The Philodendron Red Moon is a very rare Aroid that features stunning colored foliage. Its leaves feature bright red, lime and various shades of green.
This makes it stunning to look at. And this philodendron plant can quickly brighten up a room.
As you would expect, something this rare comes with an expensive price of $1,500 or higher per plant. If you want a cutting, the price is $950 and higher.
Often, you’ll need to bid or go on waitlists to get this plant.
How do your care for the Philodendron Red Moon? Keep it in medium to bright, indirect light. Avoid low light and direct sunlight as both can affect its variegations.
For optimal growth, give the plant warm temperature and high humidity. Never overwater the plant and use well-draining soil.
Philodendron Red Moon Plant Care
The Philodendron Red Moon does best in bright, indirect light. Although, it will do quite well in medium light as well. However, try to avoid low light if you can.
While the plant can tolerate some low light, its heavy variegations and multiple non-green sections of its leaves prevent it from growing its best when there isn’t sufficient lighting.
The light green, yellow and red colors of its leaves may look beautiful, but they don’t contain or contain less chlorophyll which causes the green color of foliage.
The thing is chlorophyll is also the substance the absorbs light for the plant to use in photosynthesis. Therefore, the less green sections the leaves have, the more light it requires to thrive.
This is why if you leave the Philodendron Red Moon in low light, dim or dark areas, you’ll notice its yellow, light green and red variegations become less intense. The yellows and lime colors will also turn more green as the plant produces more chlorophyll to compensate for the low light source.
Additionally, the plant’s growth will slow and it can become leggy.
None of these are appealing for any plant grower.
Therefore, try to keep the plant in a well-lit location.
That said, there is such a thing as too much light as well.
As much as the Philodendron Red Moon likes plenty of light, it cannot tolerate very intense light. This includes direct sunlight especially during the middle of the day when the sun is the hottest.
Thus, try to avoid placing it near the west or south facing windows between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and summers. These are the hottest times of the day and the year.
If you want to position the in those directions, either keep it a few feet from the window so the mid-day sun’s rays don’t touch the plant. Or you can use blinds or curtains to filter the sun to protect the plant.
Outdoors, partial shade is the best location. Avoid full sun and full shade.
The Philodendron Red Moon enjoys moderate to warm temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Like other philodendrons it is a tropical plant.
This means a few things.
- It enjoys consistently warm, sunny weather all year round.
- It is not accustomed to winter since there is no winter in the tropics.
- The plant can tolerate warm to hot conditions of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit without any problems. However, the higher you go, the more you have to keep it well-hydrated because moisture evaporates faster. And the plant does not like to completely dry out.
- The Philodendron Red Moon is not cold hardy.
As such, this set of rules will basically guide you on how to treat the plant as far as temperature and weather goes.
The most important thing is to avoid the cold. In fact, it has a hard time in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. And you definitely want to avoid environments below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The colder things get, the more likely its growth will get stunted. This also increases the plant’s risk for cold injury.
Another thing to watch out for is fluctuating temperature.
This is something the Red Moon Philodendron does not like. And its leaves can turn yellow because of this.
Indoors, temperature is less of a problem since most homes maintain between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. However, avoid air conditioners, fireplaces, stoves, ovens, heaters, radiators and cold drafts.
Outdoors, make sure to bring the plant back inside once the weather drops near 50 degrees Fahrenheit around fall. Don’t leave it outside through the winter as it will die back to the soil at best.
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Humidity is another thing to consider when it comes to positioning the plant. Because it comes from the tropics, it enjoys humid conditions. ideally 60% humidity and above it the Philodendron Red Moon’s sweet spot.
However, it can tolerate lower humidity as well.
That said, try to keep humidity at 40% and above to stay safe. It can tolerate down to about the mid 30s but avoid anything below that.
The reason is once humidity gets too low the tips and edges of the leaves turn brown and sometimes crispy. Sadly, once this happens, they will never turn green or go back to their natural texture.
As such, due to the beauty of the plant, it is important to keep track of humidity and help it out once you see air moisture start dipping below its requirements.
The simplest way to do this is to keep a hygrometer near the plant. This will let you always know the humidity in a glance.
How Often to Water Philodendron Red Moon
The Philodendron Red Moon enjoys moist soil. But it does not like wet, soggy soil.
