How to Plant and Care for Pothos

It is true that pothos needs very low maintenance, but they do need some love and care from time to time. The indestructible and easy-to-care-for nature of the pothos makes them so popular among beginners in gardening.

If you are worried about how to plant and care for pothos, then we are here to help you! We have collected everything you should know about the soil, temperature, water needs, propagation, pests, and diseases of pothos.

So, let’s have a look at some popular varieties of pothos and how best to plant and care for them.

About Pothos?

marble jade pothos

Also called Ceylon creeper or Devil’s eye, Pothos plants are native to Southeast Asia, or to be precise, French Polynesia. People often confuse pothos with philodendrons, which also have heart-shaped leaves. But the two species have differences, so be mindful that you get the correct plant. It might be a good idea to ask the person at the counter for pothos or you could read our article Pothos vs Philodendron – What’s the Difference.

Pothos plants grow in crawling vines and creep up walls and trees using their aerial root system. Even indoor pothos can grow as long as 10 feet. You could place them in hanging baskets, or on top of shelves for the plant to hang down and form a beautiful green foliage curtain.

An important thing to note is that pothos contain high levels of calcium oxalate crystals and toxic proteins, which can prove dangerous for both humans and pets if swallowed. They can even cause skin rash and other allergic reactions. Remember to keep these plants out of reach of pets and children.

Types of Pothos

golden pothos

There are many different types of pothos available from which you could choose according to your aesthetic preferences and needs.

Some of the common ones are:

1.    Golden Pothos

Golden pothos has deep green leaves, variegated and tinted with yellowish-golden patches. Not just beautiful, but golden pothos also promote a healthier environment in the house by removing formaldehyde released by paint, foam insulation, varnish, etc.

2.    Neon Pothos

This type of pothos had bright chartreuse-green leaves with no variegation, different from other kinds of pothos.

3.    Marble Queen Pothos

The leaves are grayish green with streaks of creamy white color. These show slow growth, so you can put them on coffee tables and study desks.

4.    Jade Pothos

This species of photos have dark green leaves, lacks variegation, and grows well even in low light conditions.

How to Plant Pothos Plants

neon pothos

Pothos are easy to plant as well. When your pothos plant becomes big, you could start making new plants from the old ones and plant them at different places around your house, or gift them to your friends.

Here are the steps to use stem cutting to grow new pothos plants:

  1. Cut a stem from a pothos plant that has a couple of leaves
  2. Put some water in a small vase or glass and dip the stem cutting in that container
  3. You should see the cutting developing roots within a few weeks
  4. You can transplant this baby plant into the soil when the roots are about 3 inches long

How to care for Pothos Plant

pothos in pots

It is easy to care for a pothos plant. Follow these steps about pothos care and your pothos will thrive.

1.    Sunlight

If you choose a pothos plant with variegations, such as the marble queen or golden pothos, then sun exposure is very important for the plant. Many pothos varieties can strive in low light, but the ones with variegation would lose their beauty and grandeur if they don’t receive sunlight for long.

The variegated varieties of pothos retain their beauty if you place them in an area where they receive bright, yet indirect sunlight, which can be both indoors and outdoors. The leaves may become yellow and scorched if you place the plant under direct sunlight and may ultimately start to wilt.

2.    Soil

Pothos plants are not very choosy about the type of soil they grow in. You just need to grow them in a light and good-quality organic potting mix. Remember to make sure that there is proper drainage as pothos don’t grow well in soggy soil. The roots may become mushy and rot if there is improper drainage.

3.    Water

One of the most crucial things to care for while growing any plant is the amount of water you give and how frequently you water it. Underwatering and overwatering are two major causes of damage to pothos plants.

Pothos like to grow in humid environments, but they don’t grow well in wet and soggy soil. Water it properly and then waits for some days for the soil to become dry before you water it again. Check the soil to see if it is dry before you water it again.

Provide good levels of hydration and flush out salts that could cause root damage by watering the pothos plant until water starts to drip out of the drainage holes. If your pothos is placed in a water-catching saucer, be mindful to discard the excess water.  

Pothos like humidity and one of the best places to grow pothos is in bathrooms, where there is a lot of humidity. Sprinkling water on the leaves during hot weather can also be an alternative way to provide humidity or you could place your pothos along with other plants which will create humidity levels to rise.  

If you would like to grow your pothos without soil, that is also possible. Place your pothos in a bottle or container of water.

4.    Pruning

It is good to prune the pothos plant from time to time to make it grow better. This way lateral shoots grow better, and you could grow the new vines in your desired way. Just take a pair of scissors or a sharp knife and cut the soft stems at the place where leaves are attached to the branch. Water the plant after pruning till the soil becomes moist to help the plant recover from drought stress and remove all pruned material.

5.    Repotting

Even if you water the pothos plant correctly, it is still wilting, then the plant is probably rootbound. This means that there is no extra space left in the pot for roots to grow. Remove the plant from its old pot and repot it into a slightly bigger container. Pothos’ growing season is in the spring, and it is the best time for repotting.

6.    Pest Issues

Pothos are generally resistant to most pests, but mealybugs may infest the plant in rare cases. The easy way to kill mealybugs is to dab them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. Another way is to use insecticidal soap or pluck them off by hand.

Causes And Remedies for Yellow Leaves of The Pothos Plant

pothos plants

There may be many reasons that could cause the leaves of pothos to become yellow. You should try to problem solve this at the initial stages. Let’s look at some of the main factors that cause yellow leaves on pothos and what remedies are available.

  • Too much sunlight: Exposing the pothos plant to bright direct sunlight for long periods of time can cause the leaves to become yellow and ultimately dry out. So, keep your pothos plant in a semi-shady region with bright indirect light.
  • Dry soil: Underwatering can cause the leaves to become dry and yellow. To solve this, put the plant in water and water it regularly.
  • Wet soil: Overwatering can also be a reason for the yellow leaves of pothos. Remove the rotten roots and replant the pothos in fresh and dry soil.
  • Low humidity: Pothos do not like to grow in dry air, so spray lukewarm water on the leaves to restore their color. You can also put a bowl of water near the plant to provide humidity.
  • Lack of nutrients: Nutrient deficiency can be a cause of yellow leaves. To solve this problem, use liquid fertilizer.

Wrapping Up

Now that we have looked at how to plant and care for pothos, you can be certain that pothos doesn’t require a lot from you in regard to planning and caring. You can be the person with a busy schedule, with little time for houseplants, and still, have thriving pothos.

It is the ideal plant to liven up your indoor or outdoor spaces with the additional benefits of its air-purifying qualities. Pothos will add a touch of nature and beauty to your house and are the best choice for beginners in gardening and people with little to no experience in growing plants.