completely between watering.

Temperature and Humidity

The philodendron white knight is very resistant and withstands a large range of temperatures. The ideal is a warm climate between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Philodendrons are tropical plants, meaning they appreciate high relative humidity, atleast 50% .If it does not have enough humidity, its leaves will not open properly, damaging themselves in the process. Additionally, variegated areas will spoil sooner.

Misting the leaves periodically with tempered water is a great idea especially if your environment is dry.

Placing a humidifier nearby is an even better solution, as the moisture particles are so fine that they are better absorbed by the plants and you also avoid getting water droplet stains on your leaves. Also, keep it away from sources of heat or cold and avoid drafts.

Fertilizing

Fertilize once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) using liquid fertilizer for green plants or worm castings to increase the bioavailability of nutrients. This helps to renew the food in the soil for your plant, since being in a pot the nutrients are depleted over time.

During winter, continue fertilizing but with a lower dose. Many sources will tell you that that it is not necessary to fertilize and that the plants are in dormancy. However, indoor plants, since are in a warmer climate and do not go dormant the same way as the one that are outdoors. They only slow down their rate of growth. So, if they continue to grow new leaves, it means that they have to continue feeding.

When fertilizing, it is very important to follow the instructions on the bottle to avoid burning the roots. Elongated, thin stems and increasingly sparse leaves may indicate a lack of nutrients or light. Therefore, it will be appropriate to place the plant in a brighter room and to fertilize.

Substrate

For the Philodendron White Knight, well-draining potting soil rich in organic matter is essential. Mixing houseplant potting soil with perlite or sphagnum moss will promote good drainage and support root health.

You can add a little new substrate each year. Additionally, you will need to make sure that the excess water drains completely.

The Philodendron White Knight is also a climbing plant that grows on trees, so when the time comes we can put a stake on it so that it grows more upright and its leaves are larger. If we don’t do this, its stems will grow more parallel to the ground and its leaves will be smaller. Nature is wise and does it so as not to put so much pressure on the stem, preventing it from breaking.

Pests and Diseases

Philodendrons don’t usually have pests or diseases but we’ll always have to watch the rot from roots from time to time and the coloration of the leaves. If you see that its leaves turn into a yellow color it may have some fungus, apply for an ecolological fungicide and as new.

How to propagate our Philodendron White Knight

Like all other Philodendron Varieties, the White Knight can be easily propagated by cuttings. Start by selecting the healthier growing tips and making clean cuts between nodes. Try not to take too much from the mother plant because you still want it plant to survive

Remove excess leaves from the cutting because you don’t want to be wasting energy and nutrients on the leaves instead of rooting. You can then apply a callusing agent to the cut ends of both the cutting and the mother plant. You can use cinnamon powder since it is a natural fungicide.

After that, place the cutting in a container with water and place it in a warm place with indirect light until roots emerge. We can also put it in moss, perlite, or clay, especially if it has more aerial roots. The more roots it grows before transplanting, the better.

There are other methods you can use to propagate your philodendron like air layering seeds, and division. To learn more about these, you can read this post:

How to Propagate Philodendrons: 4 Easy Ways

Transplanting and repotting

Repot your White Knight Philodendron every 2 to 3 years, particularly in spring, so that the plant does not suffer excessively. You must wait for it to become rootbound (when the roots protrude from the pot) before transplanting. Furthermore, it is best to do it

Choose a pot slightly larger than the previous one and also use good potting soil. Make sure the soil is cool and the plant has enough space to grow.

How do you increase variegation in White Knight?

To maintain the bright white foliage of your Philodendron ‘White Knight’, it is important to dust it regularly with a damp cloth. This will preserve the brightness of its leaves and prevent them from becoming dull.

The plant must also be protected from direct sunlight for its variegation to increase and not disappear. In any case, if we have any doubts about whether to offer it direct sun, it is best to prevent it and give it good bright indirect light.

To encourage vigorous growth and bright white foliage, you can also fertilize your White Knight during the active growing period (spring and summer) with a balanced houseplant fertilizer, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

FAQs

Why is Philodendron White Knight so expensive?

The high cost of the Philodendron White Knight can be attributed to a combination of factors, including scarcity, demand, legal restrictions, scientific value, and production costs. Additionally, the ones with spectacular variegation usually will fetch a better price.

How big can the White Knight philodendron get?

The White Knight philodendron is a climbimg variety that grow up to 10 feet tall in the wild . To ensure good growth, it is therefore important that the plant remains healthy. Additionally, if you want to encourage more compact, bushy growth, you can pinch out new growth to encourage new branches to develop.

How do I identify my philodendron White Knight?

You can identify your Philodendron White Knight by its red main stem, accompanied by patio adorned with beautiful cream-white stripes variegation. The leaves exhibit a captivating blend of shades, ranging from green to light green and dark green.

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