Philodendron Birkin is an exotic and beautiful plant with white striped patterns on dark green waxy leaves.
The Birkin variety is a spontaneous mutation of Philodendron Rojo Congo and gets its name from the iconic Hermes Birkin designer bags made famous for their unique and high-quality craftsmanship.
Today, you can find these tropical plants in homes across the world thanks to mass production via tissue culture.
Philodendron Birkins are relatively easy to propagate and care for, helping them grow in popularity as houseplants and allowing homeowners to house beautiful and healthy plants with some fairly straightforward care and maintenance.
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Philodendron Birkin Overview
|Common Names||Philodendron Birkin / Philodendron White Measure / Philodendron White Wave|
|Origin||A cultivar of Philodendron Rojo Congo, native to Central and South America.|
|Size & Dimensions (Mature)||Height – Approximately 3 ft, with 8-in-long leaves.|
|Distinguishing Features||Heart-shaped, waxy, and dark green leaves with white striped patterns.|
|In-Home Placement||Any place with enough indirect sunlight and high humidity levels – often in a kitchen, living room, or bathroom with a window.|
How to Grow Philodendron Birkin (Care and Conditions)
The Philodendron Birkin is a simple plant to take care of with some pretty straightforward growing insights.
Apply mulch to your new plants during the first 12 weeks of growth, and water it frequently.
Spraying philodendron plants will keep them healthy because they prefer the damp conditions of their natural habitat in the rainforests of Central and South America.
It is essential to give your philodendron plant enough light during the growing season (spring and summer), as this is when it will grow fastest and need the most energy.
Overall, the Philodendron Birkin is a fast-growing plant.
Philodendron Birkin grows best in soil with good drainage that does not dry out too quickly. If the soil is too moist for too long, it can quickly lead to root rot and death.
When you get your plant, it will probably be in a container containing sphagnum moss, sphagnum peat moss, or another common indoor potting mix.
The soil moisture level should be adequate when purchased. Just make sure you don’t buy it in soggy soil.
You always want to choose a potting mix that will provide the best environment for your plant, so depending on the placement in your home, you can mix your own soil if needed.
Specialized aroid mixes are an excellent option for Philodendron Birkin and generally contain a mix of peat, charcoal, perlite, bark, and standard potting soil.
You can also mix in a bit of sand to help with drainage. Be sure not to exceed a one-third ratio of sand.
At least one part perlite should be included in your potting soil mix.
Watering your Philodendron once a week should be sufficient. Philodendrons like slightly semi-moist soil, so try not to let it dry out between waterings.
As a general rule of thumb, water your plant only when the top inch of soil is dry, but don’t wait a long time in between waterings.
You can lift the container and judge the weight to give you an estimated idea of how moist the soil is.
After watering, ensure all excess water drains from the drainage holes. Consider emptying the drip tray after a few minutes to ensure the roots don’t get too much water.
Tap water is usually good enough for watering Philodendron Birkin plants but switch to filtered water if you notice excessive calcification. Room-temperature water is always best.
Philodendron Birkin thrives in temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees – making it suitable for almost all households using air conditioning.
It usually stops growing below 60 degrees and may suffer damage below 50 degrees when the plant experiences cold-related stress.
Hot or dry air can cause brown leaves, especially on the edges and tips – so be mindful of placement during the warmer summer months.
Philodendron Birkin grows best in bright indirect light.
Place your plant on a window shelve, but protect it from direct sunlight to prevent scorched leaves. Plants with more white stripes will need more light.
Keep in mind that the lighting in your home will change throughout the year, so you may need to adjust the plant’s position to protect it from intense sunlight or increase light in the winter.
If light availability is a problem at any point during the year, consider using a basic indoor grow light to supplement its needs.
Native to tropical regions, Philodendron Birkin plants typically struggle in dry environments.
They require moderate to high humidity levels to grow efficiently, so you can do a few things to mimic the ideal climate.
- You can use a spray bottle to lightly mist the plant’s foliage, although misting is typically a short-lived solution.
- Another option is to get a humidifier that can produce the humid environment your plant needs.
- You can also use a pebble tray or keep multiple house plants together to create a suitable microclimate.
If your environment is arid, you may notice brown tips and edges forming on the leaves.
