How to Grow and Care for Glacier Pothos

Frontal view of a glacier pothos

The Spruce / Adelyn Duchala

A cultivator of the popular marble queen pothos, the glacier pothos is a dainty pothos variety with stunning green and white colors. It is commonly confused with its two close relatives, the n’joy pothos and the pearls and jade pothos as these three varieties look very similar to the untrained eye. However, the glacier pothos can be distinguished by its coloring which is more silvery-green than the n’joy or pearls and jade. Its leaves also tend to be more oval-shaped than these other two varieties and it is considered rarer and harder to come by. 


Like most pothos, the glacier pothos makes for an excellent houseplant and is considered to be pretty hardy and low-maintenance. It does well in most standard household conditions and can withstand a bit of neglect if needed. Plus this versatile plant looks great in hanging baskets, tabletop planters, or trailing down from a wall shelf. However, before you race out to your nearest nursery to grab one of these pretty houseplants, you should be aware that as with all pothos plants the glacier pothos is considered toxic to pets.

Botanical Name  Epipremnum aureum 'Glacier' 
Common Name  Glacier pothos 
Family  Araceae 
Plant Type  Perennial, vine 
Mature Size  6 ft. long (indoors) 
Sun Exposure  Partial 
Soil Type  Moist but well-draining 
Soil pH  Acidic 
Bloom Time  Spring, summer 
Flower Color  Green, white 
Hardiness Zones  10-11, USA 
Native Area  Asia 
Toxicity  Toxic to pets

Glacier Pothos Care

Perfect for plant novices and experts alike, the glacier pothos is as easy to keep alive as it is pretty. Semi-regular watering and a sunny window are pretty much all that you need in order to keep this pothos happy. If you’ve cared for any other type of pothos before, than you will have no problem with this variegated cultivator. However, it should be noted that the glacier pothos is considered to be relatively slow-growing compared to some of its relatives in the pothos family so don’t be alarmed if your plant isn’t exploding with new growth.

Closeup of glacier pothos leaves

The Spruce / Adelyn Duchala

Closeup of new leaf unfurling on a glacier pothos

The Spruce / Adelyn Duchala

Glacier pothos trailing out of a pot

The Spruce / Adelyn Duchala

Light

This pothos appreciates plenty of bright light. A location that receives several hours of bright, indirect light is ideal, although the glacier pothos can also do well in medium light. While many pothos varieties grow well in low light, this is not one of them. Due to its highly variegated leaves the glacier pothos will become leggy and begin to lose its variegation if it does not receive enough light. 

Soil

Glacier pothos should be planted in a soil mix that is well-draining but still retains some moisture. A 1:1 mixture of organic and mineral components will help to achieve this balance. For example, a combination of equal parts indoor potting soil and perlite is an easy option that you can quickly mix up at home with supplies from your local nursery or garden center. While most indoor potting soil does have some perlite in it, adding more before planting your glacier pothos will ensure that the soil doesn’t compact over time and provide plenty of drainage to the plant’s roots.

Water

Let the top 2 to 3 inches of soil dry out between waterings and then water well. This pothos enjoys regular watering but is drought tolerant and should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings in order to prevent root rot. Always make sure that you allow any excess water to drain from the pot’s drainage holes during each watering which will also help to protect against overwatering and root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Pothos are native to warm, humid environments and do best in temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius). This makes them well-suited to indoor growing, and the glacier pothos is no exception. Keep in mind that glacier pothos are not frost-tolerant plants and should be kept away from any windows that are cold or drafty during the winter months in order to protect them from going into shock. 

For the most part, standard indoor humidity levels are fine for the glacier pothos, although it will thrive if provided with added humidity. This plant makes a great bathroom plant due to the naturally humid conditions in most bathrooms, or you can place a small humidifier close to the plant. 

Fertilizer

During the active growing season the glacier pothos appreciates regular fertilization to help support strong, healthy growth. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer for best results. Stop fertilizing during the fall and winter when the plant is no longer actively growing.

Pruning

Pruning is not a necessary part of caring for the glacier pothos, but can be done occasionally to control its growth. Keep in mind that since this pothos is slow-growing, any growth that is trimmed will not be quickly replaced. Also, it’s important to know that unlike some other types of houseplants, pothos do not ‘branch’ at the location where a pruning cut is made. Usually a pothos vine that has been pruned will send out a new shoot from the closest node and continue to grow the singular vine in this fashion. Sometimes, more than one new growth point will develop but this doesn’t always happen. 

Propagating Glacier Pothos

Like all pothos, the glacier pothos can be propagated easily using stem cuttings. Propagating your pothos is a great way to achieve a fuller plant (by replanting the rooted cuttings in the same pot) or create new plants to keep or share with friends. Plus, it can be done in just a few easy steps. 

