How to Grow and Care for Dragon Tail Plant (Epipremnum pinnatum) Indoors


Dragon Tail Plant, Epipremnum pinnatum

Botanical name: Epipremnum pinnatum
Synonmy: Epipremnum elegans
Family: Araceae
Common names: Dