The gorgeous Snow Queen Pothos is one of the many varieties of Pothos you might come across, this one with amazing white variegation on its foliage. The Snow Queen Pothos grows as a trailing vine, so it’s perfect for hanging planters or dangling down your wall.
You’ve probably already seen the Snow Queen, or other varieties of Pothos, in many places since they’ve become very popular houseplants. This is because all types of Pothos are super easy to grow and are very resilient, making them perfect for beginner plant owners. In fact, Pothos is nicknamed “Devil’s Ivy” because it’s so hard to kill!
About the Plant
Along with being low maintenance, Pothos are popular houseplants because they’re proficient air-purifiers. Of all the air purifying plants, Pothos is one of the most efficient and this is why they’re a top choice of indoor plants for those living in cities.
The Snow Queen is called so because of its intense white variegation, leading to almost entirely white foliage with little green speckles. This happens because the Snow Queen variety has a deficiency in chlorophyll and doesn’t produce as much green coloring. This deficiency also means that the Snow Queen grows slower than most other varieties of Pothos.
Snow Queen Pothos is often confused with the Marble Queen Pothos because this variety also has white variegation on its foliage. Although they look very similar, the Snow Queen is mostly white with green spots, whereas the Marble Queen is more evenly mixed with white and green. This is evident in their names- they’re similar, but one is “Snow”, because it has more white, and the other “Marble” because it’s marbled.
Photo of a Marble Queen Pothos, where you can see that it’s a bit more green with yellow and not as white variegation.
As with most Pothos varieties, the Snow Queen lives up to 10 years when well taken care of. The Snow Queen isn’t the most popular amongst the many types of Pothos, but it’s also not a rare houseplant and is fairly easy to find in most plant stores. The Snow Queen is also a bit more compact in shape than other types of Pothos since it grows slower and doesn’t spread out as quickly.
All Pothos, along with Monsteras and Syngoniums, are part of the Araceae plant family, all tropical vining plants. Pothos is a group of plants within the Araceae family, called Epipremnum aureum, and the Snow Queen is simply Epipremnum aureum ‘Snow Queen.’
All the plants of the Araceae family are trailing vine plants with similar needs, so if you have experience growing a Philodendron, for example, you’ll follow the same care steps for the Snow Queen Pothos. As with the rest of its family, Pothos have cordate leaves, which means they’re heart shaped- just like the iconic leaves of the Monstera Deliciosa.
Although Pothos grows as a trailing vine, the Snow Queen can be pruned to stay in a more bushy shape, if that’s what you prefer. The Snow Queen Pothos is similar to Philodendrons in this sense but, while the two look similar, Pothos is a different plant from Philodendrons.
Pothos vines naturally grow in the wet and humid climate of Southeast Asia, so it will grow best with conditions as similar to this as possible. This makes Pothos a great plant for the bathroom!
This also means that Pothos can not support cold weather and they’ll immediately die if exposed to frost. This is why Pothos are almost exclusively grown indoors as houseplants and for tropical gardens. Even if your home isn’t normally super humid, these plants grow very well with average house humidity and temperature levels.
In the wild tropical forests of Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia, Pothos grow as ground cover.
In their native environment, Pothos are flowering vines, but it’s almost certain that the plant won’t flower while growing indoors. At full maturity, these vines can reach up to 10 feet with leaves that are one feet long! Although this takes quite some time, for many people their Pothos grow to 6 feet in length and leaves that are several inches long.
In the tropical forest, Pothos vines grow as ground cover and slowly crawl up the trunks of trees. This means they’re used to the cover of the tree canopy and feeding off the nutrients on the forest floor.
All Pothos plants are toxic to ingest and should never be eaten. If you have pets or young children around, then you need to take extra care that the plant is out of reach for them. The Calcium oxalates in Pothos plants disrupt digestion and if eaten can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or mouth irritation.
Planting and Placement
Before you can begin growing a Snow Queen Pothos, of course you need to find the perfect spot for it! Especially considering how beautiful its foliage is, you want to make sure this plant is in a place where it will be healthiest and create its variegation, and somewhere visible so you can enjoy it.
Snow Queen Pothos is naturally a trailing vine, so if you place it in a hanging planter it will beautifully overflow. Or, you can also provide a trellis for it to climb up or train the vines to grow along a shelf, for example.
Since all varieties of Pothos like the same type of soil, you can plant different varieties together for a mixture of colored foliage. In fact all the members of the Araceae family have similar growing needs, you can plant them all together for a gorgeous display of tropical plants! Try pairing the Snow Queen Pothos with the Monstera Minima or Pink Syngonium.
Pot your Snow Queen Pothos in a pot with drainage holes and a drainage tray to ensure that the water drains properly and your plant isn’t sitting in old water. This will provoke root rot very easily!
This plant is not at all cold hardy, so unless you live in USDA zones 10-11, you need to grow this plant indoors. That being said, some people do grow Pothos outdoors as an annual and just replant it every spring. Also, you can allow it to grow outdoors in the summertime, then bring it indoors during the colder months so it can continue growing.
