Pothos Plant: Become a Devil’s Ivy Expert* (Epipremnum aureum)

Epipremnum aureum, commonly known as Pothos or Devil’s Ivy, is a fantastic addition to any indoor space. This low-maintenance houseplant, native to the South Pacific and the Solomon Islands, features charming heart-shaped leaves and lush green foliage. 

Pothos is an excellent choice for houseplant beginners and experienced green thumbs looking to expand their indoor gardens.

We’ll explore the various varieties of pothos plants, discuss their ideal growing conditions, and provide care tips to ensure your plant thrives. We’ll also share some creative ways to incorporate pothos plants into your home decor.

Essential Pothos Care Growing Guide

pothos and companion plants

Let’s begin with some basic information about Pothos plants.

Names: Pothos is also known as Devil’s Ivy (common name) or, by its scientific name, Epipremnum aureum.

Origin: Pothos plants are native to Malaysia and Southeast Asia and thrive indoors like other tropical plants.

Size: Pothos can climb and reach 30 to 60 feet, but indoors, they typically grow 3 to 10 feet long. Their trailing vines are perfect for hanging baskets, or plant stands designed for hanging plants.

Benefits: Indoor plants can improve air quality, and Pothos is often included in lists of top air-purifying species.

Exploring the Diverse World of Pothos Varieties

snow queen pothos plant leaf

Pothos plants come in various stunning varieties, featuring heart-shaped leaves in different colors and patterns. Some popular types include:

  • Golden Pothos: This variety is a popular choice with vibrant green leaves and yellow marbling.
  • Marble Queen Pothos: Featuring marbled green and white leaves, this variety adds an elegant touch to any room.
  • Neon Pothos: This eye-catching cultivar boasts bright, almost neon-green leaves that make a statement.
  • Baltic Blue Pothos: A newer addition to the pothos family, this variety has uniquely-shaped leaves with a blueish hue.

Cultivating Your Pothos Paradise: Ideal Growing Conditions

pothos plant with water and sunlight to help it grow faster.

To help your pothos plant thrive, try to recreate its natural environment as closely as possible. Pothos plants are adaptable and can grow well in various home settings, but consider the following factors for optimal growth:

Temperature: Keep the temperature between 65-85°F (18-29°C), as pothos plants prefer warm temperatures. Cooler climates may slow their growth and cause damage.

Humidity: Moderate to high humidity is best, but these tropical plants can tolerate drier air. Place the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles to increase humidity or use a room humidifier.

Light: Provide bright, indirect light for optimal growth. Pothos plants can survive in low-light conditions but may grow slower. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch (sunburn) the leaves.

Perfecting the Potting Process: Soil, Pots, and Fertilizing

little girl repotting pothos plants

Proper potting is crucial for maintaining a healthy and vibrant pothos plant:

Soil: Use a well-draining sterile plant potting mix that retains moisture, combining fresh potting soil with coco coir and peat moss to create a slightly acidic pH between 6 and 6.5.

Pots: Select a pot with drainage holes to prevent root rot from overwatering. Choose a size that accommodates the root system, leaving room for growth, and opt for breathable materials like terracotta for optimal moisture regulation.

Fertilizing: Feed your Pothos with a liquid houseplant fertilizer after six months of new growth. Watch for pests like aphids, scale and spider mites, and address them promptly.

Repotting: As your pothos plant grows, you must repot it to accommodate its size. Monitor the root system and repot when the roots circle the pot or emerge from the drainage holes. 

Repotting typically occurs every 1-2 years, depending on the plant’s growth rate.

Watering, Pruning, & Propagating Pothos Like a Pro

watering pothos plants by a window.

Consistent care is necessary to maintain your pothos plant’s lush appearance:

Watering: Water the plant when the soil is dry, usually every 7-10 days. Adjust the frequency based on environmental factors and pot size to prevent overwatering and root rot.

Pruning: Prune your Pothos regularly to control its shape and encourage bushier growth. Remove damaged, yellowing, or dead leaves and trim long vines for fuller growth. Pruning helps maintain the plant’s overall health and appearance.

Propagating: Pothos propagation is easy using stem cuttings. Soil propagation is generally considered the most effective, but water propagation is also an option. 

To propagate in water, place the cutting in a container filled with water and change the water every few days. Roots should develop within 1-2 weeks. Once roots are established, transfer the cutting to a pot with the appropriate potting mix.

Caring for Pothos & Addressing Common Issues

pothos plant with leaves curling inwards.

Provide the right balance of light, soil, and water to help your pothos plant flourish. Be aware of the following common issues and address them as needed:

Aerial Roots: Pothos aerial roots help the plant climb and attach to surfaces. Provide adequate support, such as moss poles or trellises, to allow your plant to grow and display its natural beauty.

