Among houseplant enthusiasts, pothos are one of the most popular plants to grow, and for good reason. Beginner friendly and resilient, pothos are fast growing, vining plants that come in a wide range of different foliage patterns.
Snow queen pothos, a particular kind of pothos that boasts variegated, predominately white leaves, is a crowd favorite that makes a bold statement when added to any houseplant collection. Read on to learn how to grow snow queen pothos at home and add this stunning plant to your collection.
About Snow Queen Pothos
Also known as devil’s ivy, pothos are a popular and easy to grow houseplant that are prized for their interesting foliage patterns and trailing growth habit. Hailing from the tropical forests of Southeast Asia, in nature, pothos grow in trees, attaching to branches and stems with the help of their rigorous aerial roots.
First mentioned in scientific literature in the 1880s, pothos are one of the easiest to find and inexpensive houseplants on the market, with over twelve different varieties available for purchase today. Snow queen pothos is a particularly popular variety and is cherished for its bright white, variegated foliage. Closely related to the marble queen pothos, snow queen pothos differs in that it has more white in its variegation, while marble queen pothos has roughly equal amounts of green and white variegation.
Other popular varieties of Epipremnum aureum include:
- Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade’)
- Neon Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’)
- Pearls and Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Pearls and Jade’)
- Marble Queen Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’)
A fast growing and resilient plant, as houseplants, pothos can grow between 6 and 10 feet tall and are considered to be invasive outdoor plants in some areas. Excellent when potted on a shelf or hung from a hanging basket, all pothos varieties can be trained to climb trellises and poles as well for tidier, more compact plants. Under the correct conditions, pothos can live up to 10 years and are sure to add visual interest to any houseplant collection.
Like many other houseplants, snow queen pothos are excellent at improving indoor air quality and can remove toxic chemicals, such as benzene, formaldehyde and toluene, from your home. Placing several pothos in your rooms can help you breathe easier while adding the charm that only houseplants can bring.
Snow Queen Pothos Care
Like other pothos varieties, snow queen pothos are simple and easy to care for plants that are well-suited for beginning gardeners and seasoned houseplant enthusiasts alike. Below are the basic care requirements for snow queen pothos; however, these care instructions will work for other pothos varieties as well.
A fast growing vining plant, snow queen pothos is known for its bright white and green variegated heart-shaped leaves. Growing well as a table plant or in a hanging basket, snow queen pothos can grow between 6 to 10 feet long as a houseplant. For the creatively minded, pothos look particularly striking when paired with homemade macrame hangers.
In warmer climates, zones 10 and above, snow queen pothos can also be grown outdoors as a ground cover; however, it is not frost hardy and will not survive the winter chill in many areas.
Preferring indirect sun and partial shade, snow queen pothos can handle moderate lighting and do well in east- and west-facing windows. While pothos can tolerate some direct sunlight, they should not be exposed to full sun and, in areas with bright sunlight, consider shielding your pothos with a sheer curtain to prevent sunburn.
In low light situations, your snow queen pothos may begin to lose some of its variegation and its colors may fade. This is because only the green parts of the leaves are able to photosynthesize so, in low lighting, your pothos will begin to turn green to maximize photosynthesis. To preserve the classic variegation patterning of your snow queen pothos, ensure your plant has adequate lighting and increase light if your plant begins to turn green.
Your snow queen pothos should only be watered when the top one to two inches of soil are dry to the touch. To determine if it’s time to water your plant, gently insert your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water. A thirsty pothos will begin to droop and its leaves will take on a soft, floppy appearance signaling it’s time to water as well.
As pothos are prone to root rot, be sure your snow queen is planted in a pot with adequate drainage holes and never allow your plant to sit in excess water. Allow soil to dry out in between waterings and, when you water, water your plant thoroughly and deeply, allowing all excess water to drain out of the pot to eliminate the risk of waterlogged soil.
During winter months, as growth rates slow, your pothos will require less frequent waterings as well.
