Philodendron Birkin care

Since 2019, a new philodendron has been gradually moving into the apartment jungle: philodendron Birkin. It is a very exciting houseplant, as each new leaf is unpredictable. Find out how to care for your Philodendron Birkin in this post!

Caring for Philodendron Birkin - A portrait of a Philodendron Birkin with green and variegated leaves on a wooden cabinet in front of a window.
(Image: © Andy N –


Many people think that the Philodendron Birkin originates from the rainforests of a warm country. However, this is not true. This Philo is most likely a rare mutation of the Philodendron Rojo Congo. More precisely, it is a spontaneous chimeric mutation.

This mutant part of the plant was removed, further propagated. The specimens that can be acquired today come from tissue culture. Therefore, they were thought to be very stable in terms of their variegation or variegation. However, this is not the case, as we will discuss later.

Philodendron Birkin belongs to the Arum family (Araceae).

Appearance and recognition characteristics

Philodendron Birkin is recognizable by its dark green oval leaves with striped variegation. The variegation is cream in most cases. The variegated area varies from leaf to leaf.

Because the variegation is not as stable as first assumed, it can also happen that leaves remain completely white. Also a regression to a Philodendron Rojo Congo is possible. Occasional cases of reddish leaves are also known.

Young leaves often grow with a high white content. This reduces during growth and the dark green emerges. Adult leaves grow up to 8 inches long.

Philodendron Birkin has a rather climbing growth habit, without climbing. Again and again aerial roots form at leaf nodes. Thus it reaches heights of up to 35 inches. Due to its slow growth, however, it takes time to reach this height.

The flower

In my research for this article, I could not find any information that a Philodendron Birkin has already bloomed in an apartment.


Philodendron Birkin is classified as toxic to humans and animals. It contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. When chewed or bitten, these are released.

They cause irritation of the mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. The kidneys can also be damaged.

Therefore, the plant should be placed out of reach of children and pets.

The optimal location for Philodendron Birkin

Philodendron Birkin prefers a bright place with high humidity and moist substrate. More detailed information and location conditions can be found here. 

The temperature at the location should be between 61 °F and 82 °F at best. At night it may drop a little. However, it should never fall below 54 °F. 

Although the Philodendron will grow in moderate humidity, it thrives in higher humidity. About 60% seems to be the magic limit, preferably even higher. 

The best way to raise the humidity is to use a humidifier. Alternatively, however, there are other DIY methods you can try. 

Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, especially at midday. Therefore, bright indirect light is more suitable. It gets this especially well at west and east windows. 

A location that is too dark can cause the variegation of the leaves to diminish.

Try to avoid drafts at the location and keep a distance to running radiators.  

Because of its climbing growth I advise to use a climbing aid like a moss pole. 

As soon as the temperature is above 61 °F, the Philodendron Birkin can be placed outside. To accustom the leaves to the new conditions, you should first choose a sheltered location. Gradually, the houseplant can then be placed in a brighter location. 

Overwintering Philodendron Birkin

During the winter you should try to keep the normal conditions. If your Philodendron Birkin has been outside, you should bring it back indoors as soon as the temperature drops below 61 °F.

If your location does not have enough light, you can also use a plant lamp. Full spectrum lamps are best for this.

Humidity is often a problem in winter. It drops noticeably due to the dry heating air. This can lead to brown leaf tips and leaf edges. Also try to keep a distance to the radiators. This way the dry air does not reach the plant directly.

Fertilizing and watering is reduced in winter. It is enough to fertilize once a month. Watering is always done when the surface has dried.

Watering Philodendron Birkin

Philodendron Birkin loves moist substrate. However, you should let it dry out superficially between watering. To check this, you can simply stick a finger about one inch deep into the substrate.

If it feels dry and no substrate remains on the finger, you can water. If it does, you should wait a few more days and then do the test again. Alternatively, you can use a stick for this test.

Fertilizing Philodendron Birkin

For fertilizing, I prefer to use a No products found. or a No products found.. Unlike solid fertilizers, liquid fertilizers can be used more dynamically.

During the growth phase you can fertilize almost weekly with watering. Alternatively, you can reduce the dose and add nutrients every time you water the houseplant.

In the winter months I advise to reduce the fertilizing, but not to stop it completely. One fertilization a month is sufficient here.

The perfect substrate

An airy and loose substrate gives the roots of the Philodendron Birkin the necessary space to grow well. In addition, this structure allows enough oxygen to reach the roots.