A humidity level of 40% or more is acceptable for Philodendron care, but increasing it to 50-70% may give your plant more robust growth.
The distinctive, glossy, and sometimes variegated leaves of Philodendron Birkin require sufficient fertilizer for proper growth.
The Birkin will benefit from any fertilizer designed for indoor plants, be it liquid, powder, pellet, or tablet – although many prefer liquid fertilizer.
Make sure the fertilizer you select contains the micronutrients your plant requires, including calcium and magnesium.
You should fertilize when the soil is damp. Generally speaking, fertilizing in lesser doses is better than applying too much fertilizer at once, as philodendron Birkin is a slow grower.
An over-fertilized plant may suffer and could lead to death.
You should fertilize your plant monthly during the primary growing season and once every 1.5 to 2 months during the fall and winter.
Rare and Unique Philodendron Birkin Varieties
The striking variegation, color, and intensity of Philodendron Birkins can vary widely from leaf to leaf.
New leaves are often entirely white, while old leaves have only slight variegation and are lime green as they grow.
Bright yellowish-white stripes spanning from the center to the edges are the most distinctive characteristic of Philodendron Birkin, and some mature plants have a strikingly vivid yellow edge color.
While Philodendron Birkin is a unique variety in itself, there is one particularly rare and highly-coveted variety that plant collectors drool over.
Pink Birkin Philodendron
Pink Philodendron Birkin is a rare and highly sought-after variety by avid plant collectors. Pink mutations happen through random cell mutation – called chimeric variegation.
Since you can not plan for this type of mutation, it makes for a truly unique specimen when it happens.
How to Propagate Philodendron Birkin
The best way to propagate Philodendron Birkin is by taking stem cuttings, as you can easily root cuttings of the stem in water or soil to form new growth. Another common option is to use air layers.
We cover both methods below.
You should only use cuttings from a healthy parent plant, but taking stem cutting is typically the easiest way to propagate Philodendrons.
A plant with a strong stem is more likely to send out new roots, which means it will grow more efficiently and have a better chance to thrive.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the stem just below the node.
- Before you put the cutting in water, ensure that fresh, tiny leaves have been removed at the base of the stem.
- For cuttings, use filtered water rather than water from the tap, as the chemicals in tap water can hinder the process.
- Every few days, you should add fresh water.
The best time to pot your cuttings is once their roots have grown to between 1 – 2 inches in length.
Despite its complexity, the air layering approach gives excellent results.
For experienced growers ready to take on the challenge, we recommend giving this a shot.
- First, choose a healthy stem as a starting point.
- Make a vertical cut along the stem 2 inches long using a clean, sharp knife.
- To prevent the stem from drying, wrap a bundle of damp peat moss or coconut coir around it to maintain a wet environment – perfect for fostering new root systems.
- Seal the moss or coir with plastic wrap to keep it in place.
When you see roots develop from peat moss, you will know it is time to transplant.
- Cut your new cutting just below the new root growth with a sharp knife.
- Then, plant it in a new pot with fresh potting soil.
It’s essential to water the cutting right after potting to encourage new root growth and ensure it stays in the soil. Also, ensure a sufficient light intensity for best results.
Potting and Repotting Philodendron Birkin
Philodendrons should generally be kept in a pot 10′′ deep and 10′′ in diameter to allow the root systems to grow and spread efficiently.
This will allow maximum strength and efficiency when growing, even if this Philodendron is considered a compact plant.
Since the Philodendron Birkin develops roots relatively quickly, you should look for signs of root binding at least once a year. When the roots begin to emerge from the bottom of the pot, transplant it into a larger pot to ensure it can grow as large as it wishes.
Here are a few suggestions for transplanting your Philodendron:
- As overwatering might raise the risk of root rot issues, increase the pot size by no more than 1 inch at a time.
- Before transplanting, remove any infected roots if you notice any indications of root rot. Use only sterilized pruning shears, and clean them thoroughly after use.
- When transplanting, it is a good idea to examine the condition of the roots, as they will provide you with important information about the plant’s overall condition.
- Repot the plant in a potting mix that drains well, as previously mentioned in the sections above.
The Philodendron Birkin tolerates repotting fairly well and is unlikely to experience significant harm.
However, your plant will be stressed during the first few weeks after transplanting, so take extra care and observe your plant carefully.
