Today I’m writing about my experience with a baby epipremnum pinnatum variegata albo plant, including rooting a propagation in moss and transferring it to soil, as well as its general care needs.
Adventures in epipremnum pinnatum variegata albo propagation & care
Today I’m writing about another plant that I didn’t even know I wanted until I got it! We’ve all had that happen…you go for one thing and come out with another. (Or you go in for one thing and come out with that thing and another thing.)
So I went to a local plant market with my sights set firmly on buying an albo, which I did! I wrote all about my monstera albo borsigiana in this post, so check that out. The lovely seller also threw in an epipremnum pinnatum variegata for free, too!
How nice of her. She said that she often chops and props the runners from the epipremnum pinnatum and propagates them—and that’s what this one was. A tiny propagation from a stem and node.
What is an epipremnum pinnatum variegata?
If you haven’t heard of this plant, let’s bring it back to basics. At the end of the day, this plant is a pothos plant. Here’s the full classification, though: This plant is part of the aroid (Araceae) family, epipremnum genus, pinnatum species.
“Albo variegata” is a type of epipremnum pinnatum with variegated leaves, but there is also a solid green version of epipremnum pinnatum (and other varieties as well). Epipremnum aureum is the extremely common type of pothos plant you probably own: jade pothos, marble queen pothos, golden pothos, etc.
Epipremnum pinnatum is closely related to Epipremnum aureum—think of them like sisters. They are both from the same genus, epipremnum. Epipremnum pinnatum can also be found in a “cebu blue” variety.
Yes, cebu blue pothos is basically a sister of epipremnum pinnatum variegata! Read my full cebu blue care guide and my cebu blue propagation guide for more on this plant. It’s a bit easier to find than albo variegata.
Epipremnum (aka pothos) plants in general are epiphytes, meaning they grow on other things in nature. Other plants, logs, trees, etc. They are climbers, and you’ll notice their leaves mature and develop as they climb, and their vines can grow over 50 feet in the wild.
If you leave your pothos plants in a pot or hanging basket to trail, that’s fine, too. But I’ve noticed that epipremnum pinnatum plants especially decrease in leaf size as they trail. And the leaves don’t mature. To mature, they need to climb up something like a moss pole to mimic their natural habitat.
Epipremnum aureum plants—or the traditional “pothos” plants you’re probably thinking of—don’t suffer as much from this trailing-small-leaf-size issue in my experience. But the leaves don’t grow and mature fully. (See my full pothos care guide here.)
They look lovely, don’t get me wrong. But after seeing hanging baskets of pothos plants my whole life and finally seeing one growing up a tree in Florida…I was ASTONISHED at the leaf size!!
So you’ll definitely want to give your epipremnum aureum something to climb. It can be as simple as a small stick in the soil if your plant is just starting to climb. Or something larger like a big trellis or DIY moss or jute pole depending on maturity level.
Epipremnum pinnatum variegata & proper lighting
While pothos plants in general are famous for their ability to handle a variety of different lighting conditions, don’t skimp on light for the epipremnum pinnatum albo variegata. Lots of bright, indirect light is best.
This is because the leaves are variegated. Variegated plants require a bit more light than their non-variegated relatives because those pretty variegated splotches aren’t doing anything to help the plant grow. That’s right—they are freeloaders.
Shoot for a sunny window, but make sure you don’t get too much harsh direct sun. This can burn the leaves. If you have it outside, shoot for an area that is shaded, gets only dappled sunlight, or gets only direct morning sun.
If your plant is getting leggy (too much space between the leaves), producing smaller leaves, or losing variegation—it probably isn’t getting enough light. Consider a grow light to help your plant along—see my post on how to use grow lights with houseplants for more.
Temperature & humidity: Think tropical
Epipremnum pinnatum variegata is a tropical vine that, in nature, thrives in tropical and subtropical climates. That means they grow best in warm, humid conditions. That said, they make great house plants because they can adjust well to indoor living.
