Pothos is one of the most common houseplants you’ll run across, and for good reason! They’re widely available, usually inexpensive, easy to care for and grow like crazy. And one especially beautiful member of the pothos family is the Snow Queen.
Snow Queen pothos has a distinctive variegation pattern, with a base of creamy white and delicate speckles and patches of vibrant green. Snow Queen tends to stay more compact than its fast-growing pothos relatives, making it a perfect, low-maintenance addition to just about any room of your home.
So let’s jump in and learn the ins and outs of this lovely houseplant!
Snow Queen Pothos Background
According to Wisconsin Horticulture, pothos plants are native to the forests of the Solomon Islands, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
Pothos can creep along the forest floor, creating a lush, tropical ground cover. Or they may prefer to climb a nearby tree, forming strong epiphytic roots that burrow into the tree’s trunk for support.
The botanical name for the entire pothos family is Epipremnum aureum. Within that family, there are two main pothos subtypes (or cultivars):
- Marble queen
- Golden pothos
All other pothos varieties (Jade, Neon, Pothos N Joy, etc…) are hybrids of these two main species. But one thing they have in common: They’re all beautiful!
Snow queen’s distinguishing characteristic is its striking variegated leaves. The bold swatches of white are speckled and striped with green, giving them a lovely marbleized appearance.
Many people get confused by Marble Queen and Snow Queen, as they can look very similar.
The difference between the two is that Snow Queen leaves have:
- More white than green
- A lighter shade of green overall
Snow Queen is a slow grower compared to most other pothos varieties, due mainly to its primarily white coloring. These white patches lack the green pigment chlorophyll, which plants use to produce energy and grow.
Since it doesn’t have as much chlorophyll, Snow Queen grows at a slower pace. This could be a convenient benefit if you don’t have a great deal of space in your home!
Even though it may take them a little longer, Snow Queen, like all other pothos, is known for trailing vines of semi-heart shaped leaves.
They will climb anything nearby and you can train them to climb a moss pole, a wall with plant supports or another surface. If you’d prefer, you can also let your Snow Queen form loads of vines spilling over the sides of hanging pots.
Snow Queen pothos is also known for its air-purifying capabilities. Especially in small spaces, all pothos are quite good at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your home.
So not only is it easy to care for and beautiful, it cares for you right back!
Where to Buy Snow Queen Pothos
Pothos Snow Queen typically isn’t too hard to find, and many garden centers and home improvement stores carry them, at least on occasion. If you can’t track one down in-store, try asking if the store can place a special order.
And if not, there’s always the internet!
Amazon has a few Snow Queen pothos to choose from, including this 4-inch plant.
Etsy is usually your best bet for finding healthy plants online. At the time of this publishing, several sellers had them in stock. I highly recommend checking out Beck With the Good Gard if you’re looking for a high quality Snow Queen.
If their shop happens to be out of stock, here are few other reputable shops to try on Etsy:
Snow Queen Pothos Care
Snow Queen pothos care is very much like that of all the other pothos cultivars: There’s not much to it!
Here are the basics to keeping your plant healthy and thriving:
Pot Type and Size
Plastic, ceramic, cement or whatever you like: Snow Queen pothos will live happily in any pot material and shape.
But one feature that’s completely essential is adequate drainage. Pothos hate sitting in saturated soil, so make sure the pot you choose has at least two drainage holes.
Pothos as a group thrive when their roots stay compact, even to the point of being slightly root-bound. Choose a pot that’s a maximum of 1 inch larger in diameter than your Snow Queen’s root ball.
Snow Queen grows best in well-draining soil with a neutral pH, about 6.0 to 6.5.
This houseplant potting soil from Miracle-Gro is a great choice because it’s just the right pH balance and has excellent drainage, which is a must for pothos.
As a personal preference, I also like that this soil is coconut coir based rather than peat moss based. There’s some debate about whether using peat moss is good for the environment or not, as covered in this article in the AP News.
So I prefer to avoid using peat whenever I can.
Also, peat has an irritating tendency to repel water when it gets too dehydrated. Pothos prefers to dry out between waterings, so skipping peat in your soil can help you avoid the headache of water running out of the pot instead if absorbing into the soil.
In its native habitat, pothos is a vining ground cover or tree-climber, and it will thrive outdoors in USDA zones 10-11.
For those of us outside of zones 10-11, pothos Snow Queen does quite well as an indoor plant with temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees F.
Snow Queen likes moderate amounts (about 6 hours) of indirect sunlight. Remember, it naturally lives on the forest floor, where the tree canopy filters the sun’s rays.
A few feet back from an east-facing or west-facing window is usually a good spot.
But one thing to keep in mind with Snow Queen pothos is the amount of variegation your plant has. Like we mentioned earlier, the white portions of the leaves don’t contain chlorophyll, so they don’t absorb and convert sunlight.
