Pothos Plants: The One Plant Even You Can't Kill (We Hope)
Pothos Plant Care: The Ultimate Guide
If you're looking for a low-maintenance, fast-growing indoor plant that can thrive in almost any environment, look no further than the pothos plant, also known as Devil's Ivy. Its robust durability, adaptability, and forgiving nature make it a favorite among plant enthusiasts of all levels, and its trailing vines and vibrant leaves add a touch of tropical flair to any room.
In this ultimate guide to pothos plant care, we'll cover everything you need to know to keep your Devil's Ivy happy and healthy, from lighting and watering to soil and temperature requirements.
About Epipremnum (Pothos) Plants:
Epipremnum, commonly known as pothos or devil's ivy, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Araceae. It is native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific and nearby regions, where it grows as an understory plant in tropical rainforests. The plant is commonly found growing on the ground or climbing up trees, using its aerial roots to anchor itself and support its growth.
Epipremnum plants are typically fast-growing, trailing or climbing vines that can reach lengths of several meters in the wild. They are known for their heart-shaped leaves, which can vary in size, shape, and color depending on the cultivar. The leaves of some pothos varieties are variegated with white, yellow, or green, while others are solid green.
Additionally, pothos plants are known for their unique ability to change leaf shape and size in response to the light available, a phenomenon known as "juvenile-mature transition."
Pothos plants are known for their adaptability to low light conditions, making them perfect for indoor living. They can thrive even in areas where natural light is minimal, such as hallways, bathrooms, or basements. However, they can also tolerate medium to bright, indirect light, which can promote even better growth. So, don't be afraid to experiment with the location you place your pothos plant, as they can adapt to different light levels.
Pothos plants are known for their hardiness and can survive longer periods of time without water than most tropical plants. However, it's essential to keep the soil evenly moist and water every other week or so if the soil dries out. Never allow the soil to get too soggy, as this can lead to root rot. If you tend to forget to water your plants, pothos plants are perfect for you, as they are forgiving of occasional missed watering.
Pothos plants are adaptable to various environments and can thrive in most soil types. They do well in aroid mixes, as well as common commercial soil mixes. However, ensure the soil is well-draining and not too compacted, as this can prevent proper drainage and lead to root rot.
Pothos plants are tropical plants and thrive in temperatures above 60°F (15.5°C). They can tolerate average room temperatures, making them perfect for indoor living.
Pothos plants prefer higher humidity levels but can also tolerate low humidity. If you live in a dry climate or have central heating, it's a good idea to mist your pothos plant with water twice a day. This helps to increase the humidity level around the plant and prevent leaf browning or crispy edges.
Pothos plants do not require frequent fertilization, but occasional feeding can help promote healthy growth. Use a reputable water-soluble fertilizer and feed every other week, and once a month in winter when they're not drinking as much.
Pothos plants are low-maintenance and have very few demands. Keep the soil evenly moist, remove dead or dying leaves, and leave them alone. They can tolerate a bit of neglect and will trail or hang along any surface nearby. Pothos plants are fast-growing, and their leaves can grow up to five inches long when mature. Ensure the water fully saturates the soil and drains out of the bottom of the pot to promote even distribution of water between the roots.
Common pests that can affect pothos plants include fungus gnats, thrips, and spider mites. These pests usually occur when the plant is overwatered or exposed to low humidity levels. To prevent pests, inspect your plant regularly and use a neem oil leaf shine treatment at least once a month. Overwatering can also cause fungal and bacterial diseases, so it's essential to observe the soil and prevent overwatering.
In conclusion, pothos plants are fantastic indoor plants that are easy to care for and can brighten up any space. With their low-maintenance requirements and adaptability to different light levels and soil types, they're perfect for beginners or those who want to add more greenery to their home. Just ensure you water them regularly, keep them in well-draining soil, and give them occasional feeding, and you'll have a beautiful, healthy pothos plant in no time.
10 Common Varieties of Pothos (Epipremnum):
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Golden pothos is one of the most popular varieties, known for its bright green, heart-shaped leaves with yellow or white variegation. It is easy to grow, tolerates low light and neglect, and has air-purifying qualities. Originated in French Polynesia, it is also called Devil's Ivy due to its ability to grow in harsh conditions.
Marble Queen Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Marble Queen'): Marble Queen Pothos has variegated green and white leaves that are thicker and more textured than the Golden Pothos. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil. It is also known for its air-purifying abilities.
Neon Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Neon'): Neon pothos has bright, lime-green leaves that glow in the dark or low light conditions. It is a popular choice for those looking to add a pop of color to their indoor space. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil.
Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Jade'): Jade pothos has heart-shaped, glossy green leaves that are smaller and more compact than other pothos varieties. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil.
Cebu Blue Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum 'Cebu Blue'): Cebu Blue pothos has unique, blue-green leaves with silver splotches. It is a bit harder to find than other pothos varieties, but it is worth the hunt for its stunning color. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil.
