Philodendrons are some of the most common houseplants you’ll see around. However, a few of their hybrid and variegated versions are hard to find. One of those is the Philodendron White Princess. But what exactly is it?
A Philodendron White Princess is a variegated philodendron variety with white markings on its dark green leaves. In rare cases, it may even sport pink variegation. However, it is unclear whether the plant is a hybrid of Philodendron White Knight, White Wizard, or Pink Princess.
Below, I elaborate more about the plant along with its essential care guide:
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What Are Some Facts About Philodendron White Princess?
As mentioned in the introduction, a Philodendron White Princess is a philodendron with white variegation. It is well-known for its blocks and flecks of intense white on the green foliage. Sometimes you’ll get a perfect half of white and green called a half-moon or even an almost whole white leaf. But more often than not, you get swathes of white instead. This is ideal for the plant because the variegated sections of the leaf cannot perform photosynthesis due to the lack of chlorophyll. Having less chlorophyll means not being able to perform photosynthesis as efficiently and it’s the reason why most variegated plants are slow-growers.
In extremely rare cases, the plant can produce pink variegation. This is most likely a random cell mutation that in most cases disappears over time. If you notice a pink-ish stripe along your plant’s green stem, chances are this will result in a pink leaf. But I wouldn’t hold out on it – it’s as rare as a 4-leaf clover and generally unstable to last as consistent variegation.
Another interesting feature of the Philodendron White Princess is that it is said to be a self-heading philodendron. This means that the stems are rigid enough to support the foliage without trellis support. It also contributes to the plant being more compact than vine-like due to its closely-spaced leaves, reaching only about 1-3 feet in height.
Important note: Most plant databases don’t have Philodendron White Princess listed, including credible plant-related websites. Because of this, its origins are unknown. However, many plant enthusiasts seemed to believe it came from South America.
How Do I Take Care of a Philodendron White Princess?
- Provide plenty of bright, indirect sunlight.
This is crucial to get right for the variegated plant. Otherwise, the white markings will fade away or, in the worst-case scenario, cause the plant to revert. There’s no documentation of the plant ever reverting, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and just give it enough consistent light to get by. A curtained window where the sunlight passes through is a safe bet for your Philodendron White Princess, away from direct light exposure.
- Place in a well-draining potting soil mix with perlite.
A good mix can be as simple as a 6:4 ratio of loamy potting soil with perlite or vermiculite (Amazon links) added. The latter helps create the necessary air pockets for the roots to grow and absorb oxygen within the soil. But really, any soil mix that is loose and airy is suitable for this plant, except for clay. This tends to retain water for too long, which can be detrimental to the plant’s health.
- Water once a week after the top 1-2 inches of soil dries out.
A week is an excellent base to start with typically. However, this depends on the soil type used for your Philodendron White Princess, so you might have to adjust your watering schedule accordingly. If you aren’t sure of the appropriate time to water, do the knuckle test to gauge the dryness/wetness of the soil. It takes less than 5 seconds, and you don’t have to depend on a moisture meter from Amazon to figure it out for you.
- Fertilize monthly with a diluted liquid fertilizer in spring and summer.
This is mostly used as a pick-me-up for the plant rather than a primary way to boost its growth. Philodendron White Princess may be prone to fertilizer burn if you give it too much, especially if you are frustrated with its sluggish growth. You can easily DIY an organic fish emulsion or liquid seaweed fertilizer or just purchase this indoor plant fertilizer from Amazon.
Tip: Use less than the recommended dose to see how your Philodendron White Princess responds to the fertilizer initially. Giving it too much at once may only backfire on your plant.
- Prune only old & damaged leaves.
There’s very minimal pruning to be done with a Philodendron White Princess. Since it’s a slow grower and is typically a compact plant, the only pruning you’ll be doing is trimming off any old and damaged leaves. For the latter, ensure whether it is due to any underlying conditions apart from physical breakage.
- Propagate by stem cuttings.
When your Philodendron White Princess is more fully developed, you can choose to prune some of the stems and propagate them. You need to have a stem cutting with at least 2-3 nodes, i.e., a small, protruding nub where the leaf grows from. The more nodes you have, the more opportunities for rooting. You can find the instructions on propagating stem cutting here in this article.
- Do a weekly pests & diseases checks such as aphids, mealybugs, and root rot.
Philodendron White Princess is relatively disease-free, which is a blessing. However, root rot may come up as a problem if you accidentally overwater the plant. The easiest way to deal with this is by preventing and adopting good watering practices. Remember, when in doubt, use the knuckle test. But if you find your plant giving off a stench or looking dehydrated even though it has moist soil, it’s likely to be suffering from root rot. You can find the instructions on dealing with this issue in this article.
As for pests, you need to watch out for sapsuckers such as aphids, scales, and mealybugs. These will latch onto the plant and drain it of its nutrients, further stunting its growth. Luckily, they are not that hard to get rid of. But it’s best to catch them at their early stage of infestation to give your Philodendron White Princess a fighting chance to bounce back. You can find out how to remove them in this article here.
How Do I Differentiate a Philodendron White Princess from Other Philodendrons?
A Philodendron White Princess can look really similar to 3 particular types of Philodendron varieties, namely:
- Philodendron White Knight
- Philodendron White Wizard
- Philodendron Pink Princess
But if you look closely between all 4 of them, there is a way to tell them apart. Here’s a table to distinguish their subtle differences from each other:
|Philodendron White Princess||Philodendron White Knight||Philodendron White Wizard||Philodendron Pink Princess|
|Has green stems, with occasional pink stripes.||Has pinkish-purple stems.||Has green stems.||Has pink/dark purple stems.|
|Leaves are narrower and have flecks/ blocks of white variegation.||Leaves have flecks/blocks of white variegation.||Leaves are rounder and have flecks/ blocks of white variegation.||Leaves have washes of pink variegation.|
Out of all of them, the Pink Princess Philodendron is easily identifiable from a Philodendron White Princess. I mean, one’s pink, and one’s white – easy peasy. But despite their differences, they share a common need for constant indirect sunlight to keep their variegations and not revert. Though arguably, a Pink Princess’s variegation is less stable than the others. If you’d like to know more about the Pink Princess and its tendency to revert, you can read about it in this article.
How can you tell if it’s a White Princess Philodendron?
A Philodendron White Princess has swathes of white on its dark green foliage, narrow heart-shaped leaves with a tapered end, and a green stem. Sometimes, the stem may have thin pink streaks, but it’s usually a rare occurrence.
Despite how delicate I made this Philodendron White Princess sound, it is genuinely a relatively beginner-friendly plant. Give it enough sun, and it’ll thrive at your beck and call. Happy planting!
Disclaimer: All related information about this plant comes from collective experiences. If you have any information on this plant, do drop me an email! As such, I’ll update this article when more official details about the plant are made available to the public.