Thursday, August 8, 2013


As gardeners, we all have goals.
Some have the goal of best garden in the neighborhood.
Others win prizes for their daylilies, orchids, roses, and at garden clubs.
Still others have the goal of growing their own food or providing natural habitats for wildlife.
For some odd reason, I have the goal of introducing a new cultivar to the garden world.
In the past,
I've hybridized flowers and foliage plants, but none are really what you'd call 'famous'.
It's tough work emotionally because so many times your efforts lead to a dead end.
Still, it's the process of making a new cultivar that's endlessly fascinating.
It's like an addiction and for some reason, I thought I was done.
But lately I've discovered a plant worth working with. 
Here's what I mean:
Of course I didn't 'invent' this one, but here's the standard variegated ivy (or Pothos or Scindapsus or Epipremnum or Enough All  Ready!) Whatever you want to call it, this nice variegated plant is fun to grow and a joy for any beginning gardener. This is the species I'm working with, but not this particular plant.

If you've been around gardening awhile, you will notice that there are other types. This cultivar is called 'Marble Queen' and it is my absolute favorite. It's the same species, but as you can see, very different.
I'm not working with this one either.

When you work with a species you want to collect everything that's out there. Here's the solid green version called 'Jade'. It's not seen very often and usually only traded around by veteran gardeners.

About a year ago I was stunned to find that there was yet another version of this plant. This unusually variegated cultivar is called 'N'Joy' or some just call it 'Joy'. It's always crinkled so I'm not sure I like it or not. I'm not working on improving this one either.

About 4 years ago, I got a cutting of this one called 'Neon.'
At first I thought it was the same species. But now I'm not so sure.

Whereas the first group are from the Solomon Islands, 'Neon' is billed as originating from Indonesia by some sources.
This plant adds about one new leaf per week and races across the ground. It's a wonderful grower and the lime green color is stunning.

It's not an anemic version of 'Jade'. Here they are together. Both are healthy and growing well.
Neon has much smaller leaves and always carries a chartreuse color no matter how much light it gets.

But now for the exciting part and the answer to 'where do new plants come from?'
About 3 months ago I noticed this leaf on Neon. I really got excited about that dark green blotch since Neon always stays so uniformly lime green. Could this be the start of a new version of this plant?
 I started looking for other leaves with a dark blotch. If I could find just a few more, then perhaps it wasn't a singular event.
To my delight, I found about 4 places in my garden with the beginnings of a darker edge.

I know not to get my hopes up too soon, but here's the latest discovery of the new 'Neon' I'm working on.
With any luck, I will get the variegation stabilized (no small task) and then look for sports (vegetative changes) from the collection of plants that show these markings.

Photo courtesy of the Plant Obsession website

My dream is to have a new cultivar of 'Neon' with a dark edge like this Hosta. It should take about 3 years of work. 
 Perhaps I'll even get to name it something wonderful.
So now you know where new plants (possibly) come from. If I become famous, I'll be sure and tell you. LOL

In the last month of searching, I've found another wonderful cultivar.
Here it is:
This one is called 'Pearls and Jade' and it's from Professor Henny in Gainesville, Florida.
Here's the link:

It's very different from all the rest since it has a gray overlay on top of all the splashes of white and green variegation. It looks like a vigorous grower with lots of nice variations on a theme. It really is a beautiful plant.
I've also found a much faster and more vigorous specimen of Marble Queen. There are some that just sit and grow like they're frozen in time. This one, however, seems like it's going to jump out of the pot and trail along the ground at any minute. I like that!

I've also found a sport from N'Joy that has some nice markings. If it stabilizes, I'm going to name it Pothos 'Palo Pinto' since it has markings like that type of horse and the alliteration is cool to say.

That's the news for today from my very wet garden. There's an old farm saying 'Drought end in Floods.' I'm beginning to believe it! We've had nothing but rainy days since Sept. 15, 2013. The drought seems to be loosening its grip.

All for now,


  1. Really cool! I know that here on Oahu, Hawaii there are a few retirees that grow just trays of 4" pots of Pothos in their back yard and then sell it to the big nurseries for some extra money.

  2. On the edge like that, I'd say Neon is a sport and the green edge a reversion to the variegated form...or caused by injury or virus. It is pretty, none the less for any of that. Are you sure that would be unique, though?

    1. Hi Rachelle,
      You've got me thinking now and that's good. If I can get the darker green to extend all the way around, then yes, it would be unique. The only cultivars of this plant in existence(at least in the trade) are the ones I posted. Yes, you have a great Neon a lime green color in the wild and if not, would the dark green be a reversion to the original state? I've actually thought about this and have determined that the lime green is most likely the original color. Out of the hundreds of leaves and many temperature and light conditions, Neon has held to this color. It seems to be in its genes to be LIME GREEN under all types of conditions. I'm trying to think of other examples of lime green as 'original' but I can't right at the moment. I'd love to see it for sale in Indonesia and see if they have different variations. One thing is for sure, it is not the green 'Jade' I have. This type from Indonesia grows 4 times faster than 'Jade' or any of the other E. aureum species cultivars.
      Most lighter variegation is caused by viruses or a type of mixed chromosomal form called a chimera. I've ruled out injury since the dark streaks are in 4 different parts of my garden on healthy plants. I've also ruled out temperature changes as a cause since one of the 4 plants is throwing dark edges right now and it's 100 degrees outside. The other plants grew their green bands while temps were 75 to 85 degrees. Trust me, until this week this was my greatest worry. But now I'm OK with thinking the color variation is inherent in the plant. Thanks for the questions and comment. Sorry if I sound too much like a plant nerd in answering....but that's just it....I AM a plant nerd. LOL

  3. Will you remember us little people when you're a star in the gardening world?

    Very cool, and it's a treat for me to see something that I only know as a houseplant actually growing in the ground!

  4. The new plant is very attractive. Hope it works out for you!

  5. That is a worthy goal ... keep a-goin'!

  6. I have these variations too in my garden with the Scindapsus, however the variegations and variations disappeared but re-appeared later. Its so very exciting to make discoveries. Don't give up.

  7. Please contact me David.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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