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Philodendron Lemon Care Guide For Beginners

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Philodendron domesticum cultivar Lemon Lime is a cascading vine famous for its striking lime green and golden yellow leaves.  Easy to grow, it requires warm temperatures; plenty of indirect light; well-drained soil; watering when dry; and fertilizing during its growth period.  

Did you know that Philodendron Lemon is a naturally occurring, spontaneous mutation?  It was found among several thousand random tissue cultures of the Philodendron domesticum plant.  Read on for more information and guidelines on caring for this plant.

Philodendron Lemon Care

Characteristics Of The Philodendron Lemon Plant

The Philodendron Lemon Plant is a deciduous perennial climbing plant.  It is recognized by its striking heart-shaped, lime green and golden yellow (lemon and lime) leaves. 

It is commonly a houseplant, but it can grow outside if the temperatures are not too harsh. 

Philodendron Lemon Lime is a cultivar of the green leaf Philodendron domesticum plant.   Below is the scientific summary of Philodendron Lemon:

Plant Summary
Botanical NamePhilodendron domesticum cultivar Lemon Lime
Common NamesPhilodendron Lemon Golden Brazil Philodendron Scandens Lemon Lime Plant Lemon Lime Heartleaf Philodendron  

Philodendron Lemon Lime was discovered in 2004 by Tai Yam, a Malaysian, in a laboratory in Nanhai, China.  He noted a mutation in the color of the leaves of a Philodendron domesticum plant. 

Tai Yam then successfully reproduced the plant through tissue culture in the same lab.

The plant has been reproduced many times since then through micro-propagation.

The successful reproduction is proof that the lemon and lime-colored leaves are stable and that the plant will not revert to the green-colored leaves as its parent plant and before mutation. 

What Do The Leaves Of The Philodendron Lemon Look Like?

At first, the leaves are pinkish, and only once the plant matures, the leaves turn the strikingly beautiful lime green and golden yellow color.  The leaves are narrow and heart-shaped and grow 7 – 8” long and 1” wide.

How Big Does A Philodendron Lemon Lime Grow?

The stems of this plant are elongated, and as the plant grows, it will begin to bend downward and grow like a vine, softly cascading to the ground.  Indoor plants reach a height of 10-12” and a width of 12-24”.

This plant will grow much larger outdoors if the temperature is warm, where it will have more space to spread its lovely foliage.  Philodendron Lemon Lime will grow faster if provided with rigid support to attach its vine.

Philodendron Lemon Plant

Caring For A Philodendron Lemon Lime

It does not take much to keep a Philodendron Lemon Lime happy and healthy, just follow the guidelines below.

What Soil Do Philodendron Lemon Plants Prefer?

A Philodendron Lemon grows well in any houseplant potting mix but requires good drainage and loose soil to aerate the roots

Mix organic matter such as peat, or even better, coconut coir, with the soil mix to keep the soil moist but not wet.  Avoid sandy soil as it will become too compact with no space for the roots.

  • Use coconut coir instead of peat for an eco-friendlier product.  Coconut coir aids in proper draining and aeration and has an ideal 6.0pH level. 
  • A green thumb tip – choose a good pot with holes at the bottom for drainage.  Hanging baskets and terracotta pots will do well, but plastic pots will need extra holes to be drilled into them.

When To Water Philodendron Lemon Lime

The best way to water a Philodendron Lemon Lime is to drench the soil and then allow the soil to drain through. 

This is easy to do indoors; deep water the plants in a tub or sink and allow them to drain.  Only water again once the top half of the soil is dry.

Do not overwater the plant as the leaves will become droopy and turn a yellow color which is less intense than its normal vibrant, yellow-colored leaves.  Plants that get too little water, the leaves will turn brown.

What Are The Temperature Requirements Of Philodendron Lemon Lime?

Philodendron Lemon Lime Plants are sensitive to low temperatures.   Therefore, these plants grow better in controlled temperatures indoors than when exposed to the ever-changing elements outdoors.

The ideal temperature for these plants is 65 to 80°F and not lower than 55°F at night.  Still, they will grow well in any warm household temperature.  It is best to place the plant in an area with no drafts from open windows or where the aircon can blow directly onto them.

If the Philodendron Lemon Lime is not comfortable with the temperature in the home, its leaves will droop, and the plant will wilt.

Do Philodendron Lemon Lime Plants Prefer Humid Conditions?

Philodendron Lemon Lime

Philodendrons prefer moist air as they are tropical plants but will do well in humidity levels found in most homes.  However, if the humidity level has increased, this plant will produce larger leaves, and the general growth will increase. 

