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Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a species of tropical vines that is known for being the perfect houseplant for beginners but still loved by plant owners at all levels. If you’re looking for an easy-growing indoor climbing plant, pothos is generally first on the list. In this post, I’ll review different pothos varieties, general pothos care requirements, and answer other questions about this species.
Below is a list of popular pothos varieties with brief descriptions of their foliage. These are not all actually Epipremnum aureum, but they are all plants that are commonly referred to as pothos.
Click the links to see where you can purchase each plant from some of my favorite Etsy sellers!
- Marble Queen Pothos – Known for its heavily variegated leaves that look like speckles of cream, light green, and dark green. The variegation is overall even and it typically doesn’t have any pieces of solid coloration.
- Snow Queen Pothos – Very similar looking to the marble queen, and the two are often confused. But, the snow queen has more white, with less green variegation. It kind of looks like it has a base color of white.
- Neon Pothos – This one is sought after for its unique chartreuse color (although I sometimes refer to the color in less fancy terms: highlighter green). It doesn’t have any variegation.
- N’Joy Pothos – The N’Joy has leaves that are on the smaller side. It has green and white variegation in what seems like random sections. One section of color typically stops before another section starts, unlike the marble queen and some other varieties that are totally speckled throughout. Also, the edges are typically more white.
- Pearls and Jade – This one looks a little like a combo of the N’Joy and the marble queen. It has the distinct white and green variegation in random sections with what looks like speckled variegation layered over top.
- Glacier Pothos – OK here’s when things start to get confusing. This variety is not very common but it looks VERY similar looking to N’Joy, and somewhat similar to the pearls and jade but with no speckling. Glacier pothos generally has some silver/grey color mixed in with its variegation.
- Disclaimer: There were not many available on Etsy because this variety isn’t common. At the time I write this the Etsy listing I linked to says it might also be an N’Joy. Judging from the photos, it looks like it could be a glacier, but I can’t say for sure.
- Manjula Pothos – This one is sometimes confused with the marble queen. The manjula is heavily variegated with speckles, but it also has some areas of more solid green color, whereas the marble queen is variegated on the entire leaf. It also tends to have more solid green around the edges of the leaf.
- Note: I realize the variegation sounds like it’s similar to the pearls and jade, but manjula’s variegation looks more like brush strokes with some speckling mixed in as opposed to random sections of variegation with some speckling. The leaf shape is also different, with the manjula having larger leaves.
- Cebu Blue Pothos – The Cebu blue is probably the one plant on this list that you won’t confuse with any others. It has long, thin leaves with a silvery, blueish hue that almost seems to shimmer in the right light. It is actually Epipremnum pinnatum, not Epipremnum aureum.
- Golden Pothos – The golden pothos has bright green leaves (bright green, but not like the neon pothos or anything) with yellow variegation. This is your standard pothos, your classic pothos, whatever you prefer to call it—it’s what you think of when you think of a pothos, and it can be found in any big-box store.
- Satin Pothos – This one is not technically a pothos. It is actually Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus.’ It is known for its deep green, shimmery leaves with dotted silver variegation. A few other popular Scindapsus pictus varieties that are commonly referred to as pothos include Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica,’ Scindapsus pictus ‘Silver Satin,’ Scindapsus pictus ‘Silvery Ann,’ and Scindapsus pictus ‘Trebi.’
- Jade Pothos – That’s right, there’s a pearls and jade pothos, and there’s also a jade pothos. The two look totally different, though. The jade pothos is of a deeper green color. It may have a little bit of variegation, but not much.
- Hawaiian Pothos – This one looks very similar to golden pothos but has more intense yellow variegation and usually has larger leaves. I have also heard that Hawaiian and golden pothos are actually the same exact plant, but Hawaiian pothos has been grown in optimal conditions to make them bigger with brighter variegation. If I’m able to find a conclusive answer to this, I’ll update this part.
