The Cebu Blue Pothos (botanical name: Epipremnum Pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’) is a beautiful climbing vine from the Araceae family. This tropical houseplant is easily identified by its uniquely iridescent, silvery green-blue leaves. It’s hard to capture the blue-sheen of this plant in photos, but believe us, it’s there!
In terms of care, the Cebu Blue, like many Pothos, is really easy-going. They enjoy much of the same care conditions as most pothos: high humidity (>70% is ideal for rapid growth, though average room humidity is fine!), deep watering when the topsoil is dry, and year-round temperatures between 65 – 80 degrees F (18 – 27 degrees C). They are adaptable to most light conditions too.
Let’s dive into the details.
What is the Cebu Blue Pothos?
The Cebu Blue Pothos is an Aroid from the Philippine island of Cebu that transforms as it grows.
As it grows, this stunning Aroid starts to develop fenestrations (holes in its leaves), similar to that of a Monstera. Over time, deep lobes form, and ultimately it resembles a Rhaphidophora Decursiva, with its palm-like fronds! (Scroll down for more photos.)
At this time, its leaves lose some of its blue tone. It can take around 20 years for a Cebu Blue to mature though – plenty of time for you to enjoy its iridescent young foliage.
How to care for your Cebu Blue Pothos
Ever the easy-going plant, the Cebu Blue grows well in medium to bright indirect light. Around 6-8 hours of indirect light is ideal. On top of that, a few hours of direct morning or evening sunlight can give your plant an added boost.
For these reasons, placing it on North or East-facing windowsills is ideal.
Avoid placing your plant in the direct afternoon sun, when the sun is at its hottest. Doing so will scorch its leaves.
Watering is an important part of care for your Cebu Blue Pothos. Here are our watering tips:
- Like many tropical climbing plants, your Cebu Blue Pothos doesn’t take well to being overwatered. So if in doubt, err on the side of underwatering.
- ALWAYS check the soil’s moisture with your finger before watering. If the soil feels moist, wait and check back again in a day or two. Only when the soil is dry should you water your plant.
- Water near the soil level, being careful not to wet its leaves.
- Use the soak and dry method: water deeply, until excess water runs out of the drainage hole. Then, allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry before watering again. It’s as simple as that!
- You’ll notice that the Cebu Blue Pothos doesn’t need as frequent watering as many other houseplants.
It’s also important to observe your plant so that it can give you “feedback” on your watering practices. An overwatered Cebu Blue Pothos will have soft and droopy leaves and stems.
On the other hand, crispy leaves with soil that’s starting to compact indicate an underwatered plant.
Your Cebu Blue can grow in average room humidity without complaints. However, to encourage more rapid growth, humidity levels of 70% or more are ideal.
You can achieve this by investing in a humidifier or using a pebble tray. Here are some other humidity tips.
Your plant is perfectly happy when kept in average room temperatures. Stable temperatures of 65 – 80 degrees F (18 – 27 degrees C) is ideal. Just make sure your place your Cebu Blue Pothos in a spot that is well away from air vents or drafts, that may create unwelcome fluctuations in temperatures.
Being a tropical plant from the Philippines, it’s no surprise that your Cebu Blue Pothos is not cold-hardy. So do keep this plant indoors if winter temperatures drop below the stated range.
Growth and Dormancy
As we mentioned, your plant has two distinct growth phases.
When it is juvenile,
- Its green leaves have that unique, silvery-blue tone that shimmers in the sunlight. Depending on the angle the light hits, its foliage may appear in different shades of silver, blue, and purply-blue.
- Leaves are oval, and usually around 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) long.
- Leaves lose some of their iridescent blue tones. They are more plainly green but develop long slits on either side of their midrib. They resemble a palm frond and look similar to the Rhaphidophora Decusiva.
- Leaves are around 4 inches long (10 cm). The plant itself grows up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall when mature!
Another thing to note is that your plant may go into dormancy during winter. All this means is that its growth dramatically slows, as it senses a drop in temperature and sunlight. These are poorer growing conditions, so your sensible plant makes the decision to conserve its energy.
During dormancy, you’ll need to water your plant much less, as the soil takes longer to dry, and your plant’s water requirements drop. For this reason, it’s especially important to check your soil’s moisture before watering, rather than blindly following a watering schedule. You shouldn’t be fertilizing your plant during this time either.
Soil or Growing Medium
According to fellow plant enthusiast, Jen from Paisley Plants, the ideal soil mix for Cebu Blues is well-draining, and with a pH of around 6.1 to 7.8.
