Neon Pothos Turning Yellow

It can be frustrating when the leaves of your chartreuse, neon green pothos plant turn yellow. After all, you bought this plant for its bright foliage! There are many reasons why neon pothos is turning yellow and there are ways to fix it and prevent more leaves from turning yellow.

Why Is Neon Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?

Neon pothos leaves can turn yellow from underwatering, over-watering, over-fertilization, nutrient deficiency, mature leaves, pests, the soil, root rot, repotting, and more. These factors can cause strain on the plant, leading to yellowing leaves and poor growth. Identifying the underlying issue and taking corrective action can help prevent or treat the problem. Chlorosis is a loss of the normal green color in plants usually caused by an iron deficiency or lack of light.

neon pothos turning yellow


Underwatering is the most common cause of yellowing leaves in neon pothos plants. When a plant does not receive enough water, it cannot absorb nutrients properly, leading to plant stress and yellowing of the leaves.

Underwatering can happen for various reasons, including forgetting to water the plant or needing to provide more water for the plant’s needs than originally thought. To determine if your neon pothos needs water, check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger into the soil. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water the plant. If the soil feels wet, water is not needed now. Recheck the soil in a few days.

To prevent underwatering, regularly water the plant and ensure the soil is evenly moist. Avoid letting the soil dry out completely or becoming too waterlogged. A good rule of thumb is to water the plant once the top inch of soil feels dry.

If your neon pothos has been underwatered, you may notice the leaves turning yellow, becoming brittle, or curling. Water the plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain away. Know that it may take the plant a few days for the plant to recover and produce healthy new growth.

Understanding the plant’s water needs and providing adequate moisture is essential. Consider using a moisture meter to help monitor the soil’s moisture level and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.


Overwatering is another common cause of yellowing leaves in neon pothos plants. Overwatering can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually drop off. When a plant is overwatered, the soil becomes too wet, leading to root rot, preventing the plant from absorbing water and nutrients properly.

If your neon pothos was overwatered, you might notice yellowing leaves, brown or black spots on the foliage, and wilting. Remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots to revive it. If the roots are mushy or dark in color, trim away any damaged roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

To prevent overwatering:

  1. Make sure the pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out and not get stuck in the pot.
  2. Check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger into the soil. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry. If it feels moist, wait a few more days before watering.
  3. Use a potting mix that includes perlite or pumice to improve drainage and prevent the soil from getting soggy. 

As you can see, watering is crucial to maintain healthy vibrant leaves. If you need help with knowing if your soil is too wet or dry and when to water, consider purchasing a moisture meter. 


Over-fertilization can cause yellow leaves in neon pothos plants. While regular fertilization is essential for the plant’s growth and development, too much fertilizer can cause soil salt buildup, leading to nutrient toxicity and stress on the plant.

When a pothos plant is overfertilized, you may notice yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or burnt leaf tips. Always follow the fertilizer’s package instructions to avoid adding too much fertilizer.

If you have noticed any of these symptoms and think you have given your neon pothos too much fertilizer, flush the soil to remove excess fertilizer salts by watering the plant thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes in the pot. Repeat this process a few times over the next few days to help flush out the soil.

Understanding the plant’s fertilization needs is essential to provide the plant with the right amount of nutrients and maintain a healthy, happy plant.

Nutrient Deficiency

Similar to over-fertilization, a nutrient deficiency in neon pothos can lead to yellow leaves. Nutrient deficiencies cause stress on the plant and lack the energy to produce vibrant leaves.

Common nutrient deficiencies in neon pothos plants include nitrogen, iron, zinc, and manganese. Nitrogen is essential for healthy growth and green leaves, while iron and manganese are necessary for photosynthesis. Without enough nutrients from fertilizer, the leaves can turn yellow or develop brown spots. Yellowing around the edge of the leaf is considered a magnesium deficiency. However, whole-leaf yellowing could result from zinc, iron, or manganese deficiencies.

It’s important to provide a balanced houseplant fertilizer with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium and ensure the plant receives enough light. If you think your neon pothos has a nutrient deficiency, use a balanced liquid fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients. It’s crucial to fertilize neon pothos to grow bright, vibrant neon leaves properly. Understanding the plant’s nutrient needs and providing adequate care can help keep your neon pothos healthy and vibrant.

Mature Leaves

Mature leaves on neon pothos plants can also turn yellow and drop off naturally as the plant grows and ages. Mature leaf yellowing is a normal part of the plant’s life cycle and is nothing to be concerned about.

The older leaves may become less efficient at photosynthesis as the plant grows, leading to yellowing and dropping off. This is especially true if the plant lacks light or nutrients.

Suppose your neon pothos is dropping a significant number of mature leaves. In that case, it may indicate an underlying issue, such as over or underwatering, nutrient deficiency, or pest infestation. Inspect the plant carefully and remove mature yellow leaves.


Pests affecting pothos plants include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests feed on the plant’s sap, which can cause yellowing leaves and stunted growth. Pests can also cause yellowing leaves in neon pothos plants.

Inspect the neon pothos plant regularly for pests. Look for webbing, white or cottony growths, or tiny insects, indicating pest problems. Always isolate plants with signs of pest infestation to prevent the spread of pests to your other plants while you treat the infested plant.

If you detect a pest infestation, treat the plant with insecticidal soap, following the instructions on the product label. Be sure to spray the plant thoroughly, including the tops of the leaves, undersides of the leaves, stems, and the soil. Repeat this weekly to eradicate the pests.

