Pothos Plants Care: Guide & Tips

Pothos Plants Care: Guide & Tips

The pothos plant is a vibrant vine-growing plant that makes for a great indoor addition. Pothos plants are hardy, and one of the easiest houseplants to grow.

About Pothos Plants

Pothos (also called Devil’s Ivy) is a tropical vine with shiny, heart-shaped leaves that often present a gold, white, or yellow variegation. It is one of the easiest houseplants to grow for beginners.

Native to the tropical South Pacific, pothos can now be found throughout the world as an attractive, easy-to-care-for houseplant. Its vining nature makes it a great choice for use in hanging pots, draped across shelves, or climbing up a wall and surfaces. 

Pothos gets its other common name — Devil’s Ivy — thanks to its vigorous growth and its proclivity for bouncing back to life even when in the worst conditions.

Devil's Ivy

In the wild, pothos can achieve surprisingly huge sizes, with leaves reaching lengths of more than a foot. At home, however, it tends to stay quite a bit smaller with mature leaves typically ranging in 4-8 inches in length.

Note: Pothos is considered an invasive species in some parts of the United States. Never plant them outdoors, especially in areas with mild winters as they may spread and take over the space very quickly. 

Common Name

Pothos, golden pothos, devil's vine, devil's ivy

Botanical Name

Epipremnum aureum

Family

Araceae

Plant Type

Vine

Mature Size

20–40 ft. long, 3–6 ft. wide

Sun Exposure

Full sun, partial shade

Soil Type

Moist but well-drained

Soil pH

Neutral to acidic

Bloom Time

Does not flower

Flower Color

Does not flower

Hardiness Zones

9–12 (USDA)

Native Areas

South Pacific

Toxicity

Toxic to dogs and cats

 

Pothos Plants Outdoors

How to Plant Pothos Plants

Potting Pothos Plants

  • Choose a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. Pothos plants do not like to sit in wet soil; they will rot quite easily.

  • Plant pothos in a well-draining potting mix. If you have it on hand, you can add to your mix a few handfuls of perlite or coco coir to increase its drainage capacity.

  • Pothos does well in a hanging basket to show off the vines, or in a regular pot placed on a plant stand. They can be allowed to grow up walls, though their aerial roots can strip paint given enough time.

Are Pothos Plants Poisonous?

Yes. Despite being a very popular houseplant, pothos are mildly toxic. All parts of the plant contain a substance called calcium oxalate, which are microscopic crystals that act as a contact irritant. Ingestion of pothos can cause swelling and a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, as well as intestinal discomfort and indigestion.

Due to its toxicity, this plant should be grown with caution around curious pets and children.

Pothos Plants Poisonous

How to Care for Pothos Plants

Basic Care for Pothos Plants

  • Keep pothos plants in a warm location; room temperature is ideal. If exposed to regular drafts or colder temperatures, the plant’s growth can be affected. 

  • Place pothos in bright, indirect light. They will tolerate low light, but will not grow as vigorously and may lose some or all of the variegation in their leaves.

  • Only water when the soil feels dry. Pothos do not like wet soil; leaves will begin to yellow.

  • Apply a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer about once a month during the spring and summer. 

  • Cut back vines just above a leaf to make the plant bushier. 

  • The large, waxy leaves can gather dust; gently wipe them periodically.

  • Remove any rotted or dead stems and any spotted leaves. 

Pothos Pest and Diseases

  • Spider mitesand 

    mealybugs occasionally become a problem.

  • Root rotcan occur when the plant is overwatered or the soil doesn’t drain well. Leaves will turn yellow and growth will be stunted.

Spider Mites

How to Propagate Pothos Plants

Pothos are very easy to propagate, making them a great houseplant to share with family, friends, and neighbors. Alternatively, keep all the offspring to yourself and turn your home into a small viny jungle, they will understand!

To propagate your pothos, follow these steps:

  • Locate a healthy-looking vine to take a cutting from. Leaves should be bright and healthy, and should not be wilted.

  • Make a stem cutting. The ideal stem cutting will be 4-6 inches in length and have 2-3 leaves on it. Cut the vine just above a root node (i.e., the spot on the vine where aerial roots grow out of). 

  • Once you have your cutting, place the cut end in either a small pot of potting soil or a clear glass of water. Pothos can be grown in water or soil, but be aware that cuttings can be finicky if they are transferred from water to soil or vice versa, so choose one and stick with it.

  • After a few weeks, you should start to see roots (in water) or observe that the plant can support itself (in soil). 

Pothos Varieties

Different varieties of pothos are not hard to come by in most garden centers, and they have been increasing in popularity a lot in recent years.

  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’ is one of the most common pothos varieties today. It has smooth green leaves variegated with white and gray.

  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Golden Pothos’ has dark green heart-shaped leaves with white or yellow variegation. 

  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade Pothos’ is all green with no variegation.

  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’ has bright light-green leaves.

Pothos Plant Marble Queen Variegated

Pothos Did You Know

  • According to a study by NASA, pothos is one of the best air-purifying houseplants.

  • Pothos are one of the fastest growing vines you can easily grow indoors. Their vines can reach several meters in length in just a few seasons.

Pothos Summary

Pothos is arguably one of the easiest houseplants to grow, even if you're someone who forgets to water your plants often enough. This trailing vine, native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, has pointed, heart-shaped green leaves that are sometimes variegated with white, yellow, or pale green striations.

Pothos can be planted indoors throughout the entire year and will grow quickly, often adding between 12 to 18 inches of length in a month. Be aware as this plant is toxic to pets and children.

When it comes to automated plant care systems, pothos are one of the plants that usually struggles with them, as it only require very frequent watering with intermittent dry periods. Only truly smart plant care systems like KORU can adapt to each plant's different needs, helping them to thrive by measuring light, temperature, humidity and soil moisture.