How to Grow Neon Pothos

Neon pothos hanging from a planter

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

In This Article

As one of the most popular and eye-catching varieties of pothos, neon pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Neon') are low-fuss houseplants that are sure to brighten up any corner of your home. Native to the tropical Solomon Islands, this stunning variety of pothos is characterized by neon green, heart-shaped leaves and a vining growth habit. The best part is, neon pothos are easy to care for—making them great for beginners or those with a notoriously brown thumb.

As a variety of the common golden pothos, all parts of the neon pothos are considered toxic to cats, dogs, and humans if ingested and caution should be taken with these plants if you have pets or young children in your home.

Botanical Name  Epipremnum aureum 'Neon' 
Common Name  Neon pothos 
Family  Araceae 
Plant Type  Perennial, vine 
Mature Size  10 ft long, 3 ft wide (indoors) 
Sun Exposure  Partial 
Soil Type  Loamy, moist but well-drained 
Soil pH  Acidic 
Bloom Time  Spring, summer 
Flower Color  Green, white 
Hardiness Zones  11a, 11b, 12a, 12b 
Native Area Australia
Toxicity Toxic to pets and people

Neon Pothos Care

These bright pothos are low-maintenance and easy to care for. They can adapt to a range of lighting conditions, and while they appreciate regular watering, they bounce back easily if you forget to water them every once in awhile. When grown indoors, neon pothos can grow vines up to 10 feet long, so while pruning isn’t necessary for these tropical vines, you may wish to prune the vines every once and a while to keep their size under control. 

Closeup of neon pothos

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

Closeup of neon pothos leaves

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

Overhead view of neon pothos

The Spruce / Candace Madonna

Light

Neon pothos grow naturally as forest understory plants and can adapt to a wide range of partial lighting conditions. That being said, bright indirect light is best in order to keep the leaves vibrant and avoid leggy growth.

Soil

Overall, neon pothos are not picky when it comes to soil as long as the soil is loamy, and moist but also well-draining. Standard houseplant soil works well for these low-maintenance plants; or, if you are feeling fancy, you can create a slightly airier mixture by combining one part houseplant soil, one part perlite, and one part orchid bark for a chunky, organic soil mix that your pothos will love.

Water

Allow the top 2 to 3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings and then water thoroughly. Neon pothos are susceptible to root rot if their roots are left standing in water, so always ensure that your plant is in a pot with adequate drainage to ensure that the roots aren’t waterlogged.

Temperature and Humidity

In their native environment, neon pothos grow in warm, humid temperatures which makes them well-suited to growing indoors as a houseplant. As long as temperatures are between 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (or 15 to 35 degrees Celsius), your neon pothos will be happy. Average household humidity is also adequate for these pothos, although providing extra humidity (with a humidifier or pebble tray) will encourage more vigorous growth.

Fertilizer

Fertilizer is not a necessity when it comes to pothos, especially if the soil is rich in organic matter, but regular fertilization during the active growing period can help encourage strong, healthy growth. If you choose, you can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month from the early spring to late summer.

Propagating Neon Pothos

As with other varieties of pothos, neon pothos are easy to propagate by stem cuttings. This is a great way to reuse any cuttings that you take during pruning, and can help you create a fuller looking plant by planting the cuttings back in the original pot. Or you can use the cuttings to create new plants to share with friends. Follow these steps to propagate your neon pothos with stem cuttings:

  1. Take stem cuttings from an established plant that have at least 4-5 nodes each.
  2. Remove the bottom 2-3 leaves from each cutting, leaving at least 2 leaves at the top of each cutting.
  3. Fill a small glass or jar with water and place the cuttings in the water, ensuring that the exposed nodes on the bottom of the cuttings are submerged while the leaves remain above water.
  4. Place the cuttings in a location that receives medium to bright indirect light, and change out the water once a week to ensure it stays fresh.
  5. Roots should begin forming within a week or so. Once the roots are at least an inch long, the cuttings can be transferred back to soil. Remove the cuttings from the water and carefully pot them in a pre-moistened, well-draining soil mixture.
  6. Place the freshly potted cuttings back in the same location, and keep the soil consistently moist for the first 1 to 2 weeks after repotting to help the roots acclimate to the soil. 
  7. After about 2 weeks, a regular watering schedule can be resumed for the cuttings, and they can be cared for as established neon pothos.

Common Pests 

Neon pothos are not especially prone to any particular pests or diseases, however you should keep an eye out for some common houseplant pests that can become a problem if your plant gets infected. Watch out for sap-sucking pests such as mealybugs, scale, and spider mites, as well as fungus gnats, which are common among most houseplants. 

Common Problems With Neon Pothos

Neon pothos are low-fuss houseplants that are generally problem-free. However, improper watering and lighting conditions can result in a few common problems. 

Drooping Leaves

This is a sign that your plant is thirsty and in need of a good drink! Water your neon pothos and the leaves should perk back up.

Brown Tips

Underwatering or excessively dry conditions can cause brown tips on your neon pothos’ leaves. Try increasing how often you are watering your plant, and avoid placing your neon pothos near drafty vents or windows.

Leggy Growth

If your neon pothos is starting to look straggly, with long vines that have very few leaves, this is an indication that your plant needs more light. Try moving your pothos to a brighter location.

FAQ
  • Why does my neon pothos have patches of darker green variegation?

    Don’t worry, small patches of darker green variegation are normal for neon pothos and are usually just a result of a gene mutation. However, if you are noticing large patches on the leaves going dark, or new leaves that are growing darker and less vibrant, this can be an indication that your plant is reverting and it needs more light in order to keep its bright hue.

  • Should I use a moss pole or trellis for my neon pothos?

    This is completely up to you and how you would like to display your neon pothos. You can choose to use a support like a trellis or moss pole, or you can grow your pothos as a hanging plant. That being said, encouraging your pothos to climb by using a support does encourage thicker vines and larger leaves, which is appealing to some growers.

  • Can neon pothos grow in just water?

    Surprisingly, yes! All varieties of pothos grow well in water, although you will need to ensure that you are fertilizing the plant regularly to provide it with enough nutrients to thrive. It is also best to start growing your neon pothos in water via propagation, rather than trying to transition an established plant from soil to water, which may result in root rot.

Article Sources
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  1. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Golden Pothos.” Aspca.org. N.p., n.d. Web.)