Philodendron Red Moon – The Most Complete Care Guide

This extremely rare Philodendron Red Moon will stun you with its lime green foliage, splashed with dashes of bright red, which are unique to each plant. Its exotic red and striped stem also gives this plant an added elegant, architectural structure.

In general, the Philodendron red moon thrives best in bright indirect sunlight, a well-draining soil mix, and prefers mildly moist soil but never dry out totally. This species also does best in temperatures between 65°and 80°F (18-27 °C) with at least 50% humidity.

The vibrant red splashes of the red leaves do not contain chlorophyll so it is essential for your plant to have both green and red leaves. New leaves always uncurl as red but some change to green over time.

This is a native of warm, moist forests so it is used to sunlight filtered through higher plant leaves in the wild. In your home, give it bright indirect sunlight to keep those treasured red leaves. Read on for how to keep your Red Moon Philodendron happy in your home.

Featured images by almostgreenstore.

Philodendron Red Moon

Summary:

  • Light: Bright indirect sunlight
  • Water: Prefers mildly moist soil, but never dry out totally
  • Soil: Well-drained, peat moss, sphagnum moss based
  • Fertilizer: Once a month, only during the growing season
  • Size: Up to 3 ft (92 cm) tall
  • Size: Leaves grow up to 9″ (22 cm) wide
  • Leaf color: Lime, red and different tints of green
  • Temperature: Between 65°and 80°F (18-27 °C)
  • Humidity: Best Above 50%
  • Cold hardy: Not frost hardy
  • Propagation: By cuttings and leaf propagation
  • Toxicity: Toxic to humans and animals

General Care for Philodendron Red Moon

Water

Red Moonphilodendronneeds less watering in winter, and more frequent watering when it is actively growing from spring through to summer. Give it a thorough watering but try to aim for the roots, not the leaves, as this can cause disease. Ensure that the root ball is completely soaked and that the pot allows water to drain away.

As a guide, test the soil first with your hand. If it feels dry about an inch below the surface, then water your philodendron well. Wait until the pot dries out a little at the top before you water again. A humidifier will help you to identify when it needs water.

Light

This philodendron needs indirect light but Red Moon also likes sunshine pouring into a room to enable its red leaves to flourish. Place it in a location where it avoids direct sunshine which may cause leaf burn.

Like all Philodendrons, this plant will tolerate low light conditions but it won’t thank you for it. Particularly in its active growing period, give it plenty of filtered sunshine.

Soil

Rich, moist soil is essential with excellent drainage. Allow enough room in the pot for your Red Moon to have healthy root growth. Root rot is common in philodendrons due to overwatering. Using the right kind of soil will prevent the soil from staying wet all the time. 

If the soil is not rich enough you may notice V-shaped yellow spots which indicate a lack of magnesium. See diseases below for other problems that can occur with Red Moon.

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Potting

If kept in indirect light Red Moon grows quite slowly so you will only need to re-pot every 2-3 years. These plants can become root bound if you do not check the roots from time to time. You will notice small roots trying to emerge out of the holes at the end of your pot. When you remove the plant, the white roots seem to be curling around the end, not growing straight down. This is like a child growing out of clothes! You need to re-pot.

Soak the whole pot first, and then carefully remove the whole plant. Re-pot in a bigger size pot with plenty of rich compost and add some organic material if you can such as homemade compost. It is best to re-pot in spring and summer when Red Moon has lots of energy and is growing well. 

Fertilizer

Use a fertilizer suitable for philodendrons. If you over-fertilize your Red Moon, its leaves may start to curl downwards and if you keep applying too much fertilizer, the roots can die off. So go easy on the fertilizer! A general rule of thumb is to use fertilizer once a month while the plant is in the active, growing phase in spring and summer.

If you use too little fertilizer the plant will grow very slowly so don’t fertilize in winter and remember to use fertilizer once a month when it is growing. Too much fertilizer can cause the tips of leaves to curl and brown. The longleaf stalks of self-heading types are brittle. Locate these plants out of traffic paths to avoid damage.

Too little fertilizer might result in Magnesium deficiency which causes yellow, V-shaped spots to form on Red Moon’s leaves and the cause is usually that your plant feels too cold.

Epsom salts can be a miracle cure for magnesium deficiency! Mix a teaspoon per gallon of water and feed your Red Moon generously. Then sit back and watch it return to good health.

Humidity

Red Moon Philodendron is native to moist forests so this will tell you what it prefers. It will grow well in normal houseplant humidity levels but it will reward you with shiny red and green leaves if you give it up to 50% humidity.

If you have a humidifier, place it close to your Red Moon and the atmosphere may help to keep red spider mites away too. See more on pests below.  

Temperature

Red Moon really enjoys being warm and it will not tolerate drafts or temperatures below55° (16° C). However, for the plant to thrive, you can raise the temperature to 80°F (around 26 degrees Celsius) so the best temperature range is from 65°- 80°F in the daytime. Make sure you remove it from any drafty areas or cold windowsills in the winter.

Red Moon is not frost-hardy. Best treated as an indoor plant only in most parts of Europe.

Cold temperatures and in particular cold drafts can cause cold injury to your Philodendron Red Moon.

If you start to notice a darker brown coloring between the leaf veins, your plant may be too cold. Move your plant away from drafts, and check the nighttime temperature drop in your home when the heating goes off in winter.

