We’re not going to be surprised if you have already seen a variety of Philodendrons during your local nursery trips. It won’t even shock us if you have a few of them already at home. That’s how popular they are as houseplants. Hence, it’s no wonder how fast the Philodendron Birkin became trending when the gardening community learned how rare this variety is.
Given its rarity, we would hate to see your Philodendron Birkin go to waste. Fortunately, it is also easy to care for. In this article, we are going to share with you a quick guide on Philodendron Birkin care including its lighting, water, temperature, soil, and other care requirements.
We are also going to answer related questions later on, including those that are most frequently asked by our readers about Philodendron Birkin care.
The Philodendron Birkin: Overview
Philodendrons have a long botanical history. They were first discovered back in the 1600s in the heart of Brazil’s rainforests. They are part of the big Araceae family with almost 2000 different species.
So what makes it rare?
That’s because, unlike other Philodendrons, you won’t find the birkin variety in the wild. That’s because it’s only a new hybrid that sprung from a spontaneous mutation of the Philodendron rojo congo.
The result is a low-maintenance, compact plant with a beautiful and striking leaf pattern that makes it well-loved among gardeners.
Also known as the White Wave plant, the Philodendron birkin has wide, elongated, heart-shaped leaves in deep green with a delicate white-lined pattern.
How to Care for the Philodendron Birkin
Here are the different aspects that you need to consider if you want to give your Philodendron birkin optimal growing conditions:
One of the first things that you should know about your White Wave plant is that while it’s a new variety, its predecessors are still tropical plants. As such, they will also thrive in similar growing conditions.
That said, since wild Philodendrons grow in rainforests, it is also understandable why birkins will also do well under bright, yet indirect lighting conditions. This is what makes them an easy plant to care for, even indoors.
Having it exposed to direct sunlight can cause its leaves to dry up and wilt quickly. Meanwhile, placing them in an area with too much shade can lead to legginess and even death.
Hence, we recommend placing it near a window that gets at least 12 hours of indirect light during the day. Which window that is will highly depend on where your home is located.
Since it’s a tropical plant, this means that your Philodendron will thrive in constantly moist soil. However, this doesn’t mean that it will like getting waterlogged. Please keep in mind that letting your plant sit in stagnant water, much more if it’s inside a hard-to-drain pot, will lead to root rot.
The frequency of your watering sessions will highly depend on your location and current weather conditions. A quick rule of thumb is to water your plant once the top half of its soil is already dry to the touch. This means that it might not be completely dry inside just yet. Don’t allow your soil to completely dry up except during the winter.
For us, we water our Philodendron at least once every week or two. We then gradually increase its drinking sessions to once or twice every week come summertime.
Temperature and Humidity
In relation to having a moist environment, White Wave plants love humidity as well. Thus, we highly recommend placing it in a bright yet humid room of your home. For instance, do you have a bright spot in your bathroom or your kitchen?
Don’t worry if you don’t have such a space. You can easily resolve this by placing a humidifier in the same room as your Philodendron. Keep it as high as 60% humidity.
As for its ideal temperature, Philodendrons love tropical warmth. Hence, it is ideal to keep the room temperature around 65 to 75°F.
Here’s a quick tip: It’s not enough to measure the temperature alone. If possible, it’s better to check the actual temperature of the spot where your plant is as the degrees can still fluctuate within a room.
As we have already mentioned, Philodendron birkins love moisture yet they will also hate getting waterlogged. As such, it will need well-draining yet moisture-retaining soil to grow in. As such, we usually prepare our own soil mix with three key ingredients: nutrition-rich potting soil, perlite to add drainage, and sphagnum moss to help in moisture retention.
Both perlite and sphagnum moss will help prevent the soil from getting waterlogged and too compact after watering. As an added bonus, it can improve your soil’s aeration as well.
Don’t get us wrong, White Wave plants are pretty hardy, so they will still be able to survive even without the help of fertilizing. However, if you want to give it a boost, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to supplement with a balanced fertilizer that has nutrients like such as nitrogen, calcium, and magnesium that will help in leaf production.
We recommend fertilizing during its growing season, namely spring and summer. We usually do it once monthly during these seasons to make the most out of its growing period. The only time when we slow down fertilization is during the winter.
As for our choice of fertilizers, we usually opt for a liquid formula mixed in with is water. This way, it can help prevent the build-up of sediments that can cause plant issues in the long run.
Since growing space is essential for a Philodendron birkin to thrive, it is, therefore, crucial to constantly check your pot if it’s still giving your plant ample room to grow.
In our experience, we usually repot our White Wave plants once every two years一or once we have noticed that its roots are already starting to clog the pot’s drainage holes.
Speaking of drainage holes, these plants need pots with a lot of them to allow any excess water to just seep out.
Once you feel that you’re ready to repot, just choose a new container that’s around a couple of inches wider than the previous one. Repotting your plant into an oversized container will result in undue stress and can even lead to your plant being overwatered yet not being able to absorb the nutrients it needs easily.
The Philodendron birkin requires minimal pruning to maintain its beautiful and healthy appearance. This includes the removal of any dead or damaged leaves that might be interfering with your plant’s growth already.
Those who want to keep their plant compact can trim down their Philodendron as well. Don’t feel bad about healthy cuttings as you can always use them to propagate new plants and grow your White Wave collection.
Pests and Diseases
The main pest that Philodendron owners have to deal with are spider mites. These are small pests that feed off the leaves of the plant until they have stripped it bare of its nutrients.
Fortunately, these pests are easy to spot since they leave dot-shaped marks on a leaf’s surface. There is a two-way process in dealing with them.
First, you need to remove the infected leaves immediately with a sharp pair of pruning shears or your preferred cutting tool. Don’t forget to dispose of these leaves as soon as possible to prevent cross-contamination.
The second main step is to use insecticidal soap to give your plant a good bath. This will also ward away other bugs that might be planning to infest your plant as well.
The only downside to caring for a Philodendron birkin is its toxicity. Its leaves and stems have toxic components such as calcium oxalate crystals that can prove harmful to both humans and animals once ingested. Because of this, we don’t recommend placing it in a spot that’s easily accessible to small children and pets.
Philodendron Birkin Care FAQs
Now that we have the main elements needed to achieve the ideal growing conditions for your White Wave plant, allow us to answer the most frequently asked questions next for further information:
How big does a Birkin Philodendron grow?
With the right conditions, Philodendron birkins can grow up to between 20 to 40 inches tall. Meanwhile, each leaf can grow up to 20 centimeters in length.
How much light do philodendron birkins need?
As mentioned above, Philodendron birkins need up to 12 hours of bright, indirect light each day.
Does philodendron Birkin like to be root bound?
No, they don’t want to be root bound. This is the reason why we recommend repotting at least once every two years or sooner if you’ve found that its pot is already hindering its growth.
Is philodendron Birkin toxic?
Yes, unfortunately, it is. Don’t allow a pot to be within easy access of small children and pets. Ingesting it can cause serious health issues for that poor human or animal.
Caring for a Philodendron Birkin
We cannot express more how much we love this plant. Its beauty can easily brighten up our interiors. Its responsiveness gives us confidence in our gardening skills. Its soothing presence can provide respite after a stressful day.
However, given its rarity, making an effort to provide it with an ideal growing environment is crucial to have a stunning and healthy White Wave plant.
Hence, we sincerely hope that we were able to help you out in this regard through this quick guide. Happy gardening!