Lemon Lime Philodendron
Lemon Lime Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) is a non-flowering plant in the family Araceae. This tropical evergreen plant is native to the rainforest of South America. As this is an evergreen plant, It remains fresh throughout the year. So, it is commonly preferred as an indoor plant, however this plant can be grown both indoor and outdoor.
This plant can be easily identified by its remarkable leaves which are characterized by greenish-yellow color. The heart shaped leaves are really mesmerizing and add to its aesthetic value. These heart shaped leaves are the main factor behind its increasing popularity. With the progressive growth, the stem bends downwards and grows like vines.
The lemon Lime Philodendron is also known with the following name:
✓Lemon Lime Heartleaf Philodendron
✓Philodendron Cordatum Lemon Lime
Common Name: Philodendron Tree
Plant is 12-24 inches in height and is a climber.
The stem of this plant may grow upto 12 inches in height. After progressive growth, the stem elongates and the plant grow like vines and slowly cascade to the ground.
Like other philodendron species, the leaves of the lemon lime Philodendron are heart shaped with greenish yellow color. Initially the leaves are pinkish yellow which later turns yellowish green. However, some of them may have bright lime green foliage with light brown or pink tint. The heart shaped leaves are really mesmerizing. Since the plant is evergreen, it always looks fresh. Under optimum growth conditions the leaves may grow upto 8 inches in length and 1 inch in width.
This is a non-flowering plant grown for its foliage beauty.
Care and Management
This plant is easy to care for and does not require too much attention. However, you should take care of following things:
This plant performs better in bright indirect sunlight. For better growth and development adequate sunlight is essential. However, this plant also thrives in low light conditions. Long exposure to bright indirect light promotes luxuriant growth of leaves but continuous exposure to high inte High intensity direct sunlight is harmful for this plant as it may cause leaf burning and yellowing.
Generally north facing windows are considered suitable for placing this plant. In case if required light is not fulfilled, LED bulbs can be used for artificial lighting.
Lemon lime Philodendron prefers medium to warm temperature and is unable to thrive in extreme hot or cold conditions. 66-75 degree fahrenheit of day temperature and night temperature above 55 degree fahrenheit is ideal for this plant but it can also thrive 10-15 degree hotter or 5-10 degree colder temperature. It is more susceptible to frost as compared to hot. If ideal temperature conditions are fulfilled, you can grow this plant outside otherwise you have to maintain it as an indoor plant.
If the optimum temperature condition is not fulfilled, the optimum growth of the plant cannot be achieved. So as to assure optimum temperature at least 70% indirect sunlight.
As this plant is found in tropical rainforest,it has a high water requirement. So, to ensure adequate water requirements, frequent watering at least once a week is required during the growing season whereas watering once or twice a month is sufficient during winter. Both over and underwatering are harmful to the plant. Browning, yellowing or wilting of foliage is observed under low water condition whereas under over water condition the plant will lose their yellow green color. So, soil moisture conditions in the pot should be assessed before watering. You have to water plant water only when the uppermost few inches of soil in the pot is dry.
Relative humidity around 40-60% is preferred by this plant. Humidity of the tropical environment generally meets the requirements of this plant. However, the humidity requirement of this plant also depends upon the width of foliage. Broader the foliage, more is the humidity requirement.
If the humidity requirement is not fulfilled, you can maintain it by artificial means. Humidifier can be used to ensure the required humidity. A tray with water can also be placed near the plant to ensure required humidity. Frequent misting of the plant is also successful in ensuring required humidity.
This plant is not meticulous about soil. It can grow very well in any well drained soil. However, it usually prefers loose fertile soil. GArden soil with ph 6-8 can be used as growing media. A potting mixture can be prepared by using 2 parts cocopeat, 3 parts garden soil and 1/2 part perlite.
Common household fertilizer can be used to fertilize this plant. During summer and spring months when the plant is actively growing, fertilizing once or twice a month is essential whereas during winter months less fertilizer is required. Also you have to ensure adequate organic matter to meet the nutrient demand of this plant.
Potting and Repotting
A good potting soil containing 2 part cocopeat, 3 parts garden soil and 1/2 part perlite is prepared and kept in the pot of appropriate size in which the Lemon Lime Philodendron plant is planted.
