How to Grow Pothos: A Complete Guide to Cultivating and Propagating Epipremnum Aureum

How to Grow Pothos
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If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow houseplant that thrives in various conditions, look no further than the Pothos (Epipremnum aureum).

This versatile plant, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a popular choice among both experienced and novice plant enthusiasts.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the optimal growing conditions for Pothos and learn how to propagate it effectively.

Understanding Pothos in its Natural Habitat

Before we delve into the specifics of Pothos care, it is essential to understand its natural habitat. Native to the Solomon Islands, Pothos thrives in a tropical climate with an average temperature of around 27°C (81°F) year-round.

In its natural environment, Pothos exhibits climbing tendencies by attaching itself to tree trunks using aerial roots. Additionally, it can also serve as a ground cover.

However, caution must be exercised as it has become invasive in many tropical areas.

Providing the Ideal Light Conditions

When it comes to lighting, Pothos prefers bright indirect light. While it can tolerate low light conditions, it thrives best when exposed to moderate levels of light.

Avoid placing your Pothos in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn. A north or east-facing window is an ideal location for your Pothos plant, as it provides the perfect balance of light intensity.

If you choose to place your Pothos in a west or south-facing window, consider filtering the direct sunlight to prevent leaf damage.

Pothos is known for its adaptability to low light conditions, making it a suitable choice for offices and rooms with limited natural light.

It can even thrive under overhead lights alone, making it one of the few plants that can survive away from a window.

However, keep in mind that Pothos grown in low light may lose some of its variegation and exhibit plain green leaves instead.

Maintaining the Right Temperature

As a tropical plant, Pothos thrives in warm temperatures of 70°F (21°C) and above. It is crucial to provide your Pothos with a consistently warm environment to promote healthy growth.

Cooler temperatures can hinder its growth and overall health. If you notice your Pothos is not thriving in a chilly room, consider relocating it to a warmer area.

Temperature plays a significant role in the well-being of plants, so it is essential to be mindful of this aspect of Pothos care.

Mastering the Art of Watering

Proper watering is key to maintaining a healthy Pothos plant. As a general rule, wait until the top layer of soil is dry to the touch before watering your Pothos again.

However, avoid allowing the soil to dry out completely, as this can cause stress and damage to the plant. A well-draining potting mix is crucial to prevent water from pooling at the roots and causing root rot.

When watering, ensure that water flows through the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, but avoid letting the pot sit in standing water.

To simplify watering and ensure optimal growth, consider using a high-quality potting mix designed specifically for tropical plants like Pothos. The Tropical Climber Soil Blend from Oh Happy Plants is an excellent option that provides the necessary nutrients and drainage for healthy Pothos growth.

Fertilizing Pothos for Optimal Nutrient Supply

Fertilizing is an essential aspect of Pothos care, ensuring that the plant receives a steady supply of nutrients for robust growth.

During the winter months when days are shorter and sunlight is limited, it is generally best to refrain from fertilizing your Pothos. However, for the rest of the year, a frequent and dilute fertilization approach is recommended.

When choosing a fertilizer, opt for an all-purpose option that caters to the needs of tropical foliage plants. Dyna-Gro Grow is a highly recommended fertilizer that provides essential macro and micronutrients. It is urea-free, promoting healthy growth without the risk of burning the plant.

Another option is using time-release fertilizers like Osmocote, which slowly dissolve over time, providing a consistent nutrient supply to your Pothos. Regardless of the fertilizer you choose, always follow the instructions and adjust the dilution rate as necessary.

Propagating Pothos: Cuttings and Hydroponic Growing

One of the greatest advantages of Pothos is its ease of propagation. There are two primary methods for propagating Pothos: through cuttings and hydroponic growing.

Pothos Cuttings

Propagating Pothos through cuttings is a straightforward process that yields excellent results. Simply take a cutting of the Pothos vine, ensuring that it has one or two nodes and at least one leaf.

Place the cutting in a jar of water, making sure the nodes are submerged. Over time, you will notice the development of roots from the nodes, indicating successful propagation.

Once the roots are around an inch or two long, you can transfer the cuttings to a pot filled with well-draining soil. Avoid waiting too long to transplant, as Pothos that have become accustomed to water-based propagation may struggle to transition to soil.

For additional guidance and troubleshooting tips for propagating Pothos, refer to the blog post dedicated specifically to this topic: Pothos Not Rooting? Top 10 Secrets Why You’re Failing.

Hydroponic Growing

Pothos can also be grown in water through hydroponics. To succeed in growing Pothos hydroponically, provide a nutrient-rich solution using a high-quality fertilizer like Dyna Gro Grow.

It is important to change the water weekly to prevent the buildup of harmful substances and promote healthy growth. Hydroponic culture offers an alternative method for cultivating Pothos, allowing you to enjoy its beauty without the need for soil.

Exploring Different Growth Methods: Hanging Baskets and Moss Poles

Pothos is often sold in hanging baskets, making it an excellent choice for adding a touch of greenery to elevated spaces. The trailing growth habit of Pothos is particularly well-suited for hanging baskets.

However, there is an alternative method that can yield even more impressive results: growing Pothos as a floor plant supported by a moss pole.

By providing a moss pole, you can encourage your Pothos to produce larger leaves and achieve a more robust growth pattern. The moss pole serves as a climbing support, allowing the vines to attach and grow vertically.

To convert a hanging Pothos into a floor plant, simply insert a Mosser Totem Pole into the pot, securing the vines to the pole as they grow.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can make your own moss pole. Check out the step-by-step guide on making your own moss pole for a cost-effective and customizable solution.

Troubleshooting: Addressing Yellow Leaves in Pothos

Yellow leaves in Pothos can indicate various issues that need to be addressed promptly. One common cause of yellowing leaves is underwatering.

When the soil is allowed to completely dry out, the lower leaves of the Pothos vines will turn yellow and eventually drop. To prevent this, ensure that you water your Pothos when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch.

Another potential cause of yellow leaves is root rot, primarily caused by overwatering or poor drainage. If your Pothos has been sitting in water for an extended period or the soil remains excessively wet, root rot may occur.

This condition prevents the roots from absorbing water effectively, leading to symptoms similar to underwatering.

On the other hand, excessive exposure to direct sunlight can also cause yellowing of Pothos leaves. If your plant receives too much sun, the leaves may turn a lighter shade of yellowish-green. Adjust the lighting conditions to provide a balance of indirect light for optimal health.

Pothos Toxicity: A Word of Caution

It is important to note that Pothos is toxic to cats and dogs due to the presence of calcium oxalate. While Pothos is relatively easy to grow and propagate, it is crucial to keep it out of reach of pets to avoid potential health risks.

The ASPCA provides further information on toxic and non-toxic plants, including Pothos, for pet owners to reference.


In conclusion, growing Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a rewarding experience that offers a touch of natural beauty to any indoor space. By providing the right light, temperature, and watering conditions, you can ensure the health and vitality of your Pothos plant.

Additionally, learning how to propagate Pothos through cuttings or hydroponics allows you to expand your collection and share the joy of gardening with others. Whether you choose to hang your Pothos or grow it with a moss pole, this versatile plant is sure to bring life and vibrancy to your home. Happy Pothos growing!

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