Today, you’ll learn the best tips for philodendron lemon lime care. Like other heartleaf philodendrons, Philodendron hederaceum ‘Lemon Lime’ (or ‘Neon’) plants aren’t picky about watering, light, or humidity. Lemon lime plant care is easy and they can grow with minimal attention and even a splash of neglect. This means they’re perfect houseplants for beginners!
If you’re not a beginner, fret not. The philodendron lemon lime is a gorgeous indoor plant that grows long, trailing vines with highlighter green heart-shaped leaves (thus the name). It’s a straight-up stunner, for houseplant lovers of all skill levels.
Also known as the neon heart leaf philodendron, these tropical plants are evergreen so the leaves will stay bright and cheery all year long. It’ll also help purify toxins from the air, and release extra oxygen into your home.
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Lemon Lime Philodendron Care Cheat Sheet
|Common Names||Philodendron lemon lime, Philodendron neon, neon heartleaf|
|Scientific Name||Philodendron hederaceum or Philodendron scandens|
|Size||4-5 inch leaves, 6 – 8 foot vines|
|Growth Pattern||Climbing or vining|
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Soil||Chunky, well-draining soil|
|Water||Every 7-10 days, when the top 1-2 inches are dry|
|Propagation||Stem propagation (with nodes) in water, soil, or moss|
|Toxicity||Toxic – philodendrons contain calcium oxalate crystals|
Background and Natural Habitat
Philodendron hederaceum ‘Lemon Lime’ (or ‘Neon’) belongs to the Araceae family. OG green heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum or Philodendron scandens) are tropical plants native to the rainforests in Central America and the Caribbean. They’re often confused with Philodendron cordatum. In the natural environment, heartleaf philodendrons thrive in dappled sunlight as they climb up the trunks of trees (similar to monstera deliciosa and pothos plants).
You won’t find the lemon lime plant in the wild though. It’s a cultivar of the traditional green heartleaf philodendron, which means that it was produced by horticulturalists. Instead, the philodendron lemon lime grows in homes and offices, greenhouses, and at a garden center near you.
Varieties of Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)
You’ve probably seen some of the other heart leaf philodendron plants, like the standard green heart leaf, bright Brasil (P. hederaceum var. oxycardium), velvety Micans (P. hederaceum var. hederaceum), or creamy Silver Stripe. They’re all variations and cultivars of the same species of heart leaf philodendron. The Philodendron brandtianum (aka Brandi) is another close relation that grows heart-shaped leaves with a beautiful silvery pattern.
Philodendron lemon lime vs neon pothos
There’s some confusion about neon pothos vs lemon lime philodendron (or neon philodendron). It makes sense. The names are super similar and they both have that highlighter green foliage. Plus, both plants are aroids with trailing vines.
What’s the difference between neon pothos and neon philodendron? If you look closely, you’ll see that the neon philodendron has wider, heart shaped leaves with pink-ish stems. The neon pothos has wider stems, wider aerial roots, and more of a waxy texture on the leaf surface.
New growth on the philodendron is pink-ish, while new leaves on the neon pothos are green. Neon philodendrons have cataphylls, which are the leaf wrappers that dry up as the leaf matures. You can see them on the vines in the picture above — look for the dry, pinkish-brown material near the nodes.
Neon philodendron vs lemon lime philodendron upright
To further complicate matters, there’s another plant in the mix.
It turns out that the name “Lemon lime philodendron” was actually patented for a variety of P. domesticum with highlighter-colored leaves, also known as the golden goddess philodendron. The other philodendron lemon lime grows upright, with leaves that are longer and less heart-shaped.
However, the name “lemon lime” is often used for the bright neon heartleaf philodendron, which is a variety of P. hederaceum. In plant forums and FB groups, you’ll see both the lemon lime upright and the neon heartleaf referred to as philodendron lemon lime.
Confusing, right? 😅
Philodendron ‘Lemon Lime’ Care Guide
Philodendron lemon lime care is super easy! They can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions and standard household humidity levels.
