Glacier pothos (Epipremnum Aureum ‘Glacier’) is commonly confused with NJoy Pothos and Pearls and Jade Pothos because their variegations look similar.
However, it you place them side by side, you’ll notice a few differences. The easiest of which to notice is that the glacier pothos has smaller leaves. In fact, it is one of the more uncommon smaller foliage pothos varieties.
Additionally, if you analyze their variegations, you’ll see some distinctions. The most obvious of which is that the glacier pothos’ white sections look more like streaks whereas the other two have patches of white adorning their predominantly green foliage.
In any case, going with either of the 3 works really well because they’re all easy to care for and look great indoors.
The glacier pothos grows up to between 6 to 8 feet long and 3 to 4 feet wide. Its trailing habit will mean you’ll want to prune it unless you’re hanging it from a basket.
in addition to is ease of care, the plant also cleans the air by removing toxins from it.
Glacier Pothos Plant Care
Glacier Pothos Light
Your glacier pothos can grow in low, medium or bright light, provided that is stay out of direct sunshine. This makes partial shade, filtered or dappled light the best.
However, because of the prevalence of white variegations in its leaves, it thrives in bright, indirect light. That’s because a plant’s leaves collect sunlight. But, only the green parts of leaves do so. It is also here where the plant creates its energy from photosynthesis.
Since the white parts don’t contain chlorophyll, they don’t contribute to this process.
This means the plant needs to be exposed to more sunlight for its remaining green parts to absorb the same amount of sunlight a solid green leaf would.
For this reason, the more variegated your pothos is, the more bright light it needs.
That said, it can survive and do well in low light. But, you need to watch and see where its threshold will be. Once you see any of these symptoms, it is a sign you need to move it somewhere brighter.
- Reduced variegations. Depending on how much more light it you’ll see the white parts get lighter in color and slowly turn green. This is the plant adjusting. Since it can’t get enough light, it will turn the white sections green to collect the light it needs.
- Slow growth. Lower light means less energy production. As a result, less growth overall.
- Smaller leaves. This is also from the slower growth.
Similarly, the plant tends to lean or grow towards the light. So, if your light sources predominantly comes from one side, make sure to rotate the plant every so often to even out its growth. Otherwise, it will bend towards one side.
All this means that your plant will do well facing north, east, west or south. But, a few things to keep in mind.
- In the north, make sure it gets enough bright light since this tends to be the lowest light condition of the 4 directions.
- In the west or south, keep the plant at least a few feet away from the window where the sun’s rays can hit in the middle of the day.
Finally, if you have the plant hanging, you want to make sure that light reaches the top of the plant not just the leaves. This can be a problem depending on how it is hung.
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Glacier Pothos Temperature & Humidity
Your glacier pothos tolerates a wide temperature range. As long as you keep it somewhere that stays between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it will be happy.
The basic rule here is if it is comfortable for humans, it will be comfortable for your pothos. This is why the plant is very easy to care for indoors.
That said, it is not frost hardy. So, it is only ideal to grow it in your garden if you live in USDA zones 9b to 11. If you live somewhere colder or with snowy winters, leaving it outside from late October to February will kill it.
Thus, the best option here would be to grow it in a container so you can bring it outside in the warmer months. Once the temperature drops under 60 degrees it is time to bring it indoors.
Another thing worth mentioning is keep the plant away from drafts. This includes vents, air conditioning, heaters and even windows that are prone to cold breezes.
Additionally, the plant also does well in most homes in terms of humidity. Its ideal humidity is between 50% and 70%. However, I’ve found it doesn’t mind normal home humidity which is slightly lower than that 40% to 50%. As long as the air in your house isn’t too dry, it will be fine.
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The glacier pothos doesn’t need a lot of water. In fact, it is a bit drought tolerant in that it can take a few days with lack of water. This makes it easy to care for even for beginners since you can miss a watering session here and there.
That said, it is not a good idea to let it dry out for long periods of time. It will be obvious when the plant gets thirsty because it will begin to droop. You also notice that plant will be a shadow of its normal self in that is looks sluggish or tired. The leaves will also lose vibrancy and look drier.
When this happens, immediately water it. The good news is, within 24 to 48 hours it will recover and you’ll see become lively again. That said, allowing this to keep happening over and over will slow down its growth considerably.
The most important rules when it comes to watering your glacier pothos are:
- Stay safe on the drier side. It doesn’t mind drier conditions. But, will get damaged when waterlogged.
- Be aware it is prone to root rot. Root rot is a result of overwatering. And, it can kill your plant if not resolved early.
I usually need to water my glacier pothos every 5 to 8 days depending on the weather. Note that the plant needs more light. This means water will evaporate faster with it compared to pothos varieties that prefer lower light conditions.
A warming sign that you’re watering too much or too often is if its leaves turn yellow. When you see this, it is a sign to back off on watering.
How to Water Glacier Pothos
A good way to gauge when it is time to water is to check the soil before watering. Here’s how:
- Stick your finger into the soil down to about 2 inches into the soil. If it feels moist, wait a little longer. If dry, water.
- Similarly, you can use a moisture meter which is more precise. All you need to do is stick the device into the soil all the way down and check the digital reading.
When watering, I like to slowly pour water over the soil until it the liquid start to drip from the holes below the pot, then stop.
After that, allow excess moisture to drain before returning it to its spot.
Once you do that, wait until the soil dries out on the top 2 inches before watering again using the same method.
Your glacier pothos will be happy with standard potting mix as long as it drains moisture well. That’s because of its susceptibility to root rot.
However, it isn’t too choosy when it come to the kind of soil. This is another reason why it is easy to care for it.
That said, do check to see whether or not it contains fertilizer. This will allow you to know if you need to feed the plant or not. I’ll discuss the glacier pothos’ fertilizer in more detail in the next section.
