Philodendron Lemon Lime: A Complete Guide for Beginners

By Kee

Philodendron lemon lime is a plant that displays vibrant greenish-yellow and heart-shaped leaves. The plant belongs to the aroid family (Araceae) and hails from South and Central American rainforests. It is also referred to as philodendron hederaceum, and it is evergreen. A philodendron lemon lime plant has pinkish-yellow leaves when it is young, but they turn more lime green or neon as it matures.

The plant’s other common names are lemon lime heartleaf philodendron, sweetheart vine, philodendrum cordatum lemon lime, and philodendron scandens lemon lime plant.

It is possible to see the plant growing outside, but it is also a common houseplant. A philodendron lemon lime is a cascading plant, making it excellent for hanging baskets. You can also trail it up a trellis for impressively large foliage since it loves climbing.

How to Care?

Light

Like other philodendrons, this variety grows well in bright but indirect light. For a full day, the plant requires a sunlight exposure of around 75%-80%. If you are growing it indoors, the best position would be several feet from a maximum lit window. The plant can thrive quickly in low lighting, but you can provide it with a brighter light if you want it to grow even faster.

If the plant is outdoors, it is best to place it under a bright shade or somewhere with only morning or dappled sunlight. Direct and extended sunlight exposure is harmful to the plant as it will burn and damage the plant’s foliage.

Water

The watering needs for a philodendron lemon lime depend highly on the existing temperatures. However, the plant favors an evenly moist growth medium.

Your philodendron lemon lime will need watering, especially during summer and spring. The best watering method for your plant would be drenching the soil it grows and allowing the water to drain.

Always pay attention to how damp the potting soil is before watering. It is always best to let the plant dry out in between watering; after the first round of watering, you should allow the soil’s half top to dry before you can water the plant again.

The container you use for your plant should have holes at the bottom so that you can easily adjust watering requirements when necessary.

Soil

Philodendron lemon lime plants are not very picky about soil needs. A standard houseplant or outdoor potting mix will help it thrive. An ideal soil pH for the plant’s growth would be between 6-4-7.3. What you need to prioritize is good drainage, and the soil must be significantly loose for it to allow air to reach the plant’s roots.

To achieve that, you can add coco coir mix or peat to the potting soil. Loose soil provides a space for easy root expansion. You should avoid sandier soils, like the ones used for succulents, because even though they are suitable for better drainage, they are still not loose enough. They will compress and destroy the roots of your philodendron lemon lime.

Temperature

The best daytime and night temperatures for growing your plant are usually within the range of 65- 80 degrees F and 55 degrees F, respectively.

The plant’s temperature requirements are what make the plant do well indoors. However, philodendron lemon lime is highly delicate with low temperatures. Low temperatures cause it to have stunted growth. Therefore, it is best to shift it from cold or drafts during winter.

Humidity

Humidity requirements are not huge for a thriving philodendron lemon lime plant. Even though the plant does very well in tropical climates, it thrives in normal indoor humidity levels. Extra humidity will not hurt, but you don’t necessarily have to make special adjustments. For example, during summer, you can increase the humidity using a plant humidifier. This will keep the plant’s foliage fresh and prevent drying out.

A cheaper way to increase the humidity would be to place some pebbles under the plant’s pot and add water. Do not cover the rocks completely. This method increases humidity levels around the plant.

Increasing the humidity can help if you want the leaves to grow larger or a generally large plant. Occasionally misting the plant is doable, but it is not necessary. During winter, you will need to be careful with the plant since the air can dry up significantly.

Fertilizing

The plant doesn’t require much fertilizing because it is not a heavy feeder. However, it is best to fertilize it occasionally in its active growth phase, usually through summer and spring. When the plant is not in its growing season, you should fertilize it every other month. During winter, a philodendron lemon lime plant will have a slowed down growth rate. During the season, you should lessen fertilizer application.

A standard plant fertilizer is ideal but use it at a quarter or half its strength. Always make sure to follow the fertilizing requirements as recommended by the manufacturer. Improperly feeding your plant can cause it to have a drastically slowed development. If you add too much fertilizer, it can result in a burnt plant.

