Skeleton Key Pothos: Amazing Leaf Shape That’s Truly Unique!

Skeleton key pothos is a unique and beautiful houseplant that can bring life to any home. The distinctive foliage has become a favorite for many. However, caring for this pothos variety isn’t always straightforward- there are some special considerations you’ll need to consider if you want your plants to thrive. 

This Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Skeleton Key’ guide will provide you with plant care and decorating tips.


At a Glance

Skeleton Key Pothos is a tropical plant (native to Pacific Islands) with bright green and yellow variegated leaves simiar to Golden pothos. This evergreen climber can reach up to 15 feet, making it ideal for trailing down from hanging baskets or along shelves. But, will develop more prominent leaves when climbing.

The primary difference between this cultivar and other pothos varieties is the key shaped leaves. Normal pothos plant care requirements should be followed.


This hardy vine will thrive in most home environments and can even tolerate neglect regarding watering and light requirements. Plus, its vibrant colors add a pop of life to any room.

Like all pothos plants, the Skeleton key can help improve and purify indoor air (NASA list).

Now, let’s explore how to care for your plant so you can relish its beauty for a long time.

Skeleton Key Pothos Plant Care Guide

a climbing pothos skeleton key plant

Soil Requirements

Skeleton Key Pothos plants prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. An ariod potting mix with added perlite, vermiculite, charcoal, or mulch is ideal for these plants. It’s also essential to ensure the soil has adequate drainage so excess water can escape and not cause root rot.


Like all Pothos plants, or Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum), they are resilient and one of the easiest houseplants to grow, but they need to be repotted every one to three years. 

As the plants grow, so do their roots; they need a larger area for the new roots to expand into.

Note: Remember that when repotting a pothos plant that has outgrown its current pot or is root-bound, only use a pot that is one or two sizes larger than your current pot size. 

A bigger pot will hold more soil and will also hold more water and dry out more slowly. However, a pot that is too big may supply more moisture than your Pothos can handle.

Watering Needs

These plants are relatively low maintenance when it comes to watering needs. Therefore, they should be watered regularly but not overly saturated, which could lead to root rot or other problems. 

Please wait until the top inch or two of soil is dry before adding more water; during their active growth period (spring through summer), they may need more frequent watering than during their dormant season (fall through winter).

Temperature & Humidity 

The ideal pothos temperature range for indoor plants is 70 to 90 F

If adjusting the temperature has negatively impacted your room’s humidity (these plants thrive in high humidity levels, typically in the range of 50-70%), don’t worry. It’s surprisingly easy to adjust humidity levels.

Because Pothos is a tropical plant, it’s unlikely that the inside of your house experiences humidity levels too high for Pothos. So let’s focus on increasing humidity.

To increase the humidity of the entire room, use a humidifier. When placing the humidifier, please pay attention to its distance from the Pothos. You don’t want it to be so close that moisture builds up in the soil.

If you don’t have a humidifier, there are a couple of simple DIY hacks. For example, you can use a spray bottle to do some occasional misting. Or create a pebble tray.


Skeleton Key Pothos do best in bright indirect light but can tolerate lower light levels if needed. 

Avoid direct sunlight, which could sunburn the leaves and damage your plant over time; instead, opt for a location near an east-facing window or filtered sun on a south-facing window for optimal results.


skeleton key pots plant in a pot

Pothos plants will develop more prominent and mature leaves when allowed to climb instead of trailing (this is how the giant Hawaiian Pothos developed). Moss poles work excellently. As the aerial roots will grab hold and head upwards.

By following the guidelines in this guide, you can ensure your plants will thrive. In addition, with proper pruning and propagation techniques, you can maintain the healthy growth of these beautiful houseplants.

Pruning & Propagation Tips

showing pothos pruning with scissors

Pruning is essential to keeping your Skeleton Key Pothos looking its best. It helps to encourage new growth and remove any dead or diseased leaves. 

A good time to prune is when the plant is actively growing in spring, but it can also be done at the end of summer or the beginning of fall if necessary. 

When pruning, use sharp shears or a blade and snip just above the node (the junction of stem and leaf). This will help ensure that new growth emerges from that spot. However, be careful not to over-prune, as this can damage the plant and stunt its growth.