The more white there is in the leaves, the more sunlight your plant needs for photosynthesis.
And some Snow Queens can certainly have a lot of white! So you may need to experiment a little bit to find the sweet spot in your home.
Pothos is in far more danger of overwatering than it is from under-watering, so let the soil dry out a bit between waterings.
Always check the soil for dryness before watering. It should feel dry to the touch for the best results from your Snow Queen (just like all the other pothos).
When you’re just getting a care routine established, check the soil moisture weekly. If it still feels damp, wait a few days and check again.
After a while, you’ll find the watering frequency that works best for you and your plant. I’ve found that I can go about two weeks and even up to a month in between waterings!
Pothos aren’t particularly heavy feeders, especially slower-growing varieties like Snow Queen.
Give a dose of balanced fertilizer about once a month during the spring and summer months, which is when your plant is actively growing. During fall and winter, pothos slow down their growth rate, so you can safely skip fertilizing until the weather warms up more.
Look for a formula with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to help with root growth, photosynthesis and resiliency.
This indoor plant food is a great choice for all pothos varieties.
Support (Or Not!)
As a naturally vining plant, pothos looks amazing climbing a pole or a wall.
Snow Queen tends to grow slower and stay a bit smaller than the pothos varieties with more green pigmentation. So you may have to wait a long time before she grows enough to cover a whole wall.
But you can still get the climbing effect on a smaller scale with support poles. This all-in-one kit can be a perfect choice. (Bonus: It’s wrapped in coco coir instead of peat moss!)
If you prefer a more compact, bush-like shape, you can easily go that route. We talk about this topic in more detail on our how-to post on keeping your pothos full. So make sure to visit for lots of helpful pointers!
One of the primary methods is pruning, which we’ll cover in this next section…
Pruning really isn’t necessary for Snow Queen, but it can help with keeping it from getting leggy. Unless, like we just talked about, that’s what you’re going for!
To maintain a bushy shape, clip the stem just below a node using a clean pair of sharp scissors or garden pruners.
Nodes are where the new growth emerges from the stem. Each node is capable of producing new roots and therefore, a new plant!
To give you a little visual aid, I’ve marked the nodes here with arrows:
You may also want to clip off any leaves that have changed color or turned brown to keep your plant looking healthy and bright. This will also help with continued growth of your Snow Queen.
Your Snow Queen pothos isn’t nearly as picky about humidity levels as some other tropical natives are. But she’ll still appreciate a moisture boost to ward off dry, brown leaf edges and to keep leaves clean.
Here are a few ways to achieve a higher relative humidity:
- Fill a small tray with water and pebbles, then set your Snow Queen’s pot on top.
- Taller plants release moisture downwards, so group a few other plants around your Snow Queen.
- Use a plant humidifier.
Re-Potting Snow Queen Pothos
Most pothos varieties are extremely vigorous growers, but Snow Queen is a little different in that she takes her time. The Snow Queen Pothos doesn’t need to be re-potted very often, and it’s usually best to let them get a little rootbound before doing so.
The rule of thumb is if there’s any loose soil in her pot, it’s not time to re-pot yet. That will typically result in an annual re-potting.
We talked about Snow Queen’s seasonal growth cycle a little bit earlier on, and it comes into play here again. The active phase of rapid growth happens during the spring, summer and fall months, followed by a resting period, or dormancy, during the winter.
It’s always best to re-pot during the active phase, and spring is usually a good time to schedule the process. Follow these steps for the best success:
Step 1: Your new pot should have good drainage and have about 1 inch of room all around your Snow Queen’s root ball. Add enough fresh soil to the bottom of the new pot to bring the root ball roughly even with the pot’s lip.
Step 2. Loosen the root ball from the current pot (you can squeeze a plastic pot all around to get started) and gently cradle your Snow Queen with your hand while inverting the pot.
Watering the day before you plan to re-pot makes for pliable soil that slides more easily out of the pot.
Step 3. Use your fingers to gently brush away excess soil and loosen the root ball a bit. This helps encourage your Snow Queen to spread her roots out in its new, larger pot.
Step 4. While you’re working with the roots, check for any sections that appear mushy or brown. This is a sign of root rot, and it will only spread if you allow it to.
If you see any damaged areas, trim them off with a pair of sharp, sanitized scissors. Root rot usually occurs after over-watering, so take this as an opportunity to be more sparing in your watering in the future.
If the roots appear healthy and white, you’re good to go!
Step 5. Set your Snow Queen into the new pot and fill in the sides with more fresh soil. Be careful not to add any soil to the top of the root ball.
Step 6. If you trimmed any root sections, wait a couple of days before you water. This gives the roots a chance to heal a bit before you introduce moisture.
Then place her in a bright spot, but not in direct sun.
Your Snow Queen may look a bit droopy for a few days after re-potting, a condition known as transplant shock. Resist the urge to water heavily or move her during this time, and she should perk back up in a couple of days.
