Philodendron Moonlight Care and Growing Guide

By Andrea Beck | Updated: May 28, 2023

Scientific name

Philodendron hederaceum 'Moonlight'

Common name

Philodendron Moonlight


Tropical Americas

Checked by Jennifer Schutter, Certified Master Gardener

Philodendron Moonlight


When top inch of soil is dry


Bright indirect light


Well-draining potting mix with perlite or orchid bark


Away from direct sunlight, suitable for hanging or tabletop




Balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during growing season


Bright indirect light




Balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during growing season

If you’ve found yourself searching for a plant that’s not only easy on the eyes but also easy to care for, look no further than the lime-green beauty Philodendron Moonlight.

Now, you might be thinking, “Great, another houseplant to accidentally kill,” but don’t worry — Philodendron Moonlight is as resilient as it is stunning.

We’ll dive deep into just what makes Philodendron Moonlight care easy and the ‘Moonlight’ itself such a fantastic companion.

Philodendron Moonlight Plant Care Guide

History, Habitat, and Characteristics

Philodendron Moonlight (Philodendron hederaceum ‘Moonlight’) is a radiant hybrid houseplant that really knows how to light up a room. Originating from the tropical Americas, this member of the arum family, or Araceae, and the Philodendron genus, emerged from the skilled hands of horticulturists combining the traits of various Philodendron species.

The vibrant leaves of this plant are like a mood ring for indoor gardeners. Starting as a dazzling lime green, they mellow with age, eventually settling into a deeper emerald hue. The arrow-shaped foliage unfurls from crimson spikes that warn you when new growth is imminent.

Philodendron Moonlight isn’t one to cling to others for support. It prefers to stand tall and proud as a clumping, shrub-like specimen, rather than adopting the climbing habits of some of its relatives.

As the saying goes, nobody (or plant) is perfect. But what if those imperfections can be endearing? The new leaves of Philodendron Moonlight tend to exhibit creases and deformities, adding a unique personality to this already charming plant.


Philodendron Moonlight grows on the forest floor and beneath the canopies of the rainforest, so it thrives in bright, indirect light, but can adapt to lower light conditions.

If your Philodendron Moonlight gets too much direct light, you may notice discolored or faded leaves, even developing small holes. To protect your plant, place it near an east-facing window to catch some early morning sun, and rotate it every time you water it to ensure even light distribution.

In contrast, if this tropical plant isn’t receiving enough light, you’ll see slow, leggy growth, and a diminished vibrancy in its foliage. To remedy this, consider adding an LED grow light, which will provide the extra brightness the plant craves.


Philodendron Moonlight prefers water when the top inch or two of soil dries out. To gauge when it’s time to water, simply stick your finger deep into the soil. If it feels dry, give the plant a thorough watering, ensuring the water flows from the pot’s drainage holes.

When your Philodendron Moonlight isn’t receiving enough water, its leaves may sag or wilt, and the oldest ones (found at the bottom) might turn yellow. To remedy this, increase your watering frequency and remove any dying leaves to deter pests.

On the other hand, a plant can receive too much love. If you’re watering too much, you’ll notice yellowing leaves throughout the plant, as well as wet soil that doesn’t dry out. In this case, allow the soil to dry out more before the next watering. If you really want to give your plant attention, wipe the leaves with a damp cloth regularly, instead of overwatering.

Your Philodendron Moonlight will require less water in the late autumn and winter than during its growing season, so you’ll want to let it dry out even more between waterings then.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperature plays a significant role in maintaining a thriving Philodendron Moonlight. With their tropical origins, these indoor plants flourish in temperatures around 65-80°F (18-27°C). It’s important to avoid too-low or too-high temperatures, which can lead to stunted new growth or wilted leaves, respectively.

Discolored or drooping leaves might be a sign of temperature fluctuations. Keep your philodendron plant away from drafty windows or air conditioning vents that could expose it to colder temperatures. Conversely, placing your plant too close to heating sources might cause leaves to wilt or dry out.

Humidity is another crucial factor for your Philodendron Moonlight. Ideally, humidity levels should range from 40% to 65%. However, this resilient houseplant can still thrive in average home humidity and doesn’t necessarily require a humidifier.

Monitoring your plant’s appearance and growth helps determine if it’s receiving adequate humidity. Low humidity could result in curled or yellow leaves, while excessive humidity might lead to mold or rot. Keep an eye on your plant and it’ll tell you what it needs!

To raise humidity for your Philodendron Moonlight, try these tips:

  • Use a pebble tray filled with water to boost local humidity around your plant.
  • Cluster your plant with other houseplants to share moisture through transpiration.
  • Employ a nearby humidifier for a few hours each day to maintain ideal humidity.

