How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Cebu Blue Pothos
Cebu Pothos plants are one of the less common pothos types, but they have become popular over the last decade. They look different than other varieties and have become more popular due to their hardiness and bright coloring. In this article, organic gardening expert Logan Hailey examines how to plant, grow, and care for Cebu Pothos plants.
With its silvery blue-green shimmering leaves and long trailing vines, the Cebu Blue Pothos has surely caught your eye. This rare pothos variety is a popular tropical house plant that is easy to care for. Under the right conditions, it will thrive and sparkle with a shiny bluish hue. This unique member of the Epipremnum genus is set apart from its pothos cousins with its elegant narrow leaves and unique coloration.
Cebu Blue is a dazzling plant that thrives in bright indirect light, warm room temperatures, and a moderate watering schedule. It can tolerate a bit of neglect and is renowned for its low-maintenance vibe that still rewards you with stunning foliage.
If you’ve been wanting to expand your houseplant collection to some unique shapes and colors, Cebu Blue is for you! This plant has a fascinating background and simple care requirements. Let’s dig in!
Cebu Blue Pothos Plant Overview
Houseplant, Perennial in Tropics
Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’
USDA 10-12 (tropical)
4 inches – 10+ feet Vines
65°F – 80°F
Pot or Hanging Planter
Bright Indirect Sunlight
Up to 20 Years
Fungus Gnats, Aphids, Mealybugs
All About Cebu Pothos
Cebu Blue is a pothos cultivar of the species Epremnun pinnatum, which is a close relative of Golden Pothos and Jade Pothos. While it is not quite as resilient and vigorous as its cousins, Cebu Blue is a lovely addition to any indoor space with bright indirect sunlight.
Cebu Blue Pothos belongs to the Araceae family of plants (sometimes called “aroids”). Aroids are all tropical natives with a knack for finding their way into households, offices, and buildings around the world. Their laid-back, undemanding care requirements make them one of the most beginner-friendly house plants. Sometimes pothos cousins are even called “Devil’s Ivy” because they are so hard to kill! Cebu Blue is equally resilient, but needs a little more light than the ultra-robust Golden Pothos.
How Can You Tell Them Apart From Other Pothos?
While golden and jade pothos are both varieties of the Epipremnum aureum species, Cebu Pothos is a cultivar of the closely related Epipremnum pinnatum species native to the Philippines.
The primary difference between the two is that E. pinnatum grows more slowly and has deeply pinnate leaves (like a palm tree) in its adult form. As a houseplant, both species of pothos remain in the juvenile stages, where E. aureum has heart-shaped leaves and E. pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’ has elongated lance-shaped leaves.
Cebu Pothos vs. Jade Pothos
The easiest way to differentiate Cebu Pothos from other pothos varieties is by the leaf shape. Most pothos have a heart shape to their leaves. Cebu Blue has elongated leaves that are skinnier and have less pronounced lobes at the base (though they still have a faint resemblance to an elongated heart). Cebu Blue is also, like its name implies, more bluish or purplish in color. Jade pothos tend to be pure dark green.
Where Does Cebu Pothos Originate?
This plant’s namesake is the Philippine island of Cebu, which is the country’s oldest city and was the original capital of this southeast Asian paradise. Cebu Blue Pothos grows wild in the lush, humid tropical jungles of the island. While it is also nicknamed “centipede tongavine” and “dragon tail plant,” the Cebu Blue Pothos is called “tibatib” in the native language of Tagalog.
Cebu Blue has also been found growing wild in other regions of Asia as well as Australia. These evergreen vines can grow massive leaves and vines that extend more than 45 feet long. However, indoors the plants tend to max out with 3-4” leaves and vines that are 5-10 feet long maximum. Given its tropical origins, Cebu Blue does surprisingly well in various indoor conditions.
Mimicking Tropical Conditions
Like all pothos, E. pinnatum is a tropical plant that naturally grows on forest floors and vining up rainforest trees. These conditions are usually very moist, humid, and warm. Cebu Blue is used to the diluted sunlight through the trees, hence its preference for bright indirect or filtered light. Direct sunlight too close to a window will burn the plant’s leaves.
The tropical native conditions of Cebu Pothos also give us a hint about its watering preferences. Many tropical regions like the Philippines tend to have long dry periods and then sudden monsoon rains. This means that Cebu Blue is used to drying out between deep waterings. It prefers well-drained soil and is especially averse to a soggy wet root zone.
Natural Air Purification
Cebu Blue is a natural air purifying plant along with its many pothos cousins. Pothos were used in NASA’s indoor air pollution studies and showed a remarkable ability to filter toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air. Indoor air quality can be 5 to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, so air-purifying plants like Cebu Blue are great for offices and bedrooms where you may spend a lot of your time.
Does Cebu Blue Have Fenestrations?
One of the most interesting things about this rare plant is the unique leaf perforations called fenestrations. Fenestrations are essentially zig-zag splits in the leaves. These perforations are what make plants like Monstera highly coveted amongst houseplant connoisseurs. Interestingly, Cebu Blue Pothos develops deep fenestrations in the wild but requires very special conditions to grow them as an indoor plant.
