Philodendron Birkin is one of my favorite varieties. This easy-care plant produces beautiful foliage. Considered a self-heading type, it doesn’t trail or vine like other popular philodendrons, but grows in a mounded formation.
The large, dark-green leaves are variegated with cream-colored pinstripes. Each leaf is different, adding to the unique attractiveness of this houseplant. In this post, I’ll show you how to care for a Philodendron Birkin to help this plant thrive in your home.
How to Care for a Philodendron Birkin
The Philodendron Birkin is a relatively new (and extremely trendy) houseplant. It’s easy to grow, making it perfect for beginners who also want an exotic, tropical plant to display. Here is a brief rundown of care requirements:
- WATER: Allow to dry out between waterings
- HUMIDITY: Moderate
- FEEDING: Feed monthly spring – summer
- LIGHT: Medium to bright, indirect
- TEMPERATURE: 70 -85 degrees F (21 – 29 degrees C)
- SAFETY: Toxic to people and pets when ingested
- DIFFICULTY: Easy
Keep reading for more in-depth instructions on how to care for a Philodendron birkin including potting, propagation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
Philodendron Birkin Watering
Like other philodendrons, the birkin cannot tolerate overwatering. For the best results, allow the top 1-2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) of soil to dry out completely between waterings. It can bounce back from drying out, but too much moisture will kill it quick.
You typically will not need to water your plant more than once a week, unless you live in a very dry area. To gauge soil moisture, insert your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle. If the soil feels dry, it is time to water. If the soil feels moist, wait another day and test again.
Philodendron birkin prefers moderate humidity levels. If your home has particularly dry air (or during winter), increase humidity by misting a few times daily with lukewarm water in spray bottle set to the “mist” setting.
Other options for increasing humidity include placing your plant on a humidity tray (a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water), placing it near other plants with similar humidity requirements, and placing a good houseplant humidifier nearby.
Feed your philodendron birkin once a month during spring and summer with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and do not overfeed. Too much fertilizer can burn the plant and cause root damage.
My favorite houseplant fertilizer is Jack’s All-Purpose Fertilizer, but any all-purpose food will work. Read my review of Jack’s Fertilizer to see why I love it so much. I use it on almost all my houseplants except those that require special nutrients – like cacti and succulents.
Philodendron Birkin Light Requirements
Medium to bright, indirect light is best for Philodendron birkin. How do you know if your light is bright enough? If your plant casts a strong shadow, that is considered “bright” indirect light. If your plant casts a soft shadow, that’s considered “medium” indirect light.
Avoid direct sunlight. If you don’t have an area in your home bright enough for this plant to grow, supplement with indoor plant lights. Philodendron birkin thrives under artificial lights.
Another concern when you’re learning how to care for a philodendron birkin is temperature. This plant likes things warm – or at least average room temperature.
Keep temperatures between 70 -85 degrees F (21 – 29 degrees C) to make your plant happy. Never allow temperatures to drop below 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) for long. As a tropical plant, the birkin cannot tolerate the cold.
Philodendron Birkin Soil
This plant is not picky about soil, as long as you use a well-draining potting soil formulated for houseplants. My favorite is this one by Happy Frog because it contains mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial soil microbes, but any good potting mix will work.
Philodendron birkin is a slow-growing plant. It may only need re-potting once every few years, and grows best when slightly root-bound. When it needs re-potting, do so in the spring, choosing a pot no more than 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the previous container.
Philodendron Birkin Propagation
The best way to propagate Philodendron birkin is via division. You can take stem cuttings, but variegated plants grown from rooted stem cuttings may lose their variegated leaf pattern and never recover. For this reason, I recommend division.
Because this plant grows slowly, it may be several years before you can divide it. To damage the plant as little as possible, divide in the spring when you are already re-potting.
Pruning & Maintenance
When you’re figuring out how to care for a Philodendron birkin, you might wonder if it needs pruning or other maintenance. The good news is this easy-to-grow plant requires very little in this department.
All you need to do is remove any damaged or old leaves as needed, and occasionally clean the plant’s leaves with a damp, soft cloth to remove dust.
Troubleshooting Philodendron Birkin Plants
Here are some common problems and questions indoor gardeners often have when learning how to care for a philodendron birkin (with solutions).
What kind of water should I use when I water my philodendron birkin?
You can use regular tap water to water your Philodendron birkin. It is not overly sensitive to fluoride or other chemicals in tap water.
Although watering is a major concern when considering how to care for a Philodendron birkin, the type of water doesn’t really matter. As long as you don’t give it too much water, you’ll be fine!
Does Philodendron birkin need a lot of light?
It needs medium to bright indirect light. This plant cannot tolerate direct sun, which will burn the leaves. Birkin is a designer ornamental plant, but it’s part of the Philodendron genus, which originates in South American rain forests.
Because of its tropical heritage, it doesn’t need a lot of light. However, bright indirect light is recommended to encourage more stripes (variegation) on the leaves. An east- or west-facing window would be an ideal location.
How do I get more stripes on my philodendron Birkin?
To get the best Philodendron birkin variegation, provide bright indirect light for most of the day (or use artificial light). Plants that don’t receive enough light will produce fewer stripes. Just like with other variegated plant varieties, low light causes leaves to revert to green.
Why does my Philodendron Birkin have dry leaf tips?
If your Philodendron birkin has dry leaf tips, this usually indicates that humidity levels are too low. Increase moisture in the air by misting the plant regularly with lukewarm water, placing it on a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water, or placing it near a humidifier.
Under-watering may also cause dry leaf tips. Although reasonably tolerant of drought, Philodendron birkin looks and performs best when given adequate water. Remember to water any time the top 1-2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) of soil become dry – about once or twice a week.
And finally, dry leaf tips may be caused by over-feeding. If you recently fertilized your plant and it developed brown leaves or leaf tips, stop feeding immediately. Wait at least a month – maybe two – before feeding again, and try diluting the fertilizer to half strength.
Why has my Philodendron Birkin developed yellow leaves?
Yellow leaves on a Philodendron birkin are most commonly caused by cold temperatures or excessive sunlight. Make sure your plant is in a location that does not receive any direct sunlight, as this can burn and bleach the leaves.
Keep temperatures to the recommended 70 -85 degrees F (21 – 29 degrees C). Philodendron birkin can tolerate slightly lower temperatures, but never let it drop below 65 degrees F (18 degrees C). This can cause yellow leaves and/or leaves to drop off.
Where to Buy Philodendron Birkin
Philodendron birkin is a relatively new and trendy tropical houseplant. Because it’s so new to the market – and still considered quite exotic – you may have difficulty finding it at local nurseries and garden centers.
This plant is (at the time I’m writing this post) one of Costa Farms’ trending tropicals – which means the mega-nursery is producing the plant for a limited time and shipping it to stores around the country. Check the retailers list to see if it might be available near you.
When I can’t find a plant locally, I always buy my houseplants on Etsy. I prefer to support small growers, and they typically have much better quality and customer service than you’ll find at huge corporate nurseries.
Click here to see the current listings for Philodendron birkin on Etsy. It is also sold on Amazon by Costa Farms and other growers. Happy plant shopping, and remember to refer to the guidelines above on how to care for a philodendron birkin!