How to Plant, Grow and Care For Glacier Pothos
Looking to add a new low-maintenance houseplant to your indoor plant collection? The glacier pothos plant can make a great option, depending on your decor. In this article, gardening expert Paige Foley looks at all you need to know about caring for this amazing houseplant cultivar!
Pothos is a popular houseplant because of its beautiful foliage and ease of care. You can add many popular pothos varieties to your houseplant collection, but one worth noting is the Glacier pothos. This pothos can reach up to 6-foot long stems in the wild, but when container-grown, it tends to stay much smaller in size, making it a great addition to small offices or apartments.
Glacier pothos is commonly confused with its relatives, N’Joy and Pearls and Jade pothos. They are all very similar, but the glacier pothos’ color sets it apart. This particular variety does well in hanging baskets, tabletops, and cascading down bookshelves.
Before you run to your local garden center or nursery searching for the Glacier pothos, you should understand its care needs. Luckily, the plant is fairly low maintenance like other cultivars, but understanding its needs will help it survive for many years without fuss. We will look at how to plant, grow and care for Glacier pothos for happy and healthy plants. Let’s get started.
Glacier Pothos Overview
Plant Type Houseplant
Native Area Asia
Sunlight exposure Bright but indirect lighting
Plant Lenght 3-6 ft (Indoors)
Water requirements Low
Hardiness Zone 10-12
Soil Type Moist, well-draining
Pest Mealy bugs, aphids, spider mites
How To Grow
Like other pothos varieties, Glacier pothos is easy to care for and low maintenance when provided the proper care. It is important to understand the plant’s needs before you bring it into your care. The plant can survive for years when given the proper growing conditions. Below we discuss in detail all the necessary growing conditions for Glacier pothos.
This pothos will do well in bright, indirect sunlight for several hours a day. But due to its variegated leaves, it can’t tolerate low light like other varieties of pothos. If your Glacier pothos is placed in too low of light, the stems will become leggy.
You can also start to lose the variegation of the leaves, which is less than ideal. The leaves can become scorched if the plant is exposed to too much sunlight. They will form brown or black patches on the leaves, and growth will slow if exposed to intense sunlight.
Place your Glacier pothos near a south or east-facing window for ideal sunlight exposure. Avoid placing them directly on a window sill because of temperature changes and drafts.
Always use well-draining soil when planting your Glacier pothos. A good mixture is equal parts potting mix and perlite, both of which can be found at a local garden center or nursery. Perlite will help keep the soils from becoming too compact.
Compact soils can lead to root rot and decreased water retention. Soggy soil is less than ideal for pothos and can cause harm to the plant. If you are struggling with soggy soil, consider repotting and adding fresh soil into the container.
Although pothos prefers moist soil conditions, you should allow the top 2 to 3 inches to dry between waterings. Regular watering will help keep the plant happy and healthy. Avoid overwatering as this can lead to root and stem rots developing.
When watering, allow water to flow freely from the drainage holes. This is a great indication of what is moving through the entire pot and not just the first few inches. You can also lift the pot; if it feels light, the plant could use a drink.
Temperature and Humidity
Pothos are native to warmer regions and prefer temperatures between 65 to 75 F. The plant is not frost resistant and will suffer if exposed to freezing temperatures. Keep this in mind when choosing a location for your Glacier pothos. Windows tend to allow drafts and colder temperatures to enter the home.
Glacier pothos can handle a home’s standard humidity levels if they don’t drop too low. Around 50% and the plant will be happy. It can tolerate lower leaves of humidity, around 30 to 40%. Glacier pothos makes a great addition to well-lit bathrooms due to the higher humidity.
How To Plant
Planting Glacier pothos is easy to plant once you purchase from online or a garden center. You can follow a few simple steps to ensure your pothos are happy and healthy once you plant them in their new home.
Step 1: Choosing the New Pot
Before you can begin planting your Glacier pothos, you must choose a pot to plant the pothos into. This might seem easy, but you’ll want to ensure the new container checks a few boxes first.
The new pot needs drainage holes to allow excess water to drain from the container. This may seem unnecessary, but it will be helpful in the future and help prevent the development of root rot. Now choose a breathable material such as terracotta or ceramic. Finally, choose a pot that is only an inch or two large than the plant.
