Can Jade Pothos Have Variegation? Unraveling the Mystery

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Jade Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a popular houseplant that is loved for its lush foliage and ease of care. While it typically has green leaves, it is possible for Jade Pothos to have variegation, which adds a unique and beautiful touch to this already stunning plant.

Jade Pothos: Background and Appearance

Plant Origin

Jade Pothos, also known as the “devil’s ivy,” is an easy-to-grow houseplant originating from the tropical regions 1. This plant thrives in both indoor and outdoor environments, adapting to a wide range of growing conditions.

General Characteristics

Jade Pothos is known for its attractive, glossy leaves that are typically quite large. However, it’s essential to differentiate between the Jade Pothos and the Emerald Pothos, as they might look similar initially. The key differences lie in their leaf color and growth patterns. The Jade Pothos has solid dark green leaves, while the Emerald Pothos displays lighter green leaves with darker variegated shades towards their centers 2.

Indeed, Jade Pothos can have variegated leaves. The most common type of variegation on this plant involves a mix of yellow and green colors 3. The variegated patterns make this plant a popular and visually appealing choice for both beginners and experienced houseplant enthusiasts.

In terms of growth, Jade Pothos is a fast-growing, climbing plant that can reach impressive lengths if given proper support. Additionally, it can adapt to various light conditions, making it an ideal choice for different indoor settings.

Understanding Variegation

Causes of Variegation

Variegation in plants, including jade pothos, occurs due to genetic mutations causing some cells to be unable to synthesize chlorophyll. This phenomenon, known as chimeral variegation, results in sharp color differences and unique patterns on the leaves of variegated plants source. The absence of chlorophyll in certain cells leads to color shifts or even entirely white sections on the leaves.

Different Types of Variegation

There are several types of variegation displayed by jade pothos and other related plant species. The most common type of variegation found in jade pothos is a combination of yellow and green patterns on the leaves source. However, other variegated pothos plants can showcase different variegation patterns and colors, from the classic golden flecks to striking stark white patches source.

To maintain the vibrant variegation patterns in jade pothos and other variegated plants, providing the right amount of sunlight is crucial. Exposure to medium or bright indirect light supports the varied coloration and ensures the patterns remain visible and attractive source.

Can Jade Pothos Have Variegation?

Genetic Factors

Jade pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade’) can indeed display variegation, which is the presence of different colors or patterns on the leaves. This phenomenon results from genetic factors within the plant. The most common type of variegation for jade pothos exhibits a combination of yellow and green colors on the leaves 1.

Environmental Influences

While genetic factors play a significant role in variegation, environmental influences can also impact the extent of variegation in jade pothos. Light exposure is one critical factor, as the plant may develop more chlorophyll in response to low light conditions 2. This increased chlorophyll production can cause the variegated leaves to revert to a solid green color as the plant attempts to manufacture more energy 3.

To maintain variegation in jade pothos, it is essential to provide the plant with medium to bright indirect light 4. Proper care and attention to environmental factors, such as light exposure, can help ensure that the jade pothos displays its characteristic variegation and continues to thrive as an attractive and popular houseplant.

Caring for Variegated Jade Pothos

Light Requirements

Variegated Jade Pothos plants need bright, indirect sunlight to maintain their vibrant colors. Harsher indirect light can enhance the variegation, but avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. If the plant starts losing its variegation, move it to a brighter area. Low light conditions may cause the variegated Jade Pothos to revert to fully green foliage1.


Water your Variegated Jade Pothos when the top inch of the soil becomes dry. Be cautious not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. These plants prefer a well-draining soil mix to help prevent overwatering. It’s better to underwater slightly rather than overwater, as they can tolerate drought conditions2.


Feed Variegated Jade Pothos with a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer, diluted to half the recommended strength. Apply this fertilizer once a month during the growing season, typically spring and summer. Reduce the frequency of fertilization during the fall and winter months when the plant’s growth slows3.

Pruning and Training

Prune Variegated Jade Pothos regularly to maintain a bushy and compact growth habit. Trim back long vines to encourage branching and new growth, taking care not to remove any healthy variegated leaves. If the plant becomes leggy or thin, consider pruning it to promote bushiness4.

Training your Jade Pothos with a support, such as a trellis or moss pole, can help give the plant structure and shape. As the plant grows, it’ll climb the support, adding visual interest and making it a focal point in your space5.

Common Problems and Solutions

Pest and Disease Issues

Jade pothos may encounter pest issues such as spider mites and mealybugs. These pests reside on the underside of the leaves and can cause yellowing, leaf discoloration, and stunted growth1. To combat these pests, wipe the leaves with a solution of one part 70% isopropyl alcohol and four parts water.

In addition, applying a biodegradable soapy water mixture can help eliminate pests while maintaining the health of your jade pothos2. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to avoid leaving the plant too wet to prevent further complications.

Cultural Problems

When it comes to maintaining variegation in jade pothos, proper lighting is essential3. Insufficient light can cause the plant to lose its unique coloring, which is challenging to restore. Most variegated pothos plants require several hours of bright, indirect light, though some can tolerate medium light levels.

Another common issue is overwatering4. It can lead to yellowing leaves, a widespread houseplant problem. To prevent overwatering, make sure to provide the right amount of moisture and well-draining soil for your jade pothos. Monitoring factors like light, watering, and pest control can help maintain your jade pothos’s health and variegation.

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