Philodendron Birkin: In Depth Guide & Care Details
The Philodendron Birkin is a compact houseplant known for its distinctive green and white pinstripes. Because each new leaf emerges completely unique from the last, this plant is extra special to observe. The Birkin is a sturdy and relatively simple plant that makes a statement in any space.
Names: Philodendron Birkin
Origin: Hybrid - but Philodendrons in general descend from South American rainforests
Philodendron Birkin entered the world as a spontaneous mutation of the Philodendron Rojo Congo. That’s right, somehow a Philodendron with burgundy foliage (Rojo Congo) is responsible for the creation of a plant with green and cream leaves (Birkin). While the Birkin sports dark green, lime green, and cream foliage, it’s been known to throw out pink and grey variegation at times too. As a juvenile, this indoor plant typically displays smaller, completely green foliage. And as it matures, the creamy variegation comes through more and more with each subsequent new leaf. Some growth even displays fully cream-colored leaves.
The Philodendron Birkin has gained popularity in the past couple of years and though it used to be a rarer find, it’s becoming increasingly available. It’s loved by both Aroid collectors and beginner plant parents for its unique appearance and ease of care.
Buy Online: Large Philodendron Birkin— 6 Inch
The Philodendron Birkin is considered a low-maintenance houseplant and suitable for all levels.
Due to the variegation in this plant, the Birkin will need a moderate to brightly lit spot. Indirect sun is key, so just make sure that the plant isn’t exposed to direct sun rays. Usually near a west or east facing window will work well for this plant. Keep in mind that too much light (specifically direct sun) can burn the leaves and too little can cause the plant to get leggy, droopy, and lose variegation.
Another important tip is to periodically rotate the plant. Birkin’s like to grow towards the sunlight, so you may notice the plant reaching or leaning to one side. Simply give the plant a 180 degree turn every month to promote even and upright growth.
Like other plants in the Philodendron genus, the Birkin will want to slightly dry out between waterings. So you’ll want to water thoroughly (allowing the water to drain through the bottom holes of the pot) once the top 2-3 inches of soil becomes dry to the touch. Try not to let the plant completely dry out though before proving more moisture. And on the other end, never overwater as Philodendron plants are prone to root rot. One way to notice if the plant has been exposed to too much water is if some of the leaves get mushy. If this happens, simply cut away the leaf once it has browned. And when in doubt, err on the side of less water.
When it comes to humidity, Philodendrons are originally from wet jungles, so they will appreciate higher levels of moisture in the air. If your plant is doing fine, we don’t recommend you do anything else. But if the tips of the leaves are starting to get slightly crispy or brown, you’ll want to boost the humidity around the plant. You can introduce more humidity by placing a humidifier near the plant or lightly misting the leaves (~ twice a week).
The growth of your Philodendron Birkin may wane during the winter months. But to take advantage of the favorable warmer months, your plant will appreciate a monthly dose of fertilizer during spring and summer. Any liquid or granular houseplant fertilizer will work, but we suggest only using half of the recommended amount. This conservative approach helps prevent fertilizer burns on the plant and any potentially irreversible damage. Fertilizer is meant to support the plant for optimal success, and not for super rapid, unnatural growth. Using fertilizer as recommended will help the Philodendron Birkin reach its eventual peak size of about 3 feet wide by 4 feet tall.
If this plant is starting to outgrow its current pot, consider repotting during the spring. To know if it’s time to repot, look for signs like roots growing out of the bottom holes of the pot or if the plant hasn’t grown (or produced new leaves) in two consecutive seasons. If you’ve decided it’s time to give the Birkin a bigger home, remember that it doesn’t need a pot any more than 2 inches larger than the current one. Repotting may need to be done once every couple of years if the plant is continually growing.
Extra Care & Growth:
The Philodendron Birkin can get top heavy over time— so to prevent wobbling, consider getting a moss pole for the plant to climb up.
Keep in mind that as new growth comes in, it is common for lower leaves to yellow. So don’t panic if you start to see older, smaller leaves yellowing and dropping. As long as new growth is coming in and the plant is otherwise healthy looking, then it’s completely normal (and in fact healthy). Simply, pluck away the yellow leaves, making room for fresh growth.
Philodendron Birkin is fairly resistant to pests. Spider mites though are the number one bug associated with this plant. Always check regularly for pests, and eradicate as soon as possible.
Toxicity: Considered slightly toxic when ingested by humans, cats, and dogs.