Why does my Philodendron Birkin have yellow leaves?

Last Updated: May 30, 2022

The Philodendron Birkin has really risen up the houseplant popularity ranks recently and with their incredible pinstripe leaves, we totally understand why! Their beautiful foliage makes it even more heartbreaking when you notice that their leaves are turning yellow. But don’t worry, we have put together this guide to help you diagnose the issue, fix it and prevent your Philodendron Birkin from developing more yellow leaves in future.

Below you will find each of the main reasons behind yellow Philodendron Birkin leaves so you can figure out which is troubling your plant. 

Overwatering is the most common cause of yellow leaves

Consistent overwatering will cause the roots of your Philodendron Birkin to rot and the plant won’t be able to take up any of the needed nutrients. This is what causes the leaves to turn yellow and you might also notice them turning mushy and drooping down before falling off the plant entirely.  

Take your Philodendron Birkin out of the pot to check if the potting mix is waterlogged and replace it if necessary. Cut off any of the rotten roots to encourage new healthy growth.

Going forward, reduce either the amount of water you are giving your Philodendron Birkin or how frequently you are watering your plant. Continue to check the moisture levels in the soil regularly to reduce the risk of more yellow leaves developing. 

If you’re finding it difficult to maintain good watering habits for your plants, it might be worth looking into some other options that can make the whole process significantly easier.

Our first suggestion would be to make sure that the pots you’re using are allowing some of the excess moisture out of the soil.

This can be done in a couple of main ways. The first is by ensuring that you have drainage holes in the base of the inner pots, and that these drainage holes aren’t blocked by any large soil debris (this happens more than you might think!).

If that isn’t solving your problem then we would highly suggest investing in either self-watering or terracotta/ clay pots.

Self-watering pots (like these ones) offer a super easy way to get the correct moisture levels all of the time, and can also be great for holidays/ vacations when you’re not around to water your plants.

Terracotta or clay pots are fantastic because, unlike plastic pots, the materials they’re made of are permeable. This means that any of the excess moisture in the soil will wick through the sides of the pot and evaporate away.

Philodendron Birkin Plant

Philodendron Birkin Plant

Intense sunlight can burn the leaves

Intense, direct sunlight can be quite a common reason why Philodendron Birkin plants start to have yellow leaves. Though a lack of light can also cause several issues for them, they don’t do well in harsh direct sunlight. 

Intense sunlight (most commonly during summer) will very quickly scorch and burn the leaves of your Philodendron Birkin which is, unfortunately, irreversible. It will dry out and burn the leaves, causing large yellow patches throughout the affected areas.

Too much direct sunlight is quick and easy to fix as you just need to find a shadier spot for your Philodendron Birkin. This should help avoid future yellow leaves. If you are unsure how much light your plant is getting throughout the day/year, it can be useful to use a light meter to keep track.

Natural ageing

If you have gone through all of the above but none of it really fits what is going on with your Philodendron Birkin then it may simply be natural ageing. As your plant ages, it’s only natural for some of the oldest and lowest leaves to turn yellow and fall off your plant. This happens as your plant prioritises new and larger growth. It’s not a reaction to anything you did wrong or any problem in the environment.

It’s a good idea to monitor the rate of yellowing as you want more new leaves to grow compared to the ones that turn yellow. If this switches and more leaves are turning yellow, then it’s a good idea to check the light levels and moisture levels in the soil to see if there is another case. 

Those are the three most common reasons why Philodendron Birkin plants develop yellow leaves. It’s important to first establish whether or not it is natural ageing that is causing the yellow leaves. If yes, then you have absolutely no reason to worry, this is just the natural shedding process and it will happen to most of your plants as they mature.

However, if lighting or watering issues are causing the yellow leaves on your Philodendron Birkin, then it’s important to act straight away to rectify the problem. The sooner you act, the more chance you will have at reviving your plant. 

You can find out more about caring for your plant, along with propagation methods and our top care tips in our Philodendron Birkin care guide. 

Fiddle and Thorn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

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