Wondering how to care for the brand new Lemon Meringue Pothos plant? It’s pretty much like every other pothos variety—read about it here, including where it came from!
How to care for the lovely Lemon Meringue Pothos
There’s nothing like a new pothos variety to perk my ears up. I love pothos—so easy, so beautiful. I love how versatile they are—trim them to keep them small, or let them trail long. Pop up on a shelf or hang them from a ceiling.
So when I saw that Costa Farms was releasing a new variety of variegated pothos, I jumped on the chance to buy it. It’s called the Lemon Meringue Pothos, which is a delightful name for a plant.
To be honest, it looked a lot like a global green pothos to me…but it’s always so hard to tell via a few website pics. So I ordered one, and here’s what it looks like!
What is a Lemon Meringue Pothos?
Lemon Meringue Pothos, aka Epipremnum aureum Lemon Meringue, is a variety exclusive to the company Costa Farms. It is patented (you can see the patent here) and really does look a lot like Global Green Pothos.
It has the same mottled variegation, but Lemon Meringue also has shades of golden-yellow or even cream. I do wish it had a bit more cream, but that variegation might come with time and lots of light.
In fact, the patent itself says that Lemon Meringue differs from Global Green in that Lemon has a primary color of yellow green, contrasting with medium green. Lemon Meringue also has yellow variegation on the outer portion of the leaves with defined green in the center.
Global green, on the other hand, has the primary color of moderate olive-green and a secondary color of yellowish green. It also has a medium olive-green on the outer portion of the leaves, and the center is a medium yellowish green.
So you can obviously see why these two can be easily mistaken for one another. The verdict is out on which one I like more. I’ll need to see how the Lemon Meringue matures and develops.
Where is the Lemon Meringue Pothos from?
Michael K. Rimland discovered the Lemon Meringue variety following a naturally occurring mutation in an unspecified type of Epipremnum. Through cuttings, the plant was successfully reproduced in Miami, Florida.
This first reproduction occurred in August 2020. And since then, it became evident that the variegation and colors could be reproduced. Thus the Lemon Meringue Pothos was born and brought to market!
As I’m writing this only in 2022, that means that Lemon Meringue Pothos hasn’t been around for that long. So it hasn’t been observed in all possible conditions—at least from what I could find online.
What is the ideal light for a Lemon Meringue Pothos?
Lemon Meringue’s lighting needs mirror those of other variegated types of pothos plants: bright, indirect light is best. Too little light will lead to dull variegation, and I’m hoping that plenty of bright indirect light will lead to the introduction of more cream areas.
As an FYI, the patent documents outline that the first Lemon Meringue plants were grown in normal sunlight under 63% shading (likely achieved via a shade cloth over them to filter the sun). This sheds some light on the ideal levels of light they need.
Without the shade cloth, they would burn outdoors—that’s because too much light will burn pothos leaves. A shaded location just out of bright sun will help you achieve “sunny shade” conditions as well. I’ve found variegated pothos plants do quite well under a covered patio.
Soil needs & water
Any well-draining houseplant soil will do just fine for your variegated pothos plants. You don’t need to amend anything specifically designed for indoor or houseplants.
If you are working with soil that’s too heavy, though, you can mix in some perlite, coco coir (perfect peat moss alternative), and maybe a bit of smaller bark pieces. The perlite and bark will help facilitate drainage.
The coco coir, a more sustainable alternative to peat moss, helps with lightweight moisture retention. Which leads me to watering needs.
Water this plant thoroughly when the top several inches of soil dry out. Let all of the excess water flow through your well-draining soil and out of your pot’s drainage holes.
As you’ve likely purchased your Lemon Meringue directly from Costa Farms (at least as of the time I’m writing this post in 2022), I recommend taking the plant out of the ceramic pot it comes in.
You can then water it in a sink, rinsing off all of the foliage as well. Watering your plants is a great time to clean the dust off of the leaves. Then once all of the water is done draining out of the black plastic pot’s holes, pop the plant back in its ceramic pot.
The Lemon Meringue’s watering needs likely mean that you’ll water every week in the spring and summer. However, in the fall and winter, watering needs will decrease as the plant’s growth slows. Make sure to check the soil moisture with your finger.
Temperature & humidity
Lemon Meringue Pothos, much like other pothos plants, is not cold or frost hardy. The patent for this variety notes that the first Lemon Meringues were grown in temperatures that ranged from about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
So it tolerates a wide range of temperatures. Including all of the standard household temperatures it will likely experience as a houseplant.
If you have it outdoors for the summer, bring it inside when the nightly lows begin dipping consistently into the low 50s. Lemon Meringue can be kept outdoors only in USDA grow zone 10a or warmer.
It also does well in average household humidity levels. However, as a tropical plant, it will always appreciate some extra humidity! My pothos plants grown outdoors in the summer reward me with crazy growth thanks to our Maryland humidity.
Iddoors, you can add a humidifier if you’d like. No need to bother if things seem to be going well, though. Pothos plants are tropical but well-adapted to life indoors.
How fast does Lemon Meringue Pothos grow?
Lemon Meringue is a fast-growing plant. The more bright, indirect light you give it, the faster it will grow. Pothos plants will survive but not thrive in lower light levels.
According to Costa Farms, Lemon Meringue will grow or climb to 6 feet long or more over time. I have not had mine nearly long enough to judge, but I assume its potential is fairly similar to other types of pothos.
I must tell you that, because this is a patented plant, propagation is prohibited. However, the patent itself describes the method for propagation: through leaf and eye cuttings.
The patent outlines the time it takes to root this plant:
- In the summer, a cutting will take about 2 weeks to initiate roots at temperatures that range from 78 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the winter, a cutting will take about 3 weeks to initiate roots at temperatures of between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In the spring, a cutting will take about 4 weeks to produce a rooted young plant at temperatures of between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Typical methods for pothos propagation include water propagation, moss propagation, LECA propagation, and directly-in-soil propagation. You can check out my post about how to root pothos cuttings for more.
Are pothos plants toxic?
Yes, Costa Farms indicates that this plant “may have some natural degree of toxicity and may cause discomfort or illness if ingested.” They also note that the plant’s sap may cause discomfort to sensitive people if they come into contact with it.
Therefore, this plant should be kept away from children and pets, and you should wear gloves when pruning and repotting. It is not a plant meant to be eaten.
A couple complaint about my plant…
So I feel kind of silly even pointing this out, but it’s the first time I’ve ever really noticed it on a plant. So I wanted to highlighted it. It’s very clear from my plant that it has been heavily snipped. And that’s fine! That’s how they are growing new plants.
But since mine came directly form the nursery in Florida and was not in stores (meaning someone could have prop-lifted the cuttings), I was a little disappointed. To me is suggests that they are over trimming their plants to make more.
Again, I get that this is how this plant is produced and how they grow more to make money. However, all of the cut stumps on my plant definitely stuck out to me. Once it grows some more and trails a bit, it will definitely cover it up. But I wanted to pointed it out. 🙂