How to Grow and Care for Jessenia Pothos

A Jessenia pothos in a terracotta pot on a wood table.

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The Jessenia pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Jessenia) is one of the newest varieties of pothos to hit the scene and it’s definitely one that you are going to want to add to your collection. Characterized by heart-shaped green leaves splashed with chartreuse and light green variegation, this pothos is as beautiful as it is easy to care for. Plus, its long trailing vines will look great in almost any spot in your home. Like all plants in the Epipremnum genus, the Jessenia pothos is considered toxic to cats and dogs.

Botanical Name  Epipremnum aureum 'Jessenia' 
Common Name  Jessenia pothos 
Family  Araceae 
Plant Type  Perennial, vine 
Mature Size  10 ft. long (indoors), 30 ft. long (outdoors) 
Sun Exposure  Partial 
Soil Type  Moist but well-drained 
Soil pH  Acidic 
Bloom Time  Spring, summer 
Flower Color  Green, white 
Hardiness Zones 10-12, USA 
Native Area  South America 
Toxicity  Toxic to pets 

Jessenia Pothos Care

Like all pothos plants, the Jessenia pothos is known for being hardy and easy to grow. It was introduced by Costa Farms in 2014 as a sport of the marble queen pothos to which it has many similarities. Most notably, it requires more light than other varieties such as the golden pothos or jade pothos in order to support its variegation, and it is known for being a slow grower. Similar to many of its relatives in the Epipremnum genus, the Jessenia pothos does not flower readily indoors.

Light

This variegated plant does best in bright, indirect light. That being said, it can also tolerate medium light well. Unlike other pothos varieties, avoid placing your Jessenia pothos in low light conditions as a lack of light will cause its variegation to dull. Also, avoid direct sunlight which will burn the leaves.

Soil

The Jessenia pothos requires a soil mixture that retains some water while still being well-draining. While it can survive in pure potting soil for some time, a combination of potting soil, perlite, and some orchid bark mix is ideal and will prevent soil compaction. 

Water

Just like other pothos varieties, Jessenia pothos prefers to be watered once the top 2 to 3 inches of soil has dried out. However, these plants are known for being relatively drought tolerant and can survive the occasional missed watering. Cut back on watering during the fall and winter when the plant isn’t actively growing.

Temperature and Humidity

Native to tropical, rainforest climates the Jessenia pothos does best in warm, humid conditions. Keep this pothos in temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 23 degrees Celsius) and 50% to 70% humidity. 

Fertilizer

The Jessenia pothos grows best with regular fertilization during the active growing period. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer during watering. Stop fertilizing entirely during the fall and winter months.

Pruning

Pruning is not required but is usually a good idea at some point to control growth. It can also help to encourage a fuller growth habit if you desire. To prune a Jessenia pothos, ensure you have a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors and sterilize them well beforehand. Like most plants, it is best to prune these pothos in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. Ensure that you never remove more than a third of the plants foliage at a time. Make sure you save the trimmings from your Jessenia pothos - they can be repurposed for propagating!

Propagating Jessenia Pothos

The Jessenia pothos can be easily propagated by rooting stem cuttings. While you can technically root cuttings at any time of the year, it is best to propagate pothos plants in the spring or summer during their active growing period. One important thing to keep in mind when rooting pothos stem cuttings is that each cutting must have at least one node along the stem - which is where new roots and leaves grow from. This means that pothos cannot be propagated using just a leaf and its petiole. To propagate Jessenia pothos by rooting stem cuttings, follow these simple steps.

