Love at First Sight: Philodendron Birkin
When I started my plant parenthood journey, I started with the prettiest plants I could find. I simply went to a garden center and picked the foliage that attracted me the most and placed them throughout my house based on wherever they looked best.
I hadn’t bothered researching light requirements, watering schedules, high vs low maintenance. It was purely based on looks.
One of those first plants was a Philodendron Birkin. Its unique foliage with those pinstriped leaves was striking. But unfortunately, it quickly started to change color, lose leaves and look unhappy. Honestly, that first batch of plants did poorly overall, and I lost most of them.
Learning Through Trial and Error
It became obvious I was going to have to do my research. So, I looked up a few of those initial plants, most of them Calatheas and Begonias (could I possibly pick more difficult plants to care for?) and I realized I had to switch to beginner plants if I wanted to avoid the frustration.
Through my research, I learned a bit about Philodendrons in general. For example, that I could get a variety of colors, shapes and textures in the foliage without the challenges of caring for calatheas or begonias. Some examples of that are the Philodendron Pink Princess, Philodendron xanadu, Philodendron giganteum, Philodendron Brasil, Philodendron Micans, Philodendron Prince of Orange, Philodendron Rojo Congo, among about other 450 different varieties.
These tropical plants are found in rainforests and therefore, are used to the canopy, which, translated to indoor plants, mean they are not in need of a lot of light. That alone makes them slightly easier to place and care for.
Some of them are climbers and some of them grow beautifully upright.
The common denominator? They are the perfect beginner plant, eye catching and adaptable to different light intensities and humidity.
The green leaves Philodendrons are tolerant of lower light conditions. Philodendrons with colored foliage need sunlight to help maintain the color. Upright varieties prefer a bit more light. But in general, they can survive in lower light conditions and are not too picky about water.
Philodendron Birkin Plant Care
I never gave up on the idea of having a beautiful Philodendron Birkin in my life. My original plant ended up losing most of its variegation and even though it is still alive, it mostly did not thrive the way I was hoping for. I still love it though!
But I bought a bigger, more established Birkin plant and started from scratch.
It prefers bright indirect light. This means placing it near a window or on a windowsill of an east or west-facing window. Avoid direct light which will burn the leaves and also dry out the soil very quickly.
Maintain the soil evenly moist and allow the top soil to dry between waterings. You can check this by simply putting your finger in the soil or using a moisture meter . During winter months, allow the soil to almost dry out before watering again. Conversely, during spring and summer, increase your watering schedule to once or twice a week as needed. Take care of not overwatering, as excess water can lead to root rot. Use pots with drainage holes for this purpose.
Originally found in the rainforest, Philodendrons prefer humid environments, whether it is a bathroom (if you are lucky to have a window there) or you can use a humidifier. However, if you don’t have those conditions available, the plant will tolerate average humidity levels.
They grow on average 1 to 3 feet tall as an indoor plant.
Are Philodendron Birkin Plants Pet-Friendly and Kid-Friendly?
Unfortunately, this plant is toxic if ingested. I do own dogs and they have not shown any interest in chewing my Birkin plant. But just in case, I moved my plant away from their reach.
Was it Worth the Effort?
Absolutely yes! The Philodendron Birkin is a beautiful show-stopper plant that is easy to care for and the perfect accent to pretty much any space in need for some unique greenery. Check out some of the beautiful specimens recently shipped to our PlantVine customers here.