Philodendron 'Birkin' Care
Philodendron 'Birkin' is a cultivar that does not occur in the wild. It is the result of a natural mutation that occurred in a Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo’. 'Rojo Congo' is a hybrid that was created by crossing Philodendron ‘Imperial Red’ and Philodendron ‘Tatei’. 'Imperial Red' and 'Tatei' are themselves hybrids. (Crazy!) Due to this genetic background, 'Birkin' have a small chance of putting out leaves with a reddish hue or a solid color. The solid color is a sign that the new growth is reverting to 'Rojo Congo.' View the slideshow to learn how to care for 'Birkin' (very easy BTW) and how to prune away new reverting growth.
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Medium - bright indirect. Low light = leaf loses white stripes. Extensive direct sun = leaf burn.
Temperature & Humidity
65° - 75°F is ideal. Doesn't like 55° or lower. Does fine in typical household humidity but, like all tropicals, will thrive in increased humidity. Brow leaf tips may be a sign to increase humidity.
There are two completely opposite opinions on how to water 'Birkin'.
Opinion 1: Keep soil slightly damp.
Opinion 2: Allow soil to dry out.
Green Lady Gardens Advice: Based on our collective personal experience, 'Birkin' tolerate drought well and are easily overwatered. We suggest allowing 'Birkin' to dry 50 - 75% between waterings. Though the soil should dry out, because of the plant's high light needs, you may need to water once a week or more. Underwatered = leaves curl and droop, brown and crisp. Overwatered = yellowing leaves, especially on edges. Root rot.
Soil & Potting
Use a light, fluffy, and well-aerated potting mix. Add bark or perlite to increase drainage and aeration. 'Birkin' are slow growers with low water needs so don't be worried about repotting. If you do repot, wait until roots have completely filled the existing container and watering frequency increases. Increase pot size very gradually.
'Birkin' may produce full or partially non-variegated leaves with age (see next slide). This is new growth reverting to a 'Rojo Congo.' To stop this, some people recommend cutting the plant just above the last variegated leaf. GLG has no experience with this. We don't know if it works or has to be done multiple time. Just experiment. It's science and what plant ownership is all about!
Temperature & Humidity
65° - 75°F is ideal. Does fine in typical household humidity but like all tropical plants 'Birkin' will thrive in increased humidity.