Philodendron Birkin Care: You probably have many questions if you are a new parent to this beautiful and popular houseplant. Philodendron Birkin Care is not difficult but does require some special tending. This is how the leaves can be so diverse!
Birkins are a compact Philodendron variety that is rare. They have deep, dark green leaves with vivid yellow or white pinstripes. The tall stems are plump and bright green and can be held upright to show the stunning foliage.
This cultivar has a unique quality: no two leaves will be the same. Some leaves have more green and less striping while others are more white with green stripes. You may get one or two red leaves.
Don’t be alarmed if you have noticed that some leaves lack any striping. This is completely normal and common in Philodendron Birkin variegation.
It’s part of the joy of growing Birkins. Every leaf is a surprise!
Philodendron Birkin Origin & History
The Caribbean, Columbia, Venezuela and Venezuela are where the Philodendrons come from. These plants are tropical and can be found in tropical forests, swamps and along roadsides and riverbanks.
This rare and unique variety is the result of a spontaneous mutation in the Philodendron Rojo Congo. Because of its unique mutation, the genetics can be a little unstable which can cause foliage variation.
Botanists believe that the leaves could all return to green in the future. It is still unknown how this cultivar will grow over the years, as it is new.
Although the philodendron-Birkin was once rare, it is now more widely available online and in specialist nurseries.
Philodendron Care: How to Keep This Beautiful Houseplant Healthy
Now that you have a better understanding of your plant’s history, it is time to learn how to help it thrive in your own home. Philodendron Birkin care requires you to think like the plant. What is a tropical plant like? Heat, humidity, and water.
Philodendrons grow well under tropical trees in their natural habitats. Your Birkin should be placed in a place that gets lots of indirect, bright light.
The beautiful white pinstripe variegation on the leaves is due to a chimeric mutation. It needs more light to stay stable. The beautiful details on the leaves are brightened by light.
How Much Light A Philodendron Birkin Really Needs
A light meter is a great tool for anyone who likes to measure rather than guess. Light meters are used to measure the overall brightness of a room using foot candles (FC). These meters are extremely useful in determining the best place to plant your new plant.
For non-vining philodendrons i.e. For the Birkin to grow well, it is best to place it somewhere that gets 400-600FC. This plant can only handle the 200FC mark. You’ll notice a loss of bright whiteness if you go below that.
Does this plant like full sun or full shade?
It’s not. Too much direct sun i.e. The pinstriped leaves can become brittle and die if they are exposed to direct sunlight for more than 1-2 hours per day. If they are left in full shade, the pinstriped leaves can become leggy, sparse, or even die.
A west-facing or east-facing window is the best place, as they can be protected from heat vents and drafts.
You may need to supplement your tropical plant’s light with grow lamps if you don’t have enough bright sunlight. This may be necessary even during winter when there is less sunlight.
Philodendrons are attracted to a nutrient-rich, but still a chunky mixture. The ideal potting soil for the philodendron is made of coco coir and perlite.
You can make it more chunky by adding fine pumice and orchid bark. The mix will drain well if it has a lot of chunkiness.
This airy mixture is my favourite for Philos.
- 40% cocoa coir (replaces pot soil, great growth medium, sustainable)
- 20% orchid bark adds bulkiness, allows roots to attach and becomes a hotspot for positive microbes
- 10% perlite (helps drainage)
- 10% Worm castings (worm poop and nutrient fertilizer)
- 10% pumice (helps drainage)
- 10% activated carbon (prevents soil mould and gets rid of soil impurities).
It is important to choose soil that allows for drainage and retains moisture.
Roots without moisture will quickly become severely dehydrated and shrivel up, which can lead to root rot. Coco coir can be a great addition to your garden, as it has been shown to hold up to 10x its water weight!
Update Many people recommend a succulent and cacti mix for Philos. This is not a good idea unless you don’t want to constantly water your plants. Succulents and cacti retain water in their thick leaves, which is why they thrive in a dry potting mix.
Philos, on the other hand, have thin leaves and can’t hold water so they need a medium with some water. You should make sure you don’t have it in your cacti/succ mixture if you notice curling, browning or leaves dropping.
Philodendron Birkin Watering
This special Philodendron needs to be watered only if it is aware that it loves well-drained soil, and should not be allowed to dry completely.
Root rot can occur when soil is too dry. This happens because the soil compacts around roots and prevents oxygen and moisture from reaching them.
Before adding water, always check the soil’s dryness. Before watering, the soil must be dry to the first knuckle. The top inch (3 cm) of soil should be removed.
How to tell if your plant really needs water
It’s not possible with a moisture meter, that’s certain! No, seriously. You can save your money. If you are interested, I have a post on why moisture meters don’t work.
