How to Care for Philodendron Birkin?
When it comes to exotic houseplants, the philodendron birkin is certainly one that’s bound to impress. With rounded deep green leaves that sport yellow variegations is a dazzling pattern, this philodendron variety is definitely a must-have.
One of the reasons the Birkin philodendron is relatively easy to take care of is because it lets you know when it’s unhappy with its environment.
You can read about the growing requirements of this tropical plant in my guide below, so you’ll know how to keep it happy.
Size & Growth
When grown indoors, the plant reaches a height between 1.5-3 feet. It’s an average growing philodendron with a compact growth pattern, so it’s a great choice for a houseplant.
Its average growth speed also means you don’t need to re-pot it often, so you can even decide to grow this philodendron in a beautiful decorative pot that you enjoy.
As far as light requirements are concerned, there’s a sweet spot in which the Birkin philodendron variety thrives. Moderate light is best. Aim for indirect bright light and avoid strong direct light.
Because this is a plant that grows under the canopy of trees in the rainforest, it doesn’t get any strong direct light, hence it isn’t accustomed to it.
Exposing it to direct sunlight can cause the plant to dry and wilt fast and lose its foliage.
Indoors, you should position your philodendron near an east or west-facing window.
The other extreme, dark shade won’t work either. It can stunt the growth of the plant or cause leggy growth.
Artificial grow lights can help, where the plant is grown in a room that lacks adequate natural light.
Philodendron birkin enjoys moist soil. That means that you should thrive to maintain consistently moist soil without falling into extremes like overwatering or allowing the soil to become bone dry.
Best way to assess the level of moisture in the soil is to use your finger. Poke your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle. If the soil feels moist, you can wait for a couple of more days before watering. If it’s dry, make sure to water your philodendron birkin.
One way to overcome and prevent overwatering issues is to also use a well-draining potting media and a pot with good drainage.
These combined with a good eye on the moisture level of the soil will ensure that your philodendron birkin will stay hydrated without having its roots sit in wet soil.
As I mentioned, your Birkin needs a potting medium that provides good drainage. A rich peat/bark based potting medium that retains some moisture but doesn’t hold water is ideal.
You can create your own potting medium mix by combining general-purpose potting soil with perlite and sphagnum moss. Perlite helps with drainage, while sphagnum moss retains moisture.
Using just normal potting soil is not advisable since it’s prone to compaction, preventing easy percolation of the water.
But when you combine perlite and sphagnum moss into potting soil, it will become lighter and airy, allowing the water to both percolate more easily and keep the roots better aerated.
Temperature & Humidity
A warm and humid environment is what works best for this philodendron variety. Daytime temperature should be between 65 F and 75 F. Night-time temperature should not dip below 60 F.
Philodendron birkin enjoys high humidity, which contributes to better leaf development and generally more vibrant foliage.
Average humidity will work too, but make sure the air is not too dry in your home. In a dry environment, it’s recommended to supplement humidity levels by way of a humidifier or a DIY method.
The DIY humidifier is simply a tray of pebbles with water that will slowly evaporate around the plant, increasing humidity levels.
Occasionally misting the plant can also help, although misting can cause fungal leaf diseases if applied on dirty, dusty leaves or if there are fungus spores that misting can help spread.
Fertilizing is a welcomed addition to the soil of this plant, especially during the growth period when the plant requires a boost of nutrients to grow strong and healthy leaves.
You can use a general purpose liquid plant fertilizer or a foliage plant fertilizer. You can opt for a biweekly fertilizing schedule or a monthly one, depending on the dosage recommendations of the fertilizing product.
If you don’t want to bother with weekly or monthly fertilizing, there are plenty of organic slow-release fertilizers you can use instead.
Potting & Repotting
Regardless of the pot you decide to use for your philo, it should always have drainage holes so that water surplus can easily escape at the bottom.
Repotting is only needed if the roots of the plant start visibly poking out from the pot. Even then, make sure not to oversize the pot, simply pick one a size larger than the current one.
How to Propagate Philodendron Birkin?
The easiest way to propagate the Birkin philo is to use stem cuttings. Harvest them in March or April by cutting a piece of stem that’s 3-6 inches in length.
Make sure the stem cuttings have a couple of leaves on. Cut below a set of leaves, then pull off the leaves on the bottom set of nodes.
Plant in moist potting medium or root in water. Keep in a warm location in bright, indirect light.
If rooting in water, make sure to replace the water often. Once the roots are about an inch long, you can move the stem cutting into a pot.
As you can see, the philodendron birkin does not require constant attention and doesn’t have growing requirements that put you in a difficult spot.
Its requirements are very much in line with the requirements of other philodendron varieties or of tropical plants in general, so if you’re already taking care of tropical plants, the requirements of the philodendron birkin will not come as a surprise to you.
If you manage to offer it a good location, where it can receive moderate sunlight and you water it so that its soil stays moist but not wet, the Birkin will put out beautifully variegated leaves.