After posting a photo of my manjula pothos on instagram yesterday (above), I thought it would be helpful to share some identification help and care tips for this interesting and increasingly popular species. I hadn’t quite realised how many types of pothos I had until I started putting together this post; a classic sign of being a plant hoarder!
Pothos are quite good at showing you visually when they require water and can certainly handle an element of neglect in this respect, though I don’t like to do this to mine too often. I wait until the top 1-2 inches of the soil is dry before watering with tepid water.
Browning of the foliage is caused by dry air or watering with water that is too cold. Also, showering the leaves every few weeks can help keep the plant free from dust and looking vibrant. Small brown spots (not on the edges) can sometimes appear which can signal underwatering.
Keep away from draughts and sudden drops in temperature; pothos roots are very susceptible to frost damage, so bear this in mind in colder months. Yellowing leaves is a sign of overwatering at this time of year too; make sure the compost doesn’t become waterlogged.
Perhaps the most common of all varieties is the ‘one with the many names’; golden pothos, devil’s ivy, and also referred to as epipremnum aureum or scindapsus aureus. It’s the easiest to grow and can be allowed to climb or trail. When grown up a pole with enough warmth, the leaves can get pretty big! It’s golden variegation fluctuates depending on the light conditions in it’s environment. Lower light produces largely green leaves, whereas in brighter spaces, the foliage is speckled with a warm golden hue. It’s name deriving from ‘aurum‘ – the latin for gold.
MARBLE QUEEN POTHOS
If I had to pick one, I think the marble queen variety is my favourite to have at home, the delicately speckled foliage is quite something, and it was the one that I searched the hardest to get my hands on. I received some cuttings from my friend Fiona, see photo above right, and when I managed to buy a larger plant, I didn’t hesitate… that’s a sign that I love a plant if I start
collecting hoarding multiples! As it is variegated, it needs brighter conditions, so this sits in my south facing window and has been growing really well. Below is a photo of my plant today:
I think my n’joy has been a bit underrated in my collection as it’s been sitting in the same position for ages and when I moved it for watering the other day, I admit I was so surprised by how much it has grown and what an elegant plant it has blossomed into! Compared to the marble queen, the leaves are more painterly, in a ‘brushstroke’ sense, rather than speckled.
This is the newest cultivar of pothos I have and in my experience is the most difficult out of all the other varieties (it’s still pretty easy as a pothos, but not as forgiving as some of the others). There is some confusion between these newer varieties that have come onto the market, but the best way I can describe the manjula is that it is generally has larger, more ‘wavy’ undulating leaves. I think the photograph of me holding the plant shows this quite well. Visually, the variegation is a pretty even cross between the n’joy and marble queen. On some foliage, there can be a grey-blue tint present in the patterning. It is also marketed as majula pothos ‘happy leaf’ from some sellers.
A NOTE ON POTHOS PEARLS AND JADE
I don’t have this variety of pothos, but wanted to mention it breifly here because I get some questions on instagram about the difference between manjula, n’joy, and pearls and jade. As far as I can establish, pearls and jade has smaller leaves than manjula, but is similar in that the variegation is a cross between n’joy and marble queen. Both the manjula and pearls and jade varieties are patented by the University of Florida.
The foliage of the scindapsus pictus is generally smaller than the other plants here, most similar in size to n’joy I think. It’s also called a silver vine because the satin leaves are speckled with a silver patterning which really does sparkle in bright conditions. I would say it is probably one of the harder to grow varieties and can get looking ‘leggy’ quite quickly. Within this type of pothos, there are quite a few varieties emerging onto the market; silvery ann has more light variegation (I have one in the photo above right; middle plant), and there is also ‘exotica’ which has much larger leaves.
The neon pothos is quite a striking plant and one that divides opinion due to it’s vibrant colouring, those that dislike it often ask ‘what’s wrong with that plant? Why is it so…yellow?’ I wrote a blog post about how to style it if the colour seems a bit overwhelming, which you can read here . In lower light the leaves turn more towards a lime green as opposed to a sulphur coloured yellow, I notice my plant over winter looking darker and less vibrant. It generally has smaller foliage than the golden pothos, and it’s leaf shape is slightly more elongated.
*It is also worth mentioning the conflation of the species names ‘scindapsus‘ and ‘epipremnum‘ which is a bit of a confusing area, but generally (as I understand it) scindapsus is more traditionally used in the UK, whereas epipremnum is the more common term in the US. In my vintage gardening books, all these plants are classed as scindapsus, see here Dr Hessayon’s Gold Plated House Plant Expert (P.101) above. In later editions of the book, golden pothos is also referred to as ‘rhapidophora aurea’ instead of epipremnum aureum. I must add I am not a botanist, but find this area fascinating… I would love to know more about this and intend to research it more, so if you have any interesting references please send them to me on Instagram.
Hope you enjoyed this post,
Thanks for reading,