Epipremnum Pinnatum vs Pothos: Key Differences Explained

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Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos are often confused for each other, but they are different species of plants. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two and help you identify which one you have.

Epipremnum Pinnatum Overview

Epipremnum Pinnatum 1
Closeup focus to Fresh leaf of Epipremnum Pinnatum Cebu Blue

Origin and Habitat

Epipremnum Pinnatum is a unique plant belonging to the Araceae family. It originates from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Australia, where it is commonly found thriving in lush forests and jungles. These plants have evolved to adapt to their native habitats, making them a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardens alike.

Appearance and Growth Habits

Epipremnum Pinnatum is distinguished by its attractive foliage and trailing growth habit. The plant’s leaves can vary in size and shape, typically resembling a heart or lance in form. As the plant matures, the leaves may develop split edges or fenestrations, adding visual interest to the foliage. Epipremnum Pinnatum grows well in a variety of environments, but it thrives best in bright, indirect light with ample humidity.

Climbing and trailing are common growth habits in Epipremnum Pinnatum, making it ideal for use in hanging baskets or as ground cover. Additionally, the plant has a penchant for attaching itself to surfaces for added support as it climbs, much like a vine. This allows the plant to spread and grow, filling any space with its lush, verdant appearance.

Common Cultivars

There is a wide range of Epipremnum Pinnatum cultivars, each offering unique foliage patterns and coloration. Some notable examples include:

  • Baltic Blue Pothos: This cultivar stands out with deep green-blue leaves and a distinctive blue undertone. Its larger leaves and early fenestration development set it apart from other varieties (The Spruce)
  • Pearls and Jade Pothos: A sport of the Marble Queen cultivar, Pearls and Jade Pothos is characterized by smaller leaves and a slower growth rate. It features variegation concentrated along the leaf edges (Plantly)
  • Marble Queen Pothos: Exhibiting vibrant moss-green leaves streaked with white, the Marble Queen Pothos is a striking variety. Its extensive variegation results in slower growth compared to other cultivars (Ohio Tropics)

When choosing an Epipremnum Pinnatum cultivar for your garden or indoor space, consider factors such as light, humidity, and other environmental elements that may affect the plant’s growth and overall appearance.

Pothos Overview

Pothos
Epipremnum pinnatum (ekor naga) plant with broad leaves grows on the tree trunk

Origin and Habitat

Pothos, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular tropical evergreen vine native to the Solomon Islands and Southeast Asia. They are easy to grow and make an excellent choice for beginners due to their adaptability to a variety of environments. Pothos thrive in filtered light with high humidity and temperatures between 70 and 90°F, but can also survive a wide range of conditions, including low light and average room temperatures1.

Appearance and Growth Habits

The pothos plant is characterized by its attractive, heart-shaped leaves that grow along a trailing vine. The leaves can vary in color, from solid green to variegated patterns, depending on the variety. Pothos vines can reach impressive lengths over time, making them a popular choice for adding a lush, cascading effect to home interiors. These plants prefer well-draining, aerated soil and can tolerate slightly acidic to neutral pH levels2. To maintain healthy growth, allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Common Varieties

There are numerous pothos varieties that differ in leaf color, size, and pattern, some of which include:

  • Golden Pothos: Known for its yellow variegated leaves, this variety is perhaps the most common type found in homes and offices.
  • Marble Queen Pothos: This variety features irregular, creamy-white streaks on its green leaves, giving it a marbled appearance.
  • Neon Pothos: Sporting vibrant, neon green leaves, this variety adds a splash of color to any space.
  • Baltic Blue Pothos: A clone of Epipremnum pinnatum, this variety is distinguished by its dark green leaves that develop a blue undertone. Its leaves are larger and tend to develop fenestrations earlier than the Cebu Blue pothos3.

In summary, pothos plants are easy-to-grow, versatile, and come in a wide range of attractive varieties to suit various interior settings and personal preferences.

Comparing Epipremnum Pinnatum and Pothos

Similarities

Both Epipremnum Pinnatum and Pothos are popular houseplants that belong to the Araceae family. They are often grown for their attractive foliage, which can have various patterns and colors. These plants are low-maintenance, making them excellent choices for indoor gardening, especially for beginners. They are also known for their air-purifying capabilities, making them desirable additions to any indoor space.

Differences

While both plants belong to the Araceae family, they belong to different genera. Pothos is part of the Epipremnum genus, while Epipremnum Pinnatum is a distinct species within the same genus (source).

One notable difference between the two is their leaf shape and appearance. Epipremnum Pinnatum, like the Cebu Blue Pothos, has narrower leaves with a gorgeous silvery-green color. On the other hand, Pothos plants typically have broader leaves with a variety of patterns and colors, such as the golden hue seen in Golden Pothos.

Their growth habits also set them apart. Epipremnum Pinnatum tends to be a more vigorous grower compared to Pothos, which is known for its more trailing or vining growth habit (source). The care requirements for both plants are quite similar, but due to their difference in species and growth habits, you may need to adjust your care routine accordingly.

Care and Maintenance

Watering Requirements

Epipremnum pinnatum plants prefer to have their soil dry out between watering sessions. To keep the plant healthy, water it thoroughly when the top inch of soil begins to feel dry. Pothos plants have similar requirements, but they can tolerate a slightly drier environment.

Light and Temperature Needs

Both Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos appreciate bright, dappled sunlight. They can thrive in temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18°C to 24°C). Although they enjoy sunlight, they also can tolerate areas of shade, which is why they are often used as office plants.

Soil and Fertilizer Preferences

For both plants, well-draining soil rich in organic matter and nutrients is ideal. Pothos plants can grow in a soil pH range of 6.1 to 6.8 and are tolerant of neutral to slightly acidic conditions. Regarding fertilization, Epipremnum pinnatum should be fertilized every two weeks during the spring and summer, while pothos plants have more flexible fertilization requirements.

Pruning and Propagation

Proper care for both Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos includes regular pruning. Annual pruning helps maintain a fresh, healthy appearance for the plants. Propagation of both plants is relatively easy, as they can be propagated through stem cuttings placed in water or directly in soil.

To summarize, the care and maintenance of Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos plants involve:

  • Allowing the soil to dry between watering sessions
  • Providing bright, dappled sunlight and temperatures between 65°F and 75°F
  • Planting in well-draining, nutrient-rich soil
  • Regular pruning and easy propagation

Common Problems and Solutions

Pest Issues

Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos plants can sometimes suffer from pest infestations, such as mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. To combat these pests, one can use insecticidal soap or neem oil. It’s crucial to regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests and treat them promptly to prevent further damage.

Disease Concerns

Diseases can also pose a threat to both Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos plants. Root rot, for example, is a common issue triggered by overwatering. To avoid this, make sure that the plants are placed in well-draining soil and their containers don’t have standing water. In the case of brown spots appearing on leaves, it may be due to overwatering, and adjusting the watering schedule can resolve the issue.

Environmental Challenges

Environmental factors play a significant role in the health of Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos plants. Yellow leaves, for instance, can be caused by a range of factors, including inadequate light, poor soil quality, or too much water. To address this, ensure that the plants receive proper lighting, use good-quality soil, and follow an appropriate watering schedule.

To help these plants thrive, maintain a consistent indoor temperature and avoid exposing them to drafts or sudden temperature fluctuations. Providing an ideal environment will help both Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos plants to grow lush and healthy.

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