Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum) | The Ultimate Care Guide

The pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum) is a hardy indoor foliage plant of the Araceae family. It is one of the most popular houseplants around. It’s super easy to grow, low-maintenance and easy to care for and propagate, making it a perfect plant for beginners. The pothos plant is one of the best houseplants for improving indoor air quality in your home or office, which is one of its most important characteristics.

It is a tropical plant native to French Polynesia. In hotter temperate climates it is a more popular houseplant, Pothos plant does not do well in temperatures under 65°F (18°C). It can sprawl across forest floors and climb tree trunks thanks to its aerial root system.

Origin of Pothos Plants

Pothos plants are native to South Africa and Madagascar. It’s also grown in the tropics of Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America. In the United States, pothos is popular with gardeners who want something easy to grow indoors or outside where temperatures are mild.


Pothos houseplant is a vining indoor plant with heart-shaped leaves that resemble those of the philodendron. It’s also a tropical plant that prefers warmer temperatures (no frost) and will tolerate low light levels. Pothos has small white flowers that appear during the summer months in climates where it’s warm enough for the plant to bloom.

In addition to being easy to care for, pothos is also known for its ability to climb up walls or other vertical surfaces with its trailing vines. In fact, it’s sometimes called devil’s ivy because the leaf edges look like sharp thorns when they’re young — and indeed some people have reported scratches from handling this plant! To avoid such injuries, make sure you handle pothos carefully by holding onto supporting stems rather than brushing against any leaves or vines directly as your hands may brush against these sharp-looking edges accidentally!

Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos Facts

  • Pothos plants are known by several different names, including devil’s ivy, Devil’s Vine, Money Plant, Hunter’s Rope, Taro Vine, Ivy Arum and Ceylon Creeper.
  • This is now one of the most common house plants, having spread throughout the world as a result of human activity. The plant has become naturalised in a variety of tropical and sub-tropical environments around the world.
  • In the 1980s, NASA and other scientists conducted research on the effects of pothos indoor pollutants like carbon monoxide, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and dust.
  • Cuttings can be put in aquariums or placed on top of the tank, and the roots left to grow in the water can be used to propagate the vine, and filter nitrate by the roots.

How to Care for Pothos Plants

Pothos care is easy and effortless, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
The best way to keep your pothos plant happy is by providing it with plenty of indirect light — ideally, around five hours per day — Water when the soil feels dry on top — and don’t let it sit in water for long periods of time. Watering too often can cause root rot and other issues.

Light Requirements

Pothos plants don’t require a lot of light, for five to six hours is plenty; so, you can place the plant in an area with indirect sunlight or shade. However, if your pothos is not getting enough light, its leaves will become pale green or white and start to fall off. On the other hand, if you have too much direct sunlight reaching your plant’s leaves, they can turn brown and shrivel up as well.

Watering & Humidity Requirements

Watering pothos plants should be done when they’re dry — and this may mean watering them multiple times per week depending on how much light they get as well as how hot it gets outside. Continue to water your pothos until water comes out of the drainage holes in the pot, then drain excess water from the collection dish. Always use room temperature water for watering purposes; cold water or over-watering could cause root rot which would kill off any new growth.

Pothos plants can survive dry air, although a humidity level of 50–70 percent is more beneficial. The ones with white variegation, such as Marble Queen, N-Joy, Majula/Happy Leaf, are an exception. If they don’t receive enough humidity, they might become a little brittle. The bathroom may be the best place for the Marble Queen if your home is too dry.


Most tropical and subtropical plants, including pothos thrive in relatively similar temperature and humidity as people, making them suitable for indoor growing. They thrive in tropical climates with some humidity and warmer temperatures. The optimum temperature for pothos plants is between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can tolerate slightly higher or lower temperatures for brief periods.


Use a liquid fertiliser for houseplants. Pothos plants may survive without fertiliser, but fertilising once a month throughout the growing season in the spring and summer will help them develop to their full potential.

Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum)
Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum)

How to Care for Pothos Outdoors

Pothos plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 70 to 90 degrees F (21–32 degrees C) with heavy humidity. Climbing vines may reach a height of 40 feet when grown outdoors. Pothos thrive in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12 and may be grown outside all year round. The plant must be managed as an indoor plant outside of these environments.

If you live in a hot environment, allow the pothos soil to dry between waterings, before watering again, allow the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil to dry.

Pothos are finicky when it comes to overwatering. The plant is being overwatered if the leaves are yellowing. Water more often if you notice wilting or discoloured foliage.

Pothos look great in a hanging basket with their long vines showing off, or in a standard pot on a plant stand.
Be aware — Although their aerial roots — which they adopt to attach themselves to objects such as trees or other vertical structures — they are known to peel paint off surfaces they come into contact with.

Can You Grow Pothos in Water?

As a general rule, growing pothos in water is actually just as good as growing them in potting soil. The plant will flourish as long as it has access to water and nutrients.