- Jessenia Pothos – This harder-to-find variety is also similar to the speckled variegation of the marble queen, but more lime green and standard green in its variegation, and the contrast of the different colors isn’t as stark.
- Note: I was not able to find a Jessenia for sale, but I’ll be sure to add a link if I do!
Pothos is also known as “Devil’s Ivy” because of its near inability to be killed. Although they are difficult to kill, below are the general pothos care requirements that will keep your plant happy (note that each pothos has its own quirks, but these bullet points cover most pothos varieties):
- Light – Medium to bright, indirect light. They can survive in low light but will not thrive. They need brighter light to maintain their variegation. Do not place them in direct light.
- Water – Water them when the top inch or so of the potting mix is dry. Be sure to feel the potting mix with your finger first to determine the moisture level.
- Humidity – Will thrive in higher humidity but will be just fine in normal household humidity.
- Potting Mix – A well-draining indoor plant potting mix will work fine.
- Fertilizing – Use a general houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season. However, this plant grows so easily you might find that it does just fine without fertilizer.
- Repotting – Repot your plant when it’s outgrown its pot. You don’t want it to get too rootbound. If the roots are coming out of the drainage holes, or if it has stunted growth and looks unhappy, then it’s most likely rootbound. You can also check if the roots are bound by slipping the plant out of the pot and checking if they are heavily coiled around the outside of the soil. When repotting, use a pot the next size up with good drainage.
- Climbing and Support – Most pothos like to climb using their aerial roots. Giving them something to climb, such as a moss pole, will help them grow to their full potential.
- Pruning – Use clean scissors to prune above a node to remove any leggy stems, control your plant’s size, and encourage new growth. Also, remove any dying leaves when they can be plucked away.
Pothos Questions Answered
How many pothos varieties are there?
According to Kew’s World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP), there are 47 entries for Epipremnum. However, I was not able to find exactly how many plants exist that are referred to as “pothos,” since not all plants referred to as pothos are actually Epipremnum (like Scindapsus). I believe my list above is pretty comprehensive in terms of popular varieties, but I am probably missing some.
How do I identify pothos?
Generally, the question here is: philodendron vs. pothos?
There are a few differences between the pothos and heartleaf philodendron, but the easiest ways to tell the difference are:
- Pothos typically have more variegation
- Pothos leaves are waxier and shinier and have somewhat of a bumpy texture
- Philodendron leaves are shaped more like a heart and have more pointed tips
- Philodendrons are usually darker green
- Philodendrons typically do better in low light, although most pothos can still survive in low light but won’t thrive
Which pothos grows fastest?
Variegated pothos varieties generally grow slower because the lighter—or totally white—sections of variegation have less chlorophyll. So, a solid deep green pothos with no variegation would likely grow faster than a variegated or even just a lighter colored pothos.
It is hard to pinpoint an exact variety that is THE fastest because most pothos are pretty decent growers under the right growing conditions.
Can you plant different varieties of pothos together?
You can definitely plant different varieties of pothos together—as long as they have the same general care requirements, which most do. That would make for a cool planter display!
Pothos are incredibly easy to propagate, perhaps the easiest plants out there! You can find more detailed propagation instructions in my blog posts on the specific pothos varieties, which I’ve linked to at the bottom of this post, but here are the basics of pothos propagation:
- Use clean scissors to cut off a piece of a vine with a few healthy leaves. Make your cut just below a node, meaning, the node will be included on the cutting.
- Stick the cutting into a jar of water or a container of moistened potting mix. Make sure at least one node is under the water or buried in the potting mix. There shouldn’t be any leaves that are underwater or buried.
- Place the cutting in bright, indirect light. Refill or replace the water as needed, or keep the potting mix moist, but not wet.
- After some time, usually a few weeks, your cutting should have roots that are a few inches long. You can then pot it up if you had the cutting in water, or just leave the cutting in its container, and then start treating your cutting like a normal plant!
More Pothos Posts
I don’t have blog posts on all of the pothos varieties I listed in this post (yet!) but I will link to them here as I write more.