To accomplish this, we use a peat-based indoor potting soil, then add amendments like perlite and bark to improve drainage qualities.
- 3 parts peat-based indoor potting mix
- 1 part perlite or vermiculite
- 1 part orchid bark
Peat makes the pH slightly acidic, making nutrients in the soil readily available for absorption.
At the same time, bark and perlite help drain away excess water, reducing the risk of overwatering.
What kind of Pot to Use
Beyond the potting mix, another consideration is what kind of pot you want to use.
- If you use a hanging pot, your Cebu Blue will likely stay in its juvenile form indefinitely. If you prefer having blue-toned leaves, this is an option! Just make sure that the entire length of the vines gets sufficient sunlight.
- If you use a pot with a moss pole or trellis support, your plant tends to grow faster and with lusher leaves. In nature, your plant is an epiphyte, growing on top of host trees. A climbing support mimics its natural growth habit, which encourages your plant to grow vigorously in its element.
We’ve found that fertilizing your Cebu Blue Pothos makes a HUGE difference. They enjoy that added nutritional boost and reward you with more vigorous growth.
We like using the Dyna-Grow liquid houseplant fertilizer, as it’s nutritionally complete, and we’ve seen the impressive results first-hand. Apply once a month during the spring and summer months, at half strength. Hold off fertilizing in the autumn and winter months, when growth naturally slows.
Alternatively, we’ve also had good results using a slow-release Osmocote fertilizer.
Spring or summer is the best time to repot your Cebu Blue Pothos. Generally, we repot once every year or two, depending on whether our plant shows any signs of being root-bound.
If we see roots peeking out of the drainage hole, then we’ll repot. Upsizing the new pot by 2 inches is sufficient: enough to give your plant some space to grow, but not so much that unused soil holds on to too much moisture. Whatever you do – always choose a pot that has drainage holes!
Unfortunately, like many Aroids, your plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals in its stems and leaves. This makes it toxic when ingested by both animals and humans.
If you do have pets or children at home, make sure you keep this plant out of reach, perhaps perched on a tall bookshelf or high windowsill.
The Cebu Blue is an easy plant to propagate through stem cuttings. You may choose to propagate your plant when you are pruning off long vines! Spring or summer is the best time for propagation, as your plant is actively growing at this time, so propagation has the highest chance of success.
- Identify a few healthy stems. Each should be around 5 inches long, have at least one leaf and a few nodes.
- Using clean garden shears, cut these identified stems just below the node (this is where new growth will emerge).
- Examine your stem cutting, removing any leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.
- Optional step: apply a rooting hormone to encourage healthy and rapid root growth.
- Prepare a small pot of fresh soil. Ideally, use an indoor soil mix that has added perlite and orchid bark (same as the parent plant). Moisten the soil lightly.
- Make a hole in the soil with your finger, and place the a stem cutting into the soil. Ensure that no leaves are buried and that at least one node is under the soil’s surface. Repeat for each stem cutting.
- Pat down the soil gently so that the stems are held in place.
- Place your plant in a warm spot with plenty of indirect light. Ideally, place a humidifier next to the cuttings, set at 70% humidity.
- Keep the soil lightly moist, but never waterlogged.
- In about 3-4 weeks, roots should establish from your plant. You can confirm this by giving the stem a VERY GENTLE tug.
- Treat as you would any other Cebu Blue Pothos.
Pruning isn’t a huge care element for your Cebu Blue Pothos. However, trimming off leggy vines and damaged leaves is a good idea as this encouarges new growth.
When trimming, use clean garden shears that are sharp so you don’t bruise the stems. Cut just above the node.
Also, be careful not to trim off more than one-third of the length of the vine at one time – this just causes too much stress to your plant! So prune a little at a time.
Our climbing support of choice is a stackable moss pole – it’s fun as we add on length as our plant grows. You can loosely drape the vines around the pole, or use gardening ties to loosely secure the vines in place. Soon you’ll start to see its aerial roots grab onto the moss pole as it propels itself higher, towards the sun.
You can find out more about how to use a moss pole here.
Common Pests and Problems
There are a few common pests and problems that may arise:
- Overwatering. This results in yellow, soft, and droopy leaves. The soil’s moisture remains moist even for a week after watering. In this case, follow our guide on saving your overwatered plant. The best way to prevent this is to water only when the soil is topsoil is dry, and to use a well-draining potting mix.
