There are plenty of reasons pothos plants are so popular. These attractive vining species thrive indoors and are purported to have air-purifying qualities. These plants are so easy to care for that even the brownest thumb houseplant lovers find it difficult to kill them—gaining them the nickname "devil's ivy." They can live up to 10 years, although you can keep them going longer through propagating the cuttings of this plant.
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 and sturdy stems and is extra drought resistant. These tough vining plants look great on shelves or hanging baskets and adapt to various light conditions.
However, with its trailing leaves, a jade pothos isn't ideal 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'|
|Plant Type||Perennial, Vine|
|Mature Size||20–40 ft. long, 3–6 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full, partial|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acid, Neutral|
|Hardiness Zones||10-12 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Asia (Pacific Islands)|
|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 up to 30 feet long, so occasionally shaking them loose helps prevent them from becoming entwined.
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. 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. Watch for scorched leaves if you position your jade pothos in a bright spot.
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).
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.
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 two inches of soil to dry thoroughly between watering, especially in low-light conditions.
If you're unsure when to water, look out for the leaves 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.
Jade pothos 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 provide a bi-monthly feed of half-strength, balanced houseplant fertilizer or an organic fish emulsion.
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 get too long for your living space. Removing yellowing leaves or less healthy vines helps direct energy to the most vigorous vines and encourages new growth.
Propagating Jade Pothos
This plant variety can't 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 can easily propagate from stem cuttings. Here's how:
- 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.
- Take the leaf at the bottom off (leaving at least two leaves on the cutting).
- Put the stem in a glass of tepid water, ensuring the leaves don't touch the water.
- 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, which will develop a stronger root system.
- 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, so you might need to repot it annually. A sign that they need repotting is drooping foliage after regular watering. You can also check to see if the roots are growing from 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.
This plant doesn't like when its roots get disturbed too much. The best time to transfer a jade pothos is when a root ball has developed with the soil surrounding it. Gently pull the plant partially out of the pot. If the roots seem meshed firmly with the soil, it is likely ready to move to a new pot. Transferring the plant with its root ball intact improves transplanting success.
Common Pests and Plant Diseases
Jade pothos has no significant 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 don't suffer many problems. However, that doesn't mean you can neglect them. Getting it wrong regarding water and lighting can lead to issues, but most are easy to fix.
Leaves Turning Yellow
To avoid unattractive yellowing leaves, avoid giving your jade pothos too much water and prolonged direct sun exposure.
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, rewater after the top two inches dries out; however, don't let the rootball dry out completely.
If your plant gets "leggy" or has stringy vines, it usually means they are growing out in search of sun. Move the plant closer to a light source. Legginess can also be caused if it's not getting watered on a regular schedule or it's ready for pruning. To reverse legginess, prune the plant down to its base in the spring to encourage new growth.
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. Jade pothos has solid green foliage, while golden pothos has speckles and stripes. Their leaves are also slightly smaller and narrower. Jade is also known to be very vigorous and a little more drought-resistant.
What plants are similar to jade pothos?
Philodendrons are also popular houseplants and are 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.
Is jade pothos an indoor plant?
Jade pothos is a tropical plant that naturally grows in zone 10 through 12 as an understory plant. It is typically grown as an indoor plant due to its temperature needs and low-light tolerance.
How long do jade pothos live?
They can live up to 10 years; however, they grow so easily from cuttings that you can keep propagating this plant in perpetuity.
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.
Pothos (Epipremnum) | Queensland Poisons Information Centre. Children’s Health Queensland.
Golden Pothos. ASPCA.
Epipremnum aureum. North Carolina Cooperative Extension.