How To Grow and Care for Neon Pothos

Neon pothos is everything you need if you need a bright focal point in your home interior. It is a cultivar of pothos and it gets its name from its neon green leaves that truly illuminates with light. You might know it better for its other name Devil’s Ivy. Because it is easy to care for and since its hardiness can withstand office environments, neon pothos is recommended for newbies. 

If you are thinking of growing one on your own, here is some startup information that you need to make sure that you can grow your neon pothos beautifully and in the right way. So without much fuss, read on. 

Facts about neon pothos

Neon pothos are amazing on their own. To prove that, here are some of the most interesting facts about neon pothos that you might have not known until today so let us round them up before we get serious with neon pothos care. 

  • They are more excellent in air purification compared to regular neon pothos
  • It increases the humidity level of your home or room. The right level of humidity in your home can protect you from viruses that cause common colds and flus. 
  • It is an important plant in the feng shui tradition because it is believed to cleanse the home from negative energy
  • Vastu believers encourage planting neon pothos because it adds positive energy to the home and brings good fortune
  • It also goes by the names Devil’s Ivy, money plant, hunter’s robe, water vine, marble queen and Ceylon’s creeper, among others. 
  • In a 2000 research by Japanese botanists, it was revealed that touching the foliage of neon pothos or any pothos plant for that matter, can have a calming effect on humans. This makes it a good bedroom plant as it improves sleep and overall mood. 

Variegated neon pothos

The variegated cultivars of neon pothos are very striking for their heart shaped leaves and bright yellow and lime green color. Compared to the regular neon pothos, variegated cultivars need more sunlight. But in so far as the other care requirements are concerned, it follows the standard care tips of regular neon pothos. 

How To Plant Neon Pothos

Before we go to neon pothos care, here are the general rules about planting neon pothos that you should know about. 

When to plant?

The best season and time to plant neon pothos is always early spring. Start cutting up the stems for propagation at an early part of the day because it is the time when the plant is still stocked up with water. 

Where to plant?

As have been mentioned, the best location to plant a neon pothos is in a place where the soil retains moisture, where it could get bright, direct light (like in window sills), and where humidity is high (like in bathrooms). 

How to plant

There are two ways to plant neon pothos and here is how. 

#1 Soil planting

  1. Cut a healthy stem from the mother plant of at least 6-inches in length and cut the leaf closest to the bottom. The best stem to cut is that with four leaves and two nodes. 
  2. Next, dip the tip of the stem on rooting hormones and then prepare your potting mix. It should contain a 50/50 mix of sand or perlite and of peat. 
  3. Stick the node 2-3 inches deep in the soil. Add fertilizer for the next six weeks. 
  4. Make sure that the soil is moist and that it gets direct, bright light. 
  5. Wait for 12 weeks before repotting the plant in a more permanent pot. 

#2 Water propagation

  1. First, cut a healthy stem from the mother plant and cut the leaf closest to the bottom. The best stem to cut is that with four leaves and two nodes. 
  2. Next, place the stem in a jar or vase with water. There should be at least ¼ of water in the jar to completely submerge the roots. Place the jar in a location where it could get bright and direct light. 
  3. You can see root growth in between 4-6 weeks. You can also use rooting hormones to make the root growth faster. By that time you should have decided if you would transfer it in a potting mix or not. 

Neon pothos care

This is the most important section that you should master if you are down the route of propagating neon pothos. As have been said, neon pothos are easy to care for. As long as you master these care tips, nothing should go wrong about growing your own neon pothos. 

Size

In the right growth environment, neon pothos can grow to a maximum height of 20ft or more and with a plant width of about 6ft. The leaves can extend to 4-8 inches (but in the wild, the leaves could branch out to a foot long). In terms of space range, it should be planted in a 2ft radius. 

Soil

Neon pothos can be grown in both water and soil. But when soil is grown, this houseplant loves well-draining and fertile soils. It also thrives in soils that are in between 6.1 – 6.5 pH level. Soil acidity below that range might give an adverse reaction to the plant. 

Water

Overwatering or underwatering is crucial for neon pothos. It should be watered just enough for the soil to retain moisture but not too much that the soil turns soggy.

You can make a watering schedule but note that neon pothos could tolerate missed watering sometimes. So depending on the plant’s sun exposure, you should water the plant once a week or when the top soil is dry. Water it 2-inches in depth. 

Light

The general light requirement for neon pothos would be bright, indirect light but it could also fare well in low light, even at dark rooms (however, constant darkness can make it lose its variegation or stunted growth). Direct light causes leaf scorching or browning. It also shrinks the leaves or turns it to pale green. 

Temperature and humidity

The neon pothos thrive in high humidity and high temperature. This is understandable because the plant is native to Solomon Islands. The best temperature range for this plant is in between 70-90F but it could tolerate a max temp of as low as 55F.

