Epipremnum aureum is a species in the arum family Araceae, native to Mo'orea in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The species is a popular houseplant in temperate regions but has also become naturalised in tropical and sub-tropical forests worldwide, including northern South Africa,Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Pacific Islands and the West Indies, where it has caused severe ecological damage in some cases. The plant has a number of common names including golden pothos, Ceylon creeper, hunter's robe, ivy arum, house plant, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, marble queen, and taro vine.
It is also called devil's vine or devil's ivy because it is almost impossible to kill and it stays green even when kept in the dark. It is sometimes mistakenly labeled as a Philodendron, Pothos or Scindapsus in plant stores. It is commonly known as a money plant in many parts of the Indian subcontinent. Pothos is an evergreen plant with thick, waxy, green, heart-shaped leaves with splashes of yellow. As a houseplant, it is commonly grown as a hanging plant. Pothos can climb by means of aerial roots, and wild or cultivated plants grown outdoors can reach enormous heights using tall trees as support. In addition, the leaves of outdoor plants grow many times larger than indoor plants.
Table of Contents
20 - 60 feet
3 - 6 feet
6.1 - 6.8
Growth Nutrition of Pothos
Pothos plants, like almost all plants, make their energy from sunlight, but they get their nutrients from soil. Like us, plants need minerals like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, etc., to support their growth and other functions.
Types of Pothos
Pothos hybrids have been developed with many different types of leaf variegation, with white, yellow, or light green patches interrupting the predominant deep green leaves. Some cultivars have solid light green leaves. Some recommended pothos cultivars include:
The traditional pothos variety is golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum). It features heart-shaped mid-green foliage splashed in creamy gold. If you grow this variety up a totem and give it lots of light and warmth, you’ll find the leaves can grow quite large. In fact, outdoors in frost-free areas, the leaves can reach 12 inches wide or more.
Marble Queen Pothos
Marble Queen (Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’) is another common pothos variety. It features green heart-shaped leaves heavily splashed and streaked with creamy white. The foliage is usually similar in size to golden pothos. Marble Queen may be more or less variegated, depending on the particular branch it was propagated from.
Neon pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’) is one of the most distinct varieties. Its heart-shaped leaves are bright chartreuse or golden yellow in color with no variegation. The newer, younger leaves tend to be brighter than older leaves. The foliage deepens in color with age. To get the best color, grow Neon pothos in bright light. In low-light spots, the color will be duller and darker.
Variegated Neon Pothos
While it is normal to see patches of small variegation on a regular neon pothos, the variegated neon pothos is distinguished by stable variegation of bright green/yellow throughout its leaves. In low light conditions, its variegation will begin to revert, so a location that receives bright, indirect light is best for this pothos.
Jessenia pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jessenia’) displays green, heart-shaped leaves abundantly marked with chartreuse. Like Marble Queen (to which Jessenia is quite similar), every leaf will be different. It’s usually not too hard to tell the difference between Marble Queen and Jessenia when they’re next to each other. The variegation of Marble Queen is much lighter than the limey-green variegation of Jessenia. Jessenia tends to grow more slowly than golden pothos.
The manjula pothos (Epipremnum Aureum ‘Manjula’) is a rare pothos variety that is characterized by creamy yellow-white leaves with light and dark green variegation. It was developed at the University of Florida and is a patented variety. While this pothos can survive in low light conditions, it prefers bright, indirect light where possible.
The jade pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade’) has solid, dark green leaves. The leaves are narrower compared to those of some of the other pothos varieties. This is one of the best types of pothos for low light conditions, as it doesn’t have any variegation that is brought out by light.
Pearls and Jade Pothos
This is also a patented type of Pothos and was produced by the University of Florida. Pearls and Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum 'Pearls and Jade') has green leaves that are variegated with silver-gray and white hues. You can spot it out amidst an assortment of pothos types by looking for their variegation patterns.
