Growing houseplants doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, most of us like to make it as easy as possible. That’s where plants like pothos come in. Known as devil’s vine, this is a sturdy plant that gives the impression that you are a skilled gardener.
Pothos are suitable for any room whether you hang it in a basket or back it up with shelves. It comes in different colors and shades which looks sleek and trendy.
If you’re looking for an indoor plant that impresses but is easy to grow, you can’t go wrong with pots.
- 1 What is Pothos?
- 2 varieties of pothos
- 3 how to grow pothos
- 4 promotion of pothos
- 5 Common problems and solutions for growing pothos
- 6 Use caution around pets
What is Pothos?
pit (epipremnum errem) is also called devil’s ivy or money plant. It is a popular houseplant that is native to French Polynesia, so it is well suited to hot and humid environments. It is an evergreen vine with waxy leaves that adapt to all types of indoor environments, especially in hanging baskets.
In the right climate, it can be planted outside where it grows, but rarely flowers.
Pothos grow easily from cuttings and are a breeze to care for, so let’s learn about this surprisingly easy-to-grow and popular plant.
varieties of pothos
There are many different varieties of pothos, so look for different pothos to suit your taste and decor. Here are some popular varieties:
This is a classic variety that is perfect for beginners. The leaves are heart-shaped with a splash of yellow or cream in the middle of mid-green. Outside, they can grow up to 40 feet tall, but indoors they are much smaller. They usually come out at 10 ft.
Marble Queen Pothos
Similar in shape to golden pits, the leaves are heart-shaped and with creamy accents. ‘Marble Queen’ is another very common variety that you will often see in home stores and nurseries.
This slow-growing variety has beautiful green leaves with white accents mixed with silver and gray. I have it in a pot on my desk right now, and it looks beautiful. It is especially happy in bright rooms.
Cebu Blue has longer, pointed leaves than some of the more common varieties. As it matures, the leaves develop fenestration. Silver-blue leaves look amazing in a hanging basket.
It really lives up to its name. ‘Neon’ has bright green leaves that seem to glow from within. As the age progresses, the leaves become darker in color. For best color keep it somewhere sunny as it gets dimmer in shady areas.
The ‘Manjula’ created by the University of Florida is hard to describe, because it is so extraordinary. The base of the heart-shaped leaves is medium-green with silver, cream, white and pale green spots. It’s almost like what you’d find on Australian shepherds, only it’s a plant.
Sometimes called silver vine (syndepsus pictus), it is not a true pit, but it looks similar and has similar growing requirements. We’ve included it here because it’s commonly sold as a pit and it’s worth adding to your collection.
All pots are perfect for growing in a hanging basket or a container they can climb on, but this one is especially suitable. Stems can grow up to 10 feet tall with heart-shaped leaves covered in silver specks.
how to grow pothos
Although you can grow pits outside, unless you live in USDA growing zone 10 or above, it’s a good idea to keep them on a covered patio or balcony in movable pots. That way, you can save them when bad weather strikes.
The ideal temperature is 60ºF or higher, so if your area never gets colder than this, feel free to plant them in the garden. Any low temperature will either kill or cause your pits to struggle.
inside the house
Indoors, pits are perfectly happy in whatever temperature you prefer—anything from 60 degrees Fahrenheit and up.
Use a good quality potting mix that drains well. Pothos do not like wet feet. These houseplants can be grown in standard containers or hanging baskets. Whatever you choose, be careful not to overwater and empty any catchment containers an hour after watering.
Most varieties are tall vines that can run along shelves, mantels or cupboards. You can also place a moss pole in a container to give them something to climb on.
Feed once every six months with a slow-release container fertilizer made for leafy plants. Water only when the top inch of potting mix is dry. The soil should be moist, but the soil should not be soggy that it becomes compacted.
Remove any stems or leaves that are damaged, diseased or yellow. This usually happens because the pit has been hit by a child or pet, or the leaves are damaged by direct sunlight.
You can grow pits in water – yes, you read that right. If you choose a clear container, you can still watch the roots develop.
To get started, cut a length of healthy pothos vine. Make sure you have at least four or five leaf knots on your cut piece.
