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In this beginner guide about how to grow a Philodendron Birkin you will learn about this popular house plant which has been a favorite for generations of plant lovers, including;
- How to care for a Philodendron Birkin,
- How to propagate a Philodendron Birkin,
- Common pests and diseases of the Philodendron Birkin,
- And a few frequently asked questions.
For the past 15 years, this plant has remained largely unknown, until it gained notoriety as a result of numerous Instagram postings and flashy reels highlighting its unusual characteristics.
This is because growers cannot totally guarantee their philodendrons will turn out white enough to actually sell as a Philodendron Birkin, even if the mother plant is already heavily variegated with white.
Unfortunately, many of them end up being disposed of because of too much variegation which is also a bad thing.
The white parts of the plant do not photosynthesize solar energy to produce chlorophyll for the plant like the green parts of the leaves. Chlorophyll is the fuel for the plant.
Too much variegation or albino growth can look really cool, BUT, this type of growth cannot gather solar energy and will eventually die back. If all the new growth becomes albino, the plant will not survive.
Cultivators have struggled to maintain this plant in stock since then, which is why a cutting with two or more leaves can cost upwards of $25.
Is the Birkin philodendron easy to care for?
I cannot emphasize enough how easy this philodendron is to care for! It requires little care and is ideal for all levels of plant parents—anyone looking for a fresh take on the classic heartleaf philodendron.
How to care for a Philodendron Birkin
Philodendron Birkin thrives on a moist, well draining mix rich in organic matter such as peat moss and compost.
You might be wondering about the definition of well-draining soil: A soil type that is well-drained allows water to flow in and out at a moderate rate.
When a plant’s soil is saturated with too much water, the plant’s oxygen absorption from the soil is reduced, which can lead to death.
The best way to ensure the mature pant is to avoid using garden soil for your indoor planting.
Garden soil may include disease organisms, introduce pest infestations, weed seeds, and is not always well-draining. However, you might use a well-draining high-quality potting soil. Philodendrons require good drainage in order to thrive.
However, an ordinary potting mix will not suffice. You should include some other ingredients.
I recommend using about 30 to 50 percent potting mix and then adding perlite and orchid bark to the balance of the soil.
Water when the top inch of soil dries out.
Take care not to overwater, since philodendron will rot if kept soggy. If the leaves are brown and falling off, the plant is likely not getting enough water.
Droopy leaves can mean the plant is getting either too much or not enough water, but they should revive once you correct the issue.
Birkin grow best in medium light and bright indirect sunlight.
Not sure of the difference between direct and indirect light?
If you place your hand between your plant and the light; and if you feel the heat of the sun on your skin, or if the shadow your hand casts has sharp, hard edges, your plant is in direct light, which is just too extreme for most indoor house plants. If the shadow is soft, that placement has indirect light, and most likely your houseplants are going to be happy there.
Older leaves turn yellow naturally. However, if you notice several yellow leaves at once, it could be an indicator that the plant is getting too much sun.
They will tolerate low light, but if the stems become leggy with several inches between the leaves, you may need to move the plant to a brighter location.
Temperature & Humidity
The temperature tolerance of Birkin is standard for the species. In general, they should not be exposed to temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Indoors, protect them from cool drafts, such as those from an air-conditioning vent.
These plants do like humidity, so if you live in a dry climate you might have to boost humidity around your philodendron. To do so, you can place a humidifier, such as this one, near your philodendron. You also can place the container on a tray of pebbles filled with water, ensuring that the bottom of the container isn’t touching the water, which can lead to root rot.
Brown leaf tips usually indicate that the humidity level is too low.
Feed Birkin philodendron houseplants with a balanced liquid foliage houseplant fertilizer that contains macro-nutrients.
My favorite organic liquid fertilizer that I use on my houseplants is LiquiDirt. Water the plant with the fertilizer monthly in spring and summer months and each six to eight weeks in fall and winter months.
Slow growth and small leaves are the plant’s way of telling you that it isn’t getting enough fertilizer. Pale new leaves usually indicate that the plant isn’t getting enough calcium and magnesium, which are essential micro-nutrients for philodendrons.
Where Can I Buy A Philodendron Birkin?
You might be interested in adding a Philodendron Birkin to your home garden now that you know more about it.
They are, thankfully, fairly popular and readily available at local nurseries or in the home improvement garden area of stores like Home Depot or Lowes.
If shopping online is more convenient, another nice option is to get a Philodendron Birkin from Etsy.
Philodendron are toxic and should not be consumed by animals or humans.
Being educated on poisonous plants can help you avoid any accidents all the while enjoying your greenery.
How to propagate a Philodendron Birkin
Philodendron Berkin can be propagated using either water or soil propagation.
As part of the pant genre’s survival strategy, most (but not all) Philodendrons are for the most part easy to propagate.
Imagine if an animal breaks a portion of a plant growing and living in the canopy of a tree, another one will start growing from the broken cutting on the forest floor.
Most philodendron species can be propagated rather easily thanks to this survival characteristic.
Propagate the Philodendron Birkin in 8 Easy Steps!
Taking a top stem cutting (not a leaf cutting) from a mature Philodendron Berkin and putting it in a rich, organic potting mix is the easiest approach to reproduce your berkin.
A lot of aerial roots are produced by healthy berkins. You should cut right below a node with a lot of aerial roots coming out of it.
- Using moist coco coir, perlite, and worm castings, make a tiny pot.
- Choose a healthy section of the main stem with 1-2 nodes with aerial roots from the top of your mature philodendron berkins.
- Cut the stem just below the node with a clean pair of pruning scissors.
- Dip the freshly cut stem in a rooting hormone powder or solution.
- Plant the stem in your pre-made potting mix, burying the aerial roots 2-3 inches into the soil.
- Fill the rest of the pot with potting mix that has been left over.
- Thoroughly wet the area.
- Place in a warm environment with plenty of bright, indirect light.
Roots can take anything from 3-6 weeks to form, and in some cases even longer.
Lightly tug (and I mean gently) on the base of the stem to see if roots have begun to grow.
You’ve got roots if there’s some resistance.
common pests and diseases of the Philodendron Birkin
Spider mites, fungus gnats, aphids, and mealybugs are among the main pests that attack these tropical plants. Regularly checking the leaves for signs of pests is the greatest approach to detect and eradicate infestations early.
Philodendron Birkin are also prone to root rot, which can arise as a result of insufficient hydration or compacted soil. Mushy stems and brown, decaying leaves are both symptoms of root rot, which can quickly kill a plant. You may be able to rescue the plant if you catch root rot early enough by cutting out the rotting areas and propagating the remaining stem to create new roots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Should I Place My Philodendron Birkin?
Put your Philodendron Birkin somewhere where it will get plenty of bright, indirect sunshine. This could be in close proximity to a west-facing or east-facing window.
What Type Of Pot Should I Use For My Birkin?
Philodendrons thrive in both terra cotta, ceramic or plastic pots.
Allow enough room for growth and always ensure that your container has drainage holes.
When the plant’s growth slows due to root entanglement, it’s time to upgrade to a larger pot.
Are Philodendron Birkin Plants Toxic To Dogs?
Philodendron Birkin, like other Philodendron species, are poisonous to dogs. Keep your pets away from this plant!
Are Philodendron Birkin Plants Toxic To Cats?
Philodendron Birkin, like other Philodendron species, are dangerous to cats. Keep your pets away from this plant!
This gorgeous plant is amazing to watch grow, but can be a bit more on the unstable side when it comes to it’s variegation and the potential of reverting back to its normal form.
This video provide some basic care guidelines which have worked for them and some things to look out for with when growing a variegated plant.
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