It can be easy to fall in love with many of the chartreuse-colored Philodendron varieties, but it can be challenging to identify many of them. With so many nicknames, such as neon, lemon, golden, and lime, it can be much more challenging to differentiate a Philodendron Moonlight (Philodendron sp. Moonlight) from a Lemon Lime Philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum Aureum).
The Philodendron Moonlight is a self-heading Philodendron variety with elongated leaves, while the Philodendron Lemon Lime has smaller, heart-shaped leaves that will trail and vine as it matures.
The color behavior can also be an indicator of their structural differences. While the color of the juvenile Philodendron Moonlight leaves and the Philodendron Lemon Lime are mostly identical, they will be easier to differentiate as the leaves mature. The Philodendron Moonlight’s leaves change color to the traditional emerald green.
Philodendron Lemon Lime
A few varieties of Philodendron have the nickname “Lemon Lime,” namely for their golden or chartreuse leaves. This can cause confusion, especially since most of these Philodendron varieties have other nicknames that involve words like golden, neon, lemon, or lime.
The most commonly recognized houseplant called “Philodendron Lemon Lime” is the Philodendron Hederaceum Aureum, which this article will be referencing when comparing the two types of Philodendrons.
Philodendron Moonlight vs. Lemon Lime
The most significant difference between the Philodendron Moonlight and the Philodendron Lemon Lime can be found in the leaves. Philodendron Lemon Lime develops bright neon green leaves that remain the same over its lifetime. On the other hand, the Philodendron Moonlight will have the same bright neon green-colored leaves, but they will eventually darken and turn a medium green color as the leaf matures.
For this reason, it can be easier to identify a Philodendron Moonlight when it is a more mature plant, as the contrast between new, neon-colored leaves and more mature growth will be much more apparent.
How Do You Keep Lemon Lime Philodendron Bright?
Philodendron Lemon Lime will remain a bright neon color as the coloring of the leaf is very stable. You can always increase the vibrancy of your Philodendron Lemon Lime through proper care and light conditions. Provide your Lemon Lime Philodendron with bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and moderate to high humidity levels.
Also provide your Philodendron Lemon Lime with adequate soil and fertilize it during the growing season. If you think your Philodendron Lemon Lime isn’t receiving enough light, you can always supplement it with artificial grow lights. All these techniques will contribute to a healthier plant, ensuring that your Philodendron Lemon Lime remains bright and vibrant.
Color isn’t the only distinction between the Moonlight and the Lemon Lime Philodendron. They also have very different growth patterns and leaf shapes, which should help you differentiate between them.
Philodendron Lemon Lime has a similar leaf structure to the Heart-Leaf Philodendron, with the exception that the Heart-Leaf Philodendron has a dark green leaf color. Instead, the Lemon Lime is more of a golden, neon green.
Lemon Lime Philodendron can also be confused with Neon Pothos due to their similar growth pattern. Between these two, the difference lies in the leaf shape. While the Neon Pothos is more elongated and waxy, the Lemon Lime Philodendron is more traditionally heart-shaped and soft.
Philodendron Moonlight has almost spear-shaped and very elongated leaves. Moonlight leaves can grow much larger than the Lemon Lime Philodendron. Their leaf shape resembles other self-heading Philodendrons, like the Philodendron Prince of Orange.
Size and Growth Patterns
Another significant difference between the Philodendron Lemon Lime and the Philodendron Moonlight is their overall growth pattern. Philodendron Lemon Limes are trailing houseplants. They make excellent hanging houseplants as they will grow in vine-like patterns. Their growth pattern resembles the Heart-Leaf Philodendron or the Philodendron Micans.
On the other hand, the Philodendron Moonlight has a growth pattern that resembles the Philodendron Birken or the Philodendron Prince of Orange. It grows in a shrub-like pattern, climbing upwards.
Does Lemon Lime Philodendron Climb?
Like the Heart-Leaf Philodendron, you can train your Lemon Lime Philodendron to climb. Of course, your Lemon Lime Philodendron would prefer a moss pole to climb, but you can experiment by training your Lemon Lime Philodendron to climb up a plank of wood or even train it to grow on your wall.
How Big Does Lemon Lime Philodendron Get?
Lemon Lime Philodendron can climb or trail up to 4 feet (1.2 m) on average. However, if given optimal light and growing conditions, you may find your Lemon Lime Philodendron growing even taller.
Is Philodendron Moonlight a Climber?