Ideal temperature for this plant is 60 to 85 F, so there isn’t any problem with growing indoors for most homes. Just make sure to keep your plant away from any cold windows with a draft or air conditioning vents that would dry out the plant.
Pothos can handle high temperatures, just as long as they aren’t in direct sunlight. However, as I’ll explain later in this article, you don’t want to place this plant too far from the window where it isn’t receiving enough sunlight.
The Snow Queen Pothos thrives in loose and slightly acidic soil, as with many tropical plants. Ideally, Pothos plants like a soil with 6 to 6.5 pH, a little more acidic than normal potting soil.
You’ll also need to create a rougher soil mixture, since regular potting soil is often too compact and dense for the Snow Queen Pothos. Pothos plants like loose and breathable soil that will allow water and air to flow through fairly easily.
The best mixture for the Snow Queen Pothos is one part potting soil, one part compost, and one part perlite or coco coir. Perlite and coco coir are both tougher materials that will help keep the soil loose.
It’s important to have a well-draining soil for the Snow Queen Pothos so that the soil is moist but doesn’t have water sitting in the pot. It’s also helpful to add vermiculite to the mixture, because it helps retain moisture in the soil without the soil itself being so wet.
You can also just grow Pothos clippings directly in water! As I’ll explain later in this article, you can save clippings from pruning and repot them, either in soil or just in water.
When to Water
The Snow Queen Pothos loves moisture, but this doesn’t mean that it drinks up tons of water. In fact, Pothos are one of the most forgiving plants when it comes to water- this plant can go about two weeks without water.
That’s the extreme case and with your Snow Queen Pothos you should water it about once a week, but it’s definitely better to water infrequently than too much. When you water your Snow Queen Pothos, give it a nice thorough watering, going until the water starts to drain out into the tray.
The Snow Queen Pothos likes to dry out between waterings, so make sure you leave enough time between when you water. You can tell when your Pothos needs more water by checking the soil- if the top half of the soil is dry, then you should water again.
Also, the leaves of the Pothos will droop down when it’s ready for more water and will perk back up about 20 minutes after watering. This is also why beginner plant owners love Pothos, since they’ll tell you when they need water and when they’ve had enough!
The Snow Queen Pothos is already drought resistant and doesn’t need to be watered often, but in the winter months you can cut back the watering even more since the plant is dormant. In the winter months, you can water once or twice a month.
A Snow Queen Pothos growing next to its family member, a Monstera Deliciosa.
Since Pothos are originally from tropical regions, they absolutely love humidity and will be at their best with 50 to 70% humidity. Humidity isn’t necessary for these plants to grow, but it kind of works like a fertilizer and boosts the plant.
Humidity levels in most homes is okay for the Snow Queen Pothos, but if you often have the heating on, your home may be drier than most and it will be necessary to add humidity for your Pothos. You also want to avoid keeping your plant by an air vent or radiator, where the air will be even drier.
If you notice that the edges of the plant’s leaves are turning brown and crispy or are curling inward, this is a sign that your Snow Queen Pothos is suffering from not enough humidity.
One easy way to give extra moisture to your Pothos plant is to mist its leaves every couple days, this way the plant isn’t just receiving water through the soil. However, don’t mist more than once a week, because the plant might not be able to soak it all up and excessively wet leaves can lead to fungus.
You can also place little stones in the drainage tray, creating a pebble tray. The stones soak up some of the drained water and having them by the plant’s base helps keep moisture in the air.
For lots of humidity, you can either put your Snow Queen Pothos directly in your bathroom or place a humidifier by it. If you’re using a humidifier, place it and your Snow Queen Pothos by other humidity loving plants, like the Fiddle Leaf Fig, to make sure everybody gets the humidity they need!
Given that these plants naturally grow as ground cover in the forest, they’re happiest with lots of bright but indirect light. In the forest, Pothos vines are almost always shielded by the tree canopy from direct sunlight, so you want to recreate a similar effect in your home.
The best way to do this is by placing your plant near a window, but not in the path of the window so that the sunlight that shines in doesn’t shine directly on your Snow Queen Pothos. Although, a little bit of direct morning sun isn’t too much and the Pothos can handle that.
Since the white foliage of the Snow Queen Pothos is a genetic mutation, it needs lots of light to be fully white. If the plant isn’t receiving enough light, the leaves will revert to green and have less white.
Insufficient sunlight will also lead to vines that are more “leggy,” meaning the vines will continue growing out, but with less leaves on them. The plant will also start to reach if it doesn’t get enough sunlight and it will climb towards your window.
However, if your Snow Queen Pothos is left with too much direct sunlight, its leaves will burn and the sunlight can scorch the plant. Give your Pothos several hours of bright indirect light to protect its beautiful leaves, and occasionally wipe off the dust on the leaves to make sure it soaks up all the sunlight it gets.
