The lemon lime philodendron (Philodendron Hederaceum Lemon Lime) goes by many other names. The most popular of which being the sweetheart vine.
It gets its name from its bright yellow green color which is also what makes it stand out amongst the mostly green philodendron plants.
The lemon lime philodendron is a small to medium sized plant that grows to about 1 to 2 feet and nearly a foot wide. Its leaves are its main attraction thanks to their color. Their size (7 to 10 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide) also makes its foliage prominent as the climb up a pole or trail down from a hanging basket.
Lemon Lime Philodendron Plant Care
Lemon Lime Philodendron Light
You can place your lemon lime philodendron anywhere with bright indirect light all the way down to low light areas. The one location it will struggle is under direct sunlight. Keeping it here for long periods day in and day out will scorch it leaves.
It is also worth nothing while it can tolerate low light, areas that are too dim will slow its growth and cause it to produce fewer and smaller leaves. The plant will also become leggy as it tries to lean towards the light source.
So, if you place it somewhere with less than ideal lighting, you want to monitor it closely so you can keep adjusting until you get that right balance.
This also means that an east facing window is the place to put it indoors. You can likewise give it norther exposure. But, do make sure to see what its low light threshold is. No two places are similar because of where your home is located and the position of the window facing the north. So, you have to figure this out yourself.
On the other hand, a west facing window will work provided to protect the plant from the afternoon sun. The intensity will be too much for your lemon lime philodendron.
The south will need even more protection or distancing since it not only gets the intense afternoon sun but also the longest hours of sunlight. Summertime makes this even more pronounced.
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Lemon lime philodendron enjoy temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate levels up to 10 to 15 degrees higher and about another 5 to 10 degrees below this. But, you won’t get optimum growth.
What you want to avoid is going beyond those extended levels. The plant likes moderate to warm conditions. But, it cannot take extreme cold or heat.
As such, you can keep it outdoors if you live in USDA zones 9b to 11. Otherwise, keeping it in a container is the way to go. This lets you move it inside when the temperature drops to 55 degrees or lower. Then, take it outside during summer when the weather is warm.
Lemon Lime Philodendron Humidity
Humidity is another climate factor to consider. While the plant does best in medium to high humidity, It can tolerate lower levels as well. This means you can keep it indoors, in your home or office, without any problems.
You do want to watch out for wintertime though, as the air can dry up considerably. When humidity hits the 30s level, you want to monitor your plant to see how it is doing. The easiest way to track home humidity is to use a digital hygrometer.
Similarly, you want to keep an out during the very hot summers when the heat can cause moisture to evaporate.
In both instances, you can mist the plant few times a week to improve moisture. You can likewise group it with other plants or place it on a pebble tray.
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Lemon Lime Philodendron Watering
Your lemon lime philodendron likes soil that is slightly damp. This makes it a bit tricky to care for because you need to watch out for overwatering as well. The latter is a lot more dangerous than allowing the plant to dry out a little bit.
That’s because too much water or letting the plant sit in water too often or for tool long will increase its risk for root rot. Root rot is a fungal disease that destroys your roots. And, it will keep spreading until it gets your entire root system if you don’t change your watering routine.
Once the roots rot, you plant will die soon later. That’s because it depends on its roots to absorb water and nutrients. Without both, it will starve and dehydrate to death.
This means that you want to monitor how much water you’re giving your plant. I’ve found two ways that work the best.
- Moisture meter. This is the simplest. Plus, it is precise. Just stick the device into the soil and read the digital screen. It will tell you hoe much moisture there is. By tracking this and watching how your plant responds to different watering routines, you’ll soon be able to tell what’s the best level for it. From there, just test the soil with the meter. And, when it reaches your desired level, water.
- Test by feel. This involves using your finger. By dipping your finger into the soil down between 1 to 2 inches, you can feel for moisture. If the soil at that depth is dry, water. If it is moist, even slightly, wait 1 or more days before testing again.
That way, you allow the soil to dry a little bit, but not all the way through before watering. It avoids complete dryness. And, prevents you from overwatering as well.
Your lemon lime philodendron isn’t too picky about the kind of soil you use. As long as you give it well-draining soil, it will do fine. This kind of soil allows it to absorb enough moisture and nutrients. But, lets the excess water drain fairly quickly so the plant doesn’t get wet feet.
It likewise appreciate loose, rich soil. The former allows air and water to penetrate better. While the latter improves growth.
As such, you have a few options you can go with.
- If you prefer a commercial mix you can get from the garden center and use straight out of the box, then a cacti and succulent mix works. These contain sand and other ingredients that speed up drainage. Since cactus and succulents hold water, they don’t like sitting it puddles of water either. As such, the soil works well for your lemon lime philodendron.
- If you prefer to make your own mix, which is cheaper, then you can use 100% sphagnum moss. Similarly, a combination of peat and perlite or vermiculate works.
- If you already have regular potting mix at home for your other plants and don’t want to spend more money on new soil mixes for now, you can use that plus sand or perlite to improve drainage.
