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Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) A Comprehensive Indoor Plant Guide

Everything You Need to Know to Grow a Healthy, Thriving Plant

Discover the Enchanting World of Pothos: Your Guide to Growing Devil's Ivy

Welcome to a verdant realm where the Pothos reigns, an emblem of endurance and natural elegance in the kingdom of foliage plants. Also known as Devil’s Ivy, this resilient climber is a treasure among indoor greenery, celebrated for its lush, heart-shaped leaves and effortless charm. With its tendrils of green, it weaves a tale of growth and vitality in every space it graces.

In this guide, we invite you to delve into the secrets of the Pothos – from selecting the perfect leafy companion to mastering the art of care and propagation. Whether you’re drawn to the silvery splashes of the ‘Marble Queen’ or the vibrant hues of the ‘Neon‘, each variety of Pothos offers a unique palette to beautify your home or office.

As a staple of foliage plants, Pothos is not only a decorative element but also a purveyor of cleaner air and a creator of serene ambiances. Let’s embark on this green journey together, ensuring that your path to cultivating Devil’s Ivy is as rewarding as it is enlightening.

Table of Contents

pet friendly plants

Pothos is toxic to pets if ingested. It’s best to keep it out of reach of curious cats and dogs.

Plant Care
Air Purifying

Pothos is known for its air-purifying abilities, removing common household toxins from the air.


Pothos is a low-maintenance plant, perfect for beginners and busy individuals.

History and Origin of Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

The Pothos plant, with its cascading vines and heart-shaped leaves, has a rich history that traces back to the lush, tropical forests of Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific, including areas like French Polynesia. Known scientifically as Epipremnum aureum, this plant is a member of the Araceae family, which includes many other popular houseplants. The journey of Pothos from its native jungle habitat to homes and offices worldwide is a testament to its adaptability and enduring appeal.

Originally thriving under the canopy of tropical forests, Pothos has evolved to excel in varying light conditions, making it perfectly suited for life indoors. Its resilience and the ease with which it can adapt to different environments have contributed to its widespread popularity. The plant’s common name, “Devil’s Ivy,” was coined due to its ability to survive in near-darkness and its difficulty to kill, which is also a nod to its invasive nature in some tropical environments outside its native range.

Throughout the 20th century, Pothos solidified its status as a beloved houseplant. Its popularity soared in the latter half, particularly as office spaces sought low-maintenance greenery to enhance work environments. Today, Pothos varieties, each with distinct leaf patterns and colors, are cultivated worldwide, allowing plant enthusiasts to enjoy a piece of tropical nature in their own spaces.

The enduring popularity of Pothos is not just a tribute to its decorative appeal but also to its symbolic meanings. In many cultures, Pothos is associated with luck and prosperity, making it a common gift among friends and business associates. Its hardy nature symbolizes resilience and growth, making it a meaningful addition to homes and offices.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): At a Glance

Did you know that Pothos is often called 'Devil's Ivy' because it's almost impossible to kill and stays green even when kept in the dark

Why Pothos is Popular Among Indoor Gardeners

The Pothos plant, known for its lush foliage and cascading vines, is a staple in the indoor gardening community. Its popularity stems from several key characteristics that make it an ideal choice for gardeners of all levels.

Easy to Care For: Pothos plants require minimal maintenance. They are forgiving to fluctuations in watering and can thrive in various lighting conditions, from low to bright, indirect light.

Adaptable: With an ability to adapt to different environments, Pothos can grow in a range of indoor settings. This adaptability makes it particularly appealing to those who might not have ideal growing conditions.

Air Purifying: Pothos is renowned for its air-purifying properties. It’s capable of removing toxins such as formaldehyde and xylene from the air, contributing to a healthier living environment.

Stylish: The versatility in its appearance, with varieties ranging from deep greens to variegated patterns of white, yellow, and green, allows Pothos to complement any interior design.

Propagation: Pothos plants are incredibly easy to propagate, making them a favorite for sharing with friends or expanding one’s own collection. A simple cutting can lead to a whole new plant.

These attributes collectively contribute to the Pothos plant’s reputation as a durable, decorative, and delightful addition to any indoor garden.

Challenges, Growth, and Decorative Versatility

The Pothos declares every space an oasis with its trailing vines that whisper the tales of lush, faraway jungles right in your living room.

Most Popular Pothos Plant Types for Indoor Gardeners

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is known for its diverse varieties, each showcasing unique patterns and colors. These varieties make Pothos a versatile choice for indoor gardeners looking to add different textures and hues to their plant collections. Here are some of the most popular types of Pothos:

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Aureum')

Perhaps the most common variety, it features heart-shaped green leaves with splashes of yellow or golden variegation.