- Mealybugs and Spider Mites. These sucking pests can be a pain. They pierce your plant’s tissues and feed on plant sap, depriving your plant of nutrients. Mealybugs are also especially attracted to overfertilized and overwatered plants, adding insult to injury! To combat mealybugs and spider mites, use an Insectidicial Soap Spray, or a neem oil solution.
- You can also apply neem oil as a preventative measure. It’s also a good idea to regularly inspect your plants to catch these bugs early – as they multiply quickly, early detection is critical!
Varieties and Similar Plants
- Pothos N’Joy
- Manjula Pothos
- Marble Queen Pothos
- Neon Pothos
- 11 unique types of Pothos to add to your Collection (with photos!)
- Hawaiian Pothos
- Manjula Pothos
Why are my Cebu Blue Pothos leaves yellowing?
Yellowing leaves in a Cebu Blue Pothos commonly indicate improper watering:
- Yellowed, droopy, and soft leaves and stems mean you’ve overwatered your plant. Overwatered Cebu Blue Pothos leaves turn yellow, lose color and die off. Another way to confirm that overwatering is your problem is to check the soil moisture over a week. If the water feels consistently moist, then the problem is most likely overwatering.
- On the other hand, underwatered leaves turn flatter and yellowish, with dry and crispy spots. Dry, compacted soil is also indicates your plant needs more water!
Also, note that new leaves tend to be greenish-yellow before they turn a deeper green and get that distinctive blue tinge (usually a few weeks later). So if you see a yellowish new leaf, it’s nothing to worry about!
Why are the leaves brown?
Brown leaves may indicate a few things:
- Too much or too direct sun. Place your plant a few feet away from the windowpane and reassess.
- Overfertilization can be an issue too. It’s important to use high-quality fertilizer, and apply this only monthly, at half strength during the spring and summer months. Too much fertilizer is a bad thing and can cause root burn. Less is more!
- Overwatering could also result in brown leaves. Check the soil moisture to confirm.
Why are my Cebu Blue Pothos leaves curling?
Cripsy, curling leaves usually point to an underwatered Cebu Blue Pothos. Luckily, your plant does respond quickly after watering, it should perk back up in a matter of hours.
Why are my Cebu Blue Pothos vines growing leggy?
Long vines with small leaves and large gaps between leaves usually indicate that your plant is not getting sufficient light. Relocate it to a brighter spot that has plenty (6-8 hours) of indirect light.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Cebu Blue a Pothos or Philodendron?
The Cebu Blue Pothos is from the Epipremnum genus. It is definitely not a Philodendron! You can check out the main differences between Pothos and Philodendron here.
Is the Cebu Blue Pothos rare and where can I buy it?
Well, the Cebu Blue Pothos sure is trendy! They are high in demand, which makes them quite hard to get your hands on. They tend to sell out very quickly, so you may have to check online if your heart is set on getting one.
Expect to pay about US$15-40 for a potted Cebu Blue Pothos, depending on its size. If you’re on a budget, you may consider buying stem cuttings; given that they root quite easily, propagation success rates are high.
We like to check out Etsy, where you can find reputable sellers specializing in sought-after Aroids.
How quickly does a Cebu Blue grow?
This guy can be a vigorous grower, especially when you get its light and watering conditions right. Adding fertilizer (SPARINGLY though) gives it that boost too.
When grown indoors, you can expect your Cebu Blue Pothos to grow a couple of feet over the spring and summer months!
The Cebu Blue Pothos is a uniquely vining, tropical houseplant with a distinctive, silvery-blue hue on its green leaves. It develops fernestrations as it grows, loses some of the blue tinge on its leaves and when mature resembes a lovely palm frond.
- Medium to bright indirect light supports healthy growth; North or East-facing windowsills are ideal!
- Use the soak and dry method of watering, as well as a chunky, well-draining potting mix. We like mixing 3 parts of indoor potting soil with 1 part perlite and 1 part orchid bark.
- Fertilize sparingly. A liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer months is sufficient. Alternatively, you can use slow-release Osmocote fertilize pallets.
- Use a moss pole to encourage vigorous growth and healthy leaves.
- Your plant may become dormant during winter. During this time, take special care to only water it when its soil is dry, and hold off on fertilizer.
- Your Cebu Blue Pothos is toxic when ingested, so place it away from pets and small children.
If you love the Cebu Blue Pothos, check out the Neon Pothos next!
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.