A Large Marble Queen Pothos in a Blue Ceramic Pot against a White Background.

THE POTHOS

18 Dazzling Varieties for Your Collection

Plus Easy Identification and Care Tips

A Large Marble Queen Pothos in a Blue Ceramic Pot against a White Background.

THE POTHOS

18 DAZZLING VARIETIES
for YOUR COLLECTION

Plus Easy Identification
and Care Tips

Pothos plants (Epipremnum aureum) are one of the easiest, among all the houseplant options out there, to care for. Highly tolerant of different soil conditions, light access, temperature and humidity, they’re virtually indestructible. 

Whenever I’m asked what beginner houseplant growers should start with, this is it! But that’s not to say you can just buy one, put it on a shelf and walk away from it. All living things need, at least, a little attention. Don’t we?

Another great feature of the resilient pothos is that there are so many different varieties. Beautiful heritage, hybrid and cultivar specimens that you can collect and propagate to increase that collection. Who doesn’t love free plants?

By the time you reach the bottom of this page, you’ll be familiar with all of them. In addition to how to care for them and the right conditions (very simple) under which they’ll brighten up your home for years and years. 

HOW I STARTED WITH POTHOS PLANTS

My introduction to the world of houseplants and their care was with a familiar variety, with a not-so-familiar name. The Epipremnum aureum or Pothos.

As I get older and my own plant collection gets bigger, I find myself reminiscing upon many a fond memory of my brother and me playing in our backyard. 

Pretending to dig up dinosaur bones in a muddy corner of the yard and climbing our giant avocado tree were two favorite activities.

As much of a fantasy world as that space was for us as kids, it wasn’t much of a garden. That was because my mom was a houseplant virtuoso, completely oblivious to my father’s complaints about living in a jungle.

The familiar home garden centers that we enjoy today didn’t yet exist at that time. Instead, I watched my mom delight in collecting different houseplants from whenever she came upon them. 

Sometimes, in the most interesting of places, looking back. Yard sales, school fundraisers, etc. New plant varieties were often collected from cuttings that my mom and her friends would trade.

WHERE DID THE POTHOS ORIGINATE?

This now prolific houseplant can be traced back to its native roots on the island of Moorea, a member of the societal French Polynesian islands. 

It was first dubbed pothos aureus in 1880, during its original categorization. But, properly naming the pothos was heavily debated due to the observation of a flower blooming from it in 1960. 

Epipremnum aureum was decided upon as its permanent Latin name, based on the plant’s overall leaf structure and growing behavior.

During the 19th century, as with many new discoveries, this plant was given many common names.

Possibly because biologists and horticulturalists simply didn’t have the fast and efficient means of sharing new information that we do today.

Researchers around the world gave this plant monikers such as Ceylon Creeper, Hunter’s Robe, Money Plant and Devil’s Ivy.

It’s interesting to see how world views of the time were reflected in the names given to new findings.

Since its first categorization, some 140 years ago, this specimen has made its way around the world to become the familiar house and office plant we know today.

MEDICINAL AND TOXIC PROPERTIES OF POTHOS PLANTS

I get a lot of questions about the potential hazards of these common houseplants. The answer is yes, they are toxic to both pets and people. 

But, there are also some interesting studies happening right now, researching the potential contribution pothos plants can possibly make to modern medicine. Let’s take a look at both sides of this issue. 

TOXICITY

Both the Ontario SPCA and the ASPCA have listed this plant as toxic to cats and dogs because of the presence of insoluble raphides

These cause crystallization in the tissue of the esophagus which may lead to choking and the inability to breathe. Great care should be taken to ensure that pets do not have access to them. 

We have ours in pots, hanging from the ceiling, well out of the reach of our pets. We think of it as pet-proofing our gardening habit. 

Due to the calcium oxalate within the plant, it can also be mildly toxic to humans. It would be wise to keep them out of reach of small children, as well.

MEDICINAL STUDIES

Some pothos varieties are cultivated for their dazzling foliage. Others for their food value. In the West, these varieties are more commonly known as ornamental plants. 

Appreciated for their air pollution removing capacity. Elements such as formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide are among these. By doing so, they also help to eliminate odors. 

