How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Snow Queen Pothos
Snow Queen Pothos plants are becoming a very popular choice amongst indoor plant enthusiasts. They are a hardy plant, and are easy to care for when compared to other indoor plant species. In this article, organic gardening expert Logan Hailey examines how to plant, grow, and care for Snow Queen Pothos inside and outside your home!
You can find them vining eloquently through ceiling rafters or dangling beautifully from hanging planters. They may be verdant green, speckled chartreuse, or, in the case of the Snow Queen, a marbled cream and green.
The coveted pothos plant is easy to grow, inexpensive, and widely adaptable to a variety of indoor conditions. This trailing plant with heart-shaped leaves is eager to please by brightening your home and simultaneously purifying the air.
Best of all, the pothos plant is beginner-friendly and not super needy. It tolerates less frequent waterings, low light conditions, and low fertility. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can grow a thriving plant with very little effort. Let’s dig in!
Snow Queen Pothos Plant Overview
Houseplant, Perennial in Tropics
Epipremnum aureum var.
4 inches – 10+ foot Vines
Pot or Hanging Planter
Up to 10 Years
Mealybugs and Thrips
Snow Queen Pothos can grow in a pot on a table or can be cultivated in a hanging basket and trained to trail along a trellis, pole, or structure. These versatile tropical plants are most commonly grown as houseplants because they will die if exposed to frost.
However, USDA growing zones 10-12 (including parts of southern California and Florida) are suitable for growing outdoors. I have found pothos vining prolifically up sides of buildings or growing a lush verdant groundcover in tropical gardens of Miami! You can also grow smaller pothos plants outdoors as annual ground cover in colder growing zones.
What are Pothos Plants?
Pothos is a common name for a big group of tropical plants that belong to the Araceae, or aroid plant family. Also called “Devil’s Ivy” or “taro vine,” the most common pothos species is Epipremnum aureum. This species includes dozens of unique varieties and cultivars of pothos such as the beautiful ‘Snow Queen’. Other varieties include ‘Marble Queen’, ‘Manjula’, and ‘Golden’ pothos.
This particular variety stands out amongst the rest because of its distinctive variegation: the base is bright white and leaves are accented with randomized patches and delicate speckles of bright green. This variety is compact and less vigorous than other pothos varieties, making it one of the most low-maintenance members of the pothos Epipremnum aureum group.
Marble Queen vs. Snow Queen
You can tell ‘Snow Queen’ apart from ‘Marble Queen’ primarily by the coloration and growth habit. ‘Snow Queen’ tends to be more predominately white, with less green in its leaves, and grows more slowly.
On the other hand, ‘Marble Queen’ is creamy colored with more green splotches. It grows vigorously and may often need trimming due to its rapid growth. This plant is also sometimes mistaken for the silver satin pothos, but that plant is from an entirely different family.
Why are Pothos Called Devil’s Ivy?
The good news is that pothos are not nicknamed “Devil’s Ivy” because they are possessed by evil. Rather, it is because they are nearly impossible to kill! This is good news for any beginning houseplant parent! Pothos can tolerate great neglect and will literally stay green and grow even without any sunlight.
But the plant is obviously not going to grow very quickly or beautifully under those conditions. If you want a gorgeous pothos plant like the ones you see in quaint cafes and nursery greenhouses, you’ll need to take a few steps to keep the Devil’s Ivy happy.
Pothos are Tropical Natives
All members of E. aureum are native to the tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia and Australia. In the wild, you’ll most often find them vining along the forest floor or climbing trees. When climbing along branches and tree trunks, the pothos plants can form epiphytic roots that burrow into the tree for support. These aerial “floating” roots will also be noticeable in potted indoor plants as they climb along a trellis or wall.
Pothos is a perennial beauty in tropical growing zones 10-12. The juvenile leaves often found as groundcover tend to be smaller and more modest, but mature leaves grow larger and larger as pothos climb higher in the forest canopy. I’ve even seen leaves up to 1 foot in length! The plants will produce erect purple flower stalks in the wild but unfortunately do not flower in cultivation because pothos houseplants remain in the juvenile phase for their entire lifespan.
How Long Can Pothos Live?
A healthy pothos houseplant can live up to 10 years! These plants are remarkably resilient and eager to please as long as you provide them with the proper conditions. The primary reason for early death of pothos houseplants is either too cold of temperatures, not enough water, or fungal infections from excessively humid leaves. In the wild, pothos can live even longer and are constantly sending out runners that root into new plants.
