Among the varieties of pothos snow queen is a very popular indoor vine to have within your sweet home.
Its flashy heart-shaped leaves can be allowed to trail down from a plant placed on a shelf or in a hanging basket, or it can be trained up a stake.
Not only is it forgiving, but it is also easy to propagate in order to increase the size of your collection.
The Snow Queen Pothos can be a stunning eye-catcher. It is easy to cultivate if you allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before every watering, provide bright but indirect light and keep the plant fairly humid.
Is the Snow Queen Pathos a Good House Plant to Grow?
I am a great fan of plants that have trailing, leafy stems and the Pothos is perfect to match my tastes.
Pothos leaves are heart-shaped, but those of the Snow Queen is splashed with pronounced white variegation which adds that stunning, a little bit extra.
If a trailing plant is not to your taste or you don’t have the ideal position for it, this plant will provide architectural form if allowed to grow up support.
To add to this, the plant is attractive all year round, and that makes it an all-around winner in my book.
Care Details Summarized
|Scientific Name||Epipremnum Aureum (Snow Queen)|
|Common Name||Snow Queen Pothos|
|Type||Evergreen house plant|
|Max Growth||To 10 feet indoors. To 40feet in the wild|
|Watering Needs||Doesn’t like to be too wet. Allow top two inches to become dry before re-watering|
|Light Requirements||Bright light but not direct sun|
|Humidity||A tropical plant requiring reasonable humidity 50 – 75%. Mist leaves lightly every 10 days to mimic this or stand in a pebble tray.|
|Soil||A good quality house plant soil that allows good drainage will suffice|
|Fertilizer||Needs very little feeding. A light feed every two months during the growing season will keep it happy|
|Season||An evergreen that can tolerate outdoor conditions in warmer climates, but not frost|
|Temperature||65 to 85°F (18 to 30°C)|
|Pests||Mealybugs and thrips are the main culprits|
|Diseases||Most common diseases relate to overwatering e.g. root rot|
|Propagation||Takes easily from stem cuttings in water|
|Pruning||Trim back when necessary and cut off yellow leaves|
|Repotting||Only repot when root bound|
|Toxicity||Toxic to cats, dogs and children|
|Hardiness||USDA zones 10 to 11 but bring indoors before there is frost|
First Steps with Your New Plant
If you acquire one of these plants, one of the first things to do is make sure that the pot it is in offers sufficient drainage.
It has become quite common to sell plants in attractive-looking pots that don’t have any holes in the bottom.
This may boost sales but it will do nothing for the health of your plant.
Once you are sure about your plant’s container, check there are no bugs hidden among the leaves and then find it in a position with bright but indirect light and you are good to go.
All the information you need to keep your plant happy is listed in the care tips below.
How to Care for Your Pothos Snow Queen?
These plants originate from the islands of Polynesia where they thrive under tropical conditions. Their ideal temperature ranges lie between 65 and 85°F (18 -30°C).
This means that in warmer areas they can survive outdoors but they will need to be brought indoors before any frosts hit.
Ideally, you will keep your plant in bright but indirect light. This is easy to provide in the average home and the main thing you will need to pay attention to is the direct sun falling on the leaves.
Too much light will cause the plant to lose its white variegation which is what the Snow Queen is grown for.
We now come to the crucial issue of watering and the biggest cause of untimely death with house plants.
Your Pothos likes to be slightly dry. And if you over water, it is likely that you will induce root rot which soon becomes a major problem.
You often think that if they water more often the plant will respond by growing more rapidly.
In fact, the opposite is almost always the case. More harm is done by overwatering than is ever done by underwatering.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to gauge whether it is time to water your plant or not.
The only equipment you require is your finger and the willingness to poke it into the potting soil on a regular basis.
The soil your plant is growing in should be allowed to dry out to a depth of two inches before rewatering takes place.
To know when this is the case, simply poke your finger into the soil around your second knuckle.