RELATED: We’ve covered all of these steps in greater detail in our photo tutorial on pothos repotting. Stop by to check it out, but keep in mind that Snow Queen prefers a smaller pot and slightly compacted roots.
Potential Problems with Snow Queen Pothos
Snow Queen Pothos is a pretty low-maintenance houseplant, but there can still be the occasional problem.
The most common issues involve:
- Overwatering or under-watering
- Too much fertilizer
- Pest attacks
- Incorrect lighting
- Temperature changes
One common response a Snow Queen sends out in response to stress is curled leaves. We’re doing a brief overview of each problem here, but we’ve covered this in much more detail in our post on fixing curled pothos leaves. Check it out for more in-depth information.
Overwatering or Under-Watering
Snow Pothos does not require a great deal of water; in fact-they like to dry out a bit before each watering.
There should never be standing water in your Snow Queen’s pot, so be careful to:
- Not give water too often
- Ensure your pot has proper drainage.
Like we mentioned before, start out checking soil moisture weekly, and adjust your routine according to how the soil feels.
Yellowing leaves usually signal too much water, while brown or wilting ones mean not enough water.
In general, Snow Queens don’t need much in the way of fertilizer. In fact, there’s usually more danger in over-fertilizing the soil than a lack of nutrients.
If you notice the leaves turning yellow or curling, you may be over-feeding.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
If you think you’ve given a too-large dose, flush the soil with several rounds of water. Then hold off on fertilizing for a while until you leaf appearance improving.
Pests don’t usually cause problems with Pothos Snow Queen, but they’re not totally immune.
The most common insects are mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, and aphids. Here they are:
Treat each of these pests in the same way:
- Apply insecticidal soap to the affected leaves
- Give your plant a good spray of water outside
- Increase humidity to make less hospitable conditions (spider mites in particular prefer dry places)
Remove any leaves damaged from insect attacks to prevent the spread of pests.
Sunlight: Not Enough or Too Much
Due to the high variegation of Snow Queen Pothos leaves, there’s a little more demand for sunlight with this cultivar.
Remember, those white areas on the leaves aren’t producing energy, so the Snow Queen needs to make the most of the green areas she has.
If you notice the variegation fading and leaves turning greener, it’s probably not getting enough sunlight. Find another spot in your home with a bit more sunlight and try your Snow Queen out there. Their variegation should return within a week or two.
However, if you notice the leaves turning yellow, it may be getting too much sunlight. Move it farther away from the window, or find a less-sunny spot.
You may have to try out different spots in your home to see what works best for your Snow Queen.
Temperature for the Snow Queen should be between 65 and 85 degrees F, which makes them ideal as houseplants.
If you have any sudden temperature changes, your Snow Queen could balk a bit in the form of leaf curling or discoloration.
If you’ve got your Snow Queen near a vent, the furnace or the air conditioner turning on at the beginning of a new season could cause stress. In that case, just move your Snow Queen farther away from the offending vent.
How to Propagate Snow Queen Pothos
Remember how we said earlier in the “Pruning” section that each stem node can produce a new Snow Queen plant? This is how you do it!
Sanitize a pair of sharp scissors or a garden pruner with alcohol and allow it to fully air dry. Then snip off a trailing vine at a node where a leaf meets the stem.
Aim for cuttings that are at least 4 inches long and have several pairs of healthy leaves. Next, snip off the bottom leaf closest to the node. Your cutting is now ready to move onto the next phase: rooting.
You have two options to get your cutting to grow roots:
- In soil
- In water
Either method has high success with Snow Queen, so feel free to experiment with both and see which one you prefer.
Let’s look at each method:
In soil. Plant your prepared cutting directly in good quality potting soil, making sure to bury the node fully under the soil.
Place your cutting in an area that’s bright but not in direct sunlight. Water it periodically, keeping the soil moist but not water-logged. A spray bottle can be very handy for this.
It typically takes about a month for new roots to form in soil.
Once you see a curly sprig coming out of the soil at the base of the plant, you’ve got baby pothos leaves which means success! This will usually happen about 3 to 4 months after taking your cutting.
In water. Another option is to submerge your prepared cutting in a glass of water and place in a sunny windowsill. Within a week or two you’ll see new roots forming, and you can either let your new Snow Queen grow in water or plant it in a pot.
However, if you want to move your cutting to soil, make sure to do it as soon as you see new roots growing. If the roots get too long, the plant may fail to transition successfully to growing in soil.
Frequently Asked Questions about Snow Queen Pothos
The Snow Queen is a gorgeous member of the pothos family, and just like her cousins she is easy to maintain and will even thrive with some neglect.
With minimal care needs and problems, Snow Queen is less demanding than other houseplants and will grow and thrive as a beautiful addition to any home.
Do you have any more questions about caring for a Snow Queen pothos, or do you have any other care tips to share?
Let us know in the comments!