Temperature and Humidity
Snow queen pothos can tolerate temperatures between 50°F and 90°F; however, they prefer indoor temperatures ranging from 65°F to 85°F. In hotter areas, pothos can benefit from being shielded from direct sunlight with a sheer curtain to prevent leaf burn.
Coming from tropical to sub-tropical regions, pothos can handle normal household humidity levels, with 50 to 70% humidity being ideal. For healthy plants, try misting your pothos every 7 to 10 days, but be sure not to wet leaves too much, which may encourage mildew issues. Although not necessary in most climates, if you live in a particularly arid region, consider adding a humidifier to your grow room or plant area. Your pothos, and your other houseplants, will thank you for it.
Soil and Potting
All pothos are prone to root rot when exposed to prolonged wet conditions and so should be planted in a high quality, fast-draining soil and placed in a pot with adequate drainage holes. A pH range of 6.1 to 6.5 is ideal. To create your own soil that is appropriate for all varieties of pothos, mix two parts of potting soil with one part perlite to increase drainage.
Snow queen pothos are easy care, undemanding plants. As such, they have minimal fertilizer requirements with some houseplant parents arguing that pothos don’t need fertilizer at all. If you choose to fertilize your pothos, opt for an organic, slow-release fertilizer, such as worm castings or kelp meal, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying.
While pothos don’t need regular pruning, pruning can help keep your plants looking healthy and tidy. When pruning your snow queen, remove yellow or dead leaves with sterilized scissors or garden shears and cut back any leggy vines to encourage your plant to grow bushier. Pothos are very easy to propagate in water, so save your stem cuttings to make more pothos to share with friends and family.
As pothos prefer to be slightly rootbound, they do not need to be repotted frequently. Only repot your pothos if there is no loose soil left in your pot and the roots are beginning to clump together. For the most part, pothos only need to be repotted every 12 to 18 months or less. When you’re ready to repot your plant, choose a pot that is only one size larger than your existing pot to keep your pothos happiest. Because pothos go dormant in the winter, it is generally recommended to only repot your plant during spring and summer.
According to the ASPCA, all pothos, including snow queen pothos, are toxic to cats, dogs, children and other curious mouths. Containing calcium oxalates, pothos can cause mouth and intestinal distress, including symptoms of drooling and vomiting.
Snow Queen Pothos Propagation
Snow queen pothos are incredibly easy to propagate in water and, by following a few simple steps, you can create many pothos to keep as houseplants, to fill in sparse pots for bushier plants or to share with friends. Read on to learn how to propagate your own pothos at home.
- Prune your snow queen pothos. Cut back leggy stems and shape your plant in a way that suits you. When taking cuttings for propagating, ensure each cutting has one to two nodes, which is where leaves grow out of your plants’ vining stem.
- Place your cuttings in water being sure the lower most node is submerged and locate your cuttings in a location with bright, indirect light.
- Wait. Within a month, you should notice your cuttings beginning to form roots. Periodically check that your cuttings’ roots remain submerged in water and have adequate access to light. When the roots are 1 to 2” long, you are ready to transplant your new pothos.
- After your cuttings have developed roots, transplant your cuttings into a small pot and keep soil well moistened for the next month. For bushier plants, you can add multiple cuttings to a single pot or add new cuttings around the base of the mother plant to fill in empty space. After one month, your cuttings should be well established in their new pot and you can reduce waterings, treating the plants as you would treat an adult pothos.
Common Pests and Diseases
If you decide to keep snow queen pothos at home, it can be helpful to know the common pests and pathogens these plants are susceptible to so that you can keep a look out for early signs of plant distress.
Mealybugs are a type of scale insect that inject toxins into plants as they feed and sap plants of their strength. Appearing as small, cottony, white spots on the undersides of leaves and stems, mealybugs can cause leaves to yellow and dry and plants to become misshapen and distorted. Mealybug infestations are commonly treated either with organic insecticidal soap sprays or neem oil sprays.
