variegated golden pothos

Guide to Growing Variegated Pothos Plants

Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Because of their dramatic color patterns and easy care, variegated pothos have become a popular houseplant. Every leaf is different and beautiful, making it a fascinating plant to watch grow.

The care of variegated pothos plants is the same as regular pothos. However, you need to pay more attention to how much sunlight they get and how often it gets pruned when it starts to revert to green.

How to Care for a Variegated Pothos Plant

Light

They require a bright, but well-filtered area. This could be a window facing south or west with a sheer or opaque curtain. Some types of variegated pottery can take more sunlight than others. For example, Golden and neon pothos will thrive in brighter areas. 

Some people with lots of white variegation (like Marble Queen) will require bright light, but not too harsh. White leaves are weaker and more delicate than green leaves, and they are more susceptible to burning.

Water & Humidity 

When the pothos start to look dry, water them. They can easily be overwatered. These plants don’t like soggy soil. It all depends on how much light it gets. This might be once per week or even less.

It’s a good rule of thumb to put your finger in the soil. If it is dry less than 2 inches, it may need some water. Variegated pothos plants do best in humid environments, even though they don’t require a lot of humidity.

Soil 

Pothos plants don’t like to sit in moist soil. They prefer to be watered when the soil is almost dry. Mix some coco coir and perlite to make a top-quality potting soil.

How Are Pothos Variegated?

A plant’s lack of the chlorophyll pigment is called variegation. The chlorophyll in the green portion of a leaf allows it to absorb sunlight and turn it into energy. Variegation in a pothos or most plants is actually a genetic mutation. Some even call it a “deformity.” 

Variegated pothos have two competing cells. One cell has pigment (green), and the other doesn’t (white). This is what we call chimeric variegation which is unstable and unpredictable. This means that we don’t know what type of variegation (or whether) will be included with every new leaf. 

Blister variegation is another type. This can be found in varieties like the Scindapsus Pictus, satin pothos. It is almost an optical illusion. The green pigmented leaf and non-pigmented lead are separated by a layer of air, making it appear as if there is silver in the spots or patches.

Do Variegated Pothos Grow Slower?

Variegated pothos growth rates depend on how much variegation there is. Variegated plants tend to grow slower than those without variegation, because they lack as much chlorophyll. Most variegated plants will grow faster if they have more sun. However, you should avoid direct sunlight. 

Also, leaves with more white (the variegated portion) than green won’t be as able to photosynthesise as fast. The plant cannot grow from the white leaves because there is no chlorophyll. This means that it can’t eat the leaf and thus slows down its growth

Why is my Pothos Losing Variegation?

Sometimes, your pothos will produce leaves that are entirely green and without any variegation. Because your plant is now realizing that the greenest leaves actually produce more energy.

Your pothos will lose variegation if there is not enough light. If the plant is not in good health and is just ‘hanging on’, it will do everything it can to survive. It will therefore try to produce more green-dominant foliage in an attempt to photosynthesize.

It will stop producing variegated foliage if it is in an area that is extremely hot or cold. It’s trying to keep alive in extreme conditions. The best way to do this is to produce all green leaves.

How do I get More Variegation in Pothos?

Variegation can be increased by increasing sunlight. This can be done by gradually increasing the amount of sunlight. Too much sunlight can cause leaves to become scorched. If the right sunlight conditions are provided, a Golden Pothos can have completely yellow leaves.

You can also propagate some variegated stems to try and grow a completely new plant. You have a better chance of getting variegated-dominate stems that are grafted with nodes.

Can You Regain Lost Variegation?

Moving your pothos to a brighter area can help you regain variegation. You can also prune off any stems that are very green or lack variegation. This will make it less difficult for the green leaves that are already in competition to take over, and may encourage your plant’s ability to produce more variegated foliage.

Follow the green leaf you wish to remove all the way back into the soil, until you find the place it began producing variegated foliage. This is the place you need to prune. You can help your plant grow variegated leaves by making sure it is in the right size pot with drainage holes.

Variegated Pothos with Brown Spots or Yellow Leaves

A variegated pothos that is too watered will result in yellow leaves that feel very limp. Remove all yellow leaves, and let the soil dry completely before you water again. Your pothos can begin to rot if it is left in too much soil.

Too much sun can cause brown edges and crispy leaves in your pothos. This variety of plant needs bright, filtered light. Also, if you have drafty areas in your house, it can lead to crispy leaves. You can move your plant to a sunny spot or an area that isn’t affected by drafts.

When moving plants around in your home, give it some time to adjust. Many plants don’t like being moved around very often so they might feel a little shock’. Allow them to adjust to the new location before you move it again.

Variegated Pothos Varieties

There are many types of pothos, including many variegated ones. These are the most popular variegated pothos, and how to identify them.

Marble Queen Pothos – Variegation can be described as a mixture of light and dark green, and white. It’s also inconsistent. These are more likely to have a picturesque split down the middle, which is where one side of the leaf is green and the other side is variegated.

  • N’Joy –  a variegation that looks more solid and chunky than wispy. The white color is usually found on the leaf’s outside with the green middle.
  • Pearls and Jade – This is a mix of the n’joy queen pothos and the jade pearls! You will find similar characteristics in each pothos variety.
  • Snow Queen – Looks very similar to Marble Queen, but the white variegation appears much stronger.
  • Golden Pothos – a deep green plant with flecks of yellow or gold throughout. They can even attain white variegation!
  • Variegated Neon Pothos – has brighter, lime-green colored leaves and darker-colored variegated stripes.
  • Manjula Pothos – Looks very similar to the Marble Queen, but the leaves are larger and more round. Variegation follows the grain of each leaf.
  • Satin Pothos – also known as scindapsus pictus. Large, heart-shaped leaves with silvery accents.
  • Harlequin Pothos – Lots of solid white and dark-colored color blocks. It almost looks like a White Calathea Fusion, but in pothos.
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