If you are into Birkin, then dealing with Philodendron Birkin reverting issue isn’t exactly something that you want to deal with. It’s not about the plant going sick or such thing alike, but it’s more about losing its unique trait, which is responsible for its aesthetic appearance. So, what is the revert, anyway? Is it something preventable? How can you deal with such an issue?
About Philodendron Birkin
Philodendron Birkin is a unique plant that has dark (or even purplish) green with streaks of white or cream or even pink on the leaves. Thanks to this unique trait, this plant isn’t only highly visible and stand out, but it also has high monetary value. For some people, Philo Birkin is considered rare, which explains why the plant can be quite pricey.
The variegation basically comes from the mutation. The result is unpredictable and inconsistent because it depends on the care and the nature of the leaves. Keep in mind that the nature of spontaneous mutation means that the leaves can be reverted or variegated randomly.
So, what is Philodendron Birkin reverting? It’s a process where the plants lose their variegation for various reasons, like improper watering regime, nutrient deficiency, or low sunlight. Even when you have done the best care possible, there is always a possibility that you have the reversion, which is quite normal actually. However, plants getting good care tend to be variegated instead of being reverted.
The Plant’s Origin
Philodendron Rojo Congo is the ‘parent’ of Philodendron. When there is a variegated cultivar, this ‘mutated’ version is then named Philo Birkin. Philodendron Rojo Congo itself is a cross from Philodendron Tatei and Philodendron Imperial Red. Rojo Congo was originally grown in a lab, but when a mutation happened with the variegated results, it was named the Birkin.
Birkin has dark green and ovate leaves, but then, you can see yellowish or white-ish lines or stripes on the leaves. Sometimes, the stripes may be pink or gray, creating a very unique look for the leaves. It’s even possible that leaves within one plant may have different variegation amounts.
The Possibility of Variegation Loss
Scientists consider the variegation mutation as chimeric (or spontaneous), meaning that the variegation nature itself is unstable. When you experience Philodendron Birkin revert, it means your plant is somewhat ‘returning back’ to its origin as Philodendron Rojo Congo.
Many of Birkin’s young plants may start with dark green leaves, but when they get older, those leaves would be variegated. When the Philodendron Birkin reverting happens, there is a possibility that leaves aren’t just returning to the green hue, but it may go in partial Rojo Congo leaf. It’s even possible that it would revert back to the red or purple margins, patches, and stems – or even tur purple red entirely.
How to Stop the Reversion
It’s a good thing that you can actually prevent or stop the Philodendron Birkin reverting. It goes back to your caring method, and how well you can meet your plant’s basic requirements. Basically, you need to make sure that it gets just enough balance of water, it has the ideal temperature, and it has the proper light exposure.
If the basic routine methods don’t work out, you still have the options for fertilizer and grooming. You can trim off the plant to maintain the variegated leaves or propagate the variegated stem. Maintaining the proper level of nutrients is also important.
Remember your Biology: Green leaves have chlorophyll, and chlorophyll is the ones responsible for converting sunlight into food. Because of the variegation, Birkin doesn’t have a lot of green area on the leaves. It means that the plant doesn’t have enough (green) food production. That’s why you need to provide indirect and bright light to compensate such a condition. If you place the plant in darker area, big chances it would revert, so it will survive against the challenging surroundings.
You want to make sure that your plant gets enough bright light, but not the indirect type. Indirect light may burn the plant. Morning light would be ideal. You can place the plant close to the windows facing the east, but you may want to rotate or remove the plant whenever the surrounding area becomes too hot.
Philodendron Birkin reverting issue happens because of poor watering habit, leading to poor health. You want your Birkin to remain healthy so it can generate variegation. Poor watering regime will likely damage the roots, affecting its ability to absorb all the important vitamins and nutrients.
Remember chlorophyll? In order to function well, it needs good nutrition. It’s impossible to have good nutrition with overwatering or underwatering. Overwatering leads to yellowish leaves, while underwatering leads to light gray-ish green color. In short, when the plant is stressed out, the signs will show on leaves. Instead of variegation, you have regular green hues.
There is a golden rule about proper Philodendron watering method: Insert one finger into the soil, up to several inches. If it feels wet, don’t water it. Try the poking test again in several days later. If it is dry, then water the plant thoroughly. You should do it until the water goes out the drainage holes. Paying attention to the proper and correct watering way is imperative if you want to have a healthy plant.
The Ideal Temperature
Temperature fluctuation is one of the many reasons of reverting Philodendron Birkin. The plant loves warm temperature with rather high humidity level. If you place the plant in the area where it is too hot (with the heater) or too cool (with AC), the plant may be confused and stressed out. Placing the plant in the window with too much drafts can also create temperature fluctuation.
The ideal temperature would be between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius (or around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit), together with 40 to 70% of humidity level. The minimum ideal temperature would be between 16 and 30 degrees Celsius.