Even if you’re brand new to houseplants, you should feel comfortable giving these heartleaf philodendrons a chance. All you need in terms of plant care is soil with good drainage, bright indirect sunlight, water, and a positive attitude.
Philodendron Lemon Lime Light Requirements
Lemon lime philodendron plants prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight from south-facing windows or the outdoors, as the leaves can easily burn or scorch. If you have a south-facing window or a covered patio, place your philodendron a couple feet back so it can access more indirect light. This will help keep those bright neon leaves safe from burns.
These plants can be tolerant of low light conditions, but their growth will be slower. Natural sunlight is always best, but if you’re worried about the lighting in your space, grab a clip-on grow light or a swap out the bulb in a regular lamp for a full-spectrum grow light bulb.
My lemon lime philodendron has thrived in a north-facing window in my bathroom – the vines are over five feet long and pooling in the bathtub. It needs a serious haircut. Thankfully it’s spring, which is the perfect time for the ol’ chop-n-prop.
How much water does a neon philodendron need?
Lemon lime or neon philos can tolerate a bit of neglect, and would much prefer to be underwatered than overwatered. How do you know if your philodendron needs water? Check to see if the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry. If they’re dry, go ahead and give the plant a good soak.
Try not to water your philodendron too often – overwatering can lead to root rot, which can tank a plant fast. Typically, I water my lemon lime philodendron once every 7-10 days. If it’s hot or your plant is putting out a lot of new growth, you may need to water it more often. In the winter, you can probably get away with watering once every two weeks. Always check the soil using your finger or a moisture meter.
If you’re wondering if you can water your philodendron with tap water, then yes! I use tap water for all of my plants and have had great success. However, if your city water isn’t great or your water is softened, you’ll have more success with rain water or bottled spring water.
What temperature should a philodendron lemon lime be?
If you’re keeping your philodendron indoors, you don’t need to worry too much about temperature. Ideal temperatures for these babies are between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is right in the standard room temperature zone. Philodendron lemon lime care is harder in colder temperatures as your plant may stop growing, or even die.
Your neon heart leaf philodendron can tolerate a bit more heat if you’re keeping it out on your porch for the summer. If your plant is indoors, position it away from HVAC vents – they don’t love the dry air or sudden temperature changes.
Neon heartleaf philodendrons are used to high levels of humidity, but they’re not picky. Yours can still thrive in average household humidity levels.
I live in North Carolina so the air is always kind of humid (especially in the summer). As a result, I don’t add any more humidity and my philodendron lemon lime is doing great.
If your leaves are getting crispy brown bits around the edges, use a humidifier or pebble tray. You can also try misting the leaves occasionally to raise the humidity around the plant.
What’s the best soil for Philodendron Lemon Lime care?
The common theme here is that lemon lime philodendrons aren’t picky, and that applies to soil too. Make sure the soil you choose has good drainage (or mix in some extra perlite).
If you’re a houseplant beginner, don’t feel like you have to purchase fancy soil. My lemon lime is in a mix of Miracle-Gro potting mix with extra perlite, sphagnum peat moss, and vermiculite. All of my ingredients were purchased from my local hardware store.
If you’re using fresh soil with organic matter (like compost or worm castings), you may not need to fertilize your lemon lime philodendron. Be sure to check your potting soil too, as some commercially available soils (like Miracle-Gro) contain a built-in slow-release fertilizer.
If your soil is old or you want to speed up plant growth, you can use SUPERthrive or a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every couple weeks during the warmer spring and summer months. Follow the instructions on your fertilizer as too much nitrogen can burn the roots. Your lemon lime philo won’t grow as much in the fall and winter, so it’s not necessary to fertilize during these times.
Growing Philodendron Lemon Lime
Like most houseplants, the growing season for neon heart leaf philodendrons is in the spring and summer months when the weather is warm.
Is lemon lime philodendron a climbing plant?
Yep, lemon lime philodendrons grow long, climbing vines with neon green and chartreuse foliage. In the natural environment, the vines of heart leaf philodendrons climb up trees.
