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Pothos plant care is simple. These green beauties are arguably one of the easiest houseplants to grow. To keep these beautiful, trailing, heart-shaped vines looking and feeling their best, water them every 1-2 weeks. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. And while they like a bright spot in the house, they prefer not to have much direct sunlight on their leaves.
With a bit of attention to care, your Pothos plant will show off their beautiful green curtains of foliage in no time, adding dots of green hues around your household.
These plants bring a pop of nature into your home and don’t require a ton of your devoted time for their care. Pothos is a South Pacific plant endemic to the Solomon Islands. It has beautiful green leaves that are occasionally variegated with white, yellow, or light green striations.
In this Pothos care guide, I’m going to take a look into the basics of how to care for pothos (Epipremnum aureum) such as their light, water, and temperature requirements. We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about these beauties.
Psst…Did you know the Pothos houseplant, although not a pet-friendly indoor plant, does help clean the air?
Popular Types of Pothos Plants
There is actually only one natural species of Pothos plants, also known as Epipremnum Aureum, Devil’s Ivy, or Ceylon Creeper. But there have been many varieties horticulturalists have developed, which are cultivars and not Pothos hybrids.
Pothos leaf variations can be of white, yellow, or light green patches that interrupt the predominantly deep green leaf.
Due to their characteristics, these beautiful plants are perfect for adding to hanging baskets or placing at the top of bookshelves to create beautiful decorations of tumbling green foliage.
Take a look at the 12 different, notable Pothos varieties, including:
- Golden Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum)
- Marble Queen Pothos (Marble Pothos)
- Neon Pothos
- Jessenia Pothos
- Manjula Pothos
- Pears and Jade Pothos
- Cebu Bue Pothos
- N-Job Pothos
- Silver Pothos (or Satin Pothos)
- Hawaiin Pothos
- Trebi Pothos
- Glacier Pothos
Did you know: Pothos possess an aerial root system that allows them to stretch across forest floors and climb tree trunks due to their excellent vining skills.
Moreover, these green beauties can grow up to 10 feet long, even indoors!
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Pothos Plant Care Tips
Even though Pothos are super easy to care for, there are some tips to keeping your plant happy and healthy.
Like all our beloved plants, Pothos require light, water, soil, etc., to grow. Let’s take a closer look at how to take care of Pothos.
How To Care For Pothos In Winter?
During fall and wintertime, the plant’s growth will slow down, and it won’t need any fertilization. And its moisture requirements can remain the same as spring and summer.
However, you should keep in mind that your watering habits may need to alter depending on how dry the environment is (your home) during the colder months.
Winter can be the most challenging time of the year for many houseplants. Light levels are generally at their lowest; the days are shorter, and heaters or furnaces suck the humidity right out the air, leaving your plant feeling a little sad.
Pothos Light Requirements
When grown indoors, Pothos prefer bright, indirect light. These plants can tolerate a variety of light conditions, including medium to low, indirect light but not direct sun. Palish, yellow leaves could indicate that your plant is getting too much light.
When your Pothos is getting the correct amount of light, you’ll be rewarded with rich, pleasing green leaves. More interestingly, these plants absolutely love artificial lights.
Signs Your Pothos Needs More Light?
If your Pothos is not getting sufficient light, the most common sign is its leaves will begin to turn yellow and drop.
Other symptoms could present stunted leaf growth, develop a dull-green color in its foliage, or produce elongated stems. On the contrary, if your plant is getting too much light, its leaves will have burned patches on it.
Pothos Temperature Requirements
Pothos can tolerate moderate heat but thrive best in temperatures ranging from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below or above this range can greatly affect their growth.
Keep in mind, these plants don’t like cold drafts or warm, dry air. So, you should keep them clear from any air conditioners, heat vents, or drafty places.
To prune a Pothos, you can take each individual vine and determine where you would like to prune it. You should cut the vine ¼ inch above the leaf with a sterilized pair of pruning shears.
