Why is my Philodendron Birkin Reverting? (How to Fix It)

It can be heart-breaking when you realize that your variegated philodendron birkin has started to revert. All those stunning leaves, slowly losing their unique appearance. Don’t get us wrong, philodendrons are still beautiful plants in their own right. But when the specific plant you have been longing to add to your indoor collection is threatened, you should sit up and pay attention. It’s time to investigate why your philodendron birkin is losing its variegation?

Philodendron birkin reverting to its original form is an indication that your exotic houseplant is in trouble. Reverting and losing the beautiful variegated leaves is a stress response. Your philodendron birkin may be reverting due to:

  • water stress,
  • fertilization issues, or
  • environmental inconsistencies such as lighting and humidity.

Although you may not be able to stop the loss of variegation on the effected leaves, the good news is if you act quickly enough, you can prevent it from spreading to the rest of your birkin.

Philodendron Birkin Reverting

Pinpointing the exact reason why your philodendron birkin is losing its variegation can be a bit of a process. Which is the reason why we have put together this helpful guide to troubleshooting your ailing houseplant.

So grab your magnifying glass and troubleshooting hat, because we have a plant to fix!

What Is Variegation

Before we jump into problem-solving mode, let’s take a quick step back to understand what variegation is and why it is so popular amongst indoor plant enthusiasts.

The houseplant space has adopted the term variegation as a loose catch-all way of describing any plant that displays multiple colors in its foliage.

More often than not, the variegated patterns on the leaves create different markings and coloration. And, as is the case with the variegated philodendron birkin, it produces a stunning and unique looking plant that is highly popular amongst indoor plant collectors.

What Does it Mean When Philodendron Birkin Revert?

Okay, let’s get back to the matter at hand – your philodendron birkin reverting?

When a plant reverts from its variegated form, it generally loses the multicolored markings on its glossy leaves, producing non-variegated leaves.

For philodendron birkins, this means the beautiful foliage will become a uniform emerald green leaves, as opposed to the bi-colored variegated leaves with white stripes running along the leaf.

Interestingly, not all leaves will lose their variegation. When a plant begins to revert, only the new leaves will show little to no variegation patterns. It is important to note once a leaf shows signs of reverting, it cannot be reversed.

Variegated leaf vs non-variegated leaf
Variegated leaf vs Non-variegated leaf

So why is your philodendron reverting? Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why philodendrons revert.

Why Is the Philodendron Birkin Reverting? + Solutions

As we mentioned earlier, a plant reverts because it is experiencing stress.

In this section we will explore the many reasons why your philodendron birkin is losing its variegation.

Poor Lighting Conditions

If we had to wager a guess as to why your philodendron is losing its variegation, a lack of light would be at the top of the list.

Light is a critical component of the photosynthesis process plants perform to produce energy for growth. When a philodendron doesn’t receive enough light, it cannot function properly and ultimately affects your philodendron’s health. This disruption can have knock-on effects to the pigmentation process in your variegated birkin, causing it to revert and lose those coveted cream patterns on new foliage.

How to Fix Poor Lighting Conditions

The solution is simple. Move your philodendron to a brighter position where it can enjoy an abundance of indirect light.

A word of warning: before you move your beloved houseplant into a brighter position, we recommend practicing a bit of patience. Make small moves every day over the course of a few weeks. Each day move your snake plant closer to its final position. This will give it an opportunity to adapt to the change in environment, and decrease the chances of your plant experiencing shock.

variegated philodendron birkin
credit: reddit

Under watered Philodendron

Under watering a philodendron results in a very similar effect to poor lighting conditions. Depriving your precious indoor plant of water hinders its ability to perform their vital processes and function properly.

As you can appreciate, a lack of water causes stress to your philodendron birkin. When a philodendron feels stressed or threatened, it converts into survival mode. This causes it to divert all essential energy to keeping the core plant alive, leaving no energy to focus on pigmentation changes in the leaves.

How to Fix Under Watering Problems

If your birkin is under watered, the soil and plant itself is likely to be severely dehydrated.

If this is the case, we recommend soaking your soil in water with a deep watering. To achieve a deep watering, we use a technique called bottom watering. You can read more about this method in our article HERE.