An effective spray can be made at home by mixing a squirt of dish soap with two tablespoons of neem oil and adding it to a gallon of water. Sprays should be repeatedly applied every 7 to 10 days until all signs of infestation have disappeared to ensure you’ve treated mealybugs at all stages of their lifecycle.
Thrips are tiny, winged insects that feed on plants leaves by sucking out their nutrients. Signs of thrips include discolored, stippled plant leaves, deformed plant growth and an overall silvery appearance to leaves. As with mealybugs, thrips are best treated by several applications of an organic insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.
Spider mites leave plants deformed with stippled leaves covered with delicate webbing that resembles a spider’s web. Upon closer inspection, however, tiny white spider mites can be spotted crawling over the webbing. If infestations aren’t caught in time, plants will dry out, drop leaves and eventually die. Spider mites thrive in dry conditions, so increasing humidity can help reduce spider mite activity, while existing infestations can be managed with organic insecticidal and neem oil sprays.
If your snow queen pothos begins to shrivel and die back or stems appear to rot, you are likely dealing with root rot. Pothos prefer dry soil and, when allowed to sit in moist conditions for long periods of time, they can develop stem and root rot. Always be sure to only water your pothos as needed, when the top 1 to 2” of soil are dry to the touch and use well-draining soil and pots with adequate drainage holes. If root rot is already established, you likely won’t be able to salvage the parent plant, so take cuttings to propagate in water.
If you intend to grow pothos, regardless of the variety, you are likely to encounter certain issues over time. Below are some of the most common questions you are likely to face when growing pothos and how to solve them.
My Snow Queen pothos is leggy. What do I do?
Inadequate lighting can cause your pothos vines to grow spindly with fewer and fewer leaves. To correct leggy plants, gradually increase lighting so as not to scorch your pothos and prune back leggy vines. Pruning will encourage your plant to grow bushier, while propagating cuttings and planting them around the base of your parent plant can fill in empty space and improve the look of your pothos.
Because leggy vines occur due to poor lighting, you can also try trellising your pothos vines or encouraging them to grow on support poles. By raising the height of your plant, you increase the amount of light individual leaves receive thereby allowing your plant to grow fuller.
My pothos has spots on its leaves. What caused it?
Leaf spot disease, which frequently manifests as leaves with dark spots surrounded by yellow halos, is most commonly caused by wet leaves. When watering your pothos, be sure to avoid pouring water on leaves and, if you are misting your plants, reduce misting so that leaves are never sopping wet.
Why is my pothos turning brown?
As leaves age, they naturally turn brown and die off leaving room for new growth. While this is normal, if you suspect your plant may be turning brown for another reason, there are several likely culprits. Underwatering and overwatering can cause browning of your pothos leaves, as can over exposure to direct sunlight. If you don’t believe you are facing an issue with watering or lighting, your plant may have been overfertilized. If this is the case, flush soil with water to remove excess fertilizer and cease fertilizing your pothos until it has fully recovered.
Do I need to dust my snow queen pothos?
As with other houseplants, pothos can benefit from periodic dusting to improve photosynthesis and promote better growth. Simply moisten a soft cloth with a bit of water and delicately wipe down your plants for cleaner, shinier leaves.
I love pothos, but where do I find a snow queen pothos?
Lucky for houseplant enthusiasts, pothos, including snow queen pothos, are often quite easy to find and inexpensive plants. Frequently available at local grow centers, nurseries and even grocery stores, if you’re on the hunt for a snow queen, you can also check out online resources such as Amazon, Etsy and eBay.
Snow queen pothos are popular houseplants, and it’s no wonder why. With strikingly variegated, bright foliage, these easy to grow plants are great for beginning and experienced indoor gardeners alike. Well suited for hanging baskets and table displays, these versatile plants will add interest to any collection. Even better, with their basic needs, low fertilizer and lighting requirements and fast growth rate, snow queen pothos are stress-free houseplants that will add a tropical feel to your home.