Caring for Pothos in Water

A healthy pothos vine, a glass container, and all-purpose liquid fertiliser are all you need to start growing pothos in water. Clear glass is ideal for growing pothos in water since it lets you view the roots easily.

Cut a three- or four-node length of pothos vine. The leaves on the lowest section of the vine should be removed since any leaves left in the water will decay. Add a few drops of liquid fertiliser to some water and pour into the container, tap water is ok, but if your water is chlorinated, set it aside for a day or two before immersing in the vine.

Place the vine where the light source is both bright and indirect. Pothos vines thrive in low light, but too much direct sunshine can limit growth or cause the leaves to become brown or yellow. Replace the water in the container every two to three weeks, or anytime the water in the container seems to be opaque.

To eliminate any algae, scrub the container with a paper towel. Fertilise your pothos every four to six weeks and don’t forget to top up the water.

Pothos Soil Types & pH

A well-draining soil mix that balances water-holding capacity and drainage is ideal for pothos plants. The pH of the soil should be between 6.0 and 6.5. Two parts peat moss, one part perlite, and one part pine bark fines are a great combo.

Pothos Growth Rate

Pothos plants grow quickly. They are one of the fastest-growing houseplants, making them a rewarding plant to own. When you consider how easy it is to care for pothos plants, there isn’t much you won’t like about this plant.

During the growing season, you can expect your pothos to grow at a rate of 12 inches per month (or 30 cm) with the proper care.

Pothos Propagation

Stem cuttings are the most convenient approach to reproducing pothos plants. Simply take a healthy-looking stem from your mother plant that has at least two leaves, the leaves should be vibrant and robust, not withered. Cut with a sharp blade or scissors just above a root node. Fill a jar with water and place the cut stem inside. The cutting should begin to root in the water after a few weeks. Transplant your new plant into a container with potting soil after the new roots are about three inches long. If you’re growing your pothos indoors from seedlings or cuttings, keep it indoors until its roots have enough time to develop fully before transplanting them outdoors (usually about three weeks after germination).

Do Pothos Produce Seeds?

Common pothos is a virtually sterile plant as it almost never flowers, and flowering generally has to be induced with hormones in order to produce seeds. In the wild it does not blossom until it is a mature plant, and even then producing seeds is really uncommon. It spreads by simply growing bigger, together with its surroundings.

Because pothos seeds are difficult to come by and produce a random range of variations, cuttings are the most convenient way to grow additional plants.

It explains why there are so many tutorials on how to take cuttings but so few photos of baby pothos seedlings.

But what if you could start from scratch and produce pothos from seed? You can’t be sure you’d obtain the pothos you desired. The deep green jade pothos is the progenitor of the various types of pothos we see as houseplants today. Variegations are mutations from the solid green plant, resulting in flecked patterns on the leaves.

There’s no assurance that seedlings from variegated plants will stay variegated. When purchasing seeds, keep in mind that just because the source plant was exotic-looking doesn’t guarantee the progeny will be!

When Should I Repot My Pothos?

Because pothos plants grow quickly, it’s critical to repot them on a regular basis to give their roots more room to expand. Repotting is also a viable option for treating pothos health issues.

If the stems of your pothos plant turn dark brown or black and become spongy, your plant is likely suffering from root rot (especially if the soil feels wet for long periods). Soft dark-brown or black spots on the leaves are also possible. That’s a sign that your pothos needs to be repotted!

How to Repot Pothos?

It’s quite easy to repot a pothos plant. Here are the steps to repot them.

  1. Take the plant out of its container. Gently tip the pot on its side or even upside down while working the plant out. If necessary, work around the edges with a rubber spatula. Just make sure you’re not yanking the plant out by the stems or you’ll break them!
  2. Transfer your pothos to its new pot. In the bottom of a clean pot, add an inch or two of potting mix. If you’re repotting your pothos to give them more room to grow, choose a pot that’s a few inches larger than the root ball; for repotting due to root rot you can use the old container, be sure to wash it thoroughly. Place your pothos plant upright in the new pot and fill in the gaps with potting mix around the sides. Make sure there are about 1 to 2 inches of space to the top of the pot.
  3.  Use plenty of water.
    Fill the soil with water until it begins to run out the bottom. Because the soil will most likely settle, add a little more potting mix on top. You now know how to repot your pothos and when to do so. Because the roots of your pothos will be sensitive, wait a month or so before fertilising it. Your pothos will now have plenty of room to grow new lovely leaves and trailing vines.

Pothos Size

Pothos can grow to be exceptionally large in the wild, with their leaves reaching lengths of more than a foot. As a houseplant, it has a tendency to be much smaller; mature leaves are typically 4–8 inches long, and in ideal conditions, the vines can reach 6′ to 8′ in length. Pruning is used to manage growth and shape in order to appear fuller. Cut back the vines just above a leaf.