The variegation on their leaves appears on the edges rather than the center. Plus, the whiter portions of the foliage are usually clouded with green and silver-gray shades. Pearls and Jade Pothos have relatively smaller leaves than other varieties and they tend to grow slower too.
Silver / Satin Pothos
This variety of pothos sports gorgeous dark green, heart shaped foliage. The dark green of the leaves is speckled with silver. This type of pothos is also known as Satin Pothos or Silver Pothos. The foliage of Silver Pothos is smaller than other types.
The vine like quality and the sparkling look of the leaves makes it a fantastic addition to your indoor jungle. Just place it in a hanging pot and let the leaves go where their hearts desire. For the brightest shades of silver, make sure you keep it in bright yet indirect light.
This is one of the newer types of pothos available on the market. It also has variegated green leaves that are heavily dappled with white, and the variegation is largely distinct. You can make the white variegation grow and spread on the foliage if you keep N-Joy Pothos under bright light.
Pothos N-Joy will be as easy to grow for you as any other type of pothos. Just keep it near a light source in your home and see the vine thrive! However, be patient with it since it grows slowly.
Baltic Blue Pothos
The baltic blue pothos is a clone of the Epipremnum pinnatum, also known as dragon tail pothos. It is distinguished from the Cebu blue and dragon tail pothos by its dark green leaves that develop a blue undertone. Its leaves are also larger and tend to develop fenestrations earlier than the Cebu blue pothos.
Dragon's Tail Pothos
The dragon’s tail pothos differs from most pothos varieties in that it is an Epipremnum pinnatum rather than Epipremnum aureum. Despite this, it is still considered a pothos, and its care is very similar. The dragon’s tail pothos is characterized by small, thin, and jade-green leaves that grow large and develop fenestrations as it matures.
Snow Queen Pothos
Not to be confused with the marble queen pothos, the snow queen pothos is a highly variegated pothos variety with stunning white/cream foliage adorned with thin streaks of medium green variegation. Because of the small amount of green on its leaves, it requires a location that receives bright, indirect light in order to prevent the leaves from reverting.
Undoubtedly the rarest pothos available, the harlequin pothos displays highly variegated white and dark green foliage. It looks very similar to the manjula pothos, although it does not have any cream/yellow coloring. It requires bright, indirect light in order to support its bright variegation.
Cebu Blue Pothos
Here’s one for the plant collectors! This pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’) doesn’t show off variegation on its arrow-shaped blue-green leaves. The foliage often has a bit of a metallic sheen, making it distinct from other pothos types. While the young leaves are vague arrow-shaped, Cebu Blue pothos can produce large, blue-green leaves with natural splits, much like a Monstera. It takes time for the plant to mature and warm, bright conditions to develop this adult-type leaf.
This slow-growing pothos—the ‘Glacier’ pothos—is a delightful vining plant with small heart-shaped leaves. The variegated foliage is green with silver and gray speckles which can be similar to ‘Pearls and Jade’ cultivar. Due to its bushy growth habit, the glacier pothos is an excellent potted plant for tables or desks.
The Epipremnum aureum ‘Glacier’ is similar in size to the ‘Pearl and Jade’ pothos. This variegated variety grows well even in low light conditions and can survive in average room humidity. However, keeping humidity levels high and in bright light will encourage faster growth.
Global Green Pothos
A relatively new pothos, the global green pothos is known for its foliage that is mottled with dark and light green. The distribution of coloring on the leaves is similar to the n’joy or pearl and jade pothos. While this pothos is still considered rare, garden centers and nurseries are starting to carry it more often as it grows in popularity.
The Hawaiian pothos is a cultivar with huge leaves compared to other types of hanging pothos plants. The dark green foliage has speckles of yellow variegation. The long vines and large leaves create an attractive vertical accent when hanging from a basket or growing up a pole. Pruning can help to keep a compact growth habit and also control the stem length.
Potting Pothos Plants
Choose a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. Pothos plants do not like to sit in wet soil; they will rot easily.