To prevent future pest infestations, practice good plant hygiene and avoid overcrowding your plants. Keep your plants healthy and robust with proper fertilization and care to help them resist pests and diseases. In summary, pests can cause yellowing leaves in neon pothos plants, and prevention is critical. Regular inspections, isolation of new plants, and prompt treatment of infestations can help keep your plants healthy and vibrant.


Soggy, mushy soil as well as dry soil is another reason neon pothos turns yellow. In some cases, the soil may be too dry or compacted, making it difficult for the plant to absorb water and nutrients properly. The soil may be too moist in other cases, leading to root rot or other fungal diseases.

When the soil is too dry, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow and become limp. The plant cannot absorb the necessary nutrients from the soil due to the lack of water. The soil should be moistened by watering the plant thoroughly and allowing the water to drain away without getting stuck in the pot.

When the soil is too wet, it can also cause the leaves to turn yellow and develop brown spots, because the roots become waterlogged and cannot absorb oxygen, leading to root rot and other fungal diseases. The soil should dry out slightly between waterings.

Always provide neon pothos with a well-draining soil mix, use a high-quality potting mix that contains perlite, pumice, or sand to improve drainage. This can help prevent issues with both overwatering and underwatering and keep your neon pothos plant healthy and vibrant.

Root Rot

Pythium root rot is a common cause of yellowing leaves in neon pothos plants. Root rot occurs when the plant roots are consistently exposed to too much moisture, leading to mushy, brown roots and an inability to absorb nutrients properly.

Signs of root rot include yellowing leaves, wilting, and a foul soil smell. If left untreated, root rot can lead to the death of the plant.

To cure and prevent root rot:

  1. If you suspect your neon pothos has root rot, remove it from the pot and inspect the roots.
  2. If the roots are mushy or dark in color, cut the damaged roots off. Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.
  3. Be sure the pot has drainage holes.
  4. Don’t let the plant sit in standing water. 

Root rot can cause yellowing leaves in neon pothos plants and is caused by overwatering or poorly draining soil. Prevention and treatment of root rot are key in keeping your plant healthy and vibrant. 

After Repotting

After repotting, it’s common for neon pothos plants to experience some stress, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow or drop off. Repotting can disturb the roots and cause the plant to go into shock.

After repotting with a well-draining potting medium:

  1. Water the plant thoroughly to help settle the soil around the roots.
  2. Avoid fertilizing the plant for a few weeks, as this can also cause stress.
  3. Place the plant in a location with bright, indirect light and keep it away from drafts or extreme temperatures.
  4. Be patient and give the plant time to get used to its new home.

In summary, neon pothos plants can experience stress and thus, yellowing leaves after repotting, but this is a normal part of the plant’s adjustment period. Be patient and be sure to give the plant proper care and monitor the plant for signs of stress.

How to Treat Neon Pothos Yellow Leaves

If you notice yellowing leaves on your neon pothos plant, there are a few steps you can take to treat the issue and promote healthy growth:

  1. Identify the cause: Yellowing leaves can be caused by various issues as mentioned above, including over or underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, pest infestations, or over-fertilization. Identifying the underlying cause of the problem is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment.
  2.  Adjust watering: If the issue concerns over or underwatering, adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged, and water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.
  3.  Fertilize appropriately: If the issue is related to nutrient deficiencies, fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions on the package for application rates.
  4.  Treat pests: If the issue is related to pest infestations, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticidal soap or oil.
  5. Well-draining soil: Give the neon pothos plant soil additivies such as perlite, pumice, and/or sand to let the soil and the roots breathe, avoiding root rot. 
  6.  Remove yellowing leaves: If the leaves are severely yellowed, it’s best to remove them to redirect the plant’s energy to healthy new growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to remove the affected leaves.

If you notice any changes in the plant’s growth or appearance, take action promptly to prevent the problem from becoming more severe.

Yellow Leaves Prevention

Preventing yellowing leaves in neon pothos plants involves providing proper care and monitoring the plant regularly. Here are some tips to help prevent yellowing leaves:

  1. Provide proper lighting: Neon pothos plants prefer bright, indirect light. Place the plant near a window with plenty of light or supplement it with artificial lighting. Never give it too much direct sunlight as this will burn the leaves.
  2. Water appropriately: Neon pothos plants prefer soil that is moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, and avoid overwatering or underwatering.
  3. Fertilize regularly: Fertilize the plant every two to three weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause nutrient toxicity.
  4. Provide well-draining soil: Use a high-quality potting mix that contains perlite, vermiculite, or sand to improve drainage. Avoid using heavy garden soil or clay soils, which can retain too much moisture.
  5. Monitor for pests: Inspect the plant regularly for signs of pests, such as webbing, white or cottony growths, or small insects. Isolate new plants for a few weeks to prevent the spread of pests to other plants.
  6. Remove dead or damaged leaves: Remove any dead or damaged leaves promptly to prevent the spread of disease and redirect the plant’s energy to healthy new growth.

By providing proper care and monitoring your neon pothos plant regularly, you can help prevent yellowing leaves and keep your plant healthy and vibrant.


Will the Yellow Leaves Ever Turn Neon Green Again?

Leaves on the neon pothos that have turned yellow will not turn green again. Therefore, prevention is key and you may trim them off once they have turned yellow.

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