Common Problems with Philodendron Birkin
With proper Birkin philodendron care, indoor plant pests are not a huge issue. The bugs you are most likely to see are thrips, mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites.
Mealybugs are the most likely to do serious harm. They are destructive and difficult to detect, which causes most infections to be discovered later.
- Check your plant frequently for pests, paying particular attention to the stem and both sides of the leaves.
- When you notice pests on a plant, you should isolate them from your other houseplants.
- Start treatment by manually eliminating as many insects as possible with a damp cloth, water from a hose, or a shower.
- To remove any leftover insects, thoroughly spray the plant with neem oil or horticultural soap.
The most common illnesses that affect Philodendron Birkin are considerably more likely to affect a plant that has received excessive watering.
- Bacterial leaf spot causes dark, wet spots with yellow halos on the leaves, which can be brought on by Xanthomonas.
- A bacterial blight caused by Erwinia results in tiny dark patches on the leaves. If foliage is not treated, it will quickly degrade and perish.
Regularly inspecting your plant will enable you to swiftly identify and address these issues without compromising the plant’s overall health.
Pruning off any diseased leaves and ensuring your plant is developing in the ideal conditions are the best treatments for bacterial and fungal diseases.
Keep an eye on the aerial roots as a health indicator as well.
Overwatering and root rot are the two leading causes of Philodendron Birkin withering or suffering.
Root rot is frequently caused by:
- Using soil with poor drainage.
- Using a container with poor drainage.
- Using a container that is too large.
- Not ensuring the soil is dry before watering (too much moisture).
Growing Philodendron Birkin without enough light is another frequent problem that can result in serious health issues for your plant and lead it to suffer over time.
You can solve this problem issue using artificial lights.
The common cause of yellow leaves on Philodendron Birkin is excessive watering. It is often the first sign of a plant growing in wet conditions.
Excessive direct sunlight, acclimation, and cold stress can also cause the yellowing of otherwise beautiful leaves. Sometimes, a few lower leaves may turn yellow due to age, but this is normal.
Brown Leaf Tips and Edges
Brown leaf tips and edges on Philodendron Birkin are most frequently caused by low humidity, inadequate watering, excessive heat, and too much light.
Be aware that an overwatered plant can also get brown leaf tips, but usually, this happens with other signs of root rot.
Lack of Diversity
Lack of variety in the plant’s leaves may indicate inadequate light. Maintaining the desired variegation on your Birkins is dependent on adequate sunlight.
Move the plant to a location with bright indirect light if the leaves start turning solid green; this may help the variegation return.
Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, which can cause the leaves to scorch and form brown spots.
Creative Ways to Present Philodendron Birkin in your Home
Instead of purchasing large, cumbersome pots, choose a plant stand to free up your floors and give the appearance of more room. Using this technique, you can transform your standard tabletop plant into a striking object with a fashionable stand.
Choose a simple layout to prevent drawing attention away from the plants.
A vertical garden is perfect if you live in a small flat because the wall will take up all your space. And what better way to brighten your house than to build a green feature wall?
Hang a couple of potted plants on a well-lit wall (you also want to choose a wall that receives the most natural light).
Get rid of the outdated containers you purchased from the nursery and grow your plants in something a little more striking.
Choose a concrete pot to go with your decor if you want it to have an industrial feel, or grow your plants in a woven basket to bring coziness to your space.
You can even paint your pot a striking color that will go great with your striped philodendron Birkin’s leaves.
Other Useful Information About Philodendron Birkin
Is Philodendron Birkin Toxic to Cats?
Philodendron Birkin is toxic to cats.
Ingesting the plant may result in severe hypersalivation or vomiting since philodendrons contain a chemical called Calcium Oxalate crystals that irritate the throat or stomach.
Is Philodendron Birkin Toxic to Dogs?
Philodendron Birkin is toxic for dogs, causing digestive problems, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Call a veterinarian immediately and rinse your dog’s mouth with running water if you believe they have been poisoned.
Philodendron Birkin Plant Benefits
Philodendron Birkin helps in air purification, humidity regulation, and natural soundproofing. In addition to being beautiful, leaves are excellent in removing poisons and carbon dioxide from the air.
It is also simple for beginners for its low maintenance requirements, capacity for growth, and improved adaptability.