Currently, these plants are being studied with a special focus on their potential ethnomedicinal and pharmacological uses that are beneficial to both humans and the environment. We certainly need more things in the world that can do that.

Recent studies have clearly demonstrated the medicinal properties of the pothos. For example, academia.edu cites quite a few that reveal this plant to have antibacterial, anti-termite and antioxidant properties, among others.

Research has suggested these plants are potentially anti-malarial, anti-cancerous, anti-tuberculosis, anti-arthritis and wound healing. Of course, these points of research are still in their early stages. 

This plant should NEVER be used for medicinal purposes without consulting a medical professional first.

POTHOS VARIETIES

The Epipremnum, through either cultivation or natural adaptation, has morphed into several different types. Color, pattern, leaf shape and growing behavior are what determine each type. 

Below is a full list of all the different types of Pothos available on the market, today. 

Because there is a lot of confusion out there on the interwebs as to which type is which, I’ve provided a brief description for each to help you identify each type based on the unique (and sometimes very similar) characteristics of each. 

Epipremnum Aureum 'Golden'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Golden'

GOLDEN

Average Mature Size: 5-10 ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: 12-18″ per month, in summer. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 50-250 foot candles (low to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: yellowing leaves and fungal/bacterial infections from overwatering. Wilting or drooping leaves from underwatering.

This luminous species plant is botanically regarded as the mother of all subsequent pothos cultivars and hybrids.

Yellow and gold streaks melt across each sun-kissed, green leaf, like melting butter.

The higher ratio of chlorophyll cells in the ‘Golden’ enable it to thrive in lower light, just as with the ‘Marble Queen’.

Although, in the shorter days of winter, variegation may temporarily fade. Making it look just like a ‘Jade’ pothos, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

Conversely, the more natural, indirect sunlight this variety is exposed to, the more prominent the gold marbling becomes.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Highly Variegated Golden'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Highly Variegated Golden'

HIGHLY VARIEGATED GOLDEN

Average Mature Size: 5-10 ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: 12-18″ per month, in summer. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 50-250 foot candles (low to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: yellowing leaves and fungal/bacterial infections from overwatering. Wilting or drooping leaves from underwatering.

Owners of standard ‘Golden’ varieties may actually see a new vine emerge with this higher level of variegation. This is actually how this new variety was born.

As a completely random mutation presenting the opposite leaf coloration from the mother plant. Green marbling on a yellow-green leaf, spectacular!

Given the lower ratio of photosynthesizing chlorophyll cells in this Pothos variation,  a higher level of indirect light will be required to support lush and healthy growth and consistent leaf variegation. 

In lower light, chlorophyll cells will rapidly multiply. Dimming the glow of its chartreuse leaves. And taking on a more similar appearance to a true ‘Golden’. 

Epipremnum Aureum 'Marble Queen'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Marble Queen'

MARBLE QUEEN

Average Mature Size: 5-10 ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: 18″ per month, in summer. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 50-250 foot candles (low to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: mealybugs, scale, fungus gnats, spider mites and root rot when incorrectly watered or fertilized.

This regal yet common variety is a direct descendant of the familiar ‘Golden’ pothos.

Also discovered as a random mutation on a ‘Golden’, the ‘Marble Queen’ presents varying shades of green mixed with pure white marbling, instead of gold, on each of its large, heart-shaped leaves.

This sinuous variegation ebbs and flows from stem tip to leaf tip, giving each one a unique appeal.

In consistently bright, indirect light, green chlorophyll cells can dissipate to the point of this variety resembling a ‘Snow Queen’ pothos.

The ‘Marble’, however, can be easily identified by its variegation patterns. Thick streaks of green move down the leaf from stem to tip vs the random pooling of green that covers the leaves of a ‘Snow Queen’.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Snow Queen'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Snow Queen'

SNOW QUEEN

Average Mature Size: 8-10 ft long x 3 ft wide with 4-6″ long leaves.

Growth Rate Potential: 12-15″ per month, in summer. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 200-300 foot candles (bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites and root rot when incorrectly watered or fertilized.

This gorgeous pothos is not as widely available as the ‘Marble Queen’ and is most likely a spontaneous mutation of it, with chlorophyll cells displaying visibly different patterns.

