Why Is My Philodendron Birkin Losing Variegation?

Variegated Philodendron Birkin is a gorgeous plant unique due to its pinstriping and pretty white or pink colors against the rich green. This is how many people recognize this species of Philodendron. 

But that doesn’t mean that every Philodendron Birkin has this variegation. Due to instability with the mutation, some plants may never have the variegation, and some plants that start with variegation can lose it. 

Philodendron Birkin variegation is most often lost because of too much or too little sunlight (usually fixed by trimming back any leaves without variegation). Though sometimes, this plant can revert the mutation for no reason and won’t produce variegation again. 

While this change can be unfortunate, it is a part of having this lovely plant, and, in a way, it is even more unique. Thankfully, the leaves already variegated will not lose their color, so you will have those for a while, even as the plant starts to change back to green. 

Does Philodendron Birkin Revert?

While it is rare in the right light, Philodendron Birkin can revert back. It is also possible that the plant is simply reverting to its normal green color because of a mutation. 

The variegation of Philodendron Birkin depends heavily on light. Too much sunlight can cause the plant to turn lighter, causing the loss of its beautiful white stripes, while too little sunlight can cause it to lose its variegation entirely and change to a solid green color once again. 

How to Keep Your Birkin Variegated

Variegated Birkin
Generally, as long as your plant is well taken care of, they shouldn’t revert often. However, it does happen sometimes, and there are steps you can take to get back the variegated patterns.  

The biggest thing to do is ensure your plant gets the right amount of sunlight. Too much or too little light can cause the beautiful stripes or margin colors to disappear into the leaf or not appear in new leaves at all. Philodendron Birkin plants need up to 12 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day.

If the leaves start to lose variegation, and many leaves have appeared without it, you can also cut your plant back. You would cut your Philodendron Birkin back to the last variegated leaf. This promotes the variegation to come back. 

If you have a mix of variegated and non-variegated leaves, you will want to trim off leaves that don’t match the pattern you want. This means that wholly green leaves can be cut off, partially variegated, and partially green leaves can also be removed.

Unfortunately, these are not foolproof methods because the variegation is relatively unstable and could still revert to solid green even with proper care. 

How Do I Make My Philodendron Variegated?

If your Philodendron wasn’t variegated initially, it isn’t easy to do it yourself. The best solution is to get cuttings from variegated plants and try to grow them. Make sure the cutting you take has variegated leaves to increase your chances. 

If your ordinarily green plant suddenly starts to show signs of variegation, it is more likely due to a mutation rather than variegation, especially if it only shows up in part of your plant. Other times, you can get a plant with variegated genes that might start to variegate as it grows more mature. However, there isn’t a way to tell, and it is pretty unstable

Can You Force a Plant to Variegate?

Unfortunately, you can’t force a plant to variegate. If a plant doesn’t show signs of variegation, it likely won’t ever variegate, no matter what you do. Instead, getting a plant already variegated or taking a cutting from someone else is better. 

This is especially true in the case of Philodendron Birkin because the mutation that causes variegation is so unstable there is no way to tell if your plant will revert or if it will stay variegated, even with proper care. 

Why Is My Philodendron Birkin’s New Growth Brown?

Browning of leaves on Philodendron Birkin, whether new or old, is often due to improper watering. Too much or too little water can cause the leaves to be brown. You want to keep the soil moist but not wet. 

The best way to do this is to ensure that your plant is in a pot with plenty of drainage holes so excess water can drain out instead of sitting in the pot. 

Sometimes, the amount of sunlight can also cause the browning of leaves on new growth. Too much light can cause damage, but too little can do the same. 

Lack of fertilizer and nutrients can also be a problem worth looking into. If you haven’t fertilized your plant in a long time, it may show signs of missing important nutrients that your Philodendron Birkin needs to survive. 

The other problem to check is whether your plant is root bound. If your plant has been left without enough space in its pot, the new growth will show signs of injury before the older growth. 

Why Doesn’t My Birkin Have White Stripes?

Philo Birkin
While many Philodendron Birkin have variegation, not all plant versions will. The mutation that causes variegation in Philodendron Birkin isn’t stable, and some plants never have the white stripes, while others may start with white stripes and quickly change to solid green. 

While it is unfortunate that you never know which one you are getting, it is just a part of owning these unique and interesting plants. 

What Causes Variegated Leaves to Revert?

With Philodendron Birkin, the most common reason is a lack of proper sunlight. However, losing variegation can also be a survival technique, as variegated leaves cannot get as much energy. This is because only the green parts of leaves can get the energy a plant needs from the sun. 

So if your plant can’t get enough energy from the sun because it doesn’t have enough green spots on the leaves, it may start changing the new leaves to green to try and get what it needs. 

Too extreme temperatures can also change a plant back to normal, as the plant is responding to shock from the change in temperatures. 

However, the plants can sometimes revert to a standard color without warning due to genes and instability. This random reverting is rare, but it is possible. 

Do Philodendron Birkin Leaves Stay White?

Usually, once a plant has produced a mature leaf, this leaf won’t lose its white color. The white areas don’t have chlorophyll in them, like leaves that are damaged and lose their green have no chlorophyll. 

Once a leaf is damaged, it isn’t possible to bring in chlorophyll. The same is true of variegated leaves. As long as the leaf is alive and not injured somehow, it will stay solid white or keep its stripes. 

Although a plant can lose its variegation, that happens on a leaf-to-leaf basis and not with the whole plant at once. So even if your plant loses its variegation and new leaves start turning green, the old leaves will not suddenly turn green and lose their white stripes. 

This is why many people say that to try and bring back the variegation, you can cut back the plant to its last variegated leaf. Since those colors never change, you can see where the plant began to show signs of reverting and losing its variegation. 

It is worth noting that younger leaves may start with more white. As the plant matures, some white/pink colors may darken and return to standard green. This is normal and to be expected. But once a leaf is mature, it will likely not change colors. 


Philodendron Birkin is a gorgeous plant that often has unique white or pink variegation in the form of pinstripes or along the margins of the leaves. The variegation is due to a mutation that is still relatively unstable. 

Philodendron Birkin variegation is most often lost because of too much or too little sunlight. Though sometimes, this plant can revert the mutation for no reason and won’t produce variegation again. The Philodendron Birkin needs up to 12 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day.

This means that, unfortunately, this variegation can be lost. Even a plant that started as variegated may begin to revert to a solid green color. Sometimes, this can be fixed by cutting the plant or giving it the proper care, but it is also possible that the loss is random.