Plant of the month

Pothos Ideal Houseplant for Any Indoor Garden


Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is an often overlooked vining houseplant that is a great addition to any indoor garden. Unfortunately, it's often ignored in favor of more flashy plants -- like orchids. True, it's a simple plant, but it more than makes up for a lack of blooms.

Easy to grow houseplant

Pothos is so easy to grow. The vine can go almost dry before protesting, needs repotting very infrequently (giant vines will thrive in tiny pots for years), and requires very little, if any, fertilizer. It rarely gets a pest or disease, it is easy to propagate, and best of all, it can grow in just about any lighting situation -- from dark corners to bright windowsills.

Pothos grows anywhere

Pothos is also extremely vigorous and versatile. Let it gracefully hang from a basket, crawl its way around the expanse of a room, cover a trellis or simply drape onto a table. It does just as well on its own as it does in a mixed planting.

Not philodendron

Although pothos doesn't flower indoors, its foliage is very attractive. Sometimes confused with philodendron, pothos have similar heart-shaped leaves, but they are shiny and tend to be variegated in gold or cream tones. In the wild, pothos leaves can reach over 3 feet, but indoors 4 to 5 inches is more likely.




Pothos growing tips

Here are some tips for making the most of this vining plant.

  • Get creative. Few indoor plants will climb and crawl as readily and as far as pothos. Take advantage of the plant's eagerness. Train it to grow across a wall by attaching the vine to small hooks or inconspicuous nails. Let it spill from entertainment centers, bookcases and high window ledges. Train it up a trellis, moss pole or staircase.

  • Avoid overwatering. Pothos do best when you let them approach dryness and then drench them. They'll let you know when they're ready for watering by flagging -- the leaves will appear slightly limp and lose their sheen. Flagging occurs before the plant begins to wilt, at which point you've waited too long to water.

  • Fertilize occasionally. Pothos will probably do just fine without fertilizer, but the plant will be happier and grow more vigorously with some food. Feed with a diluted mix of an organic fertilizer three to four times during spring and summer.

  • Prune. Without some pinching, pothos tend to grow single-stemmed and get very lanky. Pinch tips occasionally to encourage bushy growth.

  • Propagate. Pothos reproduce easily from stem cuttings. Root new cuttings to grow entirely new plants, or use the cuttings to fill in the bare spots in existing pots. A fast and easy way to fill out an existing pot is to prune the pothos and insert the cuttings directly into the same pot. Just remember to keep these new cuttings moist at the point of contact into the soil until they become rooted and established.

  • Consider lighting. Pothos will grow in just about any lighting situation, although it's important to note that the variegation may fade some when the plant is exposed to very bright or dim lighting conditions. Medium to bright filtered light is ideal.

  • Keep foliage clean. Pothos are healthiest and most attractive when their leaves are given a regular cleaning. Use a damp cloth to wipe them down and show off their shiny green leaves.







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