Emerald Pothos Care Guide – How to Grow Epipremnum Aureum ‘Emerald’

The Emerald Pothos is a sport of the Pothos NJoy. As such, it does have similarities to the plant.

In case you were wondering, its botanical name is Epipremnum aureum ‘Emerald’.

Unfortunately, as beautiful as the Emerald Pothos is, it is very hard to find. It is very rare to find someone, including online shops, that sell the plant.

Instead, some growers will sell you a stem cutting. These usually cost between $30 to $50 or more. And, even these are difficult to find as well.

That said, the Emerald Pothos features amazing variegated leaves with light green edges and a dark green middle. Although the patterns look very fluid which makes them stunning to look at.

Because of its unique looks and rarity, it makes a great addition to any plant collection.

It is low maintenance and easy to care for as well.

Emerald Pothos Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Emerald Pothos features beautiful light green variegations that contrast against a dark green foliage background.

This means it needs more light compared to those that have solid green leaves. That’s because the variegated portions are not able to absorb light as much or take part in photosynthesis, the plant’s internal food making process.

In dark areas, the lack of light will cause the plant to lose its gorgeous variegations as it adapts and tries to get as much light as possible.

As such, you should position it somewhere with plenty of bright light for optimal growth as long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight.

Long hours of intense sun or direct sunlight will burn its leaves and cause them to turn pale or light yellow.

Instead, it prefers indirect, dappled or filtered light indoors.

Outdoors, keep it in partial sun or shade especially during the mid-afternoons and peak of summer.

 

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Temperature

Emerald Pothos can tolerate a fairly wide temperature range. As long as you keep in withing 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it won’t have any issues.

However, its ideal growing conditions is in the middle of that range between 70 to 80 degrees. This is where it is most comfortable and grows the best.

The plant does not like extremes. As such, be careful not to leave it in overly hot locations. Although it will be able to tolerate it to some degree.

More importantly, it cannot withstand the cold. As such, anything below 55 degrees will become a problem.

It will slow the plant’s growth and cause it to stress. And, as the temperature drops from that level, the plant will sustain more damage and you’ll eventually see its leaves turn black.

 

Humidity

Similarly, the Emerald Pothos’ tropical nature makes it prefer high humidity. Ideally, you should keep indoor humidity between 50% and 70% for optimum growth.

But, the plant can tolerate regular room temperature without any harm. So, as long as you keep humidity around 40% or higher it will be fine.

You do want to be more wary if you live in a dry region where humidity can easily dip to the 30s or lower on a regular basis.

If this is the case, it is a good idea to increase humidity around the plant. You can use one of the following methods to achieve this.

  • Mist the plant 2 or 3 times a week
  • Place it on top of stones in a water tray
  • Group it with other houseplants
  • Get a humidifier

 

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How Often to Water Emerald Pothos

Your Emerald Pothos enjoy moist soil during the spring and summer when it is actively growing. However, be careful not to overwatering it.

The plant has a fairly shallow root system. As such, it does not take a ton of water to reach them. Also, you may consider a wide but shallower container to reduce the volume of soil. This decreases the risk of letting the roots sit in too much wet soil for long periods of time.

On average, I’ve found that the Emerald Pothos likes to be watered every 10 to 14 days.. But, this will vary depending on many factors including how much sun it receives, the weather in your locale, the amount of humidity in your home and the size of the pot to name a few.

So, do use the range as a starting point and adjust from there.

Because overwatering can be a problem, I like to allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering again.

Too much water causes the leaves to turn yellow. They can likewise wilt.

On the other hand, lack of water will dry out foliage, make them droop and cause their edges to turn brown.

If you see any of these symptoms, adjust your watering schedule immediately.

In the winter scale back on the watering as the plant does not need as much.

 

Soil for Emerald Pothos

Emerald Pothos needs well-draining soil as it is not fond of being overwatered.

I like to use a combination of peat and perlite in equal amounts to create the potting mix for this plant. If you already have standard potting soil at home, you can use that as well and add perlite to increase the drainage.

In general, soil needs to hold enough moisture to keep the plant well-hydrated. But, it should also be able to get rid of excess water so the plant does not live in wet conditions which can lead to problems like root rot.

Be careful with heavy soils or those that retain too much moisture. Similarly, the plant won’t be happy with overly fast draining soil that dries out quickly.