Therefore, it is important to find the balance between the two.
It is also important to note that the plant is susceptible to overwatering. This means you want to be careful about watering too often.
For this reason, it is best to allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings.
Here are a couple of effective ways I’ve found to do this.
One way is to wait until the top 2 inches of soil has dried before you add any more water. The simplest way to test this is to stick your finger in the soil down to the second knuckle. Then feel your fingertip for moisture.
If it feels completely dry, then you can water.
But if there is even a slight bit of moisture, wait a few days before you test the soil again.
The second method is perfect if you’re a busy person. It is also more conservative. Thus, it will keep you safe from potentially overwatering.
Here, wait until the soil is dry halfway down. This means waiting until the top 50% of soil has dried before watering again.
This works great for the Philodendron Red Moon because it gives you a lot of leeway from possibly overwatering the soil. Yet, the roots are still in moist soil since the bottom half of the potting mix still has some moisture.
In this cause a wooden stick or chopstick is the simplest way to test the soil. Just insert the stick all the way down until you hit the bottom of the pot. When you take the stick out, you’ll see a wet and dry part on the wood. This indicates until where the moisture in the soil is.
Of course, if you enjoy using gadgets, you can just pick up a moisture meter and take the reading. The screen will tell you if the soil is dry, moist or wet.
As such, avoid watering before part of the soil has dried. But at the same time, don’t the let soil completely dry out as well.
Philodendron Red Moon Potting Soil
The best potting soil for the Philodendron Red Moon is loose, well-draining and rich in organic matter.
This is important because the soil plays a supporting role on watering.
That is, the kind of soil you use will help or hinder moisture. This means:
- If you use heavy soils or those that retain moisture, the soil will hold more water. This works for some plants but is not a good thing for the Philodendron Red Moon. It will cause overwatering due to waterlogged soil.
- If you use lots of sand or those that drain very quickly, the soil will only hold very little water. Again, this is not what you want for the Philodendron Red Moon. Too much drainage will cause the soil and roots to dry out too quickly and often. Thus, you need to keep watering the plant to avoid dehydration.
This is why well-draining soil is ideal for the Philodendron Red Moon.
Well-draining soil holds a bit of moisture that’s enough to keep the roots hydrated. But it quickly drains excess moisture.
In doing so, the roots stay hydrated, without the risk of waterlogged soil or too much moisture.
This prevents root rot and fungal growth. Both of which are dangerous for the plant.
The good news is that there are many ways to achieve this. And the simplest is just to pick up an Aroid mix from your local nursery or favorite online plant shop.
Note that not all stores carry an aroid mix because they have to make the potting mix themselves.
As such, you can make your own at home as well, if you prefer. This is what I like to do.
It is cheaper and you can adjust the soil a bit here and there depending on where to live to make it fit the environment or microclimate your home happens to have.
Here’s how to make it. Just combine:
- 1 part potting mix
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part orchid bark
- ½ part horticultural charcoal
This homemade aroid mix will hold some moisture thanks to the potting soil. Then, the perlite, bark and charcoal quickly drain excess moisture. The bark and charcoal are also chunky which allows for good aeration so the roots get a lot of oxygen.
The Philodendron Red Moon will benefit from fertilizer. So, I do suggest using one.
Try to go with a high quality plant food and avoid the low quality or cheap stuff. The latter tend to leave a lot of salt and excess minerals that will eventually build up in the soil and potentially harm the roots.
Another thing worth noting with fertilizer, is that the worst thing you can do is to add too much of it. This means adding more than needed or applying more times that the instructions tell you.
While in theory this looks like it may help, what you end up is a faster growing plant with a smaller root system. That’s not a good thing.
Additionally, you increase the risk of fertilizer burn which can damage the roots and negatively affect how they absorb water and nutrients from the soil. In doing so, the plant will eventually develop yellow leaves and later brown ones as the roots deteriorate.
Thus, just follow the instructions on the label.
For the Philodendron Red Moon, once a month feeding during sprig and summer is sufficient. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half the suggested strength if you keep the plant indoors in a pot. If your plant is grown outdoors in the ground, you can use the full recommended strength.
Don’t feed the plant during fall and winter.
The Philodendron Red Moon is not a huge plant and will grow to about 3 feet high with about the same spread as its leaves extend outwards. It leaves can get to about 8 to 10 inches in length as well.