Fill a clean vase or glass container with water. Preferably use water that isn’t chlorinated, but if yours is, water a day or two before planting your plant.
Add a few drops of liquid plant fertilizer to the water. Follow the directions for your particular brand.
Remove vine leaves that will be submerged as they will rot and contaminate the container.
Keep the vine submerged in water and wrap the upper part on the edge of the pot so that the water remains.
Change the water every couple of weeks or if it looks a little dirty. Add a couple drops of liquid fertilizer each time and place the plant in indirect sunlight as direct exposure to leaves is very hard.
Keep the roots submerged and be sure to clean the vase every time you change the water. You can lift the entire plant to do this, so be careful with the roots every time.
If your plant was originally growing in soil, it may need a few weeks to adjust to aquatic life.
In their natural environment, pits grow under the canopy of trees in moist forest environments, so try to recreate it. Plant the plant in indirect sunlight at the base of a tree for the plant to climb. You can also put a mesh under the patio cover.
The length of the pit can be up to 40 feet, so be prepared for that. I planted one outside and it got out of control and almost took over the canopy of the tree. I had to remove it.
Aim for a soil pH of 6.1 to 6.5, but unless the soil is very acidic – under a 5.8 pH they are not really obvious. Make sure the soil stays moist, but not soaked.
Remember that if your temperature drops below 60ºF at any time, you should pit the containers and move them to a warm spot inside. Otherwise, give them protection if you have one or two nights of unusually cold weather.
Although not a large feeder, pothos can be fed with a balanced fertilizer every three weeks in spring and summer if it is outside. Wait in the winter to let it rest.
promotion of pothos
Want to make more plants out of an existing plant? Cut a length of vine about six inches long, making sure there are at least four or five leaves. Place the vine in a jar of unchlorinated water and remove the submerged leaves. Change the water every few days.
When roots form, remove and plant in a container with good quality potting mix. Do not leave it in water for a long time or else the pit will get used to it and will struggle with the soil.
You can also try dipping your fresh cuttings in rooting hormone and planting them in a seed-growing mix. Cover the environment with plastic to keep it moist as it grows.
Common problems and solutions for growing pothos
While pothos plants are generally quite hardy, they can occasionally suffer from the following pests and diseases:
bacterial leaf spot
due to bacteria pseudomonas cochoriThis is usually avoided by watering the soil or potting mix, not the foliage.
You will see water spots with yellow circles on the leaves. In advanced infestations, the centers of the spots may drop from the leaves.
If this happens remove infected parts of the plant, although you may need to destroy the whole thing.
pythium root rot
This oomycete is common and lives in soil, so only use fresh, sterile potting mix when you plant your pothos. If your plant begins to turn yellow despite good irrigation and fertilization, pythium root rot may be a problem. Mushi stems that turn black can also be a sign.
If you often struggle with this issue when you first plant your pits, you may want to spray the leaves and roots with a fungicide that is suitable for indoor houseplants.
Rhizoctonia Stem Rot
If your plant has it, you will notice that the stems are rotting at soil level. This shouldn’t be a problem if you use clean potting mix. Copper fungicide helps if it becomes a problem, but only if you catch it early.
Scale is not a disease, it is a pest. On houseplants, you often see scale on the stem and leaf joints. They are little knots that don’t move, but suck the life out of your plant.
Isolate the plant from your other indoor plants. Soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rub it on the scale. It works well in small numbers and when you don’t want a toxic solution inside your home.
You can also try mixing a teaspoon of mild liquid soap in a gallon of water and spraying it directly onto the scale.
With both methods, you may need to gently remove the scale from the plant with a butter knife.
Mealybugs look like little bits of lint on your plants and are quite common on houseplants. Don’t let their presence become a nuisance.
Leaves often turn yellow and curl at the edges when insects begin to appear.
Use the rubbing alcohol method above, then spray with neem oil mixed with water. You may want to do this in an area where the smell of neem oil won’t bother you, and you don’t need to use much.
Insecticidal soaps are also available for indoor plants.
Wipe the leaves of the pits regularly with a clean, slightly damp cloth.
Use caution around pets
Pothos can be toxic to cats and other pets. Keep the plant away from your furry friends and you’ll have a wonderful, easy-to-find houseplant.
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