How to Care for a Philodendron Birkin

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The Philodendron Birkin is a rare mutation of the Philodendron Rojo Congo. It stands out due to its off-white or yellow streaks on the green foliage. Most novices might mistake the Philodendron Birkin for a variation of a Calathea. However, like other Philodendron species, the Philodendron Birkin is slow-growing and great for small spaces. Be aware though, the Philodendron Birkin will need to mature before earning its stripes, many baby plants maintain small, green foliage.

Photo of Philodendron Birkin by feey on Unsplash.
Photo by feey on Unsplash

Philodendron Birkin’s are notorious for their easy-going nature, making them a great choice for new plant parents. Unlike other variations of Philodendron, the Philodendron Birkin doesn’t have a climbing habit, but rather boasts big, striped foliage.

Bright, Indirect Light

The Philodendron Birkin will enjoy bright but indirect sunlight. Placing the Birkin in front of a window where sunlight can filter in through a curtain will be best. The Philodendron Birkin is also a plant that prefers to grow towards the sunlight, so rotating it can help keep growth even.

Consistent Watering

While the Philodendron Birkin is fairly low maintenance, introducing a regular watering schedule will prevent over or under-watering. A good rule of thumb for the Birkin is to let the top 2-3 inches of soil dry out before watering again. While the Birkin is a bit drought tolerant, do your best to not allow the Birkin to completely dry out for long periods of time.

Well-Draining Soil

Your Philodendron Birkin will thrive in soil meant for aroids. You can also make your own soil by mixing one part potting soil, one part perlite, and one part orchid bark. This type of soil will provide the right amount of acidity, drainage, and moisture retention.

65-85 Fahrenheit + 50% Humidity

The Philodendron Birkin is a tropical houseplant, native to the regions of Central America. Temperatures should ideally stay between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Being a tropical houseplant, also means that humidity levels should be at least 50% to keep the Philodendron Birkin happy. If humidity levels can’t be maintained, consider buying a humidifier for your plant to keep humidity levels steady. I use this humidifier from Amazon and recommend it.

Close-up photo of Philodendron Birkin by feey on Unsplash.
Photo by feey on Unsplash

Well-Balanced Fertilizer

The Philodendron Birkin does not always need fertilizer to be happy. Over-fertilizing can lead to burning the roots and foliage yellowing. Incorporating a balanced but weak houseplant fertilizer during the growing season can promote faster growth and improved variegation. Coupled with brighter light, glossy foliage can increase as well.

What’s Wrong With my Plants?

Older leaves can turn yellow and fall off. Yellowing leaves can also be a sign of overwatering or over-fertilization.

A lack of water or low humidity levels can cause brown edges on your Philodendron Birkin. Too much light can also be caused by the Birkin receiving too much sunlight.

Similarly to browning edges, curling leaves can be a sign the Birkin is not receiving enough moisture. Too much fertilizer can also lead to browning leaves.

If you notice dropping leaves, it can be a sign that your Birkin is cold and needs a warmer place.

Spider Mites, Fungus Gnats, Mealybugs, Oh My

As with most houseplants, the Philodendron Birkin can be susceptible to many common houseplant pests. Such as scale, mealybugs, fungus gnats, and spider mites. Regularly cleaning the leaves on your Philodendron can help prevent any infestations before they grow out of control.

A simple solution of 1 part 70% isopropyl alcohol to 5 parts water with a few drops of dish soap, mixed together in a spray bottle will go a long way. Simply wipe down your leaves with the solution every month or so to keep foliage clean and catch any unwanted pests before an infestation grows.

Pet Safe?

Unfortunately, the Philodendron Birkin is toxic to both humans and animals. Which means it is best placed out of reach of children and pets alike.

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