Snow Queen Pothos is a slow grower and adding fertilizer won’t change this much- you just have to be patient! Many Pothos owners don’t fertilize their plant because it’s not necessary, which is another reason why these plants are great for beginners.
Although, of course it doesn’t hurt to fertilize during the growing season. If you planted your Snow Queen Pothos with compost, this is already a great source of nutrients that will feed your plants. You can also add worm casting on top of the soil to provide some extra nutrients.
If you’re using an organic liquid fertilizer, fertilize in the spring and summer months. This is the active growing period for the Snow Queen Pothos so the fertilizer will help it grow more during this time. Likewise, it’s dormant during late fall and winter, so there’s no need to fertilize during this time.
For the Snow Queen Pothos there isn’t anything particular you have to do to prune the plant, so this step is optional. Of course, as with any plant, you should remove all the dead or damaged parts so it’s less cluttered and can grow better.
The main reason why people prune their Snow Queen Pothos is to manipulate its shape as they’d like it. You can let the Snow Queen Pothos grow out its long vines and stretch around your room, or clip the vines when they’re too long and keep the plant more compact. This is more common with people who want to keep their plant away from pets or children.
It’s best to prune in late spring, as the growing season is beginning and the plant can recover from the clips and begin replacing its lost vines. You don’t want to prune while the plant is dormant as this will confuse it.
Also, if the vines of your Snow Queen Pothos are becoming leggy, you can clip them so that the plant can focus on growing leaves elsewhere. Regardless of why you’re pruning your Snow Queen Pothos, keep the clippings to propagate and grow more Pothos!
The best clippings to use for propagating are those with aerial roots. Since this vine climbs up trees in its natural habitat, it develops roots along the vine that can attach to trees. You’ll see this even in your home, and these little roots are called aerial roots.
Propagating Snow Queen Pothos
Once you’ve identified some aerial roots and clipped those vines, you can propagate these clippings very easily! Also, note that the clippings don’t need to have aerial roots and you can propagate from any clipping.
All you need to do is place the clippings in a few inches of water, with the leaves above water. Then just wait! The clippings will develop roots fairly soon and after a few weeks the roots will be long enough to be planted in soil.
Once the roots are a few inches long, plant the clippings in the same soil mixture you used for the original Snow Queen Pothos. Some people will plant clippings directly in soil, but this has a lower chance of working since the roots aren’t developed.
Lastly, remember that the clippings are essentially baby plants, so they’ll need a little more care to make sure that their roots grow well. For Snow Queen Pothos clippings, the best you can do is make sure they are warm enough and are getting lots of humidity. Do achieve this, place your propagation station in the bathroom!
Snow Queen Pothos plants don’t need to be repotted often, partly because they don’t grow super fast but also because they’re very comfortable being root bound. Some plants suffer if their roots are too tightly squeezed in, but that’s not the case with Pothos!
You really don’t need to repot these plants until their roots are sticking out of the drainage holes or they’re coming out the top. Again, a reason why these plants are so low maintenance!
Generally, Snow Queen Pothos should be repotted every 2 to 3 years in a pot that’s just a few inches larger than the previous. When this time comes, repot your Pothos in the spring, so that it can spend the growing period settling into its new pot!
Be careful not to damage any roots or vines while you’re transporting your Pothos. Once it’s in the new pot, give your Snow Queen Pothos a bit of fertilizer to help it continue growing.
Snow Queen Pothos doesn’t have any specific vulnerabilities to pests, just keep an eye out for the standard household pests like aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites.
If you see these, isolate your plant from any others so the bugs don’t spread. Spray the plant down with soapy water or neem oil to get rid of these pests.
The only disease that Pothos have problems with is root rot, a fungus that grows on and destroys the roots if there’s too much standing water in the pot. The best way to avoid this is by using well-draining and loose soil and a pot with drainage holes.
If you’re watering too often or you notice that water doesn’t drain from the pot when you water the plant, your Pothos might have root rot. The surest sign of root rot is brown leaves and stems that are mushy.
Unfortunately, root rot isn’t reversible and is quite hard to get rid of. You can take your Pothos out of its pot and leave it out to dry, this can sometimes dry out the fungus. You can also try snipping the roots that are obviously affected, but it’s not always clear and you can cause a huge shock for the plant if you snip off too many roots- so be careful!
Start Growing a Snake Queen Pothos!
Pothos are some of the easiest houseplants to care for, so they’re a great pick for anyone interested in growing more plants indoors. Unlike many other tropical plants, Pothos are very adaptable and don’t require all the same conditions as tropical climates.
Pothos are very drought resistant and don’t require tons of sunlight, and the Snow Queen Pothos is an intriguing variation on the normally full-green Pothos. The beautiful foliage of the Snow Queen can be a subtle touch of color amongst your indoor plants.
These beautiful plants are pretty easy to come across at plant stores and are even easier to care for, so there’s no reason not to get started!
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.