Easy Care Pothos Plant

pothos plant the easy care houseplant

The Pothos – Jade Pothos, Golden Pothos and Marble Queen Pothos lead the way in houseplants. In fact, the Pothos is one of the – “Best indoor plants for clean air.”

So many people care for this “tough,” versatile plant. You’ll find it growing small pots, hanging baskets, totems and even as the only bit of green they see all day – a vine hanging in their office cubicle; the Pothos needs only basic plant care instructions.

Origin Of The Pothos Plant

The Pothos comes to the indoor houseplant world from Southeast Asia and to narrow it down more – the jungles of Malaysia. The botanical name is – Epipremnum – but Pothos is much easier to pronounce.

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Pothos Lighting Needs

When caring for any plant indoors – watering, pest control, and light are all important but – light – is at the top of the pothos plant success list.

For Pothos natural but bright indirect light would be my preference.

You don’t want the leaves of a Pothos sitting in direct sun – a northern exposure with sunlight coming through fully opened blinds will serve the plant well. If grow lights are the only option, 12-14 hours per day should keep the Pothos in great shape.

Since we’re on the subject of light – many people do not understand how light or lack of it affects plants.

Usually, houseplants don’t get enough light. When Pothos doesn’t get enough light the new growth – stems get smaller, thin and weak, the new leaves “shrink” in size.

This change doesn’t happen overnight; it can take months of low light levels to see the effects. Now Pothos when exposed to direct sun or too much light will slowly lose that rich, lush color – and slowly turn a pale green.

Watering Pothos

Watering houseplants or more correctly over watering is second to light in plant care success. Success with Pothos is no different. How much water and how often depend on many factors:

  • Light – how intense and for how long
  • Humidity
  • Pot size
  • Root system – how good is it?
  • Temperature
  • Soil – Make up and Quality of a potting soil mix

As a general rule check the soil. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. When watering any indoor plant make sure to water the complete rootball and not just the top.

Saturate the entire soil mass and pour or drain the excess water off. The water quantity will vary depending on the amount all the items listed above.

The Pothos is not much different than most houseplants. If the plant receives too little water the leaves will begin to wilt; older leaves often turn a bright yellow.

This is why it’s important to thoroughly water the entire rootball. The root system of Pothos is small compared to other indoor plants. When the plant is over watered, and the soil stays wet the roots will rot.

In turn, the leaves begin to wilt, and the leaves lose their healthy look turning to a pale dull green color.

If possible use distilled or rainwater the next best would be filtered water. The purer the water, the better. Many growers have installed systems to get remove any minerals before watering the plants.

From “The World Book Of House Plants
Elvin McDonald 1963

Description: Scindapsus aureus and its varieties are the plants called “pothos” by florists, which are known also as “devil’s ivy.” Scindapsus aureus has waxy, dark-green leaves splashed with yellow. In juvenile form, the leaves are broad pointed ovals, normally less than 6 in. long.

At maturity, plants in satisfactory growing conditions have leaves 2 ft. long, cut and perforated like those of Monstera. ‘Marble Queen’ is the most popular variety; its foliage may be more white than green.

‘Orange Moon,’ Silver Moon,’ and ‘Yellow Moon’ are newer varieties with coloration varying from apricot through creamy yellow to pewter. ‘Wilcoxi’ is similar to S. aureus, except that its yellow streaks start and stop more abruptly instead of blending softly with the green.

Scindapsus pictus has larger, more leathery leaves than the other Scindapsus in cultivation. The dark-green leaves display large areas of silver variegation. Scindapsus pictus argyraeus is similar but has smaller, more delicate leaves of iridescent blue-green, spotted with silver.

Culture: Almost the same as for Philodendron, except that scindapsus plants need to become nearly dry between waterings. In addition, they show a marked preference for tropical warmth. Abundant light tends to increase foliage variegation.

Pothos and Temperature

Remember the Pothos comes from Malaysia. They like the same temperatures you do – 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit is best for steady growth.


I’m not a big fan of using fertilizer on indoor plants. Most houseplants purchased in a good soil with all the needed nutrients sitting in the soil and should hold the plant for a long time.

In the case of plants planted in a poor soil mix the Pothos responds well to very light doses of fertilizer. If I had to fertilize – for homeowners – I would recommend a liquid type like Miracle-gro plant food instead of a solid or granular.

Uses and Plant Size


Pothos can be grown and used in a variety of ways and locations. Inside or outside doesn’t matter, Good filtered light, 65-85 degrees and a well-drained soil like this that holds moisture (not wet) and the plant will thrive. I’ve seen Pothos used as:

  • Potted plant – small
  • Hanging baskets
  • Ground covers indoors and out
  • Totem
  • Covering the base of a larger plant
  • Stand alone specimen – Like at Disneyworld

When Pothos receive “good growing conditions” as described above they can grow all year, For those of you up north with Pothos, you may notice a slow down during the winter months.

One true advantage the Pothos offers – they’re easy to find, and it’s a great plant to get started with and learn how to care for indoor houseplants.

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