The current rise of gardening in popularity has paved the way for enthusiasts to develop new varieties. One of these is the Philodendron Birkin, a houseplant known for its heart-shaped dark green leaves with iconic white lines. It can certainly add value and life to any home whether as an air purifier, an accent piece, or a statement plant.
The Philodendron Birkin, also known as the “White Wave” plant is a relatively new cultivar. This means that it is a new variety culled from selective breeding. Due to this, it is still considered pretty rare, even among plant circles. Fortunately, Philodendron Birkin propagation is easy. There are three main methods, namely stem cutting propagation, division, and air layering.
In this article, we are going to share with you how each of them is done as well as answer some of the common FAQs that readers ask us to further boost your White Wave Plant propagation knowledge.
Philodendron Birkin: Plant Overview.
The Philodendron Birkin comes from the Araceae family of plants that are native to the South and Central Americas.
This plant variety came into existence thanks to a spontaneous color mutation of its “mother plant”, the Philodendron Rojo congo. Thus, it is cannot be found in the wild. This is the reason why this plant is considered rare, despite its growing popularity.
Gardeners argue that it is an easy-care plant, but not necessarily for the novice collector. For one, it grows slower compared to other Philodendron varieties. It also requires certain conditions in order to retain its striking foliage design. Otherwise, you’ll lose the beauty of those delicate white stripes.
Other unique types of Philodendron include the Silver Sword, Moonlight, Xanadu, and Brasil. There’s also Hederaceum, called heart-leaf Philodendron, and the Pink Princess known for its pastel leaves.
Since this plant loves humidity, those who wish to have it in their homes can best place it in the bathroom or kitchen. Just make sure that it gets a lot of bright, indirect light throughout the day and constant watering. Good drainage and moisture retention are also needed to ensure optimal growth.
Before you start growing your collection, though, we just want to remind you that this plant is toxic to humans and pets. Thus, it must be kept away from our children and furry friends’ reach at all times. Its leaves contain oxalate crystals that can put one’s health at risk once ingested. The plant can also attract pests such as mealybugs, thrips, scale, and spider mites.
Philodendron Birkin Propagation
As we have mentioned, there are three ways to propagate White Wave plants. That’s what we are going to share down below:
Propagating White Wave Plant Through Stem Cuttings
Since the Philodendron Birkin has no flowers, therefore seed propagation is not possible. This makes stem cutting the most common propagation method.
We recommend getting your cuttings during spring, the plant’s most active season. With that said, here are the steps to the Philodendron stem cutting method:
- Choose the right stem to cut. Since most of us take the opportunity to harvest cuttings when pruning, it is totally understandable why you might want to see if there’s a way to save unhealthy stalks. This is possible.
However, it is still ideal to have at least a healthy part in your chosen cutting and to trim off any unhealthy section. In this way, you’ll encourage your plant to place all its efforts in root development.
Ensure that your stem cutting has at least one healthy node at the bottom part. We usually cut stems that are three to six inches in length. In our experience, it is better to have longer cuttings when possible. Plus points if you can find parts of your plant that have already grown aerial roots.
Once you’ve chosen the right stems to cut, you can then use a clean pair of pruning shears (or another sharp cutting tool) to cut beneath a set of leaves or a leaf node.
- Get your cuttings ready. We usually allow the wounds to dry off a bit. In addition, we remove any leaves hanging out the bottom part to minimize rotting. This is the perfect time to decide where you’re planning to root your cuttings.
If you’re planning to root it in water, then you should…
- Place the stem cutting in a clear container with water. We recommend purified water at room temperature. Too hot or too cold and you’ll cause shock that will most likely lead to failure. Meanwhile, using purified water ensures that the levels of chlorine and fluoride in your water are just right, compared to just plain ol’ tap.
- Choose a suitable location. Place your cutting where it will have enough bright, indirect lighting to grow.
- Practice patience and care. As we have mentioned, the Philodendron Birkin can be a slow grower, so it can take weeks up to a few months for the first signs of rooting to show.
- Repot. Once your roots have grown to at least an inch, you can now put your plantlet in soil. We recommend a high-quality, well-draining potting mix. Moisten your soil before planting to reduce shock. Create a small hole with your finger. This way, you can prevent those delicate roots from getting damaged.
If you’re planning to root it in soil, then you should…
- Use a rooting hormone. This will help speed up the process a little bit.
- Create humidity. Once you’ve planted your stem cutting into the pot, cover it with a clear plastic bag. This will create more humidity which White Wave plants love. Keep the soil constantly moist as well to further encourage root development. Just remember to let your plant breathe every once in a while and you’ll be good.
- Wait for your plant to grow. Finally, all that’s left is for you to wait for your plant to grow.
Philodendron Birkin Through Air Layering
Another way to propagate the white wave plant is through air layering. It is a more advanced method that involves rooting parts of your plant. We don’t usually advise this to beginner growers, but it’s a fun experiment, regardless.
- Wound a healthy stem. Make a vertical incision around a couple of inches long.
- Open the cut. Insert a toothpick into your incision carefully. This should hold it open but it won’t harm the plant.
- Root it. Place damp peat moss around the incision, then wrap it with plastic wrap to keep it moist and secure.
- Repot it. Once you’re already seeing roots, it’s time to repot. Cut your new plantlet as carefully as possible.
Propagating White Wave Plant Through Division
Finally, you can also propagate your Philodendron Birkin through plant division. This is only possible when your mother plant has already produced offshoots on its own. The easiest way to divide your plant is by removing it from its pot. Shake off the soil to have a clear view of the root system. Separate it accordingly using your preferred cutting tool.
Replant the mother plant in its own pot. Meanwhile, if your pups don’t have an established root system yet, then feel free to root it in water otherwise you can plant it directly into its own pot.
FAQs About Philodendron Birkin Propagation
Now that you are equipped with more information on Philodendron Birkin propagation, we feel that answers to these commonly asked questions can still help you further.
How do you propagate a philodendron Birkin?
As we have mentioned above, there are three main methods to propagate the White Wave plant. These are through stem cuttings, air layering, and division. You can check out the guides we have shared for more information.
Can you split philodendron Birkin?
Yes. This can be done in instances when there are offshoots or pups. You can learn how to do this by scrolling up to our White Wave division propagation guide above.
Can you propagate philodendron from a leaf?
A single leaf cutting won’t do it. Instead, you will need a stem cutting with at least one node on it to ensure that it roots properly.
Can philodendron be propagated in water?
Yes, you can. You can use water for a stem cutting or a new pup that has yet to establish its own roots.
Is philodendron Birkin slow growing?
Yes, it is. It can take up to a decade for a Philodendron Birkin to reach maturity. In our own experience, we have also noticed that White Wave cuttings take longer to root compared to our other plants. While others can take just a couple of weeks to establish a new root system, Philodendron cuttings meanwhile can take a couple of months to do so.
Growing Your White Wave Plant Collection
With more than 500 species to choose from, the Philodendron is truly an interesting plant family. The Philodendron Birkin is just one of the many options for houseplant collections.
Given its rarity and pace of growth, it can be quite costly to grow your White Wave plant collection by purchasing them from your local nursery. Thus, we sincerely hope that our propagation guide helps you in this effort. Good luck!