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Philodendron Lemon Lime vs Moonlight (What’s the Difference)

Even though Philodendron Lemon Lime and Moonlight share the same genus, the two plants have a striking resemblance.

Even if you only know a little about them, it’s simple to tell them apart if you see them together.

The most obvious visual difference between them and us is the color and shape of their leaves. Lemon Lime Philodendron has heart-shaped leaves that are paler than Moonlight’s bright and elongated leaves. However, there are several key differences between the two. Philodendron lemon-lime grows like a vine in contrast to Moonlight, which is self-heading in its growth. 

This article takes a closer look at these two indoor plants, highlighting the stark differences that distinguish them.

Foliage Shape and Color

Heart-Shaped Philodendron Lemon Lime
Long Leaf Philodendron Lemon Lime

There are two types of leaves on the Philodendron lemon-lime: heart-shaped and long. It grows significantly larger than the Moonlight variety.

Philodendron Moonlight with long elongated leaves

Moonlight, on the other hand, is a close clone with longer, more elongated leaves. If not for the subtle differences in color, it can be difficult to distinguish between the leaf shapes of these two species when they are young.

Philodendron Moonlight leaves are brighter and have a darker green hue
Philodendron Moonlight leaves are brighter and have a darker green hue

Furthermore, the leaf colors differ in shade, with Moonlight appearing brighter with a darker shade of green. A waxier and shinier cuticle gives its foliage a more vibrant appearance.

The philodendron lemon-lime, on the other hand, has paler leaves with a neon color hue and is more matte than glossy.

Philodendron Lemon Lime Leaf
Philodendron Lemon Lime Leaf

However, when fully mature, the young leaves of both plants have different color palettes. Moonlight’s young leaves are typically bright yellow, maturing to a darker green while retaining their brightness.

Lemon-lime leaves, on the other hand, are usually yellow, with a pink tinge that fades to lemon yellow as the leaves mature.

They turn lemon green when they’re fully grown. They’re not like most houseplants in that they don’t have any sort of variegation or slits in their leaves.

Growth Pattern

Lemon Lime prefers to climb, so it needs a strong pole or plant to support it and can reach a height of up to 20 inches. While Moonlight can reach a similar size, it is self-heading and grows in a different manner.


In order to keep the height and growth of both plants in check, pruning is a must. Due to their different growth patterns, pruning in both can be slightly different.

Moonlight necessitates preventative pruning, which entails removing old, diseased, or dried leaves from the base. You won’t have to prune them as often because they only grow a little each year.

Lemon-lime, on the other hand, requires a lot of pruning in order to control its vertical growth because it grows so fast.

I recommend disinfecting the wounds with hydrogen peroxide after every pruning to speed up the healing process. Keeping fungal infections at bay would help the plant recover quickly.

Requirements for Growth

Because they share a single genus, almost every aspect and requirement for growth is the same for both plants. As a result, replacing care in either plant is relatively simple. There are, however, a few differences that stand out.

Structure And Height

The leaves of Moonlight are slightly larger than those of Lemon Lime because they are wider than their elongated counterparts.

Moonlight’s leaf has a diameter of 6 inches and a length of 10 inches. A mature Lemon-lime leaf, on the other hand, measures between 5 and 6 inches wide and 8 inches long.

Despite the fact that both plants have an abundance of foliage density, the lemon-lime appears to have the upper hand when it comes to leaf count.

This isn’t an exact representation of plant structure, but it’s a reasonable comparison to draw between the two.

Soil Requirements

Because these plants are only for looks, they need to grow indoors in potting soil. But since they both belong to the same genus and have similar soil requirements, there is little room for debate.

Both plants require soils that are rich in organic matter, are well-drained, and retain a lot of moisture.

To avoid any problems with the roots, make sure the soil is not too compacted. Both of these plants do best in soil that is just a little bit acidic.

Nevertheless, water can be used as a suitable growth medium for both; however, it is prudent to ensure that it contains the necessary nutrients for continuous growth.


Philodendrons prefer a warm, humid climate, so it’s best if things stay that way. Temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are just right for both plants.

As a result of the slower physiological processes brought on by lower temperatures, the foliage would become discolored.

If the plants aren’t properly watered, excessive heat can be harmful to both of them. They will lose more water than they take in due to a high rate of transpiration caused by the high temperature. This will result in the drooping of the plants.

Low Light Will Inhibit The Food Production

Light is critical to the food production and long-term growth of most plants. Furthermore, because they are grown indoors, it is okay to place them near windows or other openings so that they receive some direct sunlight.

In most cases, keeping them in the shade will inhibit photosynthesis, which will slow their growth.

Fertilizer Application

Supplementing the soil medium with fertilizer is a good idea if it doesn’t contain enough nutrients to support the plants’ long-term growth.

A universal fertilizer with a 10:10:10 nutrient ratio is a good option. Foliage growth is stimulated by nitrogen-rich fertilizers, which are the most common.

It’s worth noting, however, that excessive amounts of Nitrogen can be harmful to the plant and may prevent fruiting or flowering. Phosphorous fertilizers are also necessary for root development, budding, and flowering.

Water Requirement 

Both plants thrive in regulated conditions. And because of their wide leaves, they have a lot of stomata openings to allow water to evaporate. As a result, it aids in keeping the soil moist, which in turn helps to stimulate growth.

However, we would not recommend keeping the soil wet because it prevents proper aeration.

In addition, fungi and bacteria can infect the leaves if there is too much water on them, which could compromise the roots.

The leaves could become discolored and lose their aesthetic value if this happens.

Bottom Line

Moonlight and Philodendron Lemon-lime share a lot of characteristics with the rest of the philodendron family.

However, the visible growth structure and outward appearance of the plants make them easily distinguishable.

The aesthetic value of our homes is enhanced by the presence of these plants.

A little greenery on the walls, or at the very least a small amount of pure air and oxygen to breathe, is a welcome addition to any home.

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