Marble Queen Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Marble Queen')

Known for its creamy white and green variegated leaves, this variety can be less vigorous than the Golden Pothos due to its lower chlorophyll content.

Neon Pothos Epipremnum aureum Neon

This striking variety stands out with its bright, neon green leaves, offering a vibrant pop of color.

Jade Pothos Epipremnum aureum Jade

Jade Pothos has solid green leaves, making it a subtler, elegant option for spaces that favor a monochromatic look.

Basic Care for Pothos Plants

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), known for its resilience and easy-care nature, is an ideal plant for both novice and seasoned indoor gardeners. Here’s a detailed guide on the basic care requirements to keep your Pothos thriving.


Preferred Light: Thrives in medium to bright, indirect sunlight. Can tolerate low light but grows slower and may lose variegation. Avoid: Direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.


Frequency: Water every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Use your finger to check the top inch of soil; if it’s dry, it’s time to water. Tips: Reduce watering in the winter when plant growth naturally slows.


Type: Well-draining potting mix. pH: Prefers a pH of 6.1 to 6.5, slightly acidic to neutral.

Humidity and Temperature

Humidity: Does well in average home humidity but appreciates higher humidity levels. Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 60°F (15°C) to 86°F (30°C). Avoid temperatures below 50°F (10°C) as cold drafts can damage the plant.


Frequency: Fertilize monthly during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. Winter: Reduce fertilization in fall and winter, as the plant’s growth slows.

Pruning and Cleaning

Pruning: Regularly prune back long vines to encourage bushier growth and maintain the desired shape. Cleaning: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and support efficient photosynthesis.


When to Repot: Every 2-3 years, or when roots start to crowd the container. Pot Size: Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current one to allow for growth. Procedure: Gently remove the plant, untangle roots if necessary, and place in new pot with fresh potting mix.

Common Pests

Watch For: Spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Prevention: Keep the leaves clean and inspect regularly. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil for treatment.

Basic Care Summary Table

In the language of plants, Pothos symbolizes perseverance and longing, making it the perfect gift for someone embarking on a new life journey.

Your Path to Thriving Pothos

Follow our simple steps to ensure your Devil’s Ivy flourishes in every pot.

Choose Your Pothos

Select the ideal Pothos variety for your space, considering light levels, humidity, and room temperature. Varieties like the ‘Neon’ offer bright green leaves, while ‘Marble Queen’ provides a stunning variegation.

Potting Perfection

Opt for a well-draining potting mix and a pot with drainage holes to accommodate your Pothos’ need for moist but not waterlogged soil. A regular potting mix combined with perlite or orchid bark can provide the perfect environment.

Tend & Thrive

Establish a routine that includes watering your Pothos when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, providing bright, indirect light, and feeding with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every few months during the growing season.

Groom & Guard

Keep your Pothos in top shape by pruning leggy vines to promote fuller growth and regularly inspecting for pests or diseases. Pruning is also the perfect opportunity to propagate new plants from cuttings.

Advanced Care Techniques for Pothos Plants

Taking your Pothos care to the next level involves understanding and implementing some advanced techniques. These methods can help promote more vigorous growth, enhance the plant’s beauty, and ensure its long-term health.

Optimal Lighting for Variegation

Goal: Maintain vibrant variegation in leaves.
Method: Rotate your plant periodically to ensure all sides receive equal light exposure. Consider using a grow light in darker months to supplement natural light.

Enhancing Humidity


  • Pebble Tray: Place the pot on a tray filled with water and pebbles to increase humidity around the plant.
  • Humidifier: Use a room humidifier to maintain higher humidity levels, especially in dry climates or during winter.
  • Grouping Plants: Place your Pothos near other houseplants to create a microclimate with higher humidity.

Advanced Fertilization Practices

Seasonal Adjustments: Tailor your fertilization strategy to the plant’s growth cycle, with more frequent feeding during active growth periods in spring and summer, and scaling back in fall and winter.
Fertilizer Types: Experiment with organic fertilizers like fish emulsion or seaweed extract for a more natural growth boost.

Propagation Mastery

Methods: Beyond simple stem cuttings in water, try soil propagation or air layering for a more advanced approach.
Air Layering: Wrap a moist sphagnum moss around a node on the stem while still attached to the plant. Cover with plastic wrap to retain moisture, and wait for roots to develop before cutting off and planting.
Soil Propagation: Plant stem cuttings directly into soil for a more seamless transition to a new plant.

