13 Different Types of Pothos | Low Maintenance Houseplants

As one of the most commonly grown houseplants, the Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is anything but basic.

First emerging on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia, this low-maintenance climber has become a global delight and has parented many distinct cultivars. Both naturally occurring and human-assisted.

Also known as devil’s ivy or Ceylon creeper, Pothos plants are impressively resilient and are recommended as the best option for beginners to grow.

In this article, we’ll discuss 13 beautifully different types of Pothos, how to tell them apart and how to keep them thriving throughout the year.

Low Maintenance Types of Pothos

Each unique cultivar presents eye-catching colour and pattern variations that reveal their variety. Yet, they’re all conveniently low-maintenance. If you don’t have a Pothos in your houseplant collection then you’re definitely missing out on some of the most rewarding varieties of houseplants.

Baltic Blue Pothos

Baltic Blue Pothos 

The rare Baltic Blue is one of the newest cultivars on the market. Developed as an offshoot of the Cebu Blue (Epipremnum pinnatum), this cultivar presents long, slender leaves that reveal fenestrations, similar to a Monstera, as it matures. Lanceolate leaves have a hint of blue that becomes more pronounced in winter.

Baltic blue vines can reach 12ft in length quite fast, becoming a botanical centrepiece in rooms with bright, indirect light.

Plant Care

Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause leaves to burn, fade and drop. This also causes an unhealthy rate of moisture evaporation.

Water Baltic Blues when the top 2” of soil is dry, then allow it to properly drain. This variety is sensitive to overwatering. A nutrient-rich, gritty potting soil will also help to prevent this.

A median room temperature of 65°F to 85°F (18°C to 29°C) with 50% – 60% humidity is preferred.

Problems

Not typically attractive to pests or disease, you may see a few spider mites or mealy bugs on this cultivar, if brought in by another plant.

The most common issues with this are yellowing leaves and root rot caused by overwatering. This is also toxic to dogs, cats and small children if ingested.

Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos

The Golden Pothos is considered to be the original from which all others stem. Gold and pale yellow marbling move from stem to tip, through each vibrant heart-shaped leaf.

In the wild, long, winding stems, gleaming with gold, extend out 40ft. In homes, these climbing appendages can still reach 10-15ft in length. 

Plant Care

The Golden thrives in bright, filtered light, which creates more defined colour variegation. These still growing nicely, though, under artificial lights or in homes with few windows.

Water this cultivar weekly in warmer months and bi-weekly, in cooler ones. Allowing the soil to dry out in between.

Pothos plants are fairly tolerant of most indoor environments. However, larger and more robust growth occurs in temperatures between 70°F and 90°F (21°C and 32°C).

The ideal potting soil will have small wood chips and either perlite or vermiculite, allowing for sufficient moisture retention while allowing the rest to properly drain.

Problems

If the rare mealy bug or mite appears, remove those leaves with brown spots and yellow edges and wipe the surrounding ones with a tiny amount of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. 

If any part of this plant is ingested, calcium oxalate crystals can cause swelling of the lips, mouth tongue and oesophagus.

Glacier Pothos

Glacier Pothos

There is currently no patent on this gorgeous Pothos strain. So, chances are that its colour variations stemmed from an entirely natural adaptation. 

Visually, the Glacier is very similar to a N’Joy and is often mistaken for one. The tell-tale features, however, are the ribbons of sage grey that run alongside those of dark and light green, against a stippled, white backdrop.

Plant Care

This unique colour combination possesses fewer chlorophyll cells and thus will appear more detailed in bright, indirect sunlight. Too much light and leaves will quickly yellow. In low light, it will look just like a N’Joy.

Water should be offered when the top 2” of soil is dry. You’ll know it’s had enough when the water drains freely from the bottom. To facilitate this, only loose, loamy potting soil should be used.

Glacier pothos plants thrive in indoor temperatures between 60°F and 90°F (15°C and 32°C) with at least 50% humidity.

Problems

Pest and disease issues are rare but will happen if the Glacier is left to dry out too long or if the soil is consistently soggy.

Glaciers can be toxic to children and small pets, causing severe allergic reactions to the calcium oxalate crystals within.

