Caring for Your Philodendron White Princess: The Complete Guide

The Philodendron White Princess is a highly desired plant for indoor gardening. This exotic tropical plant is prized for its stunning variegated leaves that look like they have been splashed with white paint.

The Philodendron White Princess is a rare type of Heartleaf Philodendron. It is also called Philodendron erubescens ‘White Princess’. This self-heading philodendron has gorgeous green leaves generously variegated with irregular white markings. The striking foliage makes a bold statement in any indoor space.

Unlike vining philodendrons, the White Princess grows in an upright, non-climbing habit. Mature plants can reach up to 16 inches tall and 40 inches wide. The green stems can have pink variegation that matches the pink blush on the leaves’ underside.

The White Princess is a plant that comes from the rainforests in South America. It is thought to be a mix of two types of Philodendron plants. One is called Philodendron erubescens and the other is called Philodendron ‘Pink Princess’. It was first commercially propagated in the 1970s. White Princess philodendrons are not as common as green ones, but they are becoming more accessible to plant collectors. This is because propagation techniques have improved.

As a member of the Araceae family, the White Princess contains calcium oxalate crystals that make it toxic to humans and pets. Contact with the sap can cause skin irritation. Ingestion can lead to swelling, nausea, and other unpleasant reactions. Keep this beautiful but dangerous plant safely out of reach of children and animals.

Low-Maintenance Houseplant

While exotic in appearance, the Philodendron White Princess is a low-maintenance houseplant when given the right care. It is an adaptable tropical plant that can tolerate a wide range of indoor conditions. The key is providing the light, water, humidity, and warmth these jungle plants prefer.

With the proper growing environment, the White Princess remains a compact, bushy plant. It rarely climbs or vines, making it ideal for tables and shelves. The lush leaves can grow up to 12 inches long on mature plants. Keep those leaves clean and dust-free to show off the stunning variegation.

Philodendron Bipinnatifidum Growing and Care Guide

Give this philodendron a try if you want a bold, easy-care houseplant. Just be ready to answer plenty of questions from plant-loving friends wondering where you found such a beauty!

Philodendron White Princess in small pot

Growing Conditions


The Philodendron White Princess needs good lighting to stay healthy and keep its beautiful colors. This tropical plant needs bright, indirect sunlight to support its growth and keep the leaves vibrant.

Aim for a spot near an east or west-facing window where the White Princess will get plenty of gentle, filtered light. South-facing windows can work as well if you diffuse the direct sun with a sheer curtain. Too much direct sun will scorch the delicate foliage.

The White Princess responds poorly to low light conditions. If the plant doesn’t get enough light, it grows tall and thin, reaching for any light it can find. The leaves may become smaller and lighter in color.

Low light also causes the white variegation to fade or turn completely green. This loss of contrast makes the plant less visually appealing. Check the newer leaves regularly. If their white patterns are decreasing, move the White Princess to a brighter location.

When grown in its preferred bright, indirect light, the Philodendron White Princess remains a compact, bushy plant. The leaves hold their shape better and display vibrant green and white contrast. Rotate the pot periodically so all sides get even exposure.

Ideally, provide 12-14 hours of bright, filtered light per day. Measure the light levels with a lux meter if possible – the White Princess thrives in 10,000-20,000 lux. Boost with artificial lighting if needed during winter months.

Proper lighting is the key to growing a healthy, striking Philodendron White Princess. Monitor light levels closely and make adjustments as needed to maintain the coveted white variegation.

Philodendron White Princess


Proper watering is crucial for the health of the Philodendron White Princess. This rainforest plant needs consistently moist soil to thrive, but is also sensitive to overwatering. Finding the right balance is key.

Water thoroughly whenever the top inch or two of soil becomes dry. Always check by sticking your finger into the potting mix rather than just looking at the surface. The soil should remain lightly moist between waterings, but not soggy or saturated.

Reduce watering frequency in winter when growth naturally slows. Only water when the top several inches of soil become completely dry. The roots are prone to rot if kept too wet during cooler weather when less water is needed.

Signs of underwatering include:

  • Leaves drooping or curling inward

  • Premature yellowing of lower leaves

  • Dry, shriveled leaf tips

  • Stunted growth

Overwatering causes:

  • Brown leaf tips or margins

  • Soft, mushy stems

  • Yellow lower leaves

  • Root rot

If you notice these issues, adjust your watering schedule accordingly. The White Princess enjoys humid conditions but needs well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes. Never allow it to sit in water.

In general, aim to water whenever the top 50-75% of the soil becomes dry. The lower portion should remain lightly moist. Finding the right balance takes some practice. Observe your plant and tweak your schedule based on its needs in your home.

