The Cebu Blue Pothos Plant is native to the Cebu island in the Philippines, for which it is named. This pothos variety has beautiful thin silvery green-blue foliage that is sure to brighten up any garden or home in which it grows. Although it grows outdoors naturally in its native land, the Cebu Blue is a common indoor houseplant in the US. It is not very fussy, but it does have growth requirements that you must meet to produce stunning foliage and a healthy plant. Here is how to care for a Cebu Blue pothos.
Cebu Blue is a member of the Epipremnum genus and Araceae family. This evergreen tropical vine grows well both outdoors and indoors, often spanning 40 and 8 feet, respectively. Sadly, it is toxic to cats and dogs, so you should make safety considerations before adding it to your home if you own pets. Some quick facts about the Cebu Blue that you should know include:
- Plant Type: Evergreen, vine
- Native Area: Cebu Island, Philippines
- Family: Araceae
- Botanical Name: Epipremnum pinnatum
- Common Names: Blue pothos, Cebu blue, Cebu blue pothos
- Mature Length: 8 feet indoors and 40 feet outdoors
- Hardiness: 9-11, US Zones
Cebu Blue Has Two Growth Phases
The Cebu Blue has two unique growth phases: juvenile and mature. The juvenile phase refers to when the plant is still young and actively growing. Usually, you can recognize a Cebu Blue in this phase because it has tiny, elongated oval silvery blue-green leaves. Cebu Blues only reach the mature stage when grown outdoors and will have larger green foliage with fenestrations. The growth phase of a Cebu Blue will determine the type of care it needs. The main distinction is the growth habit. Although you can train all Cebu Blue pothos to grow up a trellis or moss pole, plants in the mature phase are vigorous climbers and will not thrive without support. That said, the following care requirements should apply to all Cebu Blue plants.
It Thrives in Moist, Well-Drained Soil
Like most pothos plants, the Cebu Blue grows well in moist, well-drained soil. You can purchase a soil mix or create your own at home as long as it contains one-part perlite, one-part orchid bark, and one-part potting soil. You should then choose the ideal pot for the soil. Your options include:
- Hanging Pot – This configuration is great for indoor plants and will make a stunning display. However, a pothos plant in a hanging pot will not mature very fast or at all because of the lack of support caused by the dangling. The leaves could even shrink after a while.
- Pot with Moss Support – A pot with trellis or moss support offers sufficient support for your Cebu Blue to climb and mature into a beautiful plant. The display is also beautiful because the leaves are healthy, full-color, and large.
It Needs Bright Indirect Light
The Cebu Blue will thrive in a location that receives medium to bright indirect light. Unlike its cousins, this variety does not do well in low-light environments, and direct sunlight can scorch its leaves. Consequently, if you grow it indoors, you should place it next to a window that receives sufficient indirect sunlight during the day. Outdoors, you should filter the light by placing your Cebu Blue pothos under a large plant or tree. Remember to monitor and limit the plant’s contact with direct sunlight.
You Should Water It Regularly
The goal when watering your Cebu Blue is to keep the soil mix moist at all times. Regularly dip your finger into the soil and water thoroughly when the top 1 to 2 inches are dry. When picking a pot, choose one with a drainage hole to allow excess runoff to leave the plant. This plant can grow fairly well with extended periods between watering, but a regular watering schedule is more ideal for proper growth. During winter, reduce your watering frequency slightly to avoid overwatering. This is your plant’s dormant season, and it is not using as much water. The soil should also always be moist but not drenched or dry and flaky. You know you need to adjust your frequency when the soil is soaking wet, or the leaves are wilting and turning yellow because of underwatering.
You Should Feed It Monthly in the Summer
Cebu Blue is a moderate feeder during its growing phase, and fertilizing is crucial at this time. Although the plant can grow well by itself, you still need to supply a balanced liquid fertilizer once every month during spring and summer – the active growth periods. Otherwise, you can leave your Cebu Blue to its own devices the rest of the time, especially if the soil mix contains organic matter. You should stop feeding your Cebu Blue in the early months of fall and avoid feeding throughout the dormant period. If you are mixing the fertilizer yourself, make sure to dilute it to prevent using a too-strong solution and burning your Cebu Blue. It is also important to purchase a ready-to-use fertilizer because a prepackaged mixture is more likely to contain all the nutrients your pothos needs.
Maintain Tropical Temperature and Humidity
According to Terrarium Tribe, the Cebu Blue is native to the Philippine Islands, which enjoy a tropical climate. Nonetheless, this very sturdy plant can adapt to indoor conditions pretty well. Try to grow your plant in high humidity to boost growth and foliage production. You can do this by placing it in a naturally humid area of your house like the kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom; growing it next to a group of houseplants; or placing the pothos next to a humidifier or inside a pebble tray. When it comes to temperature, avoid cold conditions as much as possible. Your pothos will love a warm environment away from drafty windows.
