Philodendron Birkin is a beautiful houseplant. It produces a pattern of white lines on green waxy leaves. If you want to grow it in easy steps then read this Philodendron Birkin care guide.
This article contains everything that you need to learn before selecting and growing the Philodendron Birkin plant.
This plant needs low to moderate humidity with a 60 to 85 degrees F temperature range. Organic material-rich soil and quality water are all essential for growing healthy Birkin Philodendron plants.
Below is the complete detailed guide on growing and caring Philodendron Birkin.
About the plant
Philodendron Birkin is the next generation of philodendron Rojo Congo. Birkin plant is the result of slow mutation of Rojo Congo plant.
It is from the Araceae family.
Birkin plants produce green color glossy and velvety leaves with creamy-yellow variegation. The oval-shaped leaves can grow up to 20 cm long.
Philodendron Birkin can be easily propagated by stem cutting in water and potting soil. Later in this guide, I will explain both the propagation methods.
In some parts of the country, it is known as White Waves.
Philodendron Birkin care
To care for your philodendron Birkin plant, follow the below-written care guide.
Light requirements of philodendron Birkin
This is an ideal houseplant because it does not need much direct light to grow. In fact, put it in the indirect bright light to play safe.
Because the direct falling sun rays can burn the glossy leaves of plants. Also, the direct light fades the variegation. And the Birkin plants develop dark green leaves instead of bright striking patterns.
Place the plant pot in any part of your house. Where it can get a sufficient amount of filtered light.
It needs continuous bright light for 8 hours.
People living in apartments can use grow lights. 200 watts grow light is best for growing two philodendron Birkin plants.
In fact, you can also use the same light for Birkin plant propagation.
Watering houseplant is not an easy job. But in this case, you do not need to measure the soil moisture or learn any specific skill. Your philodendron Birkin is a thirsty plant.
It needs water immediately once the soil starts to dry.
Water your plant once a week regardless of the season. In simple words, it needs the same amount of water in all seasons.
The quality of water decides the health of your plant. Tap water is not recommended for philodendron Birkin care.
Instead of using tap water, collect the rainwater in the rain barrels and use it for watering houseplants.
The water should be free from heavy minerals and toxins. Let the water sit for 30 minutes at room temperature then use it for watering philodendron Birkin plants.
Philodendron Birkin needs well-draining soil for best growth. But we also discussed above that it needs continuous moist soil to grow.
Therefore, the soil should have two qualities. It has to be fast-draining soil with the capability of holding enough water for a long time.
The soil has to hold the moisture in it for 6 to 7 days. There are many formulas available in the market that has both qualities.
But in my opinion, you need to mix an equal amount of perlite, potting mix, and sphagnum moss.
We use perlite because we well know it has excellent water absorbing qualities. But the only perlite is not enough in the formula.
Therefore, for little extra help, we add sphagnum moss in it. It absorbs water well and also provides good aeration.
The philodendron Birkin potting soil should also have organic nutrients to support the growth.
Fertilizing philodendron Birkin
To honestly care for your philodendron Birkin plants you need to feed them nutrients. Add the nutrients in the potting soil at the time of repotting.
Slow-releasing organic nutrients are best for adding to the soil. While purchasing nutrients keep in mind that you need a 6-month slow-releasing fertilizer.
This way you do not need to worry about the fertilizers for an entire year.
Add such nutrients in the spring season so that plants grow healthy and strong. Birkin will finish 80% of the nutrients before the hard cold winter starts.
This saves your plants from over-fertilizing. Because Birkin plants do not need nutrients in the winter days. Winter is their dormancy period.
On the other side,
You if did not add nutrients to the soil then you need to supply them separately in spring and summer. Buy a bottle of general liquid houseplant fertilizer.
Make sure the nutrient bottle has all the essential micro and macronutrients.
Then dilute the nutrient liquid as per the instruction of the manufacturer and give it to your plants.
Like other family members, it also needs high humidity to grow well. It needs humidity between 50 to 65 %. In this range, the plant will thrive like crazy and it will not face any low humidity problem.
Generally, we have our home humidity between 40 to 55% which is also good for philodendron Birkin care.
But below 40 % your beautiful variegated plant will not survive. It will start developing brown leaf edges.
If you do not fix it on time this problem becomes a worse nightmare and your entire plant turn into brown color.
At this stage, it is not possible to revive it back.
So, you need to install the hygrometer to keep track of the grow room humidity.
To increase it use traditional humidity increasing techniques. The basic method is grouping the plants together.
Bring all the plant pots in one place and this will help them in forming a humid balloon around them. There must be 12 inches distance between each plant pot.
Pebble tray is another good option. Use filtered water in the pebble tray.