These are the best ways to use them:
- Good old knuckle testing
- Put your finger into the potting mixture.
- You can stop watering if it is still moist at the first or third knuckle.
- If your plant is not getting enough water, you can give it a drink.
- Take a look at the physical changes occurring to your plant, and its soil.
- Are there any light spots in the soil? It probably doesn’t require any additional water.
- Are the soil’s properties dry, hard or compacted? It requires water and may need more frequent waterings.
The philodendron Birkin requires regular watering in spring. However, they will require less attention in autumn or winter. Because your plant has less light and lower temperatures, this is why it needs to be watered more frequently.
How to Make Sure Your Soil Is Evenly Moist, Not Just Damp on the Top
One thing that I learned from working in a botanic garden was how to water plants properly.
Make sure to water the pot thoroughly every time you water. When done properly, water pushes oxygen to roots and helps to aerate the soil.
You should not leave water in the pot or tray as this can cause roots to become waterlogged and rot.
Philodendron Birkin Temperature
Philodendrons Birkin’s love humidity and warm rooms due to their tropical nature. Ideal temperatures are between 65F and 75F (16-30 degrees Celsius) during daylight and 60F (16 degrees Celsius) at night.
They are not able to withstand temperatures below 50F or 12 degrees Celsius. This can lead to damage or stunted growth.
They are also sensitive to cold drafts. Keep them away from radiators and air conditioners.
Philodendron Birkin Humidity
Birkins love humidity! Birkins are fussy and will only tolerate moderate to high humidity. You should aim for 50-70 per cent. The higher the number, the better.
You can increase the humidity by:
- A good humidifier is a must!
- It can be placed in a room that is naturally humid, such as a bathroom. It can absorb all the moisture it receives from the bath or shower.
- To increase the natural process of transpiration, group your plants together.
Myth Buster –Misting plants increase humidity significantly. It’s not true. The misting will only keep the water droplets in the area of the plant for between 30-60 seconds before they disperse to the rest of your room.
This is a temporary fix for a long-term problem. Misting can also be a breeding ground for fungal and bacterial infections if it is done too often.
Philodendron Birkin Fertilizer
Houseplants require fertilization because eventually, the nutrients in the soil will evaporate. The key is to not overdo it. Overfertilization can lead to yellowing and crisping at the edges of some leaves.
Best Fertilizer to the Philodendron Birkin
There isn’t anyone fertilizer that is better than the rest, but I do love and use Dynagro (7-9-5 NPK formulation). It is urea-free, meaning that it won’t burn the roots of your plants.
I have also used organic seaweed, kelp extract, and fish emulsion. These fertilizers are slightly lower in nutrients than regular chemical fertilizers but they still have a significant impact on leaf growth. These fertilizers, which are marine-based or seaweed-based, contain plant growth hormones.
A balanced liquid fertilizer for houseplants is also available.
How to Fertilize Your Plant
Mix 1/4 teaspoon Dyna Gro with 1 teaspoon liquid seaweed/marine phytoplankton fertilizer in 1-gallon water (4.5 litres). Water your plant every time it requires watering. This is called maintenance feeding. It replicates the way plants would eat in nature. This method has resulted in a much more steady and better growth.
Use a balanced liquid fertilizer for houseplants. You should dilute it to half of the recommended strength.
When to Fertilize your Plant
In spring and summer, water every day. Fall and winter are the best times to cut back. Because the plant isn’t actively growing or using nutrients, it’s easy to overfertilize in the winter.
Philodendron Birkin Propagation: How to Propagate Philodendron Birkin
Birkins, like all philodendrons, can be propagated by stem cuttings. Then they can be grown in water or moss medium. Stem cuttings are easy, if not scary the first time. ).
I will walk you through the water and moss process step by step. Both methods are fine. Water propagation is a great way to observe root development.
Propagating Stem Cuttings In Water
- Use fresh water to fill a sterilized glass container. Plants can become toxic from chlorinated water.
- Use a pair of scissors to trim a healthy stem below the leaf node. They can look a bit like aerial roots. This is where new roots will grow.
- The stem cutting should be placed directly into the freshwater container.
- To prevent the growth of bacteria and decay pathogens, water should be changed at least once per week.
- When the roots reach a length of approximately 1-2 inches, it is possible to move your plant into a new container that has a rich potting mixture.
Propagating Stem Cuttings In Moss
- You can fill a sterilized container with moist sphagnum moss. You can use either green or brown sphagnum moss.
- Use a pair of scissors to trim a healthy stem below the leaf node. They can look a bit like aerial roots.
- The stem should be dipped in rooting hormone or powder.
