Picking the Perfect Pothos

One of the unsung heroes of houseplants has to be the Epipremnum aureum aka Pothos. These hardy and forgiving tropical plants are great for beginners and foliage lovers alike. Their lovely heart-shaped leaves come in a variety of colours, and their fast-growing nature means that a 4" plant can become a stunning hanging plant in just a matter of months. Here we will explore 5 great varieties of Pothos for you to consider adding to your collection.

A Quick Lesson In Variegation

Variegation is caused by a genetic mutation that allows for two chromosomal combinations to show in a single plant. The result is a plant with tissue which areas that produce chlorophyll and areas that are unable. It appears as light green, golden yellow or even white spots on the leaves.

As the plant grows, it may develop greater amounts of the mutation resulting in nearly white leaves. These leaves are unable to photosynthesize well or even at all if there are not enough chlorophyll-producing cells.

In other situations, plants may begin to revert to a solid green colour. This can be caused by changes in the plants' environment such as extreme changes in temperature and lighting. Other times there isn't any apparent reason. You can cut off the reverting vines to maintain the variegated appearance. Personally, I propagated a section of my reverted Marble Queen and it has grown a solid dark green plant while the rest of the plant increased its variegation (picture 3. below)

'Marble Queen' Pothos

Marble Queen Pothos with Green and White Leaves
'Marble Queen' Pothos with intense variegation.

'Marble Queens' are an excellent example of variegated houseplants.

'Marble Queen' Pothos have a wide range of this variegation. Some leaves may have a majority of green areas (chlorophyll producing) while others may have a streaked or mottled appearance. These leaves have a dark green base with a very light green to almost white areas.

Their leaves mature to about 9cm-10cm in length and about half as wide. Their vines trail in a luxurious manner, with thicker and stiffer stems than other varieties of Pothos.

Due to their heavy white variegation, these will need to be placed in a brighter location to allow them to properly photosynthesize.

Picture 1: 'Marble Queen' Pothos leaves that a mostly white. Picture 2: 'Marble Queen' Pothos with a higher prevalence of solid green leaves. Picture 3: Reverted 'Marble Queen' Pothos.

Satin Pothos

'Satin' Pothos

'Satin' Pothos are unique in the fact that they are variegated and also have a unique texture. Although called Satin, the texture is more like a smooth velvet which makes them have a more matte appearance.

These plants have a speckle-like pattern to their leaves almost like those you would see on a fawn. These speckles are silvery and have a slight sheen to them.

Additionally, 'Satin' Pothos have a smaller leaf than their cousins the Marble Queen at about 7cm-8cm.

Their vines are thin and therefore the plant drapes elegantly from its pot. They make wonderful hanging plants and don't lend themselves to be great trellised plants.

Satin Pothos with green leaves and silvery speckles
Fawn like speckles on the 'Satin' Pothos leaves.

Golden Pothos

'Golden' Pothos

'Golden' Pothos are very similar to their cousin the 'Marble Queen' in the fact that they develop a streaked pattern. Dark green glossy leaves are accented with golden yellow variegations. Leaves are about 9cm-12cm in size and grow off of robust vines.

Their darker green leaves mean that they are more efficient photosynthesizers and can be located in darker areas. These beautiful plants have a vibrant appearance and will brighten any spot in your home or office.

'Golden' Pothos are vigorous growers and can grow to be beautiful statement pieces. Not only do they look wonderful in a hanging pot, but you can also train their vines up a moss pole or trellis.