Step 2: Gather Materials
Planting Glacier pothos is rather simple and doesn’t require many materials. You must gather your containers, potting mix, gloved, and water. Choose a potting mix that is well-draining.
Step 3: Remove The Plant From the Previous Container
You can transplant once you have gathered all the material needed to plant your pothos. Begin by removing the plant from the container it comes in. Be gentle when removing the plant, as the stems and roots break easily.
Once the plant is removed from the container, it is best to remove the soil from around the roots. The old soil may not be suitable for long-term growth. Rinse the roots under room-temperature water or gently remove excess soil with your fingers.
Step 4: Planting and Care
Now that you have removed the soil from the plant, you are ready to plant in your new container. Fill the new container partially with fresh potting soil. Place the plant on top of the soil and fill in excess space with fresh potting soil. Keep the soil level even with the part of the plant it originally came up to; do not plant it more deeply than before.
Water the plant thoroughly until water runs from the drainage holes. Place in bright, indirect sunlight for several hours a day. Monitor the plant for transplant shock and adjust care accordingly. Transplant shock is common, and your plant will most likely recover without any significant damage.
Although Glacier pothos is low maintenance and requires very little maintenance, they benefit from routine care. Establishing a good fertilizer and pruning schedule can improve your plant’s overall health during the active growing season.
Applying a balanced fertilizer is great for Glacier pothos. Apply a liquid fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer during the spring and summer. A 5-5-5 fertilizer is fine for this purpose.
Liquid fertilizers can be applied monthly when the plant is actively growing if diluted to the correct strength. Be careful when applying synthetic or lab-derived liquid fertilizers because they can burn the leaves when applied over the foliage. Even with organic liquid fertilizers, it’s best to apply these at the base of the plant and not on the foliage.
Slow-release fertilizers should be applied in the spring and then every 3 months or so after. Read the label on your fertilizer to determine how often you should reapply slow-release fertilizers.
Although pruning isn’t necessary for Glacier pothos, it can be done to control growth. Since the plant is slow-growing, trimming must only be done a few times a year. The cut stems will not regrow as quickly as other houseplants.
As the plant grows, it can become leggy, which is a sign that you must prune it. Leggy stems will be very long, with large spacing between the leaves towards the end of the vine. Find the spot where the leaves start to become very spaced; this is where you make your cut.
When you trim pothos, they do not ‘branch’ like other houseplants. Pothos will send out new growth from the nearest node. From this node, the growth will continue to vine like the rest of the plant. More than one new growth point will occasionally appear, but this is rare.
Since Glacier Pothos is very slow-growing, you will not have to repot as often as other houseplants. Generally, you must repot every 2 to 3 years unless the plant shows signs of becoming rootbound. Signs of rootbound plants are roots growing out of the drainage holes and roots circling the interior of the pot.
It is best to wait til spring or summer to repot your Glacier pothos. This is when the plant is actively growing and has a better chance of recovering from transplant shock. When you’re ready to repot your Glacier pothos, choose a container with proper drainage holes. Drainage holes are important for the overall health of your pothos.
Next, choose a container 2 to 3 inches larger than the previous container. If you choose a container that is too large, this can lead to overwatering. Gently remove the pothos from the previous container and place it in the new container with fresh potting soil. Water thoroughly and place it back in its original location.
There is no need to provide special care for your Glacier pothos during the winter months. If you keep the plant outdoors during the summer, bring it indoors before temperatures drop too low. If the plant is exposed to frost, it will most likely die or be severely damaged.
Stop fertilizing your Glacier pothos beginning in the fall and resume fertilizing in the spring. You can prune if you consider it to be necessary, but the plant will not grow as quickly as it does in the spring or summer. Continue to provide the same amount of sunlight and check the soil to determine if they need to be watered.
Like other pothos, Glacier pothos can be easily propagated from stem cuttings. Propagating is a great way to make the plant look fuller and to create more of the plant you love. Begin by identifying a healthy stem from your Glacier pothos.
