How Are Neon Pothos and Golden Pothos Different?

Since these plants are closely related and share many of the same characteristics, it’s not difficult for an untrained person to mix golden pothos and neon pothos.

The pothos that are most well-known are well-known for their easy care with their heart-shaped leaves, as well as vine-like growth habits.

There are however some distinctions between golden pothos and neon pothos that need to be taken into consideration when taking care of the two.

Here’s how you can tell the different.

The main difference between neon and golden pothos lies in the fact that golden pothos has mid-green leaves that has golden yellow variegation, while neon pothos has neon-green leaves which appear transparent and have no variegation. In addition, golden pothos has longer yellow vines that can grow up to 40 feet indoors, while neon pothos ‘ green vines seldom exceed 10 foot in size.

Let’s now look at the details of the differences between the two kinds.

Differences Between Neon Pothos and Golden Pothos

[1] Differences in Leaf Appearance

Plants like golden pothos and neon pothos are cultivated specifically to show off their glossy, heart-shaped leaves. As they mature they turn irregular and lobed.

The similarities between the leaves do not end there, since the leaves vary in terms of color, the form of their tips, and the degree of variegation. Let’s look closer at this.

Leaf Shape: Like the golden variety of pothos. Neon pothos plants have heart-shaped leaves that changes in a unpredictable manner as they grow. The tips of the leaves of golden pothos are usually curving and pointed.

The color of the leaves and their variation: Neon Pothos leaves have vibrant chartreuse, yellow-green or acid green in hue. The younger, more tender leaves tend to be more vibrant than older leaves.

As time passes or if the plant doesn’t receive enough sunlight, the vibrant neon green leaves color can tend to darken, duller and more deep.

The neon pothos’ leaves lack visible variegation. However, some may be variegated with dark green striations that result from an inherited gene mutation.

Golden pothos leaves, on contrary, are medium-green in hue and are marbled with golden yellow variations. In brighter lighting the variation becomes more prominent.

Leaf Texture: The golden pothos leaves are glossy and thick, with a substantial or waxy feeling to the feel. The leaves of neon pothos are soft and softer to feel, even though they are shiny.

Since they emit a neon-like glow the neon pothos makes an ideal houseplant to brighten the dark corners of your home.

The golden pothos leaves tend to be bigger and can be as high as 3-4 inches and broad on average. They tend to be larger and more chunky than neon pothos leaves.

If it is planted outside the golden pothos may grow into a ferocious climbing vine, with every leaf stretching at least 24 inches.

neon pothos leaves on ground

[2] Vining Stems

Both golden and neon pothos have stems with vining which allow them to climb, creep or even trail along walls, trellises as well as other structures.

If planted indoors, golden pothos produces vines that grow quickly and can grow to 20-40 feet once they are fully grown.

On my part prefer to trim mine to a neater, less length. If you wish to have your golden pothos to develop into long vines, you can use hooks to make them follow the window frames and even along walls.

Neon pothos is a smaller variety of vines that can be up to 10 feet as indoor house plants. It is possible to trim the vines regularly to maintain the right size.

[3] Height and Structure

If it is it is grown in the open, golden pothos can attain a maximum height that is 40ft (12 metres) and spread to about the 26-foot mark (8 metres).

This is because the support available only restricts their size when they are outside and in nature. In the wild, leaves can get to 18-24 inches in length, and occasionally, even longer.

In the indoors it can reach a height of 6-8 inches, and then extend to a width of 13-40 feet. Vining stems can reach as long as 3 feet when hanging in baskets. This is why I like growing gold pothos inside hanging containers.

The design of the neon pothos plant is smaller and more compact. In indoors, the neon pothos plant can attain the maximal length of 10 feet. (about 3 meters) and the width is 3 feet. (about 1 millimeter).

The height of a neon pothos climbing vine outside is restricted by the support available. The Nodes and stems appear to be more flexible and thinner than golden pothos.

[4] Flowers

In the indoor environment, golden pothos seldom blooms. This is also true for golden pothos that are grown in containers or beds outside.

Golden pothos On the other hand blooms in flowering spikes that are enclosed by spathes that vary in color from creamy yellow to light green in the wild.

While neon pothos is not common in indoor cultivars, it’s more likely to bloom over golden pothos. The flowers typically appear in the spring or in the beginning of summer, with white to spathes of green.

[5] Light Requirements

Golden pothos is more tolerant against low light conditions, unlike neon lights, however, it eventually loses the distinctive golden yellow hue and change back to a solid green.

Both neon and golden pothos thrive in bright diffused, indirect or diffused light. However, they must be kept out of direct sunlight.

Neon pothos’s vibrant yellow-green hue is best seen in sunlight that is dappled.

[6] Growth Rate

Golden pothos is fast-growing and can reach 18 inches of length one month in the growing season. The neon pothos is growing at an average rate of twelve inches per month, on average.

[7] Soil Requirements

In terms of the cultivation medium for golden pothos, it doesn’t have to be selective. It can thrive in an ordinary growing medium so long as it’s moist and well-drained.

Neon pothos however prefers loamy, airy soil that drains well and is humid.

Similarities Between Neon Pothos and Golden Pothos

Growth Habit

Both varieties of pothos grow in a vining way. They are able to follow the windows or follow through trellises, walls, as well as other constructions.

Light Requirements

The golden pothos as well as neon pothos are calling for bright, indirect light. They don’t like excessive direct sunlight however.

Watering Requirements

Both pothos like well-drained soil, but it is susceptible to root rot when it is grown in a soggy or waterlogged medium. When you next want to water you should wait until 3 inches of soil are completely dry.

When I consider it, it’s unlikely to be much of a help in the resolution of the issue. This is why I’ve created an extensive table that highlights the main similarities and distinctions.

Why All the Confusion?

The family of plants Arum comprises golden pothos as well as neon pothos. They have heart-shaped green leaves and a vine-like growth habit and a preference for direct, bright light.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)