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.