Global Green Pothos

Global Green Pothos

The Global Green Pothos is one of few true hybrids (vs cultivars) in this genus. Based on its patterning, you can see a close resemblance to the N’Joy. With a lighter shade of green replacing the familiar white of its parent plant, its unmistakable, heart-shaped leaves mark this newcomer as a welcome member of the Pothos family.

Plant Care

Utilizing its prominent, aerial roots, the Global green will vine its way out (or up a moss pole) 10ft or more when positioned in bright, filtered light. Efficient photosynthesis, through consistent light exposure, also encourages faster growth and more interesting variegation.

Loamy, nutrient-rich soil will promote lush and vigorous growth, as well an ambient temperature range of 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 26°C).

Water well, until fully drained. Repeat every week in summer and bi-weekly during winter dormancy.

Problems

To avoid fungal infection, pests or foliage burn, keep your Global Green out of intense, direct sunlight and allow the soil to dry out a bit, before watering again.

Unfortunately, this plant’s toxicity can not be “cultivated out”. Consumption of any part of this plant may result in nausea, severe GI tract issues and breathing difficulty.

Harlequin Pothos

Harlequin Pothos

Next to the Manjula, I find the Harlequin pothos to be the most visually interesting of the bunch. Gorgeous! No two pictures of the Harlequin ever look the same. So, how do you identify it?

Just like the Glacier and N’Joy cultivars, the Harlequin and Majula varieties are often mistaken for each other. The difference lies in both colouration and variegation.

Harlequin Potho’s patterns range from light splashes to large splotches to strictly half and half. However, these markings are all in the same dark green and crisp white. 

Plant Care

This rare cultivar is surprisingly easy to care for, except for the amount of light it needs. The Harlequin has fewer chlorophyll cells, so bright, indirect light is essential. Yet, the white areas are more prone to burn. Keeping it out of direct light is critical to foliage health.

A loamy, nutrient-rich potting mix should always be used for this Pothos. Water only when the soil is dry 3” down and try to maintain an indoor temperature between 50°F – 77°F (10°C – 25°C).

Problems

Despite its rarity, this is an easy-going plant that seldom sees pests or diseases. But, it can be toxic, if ingested by small animals or children.

Jessenia Pothos

Jessenia Pothos

The Jessenia is an offshoot of the Marble Queen and while these two have similar patterning, the difference lies in their colouration. The Jessenia presents splashes of dark green against a light green background. While the Marble Queen displays white and dark green marbling.

Outdoors, Jessenia vines can sprawl out 30ft. Indoors, they’ll grow slower and will typically reach 10ft, at maturity.

Plant Care

Bright, diffused light allows this cultivar to maintain its interesting variegation. Yet, will grow just as happily in low or artificial light.

It’s easy to tell if your Jessenia is getting too much light. Areas of light green will fade to yellow, as chlorophyll cells dry and fade. 

Water these weekly in warmer months and bi-weekly in cooler ones. This will ensure sufficient hydration without risking root rot, from over-watering. As well as a loose, well-draining soil mix containing aerating materials, like vermiculite and small wood chips.

Jessenia leaves will begin to curl and wilt in cold rooms. Indoor temps between 75°F and 90°F will support continued growth, even through winter dormancy.

Problems

With proper care, this low-maintenance plant rarely sees mealy bugs or spider mites. However, it can be moderately to severely toxic to small children and pets, if ingested.

Manjula Pothos

Manjula Pothos

The Manjula is considered the most beautiful of all pothos varieties. A kaleidoscope of variegation changes from simple speckles to undulating streams of dark and light green, cream and white. 

These seemingly complicated changes are simply the plant’s reaction to changes in its environment.

Exposure to bright, indirect light triggers the greening of chlorophyll cells for photosynthesis, which results in more complex variegation. Low light causes a “reverting” effect, which sees leaves regress back toward solid green, with few variations.

The Manjula has a slower growth rate than other cultivars, reaching only 6ft, at maturity. Yet, it has significantly larger, heart-shaped leaves than more common varieties.

Plant Care

Tolerant of different light levels, the Manjula grows best in a sunny window with diffused light. Well-draining potting soil will protect against root rot. As well consistent watering, when the soil is dry down 2-3”, depending on the size of the pot.

Typical of Pothos plants, the Manjula thrives in temperatures from 60°F to 80°F (16°C to 27°C) with roughly 50% humidity.

