How to Grow & Care for Neon Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

Neon Pothos

The neon pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’) is an evergreen vine that’s grown for its beautiful foliage. It is very much like the very popular golden pothos except for the color of its leaves which make it unique and lovely to display as a houseplant.

Neon pothos have heart-shaped foliage that are known for their bright, light green color making them look like the neon you see in signages. Thus, its name.

While pretty and delicate to look at, this is a tough and resilient indoor plant that can tolerate neglect. Thus, making it easy to care for and perfect for beginners.

Their color also makes them a lovely addition to home décor especially if you’re tired of seeing the same dark green colors on the leaves of your plant. Among good companion plants for the neon pothos include orchids, ferns and Aglaonema.

As with other pothos varieties, Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’ is a vining plant that will spread and grow longer with time. Indoors, they can get to between 12 to 15 inches in height and spread as wide as 1 to 2 feet. Their vines make them perfect for hanging baskets as well as containers on shelves. It also means you’ll need to trim them back to prevent them from taking up too much room.

In their native environments in tropical forests in Asia, they can grow up to as tall as 100 to 150 meters. Their ability to grown in less than ideal lighting conditions helps them do so.

Neon Pothos Plant Care

The neon pothos is very similar to the most popular pothos of all, the Golden pothos. But, unlike the latter, it comes with bright, neon green foliage that makes it stand out in a crowd of plants.

The good news is, because they’re the same species of plant, this unique-colored houseplant is likewise very easy to care for.

 

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Neon Pothos Light

Neon pohtos can tolerate many lighting conditions. As long as you keep it away from direct sunlight it will do okay. This, along with its other low maintenance features, make it a great houseplant choice for beginners.

However, just as too much direct light can scorch its beautiful leaves, too little light stunts it grown. More importantly, keeping it in dark spaces or areas that lack illumination will cause its bright, neon colored leaves to turn pale green. Thus, causing the plant to lose its “display value”.

This makes east facing windows better options than west, north or south facing ones. If you must place it near a hot, sunny window (west-facing the afternoon and south-facing windows), position it so that it is about 6 to 8 feet away from where the window itself.

Also, it’s a good idea to rotate your plant every so often so each side receives some time near the light source.

 

Neon Pothos Temperature & Humidity

Neon pothos, much like other pothos plants are grown as houseplants. That’s because they’re well-adapted to indoor temperature. But, if you live in USDA zones 11 or 12, then you can easily grown them outdoors as well. The only thing to make sure of is to place then where they can get bright, indirect sunlight.

Neon pothos do well in most home temperatures. It’s sweet spot is between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. And, while it will have less of a problem tolerating higher temps, going under 60 degrees is something it won’t be happy about.

Thus, it’s a good idea to check how low temperatures drop at night in a certain location before placing your neon pothos there.

In addition to moderate to warm temperatures, its tropical nature also makes it fond of high humidity. This makes it a good choice in rooms where the air is moist. Both the kitchen and bathroom come to mind. Although, because of the light conditions, kitchens are often a better option to darker bathrooms, unless yours have a lot of windows.

Dry air can cause your neon pothos to experience brown leaf tips, which is a sign of stress. When this happens, it’s a good idea to move it somewhere where humidity is higher. Or, you can set it on a pebble tray to improve the air moisture around the plant. You can likewise mist once or twice a week or use a room humidifier.

neon pothos

source: wikimedia commons

 

Watering Neon Pothos

Another reason why the neon pothos is easy to care for is because it doesn’t need too much water. Thus, watering about once a week in most cases works well. In the winter, you can easily stretch it out to between 9 to 13 days depending on where you live.

Neon pothos enjoy it best when the soil is moist but well-draining. And because the weather, temperature, size of the pot, kind of soil and many other factors affect how fast the plant dries out, it’s not a good idea to use number of days as a gauge of when to water your plant.

Instead, the best way to gauge when to water this houseplant Is to directly stick your finger into the soil. Going down about 2 inches and feeling for moisture lets you know if it’s time to water again.

If the top 2 inches of soil is dry, it is time to water. If it’s still moist, you can wait a few more days. When watering, you’ll want to water thoroughly until the moisture starts dripping through the bottom holes of your pot. And, allow the soil to dry before doing so again. Also, avoid getting its leaves wet as this can cause it have fungal problems later on.