Soil and Planting

As a tropical plant, Philodendron Moonlight prefers a rich, organic soil that’s light, airy, and drains quickly.

Organic matter plays a crucial role in the potting mix. Adding coconut coir to a tropical soil mixture like Miracle-Gro’s Tropical Soil Mix can help retain moisture while still providing much-needed nutrients for your Philodendron Moonlight. Horticultural sand or perlite can improve drainage and aeration.

Regular repotting is necessary for growing Philodendron Moonlight due to its rapid root growth. Keep an eye on the roots to determine when it’s time to repot, probably once every year or two. If they poke through the drainage holes or become visible on the surface, it’s time to move your plant to a larger container.

When repotting Philodendron Moonlight, choose a terracotta pot with a drainage hole and a terracotta saucer (this material helps with moisture regulation and provides good aeration for the roots). Make sure your new pot isn’t too much bigger than your old one. A pot that’s too large can contain too much soil, leading overwatering and plant death.


Philodendron Moonlight is a fast grower, so it can benefit from regular fertilizing. Fertilize Philodendron Moonlight every month or every other month using a well-balanced liquid fertilizer. This will ensure your plant stays healthy and vigorous. Additionally, Philodendron Moonlight may require extra micronutrients, such as calcium and magnesium.

It’s essential to be cautious when fertilizing. Overdoing it can lead to problems like leaf burn or root damage. Signs of too much fertilizer include yellow leaves, leaf curl, or stunted growth. To remedy this issue, reduce the amount or frequency of fertilizer application and consider flushing the soil with water to remove excess nutrients.

One organic fertilizer we recommend is Marphyl Marine Phytoplankton. It’s an all-natural and nontoxic soil enhancer that won’t harm ecosystems as runoff, but has the same nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as chemical fertilizers.


In this guide, we’re going to focus on the water propagation method using stem cuttings, which is both simple and effective. Let’s dive in!

Propagating Philodendron Moonlight via stem cuttings:

  1. Gather your supplies. You’ll need a clean knife or pair of scissors, a jar or cup of filtered water, and of course, your Philodendron Moonlight plant.
  2. Snip a long stem with a few nodes. Look for a healthy-looking stem with at least a few nodes. Nodes are small bumps on the stem where new growth will emerge. Make sure your stem is long enough to have an exposed node after removing the lower leaves, as that’s where the new roots will grow.
  3. Trim back the stem a bit. Remove a few inches of the stem so that one of the nodes is close to the bottom. This will give your cutting the best chance of developing roots. Remember to leave a few healthy leaves on top!
  4. Place the cutting in water. Submerge the nodes in a jar or cup of filtered water, keeping the leaves above the waterline. Find a bright spot for your cutting away from too much direct sun, like an east- or north-facing window.
  5. Keep an eye on the water. Change out the water every few days and make sure the local humidity is high. You’ll soon see roots starting to grow. Wait until they’re about 2 inches long and then replant your cutting in soil. Give it a good watering, and watch your new Philodendron Moonlight grow!

Our propagation tips:

  • A clean, sharp knife or pair of scissors prevents damage to the plant and reduces the risk of infection.
  • Propagation works best during the growing season when the plant is actively growing, especially in the spring and summer months.
  • To keep humidity high, you can cover the cutting with a plastic bag or clear plastic container. Just make sure there’s enough air circulation inside to avoid mold growth.

Common Issues

Philodendron Moonlight is a beloved indoor plant, prized for its striking lime and emerald green, spear-shaped leaves and relatively low-maintenance needs. But, as with any houseplant, it may encounter a few common issues.

Slow Growth

When your Philodendron Moonlight growth slows and its leaves appear smaller, it’s likely a result of insufficient fertilization or inadequate light exposure. To address this, increase your fertilization or move the plant to a spot with more bright, indirect light.

Slow growth may also indicate your plant is ready for a new pot. Inspect its roots to confirm, and only move it to a larger pot if you can see roots along the outside and bottom of the soil.

Deformed Leaves

Philodendron Moonlight is a quirky plant, and its young leaves often appear deformed. They’ll eventually even out, though. In some cases, however, leaves that don’t look quite right can indicate an issue.

If your Moonlight philodendron develops deformed or creased leaves, it may be a sign it needs to be repotted. First, gently remove the plant from its original pot, checking for any signs of being root-bound. Next, find a new terracotta pot and fill it with fresh soil before repotting your philodendron.

Other reasons for deformed, curling, or unfurling leaves could be due to light and humidity. Make sure your Moonlight philodendron is getting enough of both.

In some cases, it might be ready for a prune. Pruning can reshape your plant and inspire new growth. Be sure to propagate any bits you remove!

Pests and Diseases

Philodendron Moonlight is usually a tough indoor plant, but might occasionally face a few challenges with pests and diseases. We’ll walk you through how to identify and tackle the most common issues, like root rot, fungus, and pesky bugs.