A node is where the leaf joins the vine, and here is where your plant will send out a new vine after you’ve trimmed it.
Tip: Not only does pruning help remove dead leaves, but it also helps encourage your plant’s foliage to become fuller. So, trimming some back will help you achieve this look.
A lack of nutrients could slow the growth of your Pothos, so fertilizing them is essential during the growth period.
Pothos prefer a neutral pH balance of around 7.0. While fertilizing, the soil should retain some moisture but not be left soggy.
Pothos are fast-growing houseplants. They need a well-balanced 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer during their growing seasons. During the spring and summertime, fertilize every four to six weeks using a liquid fertilizer.
While in fall and wintertime, these plants won’t require any fertilization as this is its dormancy period.
This is when your plant relaxes after spending much of its time and energy growing. It’s closely associated with environmental conditions, such as decreasing temperatures.
Pothos thrive best in well-draining soil. You can easily find a premade soil mix for this, or you can always blend it together yourself. If you’re looking for a premade mix, palm soil mix is excellent.
If you’re looking to mix the soil yourself, you should use perlite and coconut fibers or sphagnum moss. The coconut fibers and the sphagnum moss are great for retaining moisture, and the perlite is excellent for draining excess water.
By mixing these components with some potting mix, you’ll obtain an ideal medium that enables enough oxygen to reach the roots of your Pothos, drains excess water, and keeps everything moist – a win-win.
Pothos are tropical plants and will benefit from higher humidity. By putting your plant in a humid part of the house, such as the bathroom or kitchen, you may enhance the moisture in the air surrounding it.
However, these are easy-to-care-for plants and will still do fine in an average household.
Should I Mist My Pothos?
Pothos don’t typically require misting. But if their environment has low humidity, and you’d like to increase the humidity around your plant, especially in the winter months, it’s best to set a pebble tray with water.
Misting your Pothos won’t necessarily help keep it adequately watered or ensure there’s proper humidity in the room.
Moreover, misting only raises humidity levels for a short period of time and it could increase the risk of pest infestation.
Does Your Pothos Need Sunlight?
Pothos plants like bright indirect sunlight, keeping their leaves looking beautiful and healthy.
Too little sunlight could cause the leaves to become pale, and they generally grow much slower.
Contrastingly, too much sunlight may cause your plant’s leaves to get sunburnt – ouch!
How Often Do You Water Pothos?
As a general rule of thumb, you should water a Pothos once every week in the warmer months (during their growing season) and once every two weeks in the colder months.
Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet, and be mindful not to overwater your Pothos. As mentioned before, these plants thrive when their soil is dried out between waterings.
As plant parents, we know that plants need regular watering, but how often depends on various factors.
Water requirements will vary according to the size and type of houseplant, its container, as well as the light, temperature, and humidity of your plant’s environment.
Pothos love moist soil but don’t tolerate wet soil very well. Like many other plants, Pothos can get root rot if their roots sit in wet soil too often or for too long.
When the soil is wet, it’s difficult for the roots to receive oxygen leading them to slowly deteriorate and decay.
If their leaves are beginning to wilt or turn brown, it’s a clear indication that you should water your plant more. If the leaves are yellow, however, you may be watering your plant a little too much.
Dry Vs. Overwatered Pothos
Pothos vines may grow for a long time, therefore it prefers a steady supply of moisture to absorb for growth.
Pothos love to be in moist soil, and once you’ve given them a good watering, you can let it dry out until the top third of the soil is dry again.
- Overwatered Pothos: If you notice your Pothos leaves turning yellow, you may be watering them too much. Moreover, overwatering your plant may cause root rot. You should not allow your plant to stand in water unless it’s from a cutting.
- Underwatered Pothos: If the leaves are wilting or turning brown, it’s an indication that you should water the plant more often.
Pothos plants are very easy to propagate, with a high success rate by stem cuttings – by rooting directly into a pot or in water.
