In this care guide, we will explore the essential tips and tricks to help you successfully grow and maintain the beautiful Philodendron Birkin or White Measure Philodendron.
The Philodendron “Birkin” plant is an evergreen, climbing houseplant native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America and the West Indies. It does not exist naturally but is the result of a natural, spontaneous chimeric mutation (when a cell mutates near the apical dome, causing all other cells to replicate the mutation) of the Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo’. The mutated part was then separated from the mother plant and propagated.
Unlike the “mother” plant, which is red and has large leaves, the Philodendron Birkin has dark green, glossy heart-shaped leaves with creamy white striped variegation that appears as the leaves mature. These unique leaves can grow up to 20 centimeters in length and are pointed oval in shape.
Unlike many other variegated plants, the propagation has been surprisingly stable, meaning it has retained its variegated colors. That being said, do not be surprised if your plant produces leaves that are white, completely green, or with a mixture of red.
This Philodendron is highly appreciated for the beauty of its evergreen foliage and also for its characteristic of being able to purify the domestic air; therefore, it is ideal as a decorative plant to be used both as a hanging plant and as a climber on supports.
The taxonomy of Philodendron “Birkin” is as follows:
|Width at Maturity
|Height at Maturity
|Toxic to Humans and Pets
|White Measure Philodendron, Philodendron White Measure
|Central and South America, West Indies
|Upright, climbing, hanging
|1.5 to 3 ft
|3 to 5 ft
|At least 50%
Philodendron birkin care
A rare cultivar, each leaf of the Philodendron ‘Birkin’ boasts a subtly unique pattern, contributing to its overall dramatic appearance; hence, it is considered to be somewhat of a collector’s item among gardeners. Here are some care tips to help you keep your Philodendron Birkin healthy:
As with many variegated houseplants, the Philodendron Birkin thrives best in bright spots with indirect light (like close to windows that let in plenty of light). This is because the leaves that have white parts (variegation) have less chlorophyll, and therefore need more light than other plants.
Some gentle morning sun can be good, but be careful not to expose it to prolonged periods of direct sun, especially during the hottest hours of the day (when the intensity of the rays is strongest).
Too much direct sunlight can seriously damage the leaves of your plants. So if you place your Birkin directly in a window, make sure it is not facing south or that it has translucent curtains or blinds that can filter the intensity of the light.
Similarly, too much shade can also stunt the growth of your Philo Birkin and may cause it to lose its variegation and become only greenish. So, make sure you pay close attention to the leaves. If the plant grows sideways and is oriented in the direction of the light source, it means that it isn’t receiving enough light.
The best thing to do in this case is to rotate the pot a little each week so that the growth is even. Over time and as the plant develops, it is interesting to place a stake to serve as a guardian for the plant, tying it to the stake until its roots become firm.
Watering is probably the most important part of your Philodendron Birkin care routine. They like to have moist soil but will struggle if they are constantly watered. It is therefore best to water it 2-3 times a week early in the morning. and often spray water on the plant to improve humidity.
Water when the topsoil is dry to the touch. Make sure the pot has good drainage holes. You can use your finger to check the soil moisture before watering to ensure that it has dried sufficiently.
If you notice that it is still too wet, we will have to wait a few more days to be able to water our philodendron. This way, root rot, one of the most common causes of indoor dying plants, is avoided. If you plant the Philodendron ‘Birkin’ outdoors, you can water it less often depending on how much rain you receive.
In winter or in cold climates, reduce the watering to about once every other week because the cold temperature will hurt the plant’s root system. You can even let the substrate dry a little bit, but never leave it completely dry for a long time.
Temperature and humidity
Since they are native to the tropics they will thrive in a warm, humid environment away from cold air currents. For the plant to be comfortable, the ideal temperature for this plant is between 61 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity at least 50%.
In case you live environment where there’s low humidity, it is necessary to periodically mist the foliage or consider using a tray with moist expanded clay under the pot.
A substrate for indoor plants will be perfect for growing your Birkin philodendron. Use well-draining and fertile soil, preferably mixed with 5 to 10% perlite to achieve a lighter and more airy mixture for your plant. keep the substrate always moist but not soaked and repot every 2-3 years.
His growth is slow… very slow. Therefore, it will take a while for you to need to change the potted plant. Even so, be aware that it is best to avoid porous clay pots, as they tend to dry out a little too quickly, making watering difficult. Plastic pots are generally a good choice but don’t forget to always use pots with drainage holes.
Fertilize every two weeks or twice a month during the growing season in spring and summer. Because this philodendron is a slow grower, fertilization must be done in moderation to prevent soil salinity. If you overfertilize, The plant will not absorb all the nutrients you put into the soil, which can accumulate there. Also, reduce fertilization in winter.
