Tropical Houseplant Profile: Pothos
When it comes to easy care and low maintenance houseplants, no one can deny that Pothos should be at the top of the list. These lush, trailing specimens can handle most light situations and even thrive in low levels of sunlight, which means they can go just about anywhere! And they’re incredibly low maintenance; just a deep watering after drying out slightly and an all-purpose fertilizer every 4th watering is all they need to thrive. It’s this easy going lifestyle that makes Pothos the perfect gift for anyone on your list, especially if you’re not sure of their home lighting or watering habits!
Pothos have long, trailing tendrils that are covered with lush heart-shaped foliage that is a bit wider than a Philodendron. The most famous variety is the Golden Pothos which features bright green and golden yellow marbled leaves; other varieties come in solid green, bright chartreuse, or green marbled with creamy white. Their trailing habit makes them perfect for hanging baskets, or they can be trained to grow up a trellis and other vertical support (but you’ll have to encourage it to deny the laws of gravity).
Speaking of going up, did you know that NASA did a study about houseplants? Yeah, the people who sent other people to the moon did a study in the 1980s that found many tropical houseplants, including Pothos, are very effective at removing airborne toxins and chemicals from the average home and office. They actually recommend having 1 houseplant per 100 square feet to greatly decrease levels of numerous harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde and benzene. And Pothos is one of the most effective toxin cleansers out there, with its full and lush foliage inhaling all those chemicals before breathing out fresh oxygen. So if you’re the type of home gardener who has transformed your living room into a personal botanical jungle, NASA would approve!
Light: Low, Medium, or Bright light.
Water: Dry well then water deeply.
Fertilizer: Feed with an all-purpose fertilizer every 4th watering.
Temperature: Keep away from hot or cold drafts.
Cleaning: Remove browning/old leaves by cutting as close to the plant’s base as possible. Can trim to shape any time.
More Fun Facts about Pothos!
- Also known as Devil’s Ivy due to its ability to survive adverse light and soil conditions, and also because it can somehow stay bright green even in dark areas.
- Botanically speaking, Pothos is the common name for an Epipremnum. It was mistakenly identified when discovered by European botanists in 1880, and the name stuck.
- Originally from the islands of Polynesia, it has spread to tropical climates in South Africa, Australia, Asia, Pacific Islands, and the West Indies. In these areas, Pothos is considered an invasive species that chokes out other native plants and even trees!
- Can grow up to 22 metres in its natural habitat!