Bottom watering allows your plant and soil to dictate how much water it needs to sufficiently rehydrate. For deep soakings, we like to leave our plants in the water trays for 30-40 minutes.

Inappropriate Feeding and Fertilization Levels

When it comes to nutrient levels and feeding your philodendron birkin, an underfed plant is more likely to revert. Overfed birkins will more likely suffer from fertilizer burn and yellowing leaves.

If you haven’t fed your philodendron for a while, the lack of nitrogen or phosphorus in the soil could potentially lead to a loss in variegation in the leaves. Again, the lack of nutrients situation leads to your philodendron to experience mild stress, causing it to abandon its variegated form.

variegated philodendron birkin reverting

How to Fix Underfed Philodendron Birkins

Remembering when to feed your indoor plants can be problematic. Because, unlike watering which happens at regular and frequent intervals, feeding a philodendron only occurs once or twice a year.

To help remind us to feed, we often include a reminder in our digital calendars. It emails us each time we need to feed our plants – with each species getting their own unique reminders in our calendar.

For philodendron birkins, we usually feed at the beginning of their growing season, which is spring and summer.

Temperature & Humidity Issues

As tropical plants, philodendron birkins require warm temperatures and medium to high levels of humidity. The moisture and warm temperatures facilitate the transpiration and respiratory functions of the cells in the leaves.

If a philodendron is subjected to prolonged dry periods or low temperatures (or even sometimes both), the plants’ functions become inhibited. This, again, leads to stress and a weakened plant that reverts all available energy to survival.

How to Fix Temperature and Humidity Issues

Determining how you fix your temperature and humidity levels will depend on your location and local climate.

If you live in a particularly dry climate, we recommend constructing a DIY humidity chamber. The enclosed chamber will allow you to control both the temperature and humidity levels without impacting your living conditions.

If you live in a tropical climate, there should be no problem leaving your philodendron birkin outdoors. However, you may want to consider moving your philodendron to a sheltered area, out of wind tunnels and direct sunlight. This will help to stabilize the external factors that can potentially stress it, and cause your beloved variegated plant to revert.

Old Age

Sometimes as the leaves of your philodendron birkin ages, it can appear to lose their variegated form. The leaves begin to darken, and the little markings begin to fade.

If this is happening to your plant, then take a sigh of relief because this is normal behavior.

Note, this only applies to older leaves on your plant (usually the leaves towards the bottom of the plant). If you notice this type of behavior in the newer leaves, then unfortunately it is starting to revert.

How Can You Stop the Plant From Reverting

If you haven’t realized yet, the best way to prevent your philodendron birkin from reverting to its original form is to take extremely good care of your plant.

By providing it with:

  1. plenty of indirect sunlight,
  2. plenty of water,
  3. good quality well-draining soil,
  4. a good all-round balanced fertilizer, and
  5. some tender love and care.

You will reduce the chance of your stunning plant becoming stressed and losing its beautiful variegated patterns.

Philodendron Birkin Reverting – Common Questions

Is reverting harmful for philodendron birkins?

The process of a philodendron reverting from its variegated form is not harmful to the plant. However, it may be signs that your plant is experiencing some stress. Generally speaking, if a plant is happy and healthy, it will not revert. We recommend troubleshooting your plant for the potential reasons detailed in this article to determine the source of the problem.

Does Philodendron Birkin Leaves Revert and Curl at the Same Time?

Reverting and curling are not always associated with each other. If your philodendron is reverting and the leaves are curling, it suggests your plant may be under watered.

However, if your philodendron is only reverting (without the curling), it may have incorrect lighting conditions or it is underfed.

Closing Comments

There is a sense of exhilaration when you first lay your eyes on a variegated philodendron birkin. Those beautifully painted leaves, each like a unique piece of artwork. But what happens when your philodendron reverts.

The reverting process suggests it is stressed and there is another primary cause, making your philodendron birkin revert and lose its variegation.

Possible causes are poor lighting, water stress, fertlizier issues or ambient enviroment conditions are wrong.

Troubleshooting your birkin’s problems will help to stop the process of reverting and produce a happier, healthier plant.