Propagating Pothos Skeleton key plants is easy, making them great for novice gardeners. Pruned cuttings from the plant can be rooted in water or soil. 

propagated pothos plant

To propagate:

  1. Take a cutting at least 6 inches long with several nodes (these are points where leaves meet stems).
  2. Place your cutting into water or moist potting soil so that at least two nodes are submerged beneath the surface.
  3. Keep it out of direct sunlight until roots begin to form, which usually takes about two weeks; then, you can transfer it into a pot with fresh soil. 
  4. You can also propagate Pothos by division- simply divide up clumps of roots and replant each separately in pots filled with well-draining soil mix for optimal results.

Proper pruning and propagation techniques are essential for keeping your plants healthy. In addition, it is crucial to be mindful of potential issues such as diseases, pests, nutrient deficiencies, and toxicity of these plants; these topics will be discussed in the following section.

Common Problems

Skeleton Key Pothos plants are known for their ease of care but can still be affected by various problems. 

Diseases and Pests

Diseases and pests can cause damage to the plant, while nutrient deficiencies and toxicity issues can stunt its growth. Identifying and treating these issues is vital to keeping your Pothos healthy.

Mold-like sicknesses, e.g., powdery mildew or root rot, can happen if the dirt stays too moist for drawn-out periods. 

Mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and other pests may wreak havoc on plants by discoloring or wilting the foliage. 

To prevent these issues, ensure your plant is not over-watered and regularly check for signs of infestation. If an infestation occurs, treating it with insecticidal soap (or Neem oil) should help eliminate unwanted visitors quickly.

Nutrient Deficiencies

If left untreated, nutrient deficiencies or toxicities in Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Skeleton Key’ plants can also lead to stunted growth or yellowing foliage. 

Too much pothos fertilizer applied directly around the roots will result in salt buildup, eventually killing off beneficial microorganisms living in the soil leading to nutrient deficiency symptoms like yellowing leaves or slow growth rate. 

On the other hand, a lack of nutrients such as nitrogen will result in pale green leaves due to chlorosis caused by low levels of iron absorption from inadequate fertilization. 

To avoid this issue altogether it is best practice to use a balanced fertilizer at half strength every few weeks during the growing season instead of applying large amounts directly near roots periodically throughout year.

By understanding what potential problems could arise when caring for your Pothos plant, you can set yourself up for success and ensure this beautiful houseplant’s long-lasting health and happiness.

Despite the potential issues with these plants, they are still a great addition to any home. You can enjoy decorating your space with these beautiful plants with proper care and maintenance. Next up is learning how to style them for maximum impact.

TLDR Summary: By arming yourself with the knowledge of potential issues like diseases, pests, nutrient deficiencies, and toxicity affecting your Skeleton Key Pothos plant, you can avoid problems. A balanced fertilizer applied every few weeks during the growing season is helpful to ensure this houseplant stays healthy as a horse for years to come.

Decorating with Skeleton Key Pothos Plants

pothos plants trailing on shelf

Decorating with Skeleton Key Pothos plants is a great way to bring life and color into any room. The unique pattern of the leaves, along with its trailing stems make it an ideal choice for hanging baskets or window boxes. 

With a few simple tips and tricks, you can quickly transform your home decor using this versatile plant.

Arrangement Ideas

When arranging your pothos plants, think about how you want them to look with the other elements in the room. For example, if you have a lot of neutral colors on walls and furniture, try placing some colorful pothos (such as Neon pothos) near them as an accent piece. 

You can also use different varieties of Pothos to create interesting patterns or designs within your arrangement – such as having one variety draping over another or mixing two varieties together for contrast.

For example, pairing the unique leaf shapes of Skeleton key Pothos and Baltic Blue pothos for its fenestrated leaves.

If space allows, group several pots together for a fuller look that will draw attention from across the room.

To add even more interest to your arrangement, consider adding decorative items around the base of each pot – like rocks or driftwood pieces – which will help keep moisture levels balanced while also creating visual appeal. 

Macrame hangers and string lights can also be added for extra texture and sparkle. 

Finally, accessorize with nearby foliage-friendly items like candles or bookshelves; these small touches can take your design up a notch.

FAQs About Skeleton Key Pothos

Is Epipremnum pinnatum Pothos Skeleton key rare?

Yes, Epipremnum pinnatum pothos Skeleton key is a rare plant. Most garden centers and nurseries do not stock the plant. But you should be able to order cuttings or mature plants online.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.