How to Grow and Care For Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

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Pothos is a perennial evergreen household plant originating from areas in Southeast Asia. Scientifically referred to as Epipremnum aureum, this houseplant has an elegant and simple appearance making it perfect for minimalist homes and offices.

They come in many different varieties such as the very popular golden pothos and the sophisticated jade pothos. Common names for this species include devil’s ivy, marble queen, money plant, silver vine, and ivy arum. Golden pothos is often mistaken for philodendron but can be differentiated because of their symmetrical, heart-shaped, waxy, and thick leaves.

Even though pothos are known to be able to survive almost every single environment, implementing a strong plant care routine will ensure that your silver vine lives a long and prosperous life. Below is the ultimate guide to growing and caring for Epipremnum aureum.

History

Pothos was first discovered in the late 1800s and classified as Pothos aureus. After much debate, the plant was then moved from the Scindapsus genus to the Epipremnum. It took nearly one hundred years to decide how to classify these wonderful vines!

They symbolize perseverance and make a fantastic plant for a strong and resilient person who persistently goes after their biggest dreams. Although they are sometimes called devil’s ivy, they are thought to bring great luck and wealth. In fact, they are only called devil’s ivy because they are almost impossible to kill.

Pothos Plant Facts

Scientific nameEpipremnum aureum
Common namesDevil’s ivy, taro vine, ivy arum, silver vine, money plant, golden pothos, Ceylon creeper, hunter’s robe, devil’s vine, pothos ivy
GenusEpipremnum
FamilyAraceae
Height6-10 ft, upwards of 40 ft in native habitat
Width6-8 ft
USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneUSDA Zones 10-12
Native toSoutheast Asia, Western Pacific Islands
Flower colorsSmall white flowers bloom when the plant is living in its natural habitat
FoliageHeart-shaped leaves, shiny, waxy, green, blue, purple, variegated 

How to Plant and Grow Pothos

Ivy arum can grow up to 10 feet indoors! This makes it a great plant for high spaces such as window ledges, hanging baskets, garden ladders, and tall shelves.

Even though they do well planted in soil, they can thrive just as much if they live in a container filled with water. Many people choose to grow pothos in water because of the beautiful aesthetic.

You can also grow pothos outside if they are in a shaded or partially shaded area. Once temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the vine will have to be moved inside.

How to Propagate Pothos Vine

Epipremnum aureum can be propagated in just a few easy steps:

Step One: The first thing you’ll need to do is grab a pair of sterilized scissors and a glass container (a cup, vase, or mason jar will work). Fill the glass with filtered water to eventually put your cuttings in.

Step Two: Choose a vine and cut it as close to the base of the plant as you can. Try not to accidentally cut any other stems or the foliage.

Step Three: Cut each leaf off of the vine right below the leaf node. A leaf node looks like a brown bump and is where the roots start to grow.

Step Four: Place your cuttings into the water and watch the roots grow! Replace the water once every three days. It should take about one to two weeks for them to grow long enough to pot.

Step Five: Pot your pothos plant in fresh soil once the roots have grown at least one to two inches. Water your brand new pothos immediately to make sure the roots don’t lose any moisture!

Check our pothos propagation guide for more tips.

Repotting

Taro vine should be repotted about once every 2 to 3 years. If the plant has become rootbound, repot in a container 1 to 2 inches larger. Make sure to use fresh potting soil! 

Any pot material works perfectly fine as long as it has one drainage hole at the bottom.

Pothos Care and Maintenance

Here are important pothos plant care tips to keep in mind:

Soil 

If you choose to plant your silver vine in soil, a well-drained, soil-based potting mix works impeccably. A soil with slight acidity ranging anywhere from a pH of 6.1 to 6.5 is preferred.

Water 

Ivy arum needs to be watered every 2 to 3 weeks. As long as they are watered when their leaves start drooping, they should be able to survive. In order to avoid overwatering, let an inch of the topsoil dry out between each watering.

If the ivy lives in water, refresh the glass and replace the water every 2 to 3 weeks. Ideally use water that is filtered and free from any chemicals.

Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot and fungus gnats. Check the soil before each watering to make sure this doesn’t become a problem. The best solution for overwatering is repotting the plant and increasing the time between each watering.

On the other hand, underwatering can also become an issue. If the leaves of your devil’s ivy become cracked or wilted, consider adjusting your watering schedule.

Fertilizer 

These plants only need to be fed once every 3 months. Ivy arum does better when they are under-fertilized rather than over-fertilized so make sure not to exceed this amount. Any balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer will allow your ivy to flourish.

Pruning

You can prune pothos vines easily by trimming the runners and stems as close to the base as possible. This species of plant can be pruned frequently without causing any damage. Pruning will encourage the growth of new and healthy runners while simultaneously keeping the plant at a manageable size. 

If you want your golden pothos to grow similarly to the way they would in their native habitat, let them grow naturally. If you choose to do this, make sure there is a surface where their vines can attach to.

Sunlight 

Silver vine does not do well in direct sunlight! High amounts of sun exposure lead to the leaves drying out and burning. 

When it comes to pothos light needs, you can simply put your plant in an area with medium bright indirect light is most suitable. If you want to put your plant in a darker area of your home, it should be able to survive the low light. In the case that the foliage starts to lose colour, move the plant to a brighter space.

Humidity and Temperature 

Pothos can live in low humid areas but flourish in air with high humidity. If the air in your house is dry, consider placing the ivy next to a humidifier or occasionally misting its leaves. Keep in mind that the air in your home may become quite dry in the winter season. 

Taro vine does best in temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the roots could freeze and become permanently damaged.  

Pests and Diseases 

Infestations

Pests and diseases very rarely affect golden pothos. Like most indoor plants, mealybugs and scales can potentially infect your plant. Rinsing the foliage with water or rubbing alcohol can fix this infestation.

Additional Issues

Are your pothos leaves turning yellow? Pothos leaves start to turn pale or brown when they are exposed to too much sunlight. They can also start to feel dry and cracked. Simply move your taro vine away from the direct light if this becomes a problem.

In low light, the plant foliage begins to lose its colour and sometimes turns white, sometimes known as variegated pothos. Again, relocating the ivy will quickly solve the problem.

Lastly, if the foliage or stems start to blacken, this means the ivy arum is too cold. Move the plant right away so that the roots don’t freeze and trim any affected areas.

Toxicity 

Pothos is toxic to dogs and cats as well as mildly toxic to humans. Because they contain insoluble calcium oxalates, they can cause vomiting, irritation, burning, and swelling. 

Even though pothos plants are not considered fatal, digestion of the plant can cause irritation and discomfort. Keep away from all pets and children. 

Uses of Devil’s ivy

Pothos are usually bought for decoration purposes. They are absolutely stunning indoor plants for homes, offices, or even large public spaces. Since the ivy can survive in water, this plant can also be seen in private and public aquariums!

An additional benefit of owning these plants is their ability to purify the air and remove harmful toxins including carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. This air purification helps with concentration, eye irritation, eliminating unwanted smells, and clearing allergies.

Common Varieties and Cultivars

Horticulturalists around the world have developed numerous pothos varieties. Ranging from rich emerald green hues to intense metallic silvers, there is a type of ivy arum designed for every person and aesthetic. 

No matter what pothos you choose to grow, you can use the same plant care routine. Although some of them grow at a slower rate, they should still thrive with the right amount of sunlight and water. Don’t forget, the cultivars with the most variegation require the most sunlight if you want to see them grow fast.

Some of the most popular variations include:

Whether you’re looking for an accent decoration or a long vine to hang across your living room ceiling, there is a type for you!

Conclusion

Pothos are lovely, classy-looking plants that are said to bring good luck and confident energy. They are praised for their ability to withstand neglect and improper care. By following this growth and care guide, your pothos will be abundantly healthy.

They can even be propagated by simply cutting off a stem and placing it in a glass of water. Within 2 to 3 weeks, its roots will grow and it can either be moved into soil or kept in the glass. Once you own one plant, you now have an endless supply of gorgeous vines.

No matter what variety you choose, you will have a stunning plant for life!