Is your indoor space in need of a facelift? A Philodendron White Knight may be just what your home needs.
These exquisite indoor plants are known for their extraordinary foliage. Stark white splotches called variegation adorn each leaf, giving the White Knight a beautiful painted appearance. These Philodendrons are also famous for their ease of maintenance — the key is in giving it the right environmental conditions. Just what are these conditions exactly? You’re about to find out in this article.
How to care for your Philodendron White Knight
Hailed as an easy-to-grow plant, the White Knight gives you the striking white variegation that White Princesses are also known for. Just raise your White Knight plant in the proper conditions and it will have eye-catching foliage for years to come.
The good news is, you can leave the fuss and worry at the door. Philodendron White Knights thrive in a tropical environment, they are fairly low maintenance and require minimal attention.
Depending on the weather conditions in your area, the White Knight can be planted indoors or outdoors. A mild climate is just what you need to plant your White Knight in your garden or yard.
Note: Refrain from bringing your plant outdoors if there is extreme heat or cold in your area.
Sunlight is important to all plants at varying degrees. While other plants need full or direct sunlight, your White Knight will thrive best under bright indirect sunlight.
When the amount of sunlight is just right, your plant will produce the beautiful white and green variegation you’re looking for. Too little sun can cause your White Knight to lose its variegation, while too much sunlight can burn the leaves of your plant. A White Knight left in the shade for more than a month will lose its white markings, resulting in an unattractive Philodendron.
Philodendron White Knights are climbing plants and can grow quickly when planted near a structural support. The typical height of a White Knight is 3m, but plant it near a pole or a tree and you’ll see it surpass its normal growth rate.
Another element that encourages your White Knight’s good health and fast growth is enriched moist soil. Garden soil is not recommended for this purpose, as it can contain weeds and microbes that can harm your plant.
Instead, opt for high-quality potting soil with good drainage. We recommend Planthood’s Philodendron Super Soil for the healthiest plants!
As with other Philodendron varieties, the White Knight thrives in a humid environment. A humidity level of 70% is sufficient to keep your plant well-hydrated and healthy.
If your home has below-average humidity, you can use a humidifier to increase the moisture content in the air. Placing your Philodendron on a tray of damp pebbles is another alternative, as this creates a humid micro-environment for your plant. Grouping plants together also increases the humidity in their area.
If you want a fast and quick fix, here’s a tip for you: position your Philodendron White Knight in the bathroom. Not only is the humidity in this part of your house higher than normal, your plant will bring in a fresh look to your bathroom and make it more attractive.
Because Philodendrons are tropical plants, they do well in warm temperatures. A temperature range of 18-270C is just right for growing your White Knight. Make sure not to let the temperature go any lower than 130C, as Philodendrons are not frost and cold tolerant.
As mentioned earlier, this variety enjoys moist soil — hence, moderate watering is a must to keep your White Knight healthy.
To test if you’re watering adequately, touch the soil and check for its moisture. The surface should feel moist, but not waterlogged. Moist soil will stick to your fingers, while dehydrated soil will feel crumbly and fall off your fingers easily.
If the soil is moist, there’s no need to water. When the soil feels powdery and dry to the touch, it’s time to give your plant a watering.
Note: Excessive watering isn’t good for your Philodendron, as it can cause the roots of the plant to rot.
When it comes to feeding your White Knight, a balanced liquid fertiliser works best. Test if the fertiliser is suitable for your plant by applying half of the recommended amount.
Always remember to check the package for proper usage — the wrong fertiliser application can bring more harm than good. As a general rule of thumb, it is safer to under-fertilise than over-fertilise.
Check your plant’s roots regularly to see if it’s time to re-pot. You’ll know if it’s time to transfer your White Knight to a bigger pot when the roots start to appear on the soil surface.
Like other Philodendrons, aphids and mealybugs are a White Knight’s worst nightmare. Aphids weaken your plants by sucking out their sap. These pests are attracted to new growth, which means an over-fertilised White Knight with plenty of new foliage is highly susceptible to an infestation.
An aphid infestation can be treated manually by removing the bugs one by one. Most home gardeners are not too keen about this method, however, and prefer bringing in professional gardeners for proper plant treatment. Pruning off the infested plant part is an effective way of stopping the spread of aphids.
To treat mealybugs, swab a piece of cotton dipped in 70% isopropyl alcohol and swipe it directly on the pests. Avoiding over-fertilising your White Knight is a good preventive measure against mealybug growth. Like aphids, mealybugs prefer new growth, which an over-fertilised plant has plenty of.
How to propagate the Philodendron White Knight
You can grow a White Knight from a stem cutting. All you need is a White Knight plant, a pair of scissors, and some water.
Simply follow these steps on propagating Philodendrons, and you’ll have plenty of White Knights to adorn your home with.
- Disinfect your scissors by dipping it in 70%-100% ethanol.
- Locate the node with an aerial root.
- Using your scissors, cut below the leaf’s node.
- Trim the cut stem. Make sure only one leaf and aerial root remain.
- Put the stem in a jar of water. The part with the leaf should be exposed to air, while the part with the aerial root should be completely submerged in water.
- As soon as roots grow out from the aerial root, transplant the stem to a prepared potting mix.
Philodendron White Knight vs White Princess
Indoor plants that can compete against the beauty of the White Princess are few and far in between. The White Princess, together with the Philodendron Pink Princess, are considered plant royalty, after all. It will take a close contender in the indoor plant game to dethrone these two.
So what does the Philodendron White Knight have that the White Princess doesn’t? Many gardening enthusiasts and professional gardeners rave about the White Knight, while high-brow potted plant aficionados scrutinise its merits. Is the White Knight worthy to take on the White Princess? Let’s find out:
They both have white variegation.
The White Knight and White Princess are both famous for the white markings on their heart-shaped leaves. These markings, called variegation, appear as stark white splotches on the foliage. The White Knight, however, has burgundy-coloured stems, while the White Princess has green stems.
The White Knight has wider leaves.
While the White Princess enjoys a reputation for being a dainty-looking plant because of its narrow leaves, the White Knight is bolder in appearance. Expect to see a wider leaf size and a faster growth rate from your White Knight.
The White Knight is a climber.
Unlike the White Princess which is a stand-alone plant, the White Knight is a climbing variety. This means that as it grows, it will eventually need structural support to cling onto. A fully mature White Knight can reach a height of 3m when given proper care.
In the contest between which is the better Philodendron, the White Knight and White Princess are both winners. It all comes down to your aesthetic preference. If hefty indoor plants are more your thing, give the White Knight a try! Just follow the care and propagating tips mentioned above, and you’ll have a beautiful white-and-green urban jungle in your own home in no time.