Philodendron Lemon Lime vs Moonlight (What’s the Difference)

Philodendron lemon lime vs. moonlight are two very similar plants. They come from the same genus, have gorgeous bright colored leaves and are generally easy to care for indoors.

However, while they look very similar, they are two different and distinct plants.

The main difference between the philodendron lemon lime and moonlight are the colors and shape of their leaves.

The philodendron lemon lime has heart-shaped leaves that have a lighter yellow-green color compared to the philodendron moonlight. Its leaves are also slightly smaller.

Meanwhile the philodendron moonlight has longer, broader spear-shaped leaves whose veins are more visible. The plant is also a bush so it grows like a shrub while the lemon lime is a vining plant.

Philodendron Lemon Lime vs Moonlight Differences

In order to tell the difference between the philodendron lemon lime and moonlight it is important to know what you are looking for.

That’s because while they have differences, these can be subtle.

To help you know what to look for, I’ve made a list below and will discuss each one in detail.

 

Leaf Size and Shape

One of the most distinctive differences between the philodendron lemon lime and moonlight are the size and shapes of their leaves.

When it comes to their shapes, the philodendron lemon lime can come with two leaf shapes.

One is heart shaped foliage. And another is a more elongated version.

If it has heart-shaped leaves, the lemon lime philodendron will look more like a neon pothos. On the other hand, when it develops elongated leaves, these are a bit narrower and longer.

Thus, the latter makes it the leaves looks similar to that of a philodendron moonlight.

On the other hand, when it comes to the philodendron moonlight, its leaves look elongated and spear shaped. But they are not narrow. Instead, they are broad and you get a wider surface area.

Additionally, the moonlight philodendron’s leaves are a wavier look to them.

This is due to the slight curling on the edges of the leaves.

The other difference between the philodendron lemon lime and moonlight is the size of their leaves.

Again, the philodendron moonlight is the bigger one in this case.

In most cases, the philodendron lemon lime has leaves that can reach between 6 to 8 inches long and 5 to 6 inches wide.

Meanwhile the moonlight philodendron’s leaves can grow to between 10-15 inches long and 6 to 8 inches wide.

In fact, its leaves can become very impressive allowing you to put the plant in containers on the floor or patio.

 

Foliage Color

Another main difference between the philodendron moonlight and lemon lime is their colors.

If you look closely at their leaves, you’ll notice that while the colors are similar, their hues and shades of these colors vary quite a bit.

Of the two plants, the philodendron moonlight is easily the brighter looking plant if you were to consider its leaf colors.

Additionally, its leaves have more color variety.

As such this makes it look more interesting considering that you have darker and lighter shades of green and yellow combinations.

On the other hand, the philodendron lemon lime has a more uniform color.

The plant has a more light green-yellow or lime color. Ad this is the dominant shade you’ll get with a few leaves that are slightly darker.

It is also important to note that during different stages of each plant’s growth, their leaf shapes and colors vary as well.

A juvenile or young lemon lime philodendron will start out yellow with a light pink hue. After a while, it will turn more lime yellow.

And as it matures, you get a more lime green color.

At this stage the color will be slightly paler compared to that of the moonlight philodendron.

Speaking of which, the philodendron moonlight, starts out with bright yellow leaves. But its young foliage won’t have the pinkish hue.

As the leaves mature, you’ll see more dark green colors appear.

 

Grooves and Veins on Their Leaves

This is a more subtle difference. But if you look closely, you’ll notice it.

A better wat to tell is to just run your fingers through the leaves of both plants. This will let you easily feel the grooves and slight indentations.

Here, the philodendron moonlight will have more visible veins coming from its midrib going towards the edges of the leaves.

The veins don’t curve as much and the angle at which is turn is quite low.

More importantly, you’ll see many veins going outward from the mid vein.

On the other hand, if you look at the philodendron lemon lime, it will have fewer visible or palpable indentations on its leaves.

These veins also go on a much steeper curve that make it seem that they are coming from the lower part of the leave.

 

Growth Habit

Another feature that distinguishes the philodendron lemon lime from the moonlight philodendron is their growth habit.

The lemon lime is a vine.

As such, its natural inclination is to climb up a support. And you’ll see it develop long stems that will eventually be filled with leaves.

This feature also makes it a popular hanging plant since the vines will drape downwards from a hanging basket or container. This makes the plant beautiful to look at.

When you allow the philodendron lemon lime to grow in a pot, its stems will eventually overflow out and sprawl around the container.

On the other hand, the philodendron moonlight is a bush.

This means it will grow into a shrub or shrub-like plant. And a dense one at that.

More importantly, its self-heading feature allows it to stand up on its own if you leave it a pot.

The main difference between the two plants here is that the lemon lime will need a support to stand upright. But that’s not the case with the moonlight philodendron which can do this on its own.

As such, if you’re looking for a plant that climbs or want to hang it up from basket, then the lemon lime is your best choice.

But if you want to keep a bright plant in a pot on its own, then the moonlight philodendron is more ideal.

 

Size of the Plants

The philodendron moonlight will grow to about 20 to 24 inches high and reach a width of between 20 and 26 inches.