You will easily be able to feel if the soil is cool and damp or if it has become dry. If it is damp, put off watering until the required level of dryness is achieved.
If it is dry, stand your plant in a sink or basin and water from the level of the top of the soil until water runs out the holes at the bottom.
After that, allow excess water to continue to drain away and then return the plant to its original position.
It really is that simple. The main requirement is that you check the moisture level on a regular basis.
You should try not to wet the leaves while watering and you must allow the excess water to drain fully.
If the plant saucer becomes filled with water then it will slow drainage down and this will be inadequate.
Type of Water
The type of water you supply your plant is important. Most domestic water is treated with chemicals, notably chlorine.
In small doses, this will have little effect on the plant, but over time it builds up in the soil and can block the pores on the leaves of the plant.
To avoid this becoming an issue, use trapped rainwater or sterilized water, both of which are chemical-free.
If you don’t have either of those options available, using tap water will not cause your plant to keel over instantly, but you should try to find a reliable source of pure water. River or well-sourced water will be fine.
Although tolerant of low humidity, the Pothos will put on most growth where humidity is slightly higher than one might find in a normal home.
Don’t let this put you off though, because it is easy to increase humidity levels.
A light misting of water every ten days should keep the plant in prime condition.
Don’t over wet the leaves and spray early in the morning so that any excess water has time to evaporate before nightfall.
Other methods of increasing humidity include creating plant groupings and using a pebble tray.
By clustering plants together, you create a small microclimate and this is often enough to raise the levels of humidity.
A pebble tray is simply a matter of filling your plant’s tray or saucer with pebbles and then pouring water over them.
The plant can then stand on the pebbles but still have its base above the waterline. As the water evaporates, the humidity is raised naturally.
A more technical solution is to purchase a plant humidifier. These machines are available from larger plant suppliers and they enable the owner to set them and regulate the humidity very accurately.
Unless you are planning on growing a large number of plants, I think this purchase can be avoided.
These plants are quite tolerant and I am sure that you will find that if you utilize any of the methods above your plant will be perfectly happy without the need for an artificial device.
Your plant will be fairly forgiving when it comes to the type of potting soil of the plant it is in. Most good quality house plant soils will be fine.
The important thing to understand is that the Pothos does not like to have their roots wet.
Your soil needs to be free draining enough to allow excess water to flow away freely.
You can increase the drainage speed of your potting mix by including one-third perlite.
If your potting soil is healthy then these are not hungry plants to look after. If you feed with a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer every couple of months during the growing season that should prove perfectly adequate.
A portion of seaweed-based plant food is gentle enough not to put your plant at risk of overfeeding
Here is where the Pothos really comes into its own. These plants take easily from cuttings provided there is a node on the stem.
Take a cutting and stand it in a glass of water and within days you will start to see roots starting to appear.
When the root system looks strong enough, you can pot your plant up into a small container of potting soil and it will soon be large enough to make a very acceptable gift or to bolster your own collection.
As it is a clone of the parent plant, it will carry the same marking as the plant from which the cutting was taken.
An alternative to potting up into a soil-based medium is to continue to grow the plant in water.
All you need to do is move the plant to a larger container of water as the roots begin to fill the initial container and it will survive quite happily.
You will need to add some supplementary fertilizer from time to time.
While striking, the cutting should be kept on a bright windowsill but not exposed to direct sunlight.
If you want a bushier plant then you can opt for two or three cuttings in the same pot when you pot up.
These plants are so accommodating that you can take excess material removed during pruning and provided there is a node, just plant it directly into the pot from which the cut was made.
This is particularly useful with trailing plants as it gives you a bushier base from which the stems can trail.
This is where some gardeners go wrong in their eagerness to increase the size of their plants.
The Pothos likes to have quite a tight root ball and so, no matter how tempting it may be, don’t repot your plant too soon.
Ideally, you will not want to repot until the container your plant is growing in is completely full.
