How to Care for Philodendron Moonlight?
Every bit as romantic looking as its name suggests, this Moonlight philodendron hybrid has bright, yellow-green leaves that become rougher in texture and its veins are more prominent as the plant ages.
Another feature that deservingly earned the plant its name is the white spadix it produces with a spathe in a reddish pink color.
Low-growing with fresh green leaves, you’ll certainly enjoy having a philodendron Moonlight in your home or apartment.
For philodendron care tips, I encourage you to read my growing recommendations below.
Size & Growth
Because it grows low, essentially like a shrub, philo moonlight makes a good indoors plant. That said, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t need any upkeep or pruning.
If left to its own devices, it can get rather big, achieving a height of around 24 inches and a slightly larger spread of around 26 inches.
Even so, compared to other hybrids of the genus, the size of this philo is much more manageable.
Philo moonlight enjoys moderate lighting. The standard indirect lighting that is preferred by many other philodendrons works for this one too. Exposure to direct light should happen only to the gentle early morning sun or late afternoon sun.
Avoid strong midday sun exposure. Don’t keep this plant close to any window that gets blasted by sunlight all day long.
Either keep it a few feet away from the window or find an east-facing or north-facing window that gets little direct sunlight throughout the day.
Developing a good watering habit will keep your philo moonlight fresh and bright. This plant enjoys a moist soil, but moisture should not turn into wet soil.
While it may seem hard to excel at this balancing act, there is a time-tested, sure-fire rule to make sure you’re neither overwatering, nor underwatering your plant.
The rule of thumb when it comes to watering most, if not all, philodendron varieties is to literally stick your index finger into the soil up to the first knuckle.
Assess the moisture level — if the soil is moist, you can hold off watering for a few more days. If the soil feels dry, you should water it.
So far, this rule has never failed me, and I hope you’ll experience the same success as I did.
Watering and soil type go hand in hand. To prevent the soil from retaining too much water or drying out too slowly, invest in a well-draining, aerated potting medium.
A good option is to either add perlite, vermiculite or peat moss to regular potting soil to improve its drainage, or to combine vermiculite with peat or peat with perlite to achieve a mix that is both nutritious and fast-draining.
Temperature & Humidity
Because the plant grows in tropical and subtropical climates, both warm temperature and humidity are essential to growing a healthy plant.
Indoor growing will usually produce healthy plants and so does outdoor growing, provided that you observe the temperature recommendation for this plant and you don’t exposure it to cold outside of its temperature range or to frost.
Temperatures between 65 °F and 78 °F work best for the philodendron moonlight. It’s a frost-sensitive, cold-sensitive plant so be careful about keeping this plant outdoors in temperate climates.
If your philo moonlight seems to be holding back even despite optimal keeping conditions, you should consider adding some fertilizer to boost the plant’s nutrient uptake and stimulate its growth.
Use either a slow-release fertilizer or a balanced liquid fertilizer for foliage plants. Fertilize during the growing season and skip the fertilizer or fertilize infrequently during fall and winter.
Fertilize after moistening the soil, otherwise you risk causing fertilizer burn. Likewise, dilute the liquid fertilizer to a weaker solution and once you’re sure your plant is able to take up the fertilizer without issue, adjust the dosage if needed.
Potting & Repotting
While your plant is still around 4 or 6 inches, a tabletop pot will work just fine. Once the plant starts to grow bigger and there is no longer space for the roots, you should up-pot into a pot that’s around 2-3 inches larger than the previous one.
To reduce any stress associated with the process of transplanting the philodendron moonlight to a larger pot, water it the day before. This will allow you to slide it out more easily from the pot.
After transplanting, water the soil again, then wait for it to dry at the top. You can resume your normal watering schedule.
How to Propagate Philodendron Moonlight?
Both are easy to carry out and both produce good results. However, division is a bit more invasive to the plant and can be carried out infrequently, while propagation by stem cuttings is both less invasive and you can do it multiple times over the lifetime of the plant.
When transplanting the plant to a bigger pot, you can take advantage of this time and check if there are any offsets you can divide away from the rootball. You can cut away any roots that prevent the division.
Stem cuttings should be rooted either in water or moist potting medium. Water should be changed frequently, and the cutting should be transplanted to its own pot after it grows roots.
Stem cuttings will produce roots easily, so you shouldn’t encounter any difficulties in propagating this plant.
Take the stem cutting during spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. Repotting and division should be carried out in early spring.
With leaves that are almost fluorescent, philodendron moonlight is sure to stand out as a veritable home decor element.
Its low requirements coupled with its relatively small size, make it a popular houseplant with beginners and experienced collectors alike.
I hope this guide will help you keep your philo moonlight in the best of health.