Neon Pothos: Care Guide, Propagation Tips + 5 Common Problems

 Epipremnum aureum ‘neon’ is the living proof that low-maintenance, beginner-friendly houseplants don’t have to be boring. With its vibrant neon-green foliage, this plant will make a bold statement in whichever room you put it in. 

Easy to find and easy to care for, Neon Pothos doesn’t ask for much in terms of growing conditions. However, knowing its care requirements will help you maintain its gorgeous foliage color, prevent leggy growth, and keep the plant in top shape.

What Is Neon Pothos?

neon pothos plant

Neon Pothos is a naturally-occurring mutation of the Epipremnum aureum or Devil’s Ivy plant. This pothos variety has oval, heart-shaped leaves, ranging in color from golden yellow to chartreuse, lemon-green, or vivid, bright green. 

The foliage is monochromatic, although it can develop sport variegation. Occasionally, you may find cream, white, or even dark green streaks and marbling on the leaves. Here is a photo of an example:

neon pothos leaf

Under normal circumstances, the variegation is not stable, and the new leaves will revert to being just neon green in color. But if you’re lucky, the variegation can persist in the new growth.

Variegated Neon Pothos plants are rare and a bit more expensive than the classic ones. If you find them for sale online, try buying specimens with large, well-defined variegated areas, as they are less likely to revert. 

Neon Pothos Plant Care

Light 

These plants can tolerate a wide range of light conditions. But if you want to maintain the vivid green color of the leaves, make sure to give it bright indirect light. For example, if you have an east or west room, you can keep this plant next to the window.

The leaves can tolerate a couple of hours of direct sunlight exposure without suffering from sunburn.

The leaves will turn a dull, darker green shade in lower light conditions. Meanwhile, when exposed to bright indirect light, the foliage will take on a bright neon green, almost chartreuse color. 

More light will also help your pothos grow faster and fuller. As a result, the leaves will grow larger and closer together, making the plant look bushier. On the other hand, low light will increase the space between the leaf nodes, and your plant will start looking sad and leggy. 

Soil 

Plant your pothos in a nutrient-rich, well-draining potting mix. This species is not too pretentious about the type of soil you use but will suffer if the roots are constantly sitting in water.

The easiest potting soil you can make for your pothos combines two parts universal soil and one part perlite. This soil type will provide good drainage while preventing the soil from drying out too fast.

If you have some on hand, feel free to add one part of orchid bark and some worm castings to boost the plant’s nutrients.

Water 

Water Neon pothos when the soil’s top 2 inches (5 cm) feel dry to the touch. Rather than sticking to a strict watering schedule, test the soil with your finger once every 3 to 5 days, and water accordingly. The schedule will help prevent excess water.

This plant’s watering needs will change depending on its growing conditions, such as the light, temperature, and humidity in your home. 

Always give your pothos a deep, thorough soak until you can see the water drip through the drainage holes. This ensures that the soil is evenly moist, and helps flush out salts and minerals, keeping the roots healthy and aerated. 

This houseplant can tolerate a mild drought, so don’t worry if you forget to water it for a couple of days. However, avoid underwatering it regularly. This can cause stress to the plant, making it more susceptible to pests and diseases, and can even result in dry root rot.  

You can also grow pothos in water. The plant will grow slower, and may not respond well if you suddenly decide to plant it in soil. But if you change the water once a week, keep the jar or glass clean, and fertilize lightly, your pothos can live in water indefinitely. 

Temperature 

This pothos plant will grow perfectly fine in the average home temperature. As long as you’re within the 64°F to 84°F range (18°C to 29°C), you’ve got nothing to worry about. However, your pothos will struggle to grow if temperatures drop below 59°F (15°C), or if they exceed 90°F (32°C). 

You can grow pothos Neon outdoors if you live in USDA zones 9 to 12. However, this tropical plant does not tolerate freezing conditions. So if you live in a cooler region stick to growing as an indoor plant when temperatures drop below 59°F (15°C).

Humidity 

Although this is a tropical plant, it doesn’t need very high humidity to grow. An average humidity of 50% should be enough for healthy growth.

Neon Pothos Prefer Humid Conditions

Of course, if you can increase the humidity to 60% or even 70%, you will notice a spectacular difference. The leaves of your pothos will grow larger, faster, and have a noticeable shine. Even something as simple as keeping the plant pot on top of a pebble tray half-filled with water will help. 

At the other end of the spectrum, if the humidity levels in your home are around 30% – 40%, you will notice your pothos leaves develop brown, crispy tips. You don’t want exactly the kind of contrast with the bright, neon green foliage.  

Fertilizer 

Feed your houseplant once a month from spring until mid-fall. An organic fertilizer with a balanced N-P-K ratio would be ideal. You can go for a 20-20-20 ratio if you’re feeding every month or a 10-10-10 ratio for feeding your pothos once every two weeks. 

Always check the instructions on the label and dilute your fertilizer accordingly. If you pour undiluted fertilizer on the soil, this will burn the roots.

Also, avoid overfeeding, especially if your pothos is living in low light conditions. In this case, too much fertilizer will weaken the plant and give it a leggy, sick look.

