The jessenia pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jessenia’) is a beautiful houseplant that is easily distinguished by its heart shaped leaves that feature yellow green patterns against a dark green background.
Because it has a good amount of variegation, it tend to grow slower than less variegated pothos varities. Nevertheless, given time it will grow into a bushy, trailing vine like the others.
It is commonly compared to the marble queen pothos because they have similar features. Although, if you place them side by side, it will become very visually obvious that they not’ the same plant.
The easiest way to spot this is to look at its leaves. Both had different kinds of patterns. More importantly, the jessenia pothos has lime green or yellow green variegations compared to a white/whitish one for marble queen pothos.
Jessenia Pothos Plant Care
Jessenia Pothos Light
The jessenia pothos can tolerate different lighting conditions ranging from bright indirect light all the way to low light. The one thing it cannot stand is direct sunlight for long periods of time.
When exposed to this, its leaves will get scorched. And, you’ll notice its leaves turn pale in color.
Similarly, be careful with leaving it in dark areas or too little light. If you do so, you’ll notice is light green and yellow markings will start to fade. This leaves you with more soldi green leaves.
One way to quickly tell how much low light a pothos variety needs is to take is to look at its variegations. The more lines and patterns there are, the more light they need.
The reason is the green parts of the leaves are colored as such because they contain chlorophyll. Thus,, it is these parts that are able to produce energy for the plant. In contrast, these non-green parts, while beautiful to look at, cannot produce energy for the plant.
So, it needs to absorb more light to create sufficient energy to support the plant. If not, it will adapt by turning some of the white or yellow variegations into green so it can create more energy.
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Jessenia Pothos Temperature & Humidity
Jessenia pothos can likewise survive in a very wide temperature range. As long as you keep it somewhere that’s above 50 degrees and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit, it will be happy.
Like light, it doesn’t like too high or to low. And, it is important to note the plant cannot tolerate frost.
That said, the best temperature range for this pothos variety is a narrower 65 to 80 degrees, which is what most households maintain. This makes them adapt easily to room temperature in homes and offices.
The one thing you don not want to do is leave it somewhere the temperature is below 50 degrees. This is a sure fire way of killing the plant sooner or later.
Thus, it is only a good idea to plant it outdoors if you live in USDA zones 10 and 11.
Otherwise, you have two options:
- Keep it in a container. This will let you take it outside during summertime. And, bring it back indoors when the weather gets cold around mid-fall.
- Make cuttings and replant it. If you plant it in your garden in areas with snowy winters, you can likewise make cuttings around fall and grow them indoors through the winter. Then, replant the cuttings outside next spring. This lets you enjoy them in your garden as an annual.
In addition to temperature, the jessenia pothos also likes medium to high humidity. Ideally, you want to keep humidity between 50% and 70% for it to grow at its best.
However, I’ve found that it doesn’t have any problems with most home humidity unless the air in your house is very dry or during the winter.
If this is the can, you can mist the plant once or twice a week to keep air moist. You can likewise get a humidifier.
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Jessenia Pothos Watering
Just like lighting and temperature, the jessenia pothos is easy to care for when it comes to watering. In fact, it can take quite a big of neglect. Although, I don’t suggest doing so too often if you want it to get bigger or look pretty.
This is one plant that won’t mind if you miss a few watering sessions a long the way. It can handle being dry for a little with.
From experience, you can instantly tell when the plant is thirsty. Its leaves will droop and it will look sluggish. It will likewise lose its vibrancy and you’ll notice its leaves look dull and dry.
However, it cannot tolerate having wet feet. Like other pothos, the Jessenia is prone to root rot which is caused by overwatering. As such, it is a good idea not to water too much or water too often. Similarly, keeping it in well-draining soil will help prevent waterlogging.
One sign that you’re overwatering is its leaves will start to wilt and look limp. If you don’t make adjustments, the leaves will then turn yellow and begin to drop.