 

Soil

The best soil for your neon pothos is rich, high quality potting soil. This ensures that the soil is light, pest-free, sterile and well-draining. All of which not only help keep your plant alive but also allow it to thrive.

In addition to the soil, you’ll want to choose a container that has drainage holes at the bottom. If not, you can easily drill a hole yourself.

 

Fertilizing

During the spring and summer, feed your neon pothos once a month. Liquid general purpose houseplant fertilizer works well. It is also easy to apply. You can likewise use slow release or granulated if you wish. All of them work fairly well.

As with watering, too much fertilizer is more problematic than lack of fertilizer. But, unlike water your pothos can tolerate extra fertilizer. However, you probably won’t want to spend extra money when you don’t need to.

 

Pruning Neon Pothos

Pothos are vining plants whose stems will keep growing outwards. As such, it’s a good idea to trim them to keep them in the shape and look you want.

  • For hanging baskets or those placed on high shelves, you’ll want to trim the neon pothos so that it doesn’t become overwhelming.
  • For those in pots on tables or stands, trimming prevents them from covering the entire space or getting unruly.

To do so, make sure that you use a sterile pair of scissors. Since you’ll be cutting it, you don’t want to introduce bacteria or other disease through its wounds.

In addition to controlling its shape and size, pruning is also necessary for parts of the plant that are diseased or dying. This allows it to regrow instead of spending extra energy in deteriorating stems or leaves.

Speaking of which, regular pruning helps keep your neon pothos fuller. Cutting it back encourages growth. So, it uses its energy to grown new side shoots instead of developing more roots.

 

Neon Pothos Propagation

In addition to the reasons above, one last reason to prune is to propagate your neon pothos. Propagation allows you to grow new plants without having to spend money at the garden center.

To do so,

  • Choose a stem that has at least 2-3 leaves. This ensures that the cutting you get has good growing potential.
  • Next, cut the stem so that it is at least 4 to 6 inches in length. You want it to be at least this long because you’ll be placing the cutting in water.
  • Place the stem cutting in water and position it somewhere it gets bright light.
  • After about a week or so, you’ll see roots start to form.
  • Once the roots have started to grow, you can move them into a container with potting mix. That said, there’s no hurry because neon pothos can continue to grow in water for months. The longest I’ve done so is 7 months, though I’ve heart other people go longer.

 

Neon Pothos Transplanting & Repotting

In most cases, be ready to repot your neon pothos once every 2 years. A few tell-tale signs that your plant has outgrown its container is when it starts growing out from the bottom hole/s.

When this happens, you’ll want to move it to a container that’s about 2 inches bigger in diameter. This gives it enough space but not too much space where the soil can easily stay wet for too long.

To repot,

  • Choose a container. Note that the size and material of the container affects how fast water drains. Larger pots mean more space grow and longer intervals before repotting. But, the amount of soil increases the amount of water it holds.
  • Similarly, plastic pots don’t allow water to seep out, while terra cotta ones do. As such, the latter will provide slightly better drainage, although, the interval between watering will be shorter.
  • Once you have chosen a pot, fill it with fresh potting soil up to about 2 inches from the top of the pot.
  • Next, dig a hole in the middle. You’ll be inserting too root ball here.
  • Cover the root ball. The goal here is to position the plant so that it stand out of the soil roughly the same height as it did in its current container.
  • Finally, water the soil thoroughly.

 

Toxicity

As with the other pothos varieties, neon pothos are toxic to humans and pets. As such, they should be kept out of reach of young children and pets. Ingesting the stems or leaves can cause digestive and mouth issues like vomiting, swelling and irriatation.

 

Pests

Pothos are susceptible to mealybugs, scale and spider mites. The good news is, they’re not overly common. If you take care of them properly, you may never have to experience having to deal with a pest infestation when it comes to your neon pothos.

That said, if it does happen, immediately separate the infected plants form the others. This prevents them from spreading which they’ll often do.

Then quickly have the plant treated.

 

Diseases

Root rot is one of the common disease problems. However, this is almost always man-made. That is, you’re overwatering your plants. The other culprit would be poor draining soil

Either way, the best solution to this is to scale back of water and/or provide it with fresh, high quality, well-draining potting soil.

Additionally, other disease that neon plants can experience are fungal leaf spot and botrytis.

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