Many people get confused between the philodendron and pothos plants. While they have lots in common, philodendrons come from the Philodendron genus, and pothos belongs to the Epipremnum genus. There are many different types of both, and when you know what to look for, you will find that they have distinctive differences.
We are going to compare Philodendron Lemon Lime with Neon Pothos. The differences between these two popular houseplants are relatively subtle. For example, philodendron leaves are wider than pothos leaves. Philodendron Lemon Lime has thinner aerial roots than Neon Pothos. The growth habit of new leaves is also different. The shape and texture of the leaves also vary very slightly.
What is Philodendron Lemon Lime?
Philodendron Lemon Lime is a patented cultivar of Philodendron domesticum (elephant ear philodendron). It is similar to, but not the same as Philodendron hederaceum (heartleaf philodendron), which is the most common type of philodendron you will find.
Unsurprisingly, Philodendron Lemon Lime has bright, lime green to golden-yellow heart-shaped leaves and uniquely pink petioles.
Philodendron domesticum Lemon Lime was discovered in 2004 as a naturally occurring, spontaneous mutation by Tai Yam, who was working in a commercial laboratory in Nanhai, China. Since then, it has been reproduced by micropropagation to maintain the unique features of this brilliantly-hued plant.
The plant develops a compact form with many leaves and shoots that emerge at its base. Its stalks are a similar yellow to lime green color as the leaves.
These philodendrons are upright plants that grow vigorously. They aren’t vines, but once they reach about a foot in height their stems often bend and they become increasingly vine-like.
They are very easy to grow and maintain.
What is Neon Pothos?
Neon Pothos, Epipremnum aureum Neon, has distinctive chartreuse-colored, bright, almost translucent leaves. Unlike most other pothos plants, its leaves have no variegations.
The Neon Pothos leaf color tends to be brighter and more neon-like when they are new and young. The foliage darkens a little with age.
The best position for growing Neon Pothos is in bright but indirect light. If it doesn’t get enough light, the color will appear faded and dull.
Like Philodendron Lemon Lime, Neon Pothos is a fast, vigorous grower that needs minimal care. And, like other pothos varieties, they look great, and do well, in hanging baskets.
Another feature it shares with other pothos is its ability to filter the air in our homes. It gets rid of all kinds of pollutants many of us don’t even realize are in many of the household products we use, including formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and benzene.
How do you tell the difference between neon pothos and lemon lime philodendron?
There are several key differences between Neon Pothos and Lemon Lime Philodendron. These include leaf shape and variations in the leaves, their stems, cataphylls, and roots.
Both Neon Pothos and Philodendron Lemon Lime have glossy, heart-shaped leaves. But if you look at them together, you will notice distinct differences in leaf shape as well as a difference in texture and color.
The curve at the top of a Philodendron domesticum Lemon Lime leaf is more defined than the curve of a pothos leaf. In fact, the heart shape of this plant is decidedly more dramatic.
The leaves of Lemon Lime Philodendron are bigger than those of Neon Pothos and the common heartleaf philodendron. The patent for this philodendron states that the average length of the leaves is 5 inches and the average width is 2.5 inches.
Neon Pothos has a thicker, waxier leaf than the philodendron, which has a smooth, slightly leathery upper surface. The underside of its leaves is matte and leathery.
While both the pothos and philodendron leaves are lime green, Neon pothos leaves are more vibrant in color.
Another color difference is that very young Lemon Lime Philodendron leaves look slightly pink. New Neon Pothos leaves are very light yellow-green rather than lime green.
Interestingly, the original Philodendron domesticum, from which the lemon-lime variety is bred, has a gray leaf that becomes more silvery-green in color as the leaves mature.
Stems & Petioles
The petiole is the stalk that connects the leaves of the plants to their stems. The petioles of these two types of pothos and philodendrons are different from one another.
The philodendron petiole is rounded while the pothos petiole is indented and visibly, if slightly, curved. It is very strong and slightly ribbed, with an average length of about 3 inches.