Thus, the best strategy for watering your jessenia pothos is to allow the soil to dry between waterings. In order to check, stick your finger into the soil down to the knuckle closest to your palm.
If at that depth the soil is dry, it is time to water. If the soil down there is moist, it is time to water. Alternatively, if you find it hard to tell whether the soil is moist or dry, get a moisture meter.
Moisture meters are inexpensive devices that let you quickly and precisely know how moist the soil is. All you need to do is stick it into the pot when you want to check. Then, look at the reading.
Soil is a key element for your jessenia pothos. It provides the structure which keeps the plant standing upright. And, is the medium by which your plant absorbs moisture and nutrients. As such, choosing the right kind of soil is key in pothos care.
The good news is, once again, the jessenia pothos isn’t particular with soil. All you need is standard potting soil that’s well draining. Because it tolerates almost any soil, the last part is the most important one.
Given that pothos is susceptible to overwatering and root rot, soil that drains excess water well, helps keep it drier. In doing so, this prevents the problems that come with it.
For optimum growth, choose a soil that’s slightly acidic with pH between 6.1 to 6.5. While not necessary for survival, this will help the plant grow at its best.
I know some home gardeners who also use cactus potting mix with great success. You can likewise use this if you happen to grow cacti and succulents. That way you can save money. The reason this works is that cacti are drought tolerant. They also don’t like wet feet (like pothos).
Thus, potting mix designed for them is light and well-draining.
Don’t forget to make sure that pot you use has drainage holes. This gives the excess moisture that drains from the soil a way to escape. Otherwise, the liquid will pool at the bottom of the container which brings you back to waterlogging.
How much you need to fertilizer your jessenia pothos will depend on the soil you use. Potting soil is actually not soil. In fact, many are soil-less. This makes it different from your garden soil, which I don’t recommend for your houseplants because it can carry pests and soil-borne disease.
In contrast potting soil or potting mix (they’re the same thing), use different ingredients to achieve what you need. Some retain more water, others drain better. For your jessenia pothos, you want the latter.
Just as importantly, not all potting mixes contain fertilizer. Some will have an initial dose. This dose can last a few weeks to about a month and a half. Or, it can last for a few months it is a slow release one.
Because the jessenia pothos is a light feeder, how much fertilizer you need to apply will depend on the potting soil you use. If it has added fertilizer, you want to avoid feeding it until that dosage runs out.
If it doesn’t contain any fertilizer, you’ll need to supply it yourself. Otherwise, your plant won’t get enough nutrients to grow optimally.
In this case, you can apply a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer every month during its growing season. Alternatively, you can use fish fertilizer which is cheaper and produces the same results. This give you more value for your money because it isn’t diluted with water as liquid fertilizers are.
But, be aware that it has a smell when you open and apply it. The smell does go away when it dries. (Just so you know).
That said, the most important thing to remember is that like water, you don’t want to overfeed your plant. Plant food leaves salt residue which builds up in the soil. Too much of it will burn the roots or leaves. So, like water, less Is better here.
Increase the dose if the plant doesn’t look like it is growing fast or vibrant enough.
The best way to know if you need to add fertilizer is to check the potting mix you buy. You can likewise ask the store. If still unsure, test it. Soil test kits are inexpensive and will tell you what pH your soil is as well as its nutrients. This is the best way to know what you need to supplement or avoid adding.
Pruning Jessenia Pothos
Since your jessenia pothos has variegations it will grow slower than non-variegated pothos varieties. Again, this goes back to the lack of chlorophyll. This means you won’t need to prune it as often.
However, you’ll still need to trim it back to keep it well maintained. Doing so also allows you to control its size and shape. Another reason to trim your plant is when its stems become leggy or its leaves are smaller than normal.
While you can prune any time of the year, spring is ideal because it is when the plant’s growing season begins. This allows it to quickly recover and start growing.
Likewise, it is a good idea to get rid of old, discolored or dead leaves. This will let the plant focus its resources on fresh growth.
