Houseplant of the week: Philodendron birkin

Why will I love it?
Variegation is the new black, so it’s no wonder that Philodendron birkin – a relatively new-to-market plant – is trending. The distinctive striped leaves are deep, glossy green with creamy white to yellow pinstripes, and every new leaf has unique markings. The mixture of variegated and plain leaves creates a striking contrast. One to wow visitors.

Light or shade?
Indirect or filtered light, the sort you might find on a wall adjacent to a window, next to a frosted window or behind blinds that dapple the light. Avoid strong direct light at all costs, as it will scorch their leaves. And keep away from dark corners as too little can cause the plant to look sad and lose variegation.

Where should I put it?
Near a west- or east-facing window, on a coffee table or a kitchen countertop.

How do I keep it alive?
Like most Philodendrons, it’s pretty easy to care for. Only allow the top 2cm of soil to dry out between weekly waterings. It appreciates a warm, humid position like a bathroom or kitchen. Or mist frequently – use a humidifier or place the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. Variegated plants need help to photosynthesise as they have less chlorophyll, so use a damp cloth to clean the leaves often.

Did you know …
The philodendron birkin does not exist in the wild. It is a mutant cultivar of the hybrid Philodendron Rojo Congo.