Pothos is likely to be among the most popular choice as the first plant for many houseplant owners. Its adaptive nature to grow even in less than ideal conditions makes the pothos plant an easy plant to experiment for a new plant parent. Native to tropical habitats of countries in the Caribbean islands, Mexico and South America, Pothos are ornamental foliage vining plants. There are several different types or cultivars of Pothos, ranging from plants with leaves having different degrees of variegation to solid colored. Today, we will be talking about caring for your Jade pothos – a pothos plant variety that features the classic heart-shaped leaves with a tapering end in uniform dark green colors with no variegation at all.
Jade pothos or Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade’, belonging to the family Araceae, is a pothos variety that is native to Asia. In their natural habitats, like any other cultivars of pothos, Jade pothos grow as tree-climbing vines, scaling up trees and reaching a height about 50 feet tall or more. The leaves can also grow up to 3 feet in length. As an indoor houseplant, the entire plant can reach a maximum of about 10 feet, while the leaves can manage a growth of up to 3 feet in length. The genus Epipremnum contains some of the most popular and durable houseplants, desired particularly for their ornamental features. Most plants, including Jade pothos, are often used to add a touch of greenery and softness to the interior design, as totems, hanging baskets, dish gardens, or even as small desk plants.
Growing Jade pothos is easy and manageable even for a rookie plant parent. Similar to other pothos, looking after your Jade pothos plant requires taking care of a few key things to ensure the plant gets the most ideal conditions to grow healthily and flourish in your home environment. When growing any houseplant, it is best to know what signs you need to look out for that show your plant isn’t doing well, is stressed, or dying. Once you understand the reasons, you can go about fixing the problems to rejuvenate your plant. Following is a comprehensive care guide with signs to look out for to ensure proper care and maintenance of your Jade pothos plant.
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Conditions That Influence Proper Growth of Your Jade Pothos Plant
What makes pothos and their varieties, including Jade pothos, popular is their ability to sustain, and even prosper, in less than optimum conditions – low light, little water, and bare minimum attention. However, if you want a healthy-looking sheen on your Jade pothos plant and watch it grow to its full potential, you will need to follow these easy rules, governing different factors that can influence or hamper the growth of your houseplant.
What Light Conditions are Best for Jade Pothos?
Your Jade pothos will grow well when placed in a location that receives bright but indirect or filtered light, all year-round. You can find a place in your house, if it’s possible, near a window that’s south or north-facing. If it isn’t possible, you can try adding a light curtain to your window to filter down the intensity of light. Having an awning on your window or a retractable shade over your balcony area can allow you to grow your Jade pothos plant in its ideal light conditions.
a. Effects of Low Light Conditions
Jade pothos plants can survive low and poor lighting conditions, as long as these are on some rare occasions. But continued low light conditions can start to impact the health of your Jade pothos, leaving it weak and wilting. When there’s not enough light, you will start to notice that the leaves are getting discolored and paler, growing smaller in size, drooping or turning yellow at the tips, and falling off.
b. Effects of Harsh, Direct Light
In case your Jade pothos is being exposed to harsh and direct sunlight, you can see the signs pretty clearly. At first, the leaves might turn pale green from their usual dark and deep green coloration. Overexposure to light will ultimately lead to burning and scorching of the leaves.
As with most plants, Jade pothos will grow in the direction of light. It is advisable to rotate the pot or container regularly, perhaps once a week, to make sure the plant receives even light.
How Often Should You Water Jade Pothos?
