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Moonlight Philodendron Growing & Care Guide

With its striking, almost fluorescent evergreen foliage that bursts with bold and brilliant greens, the Moonlight Philodendron has naturally become very desired among avid collectors and new growers alike.

There’s a lot to love about this perky plant and with fairly basic growing requirements and an easy-going attitude, this popular houseplant is a must-have for anyone looking to add luscious tones and textures to their plant collections, regardless of skill level.

Here’s your ultimate growing and care guide for the Moonlight Philodendron. 

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Moonlight Philodendron Growing & Care Guide

Introducing the Moonlight Philodendron

Philodendron moonlight is a hybrid philodendron

Philodendron moonlight is a hybrid philodendron, a part of the Araceae family that was specifically grown and cultivated for its excellent houseplant characteristics and distinctive foliage.

Commonly known as Moonlight Philodendron, this plant has been popularized for its thick and glossy broad leaves that shimmer in shades of neon-green to lime.

Philodendrons are native to tropical regions of the world so these plants thrive in warm, humid environments and are generally known to be slow to medium growing houseplants.

Grown indoors, mature plants can reach up to 26 inches tall and wide with oval to elongated leaves that grow to be around one foot in length. This evergreen, clumping cultivar grows in a shrubby and dense fashion, making it an excellent ornamental addition to any space.

These plants look great as part of a household collection where they can offer a tropical splash of scenery or, given the right conditions, these plants can also be grown in the garden.

What makes this specific cultivar unique is that it grows upright unlike other philodendron varieties, meaning it won’t need support as it matures and doesn’t need a lot of space to thrive. 

Plant Name:

Philodendron Moonlight 

Genus:

Philodendron

Species:

Moonlight

Common Names:

Moonlight Philodendron

Location:

Indoor or outdoor

Type: 

Evergreen plant

Growth:

20 to 24 inches tall, 20 to 26 inches wide

Sun Requirements:

Bright, indirect light

Foliage Color:

Green

Flower Color:

Pink to red

Flowering:

Spring to early summer

Hardiness Zones:

USDA 10 to 11

Maintenance Level:

Low

Poisonous for Pets:

Toxic to humans and pets if ingested

Moonlight Philodendron Bloom

These tropical flowering plants are adored for their vivid green foliage and not for their abundant flowers. While they are known to flower in their natural habitats, plants grown indoors bloom rarely, if ever.

Moonlight Philodendrons will bloom once a year from spring to late spring only after about 12 to 15 years of maturing. These plants eventually produce showy blossoms that consist of a 5-inch white spadix almost completely surrounded by a pinkish-red spathe. This plant has a fairly long bloom time, lasting a month or longer. 


How to Grow Moonlight Philodendron

How to Grow Moonlight Philodendron

Because this plant is a specific hybrid cultivar, most growers tend to choose to buy healthy plants from reputable nurseries that have been carefully propagated.

Alternatively, this plant can also be propagated using stem cuttings or by dividing a large, mature plant during repotting. Using stem cuttings tends to be the easiest, most accessible method. 

How to Propagate Moonlight Philodendron

Philodendron Moonlight Propagation Using Cuttings

  • Use a sharp, sterilized blade and cut a healthy stem between two growth nodes at a 45° angle. Try cutting a stem section that has developed some aerial roots. 
  • The leaves grow close to one another so be careful not to damage other foliage in the process and be sure to wear gloves as the sap can cause skin irritation.
  • Let your cutting sit for a few minutes until the end is dry to the touch. Once dried, you can dip the stem into some rooting hormone.
  • You can now plant your cutting into your container or garden bed. 
  • Moonlight Philodendron cuttings can take about 2 to 4 weeks to develop roots and another month or so to fully establish in the soil. 

Propagating Philodendron Moonlight Using Division 

  • When repotting a large and mature plant you can divide it into several clumps using a sharp spade or suitable tool
  • Be sure to divide the plant into large sections with healthy stems, leaves and roots. 
  • You can now grow multiple sections of the plant at once. 
  • Newly divided plants can take up to two months to re-establish themselves properly. 

Planting Moonlight Philodendron

How to Propagate Moonlight Philodendron

Source: philodendronplant.com

This evergreen is mostly planted into containers for use as an ornamental houseplant but it can also grow in gardens under the right conditions. Either way, these plants need certain growing conditions and environments to thrive and grow best. It is recommended to plant in early to late spring. 

Sunlight Needs

These tropical plants love bright, indirect light every day. A few hours of direct sun in the mornings and evenings can help them thrive but intense midday sun can easily scorch the foliage.

A room with western or eastern exposure is ideal for growth. For outdoor scenarios, shaded gardens in non-frosting areas are recommended. USDA hardiness zones for outdoor use are zones 10 to 11

Best Soil for Philodendron Moonlight

Philodendrons prefer well-draining, aerated soil that retains moisture and is rich in organic matter. A blended potting medium containing two parts peat moss, one part perlite, and one part orchid bark should work great for these plants. Be sure that your containers also have good drainage. 

