Are you an avid houseplant lover who owns the stunning Philodendron Birkin? Philodendron Birkin is a show-stopping house plant known for its vibrant, variegated leaves.
However, you may have noticed its once beautiful and eye-catching foliage starting to lose its unique white stripes. Don’t panic! This is a common problem among houseplant owners. And the good news is that it can be fixed.
In this article, we’ll explore the causes of Philodendron Birkin reverting and what you can do to reverse or prevent it.
Whether you’re an experienced green thumb or new to houseplants, this guide will teach you how to retain the stunning coloration of your Birkin plant.
What is Philodendron Birkin Reverting?
Philodendron birkin reverting is a phenomenon where birkin leaves lose their unique white variegation. Naturally, these houseplants have dark green leaves with white splotches (or variegations) that form a beautiful pattern.
However, poor environmental conditions or improper care can make these variegations disappear. If this happens, the leaves change from green with white variegation to a completely solid green color. In rare conditions, the leaf shape may also change as a result.
It can be heartbreaking to see your beloved plant change. However, Philodendron birkin reverting is not permanent and can always be fixed. Plus, reverted birkins are still just as healthy and beautiful without the white stripes.
Philodendron Birkin Reverting Mechanism
Plants contain various coloring pigments, which give different colors to leaves, stems, and flowers. Some of the coloring pigments in plants include chlorophyll, flavonoids, carotenoids, and anthocyanins.
Sometimes, the plant develops too much of one pigment while suppressing the others. As a result, these pigments cannot visibly express their color. And that’s the case with Birkin reverting.
Philodendron birkin reverting occurs when sunlight or other environmental conditions cause an increase in chlorophyll production.
This obscures other coloring pigments and leads to this change in shade. The variegated form disappears, and its leaves turn back to solid green entirely.
Is Reverting Harmful for Philodendron Birkin Plants?
Sometimes, reverting is completely natural and does not indicate any harm or deficiency. The plant may lose its white variegation due to natural gene mutation, which you have no control over. You should embrace it as the beauty of nature.
However, reverting can sometimes lead to more harm, especially if it occurs due to poor environmental conditions. If conditions like water, sunlight, temperature, and humidity are improper, they can make your variegated Philodendron Birkin revert.
And if not corrected, it can lead to more serious problems, and your plant may eventually die. That’s why it’s important to check the growth conditions and adjust where necessary to keep the plant safe.
Why is My Philodendron Birkin Reverting?
Philodendron Birkin reverting can occur due to several reasons. When reverting occurs, it takes back the look of its original ancestor, the Philodendron Rojo Congo.
Let’s explore some of the reasons why your plant may lose its magnetic white stripes:
One of the most common reasons for Philodendron birkin reverting is underwatering. This houseplant prefers its soil to be moist most of the time.
If it’s not getting enough water, its leaves will start to turn yellow and then brown. This is often a sign of dehydration. Its attractive white stripes will also disappear as a result.
To keep your birkin plant safe, water it regularly so the soil stays moist but not soggy. If you’re unsure how often to water your plant, water it at least once a week to be on the safer side.
While underwatering is a common cause of Philodendron Birkin leaf reverting, overwatering can also be a culprit.
If you’re giving your Philodendron birkin plant too much water, it may develop infections like root rot. As a result, its leaves may lose their beautiful variegation and revert to the original Rojo Congo.
To avoid overwatering, always dip your figure two inches into the soil to ensure it’s dry before watering again.
3. Poor lighting conditions
Another possible reason for variegated leaf reverting is poor lighting conditions. Like other houseplants, Philodendron Birkin needs light exposure to thrive.
If you place it in a dark room where it doesn’t get enough light, it will start to experience stress.
As a result, its leaves may start changing color. To prevent this, place your Philodendron birkin where it receives plenty of bright, indirect light.
4. Improper temperature and humidity
Temperature and humidity can also play a role in leaf reverting. Generally, Philodendron birkins are tropical plants that thrive in temperatures of 55°F-86°F and 40-70% humidity.
If the temperature or humidity levels in your home are too low or too high, it can cause stress to your plant. The Birkin’s leaves may respond to such stressors by losing their wonderful stripes.
To prevent this from happening, always monitor the temperature and humidity levels in the room. Whenever necessary, adjust them to stay within optimal limits.
5. Temperature fluctuations
Sudden temperature changes can also stress a Philodendron plant and cause reverting. If the temperature in your home fluctuates, the leaves may start changing color and losing variegation.
To keep your lovely Philodendron Birkin safe, always monitor the temperature changes in your home and strive to keep it constant.
Also, keep the plant away from factors that cause sudden temperature changes.
Some of them include the following:
- Cold drafts
- Air vents
- Air conditioners
- Heat sources
6. Soil issues
When it comes to houseplants, soil quality is key. Philodendron birkin plants thrive in soil that drains well and holds some moisture. The soils should also have enough nutrients for the plant to feed on.
If your plant’s soil is too compact or lacks organic matter, there won’t be enough oxygen for the roots. As a result, its leaves will start to revert.
Be sure to check the texture of your soil regularly to maintain proper drainage. Also, add fertilizer and repot the plant with fresh soil when necessary.
7. Insufficient sunlight
Philodendron birkin plant needs enough indirect sunlight to thrive. Without enough light, their leaves will start reverting and even yellowing. If your plant shows signs of reverting, you may want to expose it to more sunlight.
Place it on a window with sheer curtains or blinds to avoid direct exposure. Remember to rotate it occasionally since you don’t want one side of the plant scorched.
8. Insufficient nutrients
If you don’t fertilize your Philodendron birkin regularly, its leaves will start reverting due to low nutrient leaves. Keep your plant healthy by applying a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during spring and summer. You can switch to a slow-release fertilizer during winter (when growth slows).
