Lemon-lime, highlighter-yellow, tennis-ball-green, chartreuse… No matter how you want to describe the color, there’s no denying that Neon pothos produces vibrant foliage.
But what if your plant begins to lose its namesake color?
This guide will help you understand what causes Neon pothos turning green and how to fix this issue.
The Short Answer: Neon Pothos Leaves Turning Dark Green
When Neon Pothos leaves turn a darker green, it signals insufficient light exposure. For optimal chartreuse color, especially in new growth, provide ample light to prevent smaller, greener leaves and maintain vibrancy.
Why Neon Pothos Turns Green & Loses Color
When Neon Pothos leaves turn darker green, it indicates insufficient light exposure. To maintain the vibrant chartreuse color and prevent small leaves, provide ample indirect sunlight and avoid low-light conditions, ensuring your Neon Pothos stays bright and healthy.
This plant prefers bright indirect sunlight.
If nowhere in your house receives bright light, consider swapping pothos ‘neon’ for Jade pothos. As the name suggests, Jade pothos plants produce dark green leaves. However, this cultivar will produce richly colored foliage even in low-light conditions.
Sometimes, cold temperatures can also cause Neon pothos to turn green. So try to keep house temperatures between 70-90 F for these indoor plants.
Another thing to remember is that the plant will produce greener foliage as they age. And because Neon is a cultivar (a plant produced by selective breeding), its cellular structure is not always stable. So sometimes, Neon pothos will start producing dark green leaves no matter how well you care for the plant.
But most of the time, improper light levels cause Neon pothos leaves to lose their distinctive color.
Best Light Levels For Neon Pothos Leaves
For optimal Neon Pothos growth, consistently provide bright, indirect light throughout the year. Direct sunlight can damage the leaves, while insufficient light leads to pale green, smaller leaves. Proper lighting ensures healthy, vibrant foliage.
Also, in low light conditions the plant begins to produce more chlorophyll to absorb more light.
But don’t overcorrect either! Direct sunlight can burn leaf edges and cause the color to become a paler, washed-out green. The combination of high temperatures and intense sunlight is particularly dangerous. It can bleach or burn the pothos, causing the plant to produce yellow leaves.
You might hear Neon called Goldilocks pothos. And for a good reason: it wants things not too shady, not too sunny, but just right (bright and indirect).
Adjusting light levels won’t change the color of existing leaves. But new growth will show you whether your changes have been successful.
How To Find Bright Indirect Light
Indirect light refers to any sunlight that has been filtered, diffused, or refracted. Gauzy curtains, window glass, and even other plants can help create indirect light conditions.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to measure the light in a room.
Hold your hand next to the plant during the brightest part of the day. Use a piece of white paper to catch the shadow of your hand.
If the shadow is a fuzzy outline of your hand, you have successfully found bright indirect light. On the other hand, a sharp shadow with distinct edges indicates that you have too bright light for this pothos variety.
And a very indistinct shadow is a sign that the light is not bright enough for the plant.
Adjusting Light Levels
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. North of the equator, this trajectory means that south-facing windows typically receive the most sunlight each day.
However, depending on where you live, trees or other buildings might prevent sunlight from hitting south-facing windows. So use common sense when assessing a room’s light availability.
If you think your Neon pothos is receiving too much light, try moving it deeper into the room. (The plant should receive at most a couple hours of direct sun daily. Read this pothos lighting needs article.)
Rotate the plant every time you water it. As it will bend toward any source of sunlight. Rotating the plant helps prevent the plant from looking lopsided.
You might also consider purchasing a grow light to supplement the sun.
As you’re adjusting light levels, do so gradually. Drastic shifts in growing conditions can shock the plant, causing stunted growth and other issues.
Quick Neon Pothos Care Guide To Prevent Leaves Turning Dark Green
Also known as Devil’s Ivy, pothos is a trailing vine plant that produces heart-shaped leaves. Neon pothos (scientific name Epipremnum aureum ‘neon’) is a cultivar of pothos that displays brightly colored leaves.
Getting the correct light levels is the key to maintaining Neon pothos leaf color. But you should also provide the growing conditions necessary to keep your plant healthy.
(Don’t worry. Pothos are popular houseplants because they are easy to maintain and relatively difficult to kill.)
These aroids are native to the Solomon Islands and subtropical areas of Australia and Asia. Their preferred growing conditions reflect their tropical origins.
Although these pothos can survive in low light conditions, they will grow best (and produce the most vibrant foliage) in bright indirect sun.
The exact watering schedule for Neon pothos depends on factors such as temperature and light availability. For example, Pothos growing in cooler, lower light conditions require less frequent watering than those in warmer, bright light.
Check soil moisture before watering; ideally, the top two inches of soil should dry out completely between waterings. Too much water can cause problems such as root rot, mold, and pest infestations.
Pothos prefer 50-70% humidity. A humidifier, mist bottle, or pebble tray increases humidity levels. So long as there is enough light, consider moving your pothos plants to your kitchen or bathroom, as these are often the most humid rooms in a house.
These tropical plants love temperatures ranging from 70-90 F. Pothos will tolerate temperatures slightly above or below this range. However, temperatures below 50 F may cause permanent tissue damage to pothos plants.
Consistent temperature; dramatic fluctuations can stunt plant growth. So keep it away from cold drafts or heat sources.
Neon pothos do not require frequent fertilization. During the spring and summer, apply slow-release fertilizer once a month. Dilute the fertilizer to quarter or half strength. Full-strength fertilizer can burn pothos roots.
Ensure the container has adequate drainage holes and empty any liquid from the pot saucer after each watering. If the root ball outgrows the container, increase the pot size by about two inches in diameter.
Pruning is crucial for a healthy Neon pothos. Use sharp scissors or shears and cut cuts above a leaf node or stem. Prune in spring or early summer and remove dead, damaged, or diseased leaves and stems. Avoid over-pruning and clean tools with rubbing alcohol.
Note: The stems and leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, these crystals can cause symptoms such as vomiting and mouth irritation.
Leaf Color & Variegation&Nbsp;
There are many cultivars of pothos, each distinguished by leaf color and variegation.
But what causes these leaf variations? In the case of Neon pothos, the answer is chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is a green pigment present in most plants. This pigment helps the plant absorb the sunlight necessary to perform photosynthesis. It is also responsible for the green color of leaves and stems.
The cells of Neon pothos produce less chlorophyll than other varieties of pothos. So the leaves tend to display a lighter green color.
Sometimes, Neon pothos plants grow leaves with green, yellow, cream, or white variegation. In isolated patches, this variegation is known as sport variegation and is not cause for concern. But if many leaves begin changing colors, your Neon pothos might be reverting.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.