You may recall that Cebu Blue’s Latin name is Epipremnum pinnatum. The “pinnatum” refers to the pinnately lobed leaves of the mature adult Cebu Blue plant. Pinnate simply means the leaves are feathered or divided like a palm tree leaf. The adult Cebu Blue vine has these deeply lobed leaves that look entirely different from the young phase we are used to seeing as a houseplant.
As the plant grows from young to adolescence, it begins to develop those little zig-zag fenestrations that are so popular amongst plant enthusiasts. Think of it as a way for the “adolescent” plant to transition to its adult lobed phase. Cebu Blue Pothos can take up to 20 years to reach maturity, but fenestrations may develop earlier if the plant is grown in ultra-ideal conditions that are the closest to its natural habitat.
A moss pole can mimic the trees it would usually climb and bright indirect light, humidity, and a perfected watering schedule (without any overwatering) will yield the best chance of getting a Cebu Blue to fenestrate.
Propagation and Planting
When it comes to propagating Cebu Blue, it spreads and roots readily under the right conditions. Most pothos plants do not reach maturity or the flowering stage as a houseplant, so they are typically propagated from cuttings.
How to Propagate From Cuttings
To take a cutting of Cebu Blue, begin with a healthy vigorous vine from a strong mother plant. Use sharp sanitized scissors, pruners, or a knife to make the following cut:
Count back 3-4 leaves from the end of the vine and locate the “node”, or growing nub at the base of the final leaf. Here is where you will cut the vine at a 45° angle. You can then remove the lower 1 or 2 leaves and submerge the cut end in a jar of lukewarm or room temperature water. Be sure that the nodes are fully submerged in the water. Those node bumps that you left behind are where new roots will begin sprouting in a few weeks.
Cuttings should be placed in the same area as the mother Cebu Blue plant. Be sure that they stay warm and cozy, and are not exposed to direct sunlight. It usually takes a month or more for the cutting to be ready to plant in soil.
Once you see tiny roots that are a couple of inches long, you can transfer the baby cutting to a new pot with a high-quality well-drained potting mix.
How to Transplant Cebu Pothos
Most pothos plants come from a garden store or nursery already rooted in a pot. Under the right conditions, your Cebu Blue should begin to outgrow the original pot over time. If you see roots coming out of the drainage holes, this is a sure sign that it is time to transplant to a larger container.
Begin by preparing a new pot with a well-drained soil mix amended with quality organic compost and perlite or vermiculite. Hold your pothos plant at its base and slowly wiggle it out of the existing container. If your Cebu Blue is looking pretty root-bound (the roots appear tangled or looping around in the cylindrical shape of the pot), it is best to loosen them up a little bit so they more readily root in the new container.
Next, scoop out a hole in the new pot that is slightly larger than the root ball. Position your Cebu Blue in the center and backfill, being sure not to press or tamp down the soil. You want to keep plenty of drainage and aeration around the pothos’ roots!
You can water it in with a diluted kelp fertilizer to help ease transplant shock. Keep the Cebu Blue in the same location as usual and provide an extra misting of water every couple of days to add humidity and help it adjust to the new container.
Cebu Pothos Care
Like all Epipremnun species, this pothos plant loves the warm, humid conditions of indoor environments and prefers indirect sunlight. Care is pretty simple and straightforward as long as the plant is planted in a good soil mix and kept in the proper location.
Watering Cebu Blue is pretty much the same as other pothos: give it a deep watering, let it drain, and then leave the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. The biggest mistake you can make with Cebu Blue Pothos is overwatering, which can cause soggy soil and root rot.
On the other hand, underwatering will result in yellowing or wilted, sad leaves. The plant is really forgiving if you forget to water, but it’s best to catch it before it starts completely wilting. Even a slightly wilted pothos will quickly bounce back with a thorough watering.
A basic consistent watering schedule will depend on your home’s conditions, but Cebu Blue is fairly easy to please as long as you’re paying attention. I recommend checking on the plant once or twice a week by sticking your finger in the soil or using a moisture probe.
Cebu Blue prefers a potting mix that is closest to its native soil. Tropical soils tend to be highly weathered from heavy rainfalls. This means that the soils are well-drained and finely textured for water to pass through. Anything too heavy or rich in clay will result in waterlogging that may stress the plant or cause it to rot.
Most high-quality potting mixes will work well for Cebu Blue Pothos. I prefer to add perlite or vermiculite for extra drainage. Even a bit of sand can help to counteract any risk of rotting. Quality organic compost is a bonus to improve aeration and microbial activity, but it’s not essential for this light-feeding plant. The most important thing is to have the pothos in a container with a drainage hole for water to escape after it moves through the soil.
When it comes to fertilizer, Cebu Blue Pothos is a light feeder. Like we mentioned above, its native tropical soils tend to be pretty weathered and fine without lots of nutrients. The plant can survive without any fertility at all, however, the most thriving pothos houseplants are fed with diluted fish fertilizer or a dusting of all-purpose organic fertilizer every couple of months. This will keep the leaves extra vibrant and vigorous.
