Lemon lime philodendrons are tropical plants native to the rainforests of South America. Their botanical name is Philodendron hederaceum, and they are widely popular for their strikingly vibrant, greenish-yellow, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves grow to about eight inches long, while the stems reach almost 12 inches. If grown outdoors, they could grow even larger. In this article, you will learn more about the lemon lime philodendron and its care and propagation.
Lemon Lime Philodendron Care
When watering these plants, wait for the top half of the soil to dry out first, and be sure to water sufficiently. If the leaves are turning brown or wilting, it is an indication that the plants are under-watered. In this case, increase your watering until the plants have recovered, but avoid over-drenching them. If the plants experience drought too often they may not survive, so make sure their location is suitable.
Yellowing leaves are an indication of overwatering, but you may not spot this easily because the natural color of these plants might mask the yellowing somewhat. You will need to pay close attention to your plants’ soil to assess the level of moisture and know when to water them.
These plants prefer well-draining, moist and loose soil. Ideal types include traditional potting mix, or those mixed with peat. The soil must be loose enough that the roots can grow easily; avoid sandy soil since it is not sufficiently loose. The plants can be repotted at the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Although they are tolerant of being rootbound, it is advisable to repot them to avoid stunted growth.
Lemon lime philodendrons like temperatures of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime and 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Keep them away from drafts, especially during winter, since cold temperatures could cause stunted growth.
Despite being tropical plants, they can survive the humidity levels in an average household. If the humidity is increased, the leaves will grow larger and the overall growth will increase. Misting the plants occasionally can improve the ambient humidity level.
Fertilize the plants monthly during the growing seasons of spring and summer, and every other month during the other seasons. Use standard fertilizers, but only at half- or quarter-strength.
Trim off dead, damaged and discolored leaves using scissors or shears. Do not rip or twist the stems and leaves, as this could scar the plants. When pruning the plants to reduce volume, trim only above the leaf nodes to stimulate growth. Make small cuts near the leaf nodes if the plants are not growing many leaves.
Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away the dust that collects on the plants, so the leaves can breathe through clean pores and to avoid the presence of pests. These plants are toxic when ingested, so keep them away from pets and small children.
Lemon Lime Philodendron Propagation
Propagate your plants during spring or summer, as this is the time they are most active. Cut the stems with sharp scissors to avoid scarring the plants. Place the stems in water or moist soil and they should begin to root easily. If propagating in water, once the roots grow you can transfer the plants into moist soil. The stems should develop new growth in a matter of three to four months.
Common propagation methods
- Stem cuttings
First, cut the upper part of the stem of a healthy plant using sharp scissors, including at least three aerial roots or nodes. Remove the leaves from the lower four inches of the stem cutting, keeping at least three leaves on the upper side. Plant the stem cutting in a potting mix or moist soil.
Place the pot in a warm area with indirect light. New shoots will grow within three months. You can also grow the cuttings in a jar of water and transfer them into the soil once the root system develops, but this may take two to three months.
- Air layering
In this method, the leaves are removed from a section of stem that has nodes. The nodes are placed in a bag of soil and the bag is tied, but the stem remains attached to the plant and the soil is kept moisturized. The shoots start to grow from the layered stem and this piece of stem may then be separated from the mother plant and transferred to another pot. Use gloves and wash your hands after handling the plant to avoid any toxic effects.
Lemon lime philodendrons are popular among plant growers because of their striking heart-shaped leaves. They are tropical plants native to the South American rainforests, and need sufficient watering and bright, indirect light. They are easy to propagate, either through stem cuttings or by air layering.
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