Peat moss makes an excellent fertilizing option and helps the plant’s roots remain moist.

Height and Growth Rate

An indoor philodendron lemon lime plant can grow up to a height of about 10-12 inches with a width of about 12-24 inches. If the plant is grown in more open spaces or outside, it can grow larger. The leaves can grow to about 7-8 inches in length with a width of about an inch, and the plant’s stem can grow to 12 inches.

When the plant’s stem elongates, it begins to bend downwards, with vine-like growth cascading down to the ground gently.

You can prune the plant if you feel its trail or vines are overgrown. But make sure to reduce the volume by trimming above the leaf nodes. That will stimulate enhanced growth if your plant seems to be growing slowly. While you prune, you should use sharp pruning shears, and you mustn’t twist or rip off the stems or leaves being pruned. This can lead to the leaves getting scarred.

Flower

In most cases, philodendron lemon lime plants are non-flowering and do not bloom. However, you may sometimes see the plant bloom with white pearl flowers, especially in the best growth conditions. These flowers are typically not long-lasting, and their appearance can change with time.

How to Propagate Philodendron Lemon Lime?

Propagation is easy, and the plant is suitable for water and soil propagation. The ideal time to propagate is when the plant is when it’s growing. That would mean summer or springtime. New growths with no defects are best for making the propagation cuttings.

Water Propagation

To propagate using water, you make a stem cutting from a healthy part of the plant. A stem that has two or three nodes is your best bet. Place the cutting in water and remove all except a topmost couple of leaves. You will need to place the plant in a location that has bright but indirect sunlight and refresh the water used for growth weekly or so.

Immediately there is remarkable and evident root growth; it is time to put the cutting in the new soil. At this point, you will need to keep the cutting moist until the roots can adapt and convert into soil roots.

Roots should develop in about three weeks, and a new stem should be visible after the first two to four months into propagation. Gently tugging the cutting can help you see if there is root development.

Soil Propagation

The water rooting step can be skipped, and you can just put the plant’s cutting directly into the soil. You should make the cut on a stem that has several leaves/ nodes. A node is the joint of the stem and a leaf. You should remove leaves that may go into the soil, place the cutting in moist and rich soil, and have the node(s) a few inches deep.

High humidity levels and a warm space should be maintained around the cut for faster root growth. A rooting hormone is also excellent for this method to be highly effective. It helps jumpstart the roots’ growth.

Philodendron Lemon Lime Repotting

The plant will generally be ready to repot into a new container when its dormant period comes to an end in winter and early spring when it’s starting to grow. The plant doesn’t get bothered by being slightly root bound since the plant’s roots will eventually grow to be ball-like. However, the plant still requires repotting with newly growing leaves to avoid stunted growth.

When repotting, the best practice is to do soil replacement for the plant to access fresh nutrients.

Is Philodendron Lemon Lime Poisonous?

The plant contains crystals of calcium oxalate, and they are harmful if humans or pets ingest them. They can cause nausea and vomiting, stomach irritation, mouth swells, and drooling. If you have pets, you should place the plant out of their reach. To avoid accidental ingestion by pets, you should also trim the plant if it has grown too long.

Pests and Diseases

The philodendron lemon lime plant is pretty resistant to pests. However, it is not uncommon to find pest infestations because some pests are more stubborn compared to others. You may see spider mites, mealybugs, and gnats on the plant.

Gnats are irritating, and you can get rid of them by removing any plant debris. This means any leaves and stems that appear to be dying or those that are already dead. Gnats like moisture; therefore, avoid keeping the soil too moist over long periods.

To get rid of mealybugs, wipe the leaves and stems with a cotton ball that has been drenched in rubbing alcohol. Follow by mixing one part of the rubbing alcohol with one quart of water and dish soap and spraying the plant every week until they are gone.

Spider mites form a web and appear like tiny red or black dots on the plant. To get rid of them, you will need to spray your plant under a faucet and then treat it using a solution made from neem oil, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide weekly.

Occasionally wiping the leaves will free them from dust and help with pest avoidance.

