How to Increase Variegation in Pothos: Expert Tips

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Are you looking to enhance the variegation in your pothos plant? With a few simple steps, you can encourage more white, yellow, or even pink in the foliage. Keep reading to learn how to increase variegation in pothos plants.

Understanding Variegation in Pothos

Variegation in pothos plants is a result of genetic mutations that produce differently colored pigments in their leaves. This unique feature gives pothos plants their distinct appearance, with patterns of yellow, gold, silver, or white on their leaves. However, maintaining and enhancing the variegation requires proper care and specific conditions.

One critical factor in preserving variegation in pothos is providing the right amount of light. Variegated pothos need several hours of bright, indirect light to retain their unique coloring (source). Be cautious while increasing light intensity, as too much light can be harmful as well. A gradual and moderate approach to exposing the plant to light is ideal (source).

In addition to light, consistent temperatures and regular fertilization help maintain and promote variegation in pothos plants (source). Variegated plants typically need more light than their non-variegated counterparts to keep their distinct patterns (source).

It is essential to understand that the level of variegation can impact the growth rate of a pothos plant. Heavily variegated varieties have less chlorophyll and, therefore, perform photosynthesis at a slower rate. This results in slower growth of these plants, typically around 10-18 inches per month during peak growing seasons, when provided with optimal care and conditions (source).

In summary, maintaining the variegation in pothos plants involves providing appropriate light conditions, consistent temperatures, and regular fertilization. By closely monitoring and adjusting these factors, one can preserve and enhance the distinct appearance of their variegated pothos.

Factors Influencing Variegation

Lighting Conditions

Proper lighting conditions play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing variegation in pothos plants. Variegated pothos require several hours of bright, indirect light, while some varieties can tolerate medium light as well. Insufficient light exposure can cause these plants to lose variegation, and it can be challenging to regain the lost colors. Therefore, it is essential to place variegated pothos in a location that receives ample natural light or supplement them with artificial light if needed.


Fertilization is another factor that significantly affects the variegation in pothos plants. Over-fertilizing can lead to a loss of variegation due to excessive nutrients. It is essential to strike a balance in providing the right amount of fertilizer to keep pothos plants healthy while preserving their striking variegation. Monitoring the soil condition and fertilizer levels can help in maintaining this balance.


Although not specifically mentioned in the search results, temperature can influence the overall health and growth of pothos plants. While variegated pothos might not be directly affected by temperature changes, providing adequate room temperatures and avoiding sudden fluctuations can contribute to the plant’s overall well-being. Ensuring optimal temperatures will help keep variegated pothos healthy and vibrant, indirectly supporting their variegation.

To summarize, lighting conditions, fertilization, and temperature all play critical roles in maintaining and enhancing the variegation of pothos plants. Providing the right environment, nutrients, and care will help ensure their striking colors and patterns continue to thrive.

Methods to Increase Variegation

Ensuring Optimal Lighting

A key factor in encouraging variegation in pothos is providing the right amount of light. Increasing sunlight exposure can stimulate the development of new variegated leaves with shades of yellow, gold, silver, or white. However, it’s essential to moderate the light intensity and proceed with caution to avoid damaging the plant. Avoid placing the pothos under direct sunlight, as it can lead to leaf burn. Instead, choose a spot with bright, indirect light for optimal growth and variegation.

Proper Fertilization

Fertilizing pothos plants can also play a role in promoting variegation. Using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can help provide essential nutrients for growth and maintain its vibrant colors. Apply the fertilizer monthly during the growing season, following the package instructions, and reduce its frequency in the winter months when growth slows. Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as it can cause more harm than good, leading to nutrient imbalances and potential root burn.

Maintaining Ideal Temperature

Variegated pothos plants thrive in temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C – 29°C). Maintaining a consistent and comfortable temperature within this range will promote healthy growth and better variegation. Avoid exposing the plant to sudden temperature fluctuations or drafts, as they can cause stress and negatively affect the plant’s health and appearance.

Pruning Techniques

Pruning your pothos can encourage increased variegation, especially when removing less-variegated or all-green sections. To achieve this, start at the tip of the vine and work your way up until reaching the first leaf with good variegation. Keep this part of the vine and trim off the rest, including any all-green leaves. This helps maintain the plant’s beautiful appearance and supports the growth of more vividly variegated leaves.

Common Variegated Pothos Varieties

Variegated pothos are popular houseplants known for their unique and colorful foliage. There are several varieties of variegated pothos, each with distinct patterns and colors of variegation. Some of the most popular types include:

  • Golden Pothos: This variety is characterized by deep green leaves accented with flecks of yellow variegation. The yellow patches become more prominent when the plant receives brighter, indirect light source.
  • Marble Queen: This is one of the oldest and heavily variegated pothos cultivars. The Marble Queen features a mix of green and creamy-white variegation with an almost marbled appearance source.

There are a few methods one can utilize to promote variegation in these pothos plants:

  1. Provide ample light: Variegated pothos need bright, indirect light to maintain and increase their variegation. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves and cause them to lose variegation. It’s essential to place the plant near a window with filtered light or provide artificial light, such as a grow light source.
  2. Prune green leaves: Pruning all-green leaves encourages the plant to produce more variegated foliage. This method is particularly effective for golden pothos, as it helps increase their yellow variegation source.

Aside from these popular varieties, there are several other types of variegated pothos available for houseplant enthusiasts. Each offers a unique combination of foliage colors and patterns, making them excellent additions to any indoor space.

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