Why Is My Golden Pothos Losing Variegation?

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When it comes to variegated pothos the Golden Pothos is one of the most common variegated types of Pothos plants you will find. Golden Pothos are known for their golden or cream-colored variegation on the leaves. This variegation can vary greatly from larger streaks of cream or yellow to smaller lines within its green leaf. When you buy a Golden Pothos that has a good amount of variegation in its leaves, the last thing you want to see is that variegation starting to go away as the plant grows. But this is one common problem many owners find with their Golden Pothos, it begins to lose its variegation once new growth appears. In this article, we go over why Golden Pothos start losing variegation and what you can do to help your plant start to get more variegation.

For more info on how to take care of your Golden Pothos see our care guide: Golden Pothos Care Guide

Why is my Golden Pothos Losing Variegation?

Why a Golden Pothos Will Start Losing Variegation

Any variegated houseplant has a chance that it will start to lose its variegation. This process is commonly called reversion. Variegation is a result of a mutation in the plant leaf. This mutation always has a chance to revert back to the unvariegated version of the plant. In general, the more generations a plant has held onto its variegation the less chance it has of doing a complete reversion.

When this happens to a Golden Pothos you will see that the new leaves growing on the plant are growing with less and less variegation and/or no variegation at all. Often these leaves will be almost completely a very dark shade of green, and it will start to look much like a Jade Pothos.

Too Much Low Light

Low light levels are often the number one reason that a Golden Pothos will lose its variegation.

Often the Golden Pothos is sold with labels that say it is a low light plant, which it is not. Golden Pothos do best in bright indirect light, but can also do ok and keep some variegation in medium light too.

However, in low light conditions, it will start to lose variegation on new growth. The green parts of the leaf are the part that can complete photosynthesis. The variegated portion of the leaf is not able to provide food to the plant through photosynthesis. Therefore in the absence of light, the plant needs more green parts on its leaves in order to produce enough food. This is why as the plant grows further and it is in low light the new growth will have less variegation.

Keeping the Right Amount of Light

After you bring your Golden Pothos to its new home make sure that it is in an area where it is brightly lit. Do not put your pothos in a place where it will be in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Pothos can get burned on its leaves from too much sun.

If you don’t have an area that seems like it has a suitable amount of light you can help either filter direct sun with something such as sheer curtains. Or if it is an area that doesn’t get much natural light you can always use grow lights to help substitute light for your plant.

It Just Happens

Now there can be times where new growth comes out reverted for no reason other than it just wanted to. Variegated varieties of Pothos are usually the result of a mutation and the painstaking process of waiting to find that mutation and then reproducing it for long periods of time until it’s stable. So changing leaves is something of a normal process in Pothos.

If this is the case you can just clip off the portion of the plant that is constantly growing unvariegated leaves. Usually, once a vine has started to grow nothing but unvariegated leaves it will not go back to growing variegated ones. Just clip the vine where the last good variegated leaf is.

Can Reverted Variegation Come Back on a Golden Pothos?

You cannot get a currently non-variegated leaf turn into a variegated one. The only hope to get more variegation in the leaves is to get your plant to grow them. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that people do to help a Golden Pothos grow new variegated leaves.

The number one thing to do to encourage variegation on new growth is to make sure that there is adequate light for the plant. The more variegation on a leaf the more light it needs in order to keep that variegation going in new growth.

The second thing is to remove any of the growth that doesn’t have variegation, even if this is a big chunk of its vine. You want to clip the plant back to the last good variegated leaf. And then keep an eye on the new growth. If it is still pumping out non-variegated go ahead and clip above the last good variegated leaf and start the process again.

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