Leaf Yellowing: Overwatering, poor drainage, or insufficient light can cause leaves to turn yellow. Ensure your pot has drainage holes, and water only when the top 1 inch of soil is dry. Move your plant to a brighter location if it isn’t receiving enough indirect light.

Leaf Curling: Inadequate water, low humidity, or a pest infestation can lead to curled leaves. Check the soil for moisture and adjust your watering schedule if needed. Increase humidity by placing your plant on a tray of water and pebbles or using a room humidifier. Inspect the plant for pests, such as spider mites or aphids, and treat it with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Leggy Growth: Leggy growth, or long stems with few leaves, is often caused by insufficient light. Move your plant to a brighter location with indirect light to encourage more compact growth. You can also prune leggy stems to promote bushier growth and maintain an attractive appearance.

Pests: Aphids, scale insects, and spider mites are common pests that can infest pothos plants. Inspect your plant for signs of pest infestation regularly, such as sticky residue, discolored or damaged leaves, or the presence of small insects. Treat affected plants with neem oil or insecticidal soap, and remove severely damaged leaves to prevent the spread of pests.

Root Rot: Overwatering or poor drainage can lead to pothos root rot, which is a fungal disease that causes roots to turn brown and mushy. To prevent root rot, use a well-draining potting mix, water only when the top inch of soil is dry, and ensure your pot has drainage holes. If your plant is already affected, trim away the affected roots, sterilize the pot, and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

Black Spots on Leaves: Black spots on leaves can indicate a fungal infection or overwatering. Adjust your watering schedule to prevent overwatering and ensure proper drainage. If a fungal infection is suspected, remove affected leaves and treat your plant with a fungicide suitable for houseplants.

Brown Leaf Tips: Brown leaf tips can be caused by several factors, including low humidity, over-fertilization, or exposure to drafts. Increase humidity around your plant, avoid placing it near heating or cooling vents, and follow the recommended fertilizing schedule to prevent nutrient burn.

Safety Precautions: Pothos plants are toxic as they contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can be toxic to humans and pets if ingested. Keep the plant out of reach and contact a healthcare professional or veterinarian if ingestion occurs.

The Benefits of Growing Pothos in Your Home

on table showing the benefits of pothos plants.

Pothos plants add aesthetic appeal and improve indoor air quality by filtering out pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene. Introducing Pothos into your home elevates your interior design and creates a healthier living environment.

Creative Ways to Use Pothos Plants

pothos decoration idea for bathrooms

Pothos plants are not only beautiful and low-maintenance, but they are also versatile and can be used in various DIY projects. Here are some creative pothos decorating ideas for incorporating Pothos into your home decor:

Hanging Baskets

Pothos plants are perfect for hanging baskets, as their trailing vines create a stunning cascading effect. You can use a variety of baskets, from woven wicker to modern metal, to create a unique look that complements your decor. 

You can also mix different types of Pothos for a colorful and vibrant display.

Terrariums 

Pothos plants are ideal for terrariums, as they thrive in humid environments and grow well in enclosed spaces. You can create a miniature garden in a glass container, adding other plants, rocks, and decorative elements to create a whimsical and enchanting display. 

Terrariums are perfect for small spaces or as a dining or coffee table centerpiece.

Living Walls

different pothos varieties

Pothos plants can be trained to climb walls or trellises, creating a stunning living wall that adds life and color to any room. You can use various materials, such as wood, metal, or mesh, to create a custom design that complements your decor. 

You can also mix and match different varieties of Pothos to create a unique and eye-catching display.

Macrame Hangers

Macrame hangers are a popular trend that adds a bohemian touch to your home decor. You can create your own macrame hanger using natural cotton rope or yarn, adding a pothos plant for a pop of color and texture. Macrame hangers are perfect for small spaces or as a focal point in your bedroom or living room.

Topiary Trees 

Pothos plants can be trained to grow into various shapes and sizes, making them perfect for creating topiary trees. You can use multiple materials, such as wireframes or floral foam, to shape your pothos plant into a unique and whimsical design. Topiary trees are perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your home decor or as a centerpiece for your dining table.

In Conclusion: Embrace the Beauty and Simplicity of Pothos

Pothos plants are among the easiest and most rewarding houseplants, making them an excellent choice for beginners and experienced gardeners. Following this comprehensive guide’s care tips and guidelines, you can cultivate a thriving pothos plant that adds life, color, and charm to your home. 

Enjoy the satisfaction and beauty that Pothos brings to your indoor garden.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.