Plant Care

Pothos Plant Care And Growing Guide

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Adding a Pothos plant to your home benefits the environment and aesthetic of your personal space. It's easy to maintain and enhances indoor air quality by removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. 

But, before you bring one into your home, knowing the right way to care for the plant is beneficial. Without further delay, we provide you this extensive guide on Pothos plant care and maintenance.

Pothos Plant Overview

Scientific NameEpipremnum aureum
Common NamesPothos, Golden Pothos, Devil's Vine, Devil's Ivy
FamilyAraceae
TypeVine
Size20–40 Ft. (Height), 3–6 Ft. (Width)
Sun ExposureFull Sun, Partial Shade
Soil TypeMoist, Well-drained
Soil pHNeutral To Slightly Acidic
Bloom TimeRarely Flowers
ColorsGolden, Yellow, Purple
OriginAsia
ToxicityToxic To Dogs And Cats

What Is A Pothos?

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The Pothos plant, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is a tropical vine native to Southeast Asia. Belonging to the Araceae family, it is popular as a houseplant due to its easy maintenance and air-purifying qualities.

This plant features heart-shaped leaves that vary in color from green to variegated shades of green and yellow. It thrives in low light conditions but can tolerate brighter indirect light.

Pothos is versatile and can be grown in soil or water, making it suitable for various environments. It is a fast-growing vine that can trail or climb when provided with support. Moreover, it is admired for its ability to remove toxins from indoor air, making it a beneficial addition to any living or working space.

Pothos Plant Care

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Pothos is a tough plant that can survive even without proper care. However, for the plant to be at its best, it requires a few touchups now and then.

Consider these factors to take care of the Pothos plant:

Light

Pothos can tolerate diverse light conditions, yet they flourish in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can harm leaves, leading to scorching and resulting in the development of brown, crispy edges. This compromises their ability to photosynthesize and grow.

On the other hand, if your plant lacks enough light, it stretches out, losing vibrant colors and energy. Its lively appearance fades as it transforms into a more muted, elongated form.

Soil

Pothos plants thrive in regular soil that drains well and can be somewhat dry or include rocks. So, when picking a pot for your plant, make sure it has holes at the bottom.

For easier plant care, you may consider a self-watering planter. These plants thrive in soil with a pH of 6.1 to 6.8, handling neutral to slightly acidic conditions.

Water

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If the soil feels dehydrated when you stick your finger into the top inch or two, it's time to water gently. If it's slightly damp, hold off for a bit. But remember, underwatering is better than overwatering, so use caution.

Pothos are prone to root rot if they are overwatered, so allow the soil to slightly dry between waterings. Modify your watering frequency according to pot size, soil type, and light conditions.

Humidity

Pothos flourish in both high and low-humidity conditions, with an ideal temperature range between 65 to 75 degrees. If you reside in a less humid area, your bathroom can offer a suitable environment for these plants, as long as temperatures consistently stay above 50 degrees for optimal growth.

To combat low humidity, quick fixes like misting or pebble trays can help. However, for a more lasting solution, consider investing in a humidifier.

Fertilizer

A bit of fertilizer can provide a beneficial boost to the Pothos plant. Feed them with balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. And avoid fertilization in winter when the plant goes dormant.

For ideal fertilization, use a water-soluble fertilizer, but be cautious with the suggested amount to avoid harming the plant. Dilute to half strength per the manufacturer's advice and apply every two to three weeks with a watering can.

Support

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Pothos plants are natural climbers, just like they are in the wild. Make them happy by giving them something to climb on, like a moss pole or a trellis.

You can try a moss-covered pole for some extra moisture, or use a trellis to create a cute climbing area. If you have limited space, a hanging basket is perfect.

Pruning

Regular pruning of pothos is ideally performed in spring or early summer. This practice helps control the plant's size, encourages bushier foliage, and removes any damaged or yellowing leaves.

Trimming back long vines is also essential in preventing the plant from becoming leggy and promoting a fuller, more compact shape.  Utilize clean scissors or pruning shears, cutting just above a leaf node to stimulate new growth. Then, gently remove yellow or discolored leaves.