Philodendron White Princess plant careCreating the Perfect


The Philodendron White Princess loves warm conditions like its tropical home. Ideal temperatures for this plant fall between 65-80°F. Cooler temperatures below 60°F can cause leaf drop and stunted growth.

Aim to keep your White Princess in the warmest room in your home. The plant enjoys consistent warmth around 70-75°F during the daytime. At night, temperatures can dip into the low 60s.

Avoid placing this philodendron near cold drafts from windows and doors during the winter. Chilly breezes can shock the plant, especially if coming from a heated indoor space.

You can boost humidity around your White Princess by using a pebble tray or humidifier. The added moisture in the air prevents the leaves from drying out in hot, dry indoor environments.

In summer, move the plant to a shadier location away from hot sunlight streaming through windows. Direct sun raises the temperature of the foliage and can scorch the leaves.

Monitor the conditions around your White Princess frequently. Use a thermometer to check that day and night temperatures remain in the ideal range. Make adjustments as needed throughout the seasons.

The Philodendron White Princess thrives indoors all year with warm temperatures and humidity. Avoid exposing it to temperature extremes inside or outside for best results.

Philodendron White Princess indoor


The Philodendron White Princess grows best in humid conditions, like the tropical rainforests it comes from. Ideal humidity levels for this plant are between 60-80%.

In most homes, humidity levels tend to be lower, around 30-50%. The warm, dry air can cause the tips and margins of the leaves to turn brown. Boosting moisture is important to prevent this.

There are several ways to increase humidity for your White Princess:

  • Group plants together to create a humid microclimate. The transpiration from multiple plants will help humidify the surrounding air.

  • Use a pebble tray filled with water and placed under the pot. As the water evaporates, it will add moisture to the air.

  • Run a humidifier near the White Princess to raise humidity in the whole room. Ultrasonic or evaporative humidifiers work well.

  • Mist the leaves daily using a spray bottle filled with room temperature water. The moisture will temporarily increase humidity right around the plant.

  • Place the pot on a wet moss pole or coco coir totem. The moisture from the support structure will humidify the plant’s immediate environment.

In winter when indoor air is extremely dry from heating systems, take extra steps to boost moisture. Move the White Princess away from heating vents, group with other plants, and mist more frequently.

With the right amount of humidity, the Philodendron White Princess will reward you with lush, vibrant growth. Monitor conditions with a hygrometer and make adjustments as needed.


The Philodendron White Princess grows best in a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix. The soil needs to retain some moisture but also allow excess water to drain away readily.

Avoid heavy, dense potting soils that stay soggy after watering. The White Princess’ roots will rot if left sitting in wet soil for too long. Similarly, a soil that dries out too quickly can also cause issues.

A good quality potting mix for aroids or orchids is ideal. You can also make your own blend:

  • Use a base of high-quality potting soil or coco coir to provide nutrients and moisture retention.

  • Mix in perlite, pumice, or orchid bark at a 1:1 ratio to create air pockets and improve drainage.

  • Adding some peat moss or compost will help retain moisture while also introducing beneficial microbes.

  • Optional amendments like worm castings or charcoal can provide nutrients and help aerate the soil further.

When preparing a pot for your White Princess, make sure it has several drainage holes at the bottom. Place a layer of pebbles or gravel over the holes to prevent soil from washing out.

Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out between waterings. The lower portion should remain lightly moist but not soggy. A moisture meter can help you gauge when to water accurately.

To help the Philodendron White Princess grow well indoors, use the correct potting mix. This mix allows for good drainage and retains moisture.

Care for Philodendron White Princess


To keep the Philodendron White Princess leaves vibrant, fertilize it regularly while it grows. Use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength.

Fertilize monthly in spring through summer when the plant is actively growing. Reduce application to every 6-8 weeks in fall and winter. Always apply fertilizer to moist soil and never on a dry pot.

There are a few ways to fertilize your White Princess:

  • Add the diluted fertilizer to your watering can and irrigate the soil as normal. This evenly distributes nutrients through the potting mix.

  • For isolated application, use a spray bottle to mist the diluted fertilizer over the leaves and stems. Avoid getting it on the decorative pot.

  • For a quick boost, you can submerge the pot up to the rim in a bucket of diluted fertilizer for 10-15 minutes. Remove and allow excess to drain fully.

Discontinue fertilizing for a month or two in midsummer if you notice leaf tip burn, which can indicate excess salts in the soil. Flush the potting mix with clean water to prevent buildup.

The White Princess shows signs of deficiency if new leaves are smaller or off-color. Resume a monthly feeding schedule in that case. With proper fertilization, your plant will produce full, vibrant new leaves all season long.


To keep the Philodendron White Princess healthy and full, just do a little pruning.

