The White Wizard is one of the rarities that are easy to keep. Especially as cuttings, it is currently very affordable and in vogue. This article will teach you how to care for your Philodendron White Wizard!
It is often claimed that Philodendron ‘White Wizard’ originates from South America (Colombia). That is true for the natural form of Philodendron erubescens, which is mainly found in forests there.
The Philodendron erubescens ‘White Wizard’ mutation originated in tissue culture. Where, when, and from whom the White Wizard comes is not apparent until today. However, it is assumed to be a hybrid of a Philodendron erubescens. However, since this is not officially confirmed, the botanically correct name is Philodendron × ‘White Wizard’.
Like all philodendrons, this specimen belongs to the arum family.
Appearance and distinguishing features
Although Philodendron × ‘White Wizard’ is often confused with Philodendron × ‘White Princess’ and Philodendron × ‘White Knight’, there are still a few distinct identifying characteristics.
The petioles and the shoot are entirely green. In places, variegated stripes may run through the green. The leaves are the largest in direct comparison, up to 18 inches long. Also, the leaves become round rather than elongated and heart-shaped.
The white variegation usually occurs over a large area. Spots or even marbling are rare. Nevertheless, the white portion of the leaves is relatively low. Completely green leaves are, therefore, typical.
Since it is a climbing philodendron species, I recommend you provide it with climbing support. It can reach heights of up to 10 feet. However, due to its variegation, this takes a relatively long time.
In the summer months, under optimal conditions, a flower can form. That consists of the spadix (cob) and the spatha (bracts), which envelop the spadix. That prevents self-fertilization.
At the time of this article’s publication, I could not find out what the fruit looks like. Therefore, we can assume that fruit has yet to be observed.
Other varieties and hybrids
- Philodendron × ‘Green Princess‘
- Philodendron × ‘Orange Princess‘ (Also called Philodendron ‘Red Princess’)
- Philodendron × ‘Persimmon Princess‘
- Philodendron × ‘Pink Princess‘
- Philodendron × ‘White Princess‘
- Philodendron × ‘White Knight‘
The optimal location for the Philodendron White Wizard
Your White Wizard should always be placed at some distance from doors. That will prevent drafts from reaching your houseplant. It would be best if you kept a distance from radiators. If they are in use, they produce dry air, which can cause brown leaf tips and leaf edges.
Philodendron erubescens White Wizard likes bright but indirect light. You should avoid direct sunlight unless it’s morning or evening sun since it can cause burns on the leaves. I recommend a location on an east or west window.
You can tell that your Philodendron is not getting enough light by the way it grows toward the light. You can improve a location with too little light by using a plant lamp*.
As a tropical plant, the White Wizard loves high humidity. Philodendron erubescens receives an average of 75% humidity in its natural habitat. If the humidity is below 50% for any time, it may experience slower growth and cosmetic damage, such as brown leaf tips and margins. The variegated areas may also turn brown.
Is your White Wizard showing symptoms of low humidity? Here are methods you can use to increase humidity quickly.
Base the temperature on the natural location of the mother plant. In the forests of Colombia, temperatures are usually around 84 °F. If the temperature drops below 54 °F for longer, the plant may grow slowly and be damaged.
Overwintering a White Wizard
As long as your Philodendron White Wizard receives adequate light, a temperature above 54 °F, and humidity of at least 50%, you can overwinter it in its usual location. If not, I recommend finding a place that meets the conditions.
Try to keep a distance from radiators, especially in winter, as they produce dry air. Also, when ventilating, ensure the plants are not left in the cold for too long.
Generally, watering and fertilizing are reduced during wintering. That is due to the metabolism being slowed down by shorter days. Water only when the substrate has dried on the surface.
You can stretch out fertilizing to 6 to 8 weeks.
Watering the Philodendron White Wizard
When and how much you need to water depends on the season and the immediate environment. The evenly moist substrate preferred by the White Wizard is challenging to achieve. Therefore, let the top 2 inches of the substrate dry out between each watering.
Then water thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes. After the pot stops dripping, you can move the plant back to its location.
Try to avoid waterlogging. It prevents the roots from breathing. That will quickly lead to root rot.
Fertilize Philodendron erubescens White Wizard
Regular fertilizing supports the growth of your White Wizard. During the growth period from April to October, you can use a No products found. or a No products found. in half a dose. Apply the fertilizer once a month through the irrigation water.
In winter, I recommend stretching the interval to 6 to 8 weeks.