Propagating Cebu Blue Pothos in Water
The Cebu Blue is easy to propagate, which is an excellent way to promote a fuller growth habit or use the stems you cut out during pruning. Propagation is also a viable way of saving your plant if it is pest infested or sharing your Cebu Blue with friends and family who would like to grow it, as explained by Ugaoo. Generally, there are two ways to propagate this plant. The first is in water, and the steps are as follows:
- Use a sterilized pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears to take cuttings from your Cebu Blue. Make sure they have 5 to 6 leaves on each branch.
- Expose the nodes on the stems by removing the lower 2 to 3 leaves from the cuttings.
- Dip the cuttings in fresh water and submerge the nodes, leaving the rest of the leaves outside the water.
- Change the water weekly to keep it fresh. You should notice new root growth within 2 to 3 weeks.
- Transfer the cuttings to the soil once the roots grow 1 to 2 inches long.
- Fill a small pot with potting mix and water it slightly.
- Transfer the cuttings and place the pot in a suitable location – high humidity, bright indirect light. Keep the soil moist for the first few weeks to promote root acclimation.
- Adopt a more regular watering schedule after two to three weeks.
Propagating Cebu Blue Pothos in Sphagnum Moss
Alternatively, you can propagate your Cebu Blue in sphagnum moss rather than in water. The steps you need to follow are as indicated below:
- Get sphagnum moss and soak it in water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- As it soaks, prepare cuttings from your Cebu Blue as described in the previous instructions.
- Expose the nodes on the cuttings.
- Remove the moss from the water and squeeze out all the water from it.
- Place it in a small clear container or pot.
- Place your cuttings in the sphagnum moss, covering the exposed nodes completely and leaving the upper leaves exposed.
- Cover the container or pot with a plastic resealable bag to increase humidity around the sphagnum moss. Make sure the upper leaves remain outside the bag.
- Mist the sphagnum moss every week to keep it moist. You should begin to notice root growth within 2 to 3 weeks but avoid checking on them as they are too weak at this stage, and you could break or damage them.
- When the roots reach 1 to 2 inches long, transfer your Cebu Blue cuttings to the soil.
- Gently remove them from the moss. Don’t try to pull or brush off any moss that remains stuck to the roots because you might damage them. Additionally, the moss should mix in perfectly with the new potting mix.
- Prepare a small pot with potting mixture and water it, then transfer your cuttings and provide the rooted cuttings with enough indirect light, humidity, and moisture to promote growth.
Troubleshooting Common Cebu Blue Pothos Problems
In most cases, the problems faced by Cebu Blue pothos are related to lighting and watering conditions. Overall, however, this is a very non-fussy plant that will quickly adapt to its conditions and grow well. Here are some signs of issues you should look out for:
Wilting or Curled Leaves
Curled or wilting leaves are a sign of underwatering. Immediately you notice these signs, you should water your plant, and the leaves should return to their normal color and vigor after a few hours. If they don’t, the problem might be in the root system. Check to see if the roots are healthy and receiving enough water. If they are shriveled and dry, you may need to propagate your plant.
Leaves Turning Yellow
Yellowing leaves are fairly common in Cebu Blue pothos and can be caused by a wide range of problems. They can be caused by low humidity, underwatering, and too much direct light. To diagnose and treat your plant, you will need to check the humidity levels in your home, test the soil for moisture content by dipping your finger in the pot, and move your plant to a slightly shaded area.
Low light or lack of support can cause slow or delayed growth in your Cebu Blue. Use a pot with moss support or trellis and grow your Cebu Blue in an area that receives medium to bright indirect light.
Common Pests That Affect Cebu Blue Pothos
The Cebu Blue pothos is vulnerable to several common houseplant pests like scale and mealybugs, which tend to attack and damage the leaves. These sap-sucking pests will leave a sticky residue on the stem and leaves, which should immediately alert you to an infestation. Once you notice these signs, spray or wash your Cebu Blue leaves with a mixture of warm water, insecticide, and neem oil. Keeping the soil mix around your Cebu Blue moist can also attract fungus gnats, which lay eggs on the soil and attack the root system. This could ultimately lead to root rot, which is difficult to treat. If you notice a rotten smell emanating from the roots of your Cebu Blue, repot the plant after drying and disinfecting the roots with fungicide.
Natural Air Purification
Like many pothos plants, the Cebu Blue pothos is a natural air purifier. NASA used pothos in its indoor air pollution studies and concluded that the plants were very effective in filtering toxic substances like benzene and formaldehyde from the air. According to EPA reports, indoor air can be 5 to 100 times more polluted than the air outside, which is why purification is important. Subsequently, you should consider placing your Cebu Blue in an area of your home where you spend the most time.
The Cebu Blue Pothos Plant is an evergreen tropical vine that will add pomp and color to your home. In addition to its stunning growth habit and foliage, this plant is very versatile and easy to care for, both indoors and outdoors. It adapts well to most conditions, but you need to provide it with sufficient indirect light and tropical-like humidity. Remember to keep the soil moist and only fertilize during active growth periods. If you want your Cebu Blue to grow to maximum size, grow it outdoors.