So, balance is key here.

 

Fertilizer

Emerald Pothos does not necessarily need fertilizer to thrive. In fact, you can just add a layer of compost once a year in spring and it will grow quite well.

That said, most growers do feed the plant to help optimize its growth.

You can use a balanced (15-15-15 or 20-20-20) liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month. I have a friend who only feeds it once every 2 to 3 months and the plant looks gorgeous.

More importantly, only feed it during spring and summer. It does not fertilizer during the colder months.

Also, make sure to water the soil when you apply fertilizer to avoid too much concentration.

Since the plant is a light feeder, being wary of too much plant food is the bigger concern.

 

Pruning

Like the NJoy, the Emerald Pothos is a vining plant. Thus, over time it will get longer and grow in different directions. As such, it will need pruning.

But, how much you trim it will really depend on where you display it and the look you’re going for. in hanging containers you can let it grow longer. But, on tabletops, it may sprawl all over the surface too much after a while.

Thus, pruning is mostly cosmetic.

However, it does help if you want to make the plant fuller. Similarly, it lets you shape and control the size of the plant.

Without trimming, it will keep growing and get a bit unruly and crazy looking after a while.

 

Emerald Pothos Propagation

Since the plant is very beautiful, it would be a shame not to propagate your Emerald Pothos. Especially since it is very easy to do so with stem cuttings.

This will let you have a backup plant in case something happens to it. You can also give it to friends who like plants as gifts.

As mentioned, the easiest way to propagate the plant is from stem cuttings. Although there are many other methods that work as well including air layering.

Here’s how to do it.

Take a 4 to 6 inch long healthy stem with at least 2 to 3 leaves on it.

Remove the lower leaves to expose the leaf nodes. These are where the new roots will grow from. So, you want to submerge them under water or plant them under soil.

Next, you have to make a decision: Propagate the plant in water or soil. Both methods work. But, the process for each is different. So, it really comes down to what you’re better at or prefer.

If you decide to start in water,

  • Place the stem cutting in a glass jar with the cut side down in the liquid.
  • Place the container in a warm, brightly-lit spot without direct sunlight.
  • After 14 to 20 days, you should see roots develop from the cutting.
  • Once the roots get to about half an inch or an inch long, you can move it to a container with soil.

On the other hand, if you choose to start with soil,

  • Prepare a small pot and fill it with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
  • You can dip the stem cutting in rooting hormone although it is not necessary to do so.
  • Plant the stem cutting into the soil.
  • Then water the soil and keep it moist.
  • Leave the pot under bright, indirect sun.
  • Propagating in soil takes longer to root as soil provides more resistance for the roots to overcome as they dig downwards. But, in around 20 to 30 days, the roots should develop.

 

How to Repot Emerald Pothos

Emerald Pothos won’t need annual repotting. I like to check to see how tight it gets against the insides of the pot once a year. But, it usually takes 2 or 3 years before you need to repot depending one how quickly the plant grows. In optimum conditions, it will be on the lower end of that range.

The best time to repot your Emerald Pothos is during the spring or early summer.

Ideally, you want to get it done during the warmer months and avoid doing so in the colder months. This allows it to grow sooner after being transplanted.

If you get a new plant from your local nursery, it is a good idea to keep the plant in its original container for at least 3 to 4 weeks. This will give it enough time to get acclimated to your home’s environment before you shock it (which happens when it is transplanted).

 

Toxicity

The Emerald Pothos is toxic to people and animals. If ingested it can cause mouth, throat, and digestive tract irritation and pain. How much will depend on the amount consumed.

This means it is a good idea to keep it away from very young children as well as pets.

 

Pests and Diseases

The Emerald Pothos is quite resilient to pests and diseases. It does not experience much of these problems which makes it easy to care for.

It is also the reason why it is a good plant for beginners.

That said, improper care or stress can make it susceptible to both pests and diseases. As such, you want to understand what the plant needs.

Spider mites and mealybugs are the most common attackers. You can easily get rid of them by spraying them off with a water hose. Although this only gets rid of those that are visible at that moment.

Once you see them appear it is a good idea to apply neem oil or insecticidal soap which works on those that are hiding as well.

In terms of disease, bacterial and fungal problems can happen as well. The worst of these is root rot which is a result of the plant sitting in too much moisture.

Because it enjoys high humidity, you want to be careful with overwatering.

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