How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Pothos N’Joy
Want to know how to grow and care for the popular N’Joy Pothos? This compact cultivar has similar needs to other Pothos plants, with some additional care to maintain its variegation. Gardening expert Madison Moulton breaks down what you need to grow, plant and care for Pothos N’Joy.
There are so many stunning Pothos cultivars that it can be hard to choose which one to collect first. But, if you’re looking for something cute and compact, Pothos N’Joy should be your first choice. While it may look smaller than other pothos plants in the same family, the ease of care is pretty much the same.
This sport of Marble Queen is the smallest of the group and features stunning patches of variegation that set it apart from the other types of Pothos plants you may be considering. This popular houseplant doesn’t demand much from its owners, bar its preference for bright light to maintain its gorgeous variegation.
If you are curious to learn more about this fantastic little plant, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about the N’Joy Pothos, from growing them, to propagation, and their care.
Pothos N’Joy Plant Overview
Plant Type Houseplant
Hardiness Zone 10-11
Species Epipremnum aureum ‘N’Joy’
Native Area French Polynesia
Exposure Bright indirect light
Watering Requirements Moderate
Pests and Diseases Scale, spider mites, mealybug
Low Soil Type Airy and well-draining
What Is It?
Pothos N’Joy is a cultivar of the popular species Epipremnum aureum. Commonly known as Pothos, this group of plants is part of the Araceae or Arum family, related to many popular houseplants including Philodendrons and Peace Lilies.
These climbing plants are believed to be native to French Polynesia, found growing in tropical rainforests around trees and across forest floors. They grow so prolifically in the right climates that they are actually classified as invasive in some parts of the US, known to smother native plants around the world in the regions they have been introduced to.
This invasive nature has given the plant the other common name Devils Ivy. You may also see it labeled as the Money Plant in some regions due to its significance in Feng Shui, not to be confused with the Chinese Money Plant or the Money Tree.
Of the many Pothos cultivars, N’Joy is relatively new. A genetic mutation of the popular Marble Queen cultivar, this sport was discovered in 2002 in India and patented in the US in 2007.
What sets this cultivar apart is its size and variegated leaf pattern. The leaves are far smaller than any other type and more rounded than heart-shaped. They tend to have a ruffled texture, with large patches of cream, white and light green variegation splashed across the foliage.
Where To Buy One
First catapulting to popularity a few years ago, N’Joy was quite rare and difficult to find. However, with continued growth and propagation, it has become far easier to come by. You can check for this cultivar in your local nursery, although you may have to go to a couple before you find the right one. Alternatively, contact a specialized houseplant grower in your area to find out where you can get one.
Cuttings or whole N’Joy plants can be purchased online too, either from growers directly or on marketplaces like Etsy. If you’re ordering online, make sure you buy from a reputable seller to ensure the plant is true to type and not damaged irreparably when it reaches you. Take care not to fuss over it in the first few weeks while it recovers from the stresses of transportation.
Newly purchased plants from a nursery or online will likely come in a plastic pot. While they’ll be happy to grow in that same container for a while before they require repotting, you may want to move the plant to a move decorative pot.
You may also consider moving to one with better drainage such as terra cotta or fabric pots. Alternatively, you may want to grow your N’Joy as a hanging indoor plant and move it to a basket. If that is the case, planting your Pothos couldn’t be easier:
- Remove the plant from its existing pot.
- Gently tease the roots to release them.
- Grab the new pot and fill the bottom layer with the soil mix.
- Lower the plant into the pot and fill around the gaps with more soil.
- Press around the base.
- Leave the top layer of soil a few inches below the rim of the pot.
- Water thoroughly and leave the excess to drain from the drainage holes.
- Place your plant in its new perfect location.
How to Grow
True to the Pothos plant species, N’Joy is an incredibly easy plant to grow. It has some specific requirements that differ slightly from the original Golden Pothos, but with a few adjustments, this plant won’t give you any trouble.
