Pothos Care

pothos care

Pothos is a lovely vining plant that is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Also known as Epipremnum aureum, this vining beauty is a not-so-distant cousin of monstera plants. Pothos hail from China, Southeast Asia, and Australia. This plant grows in tropical climates and is an evergreen perennial vine in its native environment. Plants grown under ideal conditions in their native habitat or a greenhouse will bloom, but houseplants do not produce flower stalks.

Pothos is not at all demanding, and this variety is a good choice for novice plant owners or to give as a gift. Uniquely variegated leaves in various colors make Pothos plants collectible. Learn more about this beauty and everything you need to know about pothos care.

Types of Pothos

Pothos plants have a vining growth habit, with new leaves forming at the end of the stem, creating a continuous vine. The foliage resembles a heart shape slightly, but not as much as some philodendrons. The foliage can be entirely green or feature variegation in golden yellow, pure white, or light green hues. Some of the more common houseplant varieties of Pothos include:

Honorable Mention

The Satin Pothos and Silver Satin Pothos bear the pothos name, but these stunners are not, in fact, members of the Epipremnum genus, which is the defining characteristic of being a pothos. These plants are actually Scindapsus pictus. The confusion may be because they have a similar vining growth habit and lovely variegated foliage. Pothos care requirements are identical, and if you’re into pothos, you should check out the Scindapsus pictus, but they are a different type of plant.

Pothos Light Needs

Pothos are easy to maintain, but light is one of the few things this plant is unwilling to negotiate. Fortunately, once you find a spot with appropriate light, pothos care is even easier. Pothos need bright indirect light, but these adaptable plants can live in medium indirect light. Direct light is a deal breaker as it may burn the foliage. Pothos can become leggy when grown in low light levels. Leggy or scraggly plants have extended spaces or gaps between the leaves. Increase the light if the plant has straggly vines and periodically rotate the plant to ensure all sides receive equal amounts of sunlight.

How Often to Water Pothos

Water pothos plants when the top few inches of soil are dry. This plant prefers to dry out between waterings. The amount of light the plant receives and the humidity impact how often pothos plants need water, but generally, plan to water every one to two weeks. 

Saturate the soil when it is time to water. It is best to water over a sink and drench the potting mix until excess water drains through the pot. Pothos may go dormant during the winter and will require less water. Plants that are actively growing and pushing out new leaves will need more consistent water.

Best Soil for Pothos

The best soil for pothos should be moist and well-drained. This plant does not like soggy conditions and wet feet, so the soil should allow excess water to drain. With that said, select a container that has drainage holes to avoid root rot. 

Pothos is easygoing and not picky, so most soils are acceptable. Use a potting mix designed for houseplants and pick a product with fertilizer included to support new growth. Take your pothos care to the next level with soil with a 6.1 to 6.8 pH.

Temperature for Pothos

Comfortable room temperature is suitable for pothos. This plant likes to be in the 65-85° F range, but the plant is fine as long as the temperature is above 60° F. Pothos can be brought outside to a covered porch or patio space during the warmer months. Wait until the daily low temperature is consistently above 50° F before bringing your pothos outside, and get the plant back indoors well before the first frost is predicted.

Pothos Humidity

It should come as no surprise that pothos can handle a range of humidities. Pothos is a tropical plant that likes extra dampness in the air (50-70%), but it will do just fine in average humidity. Plants grown in high humidity (50% or higher) may not need water as often. Plants grown in low humidity may benefit from being placed near other plants or a pebble tray with water to increase moisture in the immediate area.

Pothos Fertilizer

Keep your pothos pushing out foliage and looking good by applying a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during the spring and summer. Only feed pothos plants when they are actively growing and stop fertilizing when they are dormant. Routinely fertilizing your plants is not mandatory but is part of proper pothos care.

Pothos Propagation

Propagate your pothos to expand your collection, fill in empty spots in a pot, or gift to a friend or loved one. Pothos can be propagated in water or soil, but they are extremely easy to propagate in water. Trim a stem section with at least one leaf and aerial roots or nodes. Drop the cut end and nodes in water, add rooting hormone, and place it in soil. Roots should begin to form in a couple of weeks. Pothos cuttings propagated in water can be moved to soil when the roots are a couple of inches long. Keep the soil extra damp but not soggy for the first few weeks to help the plant transition from water to soil.

Is Pothos Pet Friendly?

Pothos is not pet friendly and can cause an upset stomach if eaten by pets. The dangling vines may be enticing to cats or curious pups. Reconsider bringing this plant into your home or find a place that is not accessible to pets if you opt to include this plant in your collection.

Pothos Styling Tips

Pinch off new growth to create a compact, bushy look, or allow the trailing stems to cascade and create a curtain of greenery. Pothos look lovely placed on a high shelf or on top of a cabinet, allowing the leafy stems to hang down. Give this indoor plant a trellis or support and train the stems to grow up, creating a unique look and allowing you to enjoy the greenery. Pothos plants are skilled climbers in nature, but the aerial roots do not typically latch on to anything when grown as houseplants, so weave the stems through a support or gently secure the stems using twine.

Pothos Care Tips

Pothos is easy to maintain and not fussy. This houseplant thrives with minimal care but requires consistent attention regarding sunlight and water. Proper pothos care will keep your plants happy, healthy, and leafy, making this indoor plant a lovely addition to your home.