Hybrid plants are easy to grow as indoor plants. Every year our botanical scientists develop many hybrid varieties of indoor plants. Philodendron moonlight is one of them with unique features. The best part is the color of its leaves never fades with time. This makes it different from other philodendron plants.
In this article, you’ll know how to care for a Philodendron moonlight along with common problems and solutions.
It needs bright light, medium fertilizing, and highly fertile soil to grow happily. When grown as an indoor plant it is best to add organic material to the potting soil. Below is the complete Philodendron moonlight care guide with images.
About Philodendron moonlight
Moonlight Philodendron is a Shrub plant mainly found in tropical areas. It produces green and yellow leaves. It has nothing to do with the moon or its lights. Moonlight got its name due to the shape of its flowers.
The long 5 inches spadix covers with white and red spathe looks like a moon.
In good growing conditions, it grows up to 24 to 26 inches and spread near about 20 inches. In some parts of the country, it is called lime Philodendron.
USDA zones 9 to 11 are safe places to grow lime philodendron in an outdoor garden. In other parts, you need to bring it inside when the weather becomes cold. Moonlight plants cannot survive in cold winds. It needs warm weather to grow and to maintain its health.
Philodendron moonlight care
Below are the top points that you need to keep in mind while caring moonlight philodendron plant. If you are new to indoor plants, it will be best for you to make quick notes of this article.
Light requirements of moonlight
Moonlight leaves are its real beauty. To keep the plant leaves fresh and bright you need to protect your plant from direct sun rays.
Because they can fade the color of lime green leaves and you will only have dark green leaves.
Therefore, you need to place your plant away from sunlight. But as we all know light is necessary for photosynthesis. Install a grow light over the plant or place it few feet away from the sunny window. So that the direct sun rays cannot reach your plant leaves.
Indirect light is best for Philodendron moonlight care.
I have my plant on the table that I placed 3 feet away from my east-facing sunny window. Only morning light is beneficial for moonlight philodendron. But moving the plant every day from its place close to the sunny window is a hard task.
I believe it is best to place it perfectly on a single spot.
Watering Philodendron moonlight
To keep your plant fresh and alive you need to avoid underwatering and overwatering. Both the conditions are deadly for lime philodendron.
It needs moist soil to stay healthy and bright.
Moist soil means a little bit of moisture in the soil, not wet soil. There is a special watering technique that you need to use every time you water indoor plants. This method will protect your plants from accidental over-watering and its related issues.
When you decide to water your plants, just before that, check the soil moisture. If the potting soil feels well moisturized then no need to water plants.
On the other hand, if the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil are dry and have not moisture at all. Then you can give water to your plants. This is a healthy watering method.
Note: For watering moonlight plants always use fresh water. If the tap in your area is safe for drinking, then you can use the tap water. Otherwise, the filtered water that you use to drink is good for moonlight philodendron.
Well-draining, cactus, or succulent mix will be the great choice for Philodendron moonlight care.
If you have general-purpose potting soil at home then you can add peat and perlite in it to make it best for growing moonlight plants. Our aim is to grow this plant in fast-draining soil with good watering holding capacities.
Lightweight soil is also required for good air circulation. Philo moonlight roots need fresh oxygen every day to stay healthy.
Lack of air in the root zone leads to root rot disease. Once your plant roots get infected by it then it becomes hard to save your plant.
Therefore, choose the potting soil wisely and write down what qualities you need in the moonlight plant potting soil.
60 to 80 degrees F temperature is good for having a healthy vibrant moonlight philodendron plant. If the room temperature drops below 60 degrees F the plant starts suffering from cold.
When temperature drops to or below 50 degrees F. Moonlight drop its flowers and its leaves start losing their colors. In short, all these means you need to take quick actions because your plant is dying due to cold.
If you have an outdoor moonlight plant pot then move it inside, insulate the pot with a warm cloth or straws. This will give a nice warmth to the plant soil and roots.
When roots will not feel cold your plant can tolerate a little bit of drop in the room temperature. Also do not put your plant near the heating vents to keep it warm. Because this action will make it dry and dehydrated (not warm).
Humidity for Philodendron moonlight
As a tropical plant philodendron needs high humidity. But the plant we are talking about philodendron moonlight is a hybrid variety. Scientists develop it according to the US home growing conditions.
This means your moonlight plant can easily survive in moderate to high humidity.