Take a look at this quick and easy guide on how to propagate a Pothos by cuttings.
Pothos water propagation:
- Cut a 4-6-inch piece of Pothos vine or stem just below a root node, and gently remove the lower leaves near the cut. Ideally, the cutting will have four or more leaves and at least two nodes.
- Place the ends of your cut stem in water, using a clear vase or any other glass container with fresh water.
- Put your newly cut plant and its jar in a bright area, but not in direct sunlight.
- Once you’ve placed the cutting in water, the plant should remain in the water until its roots have grown quite large. You could also slowly add a spoon or two of soil into the water until, over time, your plant is essentially in soil. This can also avoid any shock your plant may face with the change.
- After around a month, once your roots begin to grow from the cuttings, you can then plant your cutting into the soil.
Note: As mentioned before, Pothos plant propagation can be done in water or in soil, but once you’ve chosen your growing medium, keep in mind it’s difficult to switch to the other. So be sure not to leave your cuttings in water for too long.
Pothos root propagation:
- Like with water propagation, cut a 4 – 6-inch stem off your plant.
- For optimum success, you can use a rooting hormone to dip the clipped stems into.
- Ensure the pot has good drainage holes and that it’s prepared with well-draining potting soil, a mixture of half perlite, and half peat moss.
- Lastly, place your cuttings in indirect light and water as necessary.
Pothos Common Problems
Pothos plants don’t have serious insect or disease problems, although you may find the occasional unwanted guest such as mealybugs and scales making a nest on your beautiful evergreen.
Take a look at some common issues that Pothos may face and some solutions.
Like many other plants, overwatering is, more often than not, the main culprit of root rot. This is when the roots die back, turning mushy and black due to the lack of oxygen.
Although overwatering may be a common condition, there may be other causes, too, such as when your plant has a fungus or bacterial infection or poor drainage.
An obvious sign that your much-beloved Pothos has root rot is when its leaves begin to wilt and become yellow. There may also be an odd, unpleasant smell from the soil and roots. If you notice these signs, you should check the roots; if they feel soggy and have a blackish-brown look to them, this may be the issue. And whatever you do, do not water them.
To save your plant baby, you should first access your plant and its roots to determine the severity of the rotting.
Take a look at how to treat root rot – by repotting and cleaning up the roots:
- Gently remove your plant with its root ball and access the damage.
- Next, give it a rinse and snip away any roots that look like they’ve passed the point of no return.
- Then, dip the roots into a fungicide solution to kill off any remaining root fungus.
- Repot your plant with fast-draining soil and in a pot with drainage holes.
- Lastly, place your beloved Pothos in a bright space, with no direct sunlight.
Although Pothos are generally easy-to-care-for plants and typically pest-free, they do occasionally get an unwanted pest infestation.
You can treat pests as soon as they begin to appear with weekly sprays of natural pesticides like neam oil, and you could also regularly wipe down your plant.
You could also try to get rid of the infestation with insecticidal soap or dabbing the insects with an alcohol-soaked cotton bud.
Pothos Dropping Leaves
It can be alarming to notice your Pothos begin leaf dropping. Low humidity and dry soil are two of the biggest culprits to cause your Pothos leaves to droop, followed by yellowing, browning, and then begin to drop leaves.
These plants prefer soil that’s consistently moist, so be sure not underwater your plant. Keep a consistent watering regime – water when 2”-3” of the topsoil is dry.
Your Pothos will grow their best in a humid environment. If humidity is the issue, you can increase the humidity around your plant by:
- Using a pebble tray with water
- Adding a humidifier to your plants’ room
Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow
Pothos leaves turn yellow, typically, because of improper soil moisture or overwatering. You should only water your plant once the top 25% of the soil has dried out.
In addition, you should also never allow your Pothos to sit with “wet feet,” having saturated soil at the bottom of the pot.
Other reasons for your Pothos leaves turning yellow is from stress, such as if you’re watering your plant too much or letting them dry out for too long.
