Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail Plant: Caring for the Highly Underrated Houseplant

Hands down! The Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegated Dragons Tail has to be among the most underrated houseplants in the indoor plant space.

The Variegated Dragons Tail has a lot going for it over the more popular (and generally more expensive) variegated houseplants, such as the Monstera Albo.

Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail Plant

We love the benefits of the Variegated Dragons Tail, like:

  • Its rate of growth is impressively fast,
  • It is an easy-to-care-for tropical plant that is less sensitive to changes in its environment (perfect for novice plant parents) and
  • It can develop large fenestrated leaves that sport beautiful variegated patterns on its foliage.

Honestly, it baffles us why we don’t see more of this beautiful pothos (yep – you read correctly, it is a pothos!).

But we’re here to change this!

Plant Parenting Law #2 – Get to Know Your Plant

However, before you jump the gun and spend your hard-earned money on one of these underappreciated plants, remember the second fundamental plant parent LAW of success – AWARENESS.

We always encourage our plant parents to find out the likes and dislikes of their new (or soon-to-be) plant baby, which we will be helping you accomplish in the first section of this care guide.

WateringWater when the top inch of soil is dry.
LightingBright Indirect Sunlight (No Direct Sunlight)
Temperature65-80º Fahrenheit (18-27º Celsius)
HumidityMedium to High Humidity
FeedingLiquid fertilizer that focuses on foliage health
SoilChunky mix with plenty of aeration and drainage

Getting to Know Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail

Okay, it’s time to get intimate with the Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail plant.

Name / Scientific Name

The common name for this plant is the Dragon Tail Variegata Plant.

Note: There is a variety known as the Dragon Tail Plant; however, as you may be able to guess from the name, it doesn’t have variegations on its emerald green leaves.

Its scientific name is Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata.

The unusual name is derived from the plant’s unique leaf shape, which resembles a dragon’s tail.

While it may look intimidating, the scientific name helps us understand the plant’s classification and characteristics.

  • Epipremnum” is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae.
  • Pinnatum” is a species within this genus known for its vining growth and heart-shaped leaves.
  • Variegata” refers to a variegated form of this species. Variegated plants have beautiful leaves that are edged or patterned in a different color, usually white, cream, or yellow.


credit: geology.com

The Dragon Tail Variegata plant originates from the tropical regions of Southeast Asia (southern parts of the map of Asia above).

It is particularly prevalent in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

This plant species loves humid environments and thrives in indirect sunlight along the tropical forest floor.

They often follow their natural instincts to climb as an epiphyte plant that vines and grows up the trunks of trees.


If you have a penchant for variegated indoor plants, you will be enamored by the Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegated Dragons Tail.

Unlike a Monstera, the shape of the leaves is elongated, much like a stretched-out heart shape or the arrowhead tip of a dragon’s tail – hence the name!

While the plant is in its juvenile form, the leaves are whole and look like other typical pothos plants.

However, when developed to its mature form and climb up structures like moss poles, the leaves become more prominent and develop deep fenestrations.

If not for the differently shaped leaves, it would be easy to mistake a matured Variegated Dragon Tail plant for a Variegated Monstera.

As for the variegated leaves, they have a gorgeous mix of green and white or pale-yellow patterns, quickly developing into one of the feature plants within your collection.

Even though the appearance of this spectacular plant may look daunting, it still belongs to the Pothos family, who are renowned for their easy-to-care-for personas.

So, let’s learn how to care for your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegated Dragons Tail.

Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail Plant Detailed Care Instructions

Caring for an Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail Plant can be an enriching experience, and as indoor plant enthusiasts, we are excited to share our knowledge with you.

Dragon Tail Variegata Quick Care Guide

Water Requirements

The key to a healthy Dragon Tail Vareigata Plant is to find the right balance between keeping the soil moist but not soggy.

We recommend checking the plant’s soil once a week.

To do this, we utilize the soil moisture finger test. Insert your index finger about an inch into the soil to feel if the top half is dry. If it is, that’s the time to water your plant. If the soil feels wet or moist, wait a few more days before checking again.

Although this sounds like a delicate balancing act, we’re confident with time, you will master this skill. If you want to level up your plant parenting watering soft skills, we recommend checking out one of our other plant parent LAW guides, WATERING INDOOR PLANTS.

Alternatively, use a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online at Amazon to avoid getting your hands dirty.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, harming your plant’s health.

Lighting Requirements

When it comes to the proper light requirements for an Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail Plant, it’s essential to provide the right balance of brightness for optimal growth and to maintain those stunning variegated patterns.

As indoor plant enthusiasts, getting the perfect amount of light can sometimes be a challenge, especially for those new to indoor plants.

For the Dragon Tail Variegata, providing bright indirect light is crucial.

Direct sunlight can lead to Pothos Sunburn, which we don’t want.

On the other hand, insufficient light may cause the plant to lose its beautiful variegation and slow growth. So, it’s essential to find a sweet spot.

A great way to achieve the ideal indoor light conditions for an Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata is by placing it near an east-facing window.

We prefer this window orientation since the morning sunlight isn’t as harsh as the afternoon rays and can add much-needed energy to your plant without the risk of sunburn.

Temperature Requirements

The optimal temperature range for the Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata is between 65-80º Fahrenheit (18-27º Celsius).

As we discovered in the Getting to Know Your Plant section above, this plant originates from tropical climates and naturally loves warm temperatures.

In our experience, setting the thermostat to maintain a consistent temperature within this range can ensure a happy and healthy plant.

If you live in a region where the temperature drops below 50º Fahrenheit (10º Celsius), we recommend moving your Dragon Tail Variegata plant to a warmer spot in your home. Your plant will thank you for providing it with the warmth it needs.

