Get weekly gardening tips and discounts!

Pothos N Joy: Full Care Guide

The striking contrast of white and green in a bushy Pothos N Joy plant

(This post may include affiliate links. While buying items through these links won’t increase your cost at all, we may receive a small commission that helps keep this site up and running. Click here for more details)

Perhaps you long for a houseplant but avoid getting one because you’re afraid that your black thumb will condemn it to the big compost pile in the sky.

But consider giving yourself a chance to develop a green thumb with the Pothos N Joy!

Its easy care requirements and ability to survive almost anything, coupled with its stunning foliage, make the Pothos N Joy a great first-time houseplant. 

Read on for more about the Pothos N Joy, where it comes from, and how to care for it!

Let’s get started!

NOTE: You’ll encounter multiple spellings for Pothos N Joy, all of which are considered correct. We’re using them all here to give you an idea of what to look for!

This easy-care, practically unkillable plant certainly lives up to its name, bringing colorful plant-based joy into your home with its trendy color blocking and long, trailing vines.

The Pothos NJOY is also a great “training wheels” plant. It is not at all sensitive or delicate, so caring for one will help you build some basic houseplant skills without fear of its sudden death. Another name for pothos is devil’s ivy, simply because it is so hard to kill!

The Pothos Njoy is unique among pothos for its very dramatic color pattern, known as variegation. Instead of just streaks of lighter color, it has leaves that are dappled dark and light green and ringed by creamy white.

You can get a good view of all three shades in this picture:

The striking contrast of the dappled white, light green and dark green of a pothos N Joy

It does grow more slowly than other varieties of pothos, but over time its vines will still reach an impressive length.

Pothos is a very long-lived houseplant, with some specimens living ten years or more. And you can propagate a Pothos Njoy from stem cuttings almost indefinitely, which means that you can have what is essentially the same plant for several decades.

And because its needs are few, the Pothos NJOY survives almost anywhere, with very little input from you.

Pothos N Joy Background

The Pothos N-Joy is a cultivar of the popular houseplant species Epipremnum aureum, which is native to the Society Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

The Society Islands are mostly dense tropical forest, and the pothos makes its home both on the trees–which it climbs by adhering itself to the bark with tiny rootlets–and on the ground, as a sprawling groundcover.

A single pothos vine can reach up to 40 feet long in its natural habit; as a houseplant, they can grow up to 8 feet. Luckily they are easy to trim! 

Like other houseplants whose origins are in the tropics, pothos prefers the filtered sunlight they receive through a tree canopy, and thus do well in indoor low-light conditions.

But unlike other houseplants, they don’t need high humidity to thrive, which also makes them ideal plants for living in dry indoor environments. 

A pothos will constantly put out new leaves, which unfurl from the growing point of the vine. The large, oval leaves have a pointed tip with streaks of yellow or white. 

In their native habitat, these vines reach up trees and across the forest floor; but in your home, you can train these vines to climb up a pole, or stretch across a wall, or cascade down the side of a bookcase.

The possibilities are almost endless!

Garden Tower Project

Where to Buy Pothos N Joy

So if you’re ready to give this tough and lovely plant a try, here are a few online vendors where you can find one:

N Joy Pothos Care

We’ve mentioned before that the N Joy Pothos is almost kill-proof.

However, there are a few simple guidelines to follow to make sure it looks its best. And remember, everything you learn to do for your Pothos N’Joy is great training for other, more demanding houseplants!

Appropriate Pot Size and Type

Sometimes we measure the best pot size based on the overall height of the plant. But because the Pothos N-Joy has such long vines, it’s better to select a pot based on the size of the root ball.

Choose a pot that is only 1 to 2 inches bigger than the root ball of the plant, and not much deeper than it either.

A smaller pot will allow the soil to dry out better between waterings, as well as keep the size of the plant under control.

Terra cotta pots work particularly well for pothos, which hate to have wet feet, since their porous sides allow water to evaporate and air to enter the soil.

You can use a traditional, plain terra cotta pot, or a more elegant and artistic one like this pretty one. Make sure that it has a hole for drainage, and put a plant saucer underneath it to catch extra water.

Soil

Regular potting soil will work very well for the Pothos N Joy.

Adding a handful of perlite or vermiculite will create a lighter soil and allow more water and air to pass through. However, it isn’t strictly necessary.

Light

Pothos are used to the dim understory of their tropical forest home, so light that is too strong will actually give them a sunburn.

