Lemon Lime Philodendron

Lemon Lime Philodendron

Lemon-lime philodendron plants are popular houseplants native to the rainforests of South America. Their scientific name is Philodendron hederaceum lemon-lime, and they are also referred to as sweetheart vine, lemon-lime heartleaf philodendron, areum, philodendron scandens lemon lime, golden Brazil, philodendron cordatum lemon-lime, and philodendron domesticum lemon-lime. These tropical plants have vibrant, greenish-yellow, heart-shaped leaves and can grow about eight to 12 inches tall. For tips on how to care for or propagate this vibrant vine, keep reading. 

Lemon-lime Philodendron Features 

As mentioned above, these vines can grow up to a foot tall, and even larger if planted in free and open spaces. Their stems trail downwards in large numbers, while newer plants have more leaves growing from the base that give them a more compact, healthier appearance. The leaves are thin and heart-shaped, and are initially a solid bright pinkish-yellow, but as they mature the plants turn neon and lime green. These large vines are prolific and grow fast if rigid support is provided. 

Although considered medium-sized plants, these philodendrons have stems that can grow as long as 12 inches or more. They may need to be trimmed to an appropriate length if you want the plant to maintain a particular size and shape. 

Lemon-lime Philodendron Plant Care 

Lemon-lime philodendrons thrive in bright, indirect light, although they can also cope with low light conditions. Avoid placing them in areas with direct sunlight as it will burn the foliage.  

Provide water when the top 50 to 70 percent of the soil is dry. Water until you see the excess flowing out of the drainage holes of the pots, to ensure that the plants have been properly soaked. Discard any stagnant water that may accumulate in the pots. Keep the plants well-hydrated but never waterlogged, and do not  expose them to harsh conditions. 

Lemon-lime philodendrons are fine with regular household humidity, but they thrive best when the humidity is higher, and this encourages larger leaves.  Mist the plants occasionally to increase the humidity around them. 

These vines like temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Keep them away from drafts, especially during the cold winter months. 

Fertilize the plants monthly during spring and summer with a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants. 

Keep these plants away from kids and pets, as the leaves are toxic. If ingested, they could cause swelling of the tongue and lips as well as stomach irritation and vomiting. 

Prune off any dead, damaged, discolored or unhealthy leaves and stems using clean, sharp scissors. Trim stems just above the leaf nodes. Wash the leaves often to prevent dust and so that the leaves’ pores will not clog up. 

For propagation purposes, take stem cuttings during spring or early summer and place the cuttings in water or moist soil. 

The vines of these plants cascade downward, and their growth may slow when the plants are stressed due to undesirable growing conditions. 

Lemon-lime philodendrons are rarely susceptible to pests and diseases, especially if kept indoors. However, they could still be invaded by spider mites, maggots and mealybugs. Check the leaves weekly for the presence of any pests. If you see them, eradicate them as soon as possible with pesticide sprays or insecticidal soap. Trim off any discolored, damaged and dead leaves using sharp scissors.

These plants grow quickly, especially in favorable growing conditions. Their speed of growth will depend on soil type, water, temperature and humidity. 

Lemon-lime Philodendron Propagation 

You can easily propagate these plants at home. Be sure to sterilize all the equipment that you use to prevent contamination and infection. Wear gloves to avoid injury and see to it that you propagate during the spring and summer seasons only. 

First, cut the upper part of a stem with sharp scissors. Place it in potting mix or moist soil, and put the pot in a warm environment away from direct sunlight. You should notice new shoots and growth developing within three to four months. 

Alternatively, the rooting can be done in water before transplanting the cutting to soil later.

Conclusion 

Lemon-lime philodendrons are popular indoor plants also known as sweetheart vine and golden Brazil, among other names. These tropical vines feature heart-shaped leaves that turn neon and lime green as they mature. They thrive in bright, indirect light and need decent hydration and average to high humidity levels. Just make sure to keep them at a safe distance from pets and kids, because these plants are toxic.

Image: istockphoto.com / mayomtong