Pruning philodendron Birkin
To keep it looking great, it is necessary to trim the leaves and stems that have color changes, are sick, or even dead with clean, sharp scissors so that the cut is clean, thus avoiding tearing the stems. The stems have to be cut close to ground level for healthy regrow.
Remove yellowed or damaged leaves to keep the plant clean and attractive.
Philodendron birkin propagation
As it is a natural mutation, you will not be successful if you try to reproduce by seeds. The most common way to propagate at home is by cuttings (with small pieces of the stem, removed from a larger plant). The downside of this method is that it can be challenging especially when working with plants that have few air roots.
In this case, you can use the air-layering method (peel the branch into a ring, wrap it in plastic film, and fill the moist growing medium into the space). After rooting, the branch can be cut at the rooting site and then transplanted into a pot. For more information on how to propagate your Philodendron Birkin, read this post:
How to propagate Philodendron
Now, once the propagation is complete, remember to water the newly propagated plant in the soil as needed and monitor its progress over the coming weeks to see how it grows.
Yellow and brown leaves
Yellow leaves on the Birkin philodendron are almost a sign of overwatering. It is possible that the substrate is too heavy and is too much moisture around the roots. If you think this may be the case, repot your Birkin into a new, lighter mix, consisting of houseplant substrate and some perlite to improve drainage.
When you turn brown and dry, unless you are overwatering your plant, it is most likely due to lack of moisture. As you know, philodendrons are tropical plants and need a certain degree of humidity to develop properly.
For more information, read this post: Why is My Philodendron Turning Yellow: Common Reasons
Root rot in Philodendron Birkin is primarily caused by overly wet and poorly draining soil as a result of excessive watering or allowing the plant to sit in waterlogged soil for prolonged periods. This condition can lead to oxygen deprivation in the root zone creating an environment conducive to the growth of root-damaging pathogens.
To prevent root rot control the amount of daily watering by establishing a well-balanced watering routine. Replace the pot or transplant, replace the soil with a well-drained, well-permeable growing medium, and avoid water accumulation in the tray. It is also recommended to prune the root system with scissors in time and cut off the rotten part. It may not be recoverable in case of radical root rot.
Plagues and diseases
Like all indoor plants, the Philodendron Birkin can be affected by some pests (mits, cotton mealy bugs, thrips…) or bacterial diseases.
To prevent pests, it’s important that you check your leaves frequently and clean the dust with a damp cloth.
Is philodendron birkin toxic?
Like many other tropical plants, Philodendron Birkin is toxic to both humans and pets (Including cats and dogs). The leaves and stems contain calcium oxalate crystals, which cause irritation and stomach problems if chewed or ingested.
That’s why it is best to keep ornamental plants out of the reach of cats, dogs, and small children and also educate yourself carefully about the toxicological characteristics of the ornamental plant before buying.
What does the philodendron Birkin symbolize?
Philodendron “Birkin” gets its name from the Greek words “Philo” meaning “love” and “affection,” and “dendron” meaning “tree,” symbolizing its climbing nature. The cultivar name “Birkin” references the designer bags of a well-known brand, reflecting the plant’s association with luxury and extravagance.
Together, the Philodendron “Birkin” represents a blend of affectionate tree climbers and a touch of high-end design, making it a sought-after and uniquely symbolic plant variety.
Why are my Philodendron Birkin leaves curling?
Curling of the leaves may be a result of very low air humidity, underwatering, excessive use of pesticides, or too much fertilizer. For more information Read this post: Why Are My Philodendron Leaves Curling? Causes and Solutions
How big does philodendron birkin get?
Under favorable conditions, Philodendron Birkin can grow up to 3-5 feet meters in height and up to 2 feet wide
Does Philodendron Birkin need full sun?
Philodendron Birkin loves bright areas with diffused light but can also tolerate partial shade very well. Keeping your plant away from direct sun, especially during summer is very important as the rays could damage the leaves,
Why is my philodendron birkin dying?
If your Philodendron Birkin happens to be showing signs of decline, there may be several factors contributing to its distress. Firstly, assess the watering routine; overwatering or underwatering can lead to problems. Ensure the soil is well-draining and allow the top inch to dry before watering again.
Another crucial aspect is light exposure; Philodendron Birkins thrive in bright, indirect light but can suffer in low-light conditions. Adjust the placement accordingly. Check for pests, as infestations can harm the plant. Additionally, confirm that the humidity levels are suitable, as Philodendron Birkins appreciate higher humidity.
Lastly, review your fertilization practices and avoid over-fertilizing, which might harm the plant. By addressing these aspects systematically, you can determine the cause of the decline and take appropriate corrective measures.