You will be able to recognize this if roots start appearing through the holes in the base of your container, or they start trying to sneak out over the top.
At this stage, pot the plant on into a container that is just an inch or two larger than its current home.
The fit will remain fairly snug but there will still be room to surround the root ball with free-draining potting soil.
The risk when potting into a container much larger than the root ball is that the extra growing medium will become soggy and this can bring about all sorts of health problems, including the dreaded root rot.
In its natural environment, the leaves of a mature plant will be as long as eight inches and the plant may well spread along the ground or clamber over other plants for many yards.
In your home environment, this plant will never really produce fully mature leaves and it will remain much more manageable.
Any pruning the needs to be done will be more to contain the plant to the compactness of your own choosing.
A trailing plant, for example, will become too long at some point and then the excess growth can simply be snipped off above a node.
Likewise, if you have trained your plant up a stake or moss stick, you will probably want to keep it to a height no longer than its support.
Use sterile secateurs or scissors to make the cut and the best time to prune is late spring when the plant has just finished its growth spurt.
You can use the cut-off plant material to propagate new plants or to create a more dense plant at the base of the parent plant.
Another occasion for pruning would be if leaves have become yellow or damaged in any way.
These leaves can simply be snipped off and disposed of to keep the plant looking neat and tidy.
In the home, the pathos is grown for its delightful foliage. As we have seen, that foliage never actually reaches the size it would on a fully mature plant and therefore flowering is extremely unlikely.
In the wild, these plants put out what are known as spathes rather than true flowers.
A spathe is a colored leaf that surrounds a spike on which there are dozens of really small, almost unidentifiable, flowers.
If you live in a warm area (US hardiness zones 10 to 11) you may choose to allow your plant to grow outdoors during the summer.
There is some possibility of the plant flowering under these circumstances but to all intents and purposes, these should be treated as foliage plants.
You May Also Enjoy: Snow Queen vs. Marble Queen Pothos (Differences and Similarities)
Common Snow Queen Pothos Problems
We are now going to look at some of the problems that you may have with your Pothos.
The list may seem a little alarming but rest assured that these are among the easiest plants to grow.
The information below will allow you to identify potential problems early in the unlikely case of your encountering them, and you will see that they can all be rectified.
The most crucial factor is to examine your plant regularly so that any problems that do occur can be addressed before they turn into major issues.
There are at least six thousand different types of thrips but the ones that concern you are tiny little black insects with a very narrow waist.
In the outdoor environment, their numbers are normally kept in check by predators.
Their whole life cycle from egg to adult only takes a couple of weeks and in the protected indoor environment they can breed exponentially, free from any natural threats they might normally encounter.
They attack the plant by sucking the sap from the stems and leaves and the first time you become aware of them maybe when you see a silvery grey marking on the leaves.
They can quickly weaken a plant and that may bring about its demise or allow the transmission of other diseases. The good news is that they are easy to get rid of.
A good place to start is to take your plant outdoors or place it in the shower and give it a good rinse. This will wash large numbers of them away.
After that, wipe the leaves with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Both of these products are non-toxic to pets and humans and they soon bring all but the worst infestations under control.
You can also place sticky traps in the vicinity of your plants and this will prevent infestations.
These tiny little pests are only one-tenth of an inch long and so they can escape detection quite easily.
They have the appearance of tiny little bits of cotton wool or white powder. Like thrips, they survive by sucking the sap from your plant.
The good news is that these guys are one of the easiest bugs to get rid of. A cue-tip or soft rag dipped in rubbing alcohol and wiped over them will soon rid you of these unwanted visitors.
A weekly spray with insecticidal soap will keep your plant looking good and help eliminate unwanted pests. To reinforce this treatment, spray the leaves with neem oil every two months.
The best prevention is close observation. As both these pests are difficult to see, the use of a magnifying glass can be helpful. Beware of introducing pests on new plants or bouquets of cut flowers.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
This disease shows itself with the appearance of wet marks on leaves that look like blisters.