In the weeks after fertilizing, pay attention to how your houseplant reacts. If it gets brown leaf tips or if they bend at a 90° angle, they may be a sign of overfertilization.
The perfect substrate for the Philodendron White Wizard
Philodendron White Wizard loves a loose and airy substrate. Good form stability ensures that this structure remains. At the same time, it must not hold too much water. Otherwise, the roots may begin to rot.
A large amount of organic material provides it with all the necessary nutrients. I recommend you mix an aroid mix. That will meet all the requirements optimally.
I recommend our great substrate post if you want to create your substrate mix. There I explain the properties of the individual materials and how you can combine them.
Is your White Wizard pushing itself out of its pot, or is its growth stagnating? Then his pot has become too small. Carefully remove your plant from its pot and look at the root system. If the roots are circling the planter’s edge, it’s time to repot!
Younger plants need to be repotted more often than older plants. Once your houseplant is fully grown, you will only need to replace the substrate every 3 to 4 years.
Philodendron White Wizard rarely needs pruning. Often, pruning is only necessary when it grows too large or has dead or diseased leaves.
Propagating Philodendron White Wizard
Before I explain how to propagate your White Wizrad, I’d like to briefly touch on propagating by seed. Generally, I advise you not to buy seeds of rarities online. I know that the prices can be very tempting. However, this is often a scam.
In various forums, you can read that they were seeds of Philodendron erubescens (so no White Wizard). Other users report that the seeds sold to them were from entirely different plants.
If you want to buy a White Wizard cheaply, I recommend purchasing a cutting of the plant.
The best time for propagation is spring and summer.
Propagation by cuttings
Propagation of the White Wizard is mainly done by cuttings and mossing. Each cutting should have a leaf node and at least one leaf. Aerial roots are beneficial to speed up root formation.
Once you have identified possible cuttings on your plant, it is time to prune. Use a clean and sharp blade for this. That will prevent bruising and infection of the cut.
After pruning, I recommend letting the cut dry. You can also put cinnamon or activated charcoal on the cut if you want. Both prevent infection by fungi or bacteria.
After that, you can put the cutting in a medium of your choice. I have had good experiences with water, sphagnum moss, and perlite.
Moisten the medium and put the cutting in a warm place with indirect light.
For better results, I use this heating mat and this seed tray (if the cutting size allows it).
After a few weeks, you should be able to see the first roots. When they are about 4 inches long, you can repot the cuttings. Their care is no longer different from the care of the mother plant.
Propagation by mossing
Propagation by mossing is the easiest propagation method for me. At the same time, I have an almost one hundred percent success rate with it. Therefore I can only recommend this method!
It is very similar to propagation by cuttings. However, moist sphagnum moss is attached to the leaf nodes where aerial roots grow before cutting cuttings. I use a transparent film for this purpose. That keeps the moss moist, and I can see if roots have formed.
As soon as enough roots are visible, the cutting is cut. It can be placed directly in the substrate, as it already has enough roots to take care of itself. Care is also no different from the mother plant.
Diseases, pests, and care mistakes
Philodendron White Knight is very rarely affected by conventional diseases.
Pests do not often settle on the White Knight. If they do, they are usually spider mites and mealybugs. The likelihood of a pest infestation is highest in the winter due to the dry air.
You can recognize an infestation of spider mites by their web-like constructs on the leaves and in the leaf axils. The leaves also become dry and rough to the touch.
You can control a small infestation by increasing the humidity and regular showers.
If the infestation is more extensive, learn how to control spider mites here.
Mostly mealybugs hide in leaf axils and under the leaves. Therefore, check your houseplants regularly. Especially if you often open the window.
If you discover isolated mealybugs, you can remove them with a cotton pad soaked in alcohol. If the infestation is more significant, I recommend you use a No products found..
If the lowest leaves of your plant turn yellow, this is usually a natural process. They no longer receive enough light; therefore, they cost the plant energy instead of providing any.
However, yellow leaves can also be a sign of over- or under-watering. Therefore, check the substrate. If it is too dry, you need to water it more regularly. If it is wet, I advise you to check the roots for root rot.
Brown leaf tips and leaf edges
A brown leaf tip is not a cause for concern at first. However, if most leaves have brown leaf tips, this indicates low humidity or over-fertilization.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Philodendron ‘White Wizard’
Is the Philodendron White Knight poisonous?
Philodendron White Knight is toxic to both humans and animals. It contains calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate mucous membranes and injure the digestive tract. Therefore, I recommend placing the plant out of reach of children and pets.
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