Pothos plants are generally considered tolerant of low light conditions. Labeled almost impossible to kill, they are known to grow in most conditions, except direct sunlight. However, if you want to maintain the stunning variegation of the N’Joy Pothos, low light won’t be enough.
N’Joy is one of the Pothos cultivars with the highest levels of variegation. The large patches of cream and white are the result of a genetic mutation where the cells are unable to synthesize chlorophyl – the part of the cells that keep the leaves green.
As there is less chlorophyl, less photosynthesis occurs. The optimal amount of light is therefore needed to keep the plant alive. Without the right light levels, the plant will start producing more chlorophyl in an effort to survive, bleeding into the variegated areas and turning the leaves green again.
To maintain the high levels of variegation, keep your N’Joy in bright indirect light for most of the day. East or west-facing windows are preferred, as long as the plant is protected from direct light. South-facing windows covered by a sheer curtain are also suitable as they replicate the dappled shade Pothos plants are used to in their native habitats.
Pothos plants are not heavy water users and N’Joy is no exception. While they grow best with consistent and regular watering, they will not struggle much if you forget to water once or twice. They also hold quite a bit of water in their waxy leaves, meaning they won’t wilt the second they lack moisture.
As the leaves are slightly smaller than other cultivars and the plants are slow-growing, watering once every one to two weeks is usually sufficient. This obviously depends on the conditions the plant is in – those in lower light need water less often while those in positions with bright sunlight will dry out far quicker.
If environmental conditions aren’t consistent, the water will dry out at different times. In these cases, it can be easy to accidentally underwater or overwater if you are following a strict routine. Instead, stick your finger in the soil every couple of days. When the top 2 inches of soil have dried out, it’s time to water again.
Your Pothos will need more water during the active growing season and when temperatures are higher. In winter, you can limit your watering as less evaporation occurs and growth slows down. This will prevent problems with overwatering that can be difficult for plants to bounce back from when temperatures are low.
Whether watering over a sink or in a drip tray, always ensure the excess water drains away from the pot to prevent root rot. If they are placed in a decorative cover, water out of the cover and return the plant only when water stops running through the drainage holes. Empty any overflowing drip trays to stop the roots from sitting in water and becoming mushy.
Pothos plants are not too fussy about soil. In fact, it’s their ability to grow in almost any soil condition rapidly that makes them invasive when planted outdoors in tropical or sub-tropical climates. But, when grown in containers, there are some different factors to consider that can have a major impact on the health of your N’Joy.
One of those factors is drainage. Soil in containers needs to drain incredibly well to stop water from sitting around the roots and causing rot and suffocation. Even more drainage is required indoors where water evaporates far slower than it does outdoors in the sunshine.
This need for drainage is not usually met by garden soil or even regular potting soil. That’s where soil amendments come in.
Several components can be added to potting soil to improve drainage without drying out so quickly that the plant suffers from a lack of moisture. One of those is perlite – the small white rocks you may see in houseplant soil mixes. These pieces of expanded volcanic glass increase the spaces between soil particles, improving overall aeration and drainage.
Peat moss is another common addition, used to retain moisture without weighing down soil mixes. However, there is some debate over the sustainability of peat moss harvesting, so it’s best to use the sustainable and equally useful alternative, coconut coir.
To make your own soil mixture, add one part perlite and coconut coir to two parts high-quality potting soil for the ideal consistency. Alternatively, you can purchase soil mixes online designed for houseplants that contain the same materials, although they are slightly pricier.
Temperature and Humidity
Pothos are remarkably tolerant plants – even the slightly fussier N’Joy. However, one thing this plant cannot stand is cold temperatures. Pothos are lovers of heat and need consistently high temperatures throughout the year to grow their best and prevent stunted growth.
Where possible, aim for temperatures around 70F – 75F throughout the year. These plants can handle temperatures up to 90F and even higher for short periods so they are certainly not afraid of the heat. In cooler months, keep indoor temperatures above 65F where possible.
