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Our Plant Care: Pothos

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Epipremnum aureum or famously known as pothos is considered by many to be a great way to get started caring for houseplants. Since pothos care is easy and undemanding, this lovely plant is an easy way to add some green to your home.

Basic pothos care is very easy. These plants enjoy a wide range of environments. They do well in bright, indirect light as well as low light and can be grown in dry soil or in vases of water. They will thrive in nutrient-rich soil but do almost as well in nutrient-poor soil.


Pothos vines do not cling to trellises and support on their own (like ivy might), but they can be trained onto supports to give the appearance of twining. As indoor plants, it is common to see pothos specimens grow to 30-feet long, though most are kept at a much shorter, neater length. If you choose to let your pothos grow into a long vine, it can be secured on hooks to trail along walls and over window frames. Vines left to grow on their own can get very tangled, so shake them loose every now and then to keep them from becoming a tangled mess.


While pothos likes bright, indirect light, they can also thrive in low light areas or those that have only have fluorescent lighting, making it an excellent option for offices and dorm rooms.



Light

When grown indoors, pothos prefers bright but indirect light. Variegated plants sometimes lose their leaf pattern and revert to all-green foliage if they don't receive enough light. Moving them to brighter conditions usually restores the variegation. Suddenly pale-looking leaves mean the plant is receiving too much sun.


Soil

Pothos plants thrive in ordinary, well-draining potting soil. Pothos is quite tolerant of soil pH, and it can thrive in a range of conditions, from neutral to acidic.


Water & Food

A pothos plant likes to have its soil dry out completely between waterings. If left in continually damp soil, the plant's roots will rot. Black spots on the leaves (or the sudden collapse of the plant) indicate that the soil has been kept too wet. The plant will indicate when it needs water. When it starts to droop, it needs water. However, don’t wait until the leaves start to shrivel or the plant will lose some leaves. Dry, brown edges mean the plant was kept dry for too long.


Pothos plants are not heavy feeders. But because there are typically no nutrients in most potting soils, you can feed the plant monthly to bi-monthly with FabGardenMama Organic Fertiliser.

Temperature and Humidity

Pothos should be kept in temperatures that are consistently above 10 degrees Celcius, though they most appreciate a common room temperature that hovers between 18 and 23 degrees Celcius.


Additionally, pothos plants like high humidity, so you can increase humidity around the plant by keeping it in a typically humid area of the home, such as a kitchen or bathroom. Still, the plant is very tolerant and can thrive even in low humidity environments, so there's no need to invest in a humidifier.


Potting and Repotting Pothos

Eventually, your pothos will become pot-bound. When the leaves droop, no matter how much or how often you water them, drooping is sure sign that roots have probably filled the pot and there is no room to grow. Carefully lift the plant out of its pot and check to see if this is the problem. You might be able to see roots growing out of the drainage holes. When the plant has reached this stage, you can re-pot it into a container that is one or two sizes larger in diameter and depth and filled with fresh potting soil.


Types of Pothos

Pothos hybrids have been developed with many different types of leaf variegation, with white, yellow, or light green patches interrupting the predominant deep green leaves. Some cultivars have solid light green leaves. Some recommended pothos cultivars include:


'Marble Queen': A varietal with an exceptionally attractive white-and-green variegated pattern. It requires more light than most pothos to maintain its unique colouring.


'Pearls and Jade': This varietal is an avid white and green climber, but instead of striping, the colours show up in the form of small dots.


'Neon': A bright chartreuse variety, this pothos need less light and is great for brightening up a dark area in your home.


'Silver Satin': This varietal has thick grey-green leaves with silver splotches. It is very tolerant of drought and low-light conditions.


Common Pests

Pothos is usually pest-free. However, the plant can occasionally become infested with mealybugs. A simple insecticidal soap controls the pests, but the easiest method is to simply dab the insects with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab.


Is My Plant a Pothos or a Philodendron?

Philodendron houseplants are often confused with pothos plants. While the leaves of these two plants are similar in shape, the stems of pothos plants are grooved, while those of philodendrons are not. New philodendron leaves emerge surrounded by a leaf sheath, which eventually dries and falls off. Pothos leaves don’t have this sheath. Pothos also need brighter light and warmer temperatures and are frequently sold in hanging baskets.

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