A Guide to Variegated Pothos: Care and 13 Types to Grow

Marble queen pothos variegated plant.

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Variegated houseplants add a fun splash of unexpected color and pattern to any room. Plain green houseplants are attractive too, but variegated plants have the added edge of being fun and unpredictable—every new leaf displays a unique variegation pattern.

When it comes to pothos plants, a large majority of the available varieties are variegated, with new cultivars being developed and introduced regularly. Here’s what you need to know about growing and caring for variegated pothos plants, plus 13 types you can grow at home.

What Causes Variegation?

There are three basic types of variegation, each with their own causes: chimeral variegation, reflective variegation (sometimes called blister variegation), and pattern-gene variegation.

Chimeral Variegation

Chimeral variegation is the type of coloring we are all most familiar with when we hear the words “variegated plant”. This kind of variegation is a result of genetic mutations that result in a lack of chlorophyll in certain plant cells on the leaf. This causes unique markings on the foliage in varying colors including, but not limited to; white, yellow, light green, and pink. 

Examples of plants with chimeral variegation include variegated Monstera Deliciosas and Pink Princess Philodendrons. A key characteristic of chimeral variegation is that it is unstable, meaning that it can disappear if the plant is not given enough light. It also means that every leaf will be unique in its variegation pattern. All of the pothos in this list have chimeral variegation.

Reflective Variegation

Reflective variegation is less well-known, but perhaps more common. It occurs when small pockets of air form in the middle layer of the leaf, giving the foliage a shimmery or sparkly appearance. This type of variegation tends to be stable, meaning it is predictable and not a result of random genetic mutations. Examples of plants with reflective variegation include Scindapsus pictus varieties like the Exotica and Argyraeus

Pattern-Gene Variegation

Lastly, pattern-gene variegation is a type of variegation that results in plants with natural leaf patterns that are built into their DNA. This type of variegation is stable and predictable and leaves will not revert if the plant doesn’t receive the proper care. Examples of plants with pattern gene variegation include prayer plants, and plenty of members of the Calathea family.

Small glacier pothos with variegated leaves.

The Spruce / Cori Sears

Variegated Pothos Care

Caring for a variegated pothos differs slightly than caring for non-variegated varieties, particularly because most variegated pothos plants have chimeral variegation. The main difference is in the amount of light that they need. Due to the lack of chlorophyll in their leaves, variegated pothos plants will be less tolerant of low light conditions than standard varieties. A lack of light will cause the plant’s variegation to revert, meaning they will lose their unique coloring and once this happens its very hard to get the variegation back. Most variegated pothos plants need several hours of bright, indirect light, although some can tolerate medium light as well. 

In addition, variegated plants can occasionally be more sensitive to chemicals and minerals in hard water. This means you’ll need to use distilled water or rainwater in place of regular tap water. If you notice your variegated pothos developing brown crispy edges on the leaves it may be a sign that your plant is reacting to the chemicals in your tap water.

Types of Variegated Pothos

Variegation is common among pothos plants, with many varieties sporting unique and varied patterns and colors. Here are 13 types of variegated pothos you can grow at home.

Golden Pothos

Golden pothos with variegated leaves.

The Spruce / Cori Sears

The golden pothos is by far the most popular and wide spread variety of pothos, and it’s variegated. Green leaves are accented with specks of yellow variegation that become more prominent with bright light. Despite its variegation, this hardy variety does well in a range of different lighting conditions from low light to bright, indirect light.

Marble Queen Pothos

Close up of variegted marble queen pothos leaves.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

The marble queen pothos is also popular and can be easily found in most greenhouses and nurseries. Its variegation pattern is similar to the golden pothos, but its variegation is creamy white rather than yellow. This pothos requires medium to bright indirect light in order to maintain its color.

Snow Queen Pothos

Variegated snow queen pothos.

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

Similar in appearance to the marble queen pothos, the snow queen pothos can be distinguished by its bright white coloring. Whereas the marble queen is equal parts creamy white and green, the snow queen is predominantly white with specks of green. This variegated plant requires a location that gets lots of bright indirect light, and cannot tolerate low light due to the lack of chlorophyll in its leaves.

Pearls and Jade Pothos

Pearls and jade pothos leaves.

The Spruce / Cori Sears

This pothos was developed at the University of Florida and is a patented cultivar of the marble queen pothos. It’s characterized by small, thin leaves that are more rounded in shape than other pothos varieties. The pearls and jade pothos has light green foliage with white variegation around the edges of the leaves. It’s common for the white to have green specks throughout it as well. This variety needs medium to bright indirect light to support its white coloring.

5. N’Joy Pothos

Close up of variegated njoy pothos leaves.

The Spruce / Cori Sears

The n’joy pothos and pearls and jade pothos are frequently mistaken for one another but are in fact separate and distinct varieties. The n’joy pothos’ leaves get larger than the pearls and jade as it matures, and its white variegation does not have any specks of green in it whereas the pearls and jade does. It also has two different shades of green that are common on most leaves. Give this pothos plenty of bright, indirect light to keep its variegation prominent.

Glacier Pothos

Close up of variegated glacier pothos leaves.

The Spruce / Adelyn Duchala

The glacier pothos is an uncommon pothos variety that looks very similar to the n’joy pothos in coloring and variegation pattern. However, its leaves are more rounded and it has an iridescent silver shimmer that sets it apart. This variety does not tolerate low light, so ensure it gets plenty of bright indirect light to keep it happy.

Manjula Pothos

Manjula pothos with variegated leaves.

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

Another uncommon pothos variety is the manjula pothos. This variegated pothos is characterized by medium green foliage with prominent creamy yellow-white variegation. It was developed at the University of Florida and is a patented cultivar. It needs plenty of bright, indirect light to maintain its creamy variegation.

Global Green Pothos

Variegated global green pothos.

The Spruce / Cori Sears

Sometimes also called the green princess pothos, the global green pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Global Green') sports unique green on green variegation. This pothos variety is relatively uncommon, although its been gaining popularity over the past few years.

Emerald Pothos

Nearly identical to the global green pothos, these two green-on-green pothos varieties can be distinguished by their coloring. While the global green pothos has leaves with dark green edges and yellow-green variegation in the center, the emerald pothos has the opposite: yellow green edges and dark green centers.

Lemon Meringue Pothos

The lemon meringue pothos is a brand new pothos variety discovered by Costa Farms. It is similar in appearance and variegation pattern to both the global green and emerald pothos plants, but the coloring is different. The lemon meringue pothos is characterized by green foliage with bright yellow variegation.

Jessenia Pothos

The jessenia pothos was discovered by Costa Farms in 2014 as a stable sport of the marble queen pothos. It’s characterized by dark green foliage that is speckled with light green and yellow variegation. This unique and rare pothos does best in medium to bright indirect light.

Variegated Neon Pothos

The variegated variety of the popular neon pothos, this rare variegated pothos is difficult to come by. It needs plenty of bright indirect light in order to keep its color stable and cannot withstand low light.

Harlequin Pothos

Undoubtedly one of the most difficult varieties of pothos to get your hands on, the harlequin pothos is a stunning and highly variegated pothos. It has slightly rounded leaves and lots of bright white coloring along with light green and dark green. Its leaf shape is similar to the manjula while its variegation pattern vaguely resembles the n’joy pothos, but with far more white.