How to Propagate Neon Pothos in Water: A Simple Guide

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Neon pothos, a vibrant and popular houseplant, is cherished for its bright leaves and easy-care nature. As a member of the pothos family, it thrives in a variety of indoor environments and is well-suited for those new to plant care. One of the most appealing aspects of neon pothos is its ability to be easily propagated in water, allowing you to grow new plants from cuttings while still enjoying the lush foliage of the original.

Propagating neon pothos in water is a simple process that involves taking a cutting from a healthy parent plant, removing any lower leaves, and placing it in water to allow for root development. This method allows you to monitor the progress of root growth, while ensuring proper moisture levels for optimal success. In this article, we will guide you through the steps necessary for successful water propagation of neon pothos, creating beautiful new plants that can be shared with friends, used to enhance your living space, or incorporated back into the original plant for a fuller appearance.

Why Propagate Neon Pothos in Water

Propagating neon pothos in water is an excellent choice for several reasons that can benefit both beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts. One primary advantage is that it requires minimal supplies and effort. All you need is a healthy plant, sterile scissors or gardening shears, tap water, and a small clear container such as a Mason jar or glass vial (source).

In addition to being a low-cost method, water propagation allows you to visually monitor the progress of the new roots. By placing the cuttings in a clear container, you can easily observe the growth and ensure that your neon pothos cuttings are developing roots properly. This real-time observation can help you spot issues early on and address them accordingly, increasing the success rate of your propagation.

Moreover, neon pothos has a fast rooting system when propagated in water, with roots often forming within 2-4 weeks (source). This quick growth makes water propagation an efficient method for expanding your collection or sharing your beloved pothos plants with friends and family.

Lastly, propagating in water is suited for individuals with various levels of gardening experience. The process is straightforward, involving only a few steps: selecting a healthy branch, cutting it, removing lower leaves, and placing it in water with at least one submerged node (source). As a result, both new and experienced gardeners can confidently propagate neon pothos with ease.

In summary, water propagation for neon pothos is budget-friendly, easy to supervise, efficient in producing new roots, and accessible to gardeners of different skill levels, making it a fantastic method for any plant lover to try.

Materials Needed

Choosing a Healthy Plant

To propagate neon pothos in water, start by selecting a healthy plant. Healthy plants have vibrant foliage, new growth, and no signs of wilting or diseases. Choose a branch with at least a few nodes, as these are where the roots will develop. A node is the small bump from which leaves emerge, and they are typically spaced a few inches apart along the stem.

Gathering Tools and Supplies

Once you have identified a healthy plant, gather the necessary tools and supplies. Here’s a list of items you will need:

  • Sharp scissors or pruning shears
  • A clean container or jar (preferably glass or transparent)
  • Freshwater
  • Optional: rooting hormone powder or gel

Cutting and Preparing the Stems

Using your sharp scissors or pruning shears, snip the selected branch at a 45-degree angle, just below a node. Remove any lower leaves to expose at least one, preferably two, nodes. If you’re using rooting hormone, dip the cut end of the stem into the hormone container to coat the nodes. This step can help speed up root formation, but it’s not essential, as neon pothos are self-rooting.

Propagating in Water

Fill the container or jar with freshwater, ensuring that the nodes are submerged. Place the prepared stems in water and position the container in indirect sunlight. Changing the water once a week and topping it off as necessary will ensure that your cuttings remain healthy.

In about 2-4 weeks, you should start to see roots forming on your neon pothos cuttings. After the roots have sufficiently developed, you can transplant your new pothos plants into a pot filled with well-draining soil.

Preparing the Cuttings

Selecting the Right Nodes

When propagating neon pothos in water, it’s important to start with healthy stem cuttings that have sufficient nodes. Nodes are the small bumps found along the stem of the pothos plant, where new roots and leaves can emerge. Choose cuttings that have at least 4-5 nodes each, as this will increase the chances of successful propagation. Make sure the cuttings come from an established plant that appears vigorous and healthy, as unhealthy plants may not root as easily.

Making the Cut

Before you make the cut, ensure your scissors or gardening shears are sterile to prevent the spread of any diseases or pathogens. It’s a good idea to wipe them down with rubbing alcohol before use. Next, identify the portion of the stem you’d like to cut, making sure that there is at least one leaf near the top and at least 2-3 nodes below that leaf.

When making the cut, do so at an angle, just below the last node on the cutting. Remove the bottom 2-3 leaves from each cutting, leaving only the top 1-2 leaves. This will help reduce nutrient demands during the propagation process, as the cuttings will primarily focus on developing roots.

After preparing the cuttings, place the cut ends in a glass of water, ensuring that the nodes and any aerial roots are submerged, but keeping the foliage above water. Place the glass in a room with bright, indirect light and maintain a warm-ish temperature. Change the water every few days to keep the cuttings healthy and prevent the growth of microbes.

By carefully selecting cuttings, making the right cuts, and providing proper care, you’ll be well on your way to successfully propagating neon pothos in water.

Propagation Process

Placing Cuttings in Water

To propagate neon pothos in water, first identify a healthy branch, ideally with new growth. Use sharp scissors to snip the branch, and then remove any lower leaves. Place your cutting in water with at least one, preferably two, nodes submerged underwater. Remember to:

  • Use a clear container, such as a glass or a jar
  • Ensure that the water covers the nodes and aerial roots
  • Change the water once a week and top off as necessary

Providing Adequate Light and Temperature

For optimal growth, place the container in a warm environment with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it may cause your cutting to scorch or lose its vibrant color. Elevated temperatures can also impact the success of your propagation, so aim for temperatures between 65-75°F.