Temperature & Humidity

These tropical plants naturally thrive in warm and humid environments. Consistent humidity levels of at least 50% are recommended and ideal growing temperatures are between 65°F to 78°F.

To help increase the humidity levels for your plant, you can keep the plant on top of a pebble tray and regularly mist as well. For outdoor use, it is important to note that long exposure to cold temperatures of 50°F to 60°F can cause growth issues or permanently damage your plant. 


Repotting Moonlight Philodendron

Moonlight Philodendron Indoors

Source: 305greenery.com

Due to the slow to medium growth rate of this plant, you will only need to repot once every two to three years. When the roots begin to come out of the drainage holes in your container, you will know it’s time to repot.

The new container should be about 2 to 3 inches wider to encourage sufficient new growth each time. Repotting should be done in spring or early summer during the active growing season. 

  • Gently remove your plant from its current container and tousle the roots slightly to remove old soil. 
  • Place the plant into the new container with a fresh potting mix. The root ball should be level with the surrounding soil. 
  • Water the plant and place it in a warm location with indirect light.

Philodendron Moonlight Care Guide

Caring for philodendrons should be straightforward as long as they are growing in healthy environments. Overall, this plant is known to be low-maintenance but it will respond well to some TLC.

Philodendron Moonlight Care Guide

Watering Moonlight Philodendron

During the growing season between spring and summer, you can water about once per week. During the cooler months of late autumn to winter, watering once every 10 days or so should be ideal.

Before watering, always first check to see if it is needed by feeling the top 1 inch of soil, if it feels dry to the touch, you can water the plant. Your soil should be moist but not soaked to prevent fungal or bacterial issues like root rot. 

What Fertilizer to Use

Fertilizing monthly during the active growing season will ensure bountiful growth. Use a universal fertilizer with a 10-10-10 nutrient ratio and dilute to half strength when feeding. 

Pruning

These plants need little to no pruning as they don’t produce long vines like other philodendron varieties. They tend to retain a compact shape naturally so prune lightly to remove old, damaged leaves at the bottom of the plant that may be yellowing. 

Be sure to read our guide on common pruning mistakes and how to avoid them.

Clean Leaves

It is recommended to wipe the leaves down with a damp cloth about once per week. This can help the plant breathe properly and maintain radiant foliage. You can also check the plant for any possible disease issues when wiping it down.


Philodendron Moonlight Pests & Problems

Moonlight philodendron is known to be a hardy plant so it shouldn’t give you too much trouble so long as you’re growing it in the right conditions and caring for it well.

The thick, robust leaves are resistant to pests and diseases as well as low humidity. However, they can easily be scorched by too much direct sun. Potential problems this plant can face stem from light or water issues. 

Moonlight philodendron is known to be a hardy plant so it shouldn’t give you too much trouble

Brown Spots on the Leaves

This can be caused when the plant receives too much sun or too much water. If the brown spots are soft or have a yellow contour, this could mean the plant has a fungal problem. 

Yellow Leaves

If your leaves are yellowing and the plant appears paler than usual, this could indicate the plant is not getting enough light or you are overwatering. For stem cuttings, these symptoms should indicate root and stem rot. 

Aphids/Mealybugs

These small pests can easily be treated by using neem oil or by spraying them off the plant using a water and soap mixture. Read our in depth guide on mealybugs here

These problems can all be prevented by following the right watering routine and by giving your Moonlight Philodendron the right amount of light each day.

For any fungal issues, the use of a general fungicide should help to bring your plant back.  


Moonlight Philodendron FAQs

Is moonlight philodendron a climber?

This cultivar is a non-vining, non-climbing variety that forms in a clump-like fashion. 

What is the difference between philodendron lemon-lime and moonlight?

The lemon-lime philodendron has a vine-like growth habit whereas the moonlight philodendron is a self-heading plant. The moonlight leaves are also much brighter and elongated whereas the lemon-lime features paler, heart-shaped leaves. 

Why is my moonlight philodendron yellow?

The most common cause of yellowing foliage is improper soil moisture. This is usually caused by overwatering philodendrons. Be sure to always first check the soil to see if water is needed.

If you’re interested in growing other popular philodendrons, be sure to check out our in-depth Philodendron xanadu andPhilodendron ‘Pink Princess’ growing guides.


Embellish Your Collection with Moonlight Philodendron

With its stunning bright-green foliage and low maintenance requirements, the moonlight philodendron is an excellent option for any indoor gardener looking to add a splash of color to their collection.

This hardy houseplant can impress year-round with its luscious evergreen foliage that glows in gorgeous green hues. With an attractive growth habit and a long lifespan, you can enjoy the tropical and luscious textures of the Moonlight Philodendron for many years to come. 

About the Author Mabel Vasquez

Mabel has enjoyed a long career as a horticulturist, working in nurseries and greenhouses for many years. Although she loves all plants, Mabel has developed a particular passion over the years for herb gardens and indoor plants. Mabel has since retired from her horticulture career and loves sharing her many years of experience with our audience here at Sumo Gardener.

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