Lemon Lime Philodendron vs. Neon Pothos Differences & Similarities

Lemon lime philodendron vs. Neon pothos are often confused for one another because they look very similar.

The two plants have very similar looking leaves with bright yellow green colors.

And they equally stand out amongst the many green leaved houseplants available in nurseries.

Since both plants are gorgeous and adapt quite well to home environments, they’ve become very popular as well.

The main difference between the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos are the size, texture and thickness of their leaves.

The neon pothos has bigger, thicker and grooved leaves compared to the lemon lime philodendron’s smaller, narrower and softer foliage.

As such, it is important to feel the leaves when differentiating the two plants.

Additionally, you’ll notice that the neon pothos has thicker, singular aerial roots coming out from each node while the lemon lime philodendron has thinner, multiple aerial roots per node.

Lemon Lime Philodendron vs. Neon Pothos Differences

Before you go out and get a lemon lime philodendron or neon pothos, make sure you know how to distinguish one plant from the other.

While they both look very much alike, they do have subtle differences.

The good news is that it is easily notice these distinctions if you know what to look for.

Below, I’ll take you through the differences between the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos so that you don’t end up getting the wrong plant even if the plant shop mislabels them.

 

Leaf Shape and Texture

Both the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos have similar looking leaves.

Therefore, when differentiating one from the other the focus should not be on the color and shape of their leaves.

That’s because both have bright, light green-yellow leaves which look almost the same.

Additionally, they both have heart-shaped leaves.

Instead, closely observe the size, length and textural differences.

Of the two plants, the neon pothos has larger leaves. Its leaves are also thicker compared to the lemon lime philodendron.

Therefore, make sure to run your fingers through their foliage to get a better feel.

When you do this, you’ll notice that the lemon line philodendron has softer texture while the neon pothos has a more waxy feel.

The latter also has grooves on its foliage that are palpably noticeable.

Meanwhile, lemon lime philodendron has narrower leaves.

Thus, its heart shaped foliage looks thinner while the neon pothos looks broader.

 

Growth Habit

Both the neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron are natural climbers. This is how they’ll grow in the rainforest environment.

Because they are not huge plants when compared to the trees, they will produce aerial roots and grow long vines which allow both plants to climb up larger trees and plants.

This allows them to get more light which aids in their growth and healthy development.

As such, you’ll notice that both the neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron will grow longer as they mature.

Their size is primarily based on the length of their stems which will be filled with many leaves.

Additionally, you’ll also notice aerial roots grow at the stems near the base of both plants.

While both are evergreen climbers, how they grow is different.

The lemon lime philodendron tends to grow all year round. It does so during the colder months as well.

In contrast, the neon pothos does majority of its growth during warmer months of spring and summer. Then it will take a breather come winter to gear up for next spring again.

As such, the lemon lime philodendron will need more regular pruning while you’ll be doing most of the neon pothos pruning during its growing season.

I’ve also noticed that because of its more consistent growth rate, the lemon lime philodendron tends to grow faster.  But the neon pothos is not far behind being a medium to fast grower as well.

That said, the actual growth rate of both plants can vary significantly based on how much light, fertilizer and water you give it.

Because of the different times they grow, it is more important to focus all this during spring and summer if you’re growing a neon pothos since most of its growth happens during this time.

 

Aerial Roots

Aerial roots are always a topic of contention amongst gardeners and growers. That’s because of how they look.

In most cases, you’ll either really like them or hate how they look.

However, when we talk about pothos and philodendrons, there’s almost no getting around the fact that both plants will produce aerial roots at some point in time.

In most cases, aerial roots are a sign of a happy plant.

That’s because its instinct is to climb as it does in its native habitat. So, a happy pothos or philodendron will naturally do the same.

But in some cases, aerial roots will grow because the plant is not getting enough of one or more of its requirements.

Thus, the aerial roots are there to help solve that issue.

The thing is you can also tell the difference between the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos just by looking at their aerial roots.

These are the roots that grow above the soil.

As such, they are different from subterranean or soil roots which grow under the soil. Soil roots are what most people are more familiar with.

When you look closely at the aerial roots of the lemon neon pothos, you’ll notice that they are bigger and thicker compared to those of the philodendron lemon lime.

Additionally, only one aerial root will grow per node.

On the other hand, the lemon lime philodendron will produce many thin, smaller aerial roots per node.

As such, it will look a bit messier and give you a more forest or jungle feel.

The lemon lime philodendron’s aerial roots also grow faster.

 

Height and Overall Size

The plant’s overall size is another way of telling the difference between the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos.

When grown indoors as houseplants, the neon pothos can grow to 6 to 10 feet long.

But in most cases, you won’t see the plant grow to this size.

That’s because many home growers will prune them to make them look more compact.

