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House Plants - Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

By Edited Jun 5, 2014 1 2

Epipremnum aureum, better known as Pothos, Silver Vine or Devil's Ivy, is a common house plant closely related to Philodendron. It is native to the jungles of Southeast Asia, where it grows along the ground and climbs on other plants and trees. In their natural habitat, the vines can grow up to 20 m (65 ft) in length.

Pothos has evergreen, heart-shaped leaves with - depending on the cultivar - white, light green or yellow variegation. The plant is a classic amongst house plants and can be displayed in different ways: as a small stand-alone potted plant, in hanging baskets, as ground cover or supported on a pole or frame. Pothos needs little attention and is therefor a good choice for beginners.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)(41192)


Pothos requires medium amounts of light. Bright, indirect sunlight is preferred. Long exposures to direct sunlight should be avoided. Only the green portions of the leaves can convert light into energy. Therefor, if the leaves don't get enough light, the variegation will fade and the leaves will turn plain green. Because Pothos can survive well under low light conditions, it is considered to be a good office plant. You can keep it alive under artificial lights in windowless offices. It needs about 12 hours of bright fluorescent light each day.


The amount of water needed really depends on the position and size of the plant. A large individual standing in a bright spot will require more water than a smaller plant standing in the shade. In summer, the plant needs more water than in winter. You should let the soil dry out before watering. I personally water my plant (which is standing in the shade) once a week and this seems to be enough. If the plant doesn't receive enough water, the leaves will become brown or yellow. If the plant is over watered, the roots will rot and the leaves will turn pale. As a general rule, check the soil before watering.

Soil and Environment

Ideally, the soil should be slightly acidic, but Pothos tolerates any common well-draining potting soil. Young plants should get a new (larger) pot with fresh soil every year. Older plants only once every couple of years. Pothos doesn't need much fertilizer. Adding a bit of plant food monthly or bimonthly should be sufficient.

Since Pothos is a jungle plant, it loves hot and moist environments. A consistent room temperature of 20 °C (68 °F) and humidity above 60% are okay. Spraying the leaves occasionally increases local humidity and removes dust from the leaves. Pothos is known to purify indoor air by removing pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene and benzene.


You can prune the plant, and put the cuttings in a glass of water where they will develop new roots. Alternatively, you can plant the pieces directly in moist soil. Ideally, the young sprouts should be kept at around 25 °C (77 °F).


Pothos plants are poisonous. They contain calcium oxalate, which can cause allergic reactions, irritation and/or vomiting when ingested. Keep it away from pets and little children.



Apr 25, 2011 6:51pm
Very good information about Pothos.
Apr 26, 2011 4:56am
Thank you!
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