Plant pothos in a general well-draining potting mix (or a soilless mix). If you have it on hand, feel free to mix in a few handfuls of perlite or coco coir to increase the drainage capacity of your potting mix.
Pothos does well in a hanging basket to show off the vines, or in a regular pot placed on a plant stand. They can be allowed to grow up walls, though their aerial roots—which they use to attach themselves to surfaces like trees or other vertical structures—can strip paint.
Pothos vines do not cling to trellises and supports on their own (like ivy might), but they can be trained onto supports to give the appearance of twining. As indoor plants, it is common to see pothos specimens grow to 30-feet long, though most are kept at a much shorter, neater length. If you choose to let your pothos grow into a long vine, it can be secured on hooks to trail along walls and over window frames. Vines left to grow on their own can get very tangled, so shake them loose every now and then to keep them from becoming a tangled mess.
While pothos likes bright, indirect light, it can also thrive in low light areas or those that have only have fluorescent lighting, making it an excellent option for offices and dorm rooms.
When grown indoors, pothos prefers bright but indirect light. Variegated plants sometimes lose their leaf pattern and revert to all-green foliage if they don't receive enough ligt. Moving them to brighter conditions usually restores the variegation. Suddenly pale-looking leaves mean the plant is receiving too much sun.
Pothos plants thrive in ordinary, well-draining potting soil. Pothos is quite tolerant of soil pH, and it can thrive in a range of conditions, from neutral to acidic.
A pothos plant likes to have its soil dry out completely between waterings. If left in continually damp soil, the plant's roots will rot. Black spots on the leaves (or the sudden collapse of the plant) indicate that the soil has been kept too wet. The plant will indicate when it needs water. When it starts to droop, it needs water. However, don’t wait until the leaves start to shrivel or the plant will lose some leaves. Dry, brown edges mean the plant was kept dry for too long.
Temperature and Humidity
Pothos should be kept in temperatures that are consistently above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, though they most appreciate a common room temperature that hovers between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, pothos plants like high humidity, so you can increase humidity around the plant by keeping it in a typically humid area of the home, such as a kitchen or bathroom. Still, the plant is very tolerant and can thrive even in low humidity environments, so there's no need to invest in a humidifier.
Pothos plants are not heavy feeders. But because there are typically no nutrients in most potting soils, you can feed the plant monthly to bi-monthly with any balanced houseplant fertilizer to increase nutrition.
Potting and Repotting Pothos
Eventually, your pothos will become pot-bound. When the leaves droop, no matter how much or how often you water them, drooping is sure sign that roots have probably filled the pot and there is no room to grow. Carefully lift the plant out of its pot and check to see if this is the problem. You might be able to see roots growing out of the drainage holes. When the plant has reached this stage, you can re-pot it into a container that is one or two sizes larger in diameter and depth and filled with fresh potting soil.
Pothos is easily propagated from stem cuttings.
Using a sterile, sharp cutting tool, choose a healthy stem with at least three leaves, and cut it at an angle about a half-inch or inch below the lowest leaf.
Remove the lowest leaf from the stem (you don't need to remove the other leaves).
Place the stem in a vase or jar of water, but do not let the remaining leaves touch the water.
Once the cutting has sprouted new roots that are several inches long, likely over the course of a few weeks, transplant it into a pot with potting soil as soon as possible so it can begin to develop a strong root system.
Put the pot in a spot with bright indirect light and keep the soil moist but not wet.
Pothos is usually pest-free. However, the plant can occasionally become infested with mealybugs. A simple insecticidal soap controls the pests, but the easiest method is to simply dab the insects with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab.
Benefits of Pothos
Purifies Indoor Air
Pothos is very apt at removing VOCs and toxins from the surrounding air. According to the clean air study by NASA, the plant eliminates pollutants such as benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene from the air.
