Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

 
Pothos, the best houseplant for beginners

Common Name

Pothos, Devil's Ivy

Botanical Name

Epipremnum aureum

(ep-i-PREM-num AW-ree-um)

Family

Arceae

Origin

Solomon Islands - Tropical Islands in the South Pacific

Type

Tailing Foliage

 
 

Ready to find your perfect houseplant?


 

Sunlight

LOW, MEDIUM OR BRIGHT INDIRECT SUNLIGHT.

In other words, don't place your pothos in the middle of the desert or in your coat closet and it will do just fine. They absorb the suns rays through the green on their leaves, so when pothos are placed in a less sunny location they will loose some of that variegation we all go crazy for. Don't worry though, if you put it back in a sunnier location that variegation will come right back in due time.

 

Water

MEDIUM TO HIGH: WATER ROUGHLY ONCE A WEEK.

While pothos can handle drought, they don't prefer it. I have found for my pothos they thrive the best when I allow the soil to almost dry out completely between waterings, so that the soil is barley damp before I water again. When I water it I soak it deeply under a slow running faucet and allow all excess water to drain from it the pot. Though my pothos gets watered about once every week or so that is not a hard fast rule. When you should water your pothos depends on a variety of things, when in doubt wait for the top of the soil to be dry before watering. You can test this by sticking your finger in the soil and if it is dry down to your first knuckle it's time to give it a good watering.

Water a little less in the winter, this is because your plant is getting less sun and therefore will need less water. Think of it this way, if you were sitting in the sun all day you'd drink more water than if you where sitting in the cold all day. Same with plants.

 

Humidity

KEEP IT HUMID.

Though you don't need to worry all that much, your pothos will grow faster if they have a bit extra humidity. But don't over think this, there are a few really simple ways to add a bit extra humidity to help your pothos truly thrive. You can simply place it near your other plants, that alone will help add a little bit more humidity. You can run a small humidifier nearby, or you can just stick it in your bathroom, provided you have a nice window in there. Keep in mind that if you give your pothos a bit extra humidity you will likely need to water it less. So keep a close eye until you figure out the right pattern.

 

Soil + Pot

A SIMPLE CONTAINER POTTING MIX IN A TERRA-COTTA POT.

Potting is a very crucial step to ensuring houseplant success! I tend to suggest using terra-cotta for just about most houseplants. Though your pothos likes to be a bit damp I would err on the side of too dry than too wet and terra-cotta helps to regulate that.

 

Fertilizer

Pothos are fast growing and would appreciate plant food, if this feels overwhelming than don't worry about it! If you opt for plant fertilizer I suggest using a liquid, slow release fertilizer and cut package directions in half. I fertilize at 1/2 strength every time I water or at full strength every other time you water. Only fertilize once a month at 1/2 strength during the fall and stop using completely during the winter.

I use Shultz All Purpose Liquid Concentrate and super love it!*

Watch your plant closely as you use it and adjust as needed. Over feeding a plant can cause the plant to die.

 

Propagation

IN WATER

My favorite method is using a vase of water. Cut back your pothos three to four leaves at the nod of the plant, that little bump where the leave is growing from. The nod is where the roots will emerge from. Allow your pothos to callous over for a few hours (I have always skipped this step for pothos, but if you let it callous or scab over at the nod it will usually root a bit faster). Then place your pothos in a vase or jar filled with water so the nod stay 100% submerged in water. Keep in their until roots are well established, about two weeks, though you should start to see roots forming within one week.

Keep in a mildly light space and away from direct sunlight. I suggest repotting your rooted cutting back into the pot you clipped it from for a more lush plant. Or you can pot it in it's own home!

IN SOIL

Rooting your pothos in soil follows a similar process. After your cutting has scabbed over (this step is more important if you are rooting in soil I have found). Then wet the nod (the bottom scabbed over part) and dip in rooting hormone (this step isn't necessary, but it will certainly help establish stronger growth sooner) and stick into your pot filled with moist soil. Keep soil moist at all times and plant in shady, indirect sunlight being very careful to avoid direct sunlight until pothos is fully established.

 

 Varieties + Cultivars

 

Satin Pothos

Pictured in the first photo. Velvety green leaves with white "speckles".

Golden Pothos

Pictured in the second and third photos. Most pothos sold in nurseries are golden pothos. They are variegated with yellow and a true green. 

N Joy Pothos

Pictured in fourth and fifth photos. Crisp white edges and bright green centers with a crumpled texture.

Marble Queen Pothos

Pictured in the sixth photo. Highly variegated white and vibrant green leaves.

 

Pests + Common Problems

YELLOWING LEAVES

Too little or too much water, though it is usually too little.

DROPPING LEAVES

Dropping leaves is typically be a sign of not enough water or too much temperature fluctuation. 

Possibly root rot. If it is, I suggest taking your pothos out of it's current pot and discarding the soil. Repot your pothos in a terra-cotta pot. Wait a few days and give it a small watering. Then water according to the instructions above.

 
 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.