How to Grow Manjula Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Manjula’)

Manjula Pothos

The manjula pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Manjula’) is a fairly rare plant that’s hard to find in garden centers. However, it is available online because the plant is easy to propagate. So, you’ll see plant owners grow them for sale.

Just so you know, some online stores label it Epipremnum ‘happy leaf’. So, if you see that, you know they’re referring to the same plant.

That said, its beauty and rarity make it an amazing addition to any gardener’s collection.

Like its other pothos brethren, the Manjula is known for its stunning foliage. It is likewise easy to care for making it an ideal houseplant even if you have a brown thumb.

The manjula pothos’ most striking feature are the white variegations that adorn its green leaves. It bares a similar resemblance to the pearls and jade pothos. But if you look at their leaves closely you can tell a few differences. These include:

  • The manjula pothos’ leaves have more white than green whereas the pearls and jade pothos are more green gominant with white streaks.
  • Manjula pothos also have wider, rounder leaves compared to a narrower, slightly sharper appearance for the pearl and jade.
  • The leaves themselves are bigger and softer in the manjula pothos and visibly smaller with pearls and jade.
  • Finally, manjula pothos’ leaves curve more where are the pearls and jade look flatter.

Nevertheless, both are beautifully striking foliage plants that aren’t fussy about care.

Manjula Pothos Plant Care

Manjula Pothos Care Summary

 

Manjula Pothos Light

The manjula pothos is an easy houseplant that’s perfect for beginners because it isn’t picky about lighting. I can survive on bright, medium or low light conditions. The one thing it cannot stand is direct sunlight.

So, as long as you keep it away from a spot where the sun’s rays are shining on it for a few hours every day, it will be happy. That’s because keeping it under direct sunlight for hours at time on a daily basis will scorch its leaves.

On the other hand, if you give it bright, indirect will make it look vibrant causing its distinct while and green colors to be more prominent.

It is likewise worth noting that while it doesn’t have problems with low light conditions, as the illumination gets dimmer, you’ll notice its growth slow, produce smaller and lighter colored leaves.

As such, it is a good idea to keep it away from dark areas and corners.

Given these conditions, the best place to put your plant indoors is an east facing window. This gives you a lot of bright, gentle light from the morning sun. And, only passive light from the harsh afternoon sun.

The north is likewise a good spot provided that it’s not too dim. Here, you want to choose as bright a spot as possible since the north doesn’t receive direct sunlight.

In the west and south sides, make sure the plant receives filtered or dappled light during the afternoon when it is most intense.

 

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Manjula Pothos Temperature & Humidity

Manjula pothos need moderate to warm conditions to survive. They are not frost hardy which is why many people grow them as houseplants. Their ideal temperature range runs between 60 and 80 degrees which makes home perfectly cozy for them.

That said, if you live in USDA zones 10 to 11, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping them outdoors. But, if you live below zone 10, it is a good idea to keep them in containers so you can easily bring them indoors once the temperature drops under 60 degrees.

Similarly, the plant likes medium to high humidity. This ranges from between 50% to 70%, which may or may not be a problem for your home depending on where you live.

If you live in areas of the country where they’re sun all year round, you likely won’t have an issue. Here in Southern California, the plant is perfectly happy without any extra help.

However, since most homes average humidity runs from 40% to 50% you may need to take extra measures. The best way to figure this out is to get a hygrometer, which is a cheap device that measures relative humidity.

It will instantly tell you how moist or dry the air is in a room at any given day of the year.

This will let you make the proper adjustments. If you do need to increase humidity, consider one of the following.

  • Keep the plant in the bathroom. Since the manjula pothos doesn’t mind low lighting, this is a good spot. Bathrooms are the most humid areas in your home. And, if you have windows there, it will get enough light to thrive.
  • Group it other plants. This is another easy fix that’s free. Plants transpire like you and I perspire. When the moisture evaporates from their leaves, it increases humidity around the plants. In this case, make sure to keep the plants spaced out enough to allow for good air circulation. This will allow moisture in their leaves to dry and avoid fungal problems.
  • Set the plant on a pebble tray. keeping water around the plant also helps because the water will eventually evaporate to add moisture to the air. When doing this, avoid getting the pot and soil wet.
  • Since the plant isn’t too big, it is fairly easy to mist. But, unlike the previous three methods above, this will be an ongoing thing. That is, you’ll need to mist it every few days every week to keep the plant happy. So, while easy, it takes up more time in the long run.
  • Humidifiers are fairly inexpensive nowadays as long as you don’t go overboard with ultra high end options. But, they do have maintenance costs. The good news is, they let you set the precise humidity setting which all the other options aren’t able to do.

 

Manjula Pothos Watering

When it comes to watering your manjula pothos it is important to allow the soil to dry between watering sessions. Since the plant’s root system is fairly shallow, it doesn’t take a ton of water to let moisture reach its roots.

That said, you’ll likely need to water it once a week during its growing season (spring and summer). And less so at other times.

That’s because spring and summer are warmer months. Thus, there’s more evaporation especially during summertime. Also, since its it growing at this time, it needs more water and nutrients to sustain that growth.

On the other hand, the plant will slow down in fall and even more during winter. The cold weather also makes it need less water is it takes soil longer to dry in cooler conditions.

Because so many factors affect how quickly soil will dry, measure your watering schedule by number of days isn’t ideal. The change in weather, amount of sunlight and other things make this change at different times of the year.

So here are a couple of ways that are more efficient to gauge when it is time to water your plant.

  • Use a moisture meter. A plant moisture meter is a simple, cheap device that tells you how much moisture there is. Just stick the device all the way down into the soil and check the reading. This is the simplest, most precise way to know when to water. No guessing involved.
  • Test the soil with your finger. This works as well. But like a chef testing the doneness of a piece of steak, it takes practice and experience to know exactly how moist or dry the soil is. Once the top 1-2 inches are dry, it is time to water again.