Believe it or not, Philodendron Moonlight isn’t a pest magnet. However, it can still experience infestations from scale, mealybugs, thrips, and spider mites. To keep your plant happy and bug-free, inspect and gently wash the leaves with a damp cloth regularly. This simple habit can ward off most infestations.

If you come across some stubborn pests, consider using isopropyl alcohol or biological insecticides. Remember to check those large, thick leaves often, and treat the plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap if you spot any uninvited guests.

Root Rot

Root rot can be a real headache for Philodendron Moonlight plants. It usually happens when the plant is overwatered or left in soil that drains poorly. If you notice black, slimy roots, wilting leaves, or a swampy odor coming from your plant, it’s time to act.

First, remove the affected plant from its pot and trim away any mushy or dark roots (make sure to sterilize your scissors before and after in boiling water or alcohol). Next, repot your plant in fresh, well-draining soil with a mix of peat and vermiculite, and be cautious about overwatering in the future.

A good rule of thumb for Philodendron Moonlight watering is to water only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Trust us, your plant will thank you.

Powdery Mildew

Occasionally, Philodendron Moonlight may suffer from powdery mildew, a sneaky fungal disease that looks like white, powdery spots on the leaves.

To give it the boot, start by removing any infected leaves and tossing them in the trash. Then, use a fungicide spray designed for houseplants (just follow the label’s instructions for the best results).

To keep powdery mildew at bay in the future, ensure your Moonlight plant has enough air circulation and do your best to keep the foliage dry.


That’s a wrap for our Philodendron Moonlight care guide!

This luminous houseplant, with its eye-catching lime-green leaves and easygoing nature, makes a fantastic addition to any indoor space. Philodendron Moonlight is not only beautiful but relatively low-maintenance, making it an excellent choice for both experienced plant lovers and newbies.

Philodendron Moonlight care summary:

  • Provide bright, indirect sunlight, and avoid direct sunlight to prevent scorching the leaves.
  • Water moderately, ensuring the top inch or two of soil dries out between waterings.
  • Keep your plant in a well-draining soil mix, and repot annually to accommodate its rapid root growth.
  • Fertilize monthly or bimonthly using a well-balanced liquid fertilizer.
  • Keep it relatively warm and humid to keep your plant healthy and vibrant.

We hope this guide has equipped you with the knowledge you need to care for your plant.

We also have a full care guide on the Lemon Lime Philodendron.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us — we’re happy to help!

Take care, and enjoy your beautiful Philodendron Moonlight!


Does the Moonlight philodendron climb?

No. Unlike other popular philodendrons, the Moonlight philodendron generally has a more compact, bushy growth habit and doesn’t typically climb. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t be arranged along a support system if desired.

To give your Philodendron Moonlight the appearance of climbing, provide it with a moss pole or trellis and gently secure the plant to the support structure with plant ties or soft cloth.

Remember, though, its natural tendency is to stay low and bushy, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t take to climbing. You might be better off keeping your Moonlight plant well-pruned to encourage a thick, bushy appearance.

What is the difference between Philodendron Moonlight and Golden Goddess?

Philodendron Moonlight is a hybrid of Philodendron hederaceum, which boasts vibrant yellow-green leaves and a compact and bushy growth habit. The Golden Goddess philodendron has slightly lighter yellow leaves that mature to an almost golden hue, and its growth pattern tends to be more trailing, making it an excellent candidate for a hanging planter.

How big does a Philodendron Moonlight get?

With proper care, a Philodendron Moonlight can grow up to 24 inches (60 centimeters) in height and spread out between 20 and 26 inches (50-65 centimeters) wide. Its growth rate is considered moderate, so expect a well-tended plant to fill out and reach its mature size within a few years.

Be sure to give your Philodendron Moonlight adequate space to grow, and consider repotting it as needed to accommodate its increasing size.

Is Moonlight Philodendron rare?

While the Moonlight philodendron might not be as common as some other philodendron varieties, it’s  not considered extremely rare. Its popularity has grown over the years, making it more readily available for plant enthusiasts.

Check with local nurseries or specialty plant shops for availability or look for reputable online sellers to purchase your very own Philodendron Moonlight.

Is Philodendron Moonlight toxic?

Philodendron Moonlight, like other members of the Philodendron genus, is toxic, as it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can be harmful to both pets and humans if ingested. Due to these crystals, it’s important to keep your Philodendron Moonlight away from curious pets such as cats and dogs, and out of reach of young children who might be tempted to touch or eat their leaves.


Our Expert
Jennifer Schutter

Jennifer Schutter is a certified master gardener with over 14 years of gardening experience. Her expertise is in indoor plant propagation and home ecology.