Far fewer chlorophyll cells result in soft sprays of verdant colour on some of the brightest ivory and white leaves on this list. Naturally earning this cultivar its name.  

A lack of green means that the ‘Snow Queen’ requires consistently brighter, filtered light than greener varieties and may need to be moved closer to a sunny window in winter.

In dark spaces, the production of chlorophyll cells will increase, causing this bright beauty to lose most of its white variegation.

However, intense, direct light should be avoided, as lighter leaves are more prone to burning.

Another difference between this variety and its predecessor is its mature length. While it has the potential to reach 10ft in length, it typically slows its growth at 6-8ft.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Jessenia'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Jessenia'

JESSENIA

Average Mature Size: 5-10 ft long x 3 ft wide., indoors (zones 1-9), 10-20 ft long, outdoors (zones 10 and 11).

Growth Rate Potential: 3-15″ per month, in summer. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 100-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites and root rot when incorrectly watered or fertilized.

As recently as 2014, this stunning cultivar was discovered as yet another mutation on a ‘Marble Queen’.

The newly dubbed ‘Jessenia’ introduced splashes of dark green on chartreuse leaves. With solid, pale, olive-green leaves spontaneously appearing throughout the plant. Very different from the strictly white-on-green marbling of its mother plant.

Despite gleaming in various greens, few chlorophyll cells remain to properly photosynthesize in low light. Growth is also slower, so bright, diffused light is a must for photosynthesis and overall health.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Jade'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Jade'

JADE

Average Mature Size: 10-20ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: 12″ per month, in summer. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 50-250 foot candles (low to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites can appear when over-fertilized. Over-watering can lead to root rot.

The dependable and versatile ‘Jade’ derives from a naturally occurring mutation on a ‘Golden’ pothos, bearing no variegation.

Glossy green leaves, brimming with chlorophyll cells, spiral around trailing vines. Creating a resilient plant that will thrive in almost any light, humidity and temperature level.

In bright, filtered light, however, the ‘Jade’ may reveal its relation to the ‘Golden’ with wisps of gold variegation, here and there. All these features make this cultivar a fantastic option for houseplant beginners.

While fine with low light, the ‘Jade’ does prefer brighter, filtered light to aid in healthy photosynthesis and fuel vigorous growth. This light doesn’t need to come from the sun, though.

The pothos will grow and flourish under fluorescent lights, as well. Such as those used in offices and other commercial spaces.

Its versatility lies not only in its ability to thrive just about anywhere. Its solid coloration serves as a lush and beautiful backdrop when mixed with other more variegated cultivars in the same pot.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Neon'

Image Credit: David J. Stang

Epipremnum Aureum 'Neon'

Image Credit: David J. Stang

NEON

Average Mature Size: 10 ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per month, in ideal conditions. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 150-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Brown tips or spots from intense sunlight. Wilting leaves from too little light.

A subtle disruption of chlorophyll production on a ‘Golden’ pothos was a stroke of luck for houseplant enthusiasts, giving us this luminous cultivar.

A thin layer of photosynthesizing cells results in chartreuse leaves, with deep midribs, that seem to glow in bright, filtered sunlight.

When using live plants as pops of color in your home’s decor, the ‘Neon’ gives you a unique option to play with. Especially in the dark days of winter!

This non-variegated variety offers the same combination planting benefits as the ‘Jade’ when mixed with a small ‘Hawaiian’, ‘Global Green’ or ‘Manjula’ pothos.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Variegated Neon'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Variegated Neon'

VARIEGATED NEON

Average Mature Size: 10 ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per month, in ideal conditions. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 150-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Brown tips or spots from intense sunlight. Wilting leaves from too little light.

If combination planting isn’t your thing, but you’re still dazzled by the ‘Neon’, this random mutation is for you!

Or if you have a ‘Neon and you see a tiny patch of dark green on some of the leaves, you just may have experienced this rare phenomenon. In lower light, chlorophyll cells can pool together creating dark green variegation along the edges or just on one half of the odd leaf.

