Philodendron white knight Care and Growing Guide

So I’m just out of my garden planting the new sets of Philodendron white knight. Having noticed not many articles out there are helpful to gardeners looking for a detailed and complete care guide for this plant, I decided to write this one.

So if you have been in search of a thorough philodendron white knight care and growing guide, you’ve found one. This beautiful “white knight” will shield a special spot in your heart. Let’s dive in.

Philodendron white knight care overview

Common Name:Philodendron White Knight
Scientific Name:Philodendron erubescens.
Growth Rate:Slow.
Height:2-3 ft (without support), 6-10 ft (with support).
Soil:Well-draining potting mix.
Humidity:Moderate at 60%
Watering:Water deeply when top soil dries
Sunlight:Bright indirect light
Temperature:65°F and 85°F (18°C – 29°C)
Toxicity:Toxic to pets
Pests:Scale insects, mealy bugs, fungus gnats, spider mites.
Diseases:Root rot, Leaf spot

History and Habitat of philodendron white knight

White Knight philodendron

 Unlike other philodendrons that come from specific areas in South America, the White Knight’s past is a bit of a puzzle. Some think it’s a special plant that grew on its own, while others believe it was created by people using science. Although Columbia has been mentioned, no one knows for sure where it really is from.

We know that its “parent” plant, lives in warm, wet rainforests in South America. So, the White Knight probably likes similar places, even though we haven’t found it wild yet.

How do you identify a Philodendron White Knight? (Physical description)


  • Shape: Heart-shaped with a pointed tip, similar to other philodendrons.
  • Size: Can vary depending on age and care, but generally range from 4-12 inches long and wide.
  • Colour: This is where the “White Knight” part shines! The leaves are a vibrant dark green as the base, adorned with irregular patches and streaks of creamy white. The amount of white can vary greatly, with some leaves having just a few flecks and others boasting a majority white surface.
  • Veins: Look for prominent light green or yellow veins running throughout the leaves, adding another layer of visual interest.


  • Colour: Unlike many philodendrons with green stems, the White Knight has unique reddish-brown to burgundy stems.
  • Thickness: The stems are relatively thick and sturdy, capable of supporting the weight of growing leaves.


  • Growth habit: This is a climbing philodendron, meaning it naturally grows upwards and can benefit from a moss pole or trellis for support.
  • Texture: The leaves have a smooth, glossy texture, adding to their elegance.
  • Growth Rate: Don’t expect lightning speed! Philodendron white knight is a slow grower, adding new leaves at a moderate pace.

How Tall does a White Knight Get?

This is a climbing philodendron, meaning it thrives on having something to grip and grow upwards. Without support, it might remain a bushy plant, reaching around 2-3 feet tall.

With proper care, including providing a moss pole or trellis for support, bright indirect light, and consistent moisture, 6-10 feet is a common range for White Knight.

Is philodendron White Knight rare?

In the past it was rare, the Philodendron White Knight was a highly sought-after and expensive plant due to its unique variegation and limited availability. It was mainly found in specialized plant collections and nurseries.

Today It’s becoming increasingly common. Due to advancements in tissue culture techniques, the White Knight has become more readily available and affordable in recent years. While not as ubiquitous as some common houseplants, it’s no longer considered exceptionally rare.

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care For White Knight philodendron

white knight philodendron

soil requirements

Soggy soil is the enemy, as it leads to root rot and ultimately, a sad, wilting White Knight. Achieve this by mixing like orchid bark or perlite into your mix. These promote drainage and ensure air reaches the roots, preventing suffocation.

But drainage shouldn’t mean bone-dry conditions. Your White Knight still needs some moisture to keep its leaves lush and happy while still being aerated. This is where components like potting soil and coco coir come in. They hold onto the water without turning into mud.

40% orchid bark, 30% potting soil, 20% coco coir, and 10% perlite is a good mix. Choose a pot just slightly larger than the root ball to avoid waterlogging, and repot every 1-2 years when the roots get cosy.

How much light does a White Knight philodendron need?

  • Aim for 6-8 hours of bright, indirect light daily. This means positioning your plant near a window that receives ample sunlight throughout the day, but not directly in the path of harsh afternoon rays.
  • East-facing windows often provide ideal indirect light, while south-facing windows might require sheer curtains or filtering to prevent scorching.
  • West-facing windows can work in some cases, but monitor your plant for signs of sunburn, especially during the hottest part of the day.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, especially during peak hours because it makes the white areas on the leaves burn, turning brown and crispy. This is for those asking “why is my white knight philodendron turning brown?
  • If you notice any leaves curling, wilting, or browning, it’s likely receiving too much direct sun. Move it further away from the window or use sheer curtains for protection.

How often do you water a Philodendron White Knight?

  • The White Knight prefers moist, well-draining soil, not soggy or bone-dry conditions. Overwatering is a major threat, leading to root rot and wilting leaves.
  • Aim to water deeply when the top 2-3 inches of soil feel dry to the touch. This encourages deep root growth and prevents waterlogging.
  • As a general guide, expect to water roughly once a week during the growing season (spring and summer) and less frequently (every 10-14 days) in cooler months (fall and winter).

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Aim for a consistent temperature range between 65°F and 85°F (18°C – 29°C). Avoid sudden fluctuations or extremes. Nighttime temperatures can be slightly cooler, but not below 60°F (15°C).

Avoid drafts and cold spots. Keep your plant away from air conditioners, open windows during cold periods, and heating vents.


