Pothos, the famously foolproof and devilishly delightful family of plants.
Perfect for obsessive plant collectors and beginner houseplant dabblers alike, these eclectic tropical plants comes in all manner of shapes, stunning colours and stylish patterns.
Not to mention, they’re outrageously easy to take care of – to the extent that if you managed to destroy one I’d genuinely be impressed. Horrified, but impressed.
Originally from South Pacific archipelagos, Pothos (aka Devil’s Ivy) is an invasive vine that will take over your heart, and turn your home into a tropical paradise.
We’ll be going through each variety, looking at some of its standout distinctive features and linking to our specific care guides where applicable. Let’s do this thing!
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The Four Original Types of Pothos
Let’s start at the very beginning with the four truly classic Pothos.
Or, as I like to call them – the four horsemen of the apothoslypse.
And yes, if you’re here for a serious article, now is the time to run away…
These guys are the varieties found in nature and they all have a similar leaf shape, care requirements and growth rate (not too dissimilar from the speed of light).
And when I say Pothos, I’m specifically talking about Epipremnum aureum.
Over the years there’s been a lot of drama around what classifies as a Pothos, so I’m keeping things neat and tidy and sticking to this genus (with the exception of a worthy stowaway or two at the end of this list).
So, I’ll cover the classics first and then we’ll dive into the newer varieties. Oh, and if you’re a sucker for variegated plant, you’re going to LOVE this list.
1. Golden Pothos
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, owning a Golden Pothos is a houseplant parent rite of passage.
The Golden is easily the most common Pothos, hell maybe even most popular houseplant; and just because it’s a popular variety doesn’t mean it’s not gorgeous.
With its yummy golden yellow variegation and insane vining ability, what’s not to love?
Its variegation pattern really varies from plant to plant, and leaf to leaf. From dark green leaves with just a tiny fleck of gold to leaves with just as much gold as there is green.
Some of the leaves on my plant even have the odd splash of white too.
Generally speaking, the more bright light the plant gets, the more likely it is to pop out leaves that have more sections of variegation.
2. Jade Pothos
I may have my head turned by some of the shiny new cultivars but nothing beats this classic.
There is very little that can compete with the simplistic green foliage of the Jade Pothos.
Clean, dark green leaves with no variegation whatsoever. That’s right, if it has any variegation at all it doesn’t have Jade status!
While it’s an original Epipremnum aureum, it’s much harder to source than the variegated varieties from what I’ve found.
Which is the opposite of many tropical plants really, think of the lengths people go to to get their hands on a variegated Monstera deliciosa!
My understanding is that the Jade and Golden aren’t technically different at all, just distinguished by the colouring, and that Pothos plants must just have a high tendency for variegation.
3. Neon Pothos
This variety of Pothos does what it says on the tin and flaunts an extremely vibrant neon green colour that looks almost unnatural.
It really is the most dazzling bright shade of Pothos you can get your hands on.
It stands out from the rest of my indoor plant collection and provides some much needed vibrant contrast.
You’ll need to keep the light conditions as bright as you possibly can (while avoiding direct sunlight) in order to keep the bright chartreuse leaf colour.
But other than that caveat, it’s just as easy to take care of as the rest of the Pothos plants.
You can also get Neon’s with variegated leaves if you’re extra fancy!
4. Marble Queen Pothos
The Marble Queen Pothos is one of the most popular types, and for good reason.
Get a load of this jaw dropping speckled variegation.
It’s covered head to toe with lovely white/cream tones but can venture into gold/yellow tone territory too! Meaning it can occasionally look a little like a highly variegated Golden.
But the marble pattern is really marbley on a Marble Queen, with tonnes of extremely ornate little flecks, making it quite easily distinguishable.
And again, this variety will need lots of bight indirect light to keep its lovely creamy white colouring.
The Definitive List of Pothos Varieties
Now we’ve covered Epipremnum aureum 101, let’s dive in to some of the snazzy newer varieties.
5. Manjula Pothos
It’s time to introduce my personal favourite of all the Pothos varieties. Ladies and gentlemen… meet the Manjula!
A relatively new patented variety from Ashish Hansoti that has the most amazing variegation pattern you ever did see.
Everything from big streaks of green and white to marble and fleck patterns.
It also goes by the Happy Leaf Pothos, and with its gorgeous heart-shaped leaves I can see why.
The Manjula has a really unique growth pattern compared to the original four cultivars, and it’s a significantly slower grower too.
With really short internodes (making the space between each leaf really small) it’s less like a typical vining plant and has more of a mounding/compact growth habit.
6. Jessenia Pothos
Have I managed to get my hands on this plant? No. Am I bitter about it? You bet.
With its dark green and lime green marbled variegation, it’s easily one of the most stunning varieties available, and really tricky to find in the UK unfortunately.
At first glance it really looks similar to the Marble Queen, but it’s easily distinguished by its vibrant lime/green tones (as opposed to the cream/white/gold/green colouring of the Marble).
It looks like the Marble Queen and the Neon Pothos had a baby who luckily managed to inherit both of its parents most striking features.
You can also expect a leaf shape and growth pattern that’s really similar to the original four varieties, though I’ve heard anecdotal suggestions that it might grow just a little slower.