Natural Air Purifiers
Pothos is remarkably efficient at removing indoor pollutants from the air. Studies have shown that it can effectively filter formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene and clean the interior airspace. With so many toxic chemicals found in building materials and problems like Sick Building Syndrome on the rise, air-purifying houseplants like pothos are increasingly important for healthy indoor spaces. Plus they are a lot prettier than an air-purifying machine!
Propagation and Planting
Snow Queen Pothos is widely available in retail nurseries and garden stores. You can find them in small pots, hanging baskets, and larger mature plants. Pothos are also very simple to propagate from cuttings of a friend or family member’s mature pothos plant. They are not typically grown from seed.
If you recently bought a pothos plant and it is beginning to outgrow its pot, it’s probably time to transplant it into a larger container. Keep in mind that this plant usually likes to get a bit root-bound before they are ready to be up-potted.
Use a pot or hanging basket with plenty of drainage holes and about twice as much volume as the current container. Fill it with a high-quality, well-drained potting mix, or use the soil mix recipe outlined below.
Next, scoop out a large-sized hole in the middle of the soil. Hold the Snow Queen plant at its base and gently wiggle it out of the container, being sure to protect the root ball from too much disruption. Carefully place the pothos in the hole of the new container and backfill with soil.
Avoid tampering down or compacting the soil because pothos likes plenty of aeration in their root zone. Thoroughly water in with a diluted kelp fertilizer to help with transplanting shock. To encourage new growth, selectively prune any leaves or vines that are yellowing or dying back.
How to Propagate From Cuttings
Snow Queen Pothos naturally roots new vines all the time. The easiest way to propagate a pothos plant is to use a sharp knife or scissors to cut a 4-6” length of a healthy stem with 4 or more leaves. Remove the leaf that is closest to the cut end and place that end in a glass jar with water. Make sure that none of the leaves are submerged.
Place the jar and cutting in a warm place with plenty of indirect sunlight. Treat them just as you would the other houseplants. As soon as the cutting begins to form roots (typically about a month), it is best to transplant it to a potted container with soil. If it stays in the water too long it may have trouble transitioning to soil.
Snow Queen Pothos Care
Most of the care for this plant comes from placing it in the right location. These plants prefer warm room temperatures and plenty of humidity. They do not like direct sunlight and should be placed in the middle of a room or at a distance from windows. Avoid anywhere with cold drafts or intense light.
When it comes to watering, it’s best to keep this plant on the dryer side. This is part of what makes it such an adaptable, easy-to-care-for houseplant. You can let the soil almost dry out in between waterings. Depending on the conditions, check the soil once or twice a week by sticking your finger in the pot. If the soil feels dry through the top 1-3”, it is time to water. If the soil sticks to your finger and comes out wet, your pothos is probably plenty hydrated.
Pothos is one of the most beginner-friendly houseplants because it tells you when it’s thirsty. Unlike most plants, it’s perfectly acceptable to wait to water until pothos leaves begin to slightly droop. The slightly soft and wilted leaves will be your que to provide a thorough watering. Snow Queen plants should perk up within 20 minutes or so of watering. Just be sure that you don’t completely neglect the plant and let the soil get bone-dry. It will be harder to revitalize the plant.
In the winter, pothos need even less water due to cooler conditions and likely higher humidity indoors. To prevent overwatering, be sure that the Snow Queen plant is growing in a quality container with drain holes and a water catchment tray.
Given its elegant beauty, soil conditions for this plant are surprisingly simple. They prefer rich, well-drained soil. Pothos resents soggy conditions or “wet feet” around its roots, which can cause root rot.
To keep water draining smoothly, it’s best to plant Snow Queen in a loamy potting mix with plenty of perlite for aeration. A soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5 is ideal. You can create your own mix with 1 part standard organic topsoil, 1 part high-quality compost, and 1 part perlite.
Yet another reason why this plant is perfect for people without a “green thumb”: Snow Queen Pothos don’t need much fertility. In fact, many houseplant experts don’t fertilize their Pothos at all. If you plant in a high-quality topsoil and compost blend, your Pothos plant will do just fine.