In conditions below 60F, N’Joy will slow growth dramatically or stop completely until the temperatures warm again. Below 50F, it may face potentially permanent damage from cold exposure that can penetrate the cells of the plant.
General temperature is not the only thing to consider. Air changes from cold drafts (or drying hot air) can cause the same damage as cold weather, sometimes more due to the constant changes in conditions. Keep your N’Joy away from open windows, air conditioners and radiators, choosing the warmest and most stable room available.
Just as temperatures remain high, humidity should too. These tropical forest plants are accustomed to humidity higher than 70% – and that’s just in the dry seasons. To keep them looking their best, humidity of at least 50% is recommended, although they will still grow when humidity is above 40% for most of the year.
If you need to raise the humidity around your Pothos, you have a few options. Misting is one, although it needs to be done several times per day to have an impact. You can also choose a naturally higher humidity room, like a bathroom or kitchen. Alternatively, invest in a humidifier that won’t only help your N’Joy but all other houseplants in the same spot.
N’Joy is one of the smaller Pothos cultivars with a slower growth rate due to the high levels of variegation. However, these plants are still quick growers in comparison to other plants and need enough nutrients to support this growth. Regular repotting is one way to improve conditions, but keeping a regular fertilizing routine is also essential.
N’Joy will be happy with regular applications of a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Liquid fertilizers are the easiest to apply, simply diluted in water and poured over the soil while watering. Slow-release fertilizers can also be buried in the soil to break down over time as you water.
While some plants with large leaves are known to collect dust and debris quickly, the small leaves of N’Joy remain relatively clean. They only require a wipe down once every few months at most. Alternatively, place them on your shower floor and (remembering to use cold water) clean off the leaves.
During this clean, make sure to remove any debris around the base of the plant. Old leaves and other debris are ideal homes for pests that spread to the rest of your plant from there. You can also trim off any damaged leaves or stems to promote new and healthy growth.
These plants remain relatively compact and small, meaning regular pruning is not necessary. If you’ve left your N’Joy in a low light area and the stems have become leggy, you can trim them back to improve growth, but pruning to contain growth is not likely to be a concern.
Since Pothos N’Joy can be harder to find than the more common types, getting more of these plants can be a tricky process. Instead, you can use your current plant to make even more of these variegated beauties, without the extra cost.
Start by gathering a pair of clean pruning shears or sharp scissors. The cleaner the cut you make, the quicker the root growth will be and the quicker the stem will regrow on the original plant. If you have used them recently, it’s best to clean them with soap and water or a 5% bleach solution to remove any potentially harmful bacteria.
Choose a healthy stem with plenty of strong leaf growth. Following the stem about four inches down, trim a cutting off just below a node – the bump in the stem that leaves and roots grow from. Remove any leaves from the bottom half of this cutting as the bottom will either be buried in water or in soil.
Rooting in water is the quickest way to get your cuttings started. Grab a glass of filtered or distilled water and place the cutting in until the bottom half is covered in water. Leave the glass in a warm area away from direct sunlight. Change the water every couple of days and transplant when the roots have grown a few inches long.
You can also root in soil, which encourages stronger rooting and limits the chances of transplant shock later on. Combine equal parts coconut coir, perlite and vermiculite to create the ideal propagating mix. Make a hole in the mix and bury the cutting halfway, pressing down to anchor it in place. Keep the soil moist until new growth develops, ready for transplanting.
As one of the smaller cultivars, Pothos N’Joy doesn’t require repotting very often. Once every 2-3 years should be sufficient, depending on the growth rate of your plant and the environmental conditions.
If you notice any signs the plant needs repotting, you can repot sooner. These include:
- Roots growing through the drainage holes
- Roots circling the bottom of the pot
- Lack of new leaves
- Stunted growth
- Roots growing through the top layer of soil
Before you start, choose a new pot one size up – two at most. These plants will quickly experience root rot if planted in a container that is too big. Then follow the instructions in the planting section above to make your N’Joy happy in its new home.