To keep the leaves fresh, use a humidifier or a pebble tray and occasionally mist the leaves to keep the plant hydrated.

Light Requirements Of Philodendron Lemon Lime

Philodendron Lemon Lime requires daily exposure to sunlight of 78-80% for optimal growth.  That said, do not place the plant in direct sunlight but rather on a shelf or in a hanging basket near a sunny window.

Placing the plant in direct sunlight will burn the leaves and cause damage.  If the plant is not getting enough light, the leaves will become droopy.

For Philodendron Lemon Lime plants growing outdoors, the plant prefers morning sun only or bright shade. 

The ideal placement for these forest-dwelling plants would be in an area with shade and plenty of indirect sunlight

When To Fertilize Philodendron Lemon Lime

The ideal time to fertilize this plant is during its growing season in spring and summer.  Applying standard plant fertilizer at ½ strength once a month is essential to receive enough nutrients for healthy growth.

When the plant slows down its growth during the winter months, fertilize at a ¼ strength every 2nd month.  Be careful not to over-fertilize.  A sign of fertilizing too frequently is soft white marks on the surface or if the soil is crusty.  

The fertilizer can be flushed from the soil by repeatedly watering the plant.  However, the safest way would be to repot the plant with clean, fresh soil.

  • The best fertilizer for this plant is a balanced liquid organic fertilizer with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

How To Prune A Philodendron Lemon Lime?

To keep the Philodendron looking tidy, prune dead, discolored, or damaged leaves using sharp and clean scissors or shears.  

Also, prune the plant if it has become too leggy with not many leaves or has too much foliage and is losing its shape.

Snip off dead or damaged foliage at the ends attached to the stem.  Trim the stems above the leaf nodes to stimulate and improve growth.  New leaves will emerge from these nodes.  When pruning, be sure to make the cuts small and neat to avoid contamination.

  • Cleaning tip – wipe the leaves clean with tepid water, either distilled or rainwater, whenever they look dusty.  If the leaves are very dirty, mix a tablespoon of white vinegar with the water and then wipe again with clean water.

The leaves must be kept clean as dust prevents them from absorbing the sun’s light effectively and slows up photosynthesis.

Propagation Of A Philodendron Lemon Lime?

Propagation of this plant can be done by using two methods:

Propagation In Water

  • Fill a tall glass or vase with water and allow it to stand overnight so that the chlorine can be dispersed.
  • Take a 6” stem that has been cut off just below a set of leaves.  Vining plants have clusters of nodes, so cut between them (internodal cutting). 
  • Remove the leaves so that 2 of the nodes are bare and place the stem in the vase.  The upper leaves should sit above the water, but the two nodes must sit in the water.
  • Change the water every 3 days during the daytime, and after 10 days, the roots should start to appear.
  • Allow the roots to reach at least an inch in length before planting the cutting in a 3 to 4″ wide pot.  Fill the pot with fresh potting soil and keep the plant moist.
  • To make sure the plant has taken root, gently tug at the plant, and if there is resistance, the cutting is on its way to becoming a beautiful plant.
  • Give the plant the same care as the mother plant.

Propagation In Soil

  • For soil propagation, remove a cutting the same way as the water method, but trim the stem much shorter, leaving only a small length under the node.
  • Place a mixture of potting soil, perlite, vermiculite, and orchard bark in a planter 3-4″ wide with drainage holes at the bottom.
  • Thoroughly wet the soil with tap water to soak the mixture.
  • Place the cutting into the center of the pot and cover it with the soil so that the plant stands sturdy and upright.
  • Cover the plant with clear plastic and pierce the plastic to make holes for the air to move freely around the cutting.  The plastic helps to hold in the moisture.
  • Place the plant in a warm spot with indirect sunlight and a temperature of 75°F.
  • The plant should take root within 4 weeks.  Once there is new growth above the soil, the plant is ready to replant into a bigger pot if desired.

Tip for propagation – identify old-growth with woody stems at the mother plant’s base and take cuttings from here.  These stems are tougher and already strong and well established.

Repotting A Philodendron Lemon Lime

A Philodendron Lemon Lime is not too particular about being rootbound as its roots grow into a ball.  However, it is time to repot if the roots are growing out of the drainage holes and from the soil.

The best time to repot this plant is early spring, the start of the growing period.  Select a pot that is one size large than the original container. 

The new pot should have enough holes for water to drain freely.  Fill the pot with a good drainage potting mix and some coconut coir.