The plant may suffer from fungal diseases like rotting stems and black leaf spots if it is growing in soggy soil. If you overwater the plant, it can be susceptible to root rot.

Compared to Other Similar Plants

Philodendron Lemon Lime vs. Neon Pothos

Neon pothos and philodendron lemon lime are commonly confused plants. This is mainly because they both are yellow-green with a neon highlight. However, to best differentiate them, you need to look at their leaves and stems.

Newly growing neon pothos leaves appear to have a light yellow-green color, while a young philodendron lemon lime plant will have pinkish or dark brown leaves. When it comes to leaf texture, you will find that the philodendron lemon lime leaves are thin and smooth, while those of the neon pothos tend to have ribbed texture due to their grooves.

The philodendron lemon lime has slightly thinner stems than those of the neon pothos. It also grows thinner aerial roots than neon pothos. Philodendron lemon lime grows sheaths while neon pothos doesn’t.

Philodendron Lemon Lime vs. Philodendron Golden Goddess

Philodendron lemon lime belongs to the philodendron aroid family, while the golden goddess is a cultivated variety of philodendron erubescens. Golden goddess is a non-variegated hybrid with a gangly upright growth habit, while the lemon lime variety is a patent variety. You, however, may see some golden goddess leaves with varying extents of green variegation.

A golden goddess philodendron plant will have leaves with a more buttery-yellow color, while a philodendron lemon lime will have bright greenish-yellow leaves predominantly. A lemon lime plant will also have petioles that are more pinkish than the ones for a golden goddess plant.

Philodendron Lemon Lime vs. Moonlight

Philodendron lemon lime and philodendron moonlight will have yellow-green leaves as they grow. However, the leaves differ upon maturity. Philodendron lemon lime will have heart-shaped leaves, while moonlight leaves do not gain the heart shape.

The moonlight philodendron ones will be oblong shaped and have a bright but darker green upon maturity. A mature philodendron lemon lime plant has a bright yellow-green color upon maturity.

Common Problems

Even with Philodendron lemon lime plants being relatively easy to grow and maintain indoors, they are susceptible to common problems. Prevalent problems occur on the leaves and will typically be brought about by unfavorable growth conditions.

Once you see discolored, damaged, or completely dead leaves, it is always best to cut them off, especially if you have adjusted the growth requirements and there is no change.

Common problems to watch out for include:

Leaves Curling

Curled philodendron lemon lime leaves would be an indication that the plant is receiving low light, which would mean that you need to place it in a place with more light exposure. Low temperatures also cause the plant’s leaves to wilt.

Leaves that appear to be becoming soft or wilting can also indicate underwatering. Take the container to the sink and then rehydrate the soil by saturating it with water to remedy underwatering. However, do not allow a lot of water to sit. Instead, let it drain through and go back to a regular watering schedule.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Yellow leaves will be an indication that you are overwatering your plant. That is why you must always take precautions before watering the plant again. Typically, the plant contains yellow-green leaves, and once they turn yellow, they may be hard to recognize. However, the unhealthy yellow color that shows on the plant is typically less vibrant than the natural yellow color.

If you have been overwatering your plant, you should let it dry up to the point that the leaves appear to be drooping a bit. Afterward, water the soil heavily and allow the water to drain from the potting container’s bottom, then return to the watering practice advised above.

Continued sunlight exposure will also cause the plant’s leaves to burn.

Leaves Turning Brown

Brown leaves mean that your plant is not getting adequate water. You will need to increase watering. Once the philodendron lemon lime has had an adjustment period and recovered, do not immediately drench it.

Even though the plant can quickly bounce back from underwatering, you should avoid the same happening frequently. Constant droughts will stress your plant, causing it not to thrive.

If the plant shows brown spots, it can be an indication that it has leaf spot disease caused by bacteria, fungus, and moist conditions.

Small Leaves

Suppose your philodendron lemon lime plant seems to have small leaves. In that case, that means it is generally not getting enough nutrients due to unfavorable growth conditions. However, inadequate sunlight is usually the main culprit. To resolve, you need to adjust growth conditions as per our recommendations.

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