The White Knight prefers moderately high humidity between 50% and 70%. This can be challenging in drier climates or during winter months. You can Group plants together as they naturally increase humidity around each other.

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Stick to the growing season! Apply fertilizer only during spring and summer when your plant is actively growing. Avoid fertilizing during fall and winter when growth slows down.

Choose a balanced liquid fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Avoid fertilizers high in nitrogen, as this can promote unwanted leaf growth at the expense of variegation.

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How to Propagate White Knight Philodendron

Of these two methods, choose the one that works best fo you

Method 1. Stem Cuttings

  • Select a healthy stem with at least two nodes (the bumps where leaves and roots emerge). Look for nodes with aerial roots, as they indicate higher propagation success.
  • Sterilize a sharp knife and make a clean cut just below a node at a 45-degree angle.
  • Remove the lower leaf closest to the cut, if present.

Water Propagation: 

Place the cutting in a glass of water, ensuring the node is submerged. Change the water regularly to prevent bacteria growth. Roots should develop within a few weeks. Once well-established, transfer the cutting to a pot with well-draining soil.

Soil Propagation: 

Dip the cut end in rooting hormone (optional) and plant it directly in a pot with moist, well-draining soil. Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to maintain humidity and place it in bright, indirect light. Monitor soil moisture and remove the bag once roots develop and new growth appears.

Method 2. Air Layering

Choose a mature stem section with a healthy node and aerial root.

  • Make a small circular cut around the stem halfway between two nodes, removing a ring of bark about 1-2 inches wide.
  • Apply moist sphagnum moss around the exposed area and secure it with plastic wrap or foil, leaving the top open.
  • Mist the moss regularly to keep it moist. Roots should develop within the moss within a few weeks.
  • Once roots are well-established, cut below the moss and remove the stem section from the mother plant. Pot the newly rooted section in a suitable container with well-draining soil.

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What is the Difference Between Philodendron White Princess and White Knight?

Philodendron White Knight vs white princess
FeaturePhilodendron White KnightPhilodendron White Princess
Leaf ShapeHeart-shaped with pointed tipHeart-shaped with a pointed tip
Leaf ColorDark green with creamy white patchesLighter green with extensive white blotches
Stem ColorReddish-brown to burgundyGreen with white and pink variegation
VeinsProminent light green/yellowFaint or invisible
Growth HabitFaster, climbs tallerSlower, more compact

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How do you get more variegation in White Knight Philodendron?

While you can’t directly control the specific variegation patterns on your White Knight Philodendron, here are some factors and strategies you can use to encourage more variegated growth:

  • Aim for 6-8 hours daily. Too little light promotes greener leaves with less variegation. Avoid harsh, direct sunlight which can burn white areas.
  • Rotate your plant regularly to ensure even light exposure and prevent it from leaning towards the light source.
  • Avoid fertilizers high in nitrogen as they favour leaf growth over variegation. 
  • Remove solid green leaves that lack variegation to encourage the plant to focus energy on growing variegated sections. Aim for cuts just above a node to promote branching and new growth. Leave enough foliage for photosynthesis.
  • Mild stress can sometimes trigger increased variegation. This means exposing your plant to slightly cooler temperatures (not below 60°F) for short periods or temporarily reducing watering frequency. 
  • When propagating, choose cuttings with existing variegation to increase the chances of new growth inheriting similar patterns.

What are the benefits of White Knight Philodendron?

  • Air purification
  • Low maintenance
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Boosts creativity and focus
  • This stunning plant with its striking variegation always draw attention and sparks conversations with guests or visitors.
  • Long-lasting beauty
  • Symbolism

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How do I keep my White Knight Philodendron white?

Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as intense light can scorch the leaves and cause them to yellow or brown. Place your plant near a window with filtered sunlight or use artificial grow lights. Maintain other care guides in this post.

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Is the philodendron white knight Toxic to Pets?

Yes, unfortunately, the Philodendron White Knight, like many other philodendrons, is toxic to pets if ingested. It contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and discomfort in the mouth, throat, and digestive system of animals who chew on its leaves or stems.

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Pests of white knight philodendron

  • Spider mites: These tiny pests suck sap, leaving yellow speckles and webbing on leaves. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil sprays.
  • Mealybugs: These white, cottony insects suck sap and cause stunted growth. Treat them with rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap solutions.
  • Scale insects: These small, hard bumps suck sap and weaken the plant. Scrape them off manually or use insecticidal soap sprays.
  • Fungus gnats: These small flies live in moist soil and their larvae feed on roots. Improve drainage, reduce watering, and consider using sticky traps.

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Diseases of white knight philodendron

  • Root rot: This fungal disease thrives in overwatered soil, causing yellowing leaves and mushy stems. Improve drainage, repot if necessary, and remove infected parts.
  • Leaf spot: This fungal disease causes brown or black spots on leaves. Improve air circulation, avoid overhead watering, and use fungicide if necessary.

Why is my white knight turning brown?

This indicates underwatering or low humidity, drooping leaves are the first sign your White Knight is thirsty. Then the leaves may start to curl inwards at the edges.

Why is the Leaves of my white knight turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves are a classic sign of overwatering, starting with older leaves. Drooping and wilting leaves and brown stems feeling mushy also indicate over-watering.

Edet Ubok-Obong
Edet Ubok-Obong

Edet Ubok-Obong is an experienced Writer with a deep passion for Gardening, Fishing and home improvement. He shares his knowledge of these fields through this website.