How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Jessenia Pothos
Jessenia Pothos plants are a newer variety of the popular Epipremnum aureum. It has become more popular over the last few years due to its lighter green marbling, and hardy nature. In this article, organic gardening expert Logan Hailey walks through how to plant, grow, and care for Jessenia Pothos broken down by each step of the process.
Jessenia Pothos is a beautiful marbled variety of the popular tropical houseplant, Epipremnum aureum. Better known as “Devil’s Ivy” or “Money Plant,” the pothos plant is one of the most ubiquitous indoor vines thanks to its resilience and tolerance of less-than-ideal conditions.
Many people call it “Devil’s Ivy” because it is nearly impossible to kill. So if you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry! You can still cultivate this plant in your home or office with just a few steps to keep it happy.
Overall, Jessenia Pothos is very easygoing and simple to care for. With this guide, you’ll be ready to dive into houseplant parenthood and you might even have a lush jungle of tropical vines trailing through your room in no time!
Jessenia Pothos Plant Overview
Plant Type Tropical Houseplant
Species Epipremnum auruem ‘Jessenia’
Hardiness Zone USDA 10-12
Planting Season Any
Plant Height 1 feet height, vines to 10 feet
Fertility Needs Low
Temperature 65-90 degrees
Container Hangning Planter or Pot
Soil Type Well-draining
Plant Spacing Close
Watering Needs Low
Sun Exposure Bright Indirect Light
Lifespan Up to 10 years
Pests Mealybugs, Thrips, Fungus Gnats
Diseases Root Rot
If you’ve been wondering about this speckled heart-shaped vine, you’ve come to the right place. After years of growing Jessenia Pothos, it’s become one of my favorite house plants thanks to its stunning leaf patterns and low-maintenance attitude.
What is Jessenia Pothos?
E. aureum is a member of the Araceae family with origins in French Polynesia and Southeast Asia. These tropical vines can be found growing wild on the forest floor or winding their way up rainforest trees. Epipremnum aureum ‘Jessenia’ is a unique cultivar of the wild pothos which has been bred to have speckled lime, chartreuse, and deep green leaves.
This plant is a remarkably easy to grow and rewarding house plant for plant growers of all ages and skill levels. It is low-maintenance and tolerant of less frequent watering. It can even grow with virtually no fertilizer. If you’ve been wanting to add a unique pop of color to your indoor space, but you don’t have a lot of extra time to care for houseplants, pothos could be the perfect plant for you!
Where Does it Originate?
The variety was released by Costa Farms in 2014 and has since gained wide popularity as a uniquely colored cousin to Golden Pothos. Breeders discovered this stable descendent of pothos from a line of the popular ‘Marble Queen’ cultivar. All of these domesticated types of pothos originate from the wild E. aureum which grows in tropical regions throughout Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Australia.
Will Pothos Flower Indoors?
The Latin name Epipremnum aureum actually translates to “golden flower on the tree stump.” These vines can grow absolutely massive (leaves up to a foot wide and vines over 40 feet long) in their wild native habitat. The mature plants bloom beautiful spade-shaped, cream-colored flowers.
However, as houseplants, pothos stay in the juvenile stage and will not flower nor grow quite so large. When it comes to Jessenia, the leaves are so dang pretty you won’t care for the flowers anyways!
How Can You Tell Them Apart From Other Varieties?
There are so many varieties of pothos these days it can be hard to keep up! But the Jessenia Pothos is definitely a unique one to add to your collection. At first glance, it looks a lot like Marble Queen. It can be hard to tell them apart when every leaf on the plant has a different coloration pattern.
Jessenia vs. Marble Queen Pothos
The main difference is that Jessenia’s variegation is a lime green hue, whereas Marble Queen tends to be much lighter and even cream-colored. Some Jessenia leaves even have more stripes, speckling, and swirled hues of forest green and lime that make it look almost like a smeared green painting.
Jessenia vs. Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos is notably yellow and gold, whereas Jessenia sticks to lime and forest green hues. Like many of the marbled or variegated cultivars, Jessenia Pothos tends to grow slower than Golden Pothos or Jade Green. This is primarily because the lighter-colored areas have less chlorophyll and therefore less photosynthetic capacity.
Though it is slower growing, the chartreuse-speckled heart-shaped leaves make it much more coveted amongst house plant enthusiasts. The coloration of Jessenia will show best in bright, indirect light. Less light will result in duller leaves with less unique variegation.