Almost any indoor building will have a suitable temperature for Cebu Blue. They prefer temperatures between 65° and 80°F but aren’t super picky. The most important thing is to keep the plant away from extremes, especially cold. I always avoid putting pothos near drafty windows or doors that may bring in an extra chill. These are heat-loving plants, after all!
If you prefer for your plants to be close to the windowsill, Northern and eastern facing windows are ideal for Cebu Blue Pothos. They offer morning sun and bright indirect light that won’t scorch the leaves with harsh afternoon rays. If you put Cebu Blue near a south-facing window, it is best to set it back or aside from the direct rays. It also does very well on top of a shelf or desk in the center or margins of a well-lit room.
While the Golden Pothos and Jade Pothos are pretty dang tolerant of low-light conditions, Cebu Blue won’t do as well in a bathroom or somewhere without much natural light. Bright indirect sunlight is key, but a simple grow light setup will also work.
You can imagine how humid a vine-filled tropical rainforest would be. While Cebu Blue doesn’t need massive amounts of humidity as a houseplant, it does enjoy semi-regular water misting on the leaves to keep it thriving. If you live in an extra dry area, you may want to add a humidifier to your home to help all of your houseplants (and you) breathe easier!
Cebu Pothos Troubleshooting
Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’ is overall a very easygoing plant, but that doesn’t mean it is completely problem-free. If you encounter any of the following symptoms, you’ll have quick organic remedies at your fingertips.
The main pests you’ll find on indoor Cebu Blue plants are fungus gnats, aphids, mealybugs, and maybe some spider mites. Many of these can be prevented simply by cutting back on moisture and overwatering. If you notice these little crawlies eating your pothos leaves, simply use a diluted neem solution to wipe down the leaves and kill the bugs. Neem acts as an all-natural pesticide as well as a preventative measure.
Oh, dust! Houseplants accumulate lots of it. Your Cebu Blue Pothos probably spends most of its time sitting around photosynthesizing, so it will inevitably collect some dust. It’s important to wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth at least once a month so that the dust doesn’t prevent them from photosynthesizing at their maximum potential. A little bit of airflow can help cut down on this step, but I find that all of my plants tend to accumulate some dust either way!
As I mentioned above, Cebu Blue Pothos hate soggy conditions. It will rot from overwatering or waterlogged heavy soils. The easiest solution is simply re-potting it to a well-drained soil mix or taking some cuttings and starting over with new baby plants.
Most vining plants are prone to legginess under low-light or slightly stressed conditions. It isn’t necessarily something to worry about, but it isn’t very aesthetically pleasing. You can prune back your Cebu Blue to promote a bushier growth habit. It also helps to move it to a brighter light location.
Yellowing or Browning Leaves
Yellow or brownish leaves are a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or leaf burn. In the excess water scenario, you’ll find that pothos leaves will lose some color, fade, and die off. If it is being underwatered, the leaves tend to have more brownish or crispy spots in addition to yellow leaves.
In the leaf burn scenario, you’ll find lots of brown spots and a sunburnt appearance to the plant. It will do much better if it’s moved away from direct sunlight.
Keep in mind that young and newly emerging Cebu Blue leaves are a shiny greenish-yellow or neon color. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Cebu Blue Pothos rare?
Cebu Blue is an exquisite houseplant that has gained lots of popularity in recent years. While it isn’t necessarily rare, it is in high demand and may be available in lower quantities than the standard Golden Pothos or Jade green Pothos.
What is so special about Cebu Blue Pothos?
Cebu Blue Pothos are extra unique because of their silvery-blue color and lance-shaped leaves. These tropical evergreen vines add a shimmery oceanic hue to your houseplant collection that stands out from other plants.
Are Cebu Blue fast-growing?
Under the right conditions, Cebu Blue Pothos can grow up to a foot per year! Prunings from the vine can also be rooted as new cuttings in as little as a few weeks. The plant is fairly fast-growing, but not as vigorous as other pothos varieties.
How do I look after Cebu Blue?
Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’ is a tropical pothos plant that prefers bright indirect light, well-drained soil, and a good soaking of water only after the soil has dried out. Temperatures between 65° and 80°F are deal. The plant is easy to care for as long as you avoid overwatering or excessive sunlight conditions.
Is Cebu Blue a Monstera?
While Cebu Blue Pothos may develop fenestrations (zig-zag leaf perforations) that resemble a Monstera plant, they are not related. Only the mature Cebu Blue Pothos can get mistaken for Monsteras based on the deeply lobed leaves. Cebu Blue does not typically reach maturity as a houseplant and will remain in the juvenile stage of lance-shaped bluish leaves without fenestrations.
Where is Cebu Blue Pothos native to?
Like most pothos, Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’ is native to tropical regions of Southeast Asia. The Cebu Blue variety in particular comes from the Cebu island in the Philippines, where it grows wildly vining up tropical trees. In the wild, it can reach up to 40 feet long and grow massive deeply-lobed leaves.