The only exceptions where the plant will grow to this length is if you give it a support to climb or allow it to grow long and trail downwards from a hanging basket.

However, many growers and home gardeners would prefer to trim it to make it look compact and bushy. This is when its neon colored leaves look most stunning.

On the other hand, the lemon lime philodendron is a much smaller plant.

In most cases, you’ll see it grow to about 1-2 feet long. Of course, this is a small to medium sized philodendron lemon lime.

It can grow bigger as well if you let the vines get longer without pruning them.

Again, because the plant looks gorgeous when you keep it compact and dense, you’ll usually see the philodendron lemon lime’s size kept manageable.

Of course, like the neon pothos, you can let it get bigger by giving it a pole or post to climb on or hang it from a container.

 

Flowers / Blooming

Both the lemon neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron are flowering plants.

However, you’ll rarely or almost never see them do so.

That’s because they almost never flower when grown indoors. Outdoors, they have a slightly better chance. But the odds are still not good.

That said, both plants do produce flowers.

They do so in different circumstances. And you’ll be able to tell by looking at their blooms.

The neon pothos produces white and green blooms while the philodendron lemon lime can grow pearl white flowers.

But because they don’t bloom in cultivation or when grown indoors, this is not really a good way to differentiate the plants in the real world.

It is also worth noting that both the neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron’s flowers are not significant.

That’s a way of saying they’re not stunning or very attractive, at least relative to both plants’ leaves.

This is why both houseplants are grown for their foliage instead. That’s their most stunning part.

In fact, if by any chance that either plant does flower, most growers will prune or remove the flowers.

This allows the plant to focus 100% of its energy and resources to leaf growth, development and maintenance.

If you let the flowers grow, then the plant will divert some of these resources to flower development instead.

 

Neon Pothos vs. Lemon Lime Philodendron Similarities

Lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos are commonly confused for one another. In fact, I’ve seen quite a few nurseries and shops mislabel one for the other.

That’s because they look very much alike.

In addition, they both belong to the same family, the Araceae.

Thus, they are both aroids.

Both plants are also known for their very bright light green leaf colors. And their ability to develop aerial roots which help them climb up structures.

So, when growing in a pot, the two plants look very similar.

And many of their growing and care requirements are similar as well.

 

Light Requirements

Since the neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron have light colored leaves, it is important for both plants to get plenty of light.

Light colored foliage is a sign that the plant does not produce as much chlorophyll.

In contrast, plants with darker leaves have more chlorophyll.

Because chlorophyll is the compound that allows leaves to absorb light, it also means that the light colored leaves are not as efficient to collecting light as darker colored foliage.

This means that in order to compensate for this lack of ability, it is important to position both the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos in well-lit locations.

This will allow them to get enough light to support photosynthesis.

If you keep them in low light environments, they won’t be able to absorb sufficient light. This results is slower growth, fewer and smaller leaves.

They will also become leggy as both plants will try to stretch and reach out to the light source.

 

Watering

While the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos come from different genera, they are likewise similar when it comes to their watering needs.

The two plants like staying in most soil, especially during summer when the weather gets hot.

But they both do not like wet, mucky soil.

That’s because they are susceptible to overwatering and root rot.

This means that while it is important to water both plants and keep them from completely drying out, you do not want to water them too often.

This can cause serious long term problems for the lemon lime philodendron and neon pothos.

Instead, wait until the top 2 inches of soil has dried out between waterings. If you want to be more conservative or play it safer, you can wait until the top half of the soil is dry before watering again.

Never water either plant when the soil is still wet as this can lead to overwatering.

 

Potting Soil

Since the neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron are prone to overwatering and root rot, choosing the right kind of soil is very important.

To avoid waterlogging, use soil that is loose, well-aerated and has good drainage.

For optimal growth, the plants will also appreciate nutrient rich fertile soil.

The most important aspect here is to ensure that the roots don’t end up sitting in lots of water for long periods of time. Thus, well-draining soil is essential.

This will allow excess moisture to quickly drain to avoid waterlogging and overwatering.

A simple way to achieve this is to mix one part potting soil with one part peat and one part perlite. This will improve drainage.

Avoid using regular houseplant potting soil on its own as this will retain too much moisture.

 

Toxicity

As beautiful as both plants are, they are likewise toxic.

Note that they are not toxic to touch. But once their external layer is broken, they do become toxic.

Therefore, avoid ingesting, chewing, eating or consuming any part of both plants.

The neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron contain insoluble calcium oxalates which are activated when ingested.

This can cause vomiting, nausea, oral irritation affecting the mouth , throat, tongue and lips.

As such, it is very important to keep young children, cats and dogs away from the plant. Keeping both plants out of their reach prevents any accidental consumption of the leaves and stems.

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