The best light for them is any that is moderately bright but indirect.

This could be:

  • An east or north-facing window
  • A skylight
  • One of those tiny kitchen greenhouse windows
  • A bathroom window

You get the idea. It will even be happy in an office under a fluorescent light. The Pothos NJoy will survive almost anywhere!

A trailing pothos enjoy grows from a basket against a dark background

On the other hand, if all you have is a south or west facing window with very bright and intense light, that works too—just position your Pothos NJoy a few feet back from the window on a stand or a bookcase. 

A good way to tell if your light situation is adequate is to observe the leaf color.

A Pothos N-Joy under good light conditions has leaves that are full, plump, and with good coloration. This means dark greens, light greens, and cream, but no yellow.

If your plant has yellowing leaves, try moving it a bit closer to a light source.

Water

Resist the urge to water your Pothos NJoy every day–more like once every week.

Pothos like to dry out between waterings, and in fact it’s better to water this plant too little rather than too much.

Let at least the top inch of soil dry out before you water it, and push your finger into the soil to check this.

Ambient Temperature

Pothos NJOY will do very well at average room temperature, about 60-80 degrees F (16-27 degrees C).

Keep it about 8 inches back from the windowpane to prevent air that is too cold or too hot from damaging the leaves.

Also, keep your pothos away from heating and cooling vents. The dry air that comes from them will desiccate pothos leaves.

Terracotta Composting 50-Plant Garden Tower by Garden Tower Project

Humidity

Pothos, unlike many houseplants, don’t crave high humidity.

So creating more humidity around your Pothos N’Joy is important only if you live in particularly arid areas like New Mexico or Arizona. 

If you do need to increase humidity, try these solutions:

  1. Group your pothos with other houseplants to create a humid microclimate
  2. Place a jar of water or a plant humidifier nearby to raise the humidity in its immediate area

RELATED: Not sure which plant humidifier to buy? Check out our in-depth post on the Best Plant Humidifiers.

If you’re worried that your pothos is suffering from too much humidity, water it less and change its location to a drier spot away from faucets or showers.

When you repot it, transfer it to a terra cotta pot, which will allow its soil to dry out more quickly than a plastic or glazed ceramic one.

Fertilizing

As a vigorous grower, pothos does need regular fertilizing.

Feed your Pothos N Joy every two weeks in spring through fall with a balanced houseplant fertilizer like Espoma Indoor Plant Food from Amazon (and it’s organic!). In winter, feed every four weeks.

Pruning

Once your Pothos N Joy has reached the length you desire, you can strategically prune it back to control its size. 

The best time to prune is spring or summer. Find the growing tip of a vine, then follow it back and make your cut (using sanitized scissors!) about 1/4 inch above a node where a leaf joins the plant.

If you are trimming all of the vines on a plant, don’t cut off more than a quarter of their total length.

If you are only trimming one or two vines, you can cut off up to one-third of their length.

Another good way to control the growth of a Pothos N-Joy is to re-pot it into the same pot, instead of sizing it up into a larger one.

Re-Potting Your Pothos N Joy

Plan to re-pot your Pothos NJOY each year in springtime.

Re-potting refreshes the nutrients available to the plant by taking it out of its current pot, and either moving it into a slightly bigger one, or replacing the soil in the old one.

This helps make sure that your plant’s roots are robust and that it has fresh soil with enough nutrients and organic matter to keep the plant healthy.

To re-pot your Pothos N-Joy without damaging its leaves, stems, or roots, follow these 7 steps:

Step 1: Water

Water well a few days before you plan to re-pot, and then again just before you do. This helps to lubricate the soil in the pot and makes it easier to slide out.

Step 2: Remove from Current Pot

Gently knock the sides and bottom of the pot against your work surface; this helps the root ball and soil to break away from the sides of the pot.

Put the pot down sideways, placing your hand on the top of the soil but not grasping the stem of the pothos, and gently wiggle it free. Use a pencil to poke the soil ball through the bottom drainage holes if necessary.

Although it’s tempting, don’t pull on the stem of the plant to get it free; it might break off entirely.

Step 3: Trim the Roots

Trim back any discolored, mushy, or overly aggressive roots. Use sanitized shears or scissors, and be careful not to remove more than a quarter of the roots at one time.

This step is important because it removes dead root tissue, and helps keep really vigorous roots in check.

Step 4: Place Back in Pot

Take your old pot, or your slightly bigger new one, and place about 1 inch of damp potting soil at the bottom.

