Philodendron ‘White Princess’ Care Guide (2022)

Leaf of rare tropical 'Philodendron White Princess' houseplant w

White Princess Philodendron is one of the most striking philodendrons that you can add to your indoor garden.

Its gorgeous green leaves are generously splashed with white and will dazzle and delight.

As long as you meet the White Princess plant basic care requirements, you should be able to enjoy its beauty for years. 

Scientific NamePhilodendron erubescens ‘White Princess’
Common NameWhite Princess
LightBright indirect sunlight
WateringEvery 7-10 days, water if the top half of the soil is dry
Temperature64-73˚F (18-23°C )
Hardiness Zone10-13
Humidity60%-80%
Soil TypeRich, quick-draining
Soil pH5.6-7 (mildly acidic-neutral)
FertilizingA balanced feed once a month in spring and summer
RepottingEvery 12-18 months
PruningOnly to remove dead or damaged leaves
PropagationRoot in water or soil
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets
Mature Size40 inches
Bloom Timerarely

What’s Unique About White Princess Philodendron?

White Princess Philodendron is prized by growers for its stunning foliage.

No one knows for sure where this hybrid first originated, but it has become one of the most sought-after philodendrons. 

Its glossy green leaves are generously patterned with white variegation to create a striking display. You may even get a splash of pink from time to time!

As well, the slow growth and relatively compact size of the White Princess Philodendron plant make it a good choice for smaller indoor spaces.

It also has the natural ability to help clear the air of unhealthy contaminants, so it’s not just beautiful but also useful.

White Princess Philodendron Care

White Princess Philodendron plant care is pretty straightforward.

Keep your White Princess Philodendron in indirect light to protect the leaves from sunburn.

Plant it in well-draining soil and water only when the soil is dry.

Surround it with warm temperatures and high humidity.

If you can maintain this simple White Princess plant care, your tropical beauty should thrive.

Light 

Philodendrons are native to the tropical rainforests of South America, so when growing White Princess Philodendron you need to try to replicate that environment for them to thrive.

White Princess Philodendron light requirements are for bright but indirect sunlight, as in the rainforests they grow underneath the forest canopy.

White Princess plant light needs are between 10,000-20,000 lux. 

The best place in your home is next to a north or east-facing window, or in a shadier spot in a west or south-facing room.

Never put them in the full sun, as it will damage the foliage, and prolonged exposure can kill the plant. 

Watering 

We might think that a tropical plant’s watering needs are high, but that is not the case for White Princess Philodendron plants.

In the rainforests where the philodendron originates, the plants are used to being on the dry side, so you should aim for the same when you water White Princess plant.

You may only need to water every 7-10 days. Check the soil and water only when the top half of the soil is dry.

An effective White Princess Philodendron watering is to plunge the pot into a bucket of water and let it soak briefly. Then remove it and let the excess drain out.

Never let your White Princess Philodendron sit in water as the roots can rot and die.

Temperature 

The ideal White Princess Philodendron temperature range is 64-73˚F (18-23°C ).

This temperature for White Princess plant should be easy to achieve in an indoor environment.

White Princess Philodendron has limited temperature tolerance below 60°F (17°C), and no frost hardiness at all. Freezing temperatures will kill it.

Unless you live in zones 10-13, you will have to keep your White Princess Philodendron indoors for much of the year. You could move it outdoors in the summer, however, taking care to avoid full sun locations.

Even indoors, though, you need to keep it out of cold drafts and air conditioning to avoid damage.

Humidity

White Princess Philodendron humidity requirements are pretty well what you would expect from a native of the tropical rainforests. 

The ideal humidity for White Princess plant is high—between 60-80%. 

Luckily, there are ways that you can create an acceptable humidity level for your White Princess Philodendron without turning your whole home into a steam bath.

If you have several tropical plants that need high humidity, group them together around a small humidifier that will moisten the air in their immediate vicinity.

Alternatively, you could set them on a tray filled with pebbles and water. 

The easiest way is to mist the leaves every few days with distilled water.

Soil 

White Princess Philodendron soil needs to be porous and well-draining so that it will not stay too moist.

The best pH level for White Princess plant is between 5.6-7 (mildly acidic-neutral).