Below that, expect its leaves to blacken over time or have stunted growth. To improve your home’s humidity, you can do misting once a week. 

Fertilizer

Applying fertilizer to the neon pothos is not required as long as it is planted in the right soil and if it gets the right amount of water and is grown in the right temperature and humidity.

However, during the growth period, fertilizer should be applied every two months. If you want instant growth effects, you can use inorganic fertilizer with a 20-20-20 label. 

Repotting

The root system of pothos become larger when the trails become longer. As such, it is imperative to repot the neon pothos every 2 years. When you do repotting, you need to water the plant days before it is done.

The ideal pot for repotting would be at 4-10 inches. Get the right potting soil and drill more holes in the pot because it needs immediate watering after repotting. 

Transplanting

The best time to transplant neon photos would be 6 weeks before winter because its roots tend to become established more during the warmer seasons. See propagation for more information about transplanting. 

Pruning

When your neon pothos get bushy, you have to prune by cutting the vine 1-2 inches above the leaf. This is needed to encourage new leaf growth by the node. You should also cut the leafless vines to pave way for leafed vines. Do the pruning before the growth season for best results. 

Propagation

Pothos can be propagated using cuttings. To start, you must cut the vines (it must have 2-3 leaves in it) into smaller pieces and then cut the leaf’s bottom for the node to be exposed. After that, spread them in a pot with water. The nodes must be submerged in water while the leaves are exposed above water. 

Now that they are under water, monitor the root growth rate. You can also use rooting hormones for a faster root growth. Once it is at about an inch long, begin transferring it on a soil pot. 

Growth rate

Generally, neon pothos follow a moderate to fast growth rate. The plant grows to as much as 5ft every year. It is a prolific climber, and in many regions, it is considered as a weed because it is disruptive to concrete structures. 

Blooms

The neon pothos is considered as a wild Angiosperm and as such, it blooms but in a less showy way. However, they only bloom flowers when they are planted in the right environment and when they reach maturity. When they do bloom during spring, you would find greenish-white flowers. 

Pests & diseases

Just like all plants, neon pothos are not perfect. And just like all plants too, there are specific pests and diseases that affect this specific plant. To be on the loop of what to prepare for just in case, here are some of the most common pests and diseases that attack neon pothos. 

Mealybugs

This one is a common houseplant pest. They are white and waxy, and they destroy the plant through stunted growth, rotting, yellowing or browning leaves, and gradual health decline in your plant. In some cases where there is already an infestation, mealybugs can cause death for your neon pothos. 

Scale insects

Unlike mealybugs, scales are black or brown and they are mostly found attached in the stems and leaves of neon pothos which they munch on. Because of this, scales can cause stunted growth or distorted shapes for the plant. The easiest intervention for scales would be cleaning off each leaf with alcohol. 

Phytophthora

This one is the case of root rot for pothos and it is the most common disease experienced by neon pothos (and all pothos plants for that matter). The main causes of these diseases would be overwatering or when an imported cutting is mixed with the same pot. An indicator of this disease would be browning or blackening leaves. Once it is infected with the disease, best discard it. 

Southern blight

This one becomes evident once you see white fungi threads running along the length of your neon pothos’ stems but the spread starts on the soil. This one does not need a host plant to thrive. This one is potent in breaking the plant cells of your neon pothos. For immediate remedy, never store your potting mixes on the soil. 

Ethylene

This disease often happens during fall or winter. The common indicator of this disease is when the plant looks wilted even when the soil is in its best condition. Other signs would be yellowing or browning leaves. This is caused by improper ventilation in your home. 

Thus, make sure that heaters are in good condition before winter. There are commercially sold ethylene treatments when it happens to your neon pothos so there should be nothing to worry about. 

Manganese toxicity

Older neon pothos are more vulnerable to manganese toxicity due to being the source of pothos cuttings. This becomes evident in the existence of yellow marks or whitish flecks on the leaves of your neon pothos. 

Another indicator is blacking veins and premature dropping of leaves. The intervention for this is to stop applying fertilizer with manganese content. Also, adjust the acidity of your soil by adding lemon or lime to the soil. 

Bacterial wilt

When cuttings fail to root, that is when you know bacterial wilt has already infected your neon pothos cutting. The disease manifests in wilting leaves and leaves and stem veins turning brown or black. This one is serious because the bacteria can contaminate nearby seeds, plants, and the soil. It is recommended that the cuttings be ditched entirely when this happens. 

Neon pothos leaves turning brown

There are a lot of reasons behind browning leaves. Some specific diseases associated with this condition have been cited above. Another reason for this would be low humidity or low acidity in the soil. You can try transferring your neon pothos in a water pot with pebbles.

Neon pothos yellow leaves

In the same way, yellowing leaves can also lead to more serious neon pothos diseases. But another reason for this would be overwatering. Yellowing leaves is the manifestation of root rot. To amend this, drain excess water from the soil and then change your watering schedule. 