Gently free the plant from its pot and remove the soil from the roots with your hands.  Examine the roots; they should be white or a light tan in color and flexible.  Cut away any roots that are mushy or that look unhealthy.

If the roots have developed a ball, snip several vertical cuts from top to bottom around the ball.  This will free the roots and encourage new root growth.  The plant is now ready for its new pot.

Half fill the new pot with the soil mix, place the plant in the center and fill in the soil so that the plant stands firm and straight.  Water deeply until the water runs out freely from the holes in the pot.

  • Tip for repotting – wear gloves to protect hands from the Philodendron’s sap which could cause a skin rash when pruning and repotting this plant.

Common Problems Of Philodendron Lemon Lime

These plants have very few problems and thrive in suitable conditions.  However, there are a few common problems that crop up.  These are:

Brown And Curling Leaves In Philodendron Lemon Lime

If the plant’s leaves turn brown and are wilting and soft, it is a sign of underwatering.  To rehydrate the plant, water it deeply in a water basin until it becomes saturated. 

Then allow the water to drain through and return the plant to its warm space.  Water the plant again when the top half of the soil is dry.

  • Tip for underwatering – once the plant has recovered from being dried out, avoid overwatering the plant and take care not to let the plant become underwatered again.  Experiencing drought too often causes stress to the plant and leads to other problems.

Why Is Philodendron Lemon Lime Becoming Leggy?

The Philodendron Lemon Lime plant will become leggy when not receiving enough light

This tropical plant needs light and is stretching out to the light, not just showing signs of growth!  Move the plant to a room where there is a lot of indirect sunlight.

Slow Growth In Philodendron Lemon Lime

If the plant remains the same length and shows no sign of sprouting, the environment is likely too cold.  

Ensure that the room temperature is between 65° to 80°F and that the plant is not in a draft, near a vent or open window, or move the plant to a warmer area in the home.

Plant Pests And Diseases In Philodendron Lemon Lime

There are a few pests and diseases that could cause irritation and harm to this plant, such as:

  • Gnats are harmless to the plant but can be annoying for the owner.  Remove any leaves that are dying or unhealthy, and don’t let the plant be moist for too long.  Gnats thrive in moisture, and this will attract them to the plant.
  • Mealybugs look like white cotton balls, are quick breeders, and can easily spread to other plants.  Spray the plant’s leaves with a solution of 1 cup rubbing alcohol, some dish soap, and ¼ cup of water. 

Spray the whole plant even if no bugs are visible in some areas.  Repeat the treatment weekly until the bugs are gone.

  • Spider Mites are little black or red dots that can be seen moving on the plant.  They can also be recognized by their webbing relating to spiders.  Place the plant under a faucet until the spider mites have all fallen off and the webs have washed away. 

Treat the plant once a week for a month by spraying the plant with the same solution as mealybugs.  This is to ensure that no spider mites have survived and are hatching.

  • Philodendron Lemon Lime is prone to root rot, bacterial infections, and fungal diseases.  The best cure for these diseases is to repot the plant.  These problems can be prevented by ensuring proper air circulation and not overwatering the plant.

Philodendron Lemon Lime FAQ’s

Below are some FAQ’s about this plant:

Are Philodendron Lemon Lime Plants Rare And Where Can I Buy This Plant?

This plant was once quite rare, but due to propagation, it is reproduced by many plant nurseries where it can be purchased.  Philodendron Lemon Lime is available on Amazon.

Is The Philodendron Lemon Lime Plant Toxic To Pets?

Yes, this plant is toxic as it contains calcium oxalate crystals which are toxic if ingested by pets.  These toxins cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, nausea, and drooling.

Are Philodendron Lemon Lime Climbers?

The Lemon Lime plant will climb and grow well when given a trellis or moss pole to attach to. 

Are Philodendron Lemon Lime And Neon Pathos The Same Plant?

No, they are not the same plant.  These plants are both vining houseplants, and their leaves are heart-shaped and look very similar in color

However, Philodendron Lemon Lime’s leaves are more heart-shaped and thinner with a soft feel.  The leaves of the Neon Pathos are larger, thicker, and have a waxy feel.  

Philodendron Lemon Plant Care Conclusion

The Philodendron Lemon Lime, with its strikingly beautiful golden yellow and lime green leaves, is a joy to have in the home. 

Easy to care for, this plant will thrive in warm temperatures and lots of bright light but not direct sunlight. 

Give a Lemon Lime lots of love, and with its evergreen leaves, either cascading down from a hanging basket or trailing up a trellis, will be a showpiece in the home!