Scientific name: Philodendron ‘Birkin’
Synonym: Philodendron Birkin or Philodendron White Wave
The Philodendron Birkin is a spectacular Philodendron with uniquely striped deep green and off white waxy foliage. That in turn can sometimes present as a deep coppery hue due to the fact that this variety of Philodendron is a spontaneous mutation of the hybridized Philodendron Rojo Congo.
The Birkin has become a relatively new and extremely popular addition to the houseplant world and is highly sort after, not only for its striking foliage but extreme ease of care and fast-growing nature. They are lovers of bright filtered light and are relatively low maintenance fuss-free houseplants. Ideal for newbie plant parents and experts a like.
Toxicity: Philodendrons are known to be toxic to both pets and humans if consumed.
- Brown edges on leaves: There are many causes for dry leaf tips on Philodendron Birkin but the most common cause is lack of humidity. Philodendrons can tolerate average room humidity, however, if you tend to use Fans, Aircon or heaters the air can dry out beyond their comfort level cause crisp brown edges. If you find this happening on a regular basis it is best to place your plant on a Pebble Tray or sprits your plant a minimum of twice daily to raise humidity.
- Yellowing leaves and brown patches on Variegated foliage: Overwatering is the leading cause of houseplant expiration in most homes. Yellowing leaves or brown patches on the variegation is the first sign of a plant that is being overwatered. Amend this by allowing your soil to dry out two-thirds of the way before watering again. Be sure that your planter is draining correctly and use the guide of watering weekly during summer months and less often in winter.
- Curled foliage or Drooping: This is a good sign that your plant is dehydrated and in need of a good drink. Philodendrons are relatively hardy plants and will tolerate occasional drying out, however, try to avoid prolonged periods of dryness. If you find the foliage has begun to curl or droop, check the soil and if dry, proceed to allow your plant to sit in a water bath and become well saturated again. Set aside to drip dry after 10 - 15mins of soaking, and replace in its previous position. Once your plant is rehydrated you will note the leaves flatten out again. Avoid allowing your plant to sit in water after soaking.
- Leaves are turning Plain Green: Your houseplant may not be getting enough light. If the leaves are turning green, referred to as reverting, and your plant has small leaves, this is a clear indication of a lack of light. Philodendron Birkin prefers medium to bright light to thrive, this will also encourage vibrant foliage and good variegation, so if your plant is not performing well it is best to relocate to a brighter spot.
- Mould or Fungus growing on stem or soil: This can be commonplace with the more shrub or self-heading forms of Philodendron due to lack of air circulation and overly moist soil. It is of utmost importance to not allow the potting medium to become overly saturated and to provide your plant with good airflow. If mould forms, remove gently and sprits down your plant with a fungicide or copper-based solution such as Copper Soap. Then relocate to a position with better air circulation.
- Pests: Pest problems are uncommon with Philodendron, however, stressed houseplants can be susceptible to pest infestations leading to excessive yellowing fronds and leaf drop. Mealybug, scale and spider mites are common indoor plant pests and can weaken your plant relatively quickly if left untreated. Adjust environmental stressors for your house plant and treat infestations with an organic pesticide.
- Origin: This variety is a spontaneous Chimeric Mutation of the hybridised Rojo Congo, however, Philodendron genus is native to South America.
- Height: Average 60cm height indoors with a spread of 60cm.
- Light: Best in bright filtered light to maintain variegation.
- Water: Allow the soil to dry out two-thirds between watering. Prevent prolonged dryness or waterlogged potting medium.
- Humidity: Average room humidity is sufficient, will appreciate a Pebble Tray.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 24°C.
- Soil: A well-draining moisture retentive organic potting mix is sufficient.
- Fertilizer: Use a well balanced organic fertilizer once a month during Spring through Summer.
- Repotting: It is best to re-pot your Philodendron Birkin once it has become pot bound or is top-heavy. Re-pot plant into a container one size bigger than its previous container with good drainage. Be sure to use an organically rich well-draining potting mix.
- Propagation: These Plants are generally propagated via seed, however, if your plant produces offshoots these can be separated out once they are at least one third the size of the parent plant and have a viable root system. Re-pot in a planter that is large enough to hold the rootball without being too large. Keep evenly moist and in bright filtered light until well established.
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