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5 Things To Love About Pothos

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.

5 things to love about Pothos This is “Glacier” – one of the newer varieties. The leaves are a bit smaller than the other 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.

5 things to love about Pothos A good-sized 6″ Golden Pothos – the old standby.

#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!

5 things to love about PothosThe 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!

 You can see a Pothos growing in the front of this mixed garden. That basket was packed full & very heavy!

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!

Pothos are rockstars that they’re included in this 2 posts: 10 Easy Care Houseplants for Low Light  & 15 Easy to Grow Houseplants in it for the Long Haul.

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:


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  1. need help trying to save a Plant pothos” the vines are long but the leaves are missing what causes this 4 to 5 feet long. I really like your pothos” real healthy.

  2. Hi Darryl – Those Pothos you saw in my vlog are growing in a greenhouse with optimum light, temperature & humidity. In our homes, Pothos tend to get leggy in our homes due to too low light levels, inconsistent watering & lack of humidity. You can cut off the vines & root them in water (they root easily). If there’s foliage coming out of the base of the plant, that should rejuvenate. Hope that helps, Nell

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  4. Thumbs up. I like pothole but dislike when they get leggy. I was unsure how much to clip them back. Reading your comments and watching the videos I now think frequent clipping, rooting and putting the rooted bits back in the pot should help fill it out. Short of providing more light. Thanks Nell, your videos are so useful and you are always a smiling bright spot for me in these tubular post election weeks.

  5. Thank you, so glad you find the videos helpful! Pothos can reach 60′ in nature so they have quite a growth habit. Yes, if they get leggy, just cut those stems off & stick in water. They root very easily. And, I know exactly what you mean about those post election weeks – plants & flowers are such a comfort! Hugs, Nell

  6. Hi, Great post!
    I whould like to grow a photos on a net construction. Do you have any idea how fast a golden photos can grow?
    And is it possible to keep the size of the leaves in check? The top ones are always huge compared to the bottom ones.
    Kind regards

  7. Hi Arno – Thank you! My Pothos “Marble Queen” grows quite fast. I live in the AZ desert & it loves the heat. Pothos are considered to to moderate to fast growers, depending on your conditions. The top leaves will always be bigger than the bottom leaves, it’s just the nature of how the plant grows. Nell

  8. Hi Nell, where can I buy bark for my golden pathos and, how is it attached to the existing bark?

  9. Hi Marion – I’ve seen it at a few garden centers as well as orchid supply companies online. You can attach the pothos to it with very fine wire, fine jute twine or fishing line. You don’t need to use a lot of it because the pothos has many roots on the stem & will anchor in quickly. Nell

  10. Hello, I have a pothos neon. How can i make that the stem between the leaves get shorter? Meaning that the leaves are closer to each other, so the vines hanging look fuller. Currently the leaves are apron 5″ apart from each other. Any way to make them be lets say 2-3″?

  11. Hi – There’s nothing you can do for any of the larger-leafed pothos to make the leaves grow closer. If you tip prune the plant, it just encourages more growth at the top. The leaves of the smaller-leafed pothos tend to grow closer on the stems. Nell

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  13. 12/10/17 – My gorgeous neon pothos was turning yellow when I discovered the drain hole in the pot had becomed plugged. I raced to repot it into dry soil and remove the rotting, yellowing leaves. It has been more than a month now and the plant seems to have lost the will to live. It is very wilted and I can’t get it to bounce back. I am very sad that my show-stopper plant is sick and reduced to a mere shadow of its former self but I am willing to hang in there with it to nurse it back to health. I give it small drinks of water only when the pot is lightweight, but never allow water to flow out the drain hole and it receives filtered light. Please advise as to how to save my sick friend.
    I cry every day!!!

  14. Hi Debra – I love chartreuse plants & flowers so I feel your pain! Once plants get overwatered & the roots become waterlogged, it can be hard to bring them back to life. My advice would be to repot it into a good quality potting soil but you’ve already done that. Give it as much light as you can (Neon takes more light than some of the other Pothos) without putting it in direct, hot sun. At this time of year, I water my Pothos every 3-4 weeks. Nell

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