Lemon Meringue Pothos Care Guide: A Lovely New Cultivar

Lemon Meringue Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Lemon Meringue’) is an exciting new variety that houseplant enthusiasts will love for its beauty and easy care. It was discovered by grower Mike Rimland in Miami, Florida, and patented ¹ by Costa Farms in August 2022.

Lemon Meringue is a sport, or mutation, of Global Green Pothos that looks similar but is a bit more variegated with bright golden yellow. The patent describes it as having yellow variegation on the outer portion of the leaves with defined green areas of varying shape and size in the center of each leaf extending from either side of the midrib.

This plant is a tropical vine that can grow up to 6 feet long. It will gracefully spill over the sides of a hanging pot, climb up a moss pole, or be pruned short as a compact tabletop plant.

And like its other Pothos relatives, it is about as low maintenance as they come.

Care for Lemon Meringue Pothos

watering houseplants

Pothos plants are forgiving and adaptable to most environments, making them perfect for both beginning and seasoned gardeners. They have some preferences, though, and attending to the conditions for their best growth will pay you back a hundredfold.

Light

Pothos vines are native to the tropical forests of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. They creep along the ground and climb up trees growing in the dappled light filtering through the canopy of leaves above.

Since they are understory plants, they need indirect light. You can give them plenty of bright indirect light by setting them in an east- or north-facing window.

The bright, direct sun in a west- or south-facing exposure could burn their leaves, but if that is the only available spot, set your plant back from the window or hang a sheer curtain to soften the light.

Variegated plants, like Lemon Meringue, need brighter light (but not direct sunlight!) than all-green plants since they have less energy-producing chlorophyll. Low light will fade the variegation to green, but enough light will bring out the golden yellow color.

If you bring your Pothos outside during the summer, keep it in bright shade, such as under a tree, porch, or covered patio.

Temperature

Pothos plants grow best in household temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and they love warm summer temperatures outside as long it’s below 90 degrees.

But when temperatures soar, move your plant to a cooler location to keep it from wilting. Then, as summer fades into fall, bring your Lemon Meringue in before temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

Your plant will not appreciate cold or hot drafts and may droop and drop leaves. Keep it out of the way of a hot air or air conditioner vent, and move it away from a cold, drafty window in the winter. 

Humidity

Lemon Meringue will adapt to low humidity in a household, which is usually in the 30 to 40 percent range, but because of its tropical heritage, it prefers 40 to 60 percent humidity.

Use a humidifier to boost the humidity, or set the pot on a pebble tray with water or even in a high-humidity area of the house, like the kitchen or bathroom.

Soil

Little girl showing the best soil for pothos plants.

The best soil for pothos ‘Lemon Meringue’ is a loose, well-draining potting mix. You can use a succulent mix or indoor potting soil amended with some perlite, cocoa coir, coarse sand, peat, or orchid bark for even better drainage. It prefers a slightly acidic pH in the 6.1 to 6.5 range.

Make sure that the pot you choose has at least one drainage hole. Excellent-draining potting mix will be far less effective in a pot without a drainage hole, and water buildup in the pot could lead to root rot.

Water

Watering your pothos the right way is essential to its growth and well-being. Temperature, humidity, light, and the time of year will determine how fast the soil will dry out.

So instead of keeping a watering schedule, it’s best to test the soil before you water. Dig your finger down into the soil. If it’s dry 1″ to 2″ down from the top, it’s time to water.

If it’s still moist, wait a week and test the soil again before you water it, or use a moisture meter to determine when it’s time to water. It will need less water during the winter when it is not growing.

Water only the soil and keep the leaves and stems dry to prevent fungal infections from taking hold of the foliage.

Rainwater or distilled is healthiest for Lemon Meringue since tap water often has chlorine and other chemicals, and variegated plants are susceptible to problems with these chemicals.

Fertilizer

You can fertilize your Lemon Meringue to give it an extra boost of nutrition. Use half-strength of a liquid fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer, or use a sprinkling of granular succulent fertilizer once in the spring.

