Manjula pothos is a gorgeous variegated variety of epipremnum aureum you can add to your houseplant collection, and manjula pothos care is simple and straightforward. Learn my tips for keeping a happy manjula pothos plant, including how to propagate it from cuttings!
Manjula pothos care & propagation guide
I’m running through care guides for all of the pothos varieties I have, and today I’m finally at the last of them: manjula pothos. The manjula pothos will be a favorite for all you variegated plant lovers. Its leaves are unique, splashed with green and creamy white spots, and they are heart-shaped and have wavy edges that make it appear nice and voluminous.
The manjula pothos is a tropical evergreen, keeping its vibrant colors year-round in any indoor space. You really can’t go wrong adding the manjula to your collection. While pothos care in general is easy, there are a few extra steps to take when approaching manjula pothos care.
The full name for this plant is epipremnum aureum Manjula, also known as the happy leaf or the manjula pothos. While there are many variegated pothos out there, this specific variety was created in a lab and patented as Epipremnum HANSOTI14, named after its creator. (See also: pearls and jade pothos care—also created in a lab.)
I can’t find anymore information on when it was created—or in what lab specifically. But I can tell you that the original epipremnum pothos plant it was cultivated from originated in India. Like other lab-created plants, it took many years and thousands of plants and mutations to arrive at the manjula pothos we know and love today.
Manjula pothos vs. pearls and jade pothos
Before we dive into care tips for Ms. Manjula, I want to cover some pothos varieties that she is commonly confused with. The first is pearls and jade pothos. This is the variety that I think looks the most like manjula at first glance. Both varieties have green and white splotchy variegation.
Pearls and jade also grows slowly, much like the manjula—likely because of all of that variegation! It’s easy to tell the difference if you look closely, though. Pearls and jade leaves are much smaller, and they stay small. Manjula leaves are wide and heart-shaped with wavy, upturned leaves.
Manjula pothos vs. marble queen pothos
Manjula and marble queen pothos can also be confused for one another. Marble queen pothos is a much more common variety of pothos, and it has similar green and white/ivory variegation. However, the variegation is much less splotchy. It has more of a “splash” look, almost as if someone took a paintbrush with creamy white paint and speckled its leaves.
The leaves are also large like the manjula, but they are more narrow. They aren’t nearly as wide, and the marble queen leaves lay a bit flatter than the manjula leaves do. See my marble queen pothos care guide for more.
How much light does a manjula pothos plant need?
Indoors, bright and indirect sunlight is your best bet for optimal manjula pothos care. The more variegation in its leaves, the less energy it can synthesize from the light it receives. Manjula is not a low-light variety of pothos.
As with other variegated plants, the lighter parts don’t have chlorophyl, meaning they need more light to feed the green parts and stay happy. In other words, the more bright light your plant gets, the healthier, more spotted leaves it will have.
Be careful with overexposure, though, because the leaves’ white spots are easily damaged by the sun. Not to mention, overexposure causes new leaves to lose their variegation completely.
What kind of soil is best?
The manjula pothos soil needs are a bit paradoxical. It needs soil with proper drainage, but also sufficient water retention. Essentially it needs moisture, but not too much of it! A standard indoor potting mix will work, but if you’d like to improve drainage and aeration, add perlite or coco coir to retain water without packing in the roots.
Manjula pothos are susceptible to root rot, so if you’re seeing signs of browning and wilting (without overexposure to sunlight) then you might need to repot with fresh soil.
How to properly water your plant
Overwatering a manjula pothos is the most common problem. This plant survives with minimal watering, which is what makes it suitable for plant lovers of any level. You should water it only when the top half of the soil has dried out.
If you feel dampness even an inch or two deep, you should wait a few more days before watering. Never leave the soil soggy or let the plant sit in water. Really, there is no need to overthink watering the manjula pothos. Keep it on a watering schedule of every 2 weeks or so, and reduce watering during winter.
Temperature & humidity needs
The manjula pothos is very durable when it comes to temperature. It can survive a very wide range of climates so long as it isn’t subjected to direct sunlight. All you have to do is keep your plant somewhere between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which shouldn’t be hard to do, especially if you intend on growing it indoors.
The manjula pothos thrives on humidity like its other pothos brothers and sisters. The more humidity, the better! It will grow faster, its leaves will appear more vibrant, and you’ll have better luck with propagation, too. Aim for above 60% humidity. I have mine in a bathroom window.
I also had one outside for the humid Maryland summer, and it did great! Look how beefy my little plant got by the end of the season. An Ikea greenhouse cabinet is also a nice idea to boost humidity levels.
How fast do manjula pothos grow?
Manjula pothos plants do not grow super fast. As I mentioned in the lighting needs section, variegated plants can often grow slower because less of the plant has chlorophyll in it. This is the case for manjula.
I wouldn’t say it’s a super slow grower, but it doesn’t grow as quickly as it’s cousins the jade and golden pothos varieties. With plenty of bright, indirect light, humidity, warm temps, and well-draining soil, it will grow nicely!
Do manjula pothos like to be root bound?
I never know how to answer this question, but I don’t think most plants generally like to be root bound, I just think they tolerate it. I have noticed that when my pothos plants get too root bound, they wilt and get unhappy. They’ll perk up after watering but will quickly wilt again.
I’d say that the most important thing to remember is that this plant likes very little extra soil—so shoot for a pot that is just a bit larger than its root ball. Make sure to use a well-draining soil, too, to ensure the soil doesn’t retain too much moisture. In my opinion, this is more important than fixating on root bound vs. not root bound.
Why are my manjula pothos leaves turning brown?
There are a few reasons your manjula pothos leaves could be turning brown. I’ll outline a few of them below!
- Too much direct light. If your plant’s leaves look scorched, especially in the lighter areas, it could be too much direct sunlight.
- Improper drainage. If light isn’t the issue, it’s possible that your soil is too heavy. Is it retaining too much water? Are you not letting enough time go by before watering it again? If the leaves are brown and wilting, this could be the case.
- Lack of humidity. I have noticed that my highly variegated plants tend to turn brown when they are suffering from lack of humidity, particularly my variegated Thai constellation monstera. That could be the case with your manjula, too.
Propagating a manjula pothos plant
You’ll be happy to hear that manjula pothos propagation is relatively simple. It works best with the stem cutting method. During spring or summer, pick a stem with a few healthy leaves to cut at the internode space (between the leaf nodes). Take that stem cutting—several if you want a larger propagation—and plant it in fresh, moist soil.
If you want to watch the roots grow, you can also place it node side down in a jar of water. You’ll want to keep your baby manjula pothos in high humidity and out of direct sunlight. In less than a month you will notice rooting. Keep in mind the manjula pothos grows at a slower rate than most pothos, so be patient with your propagation.
Other propagation methods I recommend for pothos plants are sphagnum moss and perlite propagation and LECA propagation. To keep humidity levels high, I also like using a simple DIY clear plastic propagation box.