- The stem should be placed straight into the moss container. Make sure that the node is well-buried under the moist moss.
- To prevent it from drying out, spray the moss with water once a week.
- When the roots reach a length of approximately 1-2 inches, it is possible to move your plant into a new container that has a rich potting mixture.
Philodendron Birkin Repotting
Birkins are slow to grow, so they don’t require a lot of repotting. If the roots appear to be outgrowing the pot they are currently in, you can move them to a larger pot that is 2 inches wider than the one they are currently in.
It is normal for the Birkin to not do well after being repotted. The Birkin takes several weeks to adjust to its new environment.
A physical inspection of your Birkin will tell you if it is too large for its container.
Consider the following when repotting:
- Make sure the pot has good drainage
- Choose a soil mix that is well-drained
Philodendron Birkin Pruning
Use sharp, clean scissors or shears. Unclean tools can spread diseases between plants. Before you use the tool, clean it with some rubbing alcohol.
Trim any dead or damaged leaves throughout the year. If the plant is becoming too dense, bushy or leggy, trim it back in the spring and fall.
Plant Toxicity Is the Philodendron Birkin Plant Toxic
Unfortunately, Philodendron Birkin is toxic for humans and pets. Ingestion can result in swelling of the tongue, mouth, stomach, and gastrointestinal tracts. It can also cause mild vomiting and diarrhoea. Keep this houseplant out of reach of children, pets, and cats.
Help! Help! Common Philodendron Birkin Issues
My Philodendron Birkin is producing a leaf with a tinge of red. Is it reverting?
Not necessarily! A perfectly healthy Birkin can produce a leaf that has a red stripe or tinge. This does not mean that the entire plant will become a congo.
Keep an eye on new growth to see if there are any signs of loss. If it does, you can assume that the process is reverting.
What should I do if my Philodendronbirkin loses its variegation?
To clarify, a reverted Birkin produces fully green leaves with no pinstriping. Pinstriped deep green leaves are perfectly healthy and still exhibit classic Birkin variegation.
This plant’s variegation is genetically unstable, so it’s very likely to go back to a Rojo Conjo at any time.
Because the variegation is new, there aren’t many resources or information available on how to restore it. The plant may have returned to its original form and there aren’t many options.
Pruning non-variegated leaves can be a good idea. The plant might regain its markings in new growth cycles. Variegated plants require brighter lighting than most people realize. You can increase the light intensity. However, this is not guaranteed to preserve those beautiful features. ).
If your plant turns brown, it is not getting enough humidity. Move it to a place with more humidity, or put pebbles in a humidity tray.
Yellowing at the Edges
Overwatering is the main reason leaves turn yellow at the edges. Overwatering can cause leaves to yellow. You might need to reevaluate your watering routine. You must not allow the roots to sit in water for too long. Before watering your Birkin, make sure you check the soil for dryness.
Wilting Leaves and Drooping
Your plant may be thirsty if it is experiencing wilting, curling or drooping leaves. You can give your plant a boost of water, but make sure you water it thoroughly so it isn’t leaking through the drainage holes.
If leaves seem to be falling off randomly, your Birkin may be stressed by the cold. Remember that Philodendron Birkin loves heat and is tropical. Make sure your plant is away from any air conditioning that could chill it.
Weird Lesions & Bad Smell
Erwinia blight, which is a bacteria, causes water-soaked lesions on the stems and a foul odour coming from the dying stalks. If left untreated, it can kill your plant.
Remove infected areas and replace the potting mixture as soon as possible.
You should also check your other plants for this bacteria, as it spreads like wildfire!
This disease is not curable. The only treatment is to remove infected leaves or the entire plant. It is important to water the soil at the right level in order to prevent this disease from occurring.
How to Get Rid Of Them
These pests love warm, dry environments and will eat the leaves of houseplants. Spider mites will be less likely to attack if you maintain high humidity levels.
Spider mites can travel so treat the Birkin and all plants around it. Use a neem oil solution to wash all leaves or water with a few drops of natural dish soap.
These tiny white insects suck the juices from plant leaves. Although they are difficult to spot, they can cause significant damage.
To remove thrips, wipe the leaves gently with a damp cloth. Apply neem oil to repel the pests.
FAQS about Philodendron Birkin
Where can I buy a Philodendron Birkin in my area?
The Birkin is not as common as it was in past years. It can now be purchased at major box stores and nurseries as well as online through Etsy.
Why are my Philodendron Birkin Leaves Curling in
They may be receiving too much water or not enough. Make sure the soil isn’t soggy. Only water the top few inches.
Are philodendron Birkin vines possible?
The philodendron Birkin is not a wine variety.
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