Do philodendrons prefer to climb or hang?
As houseplants, your lemon lime philodendrons won’t care if they climb up a trellis or moss pole, or if the vines hang down. Follow your heart – your neon philodendron will be happy climbing or trailing.
If you’re choosing to let your philodendron trail, your vines might grow upright for 6-12 inches before falling over the sides of the pot.
I love the look of long trailing vines, so my philodendron lemon lime hands from a curtain rod over my bathroom window.
Does lemon lime philodendron grow fast?
Under the right conditions, your Philodendron hederaceum lemon lime will grow pretty fast. Mine is due for a trim because the vines are as tall as I am!
How big do lemon lime philodendrons get?
If you care for your lemon lime heart leaf philodendron properly, it will grow and grow. Full size leaves can grow to be 4-5 inches across and the vines can be over eight feet long indoors.
I’ve had my neon philodendron for about three years and the longest vines are over five feet long. That’s as long as they can get for the space they’re in, so I’m planning to chop-and-prop for plant trades and to add some more volume on top.
How do you make a philodendron lemon lime bushy?
Lemon lime heartleaf philodendrons can become leggy over time, especially if the longest vines have less access to light. Older leaves will naturally die and fall, which can also leave gaps in the vines.
Regular haircuts and pruning can encourage bushier growth in your heartleaf philodendron. If the top is thin, you can always chop-and-prop to add more volume.
I trim mine once a year and propagate the cuttings in water. I add some to the top of the plant and give the rest of the cuttings away to friends or in plant trades.
Can you grow this philodendron outdoors?
Absolutely! Many people in moderate climates move their neon heartleaf philodendron outside in the summertime. If you’re in a tropical climate, you can keep it outside year round.
Lemon lime philodendron care outdoors is similar to indoor care. Lemon lime philodendron grows best in bright indirect light. Be sure to find a shady spot (like a covered porch or patio) or somewhere with dappled sunlight so you don’t burn the leaves. If it’s super toasty in your area, your outdoor philodendron may need to be watered more often than your indoor plants.
Can you propagate lemon lime philodendrons?
Yep! Lemon lime propagation is the quickest way to make babies. Stems with nodes can be easily propagated in water, soil, or moss. Growth will be faster if your nodes have a leaf attached, but you may still have success with just a “wet stick” (leafless node).
I prefer water propagation because I’m a helicopter plant parent who wants to check the root growth. Plus, what could be easier than filling up a small glass and popping in a couple vines? I use my pruning shears to trim long vines into one-node sections, each with one leaf (see photo above).
How often should you repot your lemon lime heartleaf?
Repotting is an important part of keeping your philodendron houseplants happy and healthy. Plan to repot your Philodendron hederaceum ‘Lemon Lime’ once every 1-2 years, during the growing season (spring/summer months). The frequency will depend on the size of the plant and its current pot. You may find that larger or older plants can get by with a top dressing of fresh soil rather than a full repot.
On the other hand, if you notice your plant is struggling despite having everything it needs, check to see if it needs an early repot.
Before you start repotting, check the plant’s roots. If they’re growing out of the drainage holes, breaking out of the pot, or pushing out soil, it’s definitely time to upgrade. If the roots look good and still have space to grow, you can wait to repot your philodendron.
How do you repot a lemon lime philodendron?
If you’ve determined that your plant needs to be repotted, choose a pot that’s 1-2 inches larger than the current pot. I usually use nursery pots and a decorative cache pot, so it’s easy to drain extra water or pull the plant out to water in the sink or shower. If you’re putting the plant directly into a pot, choose one with drainage holes or a removable self-watering base.
Next, remove the plant from its existing pot and gently knock off any loose old soil. It’s not necessary to disrupt the roots by shaking or unwinding them to release the old soil. Lemon lime philodendron are adaptable and their roots will grow into their new space all on their own. Plus, bringing a bit of the old environment into the new pot can help make the transition less stressful for the plant.
