The Philodendron Moonlight is a stunning hybrid that’s know for its spear-like bright, lime green colored leaves. The yellowish green color of its foliage makes it easily stand out from other foliage houseplants.
From afar, if the plant is bushy enough, it will look more like something that belongs in your vegetable garden.
The best thing about the plant is that it is easy to care for. This makes it perfect for most homes and offices. And, its bright color will certainly liven up any space.
Unlike many philodendrons which either climb or creep, this one grows upright like most houseplants. This feature makes it easier to care for in a container. Plus, it takes up much less space compared to the others.
The plant itself grows up to 2 feet high and 2 feet wide indoors. And, it is likewise beneficial because it purifies the air.
However, do keep it away from kids and pest as it is toxic to both humans and animals.
Philodendron Moonlight Plant Care
The Philodendron Moonlight grows best when given bright, indirect light. It can likewise thrive in different lighting conditions including medium and low light. Indoors, it also does well under fluorescent lighting.
This makes it easy to care for indoors both in your home and in offices.
One thing to remember is to keep it away from direct sunlight or too much intense bright light. This can scorch its leaves turning them yellow or causing brown or black spots on foliage.
if you would like to keep them near a bright window, choose one with northern or eastern exposure. Similarly, you can filter the light by adding some kind of shade like curtains.
Otherwise, it is better to keep it at least a few feet away from the opening.
While the plant can tolerate low light conditions, avoid dark corners or too dimly lit rooms. Too little light will cause it to become leggy. And, it won’t grow as big or vibrantly colored as it would in brighter environments.
As such, monitoring how it responds in lower lit spaces will help you decide if its needs to be moved somewhere brighter or not.
From experience, I’ve noticed that as long as there’s enough light to read a newspaper in that area, there will be enough light to keep the plant happy.
Your Philodendron Moonlight prefers tropical and subtropical conditions. Ideally, you want to keep it in moderate to warm environments to achieve the best growth.
More specifically between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Although, it will tolerate a good amount above the range and a little bit below it.
In general, it can withstand more heat than cold. This means it will do well as long as temperature stays under 95 degrees. And, you want to avoid weather that drops below 50 degrees.
This makes your Philodendron Moonlight hardy to USDA zones 9 to 11. And, if you live in these areas, you’ll be able to plant it in the garden or a container outside all 12 months of the year.
Below zone 9, it is a good idea to keep the plant indoors during the colder months. It will appreciate getting some outdoor sun (not direct) during the warm months. But, only take it outside ones the threat of frost has passed.
Similarly, once things get near 50 degrees in the fall, it is time to bring in back inside. Do make sure to debug it before doing so. This way you don’t risk bringing in pests along with the plant to you home.
Left outside through the freezing winter, the plant will not survive.
Just as its temperature preference makes its easy to care for as a houseplant, it is likewise adaptable in terms of humidity.
Your Philodendron Moonlight does prefer humidity of 50% or higher. But, it will do well in lower levels.
You do want to avoid overly dry conditions. This can happen if you live in the desert for example. It can also be the case if you experience very hot, dry summers. Cold winters can likewise have very low humidity.
In these instances. It is good to have a hygrometer around. This will let you monitor indoor humidity for any room at any given time of the year.
So, even if the climate changes through the seasons, you can easily tell what the exact humidity is indoors.
This way, you can adjust as needed and increase air moisture to enough to keep the plant happy.
In most cases misting a few times a week will be enough. If not, you may want to consider investing in a humidifier.
How Often to Water
For optimum growth, water your Philodendron Moonlight differently depending on the time of year.
The reason for this is that the plant can tolerate a little bit of drought. In fact, it can go for weeks without getting any water and do fine.
In contrast, it cannot tolerate wet or soggy soil. This means it is not a good idea to overwater it or leave it sitting in water. If it stays in this conditions for extended periods regularly, it will experience root rot.
During the spring and summer, keep the soil moist. This is important as the warmer weather will increase evaporation. And, the plant is active growing at these times. This means it needs more sustenance in the form of food and water to sustain that growth.
In the fall and winter, cut back on watering to the point where you allow the soil to almost dry between waterings. The cold weather will cause soil to dry longer. And, the plant likewise takes a break from its growth at this time. Thus, it does not need much nutrients or hydration.
The best way to avoid overwatering is allow the top inch of soil to dry. You can use a moisture meter to keep track of moisture in the soil. Or, use your finger.
With the latter, stick your finger into the soil. Once the soil is dry past the first inch from the top, it is time to water. Don’t worry about being late a few days. What you don’t want to do is water before that top inch dries out.
As long as you water anytime where the soil has dried from that top 1 inch depth to about halfway down the soil, you’ll be fine.
Your Philodendron Moonlight is not overly picky about soil. The most important thing is to provide it with well-draining soil.
This follows from the previous section as the plant is sensitive to overwatering. Soil that’s able to drain excess moisture reduces the risk of waterlogging. It also gives you a little bit of leeway in case you happen to pour too much water or water too early every now and then.
