How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Jade Pothos
Jade Pothos plants are one of the more popular pothos types that have been welcomed into homes across the world in the last decade. This is a hardy plant, that's fairly easy to care for. In this article. organic gardening expert Logan Hailey examines how to successfully plant, grow, and care for Jade Pothos inside or outside your home.
If you dream of lush verdant plants vining through your home, but you don’t have a lot of windows or time to care for houseplants, then the Jade Pothos is the plant for you. This popular tropical vine is known for its trailing heart-shaped leaves and ability to improve indoor air quality.
Jade Pothos is a beginner-friendly house plant that’s rewarding and easy to grow. It thrives in low-light conditions and tolerates longer time periods between waterings. Like all pothos plants, the Jade pothos fits its nickname “Devil’s Ivy” because it is so resilient and difficult to kill.
The ‘Jade’ variety of pothos is special for its color, size, shape, and vigor. It’s become quite popular, even when compared to some of the most popular pothos varieties. Let’s dig into how to grow this classic green beauty!
Jade Pothos Plant Overview
Plant Type Houseplant, Perennial in Tropics
Species Epipremnum aureum var. ‘Jade’
Hardiness Zone USDA 10-12
Planting Season Any
Plant Height 4 inches – 10+ foot Vines
Fertility Needs Light
Temperature 65-95 degrees
Container Pot or Hanging Planter
Soil Type Well-draining
Plant Spacing Close
Watering Needs Moderate
Sun Exposure Indirect Sunlight
Lifespan Up to 10 Years
Pests Mealybugs and Thrips
Diseases Root Rot
Pothos are some of the most popular houseplants around. You’ll find their heart-shaped leaves and long vines dangling from hanging planters or weaving through ceilings in cafes, offices, and homes.
What is Jade Pothos?
Jade Pothos is a variety of Epipremnum aureum, or the common pothos plant. These plants have deep forest green leaves that are slightly smaller and more narrow than their cousin, the Golden Pothos. They have been bred to be purely dark green and extra vigorous.
Some plant enthusiasts hypothesize that this variety was one of the first E. aureum varieties to be domesticated from their wild counterparts in French Polynesia, Australia, and Southeast Asia. These genetics may also be the reason why common Jade Pothos are among the toughest pothos varieties with thicker leaves, strong stems, and resistance to drought.
Their dark color also has greater photosynthetic capacity thanks to more chlorophyll than their variegated counterparts. This means that theys are extra tolerant of varying light levels as well. But keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you should totally neglect them.
What makes the ‘Jade’ cultivar a classic is its ultra-shiny foliage with no variegation. If it has any variegation (stripes or speckles of other colors on the leaves), then it’s not a true Jade pothos. The easiest way to find a Jade Pothos amongst its relatives is simply to search for the most simple, pure green foliage.
Jade Pothos vs. Manjula Pothos
E. aureum ‘Jade’ and E. aureum ‘Manjula’ are closely related yet strikingly different. The Manjula Pothos is sometimes called “the jewel of the pothos family” because it is adorned with a gorgeous marbled blend of chartreuse, dark green, and creamy white streaks of coloration. This is obviously quite a contrast to the Jade Pothos’ striking simplicity.
This plant tends to be more vigorous and strong viners compared to ‘Manjula’. The Manjula Pothos also has less chlorophyll due to the drastic variegation and albino-like spots on the leaves. This can sometimes affect its growth habit and its ability to tolerate super low-light indoor conditions. They enjoy the full spectrum of bright light to shade and even dimly lit bathrooms with small windows.
On the other hand, Manjula Pothos definitely requires more consistent indirect sunlight. If it’s too bright, the white variegation will fade, whereas if it’s too dark, the Manjula Pothos will struggle to grow as quickly.
A Tropical Native
When pothos plants grow in the wild, pothos tend to densely weave through the forest floor and climb up every branch or tree they can find. The Jade Pothos is the closest variety to the wild type of E. aureum, so if you want to grow the healthiest plant possible it is best to mimic those tropical conditions as best as you can.
Warmth, humidity, indirect sunlight, and periodic bursts of moisture (deep waterings like tropical monsoons) are the name of the game. We’ll go into more details below, but when in doubt- mimic the tropics!
Natural Air Purification
Jade Pothos is also a well-known air purification powerhouse. These plants were used in NASA’s indoor air pollution studies and showed a remarkable capacity to filter toxic chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde from indoor air.
Since indoor air quality can be 5 to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air, the presence of air-purifying plants like pothos can be justified far beyond aesthetics. If you spend a lot of time indoors, consider adding some of these plants to your office, bedroom, bathroom, or living space to help you breathe easier.