Common Problems With Pothos Plants

Pothos plants that are stunted are commonly caused by a lack of water. These tropical plants prefer filtered light, high humidity, and temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (21–32 C.). Plant growth is slowed in temperatures that are higher or lower than those listed. Allow only the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil to dry before watering. If the plant dries out to the roots, it will slow down its growth and lose its overall health, which can lead to disease and pest outbreaks.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves are the most common problem we see with pothos plants. However, this (as with many other discolouration issues) can be caused by a variety of factors!

When the plant has no more use for older leaves, they may turn yellow, but if you notice a lot of leaves yellowing, there may be a problem.

Your pothos plant may be underwatered if multiple older leaves begin to yellow around the same time. This is most likely the case if the soil is also very dry, so give your pothos some water!

Overwatering will also make your plant leaves start to yellow, if you notice yellowing leaves both new and old, all over the plant and the soil is wet, the pot or soil might not be draining properly, you may want to reduce the amount of water you use for a while.

It’s also possible that your pothos plant isn’t receiving enough light. This could be the case if your plant is in a dark space. Because sunlight allows plants to use water more efficiently, a lack of light can contribute to overwatering, so improving the lighting situation could help with multiple issues.

An imbalance of nutrients is another possible cause of yellowing. If your light, water, and drainage are all in good working order, but you haven’t fertilised your pothos plant in a while, it’s time to do so. For nearly all houseplants, including pothos, you can use indoor plant food.

Brown Spots

Browning leaves, like yellowing leaves, can be caused by a variety of factors. However, we have a few hints to figure out what’s at the root of the problem.

Both over-and under-watering can result in brown spots. Underwatering is usually the culprit if the spots are lighter and crisper, but make sure to check the soil for confirmation.

Overwatering is more likely the cause if the spots are darker and softer. This is especially true if the vines are browning as well, if the soil is wet or moist, or if the lighting or drainage is inadequate.

If your pothos plant is exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves could very well scorch and turn brown. So that’s something else to keep an eye on!

Chemicals like chlorine in tap water could also be to blame, especially if only the tips of the leaves are turning brown and crisp. To let these chemicals, dissipate, start leaving your plant’s water out for at least 1 day or switch to distilled water or rainwater.

Leaves Curling

Overwatering causes waterlogged soil, and pothos roots cannot survive in saturated soil for long periods of time. All of the water and nutrients that your pothos need to survive are unable to reach the plant stems and leaves once the roots begin to rot. As a result, they curl in an attempt to retain the water.

Pests and Diseases

Pothos is generally disease-free when given the correct quantity of water, light, and continuous temperature.

Brown stains on the leaves may emerge as a result of cold weather or abrupt temperature fluctuations. Keep the draughts away from your plant.

Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale are all typical houseplant pests that thrive in overwatered plants.

To keep pests at bay, spray with Neem Oil or insecticidal soap.

Suggested Pothos Uses

Pothos is best grown as a houseplant. These plants are simple to grow and may be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • On a desk, as a single potted plant, or as a wonderful bathroom plant.
  • As a ground cover, if planted in masses.
  • Grow up a pole or trellis as an upright plant.
  • Hanging basket with trailing vines draping downward.
  • In small gardens, they can be mixed in with other plants.

Are Pothos Plants Poisonous?

Pothos plants are poisonous, although being a popular houseplant, it is somewhat poisonous. The Pothos plant should be planted with caution around inquisitive animals and small children due to its toxicity. Calcium oxalate, which are small crystals that function as a contact irritant, is found in all sections of the plant. Pothos ingestion can induce swelling and a burning feeling in the mouth and throat, as well as indigestion and intestinal pain. Contact with the sap might cause contact dermatitis, so handle your Pothos with caution. Before trimming or repotting the plant, put on gloves and wash your hands afterwards.

Pothos Types

Pothos come in 15 different species around the world, and despite being poisonous, they are very popular houseplants. Here are some of the common types of pothos:

  • Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’ is one of today’s most popular pothos types. It features smooth green leaves with white and grey variegation. To keep its distinctive colouration, it requires more light than most pothos.
  • E. aureum ‘Golden Pothos’ the leaves are dark green, heart-shaped, and variegated in white or yellow.
  • E. aureum ‘Jade Pothos’ is a solid shade of green with no variation.
  • E. aureum ‘Neon’ has beautiful light-green leaves that stand out. It’s ideal for brightening up a darker room in the house.
  • E. aureum ‘Silver Satin’ Thick grey-green leaves with silver splotches define this variety. Drought and low-light environments are not a problem for it.
  • E. aureum Manjula Pothos’ Green and white variegation, a patented variety produced by the University of Florida. The margins of the leaves are somewhat wrinkled.


Pothos is a great plant for beginners. It’s easy to care for and it’s versatile in terms of its placement in your home. The plant will thrive if you follow these tips and you should have no problem keeping it alive for many years to come!

During the spring and summer, your potted Pothos can be enjoyed on a sheltered porch or patio. Give the plant a trellis to climb on and watch it flourish.

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