The Glacier Pothos, or Epipremnum aureum “Glacier,” is a rare and beautiful thing. It’s an absolute must-have for avid collectors and is currently still relatively hard to find. That said, given its rarity, it’s important to know that you’re buying the plant you think you’re paying for – which can be easier said than done when many of them look fairly similar, such as when you compare the Glacier pothos vs NJoy pothos.
In this article, I’ll take you through exactly how to identify the Glacier Pothos, particularly in comparison to the NJoy Pothos. These two beautiful plants can be difficult to distinguish at a young age as they look pretty similar at first glance.
However, as they progress, you’ll find that there are distinct differences between them, making each plant unique in its own way. Ready? Let’s dive right in.
Is Glacier pothos the same as NJoy pothos?
The Glacier Pothos and NJoy Pothos are two distinct cultivars of the genus Epipremnum aureum. While they share some similarities in terms of their care requirements, they have different origins, appearances, and growth traits. The Glacier Pothos is also harder to find for purchase.
To understand the differences between these two beautifully variegated types of pothos, one must first look at where they come from. The Glacier Pothos originated in the Solomon Islands as a naturally occurring tropical plant. In contrast, the NJoy Pothos originated as an unusual stem mutation of the Marble Queen and was further bred and cultivated by horticulturists for the mass market.
As juveniles, these two Pothos varieties look incredibly similar, but they become easier to tell apart as they mature. A good starting point for figuring out which one is which is to look at their leaf color, shape, and texture, but we’ll get into that in more detail shortly.
Once you’ve identified your Pothos, you’ll know best how to care for them, as they have slightly different needs and growth traits, too.
Glacier Pothos vs NJoy Pothos
The main differences between the Glacier Pothos and the Pothos NJoy are their leaf size, variegation patterns and coloring, texture, overall size, growth speed, and temperature and soil needs. As the Glacier Pothos is a naturally occurring plant, it is also more likely to flower once it reaches maturity than the NJoy.
Both these beauties are a delight to have in the home and are exceptional in their own right. However, learning how to tell them apart can be vital for helping them to thrive, given their differing needs. Let’s investigate how to tell them apart and how this can impact their care.
1. Leaf size
The Glacier Pothos and the NJoy Pothos have comparatively small leaves for Pothos plants. They are also both inclined to be shaped more like ivy than the typical heart-shaped formations we see on the Emerald Pothos, for example.
However, the Glacier Pothos has slightly smaller, rounder leaves that are more equal overall in size than the somewhat irregular leaf development of the NJoy.
2. Variegation patterns and coloring
Light green, silver, and white variegation patterns are what make the Glacier Pothos look like an icy queen. Its colors are lighter than the NJoy in general, sporting larger areas of streaky, patchy variegation that follow each leaf’s general shape from the center outwards.
On the other hand, the NJoy has less variegation, but it is brighter and more saturated in color and tends to present as solid patches or blotches. Generally, the NJoy’s variegation starts on the outer edges of the leaf and moves inward.
One of the reasons the Glacier Pothos is often described as delicate is because of the soft, silky texture of its leaves. The NJoy Pothos has a waxier leaf texture with a leathery bottom.
4. Overall size
As mentioned, the Glacier Pothos and the NJoy become far easier to tell apart as they mature. This is especially true when it comes to their overall size, as they grow very differently.
While both are bushy and clustered, the NJoy grows upward in a more elongated pattern and can reach heights of up to 10 feet (3 meters) indoors. Even so, it will usually remain at a width of about 1 foot (30 centimeters).
The Glacier Pothos stays shorter (8 feet / 2.5 meters) but grows much wider (3 feet / 1 meter), as it tends to send out more side shoots rather than trying to climb upwards. This can, of course, be manipulated by pruning and training.
5. Growth rate
Of these two plants, the Glacier is surprisingly the faster grower. Both expand quickly with proper care, but the NJoy is more moderate in speed due to its intense variegation, which means it absorbs less energy from the sun for photosynthesis.
That being said, growth speed always depends on a plant’s living environment. In ideal conditions, both the Glacier and the NJoy will thrive.
The Glacier and the NJoy both love heat and humidity as they are tropical plants. However, the Glacier Pothos does better with a slightly warmer room, preferring a consistent temperature of at least 60ºF (15ºC). The NJoy can tolerate lower temperatures and will continue to thrive in environments as cool as 50ºF (10ºC).
Humidity ranges for both should be between 55% and 70%.
7. Soil requirements
Once you’ve established if you’re dealing with a Glacier Pothos or an NJoy Pothos, you can determine the best soil for your pothos’ optimum growth performance. Where the Glacier prefers light, free-draining soil, the NJoy does better with a denser, more moisture-retentive foundation.
The Glacier Pothos is also more tolerant of a comprehensive pH range and will grow without complaint in slightly acidic to neutral soil with a reading of 5.5 to 7.0.
The NJoy Pothos leans to a slightly more consistent pH range of 6.1 to 6.5.
The NJoy Pothos, which is a cultivated plant, hardly, if ever, flowers – especially indoors. On the other hand, the Glacier Pothos can flower at full maturity, whether kept inside or outside.
Find out more: Can Pothos Live Outside? (Check For Your Area!)
Similarities between NJoy Pothos vs Glacier Pothos
While they are dissimilar in many ways, there are some clear parallels between the Glacier Pothos and the NJoy Pothos too. Both require regular watering, plenty of bright, indirect light, and occasional pruning. They both propagate well from stem cuttings. And they are also both toxic to humans and animals.
If you’re in the market for either of these plants, you won’t be disappointed by how easy they are to look after. And if you get these fundamentals right, you’ll have your Pothos thriving in no time.
1. Water requirements
All tropical plants like quite a lot of water, and these Pothos are no different. They should both be drenched once the top inch of their soil is dry, which equates to roughly every 7 to 10 days.
Be mindful of overwatering your pothos, as both cultivars are prone to root rot if left in pooled water for lengthy periods of time.
Given their signature variegation, both the Glacier and the NJoy need at least 6 or 7 hours of bright, indirect light daily to produce energy to grow. In terms of placement, they do best close to windows that attract morning or midday sun.
In direct light, they both risk wilting and scorching, which can be detrimental to their health over time.
3. Pruning and repotting
As they’re avid growers, the Glacier and the NJoy require occasional seasonal pruning to keep them shapely and healthy. Pruning your pothos to remove dead or dying leaves makes room for new growth and helps them to keep growing in a pleasing and aesthetic manner.
They also need repotting every 1.5 to 2 years to stop them from becoming rootbound.
You’re in luck if you’re looking to multiply your Pothos collection. The Glacier and the NJoy are excellent propagators and can be rooted from healthy pothos cuttings in water or soil.
Use a little bit of growth hormone to set them on their way, and make sure they have access to plenty of moisture and humidity.
Like all Pothos species (and Monstera, for that matter), the sap of the Glacier and NJoy’s leaves and stems is toxic to humans and animals. Contact with the skin can result in a rash, itchiness, or discomfort. Ingestion can cause nausea and gastrointestinal distress.
For this reason, it’s best to keep your Pothos out of reach of curious kids and critters.
While many varieties of variegated Pothos are available on the market (like the NJoy and Marble Queen), the Glacier cultivar stands apart because of its striking silver coloring and unique leaf shape. Of course, these traits only serve to make it more sought-after worldwide.
That said, if you do manage to get your hands on one, you won’t be disappointed. The Glacier Pothos looks soft and delicate but has a reputation for being one of the hardiest Pothos species out there. This makes them perfect for growing indoors, where they won’t be too fussy about their environment, provided their basic needs are met in terms of care.