Remove any dead, dying, or damaged leaves and stems as needed to keep the plant looking its best. Use clean, sterilized scissors or pruning shears to make smooth cuts. Avoid tearing leaves off by hand as this can damage the stem.

Make pruning cuts just above a node, where a new leaf or stem will emerge. Leave at least two healthy leaves in place above each cut to allow for regrowth. Prune damaged tissue back to healthy green tissues.

Disinfect your pruning tools before and after use by wiping the blades with rubbing alcohol. This prevents the spread of bacteria or fungal spores between plants.

Prune in spring or summer during the active growing season. Avoid heavy pruning in fall or winter when growth has slowed. The plant needs healthy foliage during this period to store energy.

Remove any leaves that yellow or brown completely. Pruning off affected leaves encourages new growth and prevents disease. Be sure to isolate plants with fungal infections to prevent spreading.

Pruning is also necessary if the plant becomes leggy or top-heavy. Cutting back long, bare stems forces lower buds to grow bushier. Always leave several leaves on the stem when cutting back leggy growth.

Regular pruning maintains an attractive, compact shape and removes damaged tissue that can compromise the health of your Philodendron White Princess. Never remove more than 20% of the foliage at one time to avoid stressing the plant.


The Philodendron White Princess can be easily propagated from stem cuttings. This allows you to clone your plant and create more White Princesses for free.

The best time to take cuttings is in spring or summer during the active growing season. Choose a healthy stem that has at least 2-3 leaves on it. Cut below an internode, leaving at least 2 leaves above the node. The cutting should be 4-6 inches long.

Remove the lower leaves and trim the stem right below the node. Allow the cut end to callous over for a few hours before rooting in water or soil.

To propagate in water, place the cutting in a jar of room temperature water. Change the water weekly to prevent rotting. Roots will begin emerging in 3-6 weeks. Plant in soil once roots are 1-2 inches long.

For soil propagation, use a sterile seed starting mix or perlite. Insert the cuttings a few inches deep and keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. Enclose in a plastic bag or dome to increase humidity. Rooting can take 1-2 months.

Sphagnum moss also works well for rooting White Princess cuttings. Simply insert the trimmed stem into the moss and keep it evenly moist until roots develop.

Once rooted, pot up the new White Princess plantlets in a well-draining aroid mix. Keep them in bright, indirect light while they establish. Propagating from cuttings is a great way to expand your collection!


The Philodendron White Princess should be repotted every 2-3 years in spring to refresh the potting mix and provide room for growth.

Choose a pot that is only 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current container. The White Princess has a compact root system and does not require overly large pots. Too much space can cause issues with soil moisture.

A sturdy plastic pot with drainage holes is ideal. Place a layer of pebbles or gravel over the holes to prevent soil from washing out.

Use a quality potting mix designed for aroids and philodendrons. Add perlite or orchid bark to improve drainage. Before repotting, water the plant well and let it drain fully.

Carefully remove the White Princess from its old pot. Gently loosen any circled roots with your fingers or a chopstick. This encourages healthy growth in its new container.

Place the plant in the prepared pot, ensuring the root ball sits on firmly packed soil. Add more potting mix around the sides, filling in gaps and supporting the stem. Leave 1-2 inches at the top for watering.

After repotting, keep the soil consistently moist but not soaked for a few weeks. This allows the roots to establish in their new environment before resuming a normal watering routine. Avoid fertilizing immediately after repotting.

Monitor for signs of transplant shock like leaf yellowing or drop. Place in partial shade if this occurs until the plant recovers. With proper aftercare, your repotted White Princess will quickly adjust and continue thriving.

Common Pests

The Philodendron White Princess often gets infested by common houseplant pests. Keep a close eye out for signs of an infestation and take action quickly to resolve the issue.


Mealybugs are one of the most problematic pests for the White Princess. These small, soft-bodied insects look like tiny cotton balls on the stems and undersides of leaves. They extract sap, leaving yellowing foliage in their wake. Wipe off any visible mealybugs with alcohol and treat with insecticidal soap.


Aphids are another sap-sucking pest that can swarm the White Princess. Look for clusters of small, soft-bodied green, black, or yellow insects on new growth. Left unchecked, aphids cause distorted and curled leaves. Blast them off with water and apply neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Spider mites

Spider mites are tiny arachnids that form webs on plants and cause stippling damage. They thrive in hot, dry conditions. Mist the plant daily to deter spider mites and treat with a miticide if necessary.

Check new plants thoroughly for pests before bringing them home. Isolate infested plants and treat aggressively to prevent spread. Maintain proper care and growing conditions to help prevent pests from taking hold. With vigilance, you can keep your White Princess pest-free and healthy.