However, if you want to give it an extra growth boost in the spring and summer, consider feeding Snow Queen with a diluted seaweed or kelp fertilizer once or twice a month. This provides an abundance of trace minerals and a little bit of potassium that will help the Pothos maintain strong stems and vigorous growth. You can also add worm castings (often called vermicompost) to the top layer of soil as a slow-release source of fertility and healthy soil microbes.
Like the rest of the pothos family, this plant is a warm-weather tropical plant. Temperatures between 65° and 85°F are ideal, which makes Pothos suitable for most climate-controlled buildings. Pothos don’t mind higher temperatures as long as it’s not in harsh direct sunlight. However, these plants are very sensitive to cold and should never be placed near chilly drafts or too close to cold windows.
Keeping in mind that E. aureum typically grows wild on forest floors with the shade of the canopy, it is important to avoid putting pathos plants in direct sunlight. On the flip side, they also shouldn’t be left in excessively dark or low-light areas. Pothos prefer a happy medium of bright indirect or speckled sunlight coming through a window. They will also tolerate artificial lighting in some cases. Too much light will cause leaf burn and potentially kill Snow Queen leaves.
Moderate humidity is the key to a happy plant. Ideally, 50% to 75% humidity creates the perfect conditions for pothos. These speckled vines evolved on tropical and subtropical forest floors with plenty of moisture in the air. If you live in a dry climate, misting the Pothos’ leaves once a week can keep your plant extra happy and vibrant.
However, you should always avoid drenching the leaves. A gentle mist is all it needs. Too much water on the leaf surface could create fungal problems for the pothos, so be sure to balance humidity with airflow and plenty of time to dry out in between mistings.
This pothos variety is no different than many others when it comes to pests, diseases, and other plant problems. Let’s take a look at the most common problems you are likely to encounter, and how to troubleshoot them for the best results.
Mealybugs and Thrips
The most common pests on Snow Queen pothos are mealybugs and thrips. You can wipe the leaves with diluted neem oil or spray a horticultural oil or soap and water mixture on the leaves to kill these bugs.
Because pothos are indoor plants without much wind or air movement, they tend to accumulate dust. It’s important to wipe down your pothos plants regularly so that they can properly photosynthesize. This is especially important for Snow Queen pothos because of their lack of chlorophyll pigmentation in the creamy white portions of the leaves.
To remove dust, simply use water or a diluted neem oil solution on a soft towel and wipe down the leaf surface every 3 to 4 months.
If you overwater this plant, the roots can begin to succumb to fungal pathogens. The best prevention is planting in well-drained soil and only watering when the plant leaves begin to slightly droop. Once root rot begins, it is hard to reverse, but you can try to let the plant thoroughly dry out and repot into a better soil mix. Avoid repotting too often, however, as Snow Queen really likes to grow to fill its container and have its roots undisturbed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy a Snow Queen Pothos plant?
Are Snow Queen Pothos plants toxic?
Pothos are very toxic when ingested. Avoid keeping pothos plants near pets or small children. They are best hung from planters or kept on taller shelves so that nobody tries to eat the leaves.
Do Snow Queen pothos need to be pruned?
To maintain a happy pothos plant, it’s best to cut off any brown or yellowing leaves. If the vines begin to get too long and leggy, you can prune them back to the base and encourage a more bushy growth habit.
You can also pinch the tips of the stems to prevent the plant from growing too spindly. Best of all, each of those prunings can be rooted and planted into the same planter for a more bushy, fuller Snow Queen.
What makes a Snow Queen Pothos?
Snow Queen’ is simply a variety of Epipremnum aureum that has been bred for a speckled white and green marbled appearance. The pure white parts of the leaves are a result of reduced chlorophyll, which is the main reason why they grows slower than other types of pothos.
Can you plant Snow Queen pothos outside?
If you live in a subtropical region of the US (growing zone 10-12), pothos will grow year-round outdoors as long as there is no unexpected frost. You can still plant pothos outdoors in other regions as well, but it will only grow as an annual and will die with the first frost.
Contrary to its name, this plant absolutely cannot survive snow… unless it’s watching through the window!
Just like many other plants from the same family, this plant has become quite popular over the last decade as an indoor companion plant. Regardless if you keep them indoors or outdoors, the Snow Queen Pothos is a beautiful plant, that can live for many years if cared for properly. After reading this guide, you should know exactly what steps to take to plant, grow, and care for this wonderful plant!