Problems

This cultivar contains calcium oxalate crystals which can cause mouth and skin irritation when in contact with its sap. Oesophagal swelling and difficulty breathing may result in humans if ingested.

Marble Queen Pothos

Marble Queen Pothos

The Marble Queen is a stunning Pothos cultivar and a direct offspring of the Golden Pothos. The lack of a patent suggests that at some point, leaves of the Golden spontaneously sprouted with white variegation, instead of gold. Nature just decided to do something a little different, that day.

Variegation on the Marble is invariably similar to the Snow Queen Pothos. With light green stippling on a white leaf. However, Marble pothos plants can be distinguished by leaves presenting far more green than white. 

This is a particularly fast growing indoor plant and in ideal conditions this cultivar has a lightning-fast growth rate of up to 18” per month! Its growth habit tends to focus more on bushy growth within the pot, rather than vining.

Plant Care

This Queen likes to have her soil dry out a bit, in between waterings. Weekly or bi-weekly watering is best to prevent root rot and potential pest infestation.

Rich, loamy potting soil will also contribute, by allowing excess water to sufficiently drain out.

This cultivar, like others, thrives in both bright and diffused or low light. Too much light exposure will see leaves browning, burning and wilting, when temperatures exceed their maximum 85°F (29°C) preference.

Neon Pothos

Neon Pothos

The Neon Pothos is a dazzler for obvious reasons. Its allure comes not from interesting variegation, but from its unique colour.

Heart-shaped leaves, with distinct veining, shine a brilliant chartreuse or a glowing yellow. Making this a fun houseplant to incorporate into your home’s design.

The luminosity of this unusual foliage is naturally dictated by the amount of sunlight it receives, preferring gentle sunlight from a north or east-facing window.

Plant Care

This plant will indicate to you its need for more light by minimizing the size of new leaves and fading in colour. Too much and leaves will become limp and pale yellow.

An indoor temperature range of 65°F – 85°F (18°C-29°C) will ensure minimal moisture evaporation. Water the Neon when it’s loamy, well-draining soil is dry down 2”.

These care aspects will fuel a growth rate of 12” per month, to a mature length of 10ft.

Problems

The Neon is generally not susceptible to pests or disease. But, the occasional bug or bit of black spot is still possible, if neglected.

Keep the Neon up and away from small children and pets, as this cultivar can cause a burning sensation and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue and throat.

N-Joy Pothos

N-Joy Pothos

This beautiful houseplant was born in 2002, as an organic mutation on a Marble Queen. Which is interesting, given its variegation patterns are so different.

Comparing this with the Glacier, it’s clear why the two often get confused. But, the N’Joy has markedly smaller leaves with a prominent, wrinkled texture versus the larger leaves of a Glacier and, of course, it’s grey colouration.

Its petite appearance notwithstanding, the N’Joy Pothos can extend out 50ft or more. In your home, though, it will usually stop at 10ft. 

Plant Care

Like other cultivars, this prefers lots of filtered light. But, too much and the leaves will burn. Too little will result in faded variegation and stunted growth. 

The N’Joy likes frequent watering, preferably when the soil is dry down 1”. Ambient temperatures should remain above 55°F (13°C). Otherwise, plant cells will begin to shut down and your plant will wilt.

An aroid soil mix is best for all Pothos varieties, combining equal parts of fresh topsoil, perlite and moss. These will ensure proper moisture retention and drainage.

Problems

When left unattended, the N’Joy may be susceptible to pests and disease. It’s also recommended to keep this away from small children and pets, due to its toxicity.

Pearls and Jade Pothos

Pearls and Jade Pothos

I like to think of this Pothos cultivar as the N’Joy’s big sister. This makes sense, as the Pearls and Jade is yet another adaptation of the Marble Queen. With similar variegation, the only difference is the distinct, green spotting on the white parts of each leaf.

Despite having larger leaves than the N’Joy, this is considered one of the smaller Pothos specimens. Maturing to a maximum of 10ft long, the Pearls and Jade is well-known for its slow growth.

Plant Care

To support its maximum growth rate, this variety should be placed in bright, diffused light, every day. Which may require moving it around in winter. A nutrient-rich soil will also contribute.