Cut the stem with clean, sharp shears so at least 3 to 4 leaf nodes are on the stem. The cutting will have difficulty rooting when there are fewer than 3-4 leaf nodes. Once you have the cutting, remove the bottom 1 to 2 leaves from the stem, leaving only a small cluster at the tip of the stem. This exposes the nodes, making it easier for the cutting to develop roots.
Prepare a container with fresh water and place the stem cutting into the water container. Be sure that the top leaves are above the surface of the water. Place the container with the cutting in bright, indirect sunlight. Change the water once per day.
In a few weeks, you should notice roots growing from the nodes on the stem. Leave the stem in water until the roots are 1 to 2 inches long. Once they are long enough, you can place the plant into the soil.
Prepare a small container with a fully hydrated potting mix and gently plant the stem cutting into the soil. Water the cutting well and return the cutting to the original bright, indirect location. Keep the soil moist for a few weeks after planting to help the plant adjust. After those few weeks, you can allow the soil to dry more between waterings.
When provided with the proper care, Glacier pothos rarely have issues. Many problems you encounter when growing Glacier pothos stem from their growing conditions. Luckily, growing conditions can be adjusted, and the plant tends to recover quickly. Below are a few common problems you can see when growing Glacier pothos.
If you are noticing yellowing leaves on your Glacier pothos, it is most likely underwatered. But yellowing leaves can indicate overwatering as well. Begin by checking the soil in your container for signs of under or overwatering. If the soil is dry to the touch, and you can’t find any moisture in the top few inches, this is a sign of underwatering.
Overwatering is easy to identify. If you stick a finger in the pot and the soil is very wet and soggy, yellowing leaves are probably caused by overwatering. The soil should be allowed to dry out 2 to 3 inches below the soil surface. Once those few inches are dry, you can water again.
Curling leaves are a great sign that your plant needs to be watered. Once you give your plant a drink of water, the leaves should uncurl and return to normal. The plant can tolerate drier soils, so they are rather forgiving if you forget to water for a while. Be careful with curled leaves that begin to turn brown or yellow. Changing colors is a good indication to take action quickly.
Glacier pothos is naturally slow-growing and takes time for new growth to develop. Depending on the season, you may not see much growth at all. Stunted growth isn’t always an indication that something is wrong. But if it’s the active growing season for Glacier Pothos and you haven’t seen new growth, this can be a problem.
Lack of light can cause the plant to be stunted, and you should move the plant to a brighter location. Once you move the plant, you should see new growth within a month or so. Also, giving the plant a boost by applying fertilizer can help initiate new growth.
Pests And Diseases
Like most houseplants, Glacier pothos can experience pests and diseases. Pests tend to attack weak plants, so proper care will help keep the plant safe from pests. Common pests on Glacier pothos are mealy bugs, aphids, and spider mites. Most of these can be treated with an insecticidal soap or a misting of neem oil.
A common disease is stem and root rot, which develops in overwatered soil. This fungal pathogen can be prevented by ensuring your soil drains well enough and does not stay soggy, as overly-wet soil can promote fungal growth. Fungal leaf spots can also occur; if these are found, trim off the damaged leaves and use a copper fungicide on the foliage. Be careful to leave at least two weeks between treatment for pests and diseases so you don’t double-up on the leaf-surface treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Identify Glacier Pothos?
Since Glacier Pothos are closely related to Pearl & Jade and N’Joy pothos varieties, they can be difficult to tell apart. Glacier pothos tends to have a silvery-grey mottling or streak on the leaves. This is the easiest way to tell Glacier pothos from other varieties.
Is Glacier Pothos Rare?
Glacier pothos isn’t as common as other pothos such as Golden or Satin pothos. It is considered to be moderately rare and you can have luck find at a local garden center or nursery. You can also purchase online but make sure you are purchasing from a reputable seller.
Is Glacier Pothos Toxic?
Yes, Glacier pothos is toxic and should be kept out of reach of pets and small children.
Glacier pothos makes a great addition to any home, whether you are a novice or an experienced plant owner. This particular pothos variety is great for small spaces because it only reaches a max length of 6 feet. Place the plant in a hanging basket or all of it to cascade down a shelf. You will surely love the plant’s beautiful variegated leaves and ease of care.