In addition to good draining, it will likewise appreciate soil that’s rich in high organic matter content. Philodendrons in general are heavy feeders. So, fertile soil gives it more nutrients such that you won’t need to fertilizer as much.
So what kinds of soil can you use?
- If you don’t want to bother about making your own mix and prefer one that’s store bought, you can use cacti and succulent mix which contains sand for drainage. Similarly, African violet mix works although not everyone’s a fan of it for philodendrons. You can likewise go with 100% sphagnum peat moss.
- If you prefer making your own mix (which saves money), you can use a combination of peat and perlite or vermiculite.
- Should you have some regular potting mix lying around in the shed for your other plants, you can use that as well. Just mix in some sand to improve drainage.
Feeding your Philodendron Moonlight is much like watering it. You don’t want to overdo it. And, because of this, how much your feed it during different times of the year will vary.
- In the spring and summer, apply all-purpose liquid fertilizer once a month. Use a balanced formula (15-15-15 or 10-10-10). And, dilute to 50% for the recommended strength.
- During fall and winter, cut back on feeding so that you apply once every 2 months.
Another alternative would be to use granular fertilizer. In this case, you can opt for slow release formula. Since the fertilizer is only released in intervals, you only need to apply this once in the spring and another time in the summer.
This saves you a lot of time and effort.
Like water, avoid overfeeding as all fertilizer contain some chemicals which eventually will leave some salt residue in the soil. Over time, this buildup can burn your plant’s roots.
As such, it is a good idea to flush the soil every 4 to 6 months or so.
While it sounds complicated, flushing the soil simply means running water through the soil. You can use a hose and leave in on the soil at a slow flow.
You don’t want to douse the soil or drench it in one go. Instead, Slowly let water flow into the soil until you start seeing the liquid drip from the drainage hole under the container.
Allow this to keep running for a minute or two.
As water flows down, some soil and debris along with salt buildup will go with it. Thus, clearing the soil from these mineral residue.
On the other hand, it is also worth being on the lookout for slow growth or smaller leaves. if this happens, check your lighting or feeding situations. Often, one or the other is not enough.
Start with light as it is easier to adjust. If the plant is already in bright light, then gradually increase fertilizer and see how the plant responds.
Your Philodendron Moonlight will grow to about 2 feet high and 2 feet wide. This makes it sizeable as a houseplant depending on where you place it.
As such, you may need to prune it to limit is size and control its shape. But, beyond this, it does not need a lot of pruning.
That said, it is always important to do to some maintenance trimming like removing yellow or unhealthy foliage.
Similarly, you’ll also want to prune leggy growth to help them start over.
The best time to do major pruning will be during spring or summer. But, you can do minor trimming any time of the year.
When doing so, keep in mind that the plant needs its leaves for photosynthesis. As such, don’t cut majority of its foliage off.
In addition to pruning, it is also a good idea to clean the leaves once a week or two weeks. You can use a damp cloth to do so. I’ve found that doing this regularly makes it easy to spot any pests early enough before they start increasing in number.
Philodendron Moonlight can easily be propagated via stem cuttings. You can do so during spring or early summer.
To do so:
- Start by taking a 4 to 7 inch stem cutting. Choose a healthy stem with at least 2 to 3 leaves on it.
- Plant the stem cutting into a small container with fresh, moist potting soil.
- Place it in a warm spot with bright, indirect light.
- In about 3 to 4 weeks, the stem cutting will develop its first roots.
Besides stem cuttings, you can also propagate Philodendron Moonlight by division or air layering.
How to Repot
Repot your Philodendron Moonlight once you see roots starting to come out from the under drainage holes.
The best time to repot is during the spring or early summer. But, do avoid overly hot days as you don’t want to add to the shock that the plant already experiences from repotting.
- Start by choosing a container that’s 2 inches wider than the current container.
- Also, prepare some fresh, well-draining potting mix. Please refer to the options above for potting media options.
- Carefully slide out the root ball from its current container.
- Brush off any excess soil and spread out the roots. Also, check the roots for any damage or disease.
- Fill the new pot with soil about 30% of the way.
- Insert the plant into the new container and fill the remaining space with fresh potting mix.
- Water the soil and do so to keep it moist.
Philodendron Moonlight is toxic because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. This makes it very important to keep the plant away from the reach of young children, dogs and cats who may get curiouis and ingest parts of the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Philodendron Moonlight are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, you may still experience issues with mealybugs and aphis, which are among the most common pests that bother plant.
If there are only a few of them, you can use rubbing alcohol and cotton to remove them. When I’m lazy, I just use a hose to spray them away.
If there are more of them, a better option would be to use insecticidal soap or neem oil to eradicate them.
On the other hand, diseases can be a bigger problem because they can spread from within. Fortunately, most of these are cause by external sources including excess moisture.
Thus, by controlling moisture, avoiding overwatering and allowing for enough air circulation you can avoid many fungal problems.