These pieces can be snipped and propagated to create a brand-new plant! While able to photosynthesize a bit better, this variegated variety still needs bright, filtered light to remain healthy.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Neon Lemon Lime'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Neon Lemon Lime'

NEON ‘LEMON LIME’

Average Mature Size: 10 ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per month, in ideal conditions. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 150-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Brown tips or spots from intense sunlight. Wilting leaves from too little light.

The ‘Lemon Lime’ Neon takes the subtle variegation of the previous pothos to a whole new level. Presenting solid chartreuse, light green and dark green leaves throughout the plant, as each leaf exhibits different chlorophyll production rates.

This stunning, ever-changing plant couldn’t be easier to grow and also exhibits a faster growth rate than the lighter versions.

All three ‘Neon’ pothos variations are often mistaken for philodendrons. This is understandable as they look very similar.

However, the difference can be found in the width and thickness of their leaves, with philodendron leaves being thinner and more narrow.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Hawaiian'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Hawaiian'

HAWAIIAN

Average Mature Size: 6-10 ft long x 2-3 ft wide, with leaves up to 12″ long.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per month, in optimal conditions.

Light Requirements: 200-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Browning leaves from direct light exposure. Root rot and pest infestations from excessive watering and fertilizing.

There are two types of the ‘Hawaiian’ pothos variation. Each presents striations of green, white and gold in different patterns.

This smaller version displays more white areas (a lack of chlorophyll cells) than the larger one we’ll discuss next. Yet on both, variegation flows out from the center rib of each leaf.

Being a pothos, this plant is a great option for beginners while giving you a much more dynamic-looking plant to include in your home decor. It’s tolerant of a certain amount of neglect and is fast-growing.

However, just like other highly variegated pothos plants, this will need a higher level of indirect light for optimal growth and health.

More vigorous growth allows you the opportunity to propagate this lovely plant and new ones, for free! Or, you can simply stick re-rooted pieces back in the same pot to create a fuller look.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Giant Hawaiian'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Giant Hawaiian'

GIANT HAWAIIAN

Average Mature Size: 6-10 ft long x 2-3 ft wide, with leaves up to 12″ long.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per month, in optimal conditions.

Light Requirements: 200-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Browning leaves from direct light exposure. Root rot and pest infestations from excessive watering and fertilizing.

The largest leaves in this plant family can be found on the exotic, large Hawaiian pothos. This variety typically grows in the wild but, with great care, can be kept indoors or in outdoor gardens in temperate climates.

Similar to its smaller counterpart, grand leaves unfurl long and oval, adorned with sprays of white, green and gold that extend from a prominent center vein.

The most interesting feature of this sizeable pothos is its ability to fenestrate, in maturity. This means its leaves can create separations or holes, similar to a monstera deliciosa.

This creates less surface area and therefore less need for water and photosynthesis, which helps keep such a large plant healthy and thriving.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Pearls and Jade'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Pearls and Jade'

PEARLS and JADE

Average Mature Size: 6-10 ft long x 2-3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per year, in ideal conditions. Higher variegation = A slower growth rate.

Light Requirements: 200-300-foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Browning leaves from direct light exposure. Root rot and pest infestations from excessive watering and fertilizing.

This variety takes us to the other end of the size spectrum. The ‘Pearls and Jade’ present some of the smallest leaves of this genus.

This is commonly seen as just a larger version of the N’ Joy. Yet, this ‘Marble Queen’ mutation shows a higher concentration of chlorophyll on its leaves than its counterpart. 

This results in deeper green variegation with tiny flecks of green throughout the white areas. Aside from leaf size, these flecks are an easy way to tell an ‘N’Joy’ and a ‘Pearls and Jade’ apart.

Despite having an identical growing habit, the ‘Pearls and Jade’ is considered one of the smaller Pothos varieties, in general.

While it has the potential to grow quite long, its slow growth rate keeps it quite compact for several years.

Most of those we’ve seen have come to into existence as random mutations from existing varieties. However, this one was consciously developed by the University of Florida in 2009.

Epipremnum Aureum 'N'Joy'
Epipremnum Aureum 'N'Joy'

N’JOY

Average Mature Size: 4-10 ft long x 2-3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per year, in ideal conditions. Higher variegation = A slower growth rate.

Light Requirements: 200-300-foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Browning leaves from direct light exposure. Root rot and pest infestations from excessive watering and fertilizing.