7. Njoy Pothos
Despite having a name that makes me cringe, the Njoy Pothos is a popular variety that deserves a spot on any shelf.
This gorgeous plant has characteristic green patches and an irregular leaf shape which really vary with each leaf.
Similar to the Manjula (but not quite as pronounced), the Njoy has short internodes meaning it has more of a bushy growth habit.
I think it looks best with regular trimming to maintain it as a bushy plant for this reason – you’ll never quite get the most out of it as a trailing or climbing plant.
8. Pearls and Jade Pothos
Nope, your eyes don’t mistake you – they’re almost exactly the same.
The Pearls and Jade Pothos is also a patented variegated variety; it’s a little newer than the Njoy, and this time from the University of Florida.
It has the same blotched green and white variegation but it also has flecks similar to its Marble Queen parent.
It’s pretty much an Njoy + flecks. Both green on green variegation and green on white.
9. Glacier Pothos
Here we go again! Honestly, these three are so similar I find it quite funny. I’m now fondly referring to them as the triplets.
The glacier is a little easier to tell apart though. It’s arguably more grey-green in colour (or at least it can be), and its leaves are a little larger and flatter than the Njoy and the Pearls and Jade.
The leaves also look thick, if you know what I mean. It reminds me a little of my Hoya carnosa Tricolour in that sense.
And while its leaf shape is irregular, it tends to be broader and pointier than its pals.
10. Global Green Pothos
The Global Green is the new kid on the block! And an absolute nightmare to get ahold of in the UK (I’d know, I’ve been endlessly scouring Ebay for cuttings without avail).
It has really similar colouring to the Jessenia Pothos (bright light green, dark emerald green and shades in between), but a blotched variegation pattern and irregular leaf shape similar to the Njoy.
It has lovely broad deep green pointy leaves, with patches of lighter green spotted around, typically found more in the middle of the leaf.
As a self-confessed Pothos know it all (Pothoser if you will) I completely predict that this will be the next hot Pothos trend!
11. Emerald Pothos
Is it worth it? Let me work it, take your Global Green Pothos flip it and reverse it!
To the untrained eye they look extremely alike (and unfortunately they seem to be sold interchangeably from some sellers), but they are different varieties in their own right.
The Emerald Pothos shows off lighter green leaves with blotches of darker green variegation typically in the middle of the leaf.
The variegation can also be a little less defined than the Global Green – with the colours often blending together a little instead of displaying harsh lines.
12. Shangri La Pothos
The wild card of the Pothos Plants, and one I’m very okay with not owning.
It comes in both variegated and non-variegated forms, and has leaves that stand upright and curl in on themselves.
One one hand, it looks like a peace lily.
On the other hand, it looks a bit broken… Like it’s the kind of plant you’d valiantly rescue from a plant nursery only to discover that it just looks like that.
* Bonus Cebu Blue Pothos
The hugely popular Cebu Blue Pothos is actually an Epipremnum pinnatum, making it the sort of distant relative of the family.
It’s still a Pothos, and still deserves a place on this list but isn’t a part of the Epipremnum aureum gang.
It’s easily identifiable by its literally silvery blue leaves – which come in a gorgeous long, pointy lance shape.
Oh and did I mention that mature plants can develop fenestrations if you give them a moss pole to climb!?
* Bonus Satin Pothos (AKA Silver Pothos)
One of these is not like the others.
This little wonder (native to South East Asia) is a Scindapsus pictus.
It has velvety leaves and sparkly silver variegation. It honestly looks like a glitch in the matrix – how on earth did it evolve to be so pretty?
There are so many varieties too – like the Silvery Ann, Silver Splash, Silver Lady and Silver Hero.
So if you fancy a silvery sheen, the Scindapsus pictus genus is the place to be.
While not technically a Pothos in my book, it goes by the same name and shares many of the same wonderful qualities.
A hardy plant, fast grower, captivating vine, and a very welcome intruder on this list.
What About the Hawaiian Pothos? What about the Snow Queen Pothos?
Well the jury is still out on these ones kids. But I’m firmly in camp “they don’t exist”.
Partly because I couldn’t find any official documentation on them whatsoever, and partly because they’re sold interchangeably with other varieties.
The internet seems to think there’s a Pothos variety called the Hawaiian Pothos – but I’m pretty sure that it’s just a mature Golden Pothos, with huge leaves.
I imagine the mix-up has come somewhere from the fact that the Golden Pothos is an extremely invasive tropical vine. And in many places – including Hawaii – it climbs up the native trees, matures and even develops fenestrations.
Oh and if you were expecting to see a Snow Queen Pothos on this list – think again.
I’ve seen plenty of evidence suggesting it’s just a sun-soaked Marble Queen. And you can, over time get yourself a Marble Queen with brighter variegation just by giving it brighter light.
But then again, I think mutation does play a part, even if it’s not currently a separate variety that’s been specifically created or defined. It’s sort of like buying a dog – you want to check out the parent plant to see what you’re getting.
Over to You!
Phew! you made it. What’s your favourite variety?
Where do you stand on the Snow Queen/Hawaiian controversy?
Let us know in the comments below.