Is Jessenia Pothos Poisonous?
All pothos varieties are mildly poisonous to dogs, cats, and humans. It is best to keep them up high in hanging baskets or on shelves where they can’t be eaten by kids or pets. The main side effects of consuming this plant are burning or itchy mouth, skin irritation, swollen lips or throat, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fortunately, pothos loves to wind along any sort of trellis and is easy to keep away from pets or children.
An Aesthetically-Pleasing Air Purifier
Like all pothos, Jessenia is an excellent air purifier. Studies from NASA showed that pothos plants can permanently pull toxic chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde out of the air and create cleaner indoor air spaces.
Considering the rise in Sick Building Syndrome, and the burden of carcinogenic chemicals in many building materials today, the air-cleaning properties of pothos should not be overlooked! This plant is gorgeous and beneficial to your health. Why not have your cake and eat it too?
Propagation and Planting
All pothos plants can be easily propagated by cuttings or transplanted into larger containers for more lush growth. The process is really easy thanks to this plant’s vigorous, forgiving nature.
How to Propagate Pothos by Cutting
Cuttings are simply portions of a plant that are cut off the mother plant and rooted in water or a moss mixture. You can create lots of baby pothos plants by cutting off portions of your Jessenia Pothos vine. As long as you properly support the baby cuttings as they root and leave enough nodes, you will have new pothos in no time!
Nodes are simply the brownish nubs where leaves usually connect to the stem. This is also where new roots and leaves will grow out of the cutting.
Begin with sharp scissors, pruners, or a knife that you have sanitized with a diluted alcohol solution. This will just ensure you don’t introduce any pathogens into your existing plant. Find a long, healthy vine on your Jessenia and count back 3-4 leaves from the tip of the vine.
Make a cut at a 45° angle behind the 4th leaf, ensuring that there are at least 2-3 nodes left in place. Remove the bottom 1 or 2 leaves and place the cutting into a jar of water with the lower nodes fully submerged. This jar can be placed in the same conditions as the mother plant: a warm area with indirect sunlight that isn’t too harsh nor too shady.
In a few weeks, you will begin to see roots forming from the stem cutting. I usually wait at least a month before transplanting the cutting into soil. The cutting should have roots that are 2-4 inches long and beginning to branch out. Prepare a container with the directions below and carefully place the newly rooted cutting into the soil mix with the roots facing downward (not curled up or tangled).
When you backfill, be careful not to tamp down the mix, as your baby plants will need plenty of air flow to their roots. Thoroughly water in with a diluted kelp solution and treat as you would any other pothos!
How to Transplant and Up-Pot Pothos
Whether you just bought your Jessenia Pothos plant from a store or you’ve had it for a while, it may be time to up-pot it into a larger container. Transplanting is important for the health of the plant because it won’t be able to keep growing if it gets too root-bound inside a small pot. Just like babies outgrow their clothes, Jessenia Pothos plants tend to outgrow their containers over time. The best clue that it’s time to up-pot is seeing roots peeking out from the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot.
Find a container that is about twice the size of the original pot. Fill it with a well-drained potting mix like the one described below. Soil is super important when transplanting or up-potting, so make your selection wisely! This will be the plant’s home for at least another year.
Next up, make a bowl in the center of the pot that is about the size of your pothos’ root ball. Grasp your plant at the base of the stems and gently wiggle the pot off of the roots, trying your best to keep the soil and roots protected.
Place the plant into the hole and ensure that the top of the soil is in the same place as it was before. Carefully backfill the soil around the base of the plant and do not press it down very much. Water in with a diluted kelp solution to help with transplant shock. Your plant will be very happy for more space!
Jessenia Pothos Care
Given its tropical roots, this plant tends to love warmth, humidity, and well-drained soil. We can use these native conditions as clues for how to keep our pothos plants as happy as possible.
If you consider that tropical rainforests tend to have dry periods alternating with monsoon season downpours, you’ll also get a pretty good idea of the watering preferences of this plant.
It likes to dry out a bit between watering and absolutely hates being waterlogged or overwatered. When in doubt, you can even wait for the Jessenia plant to wilt a little bit as a sign that it’s time to water.
Pothos is used to growing in rainforest soils that are super deep and drain quickly. This is important because heavy amounts of rainfall need to pass through the soil during wet months. In a pot, this concept is even more important because the plant has less room for its roots to breathe.