Either way, the one thing they all have in common is good drainage. So, as long as you have that right, your lemon lime philodendron will be fairly happy.
Like soil, your lemon lime philodendron isn’t overly picky with the kind of plant food you use. Thus, you can use regular houseplant fertilizer to keep it happy.
Apply this once a month during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Make sure to dilute it to 50% strength. During this time you should see it produce new leaves
Come winter, cut down feeding to once over two months.
Alternatively, you can use slow release fertilizer. These come in pellet form. And, they work different. Instead of “dumping” the entire dose when you apply it, the pellets will slowly break at different times. Some in days, others in weeks and more over months.
As such, you only need to feed the plant three times in a year. This process also reduces the fertilizer “load” that the plant receives at any given moment. In doing so, it decreases the possibility of fertilizer burn.
Speaking of which, you want to be careful with overfeeding your plant at is can cause irreparable damage to your plant’s roots.
On the other hand, too little feeding or no fertilizer at all will cause its growth to slow down and make it produce fewer and smaller foliage.
Between the two, the latter is always safer as you can up the dose gradually to help the plant recover. The same isn’t always true with root burn.
Pruning Lemon Lime Philodendron
Pruning your lemon lime philodendron often falls into one of four categories.
- Removing dead, damaged or discolored foliage. Leaving these not only make your plant less visually appealing, but also causes the plant to use up valuable resources in retaining or trying to revive them. It is better to cut them off and allow new growth to come out.
- Trimming leggy stems. When there isn’t enough light, the plant can try to lean and reach towards the light source. Or, if the plant grows too quickly, it can become leggy. Leggy just means the stems are thinner and longer. Plus, the leaves are farther apart from one another than they normally are. Trimming these will help they grow fresh stems that fix the problem.
- Cutting vines that get too long of messy. This is for when the plant gets too long, dangly or is growing all over the place. Or, if you want to control its size and shape. Since lemon lime philodendron can grow up to 20 feet long, you’ll want to cut off vines that have gotten too long or if there’s too much of them that they get out of control. Don’t over trim though. You want to leave enough leaves for photosynthesis and light collection.
- This is for when the opposite of the previous situation happens. With a sparse plant or one that isn’t as thick as you’d want it to be, pinching helps to encourage new growth that and more foliage.
Lemon Lime Philodendron Propagation
If you want to grow more lemon lime philodendron, the best and cheapest way to do so is to propagate them at home. The good news is, all you need are:
- A sterile pair of scissors or pruning shears
- Fresh, well-draining potting mix
- A glass or jar of water
- Small pot
Once you have all the equipment on hand, you can get started.
- Cut off a 6 inch stem from the mother plant. You want to chose a stem with a few leaves on it.
- Remove the bottommost leaves. You can estimate by seeing which will go into the water.
- Place the stem cutting into the glass or jar of water. Change the water every few days to keep it clear. You can also go directly into soil if you wish to skip this step.
- After about 2 to 3 weeks, you should see roots begin to develop. The advantage of rooting in water is that you get to monitor root development.
- Once the roots grow to over an inch long, move the cutting into the pot filled with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
- Keep it in warm, humid place away from direct sunlight.
- After about 3 to 4 months, you should start seeing shoots grow.
- As the plant grows, it will outgrow the small pot. When this happens, move it to a larger pot. You’ll be repotting more with young plants than after they mature. That’s because they grow quite quickly.
Transplanting & Repotting Lemon Lime Philodendron
Just with many aspects of the caring for your lemon lime philodendron, repotting is also low maintenances. You’ll likely only need to do so once very 2 years or so depending on how fast your plant grows.
Because each plant receives different living conditions from light, water, fertilizer, soil and many more, the time frame for repotting will vary from household to household.
As such, it is better to wait for that plant to become pot bound before moving it to a new container. Thus, you want to look out for roots that are trying to get out of the pot. Often this begins with the holes at the bottom of the container since those are the paths of least resistant.
When choosing a pot, go up a maximum to 2 or 3 inches bigger.
Keep your lemon lime philodendron away from young children, dogs and cats. It is toxic to people and animals. So, you don’t want anyone that may get curious enough to get near it to chew or ingest any part of the plant.
Pests and Diseases
The lemon lime philodendron is not particularly prone to pests or diseases. As such, you can go through its entire lifespan without having to deal with these bothersome issues.
However, this only applies with a healthy plant that gets all the proper care listed above. A weak or stressed plant will be much more susceptible to attacks.
The most common pests include spider mites and mealybugs. Both are harmful because they suck on your plant’s sap. As such, it can weaken your plant and rob it of its nutrients. This will also prevent it from optimum growth despite proper watering, light and feeding.
Treatment often makes use of insecticidal soap spray. You can also so neem oil, especially for preventive purposes.
When it comes to disease, bacterial and fungal infections along with root rot are your biggest enemies. In most cases, moisture will play a big role. More specifically, wetness that doesn’t dry quickly enough be it in the soil or on tis leaves.
As such, these are almost always preventable, especially if you give the plant enough air circulation and don’t overwater it.