Propagation and Planting
Whether you order online or purchase at a local garden store, most Jade Pothos plants will arrive already rooted and growing in their pot. However, you can very easily propagate this plant to make more baby plants for free! You can also transplant the pothos into a larger pot to encourage more lush growth.
How to Propagate From Cuttings
Jade Pothos is typically propagated vegetatively rather than sexually. This means that you can use cuttings of the stems or divisions of the roots to create new plants instead of waiting for seeds. Seed production is also very implausible since they (along with all its other cousins) only tend to flower in the wild and will not produce flowers or seeds as a houseplant.
To propagate from cuttings, begin with a healthy well-established plant. Use sharp pruners or a knife that has been sanitized with a bleach solution to prevent any pathogen contamination. Choose a vigorous main stem and count back a minimum of 3 leaves. About an inch below the third leaf, cut the stem at a 45-degree angle.
You can remove the lowest leaf with a clean cut, leaving the top two leaves to keep growing. This area where you removed the lower leaf will likely be the node from which new roots sprout. Lastly, place the stem in a jar of warm water so it is submerged at least an inch above where the lowest node is. You can also root it in a vermiculite or perlite mix, but it may take longer or be susceptible to rot.
Place the jar or pot near other pothos plants in indirect natural sunlight. Be sure that it isn’t too hot or cold. In two weeks, you should start to see roots growing from the lower nodes into the water. Wait for 1-2 months before transplanting the cutting to a new pot, being sure that it has at least two side branches of roots. Note that you don’t typically need a rooting hormone for pothos because the plants root so readily in water.
Then, enjoy growing your new Jade Pothos plants the same as any other pothos! This is the cheapest way to multiply pothos plants from your own stock or from your friends’ house plant collections.
How to Transplant
Jade Pothos is one of those plants that actually prefers to fill out its container. But sometimes the plant can get so big that it needs to be up-potted or transplanted into a larger pot. You may also want to give it a better soil mix that is better draining and richer in organic matter.
Make sure that your pothos has thoroughly “rooted out” its existing container, meaning the root ball has expanded to the edges of the pot and maybe even gotten a bit rootbound. This will ensure that when you pull the roots out to transplant, most of the soil will stay attached to the root ball.
Use a hanging basket or pot with large drainage holes in the bottom and about double the volume of the existing Jade’s container. Fill it with a high-quality organic potting mix that has plenty of compost, vermiculite, and/or perlite to let water drain freely.
Next, use a trowel or your hands to scoop out a large hole in the middle of the container. It should be just slightly larger than the root ball. Hold the plant by the base of its stems and very gently wiggle it out of the container. Try to disrupt the roots as little as possible.
Place the pothos into the new container and backfill with soil. Don’t press it down or compact the soil if possible. You can water it in with a diluted kelp fertilizer and keep it in a warm, lower-sunlight area for a couple of weeks to help with transplanting shock. Selectively prune any yellowing leaves or vines that are dying back so you can encourage new growth.
Caring for this plant is pretty similar to other pothos except that it is even more resilient than its marbled or variegated relatives. These plants tend to love diluted natural sunlight from atop a shelf, near a north-facing window, or the middle of a room. The right placement will make caring for the plant even easier.
The biggest mistake with Jade Pothos plants is overwatering. Yellow and brown coloration on the leaves will indicate that you are over-irrigating your pothos plants. On the flip side, if the leaves are predominately yellow and maybe even a little bit crispy, you’re probably underwater.
To find the happy medium, imagine tropical rainforest conditions. Pothos would typically have high humidity and continuous moisture, but only sporadic downpours of tropical monsoons. To mimic these conditions in your home, avoid watering your plant until the soil has dried out about 1-2 inches down. Then, give it a thorough watering and let it be. In the summertime, this could be once a week, but in the winter it can go even longer between watering.
The easiest way for beginners to know if their pothos plant needs water is simply by watching the leaves. Unlike other houseplants, a little bit of wilting in the leaves is not horrible. This is clear communication that it needs water. Just be sure it doesn’t start collapsing with dehydration!
When you notice a bit of wilting, you can then give it a good thorough drench (but not saturated!) and watch it perk up within an hour. Be sure that the water flows easily through the pot and doesn’t puddle up around the base of the plant. This could mean you have poorly drained soil that may lead to root rot.
Just like we talked about above, the most important thing about photos soil is for it to be well-drained. Jade Pothos absolutely hate having “wet feet” from sitting in waterlogged soil. Standard potting mix will do, but the addition of perlite, compost, peat moss, or coco coir will add drainage to the blend.