This will ensure your Philodendron birkin has all the nutrients it needs throughout the year and maintain its magic look.
9. Old Age
Finally, Philodendron birkin may naturally revert as the plant ages. As the leaves grow old, they may start to darken, and the white stripes on the surface may fade.
This is a normal part of the plant’s lifecycle and shouldn’t cause alarm. All you can do is propagate a stem cutting of the plant and grow a new Philodendron birkin plant for your indoor garden.
What Should I do if My Philodendron Birkin Starts Reverting? (How to Fix Reverting)
If you’ve noticed your philodendron Birkin plant starting to revert, don’t worry—there are a few things you can do to save it.
Here are some steps you can take to save your lovely plant from losing its glamorous white stripes:
i. Prune the stems
If you notice some of the leaves on your Birkin plant reverting, carefully prune off the stems with reverted stems. You can do this with a pair of sharp scissors or gardening shears.
Cut off any stems that have reverted leaves, being careful not to damage the healthy stems. This will encourage new growth and prevent the problem from spreading.
ii. Provide enough indirect sunlight
Birkin plants always need plenty of bright, indirect light. If your plant is not getting enough light, its leaves may start reverting.
Here are some actions to take if your Philodendron Birkin undergoes reverting:
- Move your plant to where it will get plenty of light without being in direct sun.
- Consider placing it on an East or South-facing window with blinds or sheer curtains.
- If you can’t provide enough natural light, supplement with artificial lighting (e.g., artificial grow lights).
- Avoid direct sunlight as this may scorch the leaves and cause sunburns
iii. Water correctly
Another remedy is to check your watering schedule and ensure it’s appropriate for the plant. Ensure you’re neither underwatering nor overwatering.
- Water the philodendron birkin plant once a week
- To avoid overwatering, dip your finger an inch into the soil and ensure it’s before watering again.
- To avoid underwatering, pour enough water until the pot drains
- Invest in a moisture meter to help you appropriately monitor the plant’s moisture and water.
iv. Use good-quality soil
You can also save your plant by ensuring it grows in good soil. Birkin plants need a well-draining, high-quality potting mix to thrive.
If you’re unsure whether your soil is up to par, consider repotting your plant into fresh soil. Use a pot planter with drainage holes at the bottom to avoid sogging.
v. Use fertilizer with low nitrogen levels
Too much nitrogen in the soil can cause Birkin leaves to revert. This is because nitrogen promotes chlorophyll production, and the green color may overshadow its white stripes.
So, to prevent reverting:
- Use a fertilizer with low nitrogen levels
- Use a dilute, well-balanced liquid fertilizer.
- You can also use a slow-releasing fertilizer for the best outcome
- Avoid adding too much fertilizer as it may chock the plant. Typically, fertilizing every two weeks should be enough.
- Apply fertilizer according to package directions and ensure it doesn’t touch the leaves.
Maintain Consistent Temperature and Humidity Level
Birkin plants prefer warm temperatures of 55°F to 86°F and high humidity of 40-70%. To maintain these optimal ranges,
- Use a humidifier or place your plant on a pebble tray to increase the humidity around it.
- Keep the plant away from heat sources, air conditioners, vents, and cold drafts.
- Cover the plant with heating pads or frost blankets during winter to keep it warm.
- Spread mulch on top of the soil to keep the plant warm
- Mist its leaves with water occasionally to keep them moist
Repot the Plant
If you’ve tried all of the above tips and your Birkin plant is still reverting, it may be time to repot it. It may also need repotting into a larger pot if it’s over two years old. A pot that’s too small can restrict root growth and cause a Birkin plant to revert.
When repotting, use fresh potting mix and a pot with drainage holes in the bottom. Choose a pot one size larger than its current pot to allow it more space to thrive.
Can the Reverted Plant Get its Variegation Back?
No! It’s difficult for reverted Philodendron Birkin leaves to regain their variegation. However, you can only prevent it from happening by giving your plant the proper care it deserves.
Also, if you notice early signs of reverting, you can take the necessary action to prevent it from spreading. However, note that any reverted leaves will remain that way. So if you don’t like them, you can always prune them off.
Why is birkin reverting to red congo?
This is due to the plant’s genetic makeup. The Philodendron Birkin is a hybrid of the red-leafed Red Congo and striped-leafed Rojo Congo. When grown under stress, the plant will often revert to its original form. In this case, the plant is reverting to its red congo roots.
Why are the new leaves on my Philodendron Birkin turning brown?
The new leaves on your Philodendron Birkin may turn brown for various reasons. The most common causes include underwatering, overwatering, too much direct light, or insufficient humidity. Temperature fluctuations and too much fertilizer can also cause browning leaves.
Why does my Philodendron Birkin not have stripes?
Your plant may have reverted to its Red Congo roots if it doesn’t have stripes. This may occur due to unsuitable growth conditions. Additionally, younger birkin leaves don’t display stripes until they mature. Keep an eye on them to see if they start showing stripes as they grow bigger.
Read also: Philodendron Florida Ghost Plant
Keep Up the Magical Stripes!
The Philodendron Birkin plant is among the most beautiful houseplants you can add to your home decor.
However, as we’ve seen, they can’t maintain their strikingly unique variegation without your help. And the best way to prevent reverting is to give your variegated Philodendron Birkin some love and optimal growth conditions.
Inspect your plant daily, looking for any changes or early signs of reverting. If you notice any signs, adjust the Philodendron Birkin care regimen accordingly. A good balance of the right growth environment and proper nutrition will keep your plant healthy and happy for a long time.