Stealing the show with that stunning leaf color, Neon Pothos is one of the most common houseplants. In fact, its amazing appearance, accompanied by its hardiness, makes it a perfect beginner plant.
Known for its easy-to-maintain character and those uniquely-shaped neon leaves, this plant is a rugged and durable tropical species that comes with numerous benefits. Helping improve the surrounding space’s air quality, neon pothos boosts feel-good emotions, making you calmer.
The best part is that they don’t call for strict or stressful maintenance and thrive almost effortlessly with minimum care. This article takes you through an in-depth study of what all you need to do to make your neon pothos grow pretty and healthy.
|Botanical Name||Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’|
|Common Name||Neon Pothos|
|Size||10 feet long, 3 feet wide|
|Difficulty||No fuss – carefree|
|Pet Friendly||No – toxic to dogs and cats|
|Air Cleaner||Yes – removes VOCs and toxins from surrounding air|
Neon Pothos Origin
Thriving in tropical climates, Pothos is a genus of climbing plants coming from the Araceae family. Epipremnum Aureum is the scientific name for pothos, wherein ‘epi’ comes from the Latin word for ‘stem.’
Pothos plants are primarily found around trunks and branches of trees where the species gets its name from. Pothos are native to the Society Islands of French Polynesia. Over time, they have also developed in China, Southeast Asia, India, New Guinea, Australia, and numerous islands across the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
There are significant size differences between pothos that grow indoors and the ones that thrive in the wild. Outdoors, this plant species can grow lovely tendrils reaching up to a length of 50 feet, while the indoor plants reach a maximum of 10 feet.
Neon pothos is one of the most popular and unique varieties of the plant. What makes pothos amazingly successful as houseplants is that they naturally grow in shaded forest regions.
Characterized by pretty heart-shaped leaves, neon pothos are golden yellow or bright chartreuse in color, wherein the fresh and young leaves look so much brighter than the old ones. As the age of the plant progresses, you see darker hues in the foliage. Neon pothos grows their best in bright light, whereas dull light makes them darker and unhealthier.
The characteristic vines of neon pothos can be trained to climb beautifully over doorways, across ceiling hooks, around furniture, or lie across the table, making these plants a glorious addition to a house or workspace.
Neon pothos are quite often found around hotel lobbies, shopping malls, office spaces, and several other common places due to their remarkable ability to thrive with fluorescent lighting.
How to Care for Neon Pothos
Light and Temperature
Neon Pothos grows throughout the year and can also adapt to low light, but their best growth calls for bright, indirect light. Intense sunlight is harmful to the plant and burns the leaves. Too little light makes the leaves smaller and pale green, eventually declining your plant’s health and development. The best spot to place your neon pothos plants is near a window that gets bright and indirect sunlight.
This bright plant is native to the Solomon Islands, making it thrive in high humidity, while the favorable temperature ranges between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you place your plant at a spot that falls within the mentioned temperature ranges to allow for your pothos’ healthy growth.
Although the plant thrives best and has faster growth when the temperature lies between 70-90 degrees, it can withstand temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below that figure will make the plant experience stunted growth, followed by the darkening of leaves.
Your neon pothos needs just enough moisture to keep the soil moist but not saturated or damp. The key is to work up a proper watering schedule to prevent overwatering or underwatering your delicate plants. However, if you miss watering them, you don’t need to worry, as pothos can withstand occasionally missed watering sessions.
Allowing the plants to sit in damp soil will lead to yellow and wilted leaves. To minimize this risk, allow the pothos to drain after each watering session, followed by cleaning the tray under the planter. Always use containers or pots with drainage holes for planting neon pothos to ensure drainage of excess water.
When your plants stay underwatered, they will experience stunting, eventually leading to curled leaves and even dying of the plant. Neon pothos is a species that must have dry soil before watering. The roots of your pothos should remain damp but must not be allowed to stay flooded between two watering sessions.
Water your pothos again when the top 2 inches of the soil look dry. The plant grows best in humid regions, so it’s a great idea to place your neon pothos in the kitchen or the bathroom as these spots around the house have more moisture in the air.
If you have planted your pothos in the right soil, it will thrive greatly without fertilization. However, it would be best if you fertilized it once every 2-3 months to maximize your plant’s growth rate. A good-quality houseplant fertilizer will work just perfectly for neon pothos, and you can always evaluate the soil if you are unaware of what fertilizers it needs.
You can use soil testing kits to check what nutrients are needed by the soil. Most houseplants require around 16 different nutrients to grow their best, and most decent fertilizers include all of those elements.
While organic fertilizers take a little longer for the plant to grow, they work wonders for maintaining a healthy mix for your neon pothos in the long run. Always make sure to choose the right amount of fertilizer for your planter’s size by reading the package details first.