Of course, the temperature is not the only aspect contributing to your Dragon Tail plant’s well-being. It’s important to consider factors such as humidity, which we will discuss in the next section.

Humidity Requirements

Dragon Tail Plants thrive in humid environments.

Monitor the humidity levels and aim for around 40% – 60% for optimal growth.

Since this plant originates from tropical climates, it’s essential to recreate similar conditions in our indoor spaces. We can provide adequate humidity levels by following some simple but effective steps.

  • Placing your plant near other plants can help increase humidity levels. When several plants are grouped, they create a microclimate that releases moisture into the air, making the environment more comfortable for your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata.
  • Place your plant on a pebble tray/humidity tray. As the water evaporates, the humidity levels around the plant increase.
  • Misting is a popular and easy way to boost humidity levels for your Dragon Tail Variegata plant. But be cautious not to overdo it. Excess water on the leaves may promote fungal infections.
  • Lastly, if you happen to live in an area with very low humidity, investing in a small humidifier might be beneficial not just for your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata but for all of your indoor plants.

Providing proper humidity for your Dragon Tail plant will encourage healthier foliage and contribute to a happy and thriving indoor plant.

Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Cutting

Soil & Fertilizer Requirements

One of the most crucial aspects to consider is proper drainage and soil composition.

A well-draining soil helps prevent root rot and maintains a healthy environment for your plant.

We recommend using a light and airy mix, allowing water to drain quickly while retaining some moisture and nutrients.

A good potting mix for your Dragon Tail Vareigata Plant could include a blend of potting soil, perlite, and sphagnum moss or coconut coir. We have a guide with the exact soil recipe mix we use for all our aroids HERE.

This mix will help promote good drainage while maintaining an appropriate moisture level for your plant’s needs.

Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH, so selecting potting soil within the range of 6.0 to 7.0 is essential.

Fertilizer Types and Frequency

Choosing the correct type of fertilizer is crucial for the continued health and growth of your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata.

We recommend using a liquid fertilizer that the plant can easily absorb.

Some popular choices for indoor plants include fish emulsion and worm castings. Alternatively, you can use a well-balanced, general-purpose houseplant fertilizer like the GT Foliage Focus we use for our tropical indoor plants.

To give your plant a steady supply of nutrients, we suggest feeding it every two weeks during the warm growing season.

However, remember to pause fertilizing during the cooler winter months when the plant’s growth slows.

Pests and Diseases

This section will discuss common pests and diseases that may affect your Dragon Tail Variegata plant so you can take steps to prevent and treat these issues.

Common Pests

Mealybugs: These tiny, white, cotton-like pests can infest your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata, causing a decline in health. To manage mealybugs, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove them. Regularly inspect your plant and maintain good hygiene to prevent their return.

Spider mites: are small insects that can be difficult to see with the naked eye. They cause fine webbing on the Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata stems and can damage the leaves. To manage spider mites, increase humidity around your plant and wash the leaves with soapy water. You can also use an insecticide to control the infestation.


Root rot: This is a common problem caused by overwatering, which results in the roots of your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata rotting. To prevent root rot, ensure your plant has proper drainage and avoid overwatering by following our recommendations above. If you notice symptoms like wilting or yellowing leaves, check the roots and, if necessary, repot the plant using fresh soil.

Leaf spot: Leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes brown or yellow spots on your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata’s leaves. To prevent leaf spots, maintain good air circulation around your plant and avoid splashing water on the leaves. If you notice leaf spot, remove the affected leaves and apply a fungicide to prevent the disease from spreading.

Propagating Your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata Dragon Tail

Propagating Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata

A budget-friendly way of growing your indoor plant collection is to propagate your established mother plants.

You can create numerous healthy plant babies to add to your collection. You can also begin to trade your new plants with other indoor plant enthusiasts within the community.

We like to propagate Dragon Tail Variegata plants via cuttings because we have found it to be the easiest and most successful method.

Propagate by Cutting

Let’s break it down into simple steps:

  • Step 1: Find a strong, green, white variegated stem on your Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata plant. Look for a few bumps and little roots sticking out – these are the nodes and aerial roots.
  • Step 2: Carefully make a cut below one of these nodes. Remove any leaves that are too close to the node.
  • Step 3: Put this cut stem in distilled water or directly into damp soil. If using the water method, ensure you can see the node under the water level.
  • Step 4: If you choose the water method, change it every few days to keep it fresh and clean.
  • Step 5: Watch for the roots to grow. Once they’re about the length of a small paperclip (2-3 inches), it’s time to move on to the next step.
  • Step 6: Carefully transplant the cutting into a pot with good draining soil. Make sure not to damage the new roots while doing this.

Plant Toxicity

Let’s focus on the potential toxicity concerns with this lovely houseplant.

Just like other members of the Pothos family, the Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can be toxic to humans and pets if consumed. While the level of toxicity is generally low, we want you and your furry friends to stay safe.

If you or any of your pets happen to nibble on a Dragon Tail Pothos leaf, there might be some unpleasant side effects. For example, people might experience symptoms like oral irritation, swelling, and even difficulty swallowing.

In our experience, we’ve managed to keep our plants and pets safe by placing them in areas where pets can’t reach them.

Now, don’t let this information discourage you. It’s very manageable to display the Epipremnum Pinnatum Variegata in your home safely!

By understanding potential risks, we can take proper precautions to protect our plants and loved ones.

Ultimately, this fascinating Dragon Tail Pothos is well worth the extra effort in ensuring safety within your home.


References Used

  • Epiphyte. (2023, June 27). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyte
  • Epipremnum – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epipremnum