Alternatively, I know a gardener who uses cactus mix, which works very well for pothos. That’s because cacti need soil that drains well too.
You can likewise create your own potting mix at home with a few ingredients including peat moss and perlite. The latter makes sure that it is well draining.
Glacier pothos are not heavy feeders either. As such, it is also a good idea to go with less than more.
Here, you have a couple of options. You may or may not fertilizer your plant.
How to Know If Glacier Pothos Needs Fertilizing?
- Soil comes with fertilizer. Many potting mixes come with fertilizer “built’ in”. As such, you want to check if this is the case. If so, you don’t need to fertilize your plant until the dose in the soil runs out. It is best to ask the nursery you buy the product from for this information since different products contain different amounts and kinds of initial doses.
- If you use compost or worm compost. Many amendments such as these two help improve the nutrietns in the soil. Thus, you can use these instead of fertilizer. They’re natural so you don’t add chemicals to your plant.
The reason why you may want to avoid fertilizer is that it can get costly. More importantly, fertilizer leaves salt residue which builds up int soil the more (and longer) your feed your plants.
This build up, after a while, can cause root burn which damages your root syste.
It is worth noting that inorganic/synthetic fertilizers will leave more of these residues. So, you may want to go with organic fertilizer. However, know that organic fertilizer is more expensive. Also, its doses are weaker than synthetic, so you’ll use more which adds to the cost. Although it is better for the long-term health of your plant.
How to Fertilize Glacier Pothos
That said, if you notice your plant isn’t growing as well as it should. Or, that it just looks weak or sad, you’ll want to apply fertilizer. Always remember, be conservative. So, start small and add if needed.
You can use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer. Something like 5-5-5 works well because the glacier pothos only needs light feeding. You can likewise use fish emulsion.
Either way, make sure to dilute them to half strength when you apply. Do so in spring and summer. Although, you can lay off in summer if the plant is growing enough.
Come fall and winter, you don’t need to feed it as it takes a break from growing. At least until next spring.
Pruning Glacier Pothos
While your glacier pothos is not as fast growing as less-variegated varieties, it will nevertheless still grow big. If you keep it outdoors in the ground, you’ll notice it size will be much bigger and it will climb much higher than if grown indoors.
So. Be ready to give it enough space and something high enough to climb up.
Thanks to this kind of growth, pruning plays an important role in keeping the plant healthy. This is probably the only area of this plant that take a little bit of maintenance. Although, it is not a lot of work.
Pruning lets you shape and control the size of the plant. It also allows you to remove dead, discolored and damaged foliage. And, doing so will fix leggy stems when they do occur.
It is also a good idea to prune it because doing so promotes new growth. This makes your plant look fuller. But, to do so, always prune above the leaf node. This will make the stem branch out and produce fresh growth.
If you want to propagate your glacier pothos, this is likewise the time to get your cuttings.
Glacier Pothos Propagation
Speaking of cuttings, stem cuttings are the easiest way to propagate glacier pothos. Here, you want to take cuttings from healthy stems and put them into a jar of water to root.
You can likewise go straight into planting the cuttings in soil. But, rooting in water is faster. It also increases the success rate.
Do change the water when it begins to get dirty. After a few weeks, you’ll see roots start to grow out of the cuttings’ nodes. Once they develop you can move the cutting into a pot with well draining soil.
However, you don’t need to hurry. I’ve been able to keep cuttings in water for up to 5 months and they did well. They can probably go on longer but I’ve never tried it.
Transplanting & Repotting
Given proper conditions, your glacier pothos will one day outgrow its current pot. This can take anywhere from 1 to almost 3 years depending on how fast it grows, which depends on its living conditions.
You’ll know that the plant needs to move to a larger container when it shows signs of being root bound. Here, you’ll notice its roots sneaking out from the holes in the pot to find more ground.
The plant will likewise slow down in growth. And, the soil will dry faster even if you water at the same amount. That’s because the plant is not bigger and requires more moisture which the soil isn’t able to hold anymore.
Keeping the plant pot bound for long periods of time isn’t healthy, even if pothos are find with being slightly rootbound.
Repotting also allows you to change the soil and replace it with fresh potting mix, which contains nutrients and it also looser.
How to Repot Glacier Pothos
Spring and summer are the best times to repot your glacier pothos, When you do, you want to have a few things ready.
- Larger pot. Go up only 2 inches (one size up) from your current pot. If the plant is very pot bound and barely fits in the pot one size bigger, you can go up 4 inches. But, no more than that. Too big a container means lots of extra soil. When watered, your plant will end up sitting in a lot of water.
- Fresh potting mix. Choose a well-draining potting mix. Also, check if it contains fertilizer or not.
- A place that can get dirty. You can repot outside the house, in your sink or place newspaper on the floor. Doing so makes cleaning the soil much easier.
Once you have these ready, it is time to get to work.
- Carefully take the plant out of its container.
- Inspect the root ball for any problems. ideally, you want to see healthy roots.
- Fill a third of the new pot with fresh potting mix
- Insert the glacier pothos into the new pot.
- Fill the remaining space with soil
- Water it and return it to its spot.
Glacier pothos are toxic to people and animals. It is vital that if you have young children, dogs or cats at home not to let them be around it. If they happen to ingest any part of the plant, it will cause mouth irritation as well as digestive issues like vomiting and diarrhea.
Pests and Disease
Glacier pothos don’t have any major pest or disease problems. But sometimes that may experience some pests. The most common of which are scale, mealybugs spider mites and thrips. These will move and spread to other nearby plants. So, treating them early is important.
When it comes to disease, you want to avoid root rot and fungal problems. Both of which are caused by overwatering.