Yes, Philodendron Moonlight will grow larger and faster when given a moss pole to climb upwards. Like most self-heading Philodendron varieties, using a moss pole or trellis will encourage your Philodendron Moonlight to grow large, providing additional light and humidity.
How Big Do Moonlight Plants Get?
Philodendron Moonlight can grow up to 2 feet tall (60 cm) and spread to just over 2 feet (60 cm) wide. You may get your Philodendron Moonlight to grow a bit taller or wider than average with optimal care and light conditions.
How Do You Care for Moonlight Philodendron?
Moonlight Philodendrons enjoy warm, tropical conditions that best replicate their natural environment. Ideally, they prefer conditions between 75°F and 85°F (23°C and 29°C), but large, hardy plants can survive in moderate household temperatures above 60°F (15°C).
They require between 200-400 Foot Candles of sunlight, typically bright indirect light, but some varieties may be a bit more tolerant of medium light levels. Moonlight Philodendron also prefers almost completely to dry out between waterings.
To prevent root rot, well-draining soil is imperative for the self-heading varieties of Philodendron. Regarding humidity, above 50% is preferred, with ideally more humid conditions between 60-80%. Philodendron Moonlight prefers fertilizers slightly higher in nitrogen, so an N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) ratio of 3-1-2 or 2-1-2 would be the best choice for this variety.
Propagating self-heading Philodendrons like the Moonlight can be challenging, particularly in juvenile plants. This is why many of them are produced from tissue culture. However, you can still prune a portion of your Philodendron Moonlight if the cutting has a node to grow roots.
How Do You Care for Philodendron Lemon Lime?
While most vining Philodendrons can do reasonably well with low light environments, with many surviving in just 100-200 Foot Candles, your Philodendron Lemon Lime needs slightly brighter conditions.
Their brilliant golden-colored leaves produce less chlorophyll. This means you will want to supplement a bit extra light to compensate, just as you would a variegated plant. Ensure you don’t overdo the extra light, as their leaves are also quite sensitive and can burn if given too much.
Philodendron Lemon Lime prefers its soil to mostly dry out between waterings and requires a very well-draining soil mixture to prevent root rot. The Philodendron Lemon Lime is quite hardy. They prefer humidity levels above 50% and temperatures above 60°F (15°C).
These Philodendrons also enjoy a more balanced fertilizer mix, which means a diluted mixture of 20-20-20 will work well during the growing season, as long as care is taken not to over-fertilize.
Propagation of vining Philodendron, including Philodendron Lemon Lime, is very easy, as long as you take a stem cutting with a node. These cuttings can be rooted in water and given bright, indirect light and warm temperatures to encourage root growth.
Comparison of Other Philodendron Varieties
Philodendron Goddess vs. Lemon Lime
While occasionally nicknamed “Lemon Lime” for its distinct colors, it is more commonly known as Philodendron Goddess or the Philodendron Golden Goddess. The Philodendron Golden Goddess belongs to the Domesticum cultivar and has very little in common with the Philodendron Lemon Lime. However, the Lemon Lime nickname occasionally pops up because the colors are strikingly similar.
Philodendron Moonlight vs. Golden Goddess
The Golden Goddess can resemble the Philodendron Moonlight because it also has a similar growth pattern, but the leaves are thinner and do not change color over time. People struggle to differentiate the Golden Goddess from the Philodendron Moonlight when they are in their juvenile state, as they can look quite similar.
The Philodendron Golden Goddess will eventually start to trail when it matures, but it can also climb just like the Philodendron Moonlight when trained on a moss pole or a trellis. The Philodendron Golden Goddess can grow significantly larger than the Philodendron Moonlight, with the ability to grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall under optimal conditions. This is quite a bit larger than the average height of the Philodendron Moonlight, which is around 2 feet (60 cm) tall.
The biggest difference between Philodendron Moonlight and Philodendron Lemon Lime is their leaf shape and overall growth structure. Philodendron Moonlight is a self-heading Philodendron variety with elongated leaves, while the Philodendron Lemon Lime has smaller, heart-shaped leaves that will trail and vine as it matures.
Both Philodendrons prefer temperatures above 60°F (15°C), bright indirect sunlight, and humidity above 50%. The Philodendron Moonlight prefers a fertilizer higher in nitrogen while the Lemon Lime prefers a more balanced fertilizer.
It’s no surprise that confusion may surface when identifying the lime-colored Philodendron varieties, though these two plants do have distinct differences but will make wonderful additions to your home or garden.