Variegation on the N’Joy, as well as leaf size and texture, are noticeably different from other Pothos varieties.

Rather than streaks of colour, we see a distinct pooling of chlorophyll cells across each leaf, leaving other areas completely devoid of them, resulting in pure white coloration.

A stunning watercolor effect of light and dark green that moves out from the center of each white leaf results.

Because of how different it appears, it might seem that this was a deliberate creation. But, it was actually discovered as yet another random mutation on a Marble Queen pothos by the same Florida University horticulture department that developed the Pearls and Jade.

It’s just another example of how nature can decide on a whim to do something completely different.

Despite its sharply contrasting variegation, the N’Joy can be adapted to grow in low light, although it may begin to lose its variegation and become more leggy.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Glacier'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Glacier'

GLACIER

Average Mature Size: 6 ft long x 2-3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per year, in ideal conditions. Higher variegation = A slower growth rate.

Light Requirements: 200-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Browning leaves from direct light exposure. Root rot and pest infestations from excessive watering and fertilizing.

This uniquely variegated hybrid is one of the newest varieties to hit the scene, with nature using a different colour on her palette to create visually gorgeous pothos.

The combined characteristics of a ‘Pearls and Jade’ and a true ‘Marble Queen’ give us solid areas of crisp white, dark green and sage gray with those familiar, faint flecks of green-on-white that the ‘Pearls and Jade’ is known for.

At first glance, the Glacier could be easily mistaken for a ‘N’Joy ‘Pearls and Jade’, but those lovely ribbons of sage grey give it away.

Typical of highly variegated Pothos varieties, this requires brighter light to properly photosynthesize and thrive.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Global Green'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Global Green'

GLOBAL GREEN

Average Mature Size: 5-10 ft long x 2-3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12-15″ per year, in ideal conditions.

Light Requirements: 150-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites can appear when over-fertilized. Over-watering can lead to root rot.

Newer still is the exciting Global Green, presenting similar, pooling leaf patterns to the N’Joy. But, in unique dark and light shades of green with a slight puckering, textured effect. This makes sense given that this hybrid is a child of the N’Joy.

Due to its inherited genetic makeup, you may occasionally see faint streaks of cream appearing on its leaves in brighter light.

Don’t let the uncommon appearance of this hybrid put you off, though. It’s just as resilient and easy to care for as any other in this genus.

Thanks to these lovely shades of green, you’ll find the Global Green is a quick grower compared to more highly variegated varieties like the Harlequin or Manjula. 

Epipremnum Aureum 'Harlequin'

Image Credit: Dan Jones

Epipremnum Aureum 'Harlequin'

Image Credit: Dan Jones

HARLEQUIN

Average Mature Size: 6-10 ft long x 2-3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per year, in ideal conditions. Higher variegation = A slower growth rate.

Light Requirements: 200-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Brown tips or spots from intense sunlight. Wilting leaves from too little light.

This eye-catching variety offers strong, visual contrast between light and dark, just like a harlequin mask. Chlorophyll production is heaviest along clear lines, treading lightly into the white areas. Giving you a distinct and rare look in the Pothos genus.

Leaves are typically larger than average as well, making this a prized addition to any houseplant collection. No two are ever the same! However, certain patterns can cause mistaken identity.

Just as with the Glacier and N’Joy , the Harlequin and Majula varieties can look quite similar. But, when side by side, the difference can be seen in their coloration and variegation patterns.

Leaf patterns on the Harlequin span from light splashes and large splotches to pure color on each leaf half and coloration is limited to shades of green and white.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Manjula'

MANJULA

Average Mature Size: 6ft long x 2 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 12″ per year, in ideal conditions. Higher variegation = A slower growth rate.

Light Requirements: 200-300 foot candles (medium to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Browning leaves from direct light exposure. Root rot and pest infestations from excessive watering and fertilizing.

On this rare specimen, colors seem to blend into each other as they flow out from the stem. Displaying a multitude of green yellow and cream hues. Random patterns give the gorgeous appearance of being hand-painted. 

Like the Harlequin, the Manjula also has larger leaves than more common varieties which seem to ebb and flow in colour and pattern as the available light changes from season to season.