Place the newly-trimmed root ball on top of this, and remove or add soil to get the top of the root ball within 1/2 inch to 1 inch of the lip of the pot. 

Step 5: Settle into New Soil

Add more damp, fresh potting soil around the sides, tamping down lightly with a pencil.

Once you fill the space, tap the pot against your work surface again to help things settle, and add a little more soil if you need to.

Step 6: Wait to Water

Hold off on watering for two to three days.

This will give the roots that you trimmed time to scab over, and trigger uncut roots to start spreading out through the new soil in search of water.

Step 7: Recheck After a Few Days

About a week after you’ve repotted, check on the soil level in the pot and add more if you need to.

NOTE: Don’t be alarmed if your Pothos NJOY has some leaves turn yellow and drop after a repotting–this is a normal sign of transplant shock. If the problem persists, however, you might have a different problem (more on that below).

Terracotta Composting 50-Plant Garden Tower by Garden Tower Project

Leaf Discoloration Problems

Yellowed leaf discoloration on a Pothos N’Joy usually stems (ha-ha!) from not enough light or too much water.

Even though this house plant can survive in low light conditions that others would die in, it does still use photosynthesis to create sugars and energy. Thus, it can still suffer from inadequate light.

If the leaves on your Pothos Njoy persistently turn yellow and fall off, or have a yellow tinge, move them closer to the light source available to you.

Also, brighter light will bring stronger growth and brighter variegation to the Pothos N-Joy.

Another cause of yellow leaves (and one that often happens in conjunction with too little light) is too much watering.

Pothos in general really don’t like to have their roots in wet soil. In fact, they are more prone to root rot–root death brought on by fungi growing in damp soil–than other houseplants.

Plant with whitish growth on the roots

Test the soil moisture using a probe or just by pushing your finger into the soil. If you find any dampness at all, allow it to dry out entirely before watering again.

A pothos will perform best when it experiences periods of dryness followed by a deep watering, followed by dryness once again. Depending on your climate, this means your pothos only needs water once a week or less.

If you do these two things and your pothos is still dropping yellow leaves, it has probably succumbed to root rot. You can check to see if any of its roots look black, brown, and are mushy to the touch.

Root rot has no cure, so if your Pothos Njoy is affected, take some cuttings from the healthiest stems for propagation (covered below).

Then discard the rest of the plant and the soil it was growing in. Sanitize the pot before you use it again to get rid of any leftover fungus.

RELATED: Besides discoloration problems, curling leaves could also be a sign of distress. Visit our post about curling pothos leaves to learn more!

Plant Diseases

Another cause of leaf discoloration in Pothos Njoy is disease, specifically bacterial leaf spot. This disease presents itself as brown spots on the leaf surrounded by a yellow ring.

A closeup of a brown spot on a pothos leaf

Using sanitized scissors or shears, remove the affected leaves or vines, and keep a close eye out for more. 

Overwatering causes leaf spot by creating a damp, anaerobic environment that bacteria thrive in, so go longer between waterings and test the soil for dryness or dampness beforehand.

Insect Attacks

Pothos are pretty much pest-free, but the one insect that does sometimes make an appearance is the mealybug.

A group of mealybugs on a plant stem
Mealybugs

These bugs form white, cottony nests on the undersides of the leaves. They then use their mouthparts to puncture the leaf tissues and suck out their juices.

Remove mealybugs by wiping off their cottony deposits using a cotton swab soaked with alcohol. Once is usually enough, but check back once a week for the next few weeks to make sure that you got them all.

How to Propagate Pothos N Joy: 2 Methods

Another reason to get a Pothos NJoy: You will be able to generate birthday gifts forever!

Pothos plants of all varieties are incredibly easy to propagate, and there are two easy ways to do so:

  • Placing a stem cutting water
  • Planting a stem cutting in soil

Various pothos N Joy plants spring up from a garden bed

Rooting stem cuttings in water is very easy, but takes much longer. Rooting them in soil is much quicker, but involves more time and effort.

So whichever you decide to do, plan accordingly!

Method 1: Stem Cuttings in Water

Step 1. Using a pair of sanitized shears, cut off a length of a vine just below where a leaf joins the stem, like this:

Taking a pothos cutting just below a leaf node

Remove two or three of the bottom leaves, leaving the ones at the top end of the stem connected.

Step 2. Place the cut stem into a jar or glass of clean water and place it on a surface near the mother plant. 

