Golden Pothos

OFFICIAL NAME

Epipremnum aureum

ALSO KNOWN AS

Devil's Ivy, Sweetheart Vine, Ceylon Creeper, Hunter's Robe

ORIGINS & CLIMATE

Southeast Asia, French Polynesia | Tropical

ABOUT THE
PLANT

Fast growing and easy going, Pothos are one of the most popular houseplants around. While there are many beautiful variants, this Golden Pothos stands out with fun yellow variegation. All Pothos will trail, but they can also climb if provided a little support or training.

HOW MANY GREEN THUMBS?

easy going, bright indirect, goldilocks, great lengths, bushy or dense, cascading, climbing, shelf, hanging, aroid, tropical, variegation, heart-shape, low light tolerant

👌️ EASY PEASY 👌

Golden Pothos

The basics

Water Needs

Always water thoroughly, but allow the top inch or two to dry out completely before watering again. Reduce watering in winter, allowing the soil to get up to 50% dry.

Water

Preferred Light

Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal for this Pothos. However, they can tolerate low light, as well. Just take extra precautions when watering and don't expect the plant to grow very much.

Light

Humidity Needs

This tropical epiphyte (plants that grow in the mossy nooks of trees) will certainly appreciate a boost in humidity.

Humidity

Ambient Temperature

Adaptable to average indoor temperatures, but may complain when exposed to cold drafts or dry heat from vents.

Temperature

Toxic or Not?

Pothos are mildly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

Toxicity

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant's vines can grow anywhere from 6 to 20 ft depending on how you let it grow! May need to be supported with a moss or coir pole (the aerial roots can latch on for support and to take up any excess moisture).

Size

Overall Look

A young plant quickly takes on the very full look of a small shrub and begins to throw vines over the edge of the planter that can grow to great lengths. Will also grab on to a trellis or moss pole to climb if you give them the chance. Otherwise, this plant works best in a hanging planter or on a high shelf.

Format

Leaf Look

Dainty heart-shaped leaves in a vibrant green with splashes and streaks of golden yellow variegation that varies from leaf to leaf.

Leaf Shape

Pro Tip

This mighty little plant has been known to punch small holes in adjacent walls with their aerial roots when attempting to climb! Best to give this plant a trellis or moss pole to latch on to instead of risking your walls.

Pro Tip

Did You Know?

If you notice droplets of water on the tips of your plant's leaves or small water spots on the surfaces around your plant, this is likely due to a process called guttation, or the expulsion of water from the pores of a plant. It's totally normal, but if you're seeing this a lot, it could be a sign of overwatering.

Fun Fact

Water

|

Allow top inches of soil to dry between waterings.

Water Needs

Always water thoroughly, but allow the top inch or two to dry out completely before watering again. Reduce watering in winter, allowing the soil to get up to 50% dry.

Light

|

Low light tolerant. Bright, indirect light preferred.

Preferred Light

Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal for this Pothos. However, they can tolerate low light, as well. Just take extra precautions when watering and don't expect the plant to grow very much.

Humidity

|

Extra humidity appreciated in drier spaces.

Humidity Needs

This tropical epiphyte (plants that grow in the mossy nooks of trees) will certainly appreciate a boost in humidity.

Temperature

|

Can adapt, but doesn't like sudden change.

Ambient Temperature

Adaptable to average indoor temperatures, but may complain when exposed to cold drafts or dry heat from vents.

Toxicity

|

Mildly toxic to humans and pets if ingested.

Toxic or Not?

Pothos are mildly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

Size

|

Extra long trailing vines.

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant's vines can grow anywhere from 6 to 20 ft depending on how you let it grow! May need to be supported with a moss or coir pole (the aerial roots can latch on for support and to take up any excess moisture).

Format

|

A low shrubby plant that vines to great lengths.

Overall Look

A young plant quickly takes on the very full look of a small shrub and begins to throw vines over the edge of the planter that can grow to great lengths. Will also grab on to a trellis or moss pole to climb if you give them the chance. Otherwise, this plant works best in a hanging planter or on a high shelf.

Leaf Shape

|

Vibrant green with variegation and a heart shape.

Leaf Look

Dainty heart-shaped leaves in a vibrant green with splashes and streaks of golden yellow variegation that varies from leaf to leaf.

Pro Tip

|

This mighty plant can punch holes in your walls.

Pro Tip

This mighty little plant has been known to punch small holes in adjacent walls with their aerial roots when attempting to climb! Best to give this plant a trellis or moss pole to latch on to instead of risking your walls.

Fun Fact

|

Is my plant sweating? Nope, that's just guttation.

Did You Know?

If you notice droplets of water on the tips of your plant's leaves or small water spots on the surfaces around your plant, this is likely due to a process called guttation, or the expulsion of water from the pores of a plant. It's totally normal, but if you're seeing this a lot, it could be a sign of overwatering.

Beyond The Basics

Soil & Potting

Thrives in a rich, very well-draining potting mix—you can use a good quality potting mix labeled for indoor plants or make your own mix. You can try a 1:1:1:0.5 mix of potting mix, orchid bark, perlite, and activated charcoal. Ensure the pot has the appropriate drainage and don't forget to pour out any excess water collected in the drainage tray or cachepot.