Longer days of bright, indirect light trigger a slowing of chlorophyll cell production, which results in more complex leaf variegation.

Shorter days and lower light cause the reverse. Leaves regress toward solid green, with fewer colour variations.

With much of the plant’s energy going toward putting on the brilliant show, the Manjula presents a slower growth rate than other cultivars, reaching only 6ft at maturity.

Epipremnum Aureum 'Silver Satin'
Epipremnum Aureum 'Silver Satin'

SILVER/SATIN

Average Mature Size: 4-10 ft long x 3 ft wide.

Growth Rate Potential: Up to 10-15″ per month, in ideal conditions. 1/2-3″ per month, in winter.

Light Requirements: 50-250 foot candles (low to bright, filtered light).

Common Problems: Mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites can appear when over-fertilized. Over-watering can lead to root rot.

Have you ever noticed how different this cultivar looks from other Pothos types? Yes, it has heart-shaped leaves and a long, vining growth habit.

But, its soft, downy foliage and silver, speckled variegation on a dusty green background reveal that this is actually a Scindapsus Pictum (one of 20 different varieties) and not an Epipremnum aureum or a Philodendron, as you may have seen it referred to as.

Why is it on this list? Because it’s been mistaken for a Pothos for so long (over 100 years!) that it’s become an honorary member of the family.

Being of a different plant genus, the Scindapsus Pictum has slightly different care requirements. If you’re thinking of adding this to your houseplant collection, read our Scindapsus varieties and care page.

GROWING HABITS of POTHOS PLANTS

In its natural habitat, the E. aureum can often grow to 20m/65ft tall, with stems measuring a staggering 4cm/1.5in across! 

Similar to orchids, their roots can grow quite happily without soil, latching onto trunks and branches of trees, in a more tropical climate.

You don’t need to live in the rain forests of South America to grow your leafy beauties outside, though. Those of you lucky enough to live in hardiness zone 12 can add these to your gardens.

Under very specific conditions, these lovely plants may even flower. The blooms are produced in an elegant swath, which can extend up to 23cm/9in long. 

Domestic houseplants are less likely to flower, perhaps due to environmental factors. The leaves on these trailing stems grow up to 10cm/4in long, along tendrils that can reach down 91cm/36in or more.

POTHOS CARE GUIDE

A Small Pothos in a Blue Ceramic Pot Sitting in a Bright, Sunny Window
A Small Pothos in a Blue Ceramic Pot Sitting in a Bright, Sunny Window

LIGHT

All pothos varieties will thrive and grow faster in bright, filtered light. Those with more green can photosynthesize much better in lower light than highly variegated types. Making them perfect for spaces with artificial light or north or east-facing windows.

Growth on variegated types will slow and patterns may fade a bit. But, they’ll remain vibrant and healthy.

Highly variegated types have fewer chlorophyll cells and therefore need consistently bright, diffused light to maintain healthy growth.

Direct sunlight, for prolonged periods, should be avoided with all pothos varieties. This will scorch the leaves and cause rapid plant dehydration.

A Person Misting a Pothos Plant with a Small, Glass Hand Mister
A Person Misting a Pothos Plant with a Small, Glass Hand Mister

TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY

While tolerant of dry, cool environments. An indoor temperature of 18°-29°C (65°-85°F) with 40%-60% humidity is ideal and will stimulate lush growth and an increased resistance to pests and disease.

Misting can increase humidity around your pothos and keep leaves from browning when your HVAC system is running continually.

The Scindapsus on the other hand needs no misting. Its downey leaves can capture moisture from the air to keep itself hydrated. This being said, it’s best to keep it away from heater vents in winter.

If your Pothos leaves begin to yellow after misting, this is your plant’s way of telling you that it’s doing fine and doesn’t need to be misted.

A Person Watering a Pothos with a White Watering Can
A Person Watering a Pothos with a White Watering Can

WATER

Epipremnums are also tolerant of inconsistent watering, making them fantastic houseplant choices for busy people.

As a rule of thumb, wait to water until the soil is 75% dry. This will typically happen more frequently in summer and less in winter, depending on how often your HVAC is running.