Water your Pearls and Jade when the top 2” of soil are dry. One to two weeks may pass before it needs water, again.

Problems

Like most Pothos plants, this cultivar is an excellent remover of air pollutants, like formaldehyde and xylene. But, when ingested, it can be highly toxic to small children and pets of any size.

The most common issue with the Pearls and Jade is root rot, caused by overwatering. Making it vital to allow the top 2” of soil to dry out, first.

Satin Pothos

Satin Pothos

The Satin (aka Silver) Pothos presents enchanting variegation patterns that are unique to this genus, and for good reason. This cultivar is not, in fact, an Epipremnum aureum.

It’s actually a Scindapsus pictus. But, because its leaf shape and growth habit so closely mimic a pothos, it was understandably mistaken for one early on, and the miscategorization stuck.

What distinguishes the Satin Pothos from others, aside from its contrasting speckles of grey against a dusty green, is a lack of sheen on leaves that line 8ft-long stems.

Plant Care

Another shared feature is its ease of care. The Satin also prefers full, yet soft, sunlight for efficient photosynthesis and indoor temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C).

The Satin also favours a short “drying out” period in between weekly or bi-weekly waterings. This will help prevent root rot and leaf yellowing.

A chunky, well-draining potting soil will also ensure proper drainage, with enough moisture retention to keep your Satin sparkling.  

Problems

Just as with all Epipremnum, the Scindapsus pictus contains raphides. Calcium oxalate crystals can lodge into the mouth, tongue, oesophagus and stomach of small children and pets, causing severe pain and significant swelling.

Snow Queen Pothos

Snow Queen Pothos

This final Pothos variety presents the whitest, brightest foliage of them all. As a hybrid of a N’Joy and Marble Queen, the Snow Queen has crisp, clean, heart-shaped leaves with splashes of green.

This cultivar also possesses the fewest chlorophyll cells, making bright, indirect light critical to its health and growth. But, intense sunlight should be avoided to protect against leaf burn.

Plant Care

In low light, chlorophyll cells multiply rapidly, in order to capture needed sunlight. This results in leaf variegation appearing more green than white. In this environment, the Snow Queen is often taken for a Marble Queen.

Plant your Snow Queen in nutrient-rich, loamy soil. Proper nutrition will encourage more efficient photosynthesis and nutrient distribution throughout the plant, aided by proper watering.

Watering only when the top half of the soil is dry will protect this cultivar’s sensitivity to overwatering while keeping it properly hydrated.

This regal pothos prefers temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C), with roughly 50% humidity. Spritzing may be required if its indoor environment becomes dry.

Problems

Remember, that while both Scindapsus and Epipremnum cultivars are beautiful and widely grown as houseplants, they all contain elements that can cause severe illness in humans and pets.

Common Problems with Pothos

Given their high tolerance for changing environmental conditions, the Pothos is a fantastic starter plant. But, it’s not immune to issues.

Pests

Bugs are typically attracted to plants that are in distress, due to negligent care. Pothos are highly resilient and rarely find themselves in this position. But, infestations can happen.

If caught early, simply remove all affected leaves and wipe the rest with well-diluted dish soap or rubbing alcohol.

Diseases

Fungal spores can enter your home in a number of ways and land on your houseplants. While fairly resistant, Pothos can be vulnerable to them, when in distress.

Dark spotting is a common sign of infection. To prevent spreading, remove all affected leaves. Then, apply an organic fungicide formulated for plants.

Root Rot

The most common cause of Pothos’ failure is over-saturated soil. This is usually due to overwatering and poor drainage. 

Ensure that your plant pots have 4-6 ¼” holes in the bottom and that you allow your plants to fully drain after each watering. Then, water only when the soil is dry down 1-3”, depending on the cultivar.

Final Thoughts On The Varieties of Pothos

Every stunning Pothos we’ve seen makes a stunning addition to any houseplant collection. Success in growing them comes from following these simple rules. The greener the leaves, the less light they need and always allow for adequate drainage.

FAQs Low Maintenance Pothos

Citation

NC State University Epipremnum aureum

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Ben's horticultural interest grew when graduating from Hertfordshire University in 1997. Having contributed to numerous publications including Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design Magazine, and The English Garden. He is also the author of Propagating Houseplants Made Easy.