Thus, it is not exactly the tallest of plants.

But its leaves will expand outwards making it striking to look at especially thanks to their bright colors.

Meanwhile, the lemon lime philodendron is a slightly smaller plant.

Its size will vary between 12 to 24 inches when grown indoors. And can reach a width of between 10 and 12 inches wide.

Note that while the size of both plants can vary quite a bit depending on whether they’re grow indoors or outdoors. Similarly, a potted plant won’t get as big as one that’s grown in the ground.

Then there’s the amount of sunlight, water and fertilizer.

And in the case of the philodendron lemon lime, the plant will grow bigger if you give it a support to climb on.

Thus, while the two plants differ in size, all these factors in addition to the stage at which the plant is currently at can make it a bit difficult to just use size a differentiator.

 

Pruning Requirements

Due to their difference in growth habits and patterns, how of you’ll need to prune either plant differs as well.

Here, the philodendron moonlight requires much less pruning.

This makes it low maintenance compared to the lemon lime which is a vining plant.

Since the moonlight philodendron grows like a shrub, it won’t grow higher very quickly. But it can get wide as its leaves get bigger and the plant becomes more dense.

As such, pruning is more about limiting its spread if you do not have the space.

If you have enough room to let it grow, all the better as the plant will look even more gorgeous.

Outside of this, trimming involves removing damaged, discolored or diseased leaves.

Thus, it is a low maintenance plant since you can let it grow out and just prune when needed.

However, this is not the case for the lemon lime philodendron.

Its vining nature means that its stems will keep getting longer. And they will do so at a fast rate.

This means regular pruning is needed.

Trimming the plant will allow you to control its size and shape based on how you want it to look. Similarly, you’ll want to keep the plant looking neat.

Since the plant looks best when it is compact, regular pruning is needed if you want to keep this kind of look.

However, you can give it a support to climb on or a hang it in a basket to let it grow out.

Doing so reduces the frequency of trimming and reduces the amount of maintenance needed.

 

Philodendron Moonlight vs. Lemon Lime Similarities

While there are quite a few differences between the philodendron moonlight and lemon lime, it is important to keep in mind that they have similarities too.

These are the things that are common between the two philodendron plants.

 

Growth Requirements

In general, most of their growth and care requirements are similar.

Below, I’ll go through these features so you’ll have a better understanding of what the two plants need in order to thrive.

 

Light

Light is very important for both plants given that they have light colored foliage.

As general rule of thumb, the lighter the color of the leaves, the more light they’ll need.

Why?

Leaves get their green color from chlorophyll.

But in addition to the pigmentation the compound gives the foliage, chlorophyll is also very important as it is what allows the leaves to collect and absorb light.

Therefore, the darker the leaves, the more chlorophyll there is.

This also means that the plant can absorb more light as a result.

The amount of light ensures that the plant can optimally photosynthesize. Photosynthesis is the process where plants use light to turn nutrients, water and air into food (if the form of sugars).

The food is what the plants use to produce energy for overall growth, leaf production and development.

So, light colored leaved plants like the philodendron moonlight and lemon lime are best positioned in well-lit locations.

This will let them grow optimally.

Avoid dim, dark or low light environments.

However, too much light in the form of direct sunlight can likewise scorch its leaves.

So, it is best to keep the plants in bright, indirect or filtered light. Medium light will work very well too indoors.

Outdoors, partial shade is best. Keep the plants away from full sun.

 

Temperature

Both philodendron species are tropical plants. As such, they prefer moderate to warm temperature.

Ideally keep the plants in temperatures between 70 and 75 degrees.

You have a leeway of about 5-10 degrees above and below this range as well.

As long as you keep both the plants in this kind of environment, they will be happy.

However, avoid the cold.

In general, philodendron cannot tolerate low temperatures. Thus, keep the plants above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do not leave them outdoors during winter or in any area of your home that can get very cold.

This includes areas with cold drafts or air conditioning.

 

Humidity

Another similarity between the philodendron lemon lime and moonlight is their love for humidity.

They are native to tropical rainforest conditions which means that the air is quite moist.

Ideally, the two plants prefer humidity between 60% to 75%.

This is where they are most comfortable.

But they’re quite tolerant as well.

This makes them easier to care for indoors as they can grow well even if humidity is around 40%.

That said, avoid very low humidity like those consistently in the low 30s or in the 20s. You’ll eventually see the plants’ leaves get dry and turn brown.

 

Water Requirements

Watering both the philodendron moonlight and lemon lime is probably the most important things to watch out for.

That’s because the two species are susceptible to overwatering.

Thus, while they prefer moist soil, you do not want to water either plant too frequently.

This can lead to root rot.

In most cases, they need watering about once a week. But this will vary depending on the time of the year and where you live.

During the hot summers, they will need to be watered more often as philodendrons do not like drying out.

But come winter, make sure to cut back on watering as it takes much longer for soil to dry due to the cold weather and lack of sunlight.

This is why the best way to water philodendrons is to allow at least the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings.

Alternatively, you can wait until the soil is dry halfway before adding more water.

Anything in between these two levels works really well.

The key is not to water the plants when the soil still feels moist or wet.

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