Variegated pothos will stay white with bright, indirect sunlight, humidity and warm temperatures. Pothos can be almost all white in the case of the super white or have lighter yellow variegation. In both cases the more bright light they get the more the pothos will stay white or lighter colored on the leaves.
My golden pothos grows bright green with golden variegation. This plant was almost completely green until I moved it by my front window and within 2-3 weeks the variegation returned.
Bright light will bring back the white color of your pothos if it has turned completely green.
Why variegated pothos loses its white color
The top reason why variegated or pothos with white patches turns green is due to lack of light. Pothos placed in a dark area can lose their variegation over time. The leaf adapts with more green areas to photosynthesize and make food for the plant.
How to keep your pothos white and happy
Here are my top tips for keeping your pothos variegated, white and happy.
Pothos will grow quickly with healthy leaves and stems when placed in a warm area. A window that gets morning bright light is the perfect spot for your pothos. This will give it both the light and the warmth it needs to encourage large leaf growth and a healthy root system.
Bright light is the key to keeping pothos happy. This will help the plant to develop and keep the variegation or the white coloring on the leaves. This works the same for golden pothos which has bright yellow variegation.
I have actually taken cuttings from my golden pothos and the cutting has grown far whiter than the original plant. This is a great outcome and the luck that can come from taking cuttings.
Soil choice is important for a healthy, variegated white pothos plant. Pothos can be planted in good quality, well-draining soil when they are ready to be transferred to a new pot. Transfer the plant once it looks like it filling out the pot.
Choose a premium potting soil with a slow release fertilizer. Choose an indoor plant mix or just a regular potting mix.
A good watering schedule is important for a healthy, variegated pothos. These plants like slightly moist soil and make sure you avoid overwatering.
Pothos will like watering once per week in summer. They can usually be watered less in in winter but this will depend on the temperature, humidity and the size of the pot. I always check my pothos each week to see if they have dried out. Smaller pots will dry out quicker so will need water more often.
Humidity is key to a healthy pothos plant. Tropical and sub-tropical areas will usually have high enough humidity during the warmer months to be happy but if you live in a cooler area, pothos will benefit from a humidifier.
Snow queen and super white pothos are more difficult to care for than a golden pothos and will benefit from the added humidity. For golden pothos which is hardy, it is just an added bonus.
If a pothos is suffering from low humidity the leaf tips or edges can turn brown. Once the leaf turns brown beyond the edges, trim it off and let the plant focus on growing new leaves.
You can also mist your pothos if you don’t want to invest in a humidifier. I mist my pothos regularly with a cheap $1 spray bottle filled with water. This increases the humidity slightly and helps to water the plant very gently.
For more on this check out my previous article: Should I mist my pothos plant? | Pros and Cons + Best ways
Make sure you also water the plant well as the misting won’t give them enough water on its own.
Remove any dead leaves
Keep your plant looking healthy by removing any dead leaves by pinching them off. This will neaten up your variegated plant and avoid older leaves becoming affected by mold or pests.
Pothos will naturally replace their leaves over time. Pinch off old leaves and throw them out into your compost or bin.
To prevent pothos from drooping you will need to water them regularly. If you catch a drooping pothos quickly it can pop back up within a few hours. Take the pothos pot over to the sink and water it deeply. Soak it with your tap and let the excess water drain through.
By the next day the pothos will usually stand back up after it has the water it needs. Drooping is usually caused by the plant drying out too much.
If the soil is soggy and your pothos is drooping, overwatering could be the problem so slow down your watering schedule and let the soil dry slightly.
Are white pothos easy to care for?
Generally, the more variegated the pothos is the more difficult it is to care for. Snow queen or super white pothos take more care attention, regular water and the perfect light levels to keep the white and growing well.
Start with a golden pothos if you like the variegation but are just starting out. These plants are hardy and as long as they get enough bright light they will keep their variegation and continue to grow.
How to get pothos to turn white | Summary
Variegated pothos can be encouraged to keep their white color by putting them in a position that gets bright light. While they don’t need direct sunlight, a window that gets bright morning sun will be perfect to encourage the white color to come through on its leaves.
My favorite is golden pothos as it is easy to look after and you still get the variegation. My plant has actually turned more white than golden now that is sitting next to my front window.
I have planted more than one pothos in a pot so I have some leaves that are dark green and some that are variegated.
For more tips on planting more than one pothos in a pot check out my previous article here: Can I put more than one pothos in a pot? | Simple How-to-Guide
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.