Repotting

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Repotting the Pothos plant requires a detailed but simple method, which is explained below:

  • Prepare the Pot: Choose a pot with drainage holes and fill it with a well-draining potting mix.
  • Remove the Plant: Gently remove the plant from its current pot, being careful not to damage the roots.
  • Inspect and Trim Roots: Check the roots for any signs of rot or overcrowding. Trim away any dead or rotting roots with sterile scissors.
  • Place in New Pot: Position the Pothos in the center of the new pot and add fresh soil around the roots, gently pressing it down to secure the plant.
  • Water: Water the newly potted Pothos thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out from the bottom of the pot.
  • Maintenance: After potting or repotting, continue to care for the Pothos plant by providing appropriate light, water, and humidity.

Ensure to repot Pothos plants every 1-2 years to prevent rootbound conditions and encourage healthy growth.

Propagating Pothos Plant

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Propagating the Pothos plant is essential for expanding your plant collection and ensuring its longevity. It should be done every 1 to 2 years to refresh the soil, promote growth, and prevent overcrowding.

This process involves taking stem cuttings from a healthy Pothos and allowing them to root in water or soil. Here are some interesting tips for safely propagating Pothos:

  1. Select healthy stems with at least 4-6 leaves for cuttings.
  2. Use sharp, sterilized scissors or pruners to make clean cuts just below a leaf node.
  3. Place the cuttings in water or moist potting soil and keep them in a warm, bright location but away from direct sunlight.
  4. Change the water regularly if propagating in water to prevent stagnation and root rot.
  5. Maintain high humidity around the cuttings by covering them with a plastic bag or placing them in a propagation box.
  6. Once roots develop, transplant the cuttings into individual pots filled with well-draining soil.
  7. Water lightly and gradually increase watering as the new plants establish themselves. This process ensures successful propagation and the growth of healthy new Pothos plants.

Pothos Plant Types

The Pothos plant can be divided into 15 different types. Meanwhile, the most common ones are explained below:

  1. Golden Pothos: Recognized for its heart-shaped green leaves streaked with yellow, Golden Pothos is a classic choice for indoor spaces due to its easy care and air-purifying qualities.
  2. Marble Queen Pothos: Featuring creamy-white marbled leaves, Marble Queen Pothos adds an elegant touch to any room. It thrives in bright, indirect light and is a popular choice for hanging baskets or trailing from shelves.
  3. Neon Pothos: Known for its vibrant, fluorescent green leaves, Neon Pothos brings a pop of color to indoor spaces. It prefers bright, indirect light and moderate watering, making it ideal for beginner plant enthusiasts.
  4. Jade Pothos: With glossy, emerald-green leaves, Jade Pothos is a resilient plant that thrives in low-light conditions. It's an excellent choice for offices or rooms with minimal natural light, adding a touch of lush greenery to any space.
  5. Dragon Tail Pothos: Featuring elongated, serrated leaves reminiscent of a dragon's tail, this variety adds a unique and exotic element to indoor gardens. It prefers bright, indirect light and regular watering to maintain its lush appearance.

Each type of Pothos plant offers its beauty and charm, making them popular choices for both beginner and experienced plant enthusiasts.

Challenges And Issues With Pothos Plant

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Despite being a relatively healthy species, the Pothos is still vulnerable to certain conditions. These issues, if not handled properly, can cause serious damage to the plant.

Yellow Leaves

Cause: Overwatering or underwatering, direct sunlight exposure, or nutrient deficiencies can lead to yellow leaves.
Solution: Adjust watering frequency, ensure proper drainage, place the plant in indirect sunlight, and fertilize as needed to address nutrient deficiencies.

Browning Leaves

Cause: Browning leaves can result from inconsistent watering, low humidity, or exposure to cold drafts.

Solution: Maintain a consistent watering schedule, increase humidity levels through misting or a humidifier, and protect the plant from cold drafts.

Drooping

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Cause: Underwatering, overwatering, or root rot can cause Pothos leaves to droop.

Solution: Adjust watering practices, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged, and trim any rotted roots before repotting the plant in fresh soil.

Pests

Cause: Common pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, or aphids can infest Pothos plants, causing damage to leaves and stems.

Solution: Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat pest infestations, regularly inspect the plant for signs of pests, and isolate affected plants to prevent spreading.

Inadequate Light

Cause: Insufficient light can result in leggy growth, reduced variegation, or overall poor health of the Pothos plant.

Solution: Place the plant in a location with bright, indirect light, rotate it periodically for even growth, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

These solutions address the most common issues encountered when caring for Pothos plants, ensuring their health and vitality.