  1. Using a pair of clean pruning shears or scissors, take one or more stem cuttings from a healthy Jessenia pothos. Ideally, each cutting should have between 2 to 4 nodes and leaves. 
  2. Remove the bottom 1 to 2 leaves from each cutting so that the stem is bare.
  3. Prepare a container like a vase or glass jar with water and place the cuttings in the water so that the bare stem is submerged and the remaining leaves at the top of the cutting are above the surface of the water.
  4. Put the cuttings in a location that receives bright, indirect light and change the water once a week to keep it fresh. After a couple of weeks you should begin to see small white roots growing from the submerged nodes along the stem of the cuttings. Once the roots are between 2 to 3 inches long, the cuttings are ready to be planted. 
  5. Prepare a small pot with some well-draining soil mix and add the rooted cuttings into the soil, patting it down gently around the roots. 
  6. Water the newly planted cuttings well until water drains from the pot’s drainage holes. 
  7. Return the cuttings to a location that receives bright, indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist for the first 1 to 2 weeks to help the cuttings acclimate to soil conditions.

Potting and Repotting Jessenia Pothos

Jessenia pothos should be repotted once they have outgrown their pot - usually every 1 to 2 years. Watch for signs that your plant has outgrown its container such as roots growing from the drainage holes or roots circling the top of the pot. While this plant appreciates being repotted in a timely fashion, don’t worry if you don’t get around to it right away as pothos still grow well in rootbound conditions.  

It is best to repot Jessenia pothos in the spring or summer. Choose a new pot that is 2 to 3 inches larger than the previous pot (for example; move from a 6-inch pot to an 8-inch pot) and ensure you have fresh well-draining soil on hand before you begin. Remove the pothos from its pot and carefully loosen any excess soil from the plant’s roots, being careful not to break any. Place the plant in its new container and add the fresh soil around the roots. Water the newly repotted pothos well and return it to its original growing location to prevent shock.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Jessenia pothos are susceptible to a few common houseplant pests and diseases. Watch out for signs of pests like mealybugs, scale, thrips, and spider mites. Also, keep an eye out for signs of root rot which can occur when these pothos are overwatered. 

Common Problems With Jessenia Pothos

For the most part Jessenia pothos, like most pothos varieties, are known for being low-maintenance and relatively problem-free. However, like all plants it is possible to encounter some problems when caring for them indoors. Keep an eye out for these common issues.

Yellow Leaves

If your pothos is developing yellow leaves there can be a number of potential causes. The most common causes include overwatering, underwatering, and lack of light. Admittedly, it can be difficult to figure out which of these conditions may be the culprit, but a close look at your plant’s growing conditions may help you narrow it down. Is the soil of your plant consistently wet to the touch? If so - overwatering is likely the cause. Or is the soil usually bone dry before you get around to watering it? If this is the case, you are probably underwatering your plant. 

When it comes to light, remember that Jessenia pothos enjoys bright, indirect light. This means they should be relatively close to a window (think within a couple of feet), so if you’ve chosen a spot for your plant that is across the room from the nearest light source then those yellow leaves are probably a sign that it needs more light.

Brown Leaves

Brown leaves on a Jessenia pothos usually indicate that your plant is suffering from a lack of moisture. While these plants can withstand a little bit of drought, they do best with consistent watering and should be watered once the top 2 to 3 inches of soil has dried.

Stunted Growth

As a highly variegated variety of pothos the Jessenia pothos is known for growing a bit more slowly than some of its relatives. That being said, if you believe your pothos is suffering from stunted growth, the most likely cause is a lack of light. Make sure that your plant is receiving several hours of bright, indirect light every day to encourage healthy growth. If you aren’t already - fertilizing your plant regularly will also help to kickstart growth.

FAQ
  • Does Jessenia pothos revert?

    If Jessenia pothos do not receive enough light their variegated leaves can begin to revert back to solid green. This usually occurs in low light conditions. Once leaves have reverted it can’t be reversed, but moving the plant into brighter conditions will prevent more leaves from reverting.

  • Are Jessenia pothos rare?

    When it comes to pothos, the Jessenia is among the rarest. It can be quite difficult to find and expensive to acquire if you do manage to find one. It’s this rarity that makes the Jessenia so popular among plant lovers and collectors.

  • How do you tell Jessenia pothos and marble queen pothos apart?

    These two pothos varieties look very similar to the untrained eye, but can be distinguished based on their coloring. The marble queen pothos is characterized by green leaves with cream variegation while the Jessenia pothos has green leaves with light green or chartreuse variegation.

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