Repotting

Try to repot every 2-3 years in the spring, especially when tending to a younger plant. Increase the pot size by about 2 inches each time or until you're satisfied with the size. It's still important to repot at this stage, but it'll be an exercise of refreshing the soil, keeping the pot size the same, and possibly doing some root trimming to restrict the plant's growth. More on repotting here.

Feeding

If you're not already planning to repot, you can fertilize during the spring and summer months. Once to every two months should be plenty. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter when plant growth naturally slows down. You can try a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer—always diluted more than the recommended strength. More on using fertilizer here.

Grooming

Can be prone to legginess (or straggly, elongated growth). Regular pruning of the new growth (up to a third of the whole plant) will promote a fuller, bushier appearance. New leaves will emerge from the cut stem. Plus, you can use these stem cuttings to propagate! In addition, it's always good practice to regularly remove yellowed or dying leaves and any fallen plant debris. Ensure your scissors or pruners are sanitized to avoid spreading disease or pests.

Propagation

All you need to propagate a Pothos is a piece of stem with a node or aerial root. This is particularly easy to spot since it's a brown knob or full on wiggly root sticking out along the green stem.  Try to cut just below this node and remove the lower leaves to ensure a clear stem before rooting. This cutting will grow roots directly in water and in just a few weeks! Once the roots are a couple inches long, you can pot up as you would with any plant. More on propagation techniques here.

Variants

The beloved Pothos has many exciting cultivars, including 'Neon', 'Marble Queen', and Pothos 'N' Joy'.

TrOUBlESHOOTING

Why is the variegation on my Pothos disappearing?

Symptom

Whole plant looking less and less variegated. New leaves are mostly solid green.

Cause

This is most likely due to insufficient light. While Pothos are quite tolerant of low light conditions, they may begin to loose their variegation to compensate. Greener leaves means more efficient photosynthesis.

Solution

Improve the lighting conditions for your Pothos. These plants prefer medium to bright, indirect light. Make sure to adjust your watering to accommodate the increased light.

More on lighting here.
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Why are the leaf tips on my Pothos browning?

Symptom

Leaves turning brown just on the edges or tips. These edges may gradually change from yellow to brown, crispy, and possibly a bit curled.

Cause

Browning just on the edges of tips is usually a reaction to low humidity. Since many of our houseplants have tropical origins, they also thrive in humid conditions. Our average indoor humidity is usually adequate, but some plants are simply more sensitive to changes in humidity than others. You may notice this more acutely when conditions are particularly dry—like when you turn on the heater in winter.

Solution

Try to accommodate your plant's needs by locating them in more naturally humid places, like the bathroom or kitchen, or grouping a bunch of humidity-loving plants together. But the only way to truly guarantee increased humidity is to get a humidifier!

Once you've addressed the problem: If the brown tips bother you, you can trim them back. Do your best to follow the shape of the leaf to help them look natural. Also, try to cut just short of the discolored edge so it doesn’t expand.

More on leaf changes here.
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Why are the leaves on my Pothos wilting and yellowing?

Symptom

Multiple leaves are wilting and turning yellow—particularly the older, lower leaves. You may also notice stunted growth and mushy stems.

Cause

The most likely culprit is overwatering and initial signs of root rot. When a plant's roots sit in waterlogged soil for too long, a fungal infection can quickly take over, causing the roots to rot (turning brown and mushy).

Solution

First, ensure that your plant has appropriate drainage (both in terms of well-draining soil and plenty of drainage holes in the plant's container).

If you think you've caught the overwatering early on, you can simply let the plant dry out more than you have been. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out before watering again. Continue monitoring and only water when needed. You may also try using chopsticks (or something similar) to poke holes in the soil to help the roots get more oxygen. And finally, you can try to "wick" the excess moisture out of the soil by placing the whole pot (with drainage holes) in a tray or container with dry soil. This new layer of dry soil should soak up some of the excess moisture from the waterlogged areas around your plant's roots.

However, if you suspect a serious case of root rot, you'll definitely need to take a peak at the roots by removing the plant entirely from their container. If there are any black and mushy roots, trim them back completely before repotting with fresh soil in a new or sterilized container.

More on leaf changes here.
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Why does my Pothos have dark brown spots or patches?

Symptom

Dark brown spots, or areas, that may be in the middle of a leaf or on the edges. These spots tend to be larger areas with an irregular edge, not a nice neat circular shape. They may also look “wet” or saturated in the middle.

Cause

These spots are usually the sign of a fungal leaf spot disease. These kinds of diseases often go hand-in-hand with overwatering or an overly damp environment, which weakens your plants and makes them more susceptible to disease.

Solution

The first step is to isolate the plant to avoid spread to your other plants. Then, prune or pinch off the affected leaves. Make sure to be diligent in your removal of any fallen plant debris from the soil. Most diseases thrive off humid environments, so it's best to stop misting or providing additional humidity for your plant (for now). You may even try switching to bottom watering to ensure you don't get any moisture on the leaves. Finally, a regimen of neem oil could be in order, focusing on a soil soak rather than spraying the leaves (at least in the initial treatment phase).

Once you've removed the infected leaves, the disease should drastically slow its spread. Make sure that you keep the leaves dry and check them regularly. If you see any symptoms return, remove those leaves as well and continue your treatments.

More on diseases here.
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