The ideal soil mix should have nutrient-rich elements, but at the same time be light and airy. If it retains too much water, your White Princess Philodendron roots are likely to rot, killing the plant.

To make the ideal soil for White Princess plant, use a combination of potting mix or compost with sphagnum moss, perlite, and peat moss. If the soil compacts too easily, add pine bark or vermiculite to loosen it up. 

Fertilizer 

Your White Princess Philodendron will need regular feeding to ensure lush foliage growth.

The best White Princess Philodendron fertilizer is a liquid one that can be diluted in water and applied to the soil.

Do not fertilize when the soil is dry, as it is likely to run right through and not be absorbed.

Instead, apply the fertilizer for White Princess plant shortly after watering to ensure even distribution throughout the soil.

The best fertilizer ratio for White Princess Philodendron is an even 10-10-10.

Fertilize your White Princess Philodendron once or twice a month in its spring and summer growing season. Cut back to once every two months in fall and winter.

Potting & Repotting 

Plan on repotting White Princess plant every 12 or 18 months as it continues to increase in size.

You will know when it’s time for White Princess Philodendron repotting when the new leaves become smaller, or roots start growing out through the drainage holes.

Don’t be too generous with the new pot size—plants will actually suffer in too big a pot. Only go up a couple of inches in diameter at most.

When potting your White Princess Philodendron, use fresh soil, leaving room for the root ball. Loosen the roots gently and firm the soil before watering thoroughly.

You may be able to divide your White Princess Philodendron at this point and create two or more separate plants.

Pruning 

White Princess Philodendron pruning is usually just a matter of removing dead or damaged leaves every couple of months.

Since it is a slow-growing plant that naturally forms into a tidy shape, it is not necessary to trim it as frequently as the more rambunctious vining tropical plants. 

When cutting White Princess plant, be careful to use sharp scissors or knife. It’s a good idea to sterilize them with alcohol or flame beforehand to prevent any spread of disease between your plants.

Make a clean cut at the base of the leaf stem and discard it in the garbage or compost. 

Propagation 

White Princess Philodendron propagation is an easy way to produce more of these lovely tropical plants. 

Wait a few years until your White Princess Philodendron is big enough to take large enough cuttings from. Younger plants can be divided at the roots.

To propagate White Princess plant, start by taking stem cuttings at least 3 inches long with 2 or three nodes and at least one leaf. 

You can root the cuttings in either water or a light medium such as peat or perlite. Keep them warm and out of the direct sun.

Within a few weeks, you should see roots growing. When they are a few inches long, plant out the cuttings in a potting mix.

Also, make sure to check out our in-depth Philodendron xanadu plant care guide.

Common Problems of White Princess Philodendron

Like with any houseplant, you need to be aware of potential White Princess Philodendron problems.

Keep an eye on the leaves for signs of insect infestations or fungal disease.

Be prepared to spray for pests or to remove diseased plant tissue to maintain good plant health.

That way you should be able resolve most problems with White Princess plant.

Pests 

Your White Princess plant is not just attractive to you, but to a number of different bugs.

However, White Princess Philodendron pests can usually be controlled.

Spider mites make small brown or yellow spots on the leaves, while aphids are little green bugs that gather on the underside of leaves. Use neem oil or insecticidal soap for both these bugs.

Fungus gnats appear as cream-colored larva in the soil or as mature flies similar to small mosquitoes. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the soil surface and keep the surface dry.

Scale insects attach themselves to the stems or leaves. They can be gray, green, brown or black. Neem oil will control them.

Mealybugs resemble little fluffs of cotton on leaves and stems. Kill them with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Diseases 

White Princess Philodendron diseases are usually the result of over watering. Removing the affected plant tissue and improving watering techniques will usually resolve any problems.

If your White Princess plant develops watery spots on its leaves that turn brown or black with yellow edges, it’s got bacterial leaf spot. This is caused by too much moisture.

Remove all affected leaves and isolate your White Princess Philodendron from all other plants. Stop misting the leaves and use a fungicide on the leaves as directed. 

Root rot can be diagnosed by yellowing leaves and roots that are black and mushy. Cut out the affected roots and replant it in fresh, well-draining soil. 