Pest Management

Preventive Care: Regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests. Quarantine new plants before introducing them to your collection.
Natural Remedies: Use neem oil or homemade insecticidal soap as a safer alternative to chemical pesticides.

Training and Shaping

Techniques: Use stakes, trellises, or wall hooks to train your Pothos to grow in specific directions, creating visually striking plant displays.
Pruning: Strategic pruning can encourage fuller growth and maintain the desired shape. Pinch back the tips of vines to promote branching.

Soil and Root Health

Assessment: Regularly check the root system for signs of overcrowding or rot. Healthy roots should be white and firm.
Soil Refreshing: Annually refresh the top layer of soil to replenish nutrients and remove salt buildup from fertilization.

Summary Table of Advanced Techniques

NASA’s Clean Air Study found that Pothos plants are star players in purifying the air, making them not just beautiful, but beneficial for your health!

Troubleshooting Common Problems with Pothos Plants

Pothos plants are renowned for their hardiness, but like all indoor plants, they can sometimes face health and growth issues. A deeper understanding of these problems, along with effective solutions, can ensure your Pothos remains healthy and thriving.

Yellowing Leaves

Cause: Overwatering is the primary culprit for yellow leaves, though it can also signify under-watering, poor drainage, or nutrient deficiencies.
Solution: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. If overwatering is frequent, improve drainage by adding perlite to the soil mix or choosing a pot with better drainage holes. For under-watered plants, establish a more regular watering schedule. If nutrient deficiency is suspected, apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer according to the product instructions.

Brown Leaf Tips

Cause: Typically caused by low humidity, excess salts from fertilizer, or fluoride in tap water.
Solution: Increase ambient humidity with a humidifier or pebble tray. Flush the soil every few months to remove salt buildup. Use filtered or rainwater for watering if tap water is high in fluoride. Ensure fertilization is not more frequent than recommended.

Leggy Growth or Loss of Variegation

Cause: Insufficient light leads to stretched stems and faded leaves. Overexposure to direct sunlight, however, can also harm the plant.
Solution: Relocate your Pothos to an area with bright, indirect light. If moving the plant is not possible, artificial grow lights are an excellent alternative. Regular pruning can encourage a fuller, bushier plant growth, helping to keep the plant vibrant and healthy.

Root Rot

Cause: Stagnant water and poor drainage often lead to root rot, a deadly condition if not addressed promptly.
Solution: At the first sign of root rot, remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots. Healthy roots are white and firm; rotten roots are brown and mushy. Trim any affected roots with sterilized scissors. Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil and ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes. Adjust watering habits to prevent future occurrences.

Pest Infestations

Common Pests: Spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects are attracted to stressed or weakened Pothos plants.
Solution: Manually remove pests using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or wash the plant under a gentle stream of water. Treat the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil, applying as directed on the product label. Prevent pest infestations by keeping the leaves clean and checking regularly for signs of pests, especially under leaves and along stems.

Preventative Measures

Maintaining a healthy Pothos involves regular care and monitoring. Keep an eye on environmental factors such as light, water, and humidity to prevent stress on the plant. A stress-free Pothos is less susceptible to diseases and pests. Regularly clean leaves to ensure efficient photosynthesis and inspect for early signs of trouble. With these practices, your Pothos can grow vigorously and remain a stunning part of your indoor garden.

Troubleshooting Summary for Pothos Plants

If you want your Pothos to grow more quickly, give it more light! Just remember – no direct sunlight, or you might hurt this hardy friend.

Design and Styling with Pothos Plants

Integrating Pothos into your home or office decor not only adds a touch of nature but also brings versatility and style to your space. Here are detailed ideas for showcasing Pothos in various settings.

Elevate Your Living Spaces

Pothos’ cascading vines make it an ideal plant for creating visual interest in high places. Hang planters from ceilings or place them atop shelves where the vines can drape gracefully downward, drawing the eye and softening architectural lines.

Creative Containers

Experiment with unique pots and containers to match your decor style. From rustic macramé hangers to sleek geometric pots, choosing the right container can enhance both the plant and your room’s aesthetic.

Wall Art

Transform a Pothos into a living piece of wall art by using wall-mounted planters or creating a DIY plant wall. This approach adds a vibrant, living element to your decor and is perfect for spaces with limited floor space.

Natural Dividers

Use Pothos plants to create soft, natural room dividers. Placing several plants on a shelf or in a row can delineate spaces while keeping the area open and airy.

Desk Companions

A small Pothos on a desk or workspace can improve focus and add a refreshing pop of green. Its air-purifying qualities also contribute to a healthier work environment.