Want to prevent Philodendron Birkin reverting? Make sure that your plant gets enough humidity. It loves medium to high level. In case you live in areas where the level is low, you can increase it by doing some of these things:
- Place the pot in the area that is naturally humid, like the bathroom or the laundry room.
- It helps to invest in a good quality humidifier, which can increase the humidity level without overdoing it
- Consider misting your plant several times a week, but don’t overdo it. Several sprays should be enough to provide the needed moisture
- Place the pot on a water-filled tray with pebbles. Place the pebbles on the bottom area of the tray. Fill the tray, but there is no need to go up until it’s full. The pebbles don’t need to be covered with water either. Place the pot on top of those pebbles. It’s crucial that you make sure the water doesn’t really make contact with the pot’s bottom so the soil won’t be soaked and be rotten.
If the plant gets just about right humidity level, it can maintain its variegated trait without you having to do excessive efforts.
Take a closer look at your plant. If all of its leaves are variegated, that’s great. However, if you notice some leaves that are pure green without any variegation, you should focus on the stems. Cut and remove the stems without variegation, and leave the ones with variegation intact. If you do this, you ensure that future leaves will have bigger chances of being variegated. What about the possibility of Philodendron Birkin reverting? It would be slim enough.
Variegated Stem Propagation
You can avoid reverting issue by propagating the variegated stem. Choose the healthy one. It would be preferable if you go with the most variegation. Most likely, you can expect more colors for the newer and younger growth. Just make sure that you do it properly and carefully:
- Only use clean and sharp blade. Choose the spot below the node. If the area you cut has several (aerial) roots, it would be even better because you will have some cuttings for the healthy plant.
- It’s okay to apply rooting hormone to the cut area (or the incision site) so you can make the process go faster. Then, put the stem within a jar filled with water. The jar can be placed within a bright space, but not exposed to indirect light, until you can see the roots. It should be some inches in length. If you can see this, then it’s time to transfer the stem to a new pot with fresh soil. Inspect and monitor the growth. You should see that this new plant has more variegation than the parent plant. If you are able to meet the standard growth requirements, this new plant will have slim chance of Philodendron Birkin reverting.
The Right Fertilizer
All plants need food and nutrients. One way to provide it is through the fertilizer. But you can’t just provide any fertilizer because there is a certain standard to meet. The right fertilizer should be the NPK or Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. Only choose the fertilizer having those 3 elements because they will support each other. Plus, each of them will ‘feed’ different areas of the plant.
Moreover, you should remember that you want to go with a fertilizer that doesn’t have too much nitrogen. Why is it so? You see, nitrogen is crucial for chlorophyll and leaf growth. When you pick a fertilizer with high nitrogen level, it will make the plant go green. If you want to maintain the variegated unique appeal, you don’t want to go with nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Instead, go to the low nitrogen type. Apply it in spring and also summer months together with your watering routine.
The lower nitrogen types should have just enough nutrient to make your plant stay healthy without overpowering the white streaks and color. If you do it right, it’s even possible for the fertilizer to boost the already existing white-ish marking. Apply it only once in a month during summer period. It’s even possible to apply once for every 6 to 8 weeks. It takes less fertilizer during the winter months. Aside from the low nitrogen fertilizer, go with the slow release liquid type. This is considered more ideal for hassle-free application.
About the Reverted Case
Dealing with the reverted case isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t mean that you end up with an ugly plant. Even after the plant reverts to the original color, it still has this beautiful and gorgeous deep hue. But then again, most people have Birkin because of its unique variegated nature. So, when they end up with common and regular green plant, what’s so special about it?
However, there is always a possibility that the reversion may turn the plant to other colors. Is it possible that your plant reverts to yellow? Or even pinkish or purple-ish? There is always a possibility. Mind you, though, this would be a super rare occurrence.
Reversion doesn’t happen overnight. It takes days for the plant to being reverted completely to its original state. If you have taken proper care and observation of your plant, you will spot and identify the issue; even from the early stage. And let’s not forget that improper treatment and care is the main cause of reverted Birkin. If you neglect your plant for a while, it may survive, but to compensate its struggle, losing the variegated nature would be the price you must pay.
You should know that reversion doesn’t hurt your Birkin or whatsoever. No need to worry; your plant doesn’t feel pain or hurt because of this condition. However, it will lose its unique trait – trait that most people are willing to pay dearly because of its catchy appearance. It’s always better to prevent the reversion from happening. Philodendron Birkin revertingmay not be harmful or dangerous, but you will definitely lose the unique plant with its visually appealing nature. thank you for visiting, you can read article about Rubber Plant Leaves Curling: Reasons, Solutions, And Handle and Why Pilea Leaves Curling Problems Happen And How To Deal With Them in pandan creamery