Growing Problems 

Growing problems with your White Princess Philodendron can occur if you do not pay close enough attention to its cultivation requirements. Luckily, you can usually nurse a sick plant back to health by giving it the conditions in which it will thrive.

If your White Princess Philodendron’s leaves are drooping, the soil could be too dry or too wet. If it’s dry, water it. If it’s soggy, you should repot it in fresh, well-drained soil and cut back your watering frequency from then on.

If leaves are yellowing, you should try moving it to a brighter spot. 

If the leaves have crispy brown tips, they’re getting too much sun, so move them to a shadier spot.

Toxicity of White Princess Philodendron

Like all members of the Araceae family, all parts of the White Princess plant contain calcium oxalate, and so are toxic to humans and animals.

Its toxicity is not high enough to be fatal, but can cause serious enough reactions to require medical care for people and pets, so preventing exposure is a good idea.

For Humans 

White Princess Philodendron is toxic to humans.

Children are most at risk because they are naturally curious and may try eating the leaves.

Symptoms following ingestion may include swelling of the mouth and tongue. In more severe cases the child may have difficulty breathing because of constricted airways due to swelling.

For mild reactions, clean all plant materials from the mouth and face, and soothe the pain with something cool like a popsicle.

If the breathing is affected, seek medical care immediately.

If exposure to the sap causes skin irritation, rinse the affected area thoroughly and apply a topical antihistamine cream.

For Pets 

Any household pets, including cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs can have a serious reaction following exposure to or ingestion of any part of your White Princess Philodendron.

If your pet is drooling excessively or vomiting, or has a swollen mouth or tongue and difficulty breathing, check for evidence of ingestion of the plant.

Because of their small size, a small amount can have a serious effect on your pets.

Consult your veterinarian immediately for advice on how to treat your pet.

Prevent this from happening by placing your White Princess Philodendron on a high shelf out of reach of pets and children.

White Princess Philodendron Appearance

The White Princess Philodendron appearance is bound to make a big impact in your home. 

The green and white leaves make for a striking picture wherever you put it.

You may even get some splashes of pink on your White Princess Philodendron. This variation is known as White Princess Philodendron Tricolor. 

Foliage 

The foliage of White Princess Philodendron is definitely the star of the show. 

The leaves are 20 cm long and oval, ending in a narrow pointed tip. Each green, glossy leaf is generously splashed with brilliant white for a stunning display. Occasionally there will also be  some pink patches.

The stems are just as colorful as the leaves. They are bright green with pink edges at the petiole, sometimes with stripes of white as well.

The leaves emerge from cataphylls at the end of each stem. The cataphylls are just as colorful as the stems and leaves, with a pink, white and green pattern that can remind you of a candy cane.  

Flowering 

You could grow your White Princess Philodendron for years and never see a White Princess flower. 

White Princess Philodendron flowering only occurs when the plant is fully mature, and that can take ten years because it grows so slowly.

If you do want your White Princess Philodendron to begin blooming, wait until it has reached its full size. Then, try using a fertilizer with a higher ratio of phosphorus (1-3-1) and see what happens.

The flowers are lovely with a creamy spathe edged with pink and green at the base and edges.

However, even if your White Princess Philodendron never blooms, you will not be disappointed by this rare and beautiful foliage plant.

Size and Growth 

The mature size of White Princess Philodendron is about three feet high with a spread of 1-2 feet. It has a very slow growth rate and may take up to 10 years to reach its full size

You can encourage somewhat faster growth by providing it with ideal conditions of warm temperatures, high humidity, and indirect light. Water only when the soil is dry and fertilized regularly. 

White Princess Philodendron is a self-heading plant rather than a sprawling vine. It will maintain a fairly compact shape without much pruning. It does not need to be supported with a stake to grow upright.

White Princess Philodendron Fragrance

There is usually no White Princess Philodendron fragrance. 

The foliage has no scent, and since it is extremely unlikely to bloom, it is best to assume that there will be no smell associated with your White Princess Philodendron. 

It has such a striking appearance and tidy growth habit that the lack of a fragrance should not be a deal-breaker.

It may be that scented plants are highly desirable to you. Consider adding other plants such as gardenias or freesias to your indoor garden so that you can enjoy their fragrance while still appreciating the good looks of your White Princess Philodendron.