At last, the quick option is the electric humidifier. Buy any small size portable humidifier and put it next to the dying plant. The device will increase the humid level of the room in few minutes.
Because it is a tropical plant it needs a warm temperature. Maintain the room temperature between 60 to 85 degrees F.
To avoid cold damage do not let the temperature drop below 60 degrees F. The cold winds and cold weather damage the living tissues of the plant.
When we grow philodendron Birkin indoors, we need to protect it from sudden hot or cold winds. In the summer season do not put it next or near the AC duct.
In winters keep it away from the heating vents. Also do not place the plant pot near the front door entrance.
Pruning is not required at all but still, a little bit of trimming is beneficial for the plant health. Try to remove the yellow and dead parts of the plant.
Keep the surroundings clean and hygienic.
Remove any excessively grown part of the plant to provide it good philodendron Birkin care.
Before repotting it, you need to inspect it closely to see the rootbound signs. Generally repotting is required in the first year. But sometimes due to improper care, the plant grows slowly and needs repotting in the 2 years of its life.
- Once you completely sure about the repotting then buy a new pot only 2 inches wide and deep.
- Then fill the new plant pot to its half with fresh potting soil.
- Make sure the new plant pot has two or more draining holes.
- Take out the plant from its old pot and inspect the roots.
- Remove any infected part of the root ball and place the plant in the new pot.
- Then fill the remaining portion of the plant pot with fresh soil.
- Gently pat around the plant so that it can stand firmly
- Now mist some water on the potting soil to add moisture in the soil.
- Place the plant pot in its previous location and follow the daily care routine.
The sap of the plant has toxic properties. So, keep it away from the cats, dogs, and children. The toxic effect triggers only when the plant leaves have been chewed on.
Vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea are the common signs of plant toxicity.
In this case, contact the poison control center immediately.
The most successful way of propagation is stem cutting. The cutting should be 6 inches long with two or more leaves on it.
Make a cut under the stem node.
Take a mason jar and fill it with clean drinkable water.
Put the cutting in it and place it in the warm humid room.
To increase the humidity, cover it with a plastic cover.
Make sure the cover is not touching the stem and the leaves.
Lift it every day for 2 minutes for a good flow of sir.
Change the water once in 5 days.
Within 6 to 7 weeks, you will see roots. Once they grow 1 to 2 inches long then you can transfer the cutting to the potting soil.
Propagation with potting soil
To propagate it, you need to replace the water with soil.
Plant the stem cutting in the seed starting potting mix.
Use a spray bottle and mist water on the potting soil.
Keep the potting soil moist all the time.
Place the plant pot in a warm and humid location.
If necessary, cover it with plastic wrap to create the greenhouse effect.
Do not use fertilizers at this point.
The stem cutting will take 6 to 8 weeks to develop new roots.
Once you see new leaves on the stem this means it has good roots and now you can place the plant pot to its final location.
Philodendron Birkin plants are resistant to many pests. But still, you need to check your plant for possible signs of pest attacks.
Check your plant when giving water.
Mealybugs, scales, and spider mites are the real culprit. Once you see them on your plant, it is the time to take quick actions.
Take a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a cotton cloth.
Pour few drops of it on the cotton and wipe the plant leaves. This will kill all kinds of bugs then use neem oil spray for future protection.
If the problem is out of control, then use insecticidal soap to wash the entire plant without taking it out of its pot.
Your first action would be quarantining the plant and protect other healthy plants. Do not use commercial pesticide sprays.
They are not made for soft and delicate houseplants.
To spray neem oil dilute it with water and spray it all over the plant. It is very beneficial for houseplants and vegetable plants.
Philodendron Birkin Yellow leaves
There are two main causes of yellow leaves in philodendron Birkin plants. One is natural where the bottom leaves of the plant become yellow and then drop off. This is the natural cycle and you cannot do anything in it.
The second cause is overwatering this results in yellowing of top parts of the leaves. Check the soil, if it is wet and the plant has yellow leaves on the side or on the top portion. This means the extra water is the cause. Stop watering the plant and check the draining hole.
If the bottom hole is open and not draining the water then you need to change the soil. Choose well-draining soil and add it to the pot and then plant the Birkin back in it.
If you miss the humidity in philodendron Birkin care then this results in brown leaves. Low humidity means the low moisture in the room air.
If you see brown leaf edges then immediately use a hygrometer to measure the humidity in the room. Move the plant to a highly humid place. Do not use the traditional method of increasing the humidity.
Use a plant humidifier or put the plant pot in the bathroom for 24 hours. Make sure your bathroom has a good circulation of fresh air.
Within 24 hours arrange a high humidity location for your plant. Because you cannot put your plant in the bathroom for more than a day. The shower room has a humidity of more than 80 % which is good for plants only in a limited time frame. After that, they start developing fungus diseases.