Shoot for temperatures in the 60s, 70s, or 80s (Fahrenheit). If you have them outdoors for the summer and it gets very hot, monitor how much water you are giving them—they may need more. On 100+ degree days, I sometimes water my outdoor pothos plants daily!
They are not cold tolerant, which is another reason why they do well indoors. No need to worry about freezing temps when you’re in a climate-controlled environment. Make sure to take pothos plants indoors when the temps drop consistently into the 50s at night.
Shoot for high humidity. This will help with climbing and leaf growth. You can add a humidifier near the plant to boost levels—or you can add a pebble tray nearby. If you don’t have high humidity, the plant will likely do just fine, though. It’s adaptable.
Want to read more about pothos plants? Check out post on 11 Pothos Varieties to Check Out!
Soil & water needs
The best soil for epipremnum plants are those that are light, airy, and well-draining. Keeping the soil light and well-draining will ensure that oxygen can get to the roots. And it will help prevent root rot, a result of overwatering and/or soils that are too dense.
I use a store-bought well-draining fertilizer that comes pre-mixed with additives like perlite, coco coir or fine moss, and vermiculite. I also usually add a handful of coco coir and maybe some more chunky perlite depending on the specific plant (read my houseplant soil 101 post for more).
And as far as watering goes, I generally let the top few inches of soil dry out before watering again—and that goes for all of my epipremnum plants. That generally means weekly (indoors) and every few days (outdoors) in the summer. In the fall and winter, maybe once every 2 weeks or so.
Try not to let it dry out completely—if that happens, you’ll notice the leaves begin to wilt. Don’t panic if this occurs, though—pothos plants will generally rebound once given water. Brown spots on leaves might also indicate underwatering (or air that is too dry).
Repotting & pruning an epipremnum pinnatum variegata
My plant is still a baby, so I have obviously not had to do any repotting and pruning on my epipremnum pinnatum variegata yet. However, I can speak to pothos plants in general, which is pretty much the same.
Epipremnum pinnatum is a faster grower in ideal conditions, and that means you might need to repot it every year. If the roots begin circling the bottom of the pot—or if you notice the roots growing out of the pot’s drainage holes, it’s time!
Make sure to only size your pot up 1 or maybe 2 inches, though. Too much extra soil in the pot will retain too much extra water, potentially leading to root rot. And remember to use fresh, well-draining soil, too!
If your foliage ever gets leggy, you can prune it. Or you can prune it to propagate it. When you prune the stems, it will also encourage bushier growth since a new stem will sprout from where you trimmed.
Rooting epipremnum pinnatum variegata cuttings
I mentioned that my epipremnum pinnatum albo variegata was a propagation. The lovely seller told me she cuts up runners and propagates them, and she gave me mine for free! The roots were only an inch or two long.
I kept it in the moss and perlite mixture she had it in for a few more weeks. This was a mid-cut, not a top cut, meaning it was grown just from a stem. After it rooted, it created a new growth point and sprouted a new leaf. Yay!
So I’d say the best way to root this plant would be in moss. I have a guide for propagating plants in sphagnum moss and perlite, and it’s my favorite way to root plants. It helps encourage strong root growth and less shock when transplanting to soil.
Once the plant’s roots are several inches long, you can pick the moss off the roots and plant the cutting in soil. Make sure you use fresh, well-draining soil and a small pot. You don’t want to shock or drown the new roots.
You can also take a cutting and root it in water. Or you can use LECA—I have a full guide for propagating plants in LECA that you can use to get started with this method, too.
Whichever method you choose, when you transplant your rooted cutting to soil, keep it moist for the first few weeks while the roots adjust to soil. And then begin treating as a normal epipremnum pinnatum! (For more on propagating epipremnum, see my old guide on how to propagate pothos plants from cuttings!
Are epipremnum plants toxic?
Yes, epipremnum plants are toxic. They contain insoluble calcium oxalates, which can lead to oral irritation, drooling, vomiting, and potentially swelling. It’s best to keep them up out of reach from kids and pets. See more from the ASPCA here.