5 Things To Love About Pothos
This is the ultimate easy care, low light tolerant houseplant to come down the pike
I was in the interior plantscaping trade for years. I maintained 100’s of Pothos and I put 100’s of them in offices and homes. Saying they’re the quintessential file cabinet plant or that I got tired of them is an understatement. I’ve been away from mass quantities of them for a while now and some new varieties have come on the market so my heart has softened towards them once again. Here are 5 things to love about Pothos.
#1: Easy Care. Pothos, whose name is Epipremum (or Scindapsus) aurem in the botanic world, do just fine in lower to medium light. The lower the light, the less variegation &/or color your plant will have. If you’re heavy handed with the watering can, then you’d better change your ways. This plant needs water every 7 to 10 days, less or more depending on the temperatures, & will rot out in no time if you overdo it. As I say in our houseplant care book Keep Your Houseplants Alive, back off with the liquid love. As far as insects go, mealybug seemed to be public enemy #1 in my experience. A good spraying off in the sink will knock off those white fuzzy critters & get them under control if the infestation is not too bad.
#2 Low Light Tolerant & Durable. As I said above, Pothos are 1 plant that can tolerate low light conditions. They’ll revert to solid green & won’t grow too much but they will live. These plants seemed to be oblivious to the recycled air & lack of circulation in offices. I remember 1000’s of them hanging down from floor after floor of rectangular planters in the atrium areas of the Hyatt Hotels. For a plant with a soft leaf, Pothos are tough.
#3 Versatility. You can hang Pothos to enjoy their long stems trailing down or place them on a table, shelf or file cabinet. They are commonly found in dish gardens mixing & mingling with other plants. If you’re near a nursery which offers houseplants a bit out of the ordinary, you can find them growing over hoops or climbing up a piece of bark.
#4 Easy To Propagate. Pothos are so easy to propagate that you’ll be giving plants to your friends in no time. Simply cut off a piece of the stem anywhere from 6″ to 12″ long, strip off the lower leaves & place it in water. Make sure you have node it the water & freshen the water every week. That’s it!
The chartreusey Pothos “Neon”. The 1 on the ground is growing on a double hoop. I’m crazy for this color!
#5 Air Purification. Pothos are 1 of the plants that are champions at cleaning the air. That’s right, while they’re sitting there looking pretty, Pothos are actually removing toxins found in carpet, paint, plastics, insulation, etc from the air around them. They take in the bad & release the good. How kind Pothos are to us!
In their natural environments, Pothos climb up the tall trees and their stems can reach 60′ tall. Wow! The leaves get to be 2′ and are deeply divided. I’m sure you’ve seen one in someone’s home or in a restaurant where the 10′ stems are very leggy and all the foliage is at the very tips. Not a look I’m fond of!
The fact is that Pothos, aka Devil’s Ivy, will grow and trail much faster in medium light but you can buy them with lots of trails already on them if that’s what you want. They are so to care for easy care and tolerant of lower light situations making them one of the “go to” houseplants. One of my friends has had a Pothos for over 20 years now – now that’s longevity!
Be sure to check out our houseplant care book – you’ll find it very useful: Keep Your Houseplants Alive
Here’s a video for you shot in the greenhouses where we took the pics for our book: