Just getting into houseplants or looking to expand your collection? The pothos, technically referred to as epipremnum aureum, has remained a favorite among household varieties—and for good reason.
"It tolerates a wide range of growing conditions, including low light (though it grows best and fastest in a brighter spot), inconsistent watering, and holds up to low humidity (which many of our homes suffer from in the dry winter months), making it an excellent indoor plant for beginners," explains Justin Hancock, a horticulturist at Costa Farms. He points out that being a vine, the pothos is also fairly versatile. "You can grow it on a desk or tabletop, have it climb, or let it trail (while keeping it out of reach of children or pets). Plus, it's easy to propagate, so you can root and share clippings with your friends." It's essentially nature's gift that keeps on giving.
Read on as horticulturists recommend some of the prettiest pothos plants for breathing new life into your space, and offer quick tips on how to care for these low-maintenance house plants.
Consider Golden Pothos the gold standard (or, as experts point out, the most common among the leafy bunch). “It has mid-green leaves splashed and streaked with gold. The more light it gets, the more highly variegated the foliage will be. Like all pothos varieties, if you grow it up a support in warm, bright conditions, the leaves will grow much larger—perhaps even a foot across,” says Hancock.
Neon pothos is prime for people with a penchant for bright colors. “Its new growth comes out a stunning shade of chartreuse before eventually maturing to a soft green color. In a high-light spot, the neon tone may hold on a couple of months before fading. In lower light, it could be less than a month. And in low light, it often goes from neon to chartreuse to soft or even medium green,” explains Hancock.
Marble Queen Pothos
Her majesty is typically identified as dark glossy leaves painted with creamy white. “It will hold this brilliant white and green contrast if placed in a bright well-lit area. However, it can tolerate lower-light places (in which case you’ll see more of the green),” explains Joyce Mast, a horticulturalist and “plant mom” at Bloomscape. “It’s a little slower growing than golden or neon pothos, but its light variegation helps give it a more refined appearance and makes an excellent contrast to other houseplants with dark green foliage,” adds Hancock.
If you’re a hopeless romantic, consider a manjula pothos, which bears large, heart-shaped leaves. “The variegation pattern is pretty variable—so you might see leaves with variegation more similar to Marble Queen, along with leaves that have larger and fewer patches of green and white,” explains Hancock. “I haven’t seen this one grown vertically, but given that the leaves tend to be larger than the other varieties, I guess you could get those big, tropical-looking leaves a little sooner by growing it up.”
Hancock notes that this plant grows slower than many pothos varieties (approximately 25 or 30 percent slower than Marble Queen) and, as with love, “no two leaves are exactly alike!”
The Jessenia Pothos is similar to the Marble Queen and Manjula when it comes to plant shape and proper care, but boasts vibrant greens. “Every leaf of this pothos is unique, layered with green and yellow-green hues,” says George Pisegna, deputy director and chief of horticulture at The Horticultural Society of New York.
Pearls and Jade Pothos
“Developed by the University of Florida, this patented selection also has white to creamy-white variegation, but in larger sections across the leaves,” says Hancock. The Pearls and Jade Pothos's variegation pattern is also more irregular than Marble Queen. “While it likes bright light, the white sections of its leaves are susceptible to sunburn, so it’s best to filter direct afternoon sun through a sheer curtain or move the plant back a foot or two from a sunny window.”
Silver Satin Pothos
The Silver Satin Pothos (also known as scindapsus) features exquisite greenish-blue foliage with an interesting silver leaf pattern,” says Mast. “It will flourish and be happiest in bright, indirect light, and is perfect for hangers and the tops of shelves because it naturally spills and trails as it grows.”
Cebu Blue Pothos
This selection is technically a different species (Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’) than the others, but does well in the same growing conditions, notes Hancock. “Its foliage is a blue-green color that, in some lighting conditions, may appear to have something of an iridescence. Like all other pothos, its leaves will grow larger if it’s grown up a support in warm, bright conditions. But unlike other pothos, its foliage can develop fenestrations (cuts or perforations), much like a Monstera,” he explains.
A cultivar of Golden Pothos, this fast-growing variegated pothos is flecked with yellow speckles. Like many other pothos varieties, the Hawaiian pothos will thrive in bright, indirect light. Be careful when placing this pothos in direct light, as it may scorch the leaves. In the right conditions, the leaves of this plant can grow to be more than a foot long, inspiring some to refer to this unofficially as the "giant Hawaiian pothos."