When pruning, always cut above the node, which is where the stem and leaf meet. This will encourage the stem to branch out and create new growth.
Jessenia pothos are easy to propagate. The best way to do so is via stem cuttings.
The best time to do this is when you’re pruning since you’ll be trimming off the stem anyways. This way you can do them at the same time. That said, it is not necessary to go them together.
However, because you want the new plant to grow immediately after your plant it, spring is the best time to propagate your pothos.
How to Propagate Jessenia Pothos from Stem Cuttings
- Choose a few healthy stems from your current plant.
- Take 6 inch cuttings using a sterile pair of scissors or pruning shears.
- Remove the lower leaves since you’ll be dipping them into water or planting into soil.
- Put the stem cuttings into a jar of water. You can directly plant it in soil. But, I’ve found that propagation success rates are higher in water. Change the water as needed when it gets murky.
- After a few weeks, you’ll see roots appear.
- Once the roots have developed, move the cuttings into soil in a pot.
- Water the soil and give it similar conditions as its mother plant.
Transplanting & Repotting
At some point, your jessenia pothos will outgrow its current container. You’ll be able to tell when you see roots poking out of the drainage holes. This is a sign that its current home isn’t big enough. Thus, it is looking for more soil to expand to.
When this happens, you will need two things.
- A larger pot. Ideally, something that’s 2 inches bigger. Don’t jump too far up in size because much bigger pots will hold lots more soil. When that soil is wet from watering, it will keep the plant sitting in more water for longer periods of time. I’ve also found that the kind of pot you get isn’t relevant for pothos. So, pick one you like as long as it has drainage holes at the bottom.
- Fresh potting soil. Once again, good drainage is what you’re looking for. Your jessenia pothos won’t mind too much about the kind of soil because it tolerates almost any type. But, you need to make sure it drains moisture well to avoid waterlogging and root rot.
Also, the best time to repot your plant is during the spring, ideally early spring. Even if you notice the plant get rootbound in the fall, it is a good idea to wait until next spring to make the move.
Plants experience shock when transplanted or repotted. Thus, you want to give it ideal conditions to prevent any added stress. This includes repotting in moderately warm weather instead of very cold or hot ones.
Spring is also when its growing season begins. This allows it to overcome its shock quickly and begin growing again.
How to Repot Jessenia Pothos
- Carefully take the plant out of its container.
- Inspect the root ball. Make sure its roots are healthy not black or mushy.
- Add fresh, well-draining potting mix to the bigger container, up to about a third of the way up.
- Insert the root ball into the new pot.
- Backfill the remaining space with soil
- Water the plant and return it back to its original spot
After repotting, don’t be alarmed if it takes a while before the plant starts growing again. It needs to recover from the shock of the move and adjust to its new home. Once it has done that and feels comfortable, it will being growing once again.
The jessenia pothos rarely experiences pest infestations. However, every so often, you’ll see scale, mealybugs or thrips come around. These critters damage your plants leaves and negatively affect its growth.
As such, when you see any of them, you want to quickly take action. If the plant is grouped with other plants, separate it and check the others right away. Pests are notorious for spread across to nearby plants. If you find any of them, separate the affected plants as well.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to treat. The quickest way to remove these pests is to wipe down the leaves with cotton and rubbing alcohol.
You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil which will also get rid of any eggs they’ve laid.
Jessenia pothos likewise don’t have many disease problems if you give them the right living conditions. However, they are susceptible to moisture-related issues.
This includes root rot due to overwater and leaf fungal infections from wetting the leaves. Both are big problems that you want to avoid, specially rot. It is not always treatable.
Thus, the best way to avoid root rot is use well draining soil and allow excess moisture to drain. Never allow the plant to sit in water for long periods of time.
On the other hand, because it likes high humidity or if you water over the plant, it can likewise be prone to fungal disease. This is when moisture stays on its leaves and doesn’t dry up quickly.
To avoid this, don’t over mist the plant such that you wet it leaves. Also, directly water onto the soil instead of over the plant.