From experience, a moisture meter is the simplest way to avoid underwatering and overwatering. Both of which your manjula pothos doesn’t appreciate.

  • Too little water. You’ll see a sad looking plant. This will be obvious. Its stems will droop downwards. Its leaves will look dry and dull. In contrast, enough water makes its foliage look vibrant.
  • Leaves will turn yellow. If you see this, check the soil. Yellow leaves can mean other things like old age or nutrient deficiency. If the soil isn’t wet or moist, it may be a different thing causing the yellow foliage.

 

Soil

Manjula Pothos

Manjula pothos like moist, well draining sol. It doesn’t like wet feet. Nor does it like drying out. It also does better with slightly acidic to neutral soil with pH between 6.0 to 6.5.

The good news is, you can use regular houseplant potting soil and it will do well. As long as it is well draining enough to allow excess moisture to drain, your manjula pothos will be happy.

Additionally, make sure that the container has drainage holes to allow the excess moisture to drain.

 

Fertilizing

Like soil, the manjula pothos isn’t fussy about plant food. It will be perfectly happy with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. You can use a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 product.

Since it is a foliage plant, you want to make sure that you’re giving it enough nitrogen. This is the first number in the trio of N-P-K.

Nitrogen encourages vegetation which will allow the plant to grow its best foliage-wise.

That said, the plant won’t die without fertilizer. But, providing it with the nutrients allows it to grow better, fuller and with brighter colors.

More importantly, only feed it during its growing season and avoid doing so in the winter. During the spring and summer, feed it once every 2 to 4 weeks.

Again, since the environment of each plant is different, you’ll want to observe what happens to your plant. Then adjust if needed.

Never overfeed your plant. Like water, too much fertilizer is bad for your plant. So, if you see it stop growing during the spring or summer while you’re feeding, try scaling back to once a month or every two months.

 

Manjula Pothos Pruning

Manjula Pothos

Your manjula pothos is a trailing plant whose stems will overflow from the pot if not pruned. This makes it excellent for hanging baskets and containers that are placed in high shelves.

However, it may not be the best look if you want to keep the plant on a tabletop or low stand.

The point here is that pruning is important to control the plant’s shape and size. Also, trimming it back helps promote new growth that makes your pothos look fuller.

But, how much you prune will depend on how your use and display the plant. Without pruning, its vines will keep growing and get messier to look at.

That said, in addition to aesthetics and encouraging new growth, you’ll want to take this opportunity to remove dead, discolored or damaged leaves. Also pick out stems that look leggy or don’t have many leaves. Pruning these section will allow the plant to sprout fresh growth.

 

Related: Growing & Caring for Epipremnum Pinnatum a.k.a. Dragon Tail Plant

 

Propagation

The best (and easiest) way to propagate manjula pothos is via stem cuttings. And, the best time to do this is when you prune the plant. That’s because stem cuttings are a product of pruning. So, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to do two things at once.

That said, early spring or summer is ideal for propagation so that the new plant can immediate start growing.

 

How to Propagate Manjula Pothos through Stem Cuttings

  • Choose a healthy stem with at least 2 to 3 leaves on it. You want a something that is at least 3 to 5 inches long so there’s enough of it to stick in water or into soil.
  • Once you have the cutting, place it into a jar of water. You can likewise go directly plant it into soil instead of putting it in water first. But, I’ve foun that propagation success rate is much higher if you take an extra step to start in water.
  • Now it is time to wait. Within a few weeks, the cutting will start to root.
  • You can then plant the cutting into fresh potting mix where it will get bigger. When it outgrows its initial container, it’s time to repot to a bgger one.
  • After you’ve planted the cutting, place it ins a warm, humid place where it will receive bright, indirect light.
  • Water as needed to keep the soil slightly moist.

 

Transplanting & Repotting

Manjula Pothos

Spring is likewise the best time to repot your manjula pothos. But, you’ll only need to do so once the plant has outgrown its current container.

Since the plant doesn’t mind being in a smaller pot, it allows you to take longer time before moving it to a bigger home.

Depending on how fast your plant grows it can take between 1 to 2.5 years before having to repot. You’ll know when it is time because you’ll see roots peeking out of the holes of the container.

 

How to Repot Manjula Pothos

  • Get a container that’s about 2 inches larger than your current one.
  • You’ll also need fresh potting soil. Make sure that it is well draining. Or, you can add perlite or pumice to increase drainage.
  • Carefully remove the plant from its current container.
  • Add some soil to the bottom of the new pot and insert the plant so that it stands out of the pot roughly the same height as it did in its previous home.
  • Backfill with soil. But, don’t pack it in too tightly. You want to keep it loose so that air and water can easily penetrate down to the roots.

 

Toxicity

Keep the manjula pothos away from children, dogs and cats as it is toxic to both humans and animals. The plant shouldn’t be ingested because it is poisonous and will cause irritation, vomiting and other unpleasant issues.

 

Pests and Diseases

In general, manjula pothos don’t have much pest or disease problems. And, if you give it the proper conditions above, you likely will never experience any of these issues.

Its low maintenance and being hard to kill makes it perfect for beginners.

That said, it is good to be aware that potential issues that can happen.

When it comes to pests, spider mites and mealybugs are the most common. Although infestation is rare, these are still a nuisance. And, if left untreated can damage your plant.

Thus, it is a good idea to immediately treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil. It takes weeks to completely get rid of them so consistency is key.

Disease can likewise be a problem with less than ideal care. Here, it is bacterial and fungal infections. Root rot and leaf spots are moisture related so avoid overwatering and soaking the plant are essential.

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