The smooth stem of the Lemon Lime Philodendron is about 0.35 inches in diameter. Each stem produces about 10 leaves.
Both plants develop aerial roots as they grow. This helps them to hold onto supporting elements when their stems get longer.
The aerial roots of pothos are relatively thick and only one develops at each node where the stalk of the leaf is attached to the stem. The philodendron, on the other hand, has much thinner aerial leaves and it produces 2-3 at each node.
The way these two plants grow is totally different. Pothos develop into a vine while the philodendron grows upright.
New Neon Pothos leaves are tightly curled and they unfurl slowly. The new leaves are bright lemon green and they darken just a little as the plant matures.
The new leaves of philodendron are usually encased in cataphylls, which are sheaths. However, the Lemon Lime patent document says that cataphylls only form on about 30% of the leaf nodes.
These are usually at the top of the plant. They are also usually between 1.4 and 2 inches long and about 0.4 inches wide.
Where cataphylls do form, they usually stay on the plant and then dry naturally and fall off.
Lemon Lime Philodendron grows relatively slowly. About half of the branches come from the base of the plant. As it matures, an increasing number of branches grow higher up.
Height & Spread
If grown in a 5-inch pot, Lemon Lime Philodendrons grow to a height of up to 12 inches or 1 foot. The spread of the plant is about 14.5 inches.
Neon pothos plants grow to a height of between 12 and 15 inches. They commonly spread as wide as 1-2 feet.
All types of pothos, including Neon Pothos, are drought tolerant and need very little water.
Lemon Lime Philodendron is also reasonably drought tolerant. But it is important to maintain a consistent watering schedule.
Philodendron Lemon Lime and Neon Pothos Care
The care and maintenance program required to grow these two plants is very similar. There are a few minor differences that might be useful to know about.
Both pothos and philodendron plants of all kinds do best in soil that is well-drained. If the soil is a clay type or too compacted, it is likely to remain wet and may lead to root rot.
Generally, soil that contains peat moss, vermiculite, or perlite is a good choice. The aim is for it to be loose enough for the roots to grow with ease.
While Philodendron Lemon Lime prefers soil with a pH of 6.4 to 7.3, Neon Pothos favors a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. That said, they are both quite easy-going when it comes to pH.
Both plants will also grow in water. This is a good option if you want to position your plants high up. You can also use it as an interim option that will enable you to root new plants.
Temperature & Humidity
Pothos favor higher temperatures than philodendrons. Generally, they should be somewhere between 65 and 75℉. Philodendrons will thrive up to 80℉.
Pothos also like an environment with high humidity. So, if they’re not doing well in your living room, try them in the bathroom.
Humidity isn’t an issue with philodendrons.
We’ve said that both plants are drought tolerant. Also, neither needs much water.
A good rule of thumb for both these plants is to drench them thoroughly from time to time. But only do this when the top half of the soil in your pot is completely dry.
Allow the soil to dry out completely before you water again. You can test this by sticking your finger into the soil.
Pothos aren’t heavy feeders, but unless your soil has good nutrients, it’s a good idea to feed them now and then with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. But, only fertilize Neon Pothos in spring and summer, during the growing season.
The same applies to philodendrons.
When feeding either of these plants, you can safely use the fertilizer at a half or even just a quarter strength.
Both philodendron and pothos plants prefer bright, indirect light. Neon Pothos, in particular, needs bright light to maintain its almost transparent, neon-green color.
While philodendron and pothos will survive in low light conditions, pathos is more tolerant.
There’s not a lot of difference between Philodendron Lemon Lime and Neon Pothos … except for the fact that they are completely different plants! Philodendron vs Epipemnum.
Nevertheless, a lot of people get mega-confused between these popular houseplants. With this in mind, we have tried to give you loads of pointers you can use to determine the difference between Philodendron Lemon Lime and Neon Pothos.
If you’re still confused, don’t worry too much. They are both easy to grow and uncomplicated to maintain. Enjoy!