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Low maintenance and evergreen: A guide to Pothos plant care

Low maintenance and evergreen: A guide to Pothos plant care

Pothos Plant Care Guide

Pothos is one of the most sought after houseplants, and for good reason: it’s evergreen, easy to grow, can handle low light and survive being mistreated a bit. Want to know more? Keep reading!

 

While many of us indoor plant lovers do enjoy a good challenge of making a difficult plant thrive, you definitely shouldn’t underestimate the joy of having a plant that doesn’t put up a fight. For me, Pothos is one of those. Not challenging, beautifully evergreen and even purifies the air while doing its thing.

Pothos is known for its signature heart-shaped leaves, which also causes confusion between Pothos and Philodendron, making many people question whether or not these plants are the same, and if not, then what the difference is between them. Let’s clarify: Pothos and Philodendron are two different plants, but they are however related.

As a natural hanging plant, Pothos can be put in a pot hung from the ceiling, be placed and drape down from a shelf or high furniture or can even be pinned up to climb along the wall. We tend to place our plants in window sills and other lower surfaces, but having plants growing vertically or just on a higher level can really make a room stand out.

Pothos varieties

How to propagate Pothos

There are many different Pothos varieties, from neon green to golden yellow, white and blue. The variegated leaves are the true magic of this plant, and opposite many other variegated plants, this one doesn’t lose its intensity from being in the shade. The classic variety is Golden Pothos, but it’s far from the only one. Here’s some of the popular ones:

  • Golden pothos
  • Marble Queen
  • Neon
  • Manjula
  • Pearls and jade
  • Satin
  • Cebu blue
  • Jessenia
  • Glacier
  • Njoy
  • Snow Queen

 

Pothos plant care

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Pothos is a low maintenance plant and caring for it is easy. This makes it a great plant for new plant owners, or simply busy people who like plants that don’t require a lot.

Light

Pothos is one of the indoor plants that will do fine in a low light room, but will grow faster and perhaps a tad more balanced with a spot exposed to indirect light. You might see more space between leaves and fewer branches, along with generally slower growth if the plant is in a shaded spot. If you’re not dreaming of the plant turning big, this placement can be perfectly fine.

Water

One of the main questions people have for their indoor plants is .. How often to water? Well, Pothos can survive infrequent watering, and actually does well with a light drought in between watering. Depending on the climate, both indoor and outdoor, as well as the season, my recommendations would be to water it 1-2 times every other week.

You can mist or wipe off the leaves every once in a while, which keeps them clear of dust and helps the plant with photosynthesis. The worst thing you can do in terms of water is to overwater it. It’s a classic problem that I’ve addressed in this post about watering techniques.

Soil

Regular potting soil is perfectly fine for Pothos.

Fertilizer

Give your plant a regular feed every other week in it’s growing season (spring-summer).

Temperature

18-24 degrees celsius, no lower than 10 degrees at night

 

See Also
Pilea Mojito Propagation

How to propagate Pothos

Pothos cutting

Propagating Pothos can be done with a couple of different techniques. The easiest one is taking cuttings from new growth, and root them by the nodes. To do this is simple and straight forward:

  • Find a branch with new and healthy-looking growth (If you have a Pothos with variegated leaves, choose your cutting from a branch that looks the most like what you want) 
  • Cut 5-10 cm of the branch making sure there’s a root node present. The root node looks like a small brown bud on the. On the photo above you’ll see to small buds right below each leaf.
  • Put the cutting in water or directly into soil and wait for new growth/roots to appear. If you put the Pothos cutting directly into soil, make sure the soil is humid enough to avoid new root growth drying up.
  • In a few weeks roots will start to appear and the plant is ready to be transplanted (if kept in water)

 

Keeping Pothos and pets

Many common household plants are poisonous to pets. Dogs, depending on the size, are generally easier to keep away from your precious plants, whereas cats tend to want to be right in the middle of any cramped space – making them more likely to get in contact with the plants.

Unfortunately, Pothos is toxic to both dogs and cats [source]. So perhaps letting your plant grow from a hanging basket or as a climber is the perfect solution for a home with pets.

 

Problem shooting & FAQ

Every plant owner will experience sad-looking plants (perhaps more times than they’d like to admit!,no matter the plant. Pothos is therefore no exception. Here are a few answers to common problems with Pothos:

How to prune Pothos?

Simply cut off the branches that you think needs it. The plant will get bushier as a result.

How can I make my Pothos grow faster?

Growth rate in plants aren't that simple, but there's a few different factors that will have a direct impact on it. First of all, the growth rate will be impacted by the amount of light your plant is getting. More indirect light means faster growth, whereas more shade means slower growth. You also want to make sure the plant has enough nutrients to feed its growth. While in growing season (spring-summer) give it fertilizer every other week.

How to make Pothos fuller?

With their vine like growth, Pothos can easily become a leggy looking plant. Luckily there's an easy fix. To make the plant fuller, you can simply cut off new growth. This will result in the plant branching out from the nodes below, giving you a bushier plant.

Can Pothos handle a pot without a hole?

Yes, if you don't overwater the plant. You can add in clay pebbles in the bottom to avoid roots rotting.

How do you save an overwatered Pothos?

Let any dry material (newspaper is great) soak as much water from the soil as possible by placing it on the paper. If there's no drainage hole, repot into fresh soil.

Why are the leaves turning yellow?

Yellow leaves can be an indicator of many things, over- or underwatering being two of them. Yellowing leaves that in time fall off are however also a natural result of new growth resulting in older growth to be shed from the plant.

Why are the leaves turning brown?

Brown leaves on a houseplant are often a result of too much water, whereas brown spots on leaves are often a result of too much direct sun. Analyze the placement and water frequency of your plant to find the cause.

Why are the leaves curling?

Curling leaves on a Pothos is likely due to a lack of water. Try to give your plant a good soak and see if they open up again.

Why are there white mold on the plant?

If there’s white mold-looking stuff directly on the plant, you could have a case of powdery mildew. The white stuff can also be directly on the soil, and in this case you can typically get rid of it by letting plants soak water instead of watering from the top, and waiting a bit longer in between waterings.

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