This plant hates “wet feet” or waterlogged soil. The potting mix needs to be very well-drained and loose. I prefer to use a combination of 3 parts high-quality potting mix to 1 part perlite or vermiculite.
You can also make your own mix with 2 parts peat moss, 1 part perlite, and 1 part shredded pine bark. There are special organic mixes made specifically for Aroid plants like pothos. I prefer adding a scoop of organic compost once a year or when transplanting in order to keep the soil microbially-active and well-drained.
Tropical soils are among the world’s oldest soils and have been heavily weathered by millennia of hot conditions and lots of rainfall. This means that they are typically low in nutrients. Pothos is well adapted to these conditions and doesn’t require much fertility indoors.
However, you can give your plant a little extra boost every few months with a diluted fish and seaweed fertilizer that will help keep the leaves deep green and vibrant. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to leaf burn.
All pothos plants prefer temperatures around 65° to 90°F. It’s best to keep your Jessenia away from windows or doors with cold drafts. It definitely won’t survive a cold winter in an unheated space. These plants are very resilient as long as they are kept at regular room temperature and protected from the cold.
As you can imagine, the forest floor of a tropical rainforest is a bit darker than the canopy. Pothos plants can’t handle harsh direct sunlight and instead prefer a bright indirect light such as a north or east-facing window, or the center of a room with a south-facing window. Too much sunlight will result in burnt or scorched leaves, whereas too little sunlight will make leggy vines with less beautiful coloration.
As I mentioned above, variegated cultivars like Jessenia are especially prone to losing their gorgeous marbled appearance if they are in super low-light conditions. If you want a pothos plant for a bathroom or darker office, opt for Jade Pothos instead.
Last but not least, tropical plants love humidity and Jessenia is no different! A semi-regular misting of water directly on the leaves will keep this plant happy in drier climates. If you have lots of tropical houseplants, you may even consider investing in a humidifier for use during the summer. The only caveat is that you should avoid excessively damp, stagnant conditions that may support mold or fungal growth on the leaves, stems, or roots.
Jessenia Pothos is mostly problem-free as long as you give it the right conditions. If any pests, root rot, or leaf issues arise, there are plenty of simple organic techniques you can use to deal with them.
The main pests that attack indoor pothos plants are mealybugs, thrips, and fungus gnats. All of these pesky annoying bugs can be easily eliminated with a simple neem oil solution. Just dilute with water and then wipe the neem directly onto the leaf surfaces with a soft damp cloth. This will kill existing bugs and prevent new ones from coming along.
If you overwater or grow pothos in a heavy, dense soil, it will become prone to root rot. This may result in stagnated growth or yellowing, unhappy leaves. The best solution is transplanting the pothos into a new container with a better drained soil.
Yellow or Brown Leaves
Sometimes old leaves naturally yellow and die, but if you are noticing lots of yellowing or brown leaves on your Jessenia, this is the sign of a deeper issue. Too much water can lead to yellowing and even drooping. Too little water may result in a brownish or crispy leaf appearance.
Leaf scorch from too much light will look similar, with “sunburnt” brown portions on the leaves and less vibrant coloration. Low light conditions may create yellowing or pale, dull colored leaves. All of these can be fixed with better soil, careful attention to your watering methods, and moving the plant to a more suitable location.
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Jessenia pothos?
Epipremnum auruem ‘Jessenia’ is simply a cultivar of pathos that was bred from the mother ‘Marble Queen’ plant. The heart-shaped leaves of Jessenia are abundantly marbled with lime-green or chartreuse splotches. Jessenia was developed at Costa Farms and is a common variety of pothos in garden stores.
Is Marble Queen devil’s ivy?
‘Marble Queen’ is a variety of Epipremnum aureum, or the common pothos plant. This plant is also nicknamed “Devil’s Ivy” because it is so difficult to kill. There are dozens of cultivars of this unique tropical vine that can be grown as houseplants. Each variety is distinguished by unique coloration in the foliage.
How long does a pothos plant live?
Healthy pothos plants can live up to 10 years indoors! The lifespan depends on its environment, container, soil, watering, and sunlight. The primary causes of killing a pothos plant are prolonged cold temperatures (below 50°F), not enough water, root rot, or pathogens.
The Jessenia Pothos is just another variety of one of the most popular indoor houseplants. Combining several different varieties of the Epipremnum aureum family can make a truly special indoor gardening space. Hopefully, after digesting all the information in this article, you now know how to plant, grow, and care for a Jessenia Pothos should you welcome one into your home!