Step 3. Replace the water every week or so to keep it clean, and sooner or later the cutting will send out roots. This can take anywhere from weeks to months. 

The new root growth will look like this:

Pothos cuttings growing new roots in a sunny window

Step 4. Once those roots are about 2 inches long, plant the cutting in a clean pot with fresh soil.

You don’t want to bury it too deep, so plant it so that only the stem with roots emerging from it is below the soil.

Step 5. After a few days, begin watering normally and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer, like the Espoma one we mentioned earlier.

Method 2: Stem Cuttings in Soil

Step 1. Follow step one above. Prepare a small pot with a seed starting mix (like this one from Miracle-Gro) and poke a hole in the center of the soil.

Step 2. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder. Here’s one you might want to try from Hormex.

Then place it gently into the hole in the middle of the pot. Pinch the soil lightly around the stem to secure it.

Step 3. In more humid climates, you can forego a humidity dome because pothos prefer things less humid.

But in drier climates, you should use one to encourage rooting. A humidity dome can be:

  • A plastic bag draped over the pot, held up by chopsticks placed in the soil
  • A liter bottle with the bottom cut off and the cap removed

Step 4. Using a spray bottle, mist the surface of the soil daily. Aim to keep the soil moist, but not very wet.

Keep an eye out for any mold forming on the soil or on the stem; if it does, remove the humidity dome and scrape off any mold that you can.

Step 5. After three weeks, take off the humidity dome.

If you are rooting more than one cutting, remove any that are dead or dying. Apply a little liquid fertilizer. Again, the Espoma formula is a good choice. 

Step 6. In week four, test cuttings for rootedness by pulling very gently at the stem.

If it moves easily, it has not rooted and needs more time.

If it has resistance to your pull, then it has roots and you can pot it up and begin watering regularly instead of misting.

Garden Tower Project

Frequently Asked Questions about Pothos N Joy

The N Joy and the Pearls and Jade pothos are two different varieties of Epipremnum aureum. They are both vining foliage plants with large, heart-shaped leaves, but the N Joy has dappled dark and light green variegation and a cream outer ring, while the Pearls and Jade pothos has larger swathes of cream against a dark green leaf.

Pothos like the nutrients and organic matter that coffee grounds contain, and a few coffee grounds will be good for them!

However, because the grounds are acidic, too much of them will change the soil pH, so don’t apply more than a few tablespoons of grounds at a time.

If you have a lot of coffee grounds that you’re trying to utilize in your garden, consider starting a vermicompost bin and feeding them to the worms–they LOVE used coffee grounds!

Your Pothos N Joy will naturally grow towards the light, so moving the plant back slightly from a light source will encourage it to start creating longer vines. Just don’t take it too far back–you don’t want to starve it of light entirely!

A Pothos N’Joy will filter air in your home or office, to a degree. The larger your plant, or the more plants you have in a small space, the more effective they will be. Pair your pothos with an air purifying fan for maximum impact.

Pothos is toxic in large amounts due to its calcium oxalate content, which creates a burning sensation in the mouth.

Most pets or kids who try to eat pothos stop long before they ingest dangerous levels, due to this burning sensation. But if you’re very worried, try the not-at-all-poisonous Lemon Lime Maranta.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, the Pothos N Joy lives up to its name.

Besides its cheery colors and perky attitude, its undemanding care routine leaves you more time to do what your love: “N Joy” your plants! 

We want to hear your thoughts! Do you have any other questions about caring for a Pothos N Joy, or have any tips to share?

Let us know in the comments!

Share
  •  
  • 60
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    60
    Shares

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Erinn in front of a garden

About Erinn Witz

Hi! I’m Erinn, a Midwestern gal who’s just as interested in honing my gardening skills as you are. I’m here to show you that if I can do this growing thing, seriously, YOU can too! 

SeedsandSpades is a proud sponsor of Lifewater.org. 

LifeWater Image of Boy Drinking Water

Please note that 10% of ALL earnings from this site will go to support Lifewater.org.
Visit our sponsorship page for more information.

Popular Posts

Gardening List on a Table

Succession Success!

Sign up to get your FREE Succession Planting printable: Amazing crops to plant through the Summer and Fall. 

Thank You!

Please check your e-mail to confirm your subscription.

Thank You!

Please check your e-mail to receive your gift!

Free Succession Planting Printable!

Get a Detailed List of Our Favorite Crops to Plant Through the Summer and Fall.

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.