Red Moon needs to be in a room of at least 50° F (10° C) but prefers higher temperatures!

Pruning

Remember that most Red Moon philodendrons are extremely rare and valuable. They arrive as small propagated individual plants from private growers, who have long waiting lists to get their hands on one! So my advice is to allow your Red Moon to grow for a year at least before you prune it.

Give it plenty of good light and soil. If after a year it looks healthy and is starting to look leggy, then this is the ideal time to prune.

You can remove any dead leaves first. Use a sharp pair of sterile scissors or pruning shears to cut a leaf stem. Pruning an established plant will encourage the whole plant to grow from this cut. Use your leaf cutting to propagate a new Red Moon but do not take too many cuttings in the first 2 years.

Remember that red or pink leaves have no chlorophyll so you do need some green leaves to make food for your plant. It is possible that the cutting may not breed true, so don’t be too disappointed if it grows only green leaves.

Diseases

Red Moon Philodendron may be susceptible to:

Bacterial leaf spot: If you notice translucent browning on the leaves with yellow outlines, this may be a bacterial leaf spot. This can be caused by watering the leaves themselves so aim the watering nozzle at the soil, not the leaves, to avoid this. Remove and destroy all infected leaves to stop the spread of this disease.

Root rot usually results from watering too much. Check the roots when you re-pot. If they smell, you need to trim those parts off.

Pests

Red Moon pests can include:

Aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs leave a sticky residue on leaves. To take care of this, use a mixture of soap and water to wipe your plant leaves with a damp cloth. Scale insects are a light brown color and stick to leaves. Sometimes they need to be removed individually, leaf by leaf but make sure you get them all or your plant will suffer.

Spider mites leave webs that you can remove; then keep your eye out for little red insects and use your cloth to remove them. Red spider mites do not like damp conditions so wipe leaves down regularly until they are gone.

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How to propagate Red Moon philodendrons

Most Red Moon philodendrons come as very small plants. Do not attempt to propagate them until they have at least 8-10 leaves and are healthy, sturdy plants, which are growing well. You can make new plants with leaf cuttings and stem cuttings. Stem cuttings will prune too much from a new plant, so start with leaf cuttings.

NOTE: You are not guaranteed that these cuttings will have red leaves. Several growers report that Red Moon, Pink Princess, and Orange Queen philodendrons do not breed true. This means you cannot guarantee that the baby plant will look exactly like the mother plant. That said, let’s get started!

Leaf cuttings

  1. Make sure your scissors or pruning shears are sharp and sterile. Take a cutting that has at least one leaf. Cut off the stem of the leaf.
  2. Place the leaf on top of soil in a shallow pot. Put the pot in indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
  3. Cover with a plastic bag to encourage humidity and heat. Open the bag each day to allow fresh air to circulate but close up again until roots appear.
  4. Wait for some leaves to start growing too. Remove the plastic and pot on. Now you know you have a new Red Moon. Congratulations!

Stem cuttings

If your Red Moon is big enough to take a stem cutting, you want to cut a small piece just below a node. This is where leaves grow from the stem. Make sure you have at least 2 leaves on this stem.

  1. Put the stem in a clear jar full of water, on a windowsill, so you can see roots develop.
  2. After about a week, watch the roots arrive! When the roots are about 2-3 cm long, you can pot this on in soil.
  3. Fill a small pot with compost and give the roots enough room underneath to develop.
  4. Water it more regularly to start with, checking the dryness first. As it grows bigger, water it like a normal philodendron.

Related questions:

Why are the leaves of my Red Moon philodendron turning yellow?

Yellow leaves on the Philodendron Red Moon can be caused by over-watering, too little light, and low humidity. Keep the soil moist but not soaked. Place in bright indirect sunlight and have at least 40% humidity around the plant.

An irregular watering schedule can also create stress and can cause your Red Moon Philodendron to yellow.

What is the price of Red Moon philodendron?

Prices for this valuable philodendron online range from $950 per plant cutting to $1500 for a mother plant.

Several buyers offer plants under various names on Etsy, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, and many nurseries have waiting lists for buyers. A word of caution. It is difficult to verify the red color and the leaf variegation until you have it at home. Many buyers report that the leaves all turn green after a month or two.

Why does my Red Moon philodendron have black spots?

The most common causes of black spots on a Philodendron Red Moon are leaf burn, low humidity, and bacterial blight. Keep the “Red Moon” out of direct sunlight, increase the humidity to at least 40%, and remove all the leaves with black spots.

The black spots will not turn green again, therefore it’s better to remove the affected leaves from the plant. The plant will not only look better but also be healthier.

Is the Red Moon philodendron toxic?

All parts of the Philodendron Red Moon are toxic. The active toxin is calcium oxalate, which is toxic for humans and animals. Signs of ingestion can be irritation of the mouth and tongue, vomiting, and diarrhea. Seek medical attention if a child or pet nibbles this plant.

Why is my Red Moon philodendron wilting?

Wilting of the Red Moon Philodendron is often a sign of improper soil moisture – in particular underwatering. If dehydration is the problem, give it a thorough soak and see if it recovers within 24 hours.

For overwatering problems that can also lead to wilting, the cause is usually root rot. You need to check the roots, carefully cut off diseased parts, and cut them off the plant with a sterilizer knife. Then re-pot your plant in new soil. 

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