Related: Easy To Grow Houseplants for People Without a Green Thumb

How to keep neon pothos bright

There are more care tips that you could enforce to keep your neon pothos bright. Here are some additional care tips that you should do. 

  • Snip yellowing, browning or dead leaves and vines in the plant. You can do this as much as you can but the best way to do this is before watering your neon pothos. 
  • Clean your plant’s leaves. You can do this by dusting off the leaves with damp cloth. You can also use rubbing alcohol as a cleaning agent to get rid of insects and prevent insect infestation. 

Neon pothos vs neon philodendron

These plants are often confused with each other because they have the same heart shaped leaves, yellow and green color, and vining habit. Other points of comparison would be the following: 

Neon pothosNeon philodendron
Hardiness zone10-119-11
Mature height6-10ft8-15ft
Mature width4-6 inches7-10 inches
Growing habitAerialAerial
Growth rateModerate to fastFast to very fast
Soil pHAcidicMore acidic

In terms of similarities, neon pothos and neon philodendron follow the same care requirement when it comes to soil type, watering frequency, and common pests and diseases that attack them. 

Where to buy neon pothos?

In many cases, you do not even need to buy one. If you have a friend who has a mother plant, you can just ask for stems. But if you want to grow one from scratch, you can always buy one from your local nursery. For online stores that you can check, here are some that you can check: 

  • Walmart
  • Etsy
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Amazon
  • EBay
  • Urban Stems
  • The Sill
  • Planterina
  • Desk Plants
  • Costa Farms

FAQs on Neon Pothos

To make this guide to neon pothos growing and caring, here are some FAQs about the plant which can be handy later. 

Are neon pothos poisonous?

Like the other plants which belong to the Aracaea family, neon pothos contain crystals of calcium oxalate. These crystals are insoluble so when pets or small kids munch on the stems and the leaves of pothos plants, the crystals burst causing inflammation or digestive illnesses. 

Can a neon pothos flower?

Generally, all pothos do not flower at youth or during cultivation but they do bloom. In the wild, pothos produce white flowers with purple margins. They bloom from upright flower stalks. When grown in containers, the flowers tend to be less showy. However, they can only bloom at maturity and if the care environment is good enough for it to encourage blooming during spring. 

How long does it take for neon pothos to grow?

Neon pothos are moderate to fast growers. When planted properly, they start growing after 2 weeks at a rate of 2-3 inches. After just 4-5 months, you would see more growth and at the seventh month, it can already be considered as a mature neon pothos. 

Are neon pothos ok for chameleons?

All pothos plants are chameleon safe. This is the reason why you would often find pothos plants cocooned on scrap wood inside a chameleon’s cage. For sure, you have spotted this in movies such as Stranger Things, Home Alone or in Back to the Future. With this, we cannot entirely say that pothos are toxic to animals because we have the chameleon as an outlier.  

Why do neon pothos’ leaves curl? 

This one is usually due to humidity. The curling habit is actually a natural response for the plant to retain moisture. If humidity and soil are ok, curling could be caused by overmoisture or too much bright, direct light. 

Why do neon pothos die?

Neon pothos die due to some diseases that specifically attack the plant. Some subtle reasons that could lead to pothos death would be overwatering, inadequate amount of fertilizer or insufficient amount of light or too much light. 

How long do neon pothos live? 

Depending on how it is propagated and maintained, neon pothos get to live for 5-10 years. Some can extend up to 15 years with the aid of fertilizer and constant change of water if it is propagated on water. 

Do neon pothos like coffee grounds?

Yes. Unwashed coffee beans or old coffee grounds can be directly added to the neon pothos’ soil like mulch. Coffee improves the acidity of the soil which we now know, neon pothos love. So if you are having problems on wilting and bacteria wilt, know that you can have an easy material to turn to. 

Are variegated pothos rare?

No, but they are slow growers so the cultivation rate for variegated photos is slower than others. Here are some variegated pothos that you can add to your collection. 

  • Jade pothos
  • Marble queen pothos
  • Golden pothos
  • Manjula pothos
  • Pearls and Jade pothos
  • Hawaiian pothos
  • Glacier pothos
  • Satin pothos
  • Jessenia pothos
  • Trebi pothos
  • Cebu blue pothos

Is misting ok for neon pothos

There is actually a debate surrounding misting when it comes to neon pothos. Some say that misting your neon pothos once a week increases the humidity it needs to grow well. Others would not encourage misting pothos because of the belief that it would attract pests and other harmful microorganisms. 

Conclusion

Neon pothos in themselves are considered as variegated pothos. It does not fall far from the care requirements of all pothos plants. It loves moist, well-draining soils, thrives on bright, direct sunlight and can be propagated through water planting or repotting via soil transplanting. Overall, neon pothos offer brightness to any room and it is worth it to buy.

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