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What Is a Pothos Plant?
Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a tropical plant native to French Polynesia with many names—devil's ivy, money plant, Ceylon creeper. It is a popular houseplant in temperate climates. Its aerial root system allows it to sprawl across forest floors and climb tree trunks in the wild. Indoors, pothos vines may grow up to 10 feet long.
4 Varieties of Pothos Vines
There are a wide array of pothos varieties available, each with its own distinct type of leaf variegations. Some of the most popular pothos cultivars available include:
- Golden pothos: This popular type of pothos has heart-shaped variegated leaves that are a deep green with speckles of yellowish gold.
- Marble Queen pothos: The Marble Queen is a slow-growing pothos characterized by creamy white streaks across gray-green leaves.
- Neon pothos: This non-variegated pothos is famous for its distinctly bright chartreuse leaves. It’s the perfect plant choice to liven up a darker area in a home.
- Pearls and Jade pothos: The Pearls and Jade pothos has dark green leaves with large blotches of white variegations. It grows best in low-light conditions.
How to Care for a Pothos Plant
A pothos plant is one of the easiest houseplants to grow if you follow a few simple pothos care guidelines.
- Plant pothos vines in well-drained potting soil. The only soil requirement for a pothos plant is good drainage, so any high quality, well-drained potting soil or potting mix will do the trick. For an even higher drainage capacity, try mixing perlite into your soil before planting.
- Provide pothos plants with bright indirect light. Pothos plants tolerate low-light conditions, but their leaf variegation may fade if they’re in the shade for too long. For thriving pothos plants with vibrant, variegated leaves, place them in bright indirect light. To avoid scorched or discolored leaves, make sure to keep pothos plants away from direct sunlight.
- Let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings. When the top inch of soil is dry, it's time for more water (be sure not to wait too long, or your plant’s leaves may begin to wilt). Keep watering your pothos until water seeps out from the pot's drainage holes. To avoid root rot caused by soggy soil, pour out the water that pools in the tray or dish under the pot. If you notice your plant has yellow leaves, it's likely a sign that you're overwatering.
- Use liquid houseplant fertilizer. Pothos plants can thrive without fertilizer, but fertilizing once a month during the spring and summer growing season helps maximize their growth.
- Keep temperatures moderate. Pothos plants grow best between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit with high levels of humidity similar to tropical environments. Don't fret if your air is on the drier side—even though they flourish in high humidity, pothos plants tolerate all humidity levels.
- Re-pot pothos plants occasionally. If your pothos plant is drooping no matter how often you water it, that's a sign it has become root-bound. Select a new container that is a couple of inches wider than the current pot, and re-pot the plant once its growing season begins in the spring.
- Prune your pothos plant to contain growth. As part of your regular pothos plant care regimen, prune off long vining stems directly above the joint where the leaf meets the stem. This stimulates new growth and keeps your plant's foliage full and bushy. It's worth noting that pruning isn't necessary if you prefer the look of long pothos vines—in this case, try letting your pothos vines climb up a nearby trellis or flow down naturally from a hanging basket.
- Watch out for mealybug infestations. Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on pothos plant leaves and leave behind a powdery wax residue. If you spot signs of a mealybug infestation, treat your pothos plant with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
How to Propagate Pothos Plants
The easiest way to propagate pothos plants is to use stem cuttings. Simply take your mother plant and cut off a stem that contains at least two leaves. Place the cut stem into a container of water. After a couple of weeks, the cutting should begin to root in the water. Once the new roots are about three inches long, transplant your new plant into a container with potting soil.
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