Last Updated on December 4, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
The Philodendron Birkin stands from the other hundreds of philodendron varieties. It came into being as an unplanned mutation of Philodendron Rojo Congo and has distinctive yellow or creamy white variegation on its green leaves however, some patience is necessary as this variegation is unstable and only appears as the plant matures sometimes producing reddish-toned or part-red, part-creamy white striped leaves.
Since it’s a slow-growing compact plant with eye-catching variegation, it’s great for small indoor spaces. Provided it gets sufficient bright indirect light it can reach almost 3 feet tall with a thick straight stem looking more like a small tree. Large specimens are quite rare to find as the plants can take almost 10 years to reachfull maturity.
This plant shares the low-maintenance characteristics of other plants in the family. While it doesn’t have a climbing nature, it can be top-heavy and will require support to help it grow properly.
Philodendron Birkin Light Requirements
This plant prefers bright filtered light and keeping it near a west- or east-facing window under bright indirect light typically works well to maintain the variegation. Too much direct light can burn the leaves and adversely affect plant growth.
Wipe the leaves every couple of weeks to keep them glossy and healthy because the plant grows toward light and rotates it occasionally to promote uniform growth.
Philodendron Birkin Watering
The biggest problem facing this plant is overwatering—waterlogged soil often leads to root rot and soft mushy stems. Water it thoroughly, then before watering again allow the top layer of soil to dry out for a few inches.
Don’t panic if you occasionally forget to water the plant. It is pretty tolerant and will perk up after a nice watering. Make sure any excess water drains away.
Philodendron Birkin Humidity
It prefers humidity levels of between 50 – 70%. Keep a humidifier or a pebble tray filled with water near the plant if the humidity drops below 40%.
Philodendron Birkin Temperature
This tropical plant thrives in warm temperatures between 65 – 85 °F. Make sure the temperature doesn’t drop below 55°F.
Philodendron Birkin Soil
This plant does well in mixes made especially for aroid plants. If this is difficult to find, you can make your mix by blending equal parts of potting soil, orchid bark, and perlite. This will provide the right amount of moisture retention, drainage, acidity, and aeration. It requires good air circulation but won’t tolerate soggy soil.
Philodendron Birkin Repotting
Repotting can be done every 1 or 2 years, depending on growing conditions. It is a slow-growing plant and only needs repotting to refresh its soil. A clear sign that it needs repotting is when you see roots growing outside the drainage holes.
Don’t be lured into going for a very large new pot — it will most likely retain excess moisture, leading to root rot. 1 -2 inches larger in diameter is usually enough.
Fill the pot around 1/3 full with soil and once you put the plant in fill any gaps around the roots until you reach just under the pot’s rim and gently pat down the soil. After watering, return it to its original location.
Philodendron Birkin Propagation
This plant is propagated by cuttings. Follow these steps for good a chance of succeeding:
Use sharp scissors to take a 4 – 5-inch cutting with around 4-6 leaves. Cutaway 2 leaves near the bottom and leave 2 to 3 leaves on top. Submerge the cutting in water not letting the leaves touch the water and keep the cutting under bright indirect light.
Change the water every week and wait for roots to appear. This usually takes about 2 – 4 weeks. You can transplant the cutting in soil once the roots are roughly an inch long.
If you’re planting directly into the soil, prepare a moistened well-draining mix and keep the cutting under bright indirect light. Keep the soil constantly moist but not soaking wet until the roots develop and new foliar growth emerges. It can now be transplanted into a larger pot.
This plant doesn’t need regular fertilizing as it gets most of its nutrients from the soil; however, feeding it with a very weak solution of balanced fertilizer every 2 months during spring and summer will promote improved variegation, faster growth, and glossy leaves. Don’t feed it in winter, too much feeding will cause yellowing leaves and root burn.
This plant doesn’t have much need for pruning other than removing any damaged or dead leaves.
Philodendron Birkin Common Problems
While this plant has a reputation for being tolerant, it can still have some problems. Proper light, water, and humidity levels are necessary to keep it healthy and prevent diseases and pests.
If the variegation has reverted to green or the foliage generally does not have vibrant white stripes, then it isn’t getting sufficient light. It needs bright indirect light to help its variegation.
It’s usual to see older leaves become yellow and drop at the plant’s base and make way for newer growth above it. If new leaves start yellowing, it’s most likely because of over-fertilization or overwatering. Stop feeding the plant for a while and monitor the moisture in the soil.
Brown tips or edges suggest that you’re under-watering the plant or humidity levels are low. Adjust your watering schedule or increase humidity levels by misting or keeping a humidifier nearby. Keep the plant away from air conditioning or heating vents and consider moving it to a humid room like a kitchen or bathroom.
Entire leaves turning brown indicate that the plant is receiving too much direct light.
If the leaves start curling, it might be a sign that the plant is under watered and thirsty. Too much fertilizer also can result in leaf curl.
How long does a Philodendron Birkin live?
A healthy plant can live for over 20 years if properly cared for.
Can you propagate a Birkin from a leaf?
No. Leaf cuttings cannot work for propagating this plant.
Can I grow a philodendron Birkin in water?
It will start rotting if it sits in water for long periods. Cuttings can be propagated in water until the roots develop nicely but it then has to be planted in soil.