Manjula Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Manjula'): Manjula pothos has variegated green and white leaves with unique, irregular markings. It is a bit harder to find than other pothos varieties, but it is well worth the hunt for its stunning colors. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil.
Pearls and Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Pearls and Jade'): Pearls and Jade pothos has variegated green and white leaves with white speckles. It is a popular choice for those looking for a variegated pothos that is slightly different from the classic Golden Pothos. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil.
Glacier Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Glacier'): Glacier pothos has variegated green and white leaves with silver edges. It is a popular choice for those looking for a pothos with a more subtle variegation. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil.
Jessenia Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Jessenia'): Jessenia pothos has heart-shaped leaves with unique, elongated tips. It is a popular choice for those looking for a pothos with a slightly different leaf shape. It prefers bright, indirect light and slightly moist soil.
N'Joy Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'N'Joy'): This pothos variety has leaves with a unique variegation pattern that features white, green, and yellow sections. It grows quickly and can trail or climb to lengths of up to 6 feet. It prefers bright, indirect light and consistently moist soil. The N'Joy Pothos is also known for being a hardy plant that can withstand neglect and even recover from root rot.
These are just a few of the many different types of pothos plants available for indoor gardening. Each variety has its own unique characteristics and care requirements, so it's important to do your research and choose the best one for your indoor environment and lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How often should I water my pothos plant?
Pothos plants prefer to be kept evenly moist but not waterlogged, so watering frequency will depend on factors such as the size of the pot, the amount of light and humidity in the environment, and the time of year. In general, it's best to wait until the top inch of soil feels dry before watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues, so be sure to allow the soil to drain thoroughly after watering and avoid leaving the plant sitting in water for extended periods of time.
How do I care for a pothos plant that has yellow leaves?
Yellow leaves on a pothos plant can indicate a few different issues. It could be due to overwatering, underwatering, too much direct sunlight, or pest infestations. To care for a pothos plant with yellow leaves, first assess the watering schedule and adjust accordingly, making sure not to let the soil get too dry or too wet. Check the plant's location to ensure it is not getting too much direct sunlight, and inspect the leaves and stems for signs of pests. Trim off any yellow or damaged leaves, and consider repotting the plant if the soil is waterlogged or depleted of nutrients.
Can pothos plants grow in water?
Yes, pothos plants can grow in water. In fact, they are one of the easiest plants to propagate in water.
Pothos plants can also be grown hydroponically in water without soil, but they will require added nutrients and careful monitoring of water quality and pH levels.
How do I propagate a pothos plant?
To propagate a pothos in water, simply take a healthy stem cutting with several leaves and place it in a jar or vase filled with clean, room-temperature water. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and prevent the growth of algae or bacteria. Within a few weeks, the cutting should develop roots and can be transplanted into soil or left in water as a decorative feature.
Here are the steps to propagate a pothos plant:
- Choose a healthy stem with several leaves and aerial roots.
- Cut the stem just below a node (the point where the leaf meets the stem).
- Remove the bottom leaves to leave a few inches of bare stem.
- Place the cutting in a jar or vase of water, making sure the node is submerged.
- Change the water every few days and keep the cutting in a bright, indirect light.
- After a few weeks, roots should begin to grow from the node.
- Once the roots are a few inches long, the cutting can be planted in soil.
Can pothos plants survive in low light?
Yes, pothos plants can survive in low light, which is one of the reasons they are so popular as houseplants. They are very adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions, but they will grow more slowly and produce smaller leaves in low light. If possible, it's best to provide them with some indirect or filtered light to encourage more growth and larger leaves.
How do I train my pothos plant to climb?
Pothos plants are natural climbers and will begin to climb on their own, but you can train them to climb more deliberately by using a moss pole or trellis. Simply attach the stem of the pothos plant to the moss pole or trellis using soft ties, such as twist ties or string. As the plant grows, continue to attach the stems to the support structure, encouraging it to climb upward. You can also prune the plant to promote bushy growth and encourage it to climb more vigorously.
How do I prune my pothos plant?
Pruning is an important aspect of pothos plant care that helps keep the plant healthy and looking its best. Here are the steps to follow when pruning a pothos plant:
Identify the stems or leaves that need to be pruned. Look for dead or yellowing leaves, stems that are overgrown, or areas where the plant is becoming too dense.
Sterilize your pruning shears or scissors with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution.
Cut the stems or leaves at the point where they meet the main stem of the plant. Make sure to make a clean cut to avoid damaging the plant.
If you want to encourage new growth, make the cut just above a node, which is a small bump on the stem where new leaves or branches will grow.
Are pothos plants toxic to pets?
Yes, pothos plants are toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. It's important to keep pothos plants out of reach of pets or consider choosing a non-toxic alternative.