Thanks to the internet that makes the philodendron moonlight gain popularity in these past years. The neon leaves bring tropical scenery to any corner of your house. The plant is also easy to grow and maintain, making it a perfect houseplant and gift. Through this article, we are going to talk about the beauty of philodendron moonlight and how to take care of it.
The philodendron moonlight is an Araceae family plant that can grow fast up to 20-30-inch tall when it lives in the right conditions. However, most plant lovers love to pot it indoors to slow the growth process. Its natural green and yellow waxy-glassy leaves bring radiance and value to the room.
When the plant is still a baby, the leaves start to grow with the heart-shaped pattern and eventually grow longer and bigger with fabulous flowers following.
This plant originally comes from a tropical and subtropical region located in South America and Central America. It is a semi-rare plant but you can find it abundantly in the origin region. The philodendron moonlight is a stunning-hybrid plant that grows with bright to green leaves as it grows more mature.
- Botanical Name: Philodendron Hederaceum
- Popular Name: Philodendron Moonlight
- Mature size: Up to 20-30 inches
- Plant Type: Evergreen perennial
- Sun Exposure: indirect sunlight
- Soil Type: Well-drained and moist soil. Aroid mix.
- Soil pH: 5.0-7.0
- Toxicity: Pets and Humans
Philodendron Moonlight Water Requirements
Watering philodendron moonlight should be easy when you do it correctly. Watering balance can be different in some seasons. For instance, when it is summer and spring, the water requirements will be more often than in the winter and the fall.
In the low light condition, watering can be done every once a week or every 10 days is sufficient to keep the plant healthy. Meanwhile, when it is spring and summer, twice a week is a good proportion.
Furthermore, it is important to keep checking the soil condition to know if the plant needs more watering or not. Touch the soil (the top inch, around 3 cm) with the finger. If the soil sticks with the finger, it means the soil is wet, no need to water it. On the contrary, if the soil is dry or clumped, add more water.
Always pay attention to the weather and humidity. Lower humidity and colder weather risk the chance of overwatering which can lead to root rot, a problem that is hard to fix. When the plant is having root rot, it will have blackened and mushy roots which eventually kill the plant.
The philodendron loves medium light but it should be indirect sunlight. To find the best spot, place it where the sunlight is filtered from another medium like a window so the sun rays aren’t hitting directly. This type of light mimics the growing environment.
A note to remember is to not place it under direct sunlight because it will scorch the leaves and brown the leaves edges. It will cause discoloration and even a blackened spot on the foliage.
However, placing the plant in the shade for more than 3 months can lose its neon color.
Humidity is the philodendron moonlight’s requirement to grow healthily. To keep it attractive, you will want to keep the humidity at least 60%. With the higher humidity level, your plant will look healthier with the brighter color.
A digital hygrometer is a tool that can help you check the humidity level, monitor it, and even adjust the indoor humidity. If measuring humidity level often gets you confused, getting one is the best choice.
If you live in a place with lower humidity, there are ways to increase it.
- Using a humidifier
- Try to fill the tray with pebbles and then add some water. After that, you can place the pot on the pebbles and let the evaporated water increase the humidity level naturally.
- You can also group the houseplant so it will create a mini biome in which the plants will share humidity resources.
The philodendron originated from the tropical or subtropical region which makes it crave for warm. It will thrive when it is placed under a temperature between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit or 18-26 degrees Celcius. Anything below this temperature level can stunt the growth.
The philodendron moonlight doesn’t require frequent fertilization. Simply, you can start fertilizing during spring and summer because these months are the most active growing months. Once a month liquid fertilizer is enough to help your plant grow healthily.
You can dilute half of the recommended strength. Ideally, a few drops of fertilizer will make around 2.5 liters of feed. If you have multiple houseplants to be fertilized, you can make a bigger batch.
Another substitute you can try is the granular fertilizer by placing it into the soil. When the plant is watered, the fertilizer will slowly release nutrients.
Or if you don’t like the previous options, you can try the slow-release fertilizer which typically comes in capsules, spikes, and pods. These fertilizers will release over time.
Grooming or pruning is just a part of regular maintenance for philodendrons. Besides, it is purposed to keep its shape and size. To do this is very simple, you just need to remove the overgrowth and yellowing leaves by cutting them away from their base. It will create more room for the new leaves to grow.
Here are some signs that your plant needs some pruning:
- The leaves start to misshapen and dense
- When the foliage is sparse and leggy
- The foliage starts to brown and yellow
- When the leaves are damaged
- When the foliage starts showing pests and disease
A tip: make sure to only use a clean and sharp pair of scissors. You only need to cut the above of the leave nodes as it will help promote new growth. Additionally, avoid removing more than 25% of the plant’s leaves.
Repotting should be done every 1-2 years when the spring or summer months come. Remember to always choose a planter that is twice bigger because this plant grows quickly. Besides, you also need to add fresh soil whenever repotting the plant.