The harmful effect of these pollutants can’t be underestimated, and here’s how these pollutants harm us:
Benzene: Frequent exposure to benzene is from tobacco smoke, vehicle exhausts, gas stations, and industrial emissions. Seemingly harmless stuff such as paints, glues, detergents, and furniture wax also raise the benzene levels in the air in indoor space. Exposure to benzene causes damage to the cells in the bone marrow, which can lead to anemia. Long-term exposure to benzene weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to various diseases and ailments.
Formaldehyde Pressed wood products, carpets, cigarette smoke, and burning of appliances such as wood-burning stoves, kerosene heaters, and gas stoves without vents are the reason for formaldehyde exposure. Watery eyes, burning sensation in the nose, eyes, throat can happen due to short-term exposure. It can also lead to cancer and leukemia, as stated by the National cancer institute.
Carbon Monoxide: In indoor spaces, carbon monoxide levels rise mostly because of gas heaters, wood fires, clogged chimneys, blocked vents, and some electrical appliances. The people who are at high risk are infants, unborn babies, and elders. Also, if you have a chronic disease, respiratory problems, or anemia, CO exposure can affect you more than a healthy person. Vomiting, headache, nausea, and dizziness are linked to the breathing of CO gas. The high CO levels in the surrounding air can even cause unconsciousness and death.
Xylene: Xylene is present in adhesives, gasoline, nail paint, and varnishes, along with many household and industrial items. It affects the central nervous system when inhaled and can cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, and headache. As the consistent exposure increases, the effects become more noticeable and lethal.
Toluene: Evaporation of toluene from materials such as paint thinners, paints, gasoline, and nail polish leads to its increased concentration in the indoor space. Toluene affects the central nervous system and causes headaches, dizziness, or unconsciousness if you are exposed to it for a short period. Long-term exposure to toluene had serious effects, which can lead to cognitive impairment, incoordination, and loss of vision and hearing.
Humid air can protect you from cold and influenza as viruses can’t transmit easily in moist air—it also keeps your skin hydrated. In contrast, dry air multiplies allergic reactions and dust & airborne pollutants. After knowing all these advantages of humid air, it’s good to know that the pothos plant also increases humidity around it.
Easy to Propagate
Propagating pothos is one of the easiest things as compared to other houseplants. All you need to do is take a cutting and snip off the lower leaves. Place it in clean water and change the water once a week.
Grows without Sunlight
Pothos can grow without direct sunlight. It’s a forgiving houseplant that thrives even in low lighting and drought-like condition in cool temperatures. These plants will show less variegation and slow growth but won’t die.
Easy to Maintain and Plant
Pothos is abundantly available all around India and planting it isn’t a hassle either! If you want to buy it directly from a nursery, you can get it for a very affordable price. As it is also very easy to grow from cuttings, you can snip one from your friend’s plant and have it for free at your home!
Can Grow Without Soil
Pothos lives well in water too. Just take 6 to 12 inches of cutting from a healthy plant and remove all the lower leaves. Place it in a vase of water and you’re done! The cutting will form roots within few weeks and then you can either keep it in water or transfer it into a pot.
Even though it is such a low-maintenance plant, Pothos never fails to impress the eye. You can grow as trailing/climbing vine or hang in a pot; its beautiful waxy leaves and evergreen vines make any corner look pleasant.
Moreover, Pothos is an avid climber and it can fully cover any area with its foliage in no time, which makes it a great plant for creating a green wall.
Has Paramount Significance in Vastu Shastra
As per Vastu Shastra, it is highly beneficial to have Pothos in your home. It brings an element of peace and serenity to the house. Nonetheless, it is also popular to attract wealth, hence the name “Money Plant”.
According to Vastu, Pothos should be kept indoors in the southeast direction of a living room/hall. In Vastu, southeast is owned by Lord Ganesha and the planet Venus. Ganesha is believed to remove bad luck and Venus to increase wealth. Hence keeping a Pothos in this direction brings prosperity and fortune to the house.