Living far from the equator often means enduring a dull landscape for nearly half the year. Thankfully, houseplants can bring life and color to your space, even during the gloomiest months.
Tropical perennial plants like philodendrons are excellent choices, staying vibrant year-round and living for several years.
Currently, the white wizard and white knight philodendrons are particularly popular among plant enthusiasts. So let’s break down the differences of philodendron white wizard vs white knight to help you decide which is best for you.
First: What Is a Philodendron?
Philodendrons are tropical vining plants known for their glossy green leaves. The name, derived from the Greek words ‘philo’ (love) and ‘dendron’ (tree), translates to “lover of trees”. This name reflects the plant’s natural tendency to climb nearby trees as it grows.
The philodendron genus encompasses hundreds of species, including the popular white knight and white wizard varieties, descendants of the Philodendron erubescens. This species, native to Costa Rica and South American rainforests, often features red hues on the leaf undersides.
While the white wizard is a known hybrid, the white knight’s origins remain somewhat mysterious, potentially being a spontaneous mutation or a purposefully bred hybrid.
These plants can grow over 20 feet tall in the wild, but usually remain under 3 feet in indoor settings. Despite their air-purifying qualities, they are toxic if ingested, posing a risk to pets and small children.
Other Colorful Philodendron Varieties
Philodendron erubescens offers a wide variety of leaf colors, with red and pink hues being especially common, particularly on the leaf undersides.
Popular varieties include the pink princess, burgundy, royal queen, and black cardinal philodendrons, which showcase dark red, almost black tones under certain lighting conditions. However, not all varieties feature red coloration; the green marble variety, for instance, displays a blend of greens, yellows, and whites.
Philodendron White Wizard Vs. White Knight
Though devoid of red coloration, both white wizard and white knight philodendrons exhibit green leaves with white or light green variegations.
Despite their similarities, they have notable differences in leaf size and stem color, with the white knight showcasing larger leaves and more colorful stems compared to the white wizard.
Both varieties are vining philodendrons, capable of growing along supports or hanging from baskets. The white knight tends to grow taller, reaching 4 to 6 feet, while the white wizard remains more compact, usually not exceeding 2 to 3 feet in height.
Despite their distinct appearances, both varieties share similar care requirements with other philodendrons, known for their low-maintenance nature and ease of growth even for novice gardeners.
Soil & Water
To prevent rootbound conditions, choose a pot slightly larger than the root ball and repot as the plant grows. Maintain even soil moisture to prevent root rot, using well-draining potting soil rich in organic matter.
Temperature & Humidity
Philodendrons thrive in temperatures between 65° and 80°, suffering in prolonged exposure to temperatures below 55°. They prefer humid environments, which can be enhanced with humidifiers or water dishes placed nearby.
These philodendrons require a balance of light and shade, thriving in dappled sunlight similar to their native rainforest habitat. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent sunburn and ensure sufficient light to prevent stunted growth.
Fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season, avoiding winter fertilization to prevent fertilizer burn. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer formulated for houseplants, following the package instructions for dilution.
Pests & Diseases
Most plant issues stem from fungal infections due to excess moisture. Be vigilant for signs of root rot, powdery mildew, and insect infestations, treating with appropriate fungicides or insecticidal soaps as necessary.
Propagating & Pruning
Regular pruning removes unhealthy leaves, encouraging new growth and maintaining an attractive appearance. Propagate new plants using healthy cuttings, placing them in water with rooting hormone until roots develop, ready for transplanting to soil.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.