  1. Take stem cuttings from a healthy glacier pothos plant using a pair of pruning shears or scissors. Each stem cutting should have at least 3 to 4 nodes on the stem, but no more than 6 or 7. Cuttings that are too long and have too many nodes/leaves will have a harder time rooting. 
  2. Remove the bottom 1 to 2 leaves from each cutting so that the nodes are exposed at the base of the stem. 
  3. Prepare a container with fresh water and place the stem cuttings in the water so that the exposed stem is submerged and the leaves at the top of the cutting remain above the water. 
  4. Place the cuttings in a location that receives bright, indirect light and refresh the water once a week. After a couple of weeks you should begin to notice small white roots growing from the nodes along the stem. Once the roots are at least 1 to 2 inches long the cuttings can be planted in soil. 
  5. Prepare a small pot(s) with a well-draining potting mix and plant the rooted cuttings in the soil. Water the cuttings well, allowing the excess water to drain from the pot, and return the planted cuttings to their original bright location. 
  6. For the first couple of weeks, you should keep the soil evenly moist in order to help the cuttings acclimate back to soil. After 1 to 2 weeks you can start letting the soil dry slightly between waterings as normal.

Potting and Repotting Glacier Pothos

Don’t worry about repotting this pothos too frequently as it doesn’t mind being slightly root bound. Usually, repotting a glacier pothos once every 2 to 3 years is sufficient unless the plant is showing signs of being heavily root bound before then. Keep an eye out for roots growing from the pot’s drainage holes or circling the inside of the pot, which are both signs that your plant is ready to be repotted. Then, it is best to wait until the spring or summer to repot this pothos as it is actively growing in these months which means it is less likely to suffer from shock. 

When it is time to repot your glacier pothos, make sure that you choose a pot that is only 2 to 3 inches larger than its previous container. Moving your plant into a pot that is too large can result in accidental overwatering. Then, carefully remove any excess soil from around the plant’s roots and move it to its new pot, filling the rest of the pot with a fresh, well-draining soil mix. Water the freshly repotted plant thoroughly and return it to its original location.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

While the glacier pothos is not prone to any particular pests or diseases you should keep an eye out for some common houseplant pests that will happily take up residence in this plant. In particular, watch out for signs of spider mites, thrips, scale, and mealybugs. Usually these pests will infest a glacier pothos by travelling from another infested houseplant, so checking your houseplants regularly for signs of pests is a good idea to prevent full-blown infestations. 

Common Problems With Glacier Pothos

The glacier pothos is pretty easy to care for and is generally problem-free. However, as with any plant there are a few common problems you might run into as you learn how to care for this tropical vine indoors. These include yellow leaves, brown leaves, and stunted growth.

Yellow Leaves

The most common reason that a glacier pothos develops yellow leaves is underwatering. That being said, yellow leaves can also be a sign of overwatering, lack of light, or sometimes even too much light. The best way to figure out which one may be the issue is to take a close look at your plant’s growing environment. Are you allowing the top 2 to 3 inches of soil to dry out between waterings? Is the pothos positioned in bright indirect light? Ideally within a few feet of the nearest window? Once you have figured out the root cause you should be able to prevent further leaves from yellowing. Unfortunately there is no way to save leaves that have already begun to yellow and die off though.

Brown Leaves

Brown leaves can be an indication that your plant is experiencing a lack of humidity, is underwatered, or is getting leaf scorch from too much direct light. Ensure that this pothos is kept away from overly dry locations in the home and keep it out of direct sunlight which will burn its delicate leaves. Otherwise, make sure that you are watering your plant regularly to prevent underwatering. 

Stunted Growth

While glacier pothos are known to be slow-growing, if your plant is not showing any signs of growth then this is an indication that something is wrong. Most of the time stunted growth is due to a lack of light, and moving the plant to a brighter location should fix the problem. Also, make sure that you are fertilizing your glacier pothos regularly during the spring and summer months which will help to boost growth.

FAQ
  • Are glacier pothos rare?

    Out of all of the different varieties of pothos available, the glacier pothos is considered moderately rare. It can be harder to find than some of its close relatives such as the marble queen or pearls and jade pothos, but easier to find than some of the rarer varieties like the harlequin pothos or jessenia pothos.

  • Are glacier pothos and n’joy pothos the same plant?

    Although they look similar, the glacier pothos and the n’joy pothos are two distinct cultivators of the marble queen pothos.

  • Why does my glacier pothos only have one vine?

    Sometimes pothos plants are sold as single-vine plants, or if you are growing your plant from a cutting the mature plant will only be a singular vine as it matures. In their native environment pothos tend to branch out more readily due to the ideal conditions available to them, but sometimes this doesn’t happen indoors. Don’t worry - there are a few things that you can do to grow fuller-looking glacier pothos. First, try propagating your plant and replanting the rooted cuttings back in the same pot! Also, ensure that you are providing your glacier pothos with enough sun, water, and fertilizer to promote strong, healthy growth. Giving your plant something to climb such as a moss pole or trellis can also encourage more vigorous and bushy growth.

Article Sources
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  1. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Golden Pothos.” Aspca.org. N.d., n.p. Web.