If you’re thinking about getting a Philodendron Birkin, but you’re not sure how to take care of it, don’t worry. This beautiful, low-maintenance indoor plant can easily adapt to a new environment. It won’t take up much space and will grow slowly, making it perfect for beginner plant enthusiasts.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about the Philodendron Birkin and how to take proper care of it.
Philodendron Birkin Origin and Description
Like all Philodendrons, the Philodendron Birkin comes from the Araceae family. What you need to know about Philodendron Birkin plants is that they don’t grow in the wild. Instead, they’re unique hybrids of the Philodendron Rojo Congo plants, which come from Central America. Unlike many lab-created hybrids, the Philodendron Birkin first appeared as a spontaneous mutation.
The Philodendron Birkin is a popular tropical houseplant with lush green striped leaves. Their leaves vary from white to green, with round, slightly pointed tips. It’s also called the Philodendron “White Wave” plant. It can come with pure white leaves or even leaves with tiny pink spots.
Note that the yellow variegation only appears on mature plants. If your Philodendron Birkin doesn’t have stripes, they will develop in due course.
How to Take Care of a Philodendron Birkin
While taking care of variegated plants can be challenging, this isn’t the case with the Philodendron Birkin. Quite the contrary, this plant is easygoing. As long as you provide a good environment, it will thrive without any issues. Philodendron plants can live for up to 20 years with proper care.
The first thing you must know about taking care of a Philodendron Birkin is its light requirements. Your Philodendron Birkin needs to be exposed to bright, indirect light.
If you expose this houseplant to direct sunlight, it will completely dry out. You’ll know this happens when the white or yellow lines start to turn dark green. Philodendron Birkin plants also tend to grow toward a light source to tell you they need more light.
Ideally, your Birkin should be exposed to bright, indirect sunlight for a few hours in the morning and spend the rest of the day in a shaded area. Definitely avoid exposure to the afternoon sun.
If you’re unsure where to put your Philodendron Birkin, the best place is about 2 feet away from an east- or west-facing window. If you don’t have a window facing east or west, or if your apartment doesn’t have any natural lighting, you can buy a grow light and place it above the plant.
When it comes to the soil, this plant thrives in sphagnum peat moss-based soil. This is the best solution for a Philodendron Birkin because it can quickly drain excess water while retaining moisture for a few days. It also keeps the soil soft. You can add orchid bark, charcoal, perlite, and peat moss into the potting soil to promote healthy growth.
Perlite is a mined volcanic rock that’s great for drainage while preventing the roots from being soaked in water for too long. If this happens, the roots will rot, which is one of the worst things that can happen to your Birkin.
It’s essential to keep the soil damp during hot weather, especially in the summer. On the other hand, in winter, the soil should be dry before you water the plant again.
Since the Philodendron Birkin is a tropical plant, it thrives in high humidity. The higher the room’s humidity, the bigger its leaves will grow. The ideal humidity level for this plant is 60%.
If your home has naturally high humidity levels, there’s nothing to worry about. But if that isn’t the case, you will have to do something to mimic the plant’s natural environment. The easiest way to do so is with a humidifier for plants.
If you don’t want to spend any money, there are different things you can do to reach the ideal humidity level for your plant. For example, put the Philodendron Birkin next to your bathroom window. Your bathroom is the most humid room in your house, so this is a great solution.
You’ll know that you’re not providing your plant with enough humidity if you start to notice brown leaves. This is a common indicator that the air is too dry, so you should try to find a more humid place in your home.
Depending on the season, you should water your Philodendron Birkin once or twice a week. Naturally, in summer, you need to keep your Birkin hydrated, while you can reduce how often you water the plant in winter. When you want to water your Philodendron Birkin, ensure the soil is mostly dry.
The best watering method is to check the soil. If it’s dry, you’ll know it’s time to water the plant again.
There are two ways you can accidentally kill your Philodendron Birkin. We already talked about the danger of direct exposure to sunlight. Another way you can harm this plant is by overwatering it. Combined with insufficient drainage, your Birkin won’t last long.
Fortunately, the plant will tell you you’re overwatering it before it’s too late. The most common sign of overwatering is yellow leaves. Birkins react better to underwatering to overwatering.
This plant must live at a temperature between 55° and 75° Fahrenheit (or 18° to 24° Celsius). Therefore, keeping a Philodendron Birkin below 50° s is not good. In addition, avoid keeping your Birkin in a place where the temperature can change quickly. For instance, your Birkin won’t react well to strong winds and drafts.
When you first get a Philodendron Birkin, you must figure out where to put it. We already mentioned that it should be near an east- or west-facing window; just avoid exposing it to direct sunlight.
Keep in mind that the Philodendron Birkin can grow to be 3 feet tall, so you need to place it somewhere with the necessary space. The plant’s size makes it a great apartment plant. While smaller, you can keep it on a window sill that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight.
Philodendron Birkin plants don’t climb, so you won’t need to add a support stick.
Philodendron Birkin plants grow slowly, so you probably won’t need to repot them for more than two years. However, when you move your Birkin into a new pot, the trick is not to choose a pot that’s too big compared to the old one. This plant won’t react well if it suddenly has a lot of additional space. Moreover, if the new pot is too big, you may risk overwatering it.
Choosing a pot that’s 1 to 2 inches bigger than the original pot is advisable.
Fertilization and Pruning
To keep the plant healthy, you’ll need to fertilize it regularly. You should fertilize your Philodendron Birkin once a month in spring and summer and once every other month during autumn and winter. You can either use a water-soluble fertilizer or compost for the fertilization process. This also helps with the growing process.
Note that you don’t have to fertilize your Birkin. This process can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, if you over-fertilize the plant, it can lead to root burn.
In terms of pruning, you won’t have to do this unless the plant has damaged or dead leaves.
Taking Proper Care of Your Philodendron Birkin
The Philodendron Birkin is an easygoing indoor plant that’s great for beginners. There are only a few steps you need to take to make sure it thrives, like providing it with proper lighting, watering it regularly, and keeping it at the optimum temperature. Then, if you take good care of your Birkin, it can grow beautifully for years to come.