Themed Decor

For those who love themed decor, Pothos can easily fit into various styles, including tropical, minimalist, or bohemian. Its versatility in appearance and styling makes it an excellent choice for theme-based interiors.

Design and Styling Summary

Pothos has been a beloved houseplant since the 1970s, thriving in the disco era and continuing to bring joy to plant lovers today.

Health and Safety Considerations for Pothos Plants

Pothos plants add more than just aesthetic appeal to your indoor spaces; they also impact health and safety in various ways. It’s important to be aware of these aspects to ensure a positive experience with your Pothos.

Air Purification

Pothos is celebrated for its air-purifying qualities, known to absorb and neutralize toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, making it a beneficial addition to any indoor environment.

Toxicity Concerns

Understanding the toxicity of Pothos is crucial for ensuring the safety of both humans and pets. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Contains Calcium Oxalate Crystals: Pothos has insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which are the primary cause of its toxic nature.
  • Effects on Humans: If ingested, these crystals can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting. Ingestion is rarely life-threatening but can be uncomfortable and distressing.
  • Effects on Pets: Pothos is toxic to both cats and dogs. Symptoms of poisoning include oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
  • Immediate Action: If you suspect your pet has ingested Pothos, contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal poison control service immediately. For humans, seek medical advice promptly.
  • Preventive Measures: Always keep Pothos plants out of reach of pets and children. Consider hanging planters or high shelves for display. Be aware of fallen leaves and ensure they are quickly discarded.
  • Handling the Plant: When trimming or handling Pothos, wearing gloves is recommended to prevent skin contact with the sap, which can also cause irritation.

Handling and Maintenance

When pruning or repotting Pothos, it’s advisable to wear gloves, especially if you have sensitive skin, to avoid irritation from the plant’s sap.

Psychological Benefits

Apart from physical health benefits, Pothos can also contribute to emotional well-being. The act of caring for plants can reduce stress and enhance mood, providing a calming presence in your living space or workspace.

Health and Safety Overview

In some cultures, Pothos is known as 'Money Plant' and is believed to bring good luck and financial prosperity to its owners.

Embrace the spirit of horticulture and spread the seeds of wisdom


In the world of foliage, Pothos is the silent warrior of the shadows, thriving where others merely survive.

Pothos Plant FAQs: Answers to Your Green Queries

Dive into our curated list of Frequently Asked Questions where we unravel the mysteries of Pothos care. Whether you’re wondering about watering techniques, sunlight needs, or how to tackle common issues, we’ve compiled expert advice to ensure your Devil’s Ivy not only survives but thrives. From seasoned plant enthusiasts to first-time owners, this section is your go-to resource for quick, reliable information to keep your Pothos lush and healthy.

Cut a 4-6 inch piece of stem just below a node. Remove lower leaves and place in water until roots develop, then plant in soil.

Yes, Pothos contain calcium oxalate crystals which, if ingested, can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, and vomiting in cats.

Similar to cats, Pothos are toxic to dogs. Ingestion can result in oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
Water Pothos every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Water less often in winter and more frequently in bright light.
Yellow leaves can indicate overwatering, poor drainage, or a nutrient deficiency. Ensure proper watering and consider a balanced fertilizer.
Place in indirect light, water when soil is dry to the touch, and fertilize monthly during the growing season with a half-strength solution.
Make cuts just below a leaf node, which is where new roots will sprout. Use a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears.
Regularly prune long vines, which encourages new branch growth. Ensure adequate light and nutrients for the best results.
Cut back vines to the desired length, making sure to cut just above a leaf node. Pruning can be done any time of year to maintain shape.
Choose a pot 1-2 inches larger in diameter, replace with fresh potting mix, and repot when roots become crowded, typically every 2-3 years.
Trim any overgrown or leggy vines, cutting just above a leaf node. Remove any yellowed or dead leaves to maintain health and appearance.
Yes, Pothos can grow in water indefinitely, though they may benefit from occasional nutrients added to the water.
In temperate climates, Pothos can live outside in the summer but must be brought indoors before temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).
Pothos can tolerate being slightly root-bound, but they will thrive when given enough space to grow.
Pothos prefer indirect light but can tolerate low-light conditions, though growth may slow.
Repot when the plant becomes root-bound or the soil looks depleted, typically every 2-3 years.
While they can handle being root-bound to an extent, they will benefit from repotting once they outgrow their container.
Pothos thrive in bright, indirect light but will also do well in medium to low light settings.
Place stem cuttings in a container of water, ensuring at least one node is submerged. Change the water weekly and provide sufficient light.

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