Like all pothos plants, this cultivar is prone to the usual problems. Most of these problems are treatable, as most cultivars can thrive with a little neglect. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems you are likely to run into with this plant.
One of the problems you are most likely to face when caring for Pothos N’Joy is yellowing leaves. This problem is understandably concerning but is luckily easily resolved with the right care.
The most common cause of yellowing leaves is overwatering. When N’Joy is left to sit in soggy soil, the roots start to go soft and cannot draw up any moisture or nutrients, turning the leaves yellow. This is not always caused by watering when you are not supposed to, as lack of drainage or leaving the plant in a full drip tray can have the same impact.
Root rot needs to be caught early to have a chance of resolving the problem. Start by leaving the soil to dry out completely and monitoring growth. If problems persist, repot the plant replacing all the soil and trim off the affected roots back to the healthy growth.
Confusingly, yellowing leaves can also be caused by underwatering. However, this is normally accompanied by bone dry soil and browning at the edges. Bottom water the plant so the soil can soak up as much moisture as possible and the plant should return to normal.
With already small leaves, a wilting N’Joy can quickly look sickly and diminished. The first problem to look for is lack of moisture caused by underwatering. If leaves are starting to turn brown, you can be sure this is the cause. Give your plant a drink and the leaves should return to normal.
Pest damage can also cause the leaves and stems to droop and become disfigured. Insects like spider mites and mealybug suck on the tissues of the plant, drawing moisture and nutrients and causing the plants to droop. They also tend to find hiding places between stems and under leaves, making them difficult to spot.
Regularly check for signs of pest problems and apply insecticidal soap or neem oil as a control. If the infestation is severe, more the one application is likely needed before the bugs are completely gone.
Brown, dried and crispy leaves are another common problem with a few causes, mostly related to moisture. Underwatering is most likely, but it can also be caused by a lack of humidity in the air, causing the leaves to turn brown and crispy at the edges.
Start by identifying which cause is more likely. Underwatering is easier to fix by simply watering the plant and adjusting your schedule. Humidity is more difficult to manage, requiring movement of the plant or the use of a humidifier to improve conditions.
Leaves can also turn brown in patches if they are exposed to direct sunlight. N’Joy is especially sensitive to sunlight exposure due to the variegation on the leaves, quickly changing color and curling to protect itself from moisture loss. Keep the plant away from direct sunlight, especially in the hottest part of the day as even one hour of exposure can cause irreparable damage.
Lack of Variegation
When you’ve invested money into the N’Joy Pothos specifically for its stunning variegation, watching it slowly disappear is a potentially mortifying experience.
Loss of variegation is a result of low light conditions, causing the plant to produce more chlorophyl in order to survive. The only fix for this issue is to move the plant to an area with bright indirect light.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Pothos N’Joy Rare?
Pothos N’Joy is one of the newer cultivars and used to be considered rare and difficult to find, explaining its high price tag. However, as it has become more widely available and newer cultivars such as Pearls & Jade have become more popular, they are much easier to find.
Pothos N’Joy and Pearls & Jade: What’s The Difference?
Both cultivars are sports of Marble Queen and look the most similar to each other. However, they do have slight differences in size and variegation that allow you to tell them apart. N’Joy has contrasting leaves with large blocks of cream, white and green across the leaves.
Pearls & Jade sports a wider range of colors and is generally lighter in color. The variegated sections also have the classic Pothos flecks in some areas, while N’Joy has almost none.
Why is my Pothos N’Joy losing variegation?
Loss of variegation is a result of low light conditions, causing the plant to produce more chlorophyl in order to survive. Move the plant to an area with bright indirect light and new leaves should emerge highly variegated.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow houseplant with a bit more flair than the common stock, N’Joy should be your go-to. These compact plants make the perfect plant for smaller spaces, like in the bathroom or on top of your refrigerator. They are no longer difficult to find or much pricier than other cultivars, making them the perfect first choice for collectors.