Here is an expanded section on diseases for the Philodendron White Princess:


The Philodendron White Princess is usually strong, but it can get sick if conditions aren’t perfect. Being aware of potential problems allows you to take action before they compromise the health of your plant.


Bacterial leaf spot is a common disease. It makes water-soaked spots on leaves that turn brown or black. It thrives in wet, humid conditions. To treat the problem, remove the damaged leaves. Avoid watering from above and let the soil dry before watering again. Also, use a copper-based bactericide.

Root rot

Root rot is another disease that can plague White Princess philodendrons. It is caused by overwatering, which leads to soggy soil and roots beginning to rot. Symptoms include yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and black, mushy roots. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and repot in fresh, well-draining soil to resolve root rot issues.

Botrytis blight is a fungal infection that creates fuzzy gray spots on leaves and stems in very humid conditions. Improve air circulation around the plant and treat with a fungicide. Remove severely damaged leaves and increase spacing between plants.

By quickly identifying and treating any disease issues, you can get your Philodendron White Princess back to health. Prevent problems by providing proper care and ideal growing conditions.


If your Philodendron White Princess has bugs or gets sick, you need to act quickly to fix it.

The first step is to isolate the affected plant to prevent spreading pests or disease spores to other nearby plants. Move it away from other houseplants and if possible, into a separate room.

Next, remove any heavily infested or diseased foliage, stems, and roots. Use sterilized and disinfected pruning shears to cut off affected parts. Removing the worst areas limits sources of infestation and infection.

Use organic pesticides, like insecticidal soap or neem oil, to treat any remaining foliage and stems for pests. For fungal or bacterial diseases, apply copper-based bactericides or fungicides as a foliar spray. Always follow label directions.

To get rid of spider mites, use insecticides on the soil. It kills their eggs and larvae inside plants. Insect growth regulator products also disrupt pest life cycles.

Improve growing conditions after treatment. To improve air flow, spread out the plants and water them less often so the soil can dry out. This helps deter future problems.

To help a Philodendron White Princess recover, isolate the plant, remove damaged parts, and use pesticides and fungicides. Be vigilant about monitoring for signs of trouble.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Caring for any plant comes with occasional hiccups. Being able to identify and resolve common problems with the Philodendron White Princess will help you keep it looking its best.

Yellowing Leaves

If the leaves on your White Princess are turning yellow, it usually indicates an issue with overwatering or underwatering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, causing lower leaves to turn yellow and drop. Underwatering will also cause yellowing, droopy foliage as the plant becomes stressed.

Adjust your watering practices if you notice yellowing. Allow the soil to dry out further between waterings if it’s remaining too wet. Increase frequency if leaves are yellowing from underwatering. Providing the right amount of water can return the foliage to a healthy green.

Drooping Leaves

Leaves that are drooping or curling downward typically mean the plant is thirsty and needs more frequent watering. However, drooping can also result from overwatering if the roots are damage.

Check the soil moisture and water if the top few inches are dry. If soggy soil is the issue, allow it to dry out before watering again. Increase humidity around the plant to perk up drooping leaves.

Leaf Spots

Small brown or black spots on the leaves can indicate a fungal or bacterial infection. Leaf spot thrives in wet, humid conditions[4]. Improve air circulation around the plant and remove affected leaves. Treat with a copper fungicide if the spots spread rapidly.

Leggy Growth

If your White Princess becomes tall, sparse and top-heavy with few lower leaves, it needs more light. Insufficient brightness causes philodendrons to stretch toward any light source. Move it closer to a bright window or provide supplemental lighting to encourage bushier growth.

Catching issues early allows you to correct problems before they compromise your plant’s health. If you take good care of your Philodendron White Princess, it will keep giving you beautiful leaves.


The rare Philodendron White Princess has stunning leaves that add beauty to any plant collection. While not the easiest houseplant, this philodendron can thrive indoors with proper care tailored to its needs.

To grow a healthy White Princess, make sure it gets enough bright, indirect light. Keep the humidity high and the temperature warm. Also, use well-draining soil. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent issues like root rot.

Monitor new growth closely and watch for pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids that can plague these tropical plants. Isolate and treat any infestations right away. Common diseases include bacterial leaf spot, which causes spots on leaves, and root rot from overwatering.

Even with ideal care, occasional issues can crop up. To fix issues like yellow leaves, droopy leaves, and long stems, adjust light and water. Catch issues early before they compromise the plant.

With its exotic foliage, the Philodendron White Princess makes a striking display plant for shelves or tabletops. Its compact size also works well for small spaces. Just be sure to keep it safely away from pets and children, as it is toxic if ingested.

For indoor gardeners looking for a touch of the tropics, the White Princess philodendron is sure to become a prized part of your collection. Follow the tips covered in this guide and you’ll be rewarded with a lush, vibrant specimen.

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