Monitoring Root Development

Keep an eye on your neon pothos cuttings to monitor root development. Expect to see roots forming in about 2-4 weeks, although growth can vary between individual plants. Maintain the water level and cleanliness, and watch for new roots emerging from the submerged nodes.

Once the roots are about an inch long, you can transfer your neon pothos cuttings to a pot filled with well-draining potting mix. Provide proper care, including regular waterings, and your propagated neon pothos will thrive!

Transferring to Soil (Optional)

Preparing the Plant

After propagating your Neon Pothos in water and observing sufficient root growth, you might want to transfer it to soil for long-term growth. However, this step is optional as Pothos can thrive in water too. When you notice the roots have grown to about 2-4 inches, your cutting is ready to make the leap to a soil-based environment. Gently rinse the roots with room temperature water to remove any built-up nutrients or debris from the water propagation.

Planting in Soil

Before planting your Neon Pothos, gather a pot with drainage holes and a well-draining potting mix. Here is a step-by-step guide to transferring the cutting:

  1. Fill the pot about 2 inches deep with damp potting mix^[1^].
  2. Place the cutting on top of the soil layer, with its roots spread out.
  3. Gently hold the stem, ensuring it’s upright and secure.
  4. Fill the remaining space around the cutting with potting mix, lightly pressing it down but avoiding compression.
  5. Water the soil and let the excess water drain.

In the first few weeks after planting, pay extra attention to your Neon Pothos cutting. Keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy. To help create a greenhouse effect and maintain high humidity levels around the plant, you can gently place a plastic bag loosely over the pot.

As the plant establishes itself in the soil, you will start to see new growth. Gradually reduce the frequency of watering and allow the top layer of soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Soon, your Neon Pothos will adapt to its new environment and continue growing as an eye-catching addition to your indoor plant collection.

Caring for Newly Propagated Neon Pothos

Once you’ve successfully propagated your neon pothos in water, it’s essential to provide the proper care to ensure a healthy plant. This section will cover the key aspects of caring for your newly propagated neon pothos, including watering and fertilizing, as well as pruning and maintenance.

Watering and Fertilizing

When it comes to watering your neon pothos cutting, it’s crucial not to overwater. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before providing more water. Most neon pothos will thrive with a consistent watering schedule of once per week. Remember to adjust your watering habits according to seasonal changes, and always use well-draining soil to prevent root rot.

In addition to proper watering, your neon pothos will benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). In the fall and winter months, reduce fertilizing to once every two months. Adding nutrients will ensure that your young plant will grow strong and healthy.

Pruning and Maintenance

Regular pruning of your neon pothos will encourage bushier growth and prevent the plant from becoming leggy. To prune, simply remove any brown or yellow leaves at their junction with the stem. This will allow your plant to focus its energy on new, vibrant growth.

As your neon pothos matures, you may need to provide support for the trailing vines. Use methods such as a moss pole, trellis, or hooks installed along the pot’s edge to promote healthy growth. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests or disease, and take prompt action if necessary.

By following these care tips, your newly propagated neon pothos will flourish and become a vibrant addition to your indoor plant collection. With consistent care and attention, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful and thriving plant.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Root Rot

Root rot occurs when the roots of your neon pothos are submerged in water for extended periods, leading to a lack of oxygen and eventual decay. To prevent and treat root rot, ensure you change the water every 2-3 days, as fresh tap water contains dissolved oxygen essential for healthy root growth source. If you notice discolored or slimy roots, trim away the affected areas and place the cutting in fresh water.

Slow Root Growth

If your neon pothos cuttings are displaying slow root growth, consider adjusting the water temperature, light, and nutrients. Cuttings generally prefer to be in a warm environment, so keep them away from drafty windows and cold rooms. Place the cuttings in a location with bright, indirect light, as too much or too little light can hinder root development. Lastly, consider adding a small amount of water-soluble plant food to the water to provide additional nutrients and encourage quicker root growth.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves on a neon pothos can indicate various issues, such as overwatering, underwatering, or excessive light exposure. To address these issues, follow the steps below:

  • Check the soil’s moisture by testing the top 2 inches (around 5 cm) with your finger. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering.
  • If underwatering is the issue, water your neon pothos more frequently. Pay attention to the soil and water when the lower leaves begin to droop slightly.
  • Adjust the light exposure by ensuring your neon pothos receives bright, indirect light, as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing yellowing or browning source.

By addressing these common issues, your neon pothos will be on its way to healthy, vibrant growth.


In summary, propagating neon pothos in water is a simple and straightforward process that can be achieved by following a few essential steps. First and foremost, carefully select a healthy branch with new growth from an existing plant. Use a pair of sharp scissors to snip the branch just below a leaf node, ensuring the cutting is approximately 6 inches long and contains at least two leaves.

Next, prepare a small container filled with tap water and remove any lower leaves from the cutting. Place the cutting in the container, submerging at least two nodes underwater. Make it a habit to change the water once a week and top it off as necessary. In about 2-4 weeks, you should witness the formation of roots.

As the roots develop, it is crucial to maintain a healthy environment by keeping the water fresh and monitoring the growth progress. Once rooted, the neon pothos can be transferred to a pot filled with potting mix, making sure it has a drainage hole.

Undoubtedly, learning how to propagate neon pothos in water allows you to expand your plant collection and achieve that lush indoor garden aesthetic. Moreover, this method is budget-friendly, making it an excellent option for plant enthusiasts of all levels. Happy propagating!

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