Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a very popular houseplant. It’s a low-maintenance houseplant that is impossible to kill. Your pothos can tolerate low light conditions, which is great for beginners. Plus it has beautiful, shiny heart-shaped leaves that look great dangling from a hanging basket or perched on a high bookshelf. Do know that your pothos is toxic to humans and pets so it’s best to keep it away from children and pets at home. Here are tips on how to care for your Pothos indoors.
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) Infographic
8 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Pothos
1. Your Pothos is Happiest in Bright, Filtered Light or Artificial Light
Pothos will be happy in a bright filtered light location. It will also grow well under artificial light. Your Pothos has a medium/low light requirement which is suitable for indoors. Avoid direct sun exposure since sunlight can burn the leaves.
2. Moderate Water is Best for Your Pothos
Your Pothos has moderate water requirements. Water your Pothos when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Pothos is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your Pothos.
3. Get the Soil Right for Your Pothos
Your Pothos needs a well-draining, organic all-purpose potting mix.
4. Fertilize Your Pothos
Your Pothos should be fertilized once every 2 weeks during the growing season. Once a month in the winter.
5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Pothos
Repot your Pothos once a year. Best to repot in the Spring. Repot your Pothos in a container with a diameter 2 inches larger than the current pot.
6. Drainage is Essential for Your Pothos
Good drainage is important, you don’t want your Pothos to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your Pothos and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Pothos’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Pothos
Your Pothos needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C).
9. Humidity is Vital for Your Pothos
Your Pothos is a houseplant that likes humid conditions. You should increase indoor humidity. Mist your Pothos a few times a week.
Another way to increase humidity is to keep your Pothos in a saucer filled with water. But make sure the pot is elevated with pot feet or pebbles so your Pothos is not sitting directly on the water.
3 Common Pothos Problems
The common problems for Pothos are mealybugs, leaves changing color, and root rot.
Why are there Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems of Your Pothos?
Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the leaves and stems of your Pothos.
Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on your Pothos. It is a common houseplant disease.
Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on your Pothos, wash your plant with water. You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.
Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
Why does Your Pothos Look Wilted even if the Soil is Wet?
Problem: Your Pothos looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Pothos plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot.
Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Pothos. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage.
Solution: When your Pothos is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Pothos out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Pothos and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.
Why is your Pothos’s leaves turning pale and losing their colors?
Problem: Your Pothos’s leaves are turning pale and losing their colors. This is evident with variegated leaves where its turning plain green and losing their colors.
Cause: The leaves changing color is a result of too much or too little sun exposure.
Solution: If you think the cause is too much sun exposure, move your Pothos to a less sunny spot. If the leaves changing color is a result of too little sun, you can adjust sun intensity by removing curtains or moving your Pothos to a sunnier location.
Pothos Houseplant Facts
|Scientific Name||Epipremnum aureum|
|Light||Bright, Filtered Light or Artificial Light|
|Daytime Temperature||70 to 80 F (21-26C)|
|Night Time Temperature||60 to 70 F (15-21C)|
|Potting||Well-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix|
|Fertilizer||Once every 2 weeks during the growing season. Once a month in the winter.|
|Toxic to Pets and Humans||Toxic|
Pothos: Frequently Asked Questions
What are Common Names of Pothos?
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is also called Jade Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Ivy Arum, and Taro Vine.
Popular Pothos varieties are Epipremnum aureum var ‘Jade’, Epipremnum aureum var ‘Golden Pothos’, and Epipremnum aureum var ‘Marble Queen’
Is Your Pothos Toxic to Pets?
Pothos are toxic to humans and pets. Don’t let children or pets chew on the leaves of the Pothos plant because it contains calcium oxalate crystals. The crystals can cause vomiting and difficulty breathing. It can also result in swelling of lips, tongue, and mouth and excessive drooling. If you see any of these symptoms and suspect ingestion of Pothos plants, call poison control immediately! Also, call your doctor or vet once you start seeing adverse reactions in children and pets.
How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Pothos?
Water your Pothos when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Pothos.
Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Pothos?
Pothos can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Pothos. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Pothos.
Pothos prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.
What Fertilizer Should You Use on Your Pothos?
Use liquid or powder, organic fertilizer with a higher nitrogen ratio on your Pothos.
How Big Does Your Pothos Get?
Your Pothos’s stems can grow to more than 20 feet long if you let it! You can cut the stem down to control the growth.
How Do You Propagate Your Pothos?
Your Pothos Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your Pothos plant by stem tip cutting.
Below are steps on how to propagate Pothos Plant by stem tip cutting:
1. Take a Stem Tip Cutting of Pothos Plant (include a node)
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
2. Place Your Pothos Stem in a Jar of Water
Place the Pothos stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of Pothos will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
3. Plant Stem Cutting of Pothos Plant in a New Pot
Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
4. Place New Pothos Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun
Place your new Pothos plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.
You May Also Be Interested in Other Hanging Houseplants:
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- 8 Tips on How to Care for Your Boston Fern (Infographic)
- 9 Tips on How to Care for Your String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii Infographic)
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