Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

by | Apr 5, 2022

pothos devils ivy

Pothos 101: How To Grow and Take Care of Pothos

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), also known as the devils ivy or money plant, is in the family Araceae, arum species in the Plantae kingdom Epipremnum genus. They are non-labor intensive houseplants but poisonous. This guide outlines basic information on the care Pothos and tips on how to grow them.

The Pothos Plant (Also known as Devils Ivy)
The Pothos Plant (Also known as Devils Ivy)

Pothos Plant Information

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), also called golden Pothos, devil’s ivy or money plant. Native to southeastern Asia, it resembles the Philodendron and thus is often confused with it. Pothos is a vine plant that is evergreen with has heart-shaped shiny, thick leaves with variegation of yellow, white, or gold. It’s a hanging house plant; the leaves of outdoor plants may grow many times larger than indoor plants.

Pothos Growing and Care Tips

Pothos is very easy to maintain and a durable plant. They are air-purifying plants, and they grow very quickly. Whichever way you choose to display them, it’s always a beautiful addition to your home!

Soil: Pothos is an easy-going plant and can grow in any soil type, though it does well in nutrient-rich soils. This plant is both indoor and outdoor; it grows well when potted on a hanging basket. No matter your pot choice, Pothos doesn’t like very wet soil; ensure your pot has a drainage hole.

Light: Pothos like a variety of lights but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight is harmful to Pothos. Direct sunlight burns the Pothos leaves.

Water: Pothos should be watered once a week in warmer months and colder months once every two weeks. Don’t overwater your Pothos; they are drought tolerant and cannot bounce back after excessive overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out between watering.

Humidity: Pothos like high humidity because it originates from warm tropical parts of the world. A humidity level of between 50 and 70 percent is fine, but it can sustain humidity as high as 85 percent.

Temperature: Pothos can survive in a wide range of conditions; however, the ideal temperature ranges between 70-degree Fahrenheit to 90-degree Fahrenheit to keep the pothos plant as healthy as possible.

Fertilizer: You may ask, what fertilizer does well for Pothos? A well-balanced foliar fertilizer is the best choice. Pothos aren’t heavy feeders, but they are quickly attacked by pests and diseases and lose vigor when lacking essential nutrients. 

Pothos leaves will give you an indication of when something is wrong. When they lack nutrients, the leaves become yellow, vines drop leaves, the leaf margins turn brown, and the Pothos have stunted growth and weak roots.

A well-balanced fertilizer like NPK 10/10/10 works well. Fertilize as required and avoid fertilizing during winter when the Pothos are dormant. Don’t over-fertilize; give enough.

We have different fertilizer types; always choose the one convenient for you.

  • Compost: compost is an excellent source of nutrients, but the release isn’t balanced. You can use it for indoor Pothos but not in place of a balanced fertilizer.
  • Liquid/Foliar: liquid fertilizer is the most popular type for Pothos. You dilute it, and it’s incorporated when watering your plants. It comes in either liquid or powder form to be diluted. Well, balanced liquid fertilizer works best for Pothos.
  • Slow-release: This indoor fertilizer is coated to release small amounts of nutrients every time you water your Pothos.
  • Granular fertilizer: this is designed for outdoor plants. The fertilizer pellets are added directly to the soil. The nutrients are released all at once, making it not the best choice for Pothos.

Pothos Pests And Diseases

Healthy Pothos don’t attract bugs. If proper care is not provided, the chances of attack by pests and diseases are increased. Excessive watering, improper ventilation, and high humidity can attract bugs. If pests and diseases are detected early enough, your plant’s vigor will be restored.

Common bugs

Spider mites: These are tiny bugs. They pierce the foliage, and the pothos leaves will discolor and start yellowing. You can’t see the spider mites with your naked eyes, but from the plant effects, you can tell.

Whitefly: They are related to Aphids genetically and look like tiny moths. They lay eggs under the foliage and fly away when the plant is disturbed. They feed on the branches, stems, and foliage. Your Pothos will look weak, yellow its leaves, stop growing, and eventually drop its wilted leaves.