In order to thrive, Jade pothos plants need moist soil but not soggy conditions. The water needs to soak through each and every part of the roots to keep them moist and any excess water to filter down through the drainage holes. At the initial stage, it is best to start watering once a week. Then start observing the dryness of the top layer of the soil; if around 50% is dry you can water the plant again. While there’s no hard and fast rule, you can use a spray bottle, watering can, or even a measuring cup to water your pothos plant. If you are a stickler for precision, when you are watering you can observe how much water accumulates in the saucer at the bottom of the pot and change the quantity accordingly next time.
a. Under-watering Issues
When there’s not enough water, the plant is unable to receive proper nutrients to grow at its fullest. Dry soil is a great indication that it is time now to water your Jade pothos. Care must be taken to water slowly and focus the flow all around the center of the plant. This slow watering process is more effective to ensure that the plant gets uniformed watering, as it filters down the base right to the root zone. Applying water all at once or too quickly can lead to the water running down outside of the root ball, leaving the central roots dry which in turn can lead to under-watering conditions.
b. Over-watering Issues
It is not recommended to water your Jade pothos plants when the soil is still moist at the top. Keep checking after a few days of first watering your plant, preferably a week, if the soil is dry before watering again. When you don’t remove the water that drains out from the pot and collects in the run-off dish or saucer, it can make the soil soggy. This can be detrimental to the growth of your Jade pothos. To avoid this, once you have watered the plant, always throw away the excess water.
Once you get into the groove of watering your Jade pothos regularly, you will quickly learn how little or how much water it needs, more instinctively than before. Another thing to keep in mind when watering your pothos is to use distilled water rather than tap water to avoid any build-up of minerals in the soil. If you are using tap water, you can let the water sit overnight or for a day before watering.
How Much Humidity Does Jade Pothos Need?
Tropical plants are used to more humidity and as such your Jade pothos plant prefers a slightly more humid environment, in a range between 50 to 70 percent. Investing in a hygrometer to check the relative humidity in the room can prove to be of much help, allowing you to accurately monitor the humidity level.
a. When There’s Too Much Humidity
When there is too much humidity, your houseplant becomes vulnerable to mold and fungal diseases. You will notice wet brown spots and weak leaves and stems. Too much humidity can also cause root rot, if too extreme and left untreated it can prove fatal for your Jade pothos plant. There can be several reasons for high humidity levels such as over-watering, high moisture retention in the soil, and improper air circulation in the house.
b. When There’s Not Enough Humidity
On the other hand, not enough humidity in the atmosphere can lead to a slowing down of the transpiration process. After the roots absorb the nutrient-rich water, the excess water gets released by the leaves through the process of transpiration. When this process slows down, it can hamper the plant. One of the indications of the air being too dry is the browning of the leaf tips. In order to avoid this, you can find a more humid location in the house for the plant-like in the bathroom or kitchen. You can also employ the use of a humidifier to meet the humidity requirement of your pothos. Spraying a fine mist of water on your pothos can also help with humidity by keeping the plant moist. Alternatively, you can also place bowls with water around the plant or use gravel trays, whereby you place your Jade pothos container on top of a tray filled with gravel.
What Are The Ideal Temperature Settings for Jade Pothos?
A generally warm household with temperatures ranging between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit successfully allows an ideal growth of Jade pothos, giving an environment similar to its native tropical settings. The best growth happens between this range, allowing a greater number of vines and vine length.
a. Low Temperature
While your Jade pothos can tolerate low temperatures, it is best to avoid letting the room temperature drop below 60ºF. In the winter months, keeping the temperature around 70ºF suits best for proper growth. Leaves can become discolored and develop brown patches due to exposure to cold temperatures or abrupt changes from very high to moderate temperatures.
b. High Temperature
When the temperature hovers above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the optimum growth of the plant gets hampered. Higher temperature conditions can turn the leaf tips brown, leading to sunburn and deteriorating the plant.
Be sure to place your Jade pothos away from any direct line of contact to heating vents or air conditioning.
Do Jade Pothos Need Fertilizer?
Pothos don’t need much fertilizer and as is the case with Jade pothos. Feeding them once every month or two with general-purpose indoor plant fertilizer can fulfill any need for nutrients by the plant. This should be done during the growing period which is generally from spring till early fall. During the winter, it is best to reduce the frequency and also cut down on the quantity of the fertilizer. It is a preferred practice to ensure the soil is damp before you apply the fertilizer.