While the Philodendron Birkin likes a moist substrate, it should not be left in the wet. Therefore, good drainage is essential. 

The best way to meet this requirement is the refined aroid mix


hile the P. Birkin is growing, it should be repotted annually. This will allow it to develop its root system in parallel with its visible growth. The new pot should be one size larger. It is important that it has drainage holes, as this will allow the water to drain away.

When it is fully grown, it is enough to renew the substrate every two to three years.

The best time for repotting is spring and early summer.

Pruning Philodendron Birkin

You should always remove dead and diseased leaves. If the Philodendron grows too large, it can also be shortened. This will provide a bushy look.

Only cut with sharp and clean blades. This will prevent bruising and the likelihood of infection.

What to do if Philodendron Birkin loses its variegation?

If Philodendron Birkin loses its variegation or develops leaves that remain completely white, the solution is to cut. Cut off the shoot before the leaf you like best.

New shoots should then follow that leaf. However, wait two to three leaves before cutting. Sometimes the variegation comes back on its own.

One reason besides chance for the loss of variegation is light. If there is not enough of it, the leaf pattern will regress to allow for more photosynthesis.

Propagating Philodendron Birkin

The only reliable propagation method for Philodendron Birkin is through cuttings.

Propagation by cuttings

As Philodendron Birkin grows in height, it repeatedly forms leaf nodes. Air roots often form at these leaf nodes. These make propagation much easier. This is how you can proceed:

  • Identify a leaf node, ideally with aerial roots and leaf.
  • cut the shoot below the leaf node
  • let the cut dry
  • place the cutting either in water or in moist Sphagnum moss
  • place the cutting in a place with sufficient light
  • increased humidity can accelerate the rooting process
  • as soon as sufficient roots have formed you can place the young plant in a substrate of your choice

Diseases, pests and care mistakes


With proper care, the Philodendron Birkin is not affected by diseases in our area.


Spider mites

Spider mites often appear during overwintering. They multiply rapidly when humidity is low. You can recognize them by their formations under the leaves and in leaf axils, which resemble spider webs. In addition, small spots and yellow leaves can be seen. 

If you discover an infestation, the first thing you should do is isolate your Philodendron. This will prevent the pests from spreading in your home.

In case of spider mites, it already helps to rinse off the affected plant. Then you can treat the leaves with neem oil*. If this does not help, I advise you to use a No products found. or predators like the No products found..


Thrips are small black beetles that leave distinct bite marks in the form of bright spots. They are also easily recognized by their black fecal balls. Their larvae are found on the leaves and in the upper inch of the substrate. Therefore, this should be replaced after successful treatment.

A mixture of 1l water, 50g soft soap and 20 ml spirit helps against thrips. That is applied several times to the leaves.

Alternatively, you can use a No products found.. In addition, you can use No products found. to catch the adults.

Care Mistakes

Often care mistakes are the cause when your Philodendron degrades. The most common care mistakes can be found here:

Yellow leaves

If the Philodendron gets yellow leaves it is in most cases a watering problem. If the substrate is dry, it needs more water. If it is wet, vice versa. In the latter case, also examine the roots to rule out root rot.

Brown leaf tips and leaf edges

If leaf tips and edges are brown, the humidity is too low or the plant is too close to a radiator. The humidity should be at least 60%. Here you can find different methods to increase the humidity.

Brown leaves

If the Philodendron Birkin gets brown leaves, in many cases there is overwatering, from which root rot has resulted. Therefore, examine the roots. If they are brown, soft or smell musty you should remove them. 

Then you can put the Philo in new substrate and keep it rather dry. 

If the leaves are brown, the opposite can also be the case: underwatering. You can recognize it by dry substrate and often by drooping leaves. 

In this case it helps to moisten the soil. If it is wet for a longer period of time, root rot will also form quickly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Philodendron Birkin poisonous?

es, the Philodendron Birkin is poisonous. The calcium oxalate crystals it contains can irritate mucous membranes and damage kidneys. Therefore, the Philodendron should be placed out of reach of children and pets.

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Letzte Aktualisierung am 2023-03-24 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API

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About the author
Richard Schmidt
Hey, my name is Richard! In my spare time, I write about the care of indoor plants on this website. Indoor plants have long fascinated me. That's why there are many plants in my little urban jungle - from the mainstream Syngonium to true rarities. Besides my passion for houseplants, I'm a real sneakerhead.

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