One of the best ideas is to go for an organic blend that contains peat moss or coconut coir as these make the soil retain more moisture. Airy soil mixtures are better at absorbing and filtering water. Organic fertilizers provide excellent nutrition to the soil and immediately increase neon pothos’ growth rate.
Although neon pothos blossoms like all other plants of its species, this only happens when the pathos has reached full maturity. To flower the neon pathos must grow outside in the ground. Most likely, you will never see your indoor plant flower.
This tropical plant’s main attraction is those bright yellow-green leaves that get quite large and exhibit a neon-like glow. The plant doesn’t get colorful flowers or any noticeable floral fragrance. This is why neon pothos are suitable for spaces that call for subtle decor, such as shared living spaces and offices.
It’s normal to see the leaves’ occasional yellowing, so you need to prune your neon pothos to remove yellow or dying leaves. Use a pair of scissors to trim just above a node, as cutting right above a node will boost new growth.
After the pruning, the plant will send out a brand new vine from the node. Make sure you don’t leave leafless vines and prune them carefully.
You can stop pruning after selectively trimming each vine and getting visually pleasing results. If you are looking to perform light pruning, go for tip cuttings on the vines that look too long.
Neon pothos call for repotting every one to two years as the roots keep growing larger with the growing trails. It’s time to repot when you see roots popping out of the drainage holes or if your pothos shows stunted growth.
Use a planter that’s about 4-6 inches and if the plant grows larger than 6 inches, go for a pot that’s about 10 inches. To ensure that you eliminate excess water, choose a pot with a drain hole.
Before you repot the plant, make sure to water your neon pothos a couple of days before to avoid stressing the plant. You need to lay the plant on its side, further removing the root ball. Load the growing pot with the mixture needed to make the root ball’s top even.
Pests and Disease
Although neon pothos is a difficult plant to damage and less prone to infections, the species can still get sick.
Some common pests include mealybugs, fungus gnats, aphids, scale, and spider mites.
Make sure to regularly check underneath leaves and in the plant crevices for pests. Scale and mealybugs tend to attach themselves to neon pothos, further inhibiting plant growth and making it sick by stealing the sap.
The pests feed on the plant, thereby stunting it and inducing rotting, foliar yellowing, defoliation, and an overall decline in the plant’s health. If you witness such infestation, put some rubbing alcohol on the leaves or apply a gentle insecticide. Some people like to go for natural insecticides worked up with neem oil and dish soap that adhere to the bugs.
Overwatering can lead to a fungus build-up which makes the root and stem rot, causing a discoloration of the leaves and eventually killing the plant. So, make sure you never subject the delicate plant to too much water and humidity.
Phytophthora Root Rot
Introduced by imported propagative cuttings, Phytophthora root rot is one of the most common diseases infecting neon pothos. It makes the leaves turn dark brown or even deep black. If your plant exhibits these signs, it needs to be discarded.
The winter and fall seasons put the plant at risk of ethylene damage that tends to turn the leaves yellow, followed by tan and becoming light brown. Ensure there is adequate ventilation around the plant while also employing ethylene treatment options to cure the plants.
Another disease among neon pothos is Southern Blight, marked by clear, feathery threads of fungus growing along the soil’s surface and plant stems. This disease gains access to the plant through infected soil and can break the tender cellular walls of your neon pothos. To prevent this, never store potting soil mixes directly on the ground.
Older pothos plants used to supply cutting materials can be at risk of manganese toxicity. Signs of this include exhibiting yellow markings, dark veins, or even dropping the leaves. Discontinue fertilizers that contain manganese and avoid adding mixed trace-elements. To ensure the right soil pH, you can use some lime and treat toxicity.
How To Propagate Neon Pothos
The stems of a healthy neon pothos plant have lots of root nodes, and that’s why this lovely plant is surprisingly easy to grow and propagate with the Stem Cutting method.
- You begin by looking for plant branches with many leaves, further cutting the vines into smaller sections.
- Cut the bottom leaf using a pair of scissors, and you will see the node. Put the stem in a pot filled with distilled or purified water. Don’t go for tap water as the fluoride and chlorine present in unfiltered water can harm the plant.
- Make sure you keep the bare node under the water while the leaves are above water. Also, make sure each stem cutting features one or two leaves.
- Soon you will see fresh roots growing in the nodes in about a month of putting the pothos in water.
- When the roots grow about an inch long, you can take them out and pot the young pothos in a healthy soil mix.
At this point, you can either initiate an entirely new plant or simply put it back in the original pot that you took out the stem cuttings from – this makes the plant richer and fuller.
Frequently Asked Questions about Neon Pothos
Thanks to the hardy nature and heartwarming appearance, neon pothos are well-suited for all – you don’t need to be a plant connoisseur to grow neon pothos. Taking care of your neon pothos is such an easy affair that you can’t go wrong. If you are a beginner plant owner, this plant is a must that will brighten up your space.
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