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How to care for variegated pothos

Love the look of a multi-colored houseplant? Here’s how to care for variegated pothos and special considerations needed to maintain pothos variegation!

I love pothos plants and enjoy collecting varieties of it. One of the things that sets some of the varieties apart is the coloring of the leaves.

Vareigation is the appearance of different colored sections on the leaves, stems, or even fruits of plants.

Pothos variegation is usually on the leaves and can be white, yellow, or different shades of green.

If variegated plants do not get th eright conditions (namely, enough light), the leaves can revert back to solid green and lose their colorful patterns.

So, it is important to give your variegated plants proper care!

variegated pothos care guide

How to care for variegated pothos

Variegated pothos is a popular houseplant that is known for its attractive foliage and ease of care. It is a member of the Epipremnum genus and is also commonly known as Devil’s Ivy.

This plant features heart-shaped leaves variegated with green and white, making it an eye-catching addition to any room.

Varieties of pothos that often have variegation include:

Caring for a variegated pothos is relatively simple and requires minimal effort. This plant is forgiving and can thrive in a variety of environments.

It is an excellent choice for those who are new to houseplant care or who want to add some greenery to their home without much fuss.

In this article, we will cover the basics of caring for variegated pothos, including watering, light, temperature, and humidity requirements.

Other pothos content you might enjoy:

Printable Pothos Plant Care Guide

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Pothos plant care guide

Special care tips for your variegated pothos

Pothos in general are easy care plants, though variegated varieties do have a few special considerations in order to maintain the leaf variegation.


This plant prefers bright, indirect light. They can tolerate low light conditions, but their growth will be slower, and their leaves may become less variegated.

If you place your plant in direct sunlight, the leaves may scorch or become discolored. It’s best to place your plant near a north or east-facing window or provide it with artificial light.


Pothos plants prefer slightly moist soil but can be susceptible to overwatering. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering, and never let your plant sit in standing water.

If you notice the leaves turning yellow or the soil is consistently damp, you may be overwatering your plant.

pothos moss pole after 1 season outdoors
pothos moss pole after 1 season outdoors


Variegated pothos plants prefer moderate to high humidity levels. Dry air can cause the leaves to become crispy or brown around the edges.

You can fix this by increasing the humidity around your plant by misting it with water, placing a tray of water near the plant, or using a humidifier.


Pothos benefits from regular fertilization! During the growth season(spring and summer), apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer once a month.

Follow the instructions on the label, and avoid over-fertilizing, which can cause root burn and damage to the plant.

During the winter, however, fertilization should be reduced to a minimum, if not at all.


Variegated pothos plants are fast-growing and can become leggy over time. Pruning the plant regularly contributes to keeping it appearing full and bushy.

Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to snip off any dead, yellowing, or damaged leaves, and cut back any long, bare stems to promote new growth. Be careful not to cut out the main stem!


This kind of pothos plant can grow in a variety of soil types, but they prefer a well-draining mix that retains moisture.

You can use a commercial potting mix or make your own by mixing equal parts peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.


Another plus is they are easy to propagate from stem cuttings.

Simply snip off a 4-6 inch stem with several leaves and place it in a jar of water or in moist soil. You can cover loosely with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect.

Keep the cutting in a warm, bright location, and within a few weeks, it should start to root and produce new growth.

close up of marble queen pothos in a hanging pot

How do you increase variegation in pothos plants?

Variegation is caused by a genetic mutation that causes the plant to produce different colored pigments in its leaves.

There are several things you can do to promote and enhance the variegation of your pothos plant:

  • provide bright indirect light
  • maintain consistent temperatures
  • fertilize regularly
  • prune your plant
  • propagate your plant

Provide Bright, Indirect Light

Variegated pothos plants need bright, indirect light to maintain and increase their variegation. On the other hand, Direct sunlight can burn the leaves and cause them to lose variegation.

Place your pothos plant near a window with filtered light or provide artificial light, such as a grow light.

Maintain Consistent Temperature

Pothos plants prefer temperatures between 60-85°F (15-29°C). Extreme temperature fluctuations can stress the plant and cause it to lose variegation.

You should avoid placing your plant near cold drafts as well as under air conditioning vents.

Fertilize Regularly

Fertilization can help promote variegation in pothos plants. You should use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

It is best to use it once a month during the growing season, which is spring and summer. Follow the instructions on the label and avoid over-fertilizing, which can damage the plant.

Prune Your Plant

Regular pruning can help keep your pothos plant looking full and bushy. Pruning also helps to prevent the plant from becoming leggy and encourages the growth of new leaves.

Also, if you want to encourage new growth and boost variation, be sure to prune back any long, barren stems.

Propagate Your Plant

Propagating your pothos plant can help increase variegation. When you take cuttings from a variegated pothos plant, the new plants may have more variegation than the parent plant.

Propagate your pothos by rooting stem cuttings in water or soil.

Remember, increasing variegation in pothos plants takes time and patience. Be consistent with your care routine and provide the plant with the right growing conditions.

close up of global green pothos

What if my plant starts to lose variegation?

If your pothos plant starts to lose variegation, it may be a sign of stress or an underlying problem.

Here are some common reasons why a pothos plant may lose variegation:

  • lack of light
  • over fertilization
  • root bound
  • pest infestation

Lack of light

As mentioned earlier, lack of light can cause a pothos plant to lose variegation. Put your plant somewhere brighter or give it artificial light.


Over-fertilizing can cause a pothos plant to lose variegation and may even damage the plant. There are always instructions on the label, and you only need to follow them carefully!

Root bound

If your pothos plant is root-bound, it may become stressed and lose variegation. Get a larger container, put fresh soil, repot your gorgeous plant and watch it sparkle!

Pest infestation

Pests such as spider mites or mealybugs can damage the leaves of a pothos plant, causing them to lose variegation. Treat any pest infestations promptly to prevent further damage.

In conclusion, increasing variegation in pothos plants requires proper care and attention to their lighting, temperature, and fertilization needs.

If your plant starts to lose variegation, it may be a sign of stress or an underlying problem that requires attention.

By addressing these issues promptly and checking our free PDF pothos care guide, you can help your variegated pothos plant regain its variegation and thrive.

Pothos plant care guide

Thanks for reading!

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