Suggested Uses for White Princess Philodendron

Usually grown as an indoor plant, White Princess Philodendron is an excellent addition to your home’s plant collection.

Since it can purify the air of contaminants such as formaldehyde, it’s not just an attractive plant but also a useful one.

Since it is not a trailing plant, it’s best in a pot set at eye level or lower rather than in a hanging basket. Just take care to keep it out of reach of pets and small children because of its toxicity.

You can move it outside to a patio or balcony in hot summer months, as long as you keep it in a shady spot so its leaves will not get burned by the direct sun.

FAQ

What is White Princess Philodendron? 

White Princess Philodendron is a tropical plant native to the rainforests of South America that has been hybridized and is commonly grown as a houseplant.

How to identify White Princess Philodendron? 

White Princess Philodendron has oval leaves with a pointed tip. They are glossy green with a random pattern of white and occasional touches of pink.

How to care for White Princess Philodendron? 

Keep White Princess Philodendron out of the direct sun and water sparingly when the soil is dry. Fertilize once a month during spring and summer.

How to grow White Princess Philodendron indoors? 

White Princess Philodendron should be kept in a spot with bright, filtered light with high humidity and warm temperatures. Water only when the soil is dry.

How to grow White Princess Philodendron outdoors? 

White Princess Philodendron can be grown outdoors year-round in tropical regions. In temperate zones, it can be moved outside for the summer and kept in a shady spot.

How fast does White Princess Philodendron grow? 

White Princess Philodendron has a very slow growth rate and may take as many as 10 years to reach its mature size of 3 feet.

How tall does White Princess Philodendron grow? 

White Princess Philodendron will grow to a mature height of 3 feet with a spread of 1-2 feet. Because of its compact form, it does not need to be pruned.

How to make White Princess Philodendron grow faster? 

To ensure the fastest possible growth of your White Princess Philodendron, supply it with its ideal growing conditions of high warmth and humidity and semi-shade.

How to stake White Princess Philodendron? 

White Princess Philodendron does not need to be staked, but using a sphagnum moss pole can help its growth as the aerial roots can attach and nourish the plant.

How to pot White Princess Philodendron? 

Pot your White Princess Philodendron in a container with adequate drainage holes, and use a loose, well-draining soil mixture. It should be repotted every year or so.

How to revive White Princess Philodendron? 

If your White Princess Philodendron is suffering from a lack of water, plunge the pot into a bucket of water and let it soak thoroughly. Remove it and let the excess water drain out.

Why is my White Princess Philodendron dying? 

Your White Princess Philodendron may have bacterial leaf spot or root rot as a result of overwatering. Cut out all affected parts and repot in a fresh soil mix.

Why is my White Princess Philodendron drooping? 

Your White Princess Philodendron’s soil may be dried out or too wet. Water if dry, and repot in fresh, well-draining soil mix if it’s waterlogged.

How cold can White Princess Philodendron tolerate? 

White Princess Philodendron can tolerate temperatures down to about 60°F (17°C), but growth will be affected below that, and frost or freezing temperatures will kill it.

How to get rid of pests on White Princess Philodendron? 

First, identify the specific pests infesting your White Princess Philodendron, and then apply the appropriate insecticidal spray or soil treatment to kill or control them.

Is White Princess Philodendron toxic to cats? 

Yes, White Princess Philodendron is toxic to cats. Ensure that your plant is in a spot where your pets cannot reach it and eat the foliage.

Is White Princess Philodendron toxic to dogs? 

Yes, White Princess Philodendron is toxic to dogs. If your dog starts drooling, vomiting, or wheezing or has a swollen tongue, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Is White Princess Philodendron toxic to children? 

Yes, White Princess Philodendron is toxic to children. If your child ingests any part of the plant, seek medical advice immediately and take them to the emergency if they are having difficulty breathing.

Is White Princess Philodendron toxic to humans? 

Yes, White Princess Philodendron is toxic to humans. If your skin is irritated by exposure to the sap, rinse it thoroughly and use a topical ointment for a rash.

Does White Princess Philodendron have a scent? 

The foliage of White Princess Philodendron has no fragrance, and while the flowers may be scented this plant rarely, if ever, blooms when grown indoors.

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