Philodendron Birkin Complete Care Guide

Philodendron Birkin is a great option if you’re looking for accessible variegation. Being a hybrid is a bonus and it’s way more affordable now then it was in the past (going over 100 euros).

Scientific name: Philodendron Birkin

Also called: Philodendron White Wave (by some growers)

Family: ARACEAE

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care meter: 8/10

Philodendron Birkin is a very reliable guy. It requires little to no effort to make him happy.

light

It needs light. I mean, it really needs a lot of bright indirect light. Philodendron Birkin reverts if the light is not enough (we know from experience). This means that the variegation will disappear and the leaves will turn green.

Reversion doesn’t happen just because of light. These plants are hybrids, and sometimes they revert just because they’re unstable, but this rarely happens so don’t worry.

If your home is not bright, you can help this philodendron with grow lights. They do wonders.

watering

Philodendron Birkin needs water when the substrate is almost dry. For reference, I water mine once every 7-10 days during summer and once every 14-21 days during winter. Eastern European winters are not very forgiving.

You can adjust the schedule and water more frequently if your home is warmer. But please check the soil every time, if it’s moist, wait a few days more.

temperature

Average temperature is okay for Philodendron Birkin. Anything around 20-25°C or higher will do. Please don’t let it drop below 15°C for a long time. Most plants are sensitive to cold.

Philodendron Birkin leaf details

humidity

Philodendron Birkin can live well in average humidity. I have 50-60% humidity in my home and Philo Birkin is quite digging it. If you have a higher humidity in your home, this plant will like it even more.

fertilizer

Philodendron Birkin can be fed once a month during growing season. This means, you can fertilize your plant if you see it grow, not necessarily in the warm seasons only.

I use a NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 and I dilute it greatly. Remember, this plant has variegation and sometimes, too much fertilizer can lead to new growth turning green. So, a possibility that the plant will lose its variegation due to overfertilizing is very plausible.

substrate

Choose a substrate that is very light and helps water drain fast. I use a mix containing coco coir, perlite and pine bark in equal quantities. You can add active charcoal, vermiculite or anything that could help developing healthy roots.

Don’t use just regular potting soil because most of the time, it is too heavy for the roots. This gets soggy very fast and your plant may have problems with root rot.

plastic versus terracotta

Philodendron Birkin doesn’t have any problem with plastic or terracotta. It can grow well in both, it’s only up to you.

If you like terracotta more, check the soil a bit more frequently. Terracotta helps water evaporate faster and the watering schedule might need adjustments.

Philodendron Birkin thriving in a plastic pot with drainage holes

repotting

Repot your Philodendron Birkin only when it really needs it. Meaning, if you see the roots have conquered the bottom of the pot.

Take another pot that is only slightly bigger than the previous one and gently separate the roots. It’s better to repot during warmer periods when the plant is still growing. This way ensures a faster recovery for them roots. It’s not 100% necessary, if your plant needs repotting during winter, do it!

propagation

You can propagate Philodendron Birkin by stem cuttings. Choose segments that contain at least one node. If it has aerial roots as well, that’s even better. Place your cuttings into water and wait. (Don’t forget to change the water at least once a week.)

You can use soil as well, cut your plant and place it in sphagnum moss or coco coir instead of water. Spray the substrate with a bit of water, and keep the humidity high to stimulate new roots.

juicy aerial roots of Philodendron Birkin

pests

This plant is not a pest magnet, but it’s great if you could check it from time to time for for thrips. These are very attracted to philodendrons and Birkin can be one of the victims.

toxicity

Unfortunately, Philodendron Birkin is not pet friendly and can cause irritation.

good to know

The younger the plant, the less variegation it has. Some Philodendron Birkin offsets are completely green until they start growing variegated leaves. So no need to worry if your propagations or young plants are not yet variegated.

young Philodendron Birkin with little to no variegation
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