Aphids: They are tiny oval-shaped bugs that create big problems. They attack under the leaves and in flower buds. They deform the leaves and slow down their growth.

Common diseases

  • Yellow leaves: the leaves will yellow and finally start falling. Mainly this is brought about by overwatering your Pothos; the best remedy, therefore, is to give much less water.
  • Stems rotting: This is either caused by a drop in the general temperature or overwatering. It will need treatment, and also the roots need to be checked for root rot.
  • Dry brown leaf tips/margins may indicate that the room is too dry. Mist the plant to improve humidity and reduce the dryness of the leaves.

How To Propagate Pothos

Pothos are propagated by rooting. The cuttings are set in a mixture of manure and soil. The soil should be moist, and the plant should be placed away from direct sunlight. After a month, the first set of roots will start to appear, and in three months, they’ll be ready. 

Alternatively, you can root in water. In a week or two, new roots will have sprouted. Pothos are either grown in water or on the soil. If you choose to have your Pothos in water, it’s essential to feed your Pothos with foliar/liquid fertilizer.

Repotting Your Pothos

Repotting Pothos isn’t a complex exercise. There are three common reasons for repotting your Pothos, repotting for growth, treating health problems, or upgrading to a more stylish pot.

Step 1: Remove Pothos from the pot

First, you need to remove the plant from its original pot. You can scoop it out with a spatula, tip your pot to the side or flip it upside down but be careful not to break the plant. 

Step 2: Plant in the new pot

In its new pot that has a potting mix in the bottom, plant your Pothos. Your pot should be a few inches larger than the old pot. Set your Pothos upright and add potting mix to fill the side gaps. On the top, leave a space of about 2 inches.

Step 3: Water

Water your Pothos generously until it starts to run out of the bottom. Your plant’s roots will be a little sensitive so start fertilizing your Pothos in a month.

Finally, Pothos are poisonous to pets, children, and even adults. Pothos plants have an insoluble calcium oxalate crystal within their leaves which irritates the skin. All its parts are toxic. Please keep it away from pets and children!

Pothos Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pothos roots supposed to be close together?

Pothos are very easy to grow; make sure the pot has a good drainage hole and good-quality potting soil. The choice of your pot matters. A pot that fits comfortably and allows for new growth space but is not too large; may lead to overwatering.

Is Pothos poisonous to Humans?

Yes, Pothos is poisonous. If ingested may cause diarrhea, swelling of lips, tongue, and throat, burning of the mouth, and skin irritation. Keep out of children and pets’ reach!

Are Pothos air-purifiers?

Yes, Pothos is good for air purifying and removing toxins in the household, it reduces formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene from indoor air.

Shelbi Clifford

Shelbi Clifford

About The Author

Hi, I'm Shelbi! I am the founder of Houseplant Advisor - a blog for all things houseplants. Whether you are looking to add some green to your home or want to learn about how plants can help improve air quality in your space, Houseplant Advisor is here with the answers. Do you have any questions? Feel free to reach out and ask me anything!

2 Comments

  1. Helinda DiLorenzo

    Hi Shelbi,
    I am so happy to have come across your website while investigating how I can propagate my houseplants to bring them to our second residence…I have read that you can keep plants in water and I thought that would be a good alternative to potting as I will come and go both residences and be away from each about 8-12 weeks at a time. What would be your suggestion or thoughts? I enjoy having live plants around me and have special ones that I would like to propagate and bring to my second residence. Thank you

    Reply
    • Shelbi Clifford

      Hi Helinda! Water propagation is a great way to grow new plants from your current ones. The water should be changed every 3-5 days to avoid the roots from getting slimy and root rot. With you being away from each residence for so long I am unsure if that is something you are able to keep up with. I would also recommend a liquid fertilizer in the water. You can find our post on best fertilizers here – https://www.houseplantadvisor.com/best-fertilizers-for-indoor-plants/

      Best of luck with your plants! Please let me know what you decide to do 🙂

      Reply

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