Some signs make your philodendron needs repotting which are:
- The plant is too big for the pot
- When the roots start to reach the top of the soil
- You start noticing slow growth
- When roots start to reach out to the bottom of the pot
- Dropping leaves
It is best to opt for well-draining soil and choose a pot with good drainage holes.
Philodendron Moonlight Propagation Method
Propagation for philodendron moonlight is not difficult. You can just use the stem cutting method to double its number. Do the simple tricks below:
- First, search for healthy stems with two or three leaves on them.
- Using the pruning scissors, cut the stem right below the aerial roots.
- After that, you can freshly plant the fresh-cut in a small pot with fresh-well-drained soil.
- Place the pot in the right condition for example in bright but indirect sunlight.
- Next, you will see the new roots will appear between 3-6 weeks.
Another option to propagate is using water. Just place the stem cutting in the vase of water and wait for a couple of weeks then you will see roots growing. Before planting it into the soil, wait for the roots to grow around 2-inch long. The last, water the new baby regularly.
The philodendron moonlight contains calcium oxalate crystal which is toxic to pets and humans. When it is ingested, it can lead to moderate poisoning. You might exhibit several symptoms such as tongue and lips swelling, stomach irritation, and even vomiting. Besides, when it is contacted with the skin, it can lead to an irritation reaction. This is the reason you need to use gloves and wash your hands after you take care or touch the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases might occur when the plant is not treated well. One of the common diseases is root rot. It is an annoying problem and sometimes can be hard to cure. Root rots happened when you overwater the plant to the extent it makes the pot soggy. As a result, the plant is submerged in the water for too long.
Meanwhile, the most common pests that often attack the philodendron moonlight are the mealybugs, thrips, and also scales. Besides, spider mites can also occur which is also problematic.
The philodendron moonlight variegated brings the bright green, neon-colored leaves with its spade leaves. Not to be confused with the lemon lime philodendron, the moonlight has narrower and longer foliage. It has a thicker texture compared to the lemon lime philodendron. Besides, you will see the bright foliages start to turn greener.
Philodendron Moonlight Growth Rate
So how fast does the philodendron moonlight grow? It is pretty fast! It can grow quickly. For a mature moonlight, it can reach 20-30-inch tall. The growing season is in spring and summer. If you give a proper light and place it in the right environment, the plant can grow quickly.
The philodendron moonlight thrives well in a well-drained pot with the organic matter or medium. Use the peat moss, peat perlite, or peat-vermiculite combo to create a good airing potting soil. Another mixture to try is using 50% of coconut coir with the remaining percentage of organic compost. Next, fertilize your philodendron using diluted liquid fertilizer. Do it in the growing season. The last, be careful to not overwater the plant.
What Is the Difference Between Philodendron Moonlight And Lemon Lime?
Even though both plants come from the same genus, these two plants are different. One of the most obvious is the colors and the shapes. The philodendron moonlight has a strong neon-green light with elongated leaves. Meanwhile, the lemon lime philodendron comes with heart-shaped foliages which are paler than the moonlight. Besides, it grows like a vine.
When both plants are babies, it is difficult to tell the difference because of the subtle color difference and leaves shape. However, as the plant grows more mature, the moonlight will start to become brighter with green shade, waxier texture, and shinier cuticle. On the contrary, the philodendron lemon-lime has paler leaves with its neon color and more matte texture.
Why Is My Moonlight Philodendron Leaves Turning Yellow?
There are several reasons why your philodendron moonlight turns yellow.
The first factor is improper soil moisture. This is one of the most common factors which eventually come from overwatering. This is why we always suggest you to water the plant when the topsoil is dry (around three inches). The soil should not be wet but it is still damp. During the winter, dry out the water between watering but make sure you also raise the humidity level by doing regular misting, adding a pebble tray, or using a humidifier.
It is extremely suggested to discard any excessive water. A soggy pot is the source of root rot that eventually leads to harm to your plant.
The second reason why your plant turns yellow is the humidity level. Typically, it is because the humidity level is too low.
The next reason is because of the improper lighting. When it is placed under indirect sunlight, the philodendron will grow healthily. But when they are exposed to direct sunlight, you will see the foliage start to burn. Whilst the philodendron can also survive in the low light area, it can lead to stunting and the yellow leaves start to develop.
The last one is the pests. When a philodendron is stressed, it is more susceptible to insects. Pests like spider mites, scale, and mealybugs often occur in the indoor environment. They don’t directly kill the plant, but they will make it exhausted and accelerate yellowing. If your philodendron doesn’t get proper lighting, nutrients, and soil moisture, the case will be worse.
Is Philodendron Moonlight Poisonous?
Unfortunately yes! The philodendron moonlight can be toxic to both humans and pets, even for dogs and cats. This plant release calcium oxalate crystals when it is ingested which can lead to poisoning.