Because the plant is mostly made up of its colorful leaves, pruning is not really needed unless you want to remove brown or yellow leaves as well those that have been damaged.
Since the plant it rare, if you get your hands on one, it will likely be a very young plant or even a cutting. If this is the case, allow the plant to grow and mature before pruning or even propagating it.
This means letting it grow for 2-3 years under good lighting with the right watering and fertilizer. Avoid low light conditions as it can become leggy. Then you’ll have to prune.
Also, I don’t suggest buying cuttings online for the plant because in my experience the plant does not breed true. That is, cuttings may or may not develop into the same plant as the parent.
This means the cuttings can end up with all-green leaves instead of the red, pink, yellow, light green and green colors of the Philodendron Red Moon.
So, instead, get the plant itself even if the plant is still young or juvenile. At least that way, you know its leaves have the color.
How to Propagate Philodendron Red Moon
The best way to propagate the Philodendron Red Moon is from stem cuttings. Again, the tricky thing about this particular plant is that it does not breed true.
So, the cuttings don’t always guarantee you end up with a colorful Philodendron Red Moon. Instead, you may end up with all-green leaves.
Sadly, this is also the case with the Philodendron Orange Queen and Philodendron Pink Princess, which is why these plants are all rare, sought after and expensive.
As such, I do recommend taking more than one cutting when propagating this plant. This way, you have a better chance of success.
Here’s how to propagate the Philodendron Red Moon from stem cuttings.
- Take a few healthy stem cuttings. Make sure each cutting has at least one node and 2-3 leaves on it.
- Cut the stem just under the node. This way you ensure that each cutting has at least one node with it.
- Plant the cuttings in a pot with well-draining soil.
- It will take 2-4 weeks for roots to grow. But you want to let the roots develop.
- You can leave the cuttings in the same pot until they become root bound. This gives you a bushier plant when it grows.
- Or when the roots get to at least 3 or more inches long, you can separate bunches of stem cuttings and place them into separate pots with soil. This will let you grow multiple plants.
How to Repot or Transplant Philodendron Red Moon
The Philodendron Red Moon only needs repotting every 2 to 3 years. Therefore, there’s no need to take it out of its pot every 6 months or each year. In fact, I don’t recommend doing that.
The reason is the plant does not like being moved.
As such, only do so when it is not getting enough light or it is positioned somewhere too cold or with humidity.
As far as repotting goes, only do so when the plant gets root bound. The only other exception is if something is wrong and you need to fix it.
This can mean emergencies like overwatering, pest infestations, fungal disease or root rot. Similarly, if you need to change the soil which can happen especially the first time you bring it home.
Some stores will use the same potting mix for all their plants. So, always check because this could mean the soil that’s in your philodendron’s pot may be retaining too much moisture.
Thus, always monitor and check to see if you need to replace it. I’ve had at least a couple of instances where I needed to change the original soil because it was holding too much moisture.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Yes, the Philodendron Red Moon is toxic. But is only becomes toxic when ingested. Thus, it is safe to touch but not to consume.
Unfortunately, the plant is poisonous to people, dogs and cats. So, keep young children and pets from playing around the plant. Or place the plant out of their reach to keep them safe.
Philodendron Red Moon Problems & Troubleshooting
The Philodendron Red Moon is not prone to pests. But it can experience them.
So, regular inspection is essential. You want to catch these bugs while it is still early otherwise, they grow very quickly in number. This makes them hard to eradicate.
And the larger they are in number, the more damage they inflict because the insects the plant attracts are sap suckers. As such, an infestation can quickly weaken the plant.
The most common pests that will come around your Red Moon Philodendron are mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and scale.
The simplest way to get rid of them is just to spray them off with a light stream of water. I like to use the garden hose for bigger plant and the shower head for smaller ones.
The water stream will dislodge the bugs and carry them away from the plant into the drain.
Root rot and leaf spot disease are two of the more common issues here.
As you already know, root rot is very serious. And if possible, avoid this at all costs. But if it does happen, the key is to spot it early.
That’s because it spreads. And the more roots that are damaged, the less likely the plant can be saved.
Leaf spot disease can be fungal or bacterial. Both are caused by excess moisture on the leaves. Thus, avoid watering over the entire plant. Instead, pour directly onto the soil.