When it comes to fertilizer, this variety is not very finicky. It can thrive off very little or no fertilizer at all as long as it has a good soil mix as we talked about above. I’ve found that my Jade Pothos loves a biannual addition of compost on the top, as well as an occasional watering with diluted fish fertilizer or a dusting of all-purpose organic fertilizer.
Pothos are warm-weather tropical plants. They thrive in room temperatures between 65° and 85°F, making them a perfect condition for pretty much any building. They can be planted outside as perennials in growing zones 11 and warmer (southern Florida and southern California), but will only grow outdoors as annuals in any region that frosts. Jade Pothos is particularly sensitive to cold and should be kept away from cold drafts, winter windows, or unheated areas of the home.
As natives to the forest floor, E. aureum plants are used to having quite a bit of leaf coverage above them to protect their leaves from intense direct sunlight. These plants can get sunburnt if placed too close to harsh light and tend to prefer indirect or lower light conditions. They have even been reported to survive in bathrooms and nearly dark rooms with only small windows.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t need light! For a thriving pothos plant, it’s best to place the container near a north-facing window or on a shelf or middle of the room from a south-facing window. Allow them to get plenty of diluted sunlight to encourage lush leaf growth and development of new vines.
Humidity is key to keeping this plant happy and thriving. You can mist the leaf surfaces with a spray bottle of water once or twice a week to encourage lush growth. Frequent misting also helps the vines to attach to trellises by promoting aerial root growth like they would develop when vining up a tree in the wild.
While E. aureum is one of the most beginner-friendly house plants around, that doesn’t mean it’s completely immune to problems. Troubleshooting pothos plants is fairly easy with a little bit of observation and organic control methods.
Mealybugs and thrips are annoying little pests found on many different types of houseplants, including this one. They seem to thrive in damp, stagnant conditions or on unhealthy plants. You can simply wipe down pothos leaves with diluted neem oil or a biodegradable soapy water mixture to kill the bugs.
Indoor plants, in general, seem to harbor a lot of dust, especially in rooms or areas without much circulation. The dust settles on the leaves and prevents the plant from photosynthesizing as effectively, which ultimately means less growth and less greenery. Every few months, I like to gently wipe down my pothos plants with a soft damp cloth to keep the dust at bay. You can also use a diluted neem solution to prevent fungal activity on the leaf surfaces.
As we mentioned before, Jade Pothos plants hate soggy, saturated soils. If you overwater a plant or it doesn’t have enough drainage in its container, the pothos will begin to rot. The best thing you can do is simply avoid overwatering and use a quality soil mix. Once root rot begins, it is hard to reverse, however you could take the plant out of the container and prune off the rotten pieces of roots before replanting in hopes of reviving it.
If pothos plants get too “leggy,” this usually means they aren’t getting enough light. It could also mean that they are being underwatered or not being regularly pruned. The vines may appear stringy without much leaf growth. The easiest fix is simply pruning the leggy stems back to the base so it can put out more bushy growth. You can even use those cuttings to root new plants!
Yellowing leaves are most commonly a sign of under or overwatering. Be sure to stick your finger in the soil and regularly check the moisture so that you are keeping the pothos plant hydrated without making it soggy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best type of pothos?
The most vigorous type of pothos is the Jade Pothos or the common green variety. This pothos is the closest relative to the wild types of pothos and has the most chlorophyll in its leaves. On the other hand, variegated varieties such as “Pearls and Jade” or “Manjula” are exceptionally beautiful but may grow more slowly.
Is Jade pothos the same as golden pothos?
While Jade Pothos and Golden Pothos are from the same species E. aureum, they are not the same. Plant breeders have selected different cultivars of pothos that have unique leaf colors and shapes. The ‘Jade’ variety is completely green without any speckles, whereas ‘Golden’ pothos have yellow stripes and speckles on their leaves.
How fast does it grow?
This plant grows relatively quickly, around 12 inches per month. It can become fully mature at around a year, once the plant has hit about 6 feet in total length.
Can the Jade Pothos have any variegation?
Yes, it can have some, but it should be very little. If you are seeing more variegation, it may be that your plant is a different variety. If this is just a house plant, this may not be of much concern to you.
Now that you’ve learned all about Jade Pothos, you should understand if this particular type of pothos plant is the perfect fit for your indoor or outdoor gardening needs. By sticking to our tips and care guide, you’ll have an indoor or outdoor plant that can live many years with very little maintenance.