How to Grow Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Jade')

Jade pothos in a hanging planter by a window

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

There are plenty of reasons pothos plants are so popular⁠. These attractive vining species thrive indoors, have proven air-purifying qualities, and are so easy to care for that even the brownest thumb houseplant lovers are unlikely to kill them off. There are many types of pothos, and Jade pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Jade') is one you'll find in many garden centers. A naturally occurring mutation of the original golden pothos, it features particularly thick, dark, shiny green leaves, sturdy stems, and its extra drought resistant. These tough vining plants look great on shelves or in hanging baskets and adapt to a variety of light conditions.

However, with its trailing leaves, a Jade pothos isn't the ideal choice for a home with curious pups or kitties. This plant is toxic to both people and pets.

Common Name Jade Pothos
 Botanical Name Epipremnum aureum 'Jade'
 Family Araceae
 Plant Type Perennial, Vine
 Mature Size 20–40 ft. long, 3–6 ft. wide
 Sun Exposure Full sun, Partial Shade
 Soil Type Moist but well-drained
 Soil pH Acid, Neutral
 Bloom Time Rarely flowers indoors
 Flower Color N/a
 Hardiness Zones 10-12 (USDA)
 Native Area South Pacific
Toxicity Toxic to people and pets

Jade Pothos Care

Like most other pothos varieties, Epipremnum aureum 'Jade' has a forgiving nature. You should be able to grow it in most rooms in your home, regardless of the light conditions. You can let it climb a trellis (with support) or grow along a shelf. Left to grow, the vines can reach lengths of up to 30-feet long, so occasionally shaking them loose helps prevent them from becoming an entwined tangle.

Light

Although Jade pothos prefers bright, indirect light, it adapts well to a range of light conditions, with some people even growing it in offices with artificial, fluorescent lighting. Just watch for scorched leaves if you position your Jade pothos in a very bright spot. Sitting on a north-facing window or in the middle of a room with a south-facing window will likely result in a thriving plant with lush foliage.

This cultivar might not have the striking foliage variegation of some pothos varieties. However, another advantage, is its solid colored leaves have a greater photosynthetic capacity, meaning it's an ideal choice if your home has more limited sun (which may result in fading variegation in other varieties).

Soil

Epipremnum aureum 'Jade' does well in most potting soils, providing they're well-drained. However, one thing this plant won't appreciate is wet feet. Adding perlite or peat moss (or the more sustainable coco coir) can help improve drainage if you have concerns.

Water

Your Jade pothos doesn't have a high maintenance watering schedule. One of the biggest reasons this hard-to-kill plant goes into decline is overwatering. So, never leave your Jade pothos to sit in standing water. If, after irrigating, there is any water left in a run-off dish below the pot, make sure you immediately drain this away.

This drought-resistant cultivar prefers the top couple of inches of soil dry out fully in between watering, especially in low light conditions.

If you're unsure when to water, look out for the leaves just starting to droop (but not shrivel). Even in the summertime, you might only need to water once a week, and in the winter, considerably less.

Temperature and Humidity

These plants enjoy living in warm households between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter months, temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal, but anything lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a problem.

Most of the time, Jade pothos will cope with standard home humidity levels. Even though these tropical plants are lovers of high humidity, they can still survive in low humidity rooms. They're perfect plants for humid bathrooms and kitchens⁠—even if the rooms don't get a lot of light. Just keep these cold-sensitive plants away from drafty windows and heating vents in the winter.

Fertilizer

They aren't heavy feeders and can survive without fertilizer if you pot them in a good soil mix. But, to promote the most vigorous growth and deep green foliage, you can opt to provide a bi-monthly feed of half-strength, balanced houseplant fertilizer or an organic fish emulsion.

Pruning

These low-maintenance plants don't need much in the way of tidying up. However, you might want to trim the vines in the spring if they're getting too long for your living space. Removing any yellowing leaves or less healthy vines helps direct energy to the most vigorous vines and encourages new growth.

Propagating Jade Pothos

While this plant can't really be grown by seed, if you want to add new plants to your collection or gift one to friends, it's great to know that Jade pothos is easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Here's how:

  1. Select a healthy stem and use a sterile, sharp knife or shears to take a cutting with at least three leaves. Cut at a 45-degree angle around an inch below the bottom leaf.
  2. Take the leaf at the bottom off (leaving at least two leaves on the cutting).
  3. Put the stem in a glass of tepid water, ensuring the leaves don't touch the water.
  4. Wait for new roots to sprout over a few weeks. When they're at least a few inches long (usually after a month to two), the cutting is ready to transfer into potting soil, where it will develop a stronger root system.
  5. Put the pot in a position that receives bright but filtered light and keep the soil moist but not saturated.

You can skip the submersion in water step, but starting in potting soil takes longer, and the cutting will be more at risk of root rot in those early stages.

Potting and Repotting Jade Pothos

These vigorous growers don't appreciate being too pot-bound, and you might find you need to repot as often as annually. A sign that they need repotting is foliage that is drooping even after regular watering. You can also check to see if the roots are escaping the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

Repot in a container one or two sizes bigger than the existing pot, making sure you use fresh, well-draining potting soil rich in organic matter and that the pot has good drainage holes. You want to disrupt the roots as little as possible when repotting, so try not to transplant them too early. If they haven't filled their existing pot properly, the soil around the root ball might not attach so well.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

Jade pothos doesn't have any major problems with pests, but if you've been guilty of leaving your plant a little too damp, keep an eye out for mealybugs (which thrive on unhealthy plants in stagnant conditions). Applying a biodegradable soapy water mixture to the leaves can help kill them off and then take care not to leave your plant too wet going forward.

Common Problems With Jade Pothos

Jade pothos are low-fuss houseplants, and they don't suffer from many problems. However, that doesn't mean you can totally neglect them. Getting it wrong in terms of water and lighting can lead to certain (usually easily resolved) problems.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Steer clear of giving your Jade pothos too much water and prolonged direct sun exposure if you want to avoid unattractive yellowing leaves.

Brown Tips

While overwatering is a bigger problem for Jade pothos, prolonged dry spells can result in the edges of the foliage turning brown. Rather than letting the soil dry out completely, rewatering after just the top couple of inches are fully dry is better⁠—you don't want to let the rootball dry out completely.

FAQ
  • How fast does Jade pothos grow?

    This plant has a vigorous growth rate and can stretch up to 12 inches per month under the right conditions. Watch out for those long vines quickly taking over your wall space.

  • Is Jade pothos the same as golden pothos?

    Jade pothos is a naturally occurring mutation of the original Epipremnum aureum species (common name golden pothos). However, they have some distinct differences making it easy to tell them apart.


    Jade pothos has solid green foliage free from the speckles and stripes you see on the golden pothos. Their leaves are also slightly smaller and narrower. Jade is also known to be very vigorous and a little more drought-resistant than its relative.

  • What plants are similar to Jade pothos?

    Philodendrons are also popular houseplants, and they're often confused with pothos species. The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at their foliage. The leaves on pothos are thicker and waxier and not as distinctly heart-shaped as the philodendron.

Article Sources
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  1. Claudio, Luz. ‘Planting Healthier Indoor Air’. Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 119, no. 10, Oct. 2011, pp. a426–27. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.119-a426.

  2. Pothos (Epipremnum) | Queensland Poisons Information Centre. Children’s Health Queensland.

  3. Golden Pothos. ASPCA.

  4. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/epipremnum-aureum/