This timeframe is critical to the long-term health and longevity of your plants. Overwatering could result in root rot and plant failure. Underwatering will slow or even stop photosynthesis and the circulation of moisture and nutrients throughout the plant.

A Person Repotting a Small Pothos Cutting
A Person Repotting a Small Pothos Cutting

SOIL

Pothos aren’t overly sensitive to soil quality. However, there are a few important factors to consider.

Sufficient drainage is a key feature of quality soil. If your soil contains too much clay or other thick material, water will remain around the roots for too long and cause the roots to rot, killing your plant.

Houseplant soil must be loamy and airy. This will allow roots to “breathe”. Perlite, vermiculite and small bark chips serve this purpose.

Yet, it must also have just enough density to retain water long enough for the roots to absorb it.

A Person Scattering Fertilizer Pellets around the Base of a Pothos Plant
A Person Scattering Fertilizer Pellets around the Base of a Pothos Plant

FERTILIZER

Fertile soil supports lush growth and vitality in all Pothos varieties. While other plants need more of one macronutrient over another, this one prefers equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As well as a healthy dose of micronutrients and trace elements.

A 10-10-10 NPK provides a balanced ratio in gentle proportions that reduces the risk of over-fertilization and all of ts detrimental affects.

Slow-release options, like spikes and granules, will supply nutrients, long term. While liquids offer faster absorption for quick uptake.

The soil around potted plants tends to lose its nutrients over time as plants absorb them, so they must be replenished according to the manufacturer’s instructions on your chosen fertilizer.

A Giant Hawaiian Pothos Climbing a Moss Pole
A Giant Hawaiian Pothos Climbing a Moss Pole

PLANT SUPPORT

Pothos are often seen cascading down from shelves and hanging pots. However, research has shown this may put undue strain on vines that hang beyond 3ft.

In nature, pothos can be found climbing up tree trunks and winding around branches, as they grow toward the light. In your home, this can be mimicked with the use of moss poles and trellises. Stems can be gently secured with soft ties or floral wire.

HOW TO PROPAGATE POTHOS PLANTS

When Pothos are in their rapid growth stage, their signature, leaf-lined tendrils can grow quite long. 

This is the perfect opportunity to snip some healthy stems for Pothos cuttings, without affecting the overall health and lush appearance of the plant itself.

Each cutting should have four or more leaves on it, to ensure its strength and vitality as it develops roots. Remove the leaf that is closest to the cut end. If not, it will become a haven for algae and bacteria to grow when submerged in water. 

Propagated Pothos Cuttings in Small Glass Jars
Propagated Pothos Cuttings in Small Glass Jars

Place the stems in a small glass vase or drinking glass filled with clean, distilled water and place them in a sunny window.

With the combination of clean water, light and heat (intensified by the glass window pane and the glass container), roots should begin to grow from the small brown nodes present along each stem. 

Pothos cuttings can also be propagated by introducing a rooting agent and then placing them in well-drained potting soil. 

However, since Pothos plants grow so happily devoid of soil in the wild, I prefer to root them in a plain glass of water without any rooting agents. I simply haven’t found it to be necessary, in this case.

POTHOS COMBINATION PLANTING

If you have the opportunity to root stems from different varieties of pothos, why not go wild and put them together as a combination planting? 

I like to mix them with other houseplant varieties such as Tradescantia zebrina for contrasting colour and pattern.

Part of the enjoyment of gardening is the understanding of it, from many aspects, through education. This journey through the world of pothos plants fascinates me. I’m delighted to be able to share that fascination with you. 

18 DAZZLING POTHOS VARIETIES FAQ

What is the rarest pothos?

To date, the most rare and therefore most expensive Pothos variety on the market is the Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Skeleton Key’. So named for its unusual leaf shape that resembles a key in the shape of a skull, this carefully developed hybrid was first presented in the early 2010’s.

What is the fastest-growing pothos variety?

As a natural species plant and the mother of all other varieties, the Golden Pothos can grow 12 -18 ” per month in ideal conditions. In tropical, fertile environments, leaves can reach 18 -39″ in length and width and reach 20-30′ at maturity.


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A Person working at their Potting Bench, Learning about Different Houseplants on their Cell Phone and Taking Notes on Paper
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