These go on to surround themselves with a yellow halo. This problem may not be of your making but could have come via soil-based bacteria.
Firstly, isolate the plant to prevent the spread of the disease. Next, dispose of any damaged leaves or plant material.
The plant may start to recover on its own but there is no known cure and if it continues to deteriorate dispose of it and the soil it is growing in. Don’t add either of these to the garden compost.
This is most commonly brought about by overwatering. If the leaves start to become yellow and then soggy this is the likely cause.
- Firstly, tip the plant from its container and allow the root ball to dry out. This may take up to three days.
- After that, cut away any brown or spongy roots until you reach clean, healthy plant material. Don’t forget to wash your scissors or secateurs after this operation.
- Repot the plant into new sterilized potting soil but don’t water for at least a few days and only when the top two inches of soil have dried out.
Your plant should eventually recover but pay attention to your watering regime after that.
Black Spots on Leaves
These marks look like dark bruises or blemishes and are a sign that your Pathos has a fungal disease called Phytophthora.
Remove and carefully dispose of any damaged leaf material and then spray with a plant fungicide.
Leaves Turning Yellow
This can happen because the plant is being overwatered or because it is getting too much light.
I would advise you to first consider overwatering because this is the most serious of the two possibilities.
Overwatered plants soon get root rot and that can quickly cause a fatal catastrophe.
If the soil is soggy or has a marshy smell then overwatering is undoubtedly the problem.
Allow the soil to dry out and then follow the watering system we have already discussed.
In serious cases, you may have to repot using the system I mentioned under root rot.
If this is not the case, simply move the plant to a less light exposed position and cut away the yellow leaves. The plant will soon bounce back.
Leaves Curling and Turning Dry
Of course, overwatering is not the only risk to your Pothos. Underwatering, although less common, can also be a problem.
The confirmation that this is the problem you face will present itself as distinct curling of the leaves which is soon accompanied by crisp brown marks usually along the leaf margins.
Soak the plant and then go back to a proper watering regime. Ensure that it is not getting too much sun.
Brown Spots on Leaves
This is another early warning that you are overwatering. The plant becomes unable to cope with the excess water at its roots and this starts to lead to a breakdown in its ability to get nutrients to the leaves.
If overwatering is the culprit, the spots will be accompanied by a flaccid texture to the leaves which will soon be followed by wilting.
Stop watering and allow the plant to dry out. If it does not show signs of recovery within a day or two then repot as per the method mentioned under root rot.
Read my another article on How to Treat Brown Spots on Pothos to get rid of the problem.
There is no getting away from the fact that the leaves of the Pothos family are toxic to pets and children.
This only becomes an issue if the leaves are actually consumed and should not deter you from keeping this plant.
You simply need to be aware of its potential and take appropriate action if very small children or leaf-munching pets are going to be in the vicinity. The toxicity is not passed by simply touching the leaves.
Final Care Tips
- Overwatering is the biggest issue you are likely to face. Follow a good watering program and check the moisture levels of the soil often and you can’t go wrong.
- Although there are a couple of pests that would love to suck the sap from your Pothos, they are few in number and easy to control. Keen observation is important in preventing them from becoming established.
- Keep feeding to a minimum.
- These plants like bright light but not direct sun.
- Don’t let humidity levels fall too low.
- Only repot this plant when it really has filled its existing container.
- When repotting, use a free-draining potting mix. You can bolster this with perlite or some other material that increases the speed of drainage.
- The plant is accepting of a wide temperature range, but if you do place it outdoors in the summer, keep it out of the direct sun and have it indoors before the first frosts strike.
- Whether bringing a plant indoors after a spell outside or when purchasing a new plant, always ensure that you have no pests on it before returning it to its indoor home.
Snow Queen Pothos is one of my favorite house plants. It is undemanding and yet at the same time provides a versatile and attractive houseplant that can be grown in a hanging container or as an upright architectural delight.