Most potting soil mixes do not come with the required nutrients. When there’s not enough fertilization done, you can observe your Jade pothos showing stunted growth with smaller leaves or not showing any new growth at all. Excess of fertilizer on the other hand can lead to mineral build-up in the soil which can result in leaf burn.
What Soil is Best for Jade Pothos?
Pothos need moist yet well-draining soil. You can use a general potting mix, which can either be soil or soil-less mixture, and combine it with peat moss, perlite, or coco coir to ensure both moisture retention as well as aeration. Garden soil should not be used as they are compacted and does not allow enough drainage or air pockets.
Is it Okay to Prune Your Jade Pothos?
There is no harm in regularly pruning your Jade pothos. You can do this by using a clean and sharp scissor to prevent any tearing or bruising of the stems. Trim the parts of the plant that appear damaged, like the discolored, dead, or diseased leaves and stems. If cutting a stem, try to trim it just above a leaf node. This will allow for the new growth to take place successfully.
- How to Propagate Jade Pothos?
Jade pothos can be easily propagated using the stem-cutting method
- Use a sterilized tool to cut a healthy stem about 4-6 inches in length and have at least a few leaves and nodes.
- Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting and place them in the jar or vase
- Ensure the top leaves are not touching or getting submerged in the water
- In a few week’s time, you will notice the new roots sprouting into several inches long
- You can then move it into a pot with proper potting soil mix and place it in a spot with bright, indirect light
Is Repotting Jade Pothos Required?
With time you will need to repot your Jade pothos to accommodate the growth it has achieved and to allow space for further growth and development. Ideally, you can repot the plant annually to a pot or container one size larger than the current one. There should be ample drainage holes at the bottom to get rid of any excess water. The best time to repot your Jade Pothos is during spring, at the start of their growing season for quick adaptability to the new condition.
Can Jade Pothos Get Pest Infestations And Diseases?
If the conditions are ideal for its growth, then you will most probably not encounter any issues with pests or diseases when growing your Jade pothos plant. In case of any such issues, you simply need to take some quick actions to resolve the problem and get your pothos plant growing as healthily as before. It is only in very extreme situations when the infection is too intensive due to neglect and irregular checks for pests that your houseplant might not survive.
a. Pothos Pest Infestations
Thankfully, Jade pothos are not prone to pest problems. On rare occasions when there are pest issues, it is often due to infestations of mealybugs, mites, scales, and thrips. To combat the infestation, you can simply use cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to dab and kill the pests. Use of a horticultural oil spray or an insecticide is also effective. In case of excessive infestations, rinsing the plant completely with a pesticide is advisable.
b. Diseases Plaguing Pothos
Bacterial Leaf Spot is caused by Pseudomonas cichorii and can be seen on the leaves as water-soaked yellow spots with the center of the spots falling out under wet conditions. To prevent the disease, you must avoid overhead watering of the plant and always wipe out any water that splashes on the leaves. Sadly, if infected, the plant needs to be discarded.
Another pathogen Pythium can cause Pythium Root Rot with symptoms appearing as yellow leaves and mushy black rot in the stems. Rhizoctonia Stem Rot is also a fungal infection caused by Rhizoctonia whereby the soil surface shows a fine webbing of fungal growth. Application of fungicide can prevent and protect your plant from both these fungal pathogens.
Looking at the photos of people posing with their varieties of pothos on social media or admiring the small Jade pothos desk plant on your colleague’s cubicle, might lead you to think that being a plant parent is quite easy. As discussed here, you are not wrong entirely, at least with houseplants like pothos. The trick is to be adept at catering to the few basic requirements that your pothos plant needs and being disciplined enough to follow through. In return for your efforts, the glorious, trailing growth of your Jade pothos with shining, deep green leaves, will give you owner’s pride and perhaps, neighbor’s envy too.
Ranjan Singh Moirangthem is a media professional based in India, currently working as a freelance copywriter. Growing up in a hill station and now living in a concrete jungle, he finds solace in the green corners of the city, be it parks or his housing society garden. He’s even passionate about plants and gardening and shares his experience by writing in-depth and well-researched articles for our readers.