Some of the symptoms that you might exhibit after contact with the plant include swelling on the lips and tongue, vomiting, and stomach irritation. Besides, when you touch it with your skin, you will develop an irritation reaction.
Why Is My Moonlight Philodendron Leaves Curling?
Curling leaves are a sign that the plant doesn’t receive enough water. It is a sign of underwatering. If you don’t act soon, it will result in browning-crispy edges with leaf discoloration. If you see this, increase the water intake for weeks.
Read also : Philodendron Birkin : An Exotic Tropical Plant
How To Properly Soak Philodendron When You See Curling Leaves:
- You can prepare the tub or use a sink to place the plant. Fill it with 3-4-inch of water and use the cold water.
- After that, allow the philodendron to soak up water through the drainage hole for 4-5 minutes.
- Now feel the soil as you have been soaking the pot for 4-5 minutes. Check if the water has reached the top of the soil (2-3″ of top soil).
- If you don’t feel it, you can water the plant from the top to speed up the saturation.
- When you find the soil has been damped, now drain the water thoroughly and place it back on its saucer.
An additional note you should pay attention to is your water tap. The water tap contains salts, minerals, fluoride, and chloride. All of these compounds can build up in the soil leaving the leaves turning brown. There is a way to fix this, which is using the filtration system or leaving the water overnight in an open container and using the clean part.
Besides, the watering schedule and water type, you have to pay attention too to humidity and temperature. Increase the humidity level in your room and always keep the temperature level between 18-26 degrees Celcius.
Why Are The Leaves Falling Off My Philodendron?
Leaf loss is common which means the plant promotes new growth. However, in some cases, the leaf loss may indicate some problems with humidity, temperature, and light. In most cases, houses can be very dry during winter. As the air is heated, the humidity level drops drastically. The best way to raise the philodendron is to place it in a place that resembles the natural environment. Check if every condition is met because if you miss one condition, the chance of having leaf loss for the plant is higher.
Why Is My Philodendron Turning Brown?
Just like what happens to yellowing philodendron. This problem often occurs when the plant is underwatering and you don’t set the humidity level correctly. Besides, too much sunlight can cause browning leaves.
Another reason that makes the plant turn yellow is moisture. Keep the humidity level between 60-80% as well as avoiding it from direct sunlight. Furthermore, make sure the plant also gets adequate watering.
Why Does My Philodendron Moonlight Stop Growing?
For those who are new to caring philodendron, finding the plant to be stunted is very frustrating. But don’t worry! If it is happening, it means your plant doesn’t get enough sunlight. Besides, it is also a sign that the plant is lack nutrition which causes it to stunt. Fertilize the plant with the right solution and provide enough indirect sunlight for at least 8 hours per day.
Is It Possible For My Philodendron To Survive In Low Light?
You might not have enough lights at home or office because of a certain condition. But the urge to have plants to beautify your room design is so big. Fortunately, you still can grow your philodendron with low light. However, you cannot expect it to grow healthily as philodendron needs sufficient filtered sunlight for at least 7-8 hours per day. When you don’t provide enough sunlight, it will stunt the growth.
Why Does My Philodendron Moonlight Have Bad Smell?
A bad smell might come from Erwinia blight disease. It is a common problem that often attacks this plant. You will see wet and mushy-looking spots on this plant that are caused by bacteria due to overwatering. If this is happening, you can change the soil as soon as possible, prune the plant and increase the circulation. Erwinia can be very annoying and difficult to treat, which is why it is better to do prevention than cure it.
Why Does My Philodendron Have An Extreme Pale Color?
This problem is the trickiest part to spot as the plant naturally comes with bright and sometimes a little bit pale color. But if you find the leaves start to turn to pale neon pothos or the neon-bright color start to fade away, it seems like your plan needs to be brought to a brighter area.
How To Know If I Overwater My Philodendron Moonlight?
One of the most notable signs of overwatering is the leaves that turn yellow. When the soil is not dried out properly before you pour some water again, the leaves will start to wilt. If the case is underwatering, the wilted leaves will look crispy and dry.
Wilting often occurs because the water fills the air pocket in the soil. Due to this reason, the roots will die and the disease set in. Damaged roots cannot be avoided which means they cannot absorb water so it makes the leaves start to wilt. However, it is common if you want to water your plant at this point. However, check the soil first or you will soak the plant.
Why Is My Philodendron Leaves Not Unfurling?
The main cause why the philodendron remains stuck or not unfurling is because of lack of moisture. To help you with this, increase the humidity level. You can mist the plant every other day.
Besides, you need to make sure that the plant is not sitting in a dark place because philodendron needs sufficient lights at least 8 hours a day. Furthermore, temperature and fertilizer also pray important roles in this matter. Additionally, use your finger to check the soil condition because this plant is prone to disease with overwatering or underwatering condition.