Pruning and Maintenance

Neon Pothos has a fast growth rate and needs regular pruning to maintain its shape. Pruning also encourages the vines to branch out and achieve a fuller look, especially on older houseplants. 

Use a sharp, sterilized pair of scissors to trim your pothos and give it the desired size and shape. You can remove up to ⅔ of the plant without damaging it.

If you have a plant with very long vines, you can trim them back to a length of one foot (30 cm). Remember to keep your cuttings and use them for propagation.  

Support 

All pothos varieties are epiphytes, which means that they’re natural climbers. Although it’s not mandatory, giving your pothos something to climb on is recommended.

A coir or moss pole will help the plant grow bigger leaves; if you’re patient, those leaves can even develop fenestrations after a few years. 

You can, of course, grow pothos ‘neon’ as a trailing or hanging plant. Here is a decoration idea using a hanging basket (although pictured is a Golden pothos):

pothos plant in a hanging basket

The leaves will maintain their shape if it receives sufficient light, humidity, and fertilizers. But keep in mind that the leaves will eventually start getting smaller and smaller, usually after three or more years.  

Repotting Neon Pothos

Neon pothos is a vigorous grower and needs repotting once every two years. However, if you provide it with ideal growing conditions, don’t be surprised if you need to upgrade it to a bigger pot every year.

You can tell that your houseplant needs to be repotted if you can see roots coming out from the top of the pot or through the drainage holes. Another sign is leaves suddenly getting smaller, especially at the start of the growing season.

Always repot your plant in a container with drainage holes. Avoid pots that are too large, as they will keep the soil wet for longer and damage the roots in the process. A ceramic container that’s one size or 2 inches wider than the old one is more than enough.

If your pothos is badly pot-bound, always loosen the root ball before repotting it. Otherwise, the roots will stay clumped together and prevent the plant from absorbing water and nutrients properly.  

Propagate Neon Pothos

The easiest way to propagate Neon pothos is using stem cuttings. The process is very simple, and the cuttings won’t take long to grow roots, especially if you propagate them in spring and summer.

You can use either soil or water to propagate. If you’re using the water propagation method, wait until the roots are at least 2 inches (5 cm) long before transplanting them into the soil.

You can also use cuttings to make your houseplant fuller. Simply poke a hole in the soil with your finger, put the cutting in it, then cover the stem with soil. The cutting will grow roots in about a month.

Check out our complete guide for how to propagate pothos

Common Problems

Pests

Neon Pothos rarely suffers from any severe pest infestations. However, you may want to keep an eye out for spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, and scale.

These are the most common houseplant pests, and if incorrect growing conditions stress your pothos, they can become vulnerable to them.

Yellowing Leaves

The leaves of your pothos will start turning yellow due to watering issues, fertilizer burn, nutrient deficiency, or pest infestations. 

Make sure you don’t confuse spontaneous sport variegation or a naturally-occurring lighter hue with yellowing leaves. If the leaves feel soft and look wilted, and if the plant looks a bit wilted and droopy, that’s a sign that your pothos is sick. 

Brown, Crispy Leaf Tips

Neon Pothos doesn’t need high humidity to thrive. But if the air in your home is very dry, the leaves will develop crispy tips. The best way to prevent that is by increasing the humidity for your pothos.

Placing the pot on a pebble tray and regular watering will do the trick.

Soft, Brown Leaf Spots

If your plants leaves are developing soft, brown spots, the most common cause is overwatering and potential root rot. Do not water Neon pothos again until the soil has time to dry out. View our recommendations above.

Learn more about what causes pothos leaves to turn brown or black.

New Leaves Are Getting Smaller

Neon Pothos can develop smaller leaves if kept as a trailing or hanging plant. However, the slow process usually doesn’t kick in for at least 3 years.

If you notice that your plant is suddenly growing small leaves, that could indicate that it needs more light and fertilizers or that it’s time to repot it.

Here is what healthy they should look like:

healthy neon pothos plant leaf closeup

Keep your Neon pothos healthy by learning how to fix and identify these 15 common problems

FAQ

Here are some common questions about Neon pothos care:

Is Neon pothos Toxic?

All Epipremnum aureum varieties contain calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves and stems, including the Neon Pothos. These crystals can cause painful irritations and gastrointestinal problems if eaten. To prevent accidents, keep this plant where your pets can’t reach it. 

What’s the Difference Between Neon pothos and Philodendron Lemon Lime?

Neon pothos and Philodendron Lemon Lime look similar at first glance, but they are two different species. The best way to tell them apart is by looking at the shape and structure of the leaf. 

Neon Pothos has narrower leaves, with a leathery feel and subtle shine.

Philodendron Lemon Lime leaves have a rounded, more noticeable heart shape and pronounced leaf veins. In addition, each leaf has a modified leaf sheath called a cataphyll at the base of the stem, which is absent in pothos species. You may also notice that the Lemon Lime Philodendron has longer aerial roots, whereas Neon Pothos’ aerial roots look like small, brown nubs.