Pothos Brown Spots
When your Pothos is left sitting in too much sunlight for too long, the plant may get sunburn spots on its leaves. These may appear as brown spots and, unfortunately, are permanent.
But, if this is not the case and your Pothos has not been exposed to direct sunlight but is still getting brown spots, this could be from overwatering.
When your plant is suffering from root rot, the leaves turn brown too. So, if you’re sure your Pothos is not in direct sunlight, take a look at how much water it’s getting and adjust accordingly.
Pothos Spider Mites
Though spider mites aren’t very common on Pothos, if you notice tiny brown or yellow specks start appearing on your plant’s leaves, this may signify your plant may be infected.
You should inspect your plant, hold it up to the light and look under the leaves; if you see delicate webbing and tiny dots moving, yep, your plant has a case of spider mites.
These mites feed off materials from plant cells and continue to damage your plant, and the leaves will become speckled, turn brown or yellow, or begin to wilt.
To prevent infestations, you could:
- Clean the leaves: Spider mites love dusty leaves, so try and give your plant’s leaves a wipe down every so often.
- Keep the humidity up: These insects like dry air, so spraying moisture around it or using a humidifier is a great way to deter them from your plant.
If your plant is suffering from spider mites infestation, you can treat your Pothos by:
- Isolate & prune: Isolate your plant and prune away the visible webbings. Remember to disinfect the area that the plant was in before.
- Spray plant-based miticides: There are plenty of great miticides available using natural ingredients to get the job done, and that leaves your plant unharmed. Some include neem oil, rosemary oil, cinnamite, and pyrethrum.
- Household Chemicals: You could create your own treatment right from your medicine or kitchen cabinet. You can use rubbing alcohol (1 part alcohol to 3 parts water) or dish soap solution (1litrer of warm water to 1 teaspoon of dish shop).
Pothos Best Products
While we’re looking into Pothos care to ensure we have happy and healthy-looking plants, take a look at these top products to help you and your plant baby.
- Best Fertilizer For Pothos – Liquid Fertilizer for Epipremnum Aureum
- Best Pots For Pothos – Ceramic Planter Pot with Drainage Hole & Saucer
- Best Pothos Hanging Basket – Hanging Planters for Indoor Plants
- Best Light For Pothos – LED Grow Light for Indoor Plant
- Best Soil For Pothos – Pothos Air Cleaning Plant Soil
- Best Potting Mix For Pothos – Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix
Pothos Frequently Asked Questions
Although we’ve had a thorough look at Pothos plant care, there may be a few more queries left about these beautiful plants. Take a look at a few most commonly asked questions and their answers.
Is Pothos Safe For Cats
Pothos contains calcium oxalate crystals in their leaves and stems, which is harmful to cats, dogs, and children. Irritation occurs when these crystals penetrate the soft tissue in the skin, mouth, and throat.
Take a look at some symptoms of Pothos poisoning:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Irritation of the eyes, mouth, & lips
Note: If you suspect your pet has eaten or taken a nibble on your Pothos, make sure to call your veterinarian.
Is Pothos Toxic?
Pothos is poisonous to pets and children. Ingesting Pothos can cause vomiting, irritation, and more. The plant is poisonous when eaten or if you’ve touched the sap.
Though the ingestion of these plants’ leaves and stems is rarely fatal, parents and pet owners should keep their beloved Pothos plants out of reach and harm’s way.
A Footnote on Pothos Plant Care
If you’re a beginner who loves to decorate your homes with beautiful plants, this leafy tropical evergreen is perfect. Its heart-shaped leaves that trail to the floor will make you fall in love with its beauty.
Moreover, it’s super easy to care for. They love bright, indirect light and like to grow in moist but well-draining soil.
Pothos are gorgeous plants that can instantly give you that lush jungle feel in your household. Now that we’ve covered the ultimate care guide for Pothos, are you ready to go out and get your own?