Use fresh, chunky soil with good drainage and fill the bottom of the new pot, add the plant, then fill the top and sides with more soil. Press the soil down around the edges a bit to keep the plant stable, but not so much that the soil loses its aeration or drainage.
Is the philodendron lemon lime toxic?
Unfortunately, yes — neon philodendron plants are toxic. Like all members of the Philodendron genus, these babies have calcium oxalate crystals.
If ingested, calcium oxalate can cause digestive upset, pain, swelling, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing. The severity of symptoms depends on how much was ingested.
Is lemon lime philodendron toxic to cats and dogs?
Yes, lemon lime philodendrons are toxic to cats and dogs. If your fur babies like to chew on stems and leaves, keep your neon heart leaf away. If there’s not a safe space, choose a pet-safe plant for your home (like a lovely Hoya Tricolor or Krimson Princess).
The same goes for small children who engage in mouthing or chewing inedible items. It’s unclear how much of the plant a human would need to eat to experience symptoms, but it’s always better to be safe.
If you choose to roll the dice with a philodendron and cats or dogs, check the surrounding area regularly and pick up any fallen leaves or plant material. If your dog, cat, or small child ate part of your philodendron plant, call poison control.
Common Pests and Problems
The most common issues you might experience while growing the neon heart leaf philodendron are brown or yellow leaves (typically due to over or under-watering), droopy leaves (underwatering), and root rot (due to overwatering).
Why are my philodendron lemon lime leaves turning brown?
If they’re crispy brown around the edges, you may need to add some more humidity near your plant. Brown leaves can also be a sign of root rot (typically due to overwatering).
If old leaves occasionally turn yellow or brown and fall off, don’t worry – it’s normal for the plant to shed older growth over time.
Why is my philodendron lemon lime turning yellow?
If the leaves on your lemon lime philodendron start to turn a dull yellow, it’s most likely due to underwatering. However, it may also be due to a lack of nutrients in your soil. It may be time for some fertilizer or a repot, if it’s been a while.
Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, and scale. If you spot any, move your philodendron away from your other plants and begin treatment.
If you’ve had issues with pests before, you may want to take preventative action by regularly wiping down the plant with neem oil or diluted alcohol, soaking mosquito bits in your watering can, or by purchasing beneficial mites.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where do you buy lemon lime philodendron plants online?
For ordering houseplants online, I love to shop on Etsy. Buyers often share pics in their reviews (so you can see the plant’s condition when it arrived) and sellers are usually individuals or small businesses.
The selection isn’t quite as large, but some growers and shops also list their plants on Amazon.
Are neon heart leaf philodendron plants rare?
Not really – you can often find lemon lime philos at your local big box or hardware store. They’re an accessible plant.
Are lemon lime philodendrons expensive?
Nope – they’re an inexpensive, entry level houseplant that packs a colorful punch. At local garden centers, big box stores, or hardware stores, you can expect to pay between $5 – $10 for a 4-inch pot and about $20 for a larger hanging basket.
What’s the best pot for the philodendron lemon lime?
These plants aren’t picky, so any pot will do as long as it has good drainage. I love to use nursery pots within decorative pots. It makes it super easy to swap pots, check roots, and drain out extra water.
When I’m hanging plants, I typically reach for plastic pots since they’re lighter. A big trailing plant that was recently watered can weigh a lot. For taller climbing plants with moss poles or trellises, I use heavier ceramic or cement pots. This keeps the plant from getting top heavy and tipping over.
What’s the best moss pole or trellis for philodendron lemon lime?
I let my heartleaf philos trail, but I like using these stackable moss poles for my monsteras. They’d work for lemon lime philodendrons if you’d prefer to have the plants climb. You’ll need to ‘train’ your philodendron to use the pole. After that, if you keep the moss pole moist, your plant will use its aerial roots to climb up.
Can the lemon lime philodendron revert?
Nope! The bright, highlighter-green coloring of the lemon lime heartleaf philodendron is stable, even over generations. You might see some sport variegation on the leaves (with dark green flecks), but don’t worry about the whole plant reverting. You’re good. 😊