Generally, we have our home humid levels between 40 to 65 %. This range is good for caring for and propagating Philodendron moonlight. If you feel that your home humidity is low and your plant leaves are turning yellow due to low air moisture.
You can choose traditional room humidity increasing methods.
Note: You will not need to use an electric humidifier for the good health of the moonlight philodendron.
Put the pebble tray filled with under the plant pot. Make sure that the water level of the tray does not exceed the limit or it will touch the bottom hole of the plant pot. This will result in overwatering and root rot.
Fertilizing moonlight plants
Because you are going to grow it in plant pots, you need to give it liquid fertilizer only. Spring and late summer are the best time for fertilizing Philo moonlight plants.
For best results choose liquid form organic fertilizer.
Because the organic material releases nutrients very slow. This creates a chain of nutrients to the plant roots. Whereas synthetic nutrients release ingredients quickly. This floods the plant roots with a higher dose of nutrients.
We all know over-fertilization can burn the beautiful leaves of our plants. Choose what is good for the plant and its health. Growing a plant-like baby and losing it just because of an extra dose of fertilizer is very painful.
It only needs nutrients thrice a year. Do not fertilize it in the winter season.
Pruning is a must in the case of Philodendron moonlight care and maintenance. Because if you left the plant on its own. It will grow taller than 26 inches and spreads more than 20 inches.
Therefore, to keep your indoor plant in good shape you need to trim its overgrowth.
Wear gloves and use sharp sterilized pair of shears to cut the overly grown moonlight plant. You should also cut and remove the dry, dead, and disease-infected leaves.
Spring is the best time for trimming your moonlight philodendron.
Changing the pot is not necessary if you are already using a medium-size pot. If the moonlight plant pot is small and the roots are visible over the top level of the soil. Then you need to repot it immediately.
Root suffocation is common with small size plants. Because people often think that small size plants do not need repotting. And don’t repot them, the large size roots get compacted and this creates roots suffocation.
Repotting is linked with the root size of the plants.
For philodendron moonlight repotting use 2 inches wider and 3 inches deep pot than the existing pot. If you are repotting your plant after 2 years then it is good to change the old potting soil.
Philodendron plants are mildly toxic to dogs and cats. Keep the plant out of the reach of your pets. According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, philodendron poisoning occurs when someone eats a piece of a plant. And calcium oxalate is the main poisoning ingredient in the plant.
Pain or swallowing, redness, burning eyes, Diarrhea are the few symptoms of philodendron poisoning.
Philodendron moonlight Propagation
You have two nice propagating methods one is root division and the other is our favorite stem cutting. Both the techniques are equally successful. But in the root division method, you cannot perform it multiple times. Because taking the plant out of its pot frequently will oxidize the roots.
On the other hand, stem cutting is a method that you can perform as many times as you want. We will discuss both the moonlight philodendron propagation methods.
Take the plant out of its pot
Clean the roots and divide them into sections
Now plant each section or division in different pots
Give some water and you are done with propagation.
Cut a healthy 5 inches long stem below the node.
It should have at least one leaf.
Then plant it in the potting soil
Cover the pot with a plastic cover to create a greenhouse effect.
Keep the soil moist all the time.
Lift the cover once in 2 days for 3 minutes for the flow of fresh air.
Common Pests & Diseases
Aphids and spider mites are common pests. They suck the sap of the plant, make it weak and nutrients deficient.
You know a nutrient deficient plant dies slowly.
Once you see tiny pests over your plant leaves. Immediately grab the rubbing alcohol and wipe plant leaves with it. This will kill them in less than 10 seconds.
After the treatment spray neem oil over the moonlight plants to help them in healing.
Neem oil is good to spray on all indoor plants once or twice every month. It is a natural pest preventive method. Neem oil has no side effects on humans, pets, and plants.
Root rot is the main disease that can infect your plant only if you overwater your moonlight.
For good philodendron moonlight care, follows the watering method that is discussed above in this post. In case of root infection, take the plant out of its pot and cut the damaged parts of moonlight plant roots.
Then change the potting soil and plant it back in the same pot. Just spray some water on the soil.
Is Moonlight philodendron a climbing plant?
No moonlight philodendron is not a climbing plant. In fact, it grows more like a shrub plant. Moonlight plant needs medium size pot and 30 inches place to spread.
In ideal growing conditions, it grows 26 inches tall and spread 20 inches. Indirect bright light is required for the vibrant lime green leaves.