Don’t fertilize it at all during the winter when its growth has slowed to avoid burning its roots.

Pruning

Your Pothos is a vine and will grow up to 6 feet long indoors. Keep it at a manageable length by clipping it between the nodes (where the leaves join the stem) with clean scissors or shears. 

Propagation

about to propagate a pothos plant without leaves

It is not legal to propagate Lemon Meringue Pothos since it is a patented plant. The following how-to guide is only for the general plant breed, such as Golden Pothos, not the Lemon Meringue variety or other patented Pothos varieties.

Here is additional information about patented plants and propagation.

You can easily propagate the cuttings you have made from pruning your plant, and it’s a great way to increase the number of plants in your home. There are two ways you can do it: water or soil propagation.

Water propagation

Put a cutting with 4 or 5 leaves in a clean jar with clean water. Remove all leaves below the waterline and set the cutting in a warm spot in indirect light. And remember to change the water every 4 to 5 days to keep algae from growing. 

Your cutting should begin to grow roots in 2 to 3 weeks, and you can plant it in loose, well-draining potting mix after the roots are 2 to 3 inches long.

Soil propagation

Take a cutting with 2 to 4 leaves and remove at least one leaf at the bottom. Stick the cutting in fresh, loose potting soil mixed with perlite in a pot with drainage holes. Keep it moist, and set it in a warm spot in indirect light. It should begin to grow roots in 2 to 4 weeks.

As an option, you can dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone to encourage new growth before sticking it in the soil. 

NOTE: Only use stem cuttings to propagate Pothos since leaf cuttings will not retain the yellow variegation and will only produce dark green leaves.

Pests

Variegated plants are more susceptible to pests than all-green ones and can be attacked by spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, fungus gnats, or scale. 

Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs

These pests suck the sap from the foliage and cause it to become stippled and distorted, weaken, turn yellow, and even drop off.

You can control spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs with insecticidal soap or Neem oil spray per bottle instructions. You can also wipe the plant down with rubbing alcohol.

Scale

Scale can be controlled by hosing the plant to knock off as many bugs as possible and then wiping the plant down with rubbing alcohol.

Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats deposit their eggs in the soil, and when the larvae hatch, they feed on the organic matter in the soil, including the roots.

When they mature into adults, they emerge from the soil as flying insects, then lay their eggs back in the soil, and the cycle starts again.

Fungus gnat eggs are often present in bags of potting mix and grow into larvae when the soil is kept too wet. Control for these critters has to be twofold:

  1. Treat the potting mix before use by microwaving or baking it briefly to kill the eggs. You can also treat it by watering the soil with 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts water which will kill the eggs and add oxygen to the soil.
  2. Trap the adults with sticky traps so they don’t have an opportunity to lay eggs back in the soil.

Disease

The main disease of Lemon Meringue is fungal root rot, caused by overwatering the soil. When air spaces in the soil are filled with water, and the roots can’t get enough oxygen, root rot takes hold. 

The best thing to do about this problem is gently remove the plant from the potting mix and wash the roots to see what they look like. 

Healthy pothos roots are white and firm, but if any are black, spongy, and smell foul, cut them off with clean scissors or shears.

healthy pothos roots
Healthy pothos roots

Wash the remaining roots in hydrogen peroxide and water or with a fungicide like Neem oil or cinnamon, then plant them back in fresh potting mix in a clean pot with a drainage hole.

Toxicity

All plants in the Arum family, including Lemon Meringue Pothos, are toxic to people and pets. Make your plant inaccessible to little hands and paws, such as in a hanging basket, to keep all family members safe.

References

1: https://patents.google.com/patent/USPP34521P2/

Author & Editor | + posts

Nancy has been a plant person from an early age. That interest blossomed into a bachelor’s in biology from Elmira College and a master’s degree in horticulture and communications from the University of Kentucky. Nancy worked in plant taxonomy at the University of Florida and the L. H. Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University, and wrote and edited gardening books at Rodale Press in Emmaus, PA. Her interests are plant identification, gardening, hiking, and reading.