Repotting refers to transplanting the philodendron lemon lime from one pot to another pot of bigger size in order to avoid pot bound conditions that hinders the normal growth and development of the plant. It is usually practiced when the plant is in dormant condition. For repotting, you have to go with following steps:
Choose the pot of appropriate size. The pot must be bigger in size than the previous pot.
Then make a potting mixture by using loose well drained soil containing mixture cocopeat, garden soil and perlite and place it in the pot.
After that, gently pull the plant from the pot without damaging roots and carefully prune the undesired root.
Now transplant the plant in new pot and keep it in shady place
Watering should be done immediately and should be continued for a few weeks.
Philodendron Lemon Lime can be easily propagated by stem cutting or air layering. Root cutting is also practiced. Stem cutting is most successful while layering and root cutting has low success rates. Never propagate the plant in spring or summer by stem cutting when the plant is in its active growth phase.
i) Stem cutting
Stem cutting has a high success rate. You should follow the following steps for propagating Lemon Lime Philodendron plant through stem cutting.
- At first select the healthy plant and prune it with sharp pruning shears.
- This branch can be placed in either water or damp soil.
- Rooting will start within a few days.
- If you have placed the branch in freshwater, after rooting you can transplant it in damp soil.
- Foliage will start to grow after 2-3 months.
Air layering can only be practiced during active growth. Follow following steps:
- Select the healthy branch from the mother plant.
- Girdle the certain portion measuring a few centimeters in length to remove the bark.
- Now place the peat moss and soil in the girdled part and cover it with transparent plastic and tie the both ends of plastic.
- After rooting, cut the branch below root and transplant it in a new pot containing potting mixture.
Despite its aesthetic value, lemon lime Philodendron also does have other advantages. By promoting the relaxed environment this plant helps to reduce anxiety and stress. Thus growing this plant promotes prosperity in the house by reducing anxiety. This plant also acts as an air purifier by removing the toxic substances from indoor air.
Despite its mesmerizing heart shaped leaves that has elevated its aesthetic value, this plant also does have some ill effects. This ill effect is due to high calcium oxalate concentration that has a poisonous effect. If ingested this may cause inflammation, swelling or vomiting in humans or pets. So, it is better to keep them away from this plant.
Pruning of Lemon Lime Philodendron
Pruning is an important intercultural operation that is related with the judicious removal of plant parts. Basically it deals with the removal of dead and diseased as well as other undesired plant parts. Pruning within a definite time interval not only makes the plant attractive but it also protects the plants from several pest infestations.
Pruning in Lemon Lime Philodendron can be grouped into following categories:
i) Cutting the soiled vines
In case when the plant grows too long, it may get soiled. In order to avoid filthy looks and protect from pest infestation, you should always prune such soiled vines.
ii) Shortening of the leggy stem
Plants become leggy when grown under low light conditions. Under low light conditions, in order to obtain light the plant usually leans towards the light source increasing rapidly only in height and becomes longer and thinner. There are less leaves and are really farther than they are under normal condition. It is always desirable to trim these stems to promote the growth of fresh stems.
iii) Pruning of dead and discolored foliage
Removing dead, damaged and discolored foliage not only makes the plant appealing but also prevents the plant from pest infestation. So, it is always desirable to prune such undesirable foliage. You can prune the plant at any time whenever there is the appearance of dead, damaged and discolored foliage.
Pest and Diseases
Lemon Lime Philodendron is infected by several pests and diseases. If proper care is not provided within time, the plant may be completely damaged.
Mealybugs and Spider mites are major insects of this plant.
Symptoms usually include the appearance of white fluffs in stems, flowers and joints. This bug can be physically rubbed by cotton swap and alcohol.
2. Spider Mites
Infected plant shows yellow or brown mottling on the upper side of the leaves.
Preventive measures are always beneficial. So, to protect the plant from pest infestation following preventive measure are effective:
- Visible pests like Mealy bugs and mites can be removed by water jet.
- Use of neem oil is also found effective.
- Avoid infected plants in the surrounding area.
- Always use sterilized potting mixture.
Erwinia blight and pseudomonas leaf spots are the major diseases of this plant. Xanthomonas leaf spot is also seen in this plant.
Lemon lime Philodendron is a beautiful indoor plant to keep. This is easy to care plant that can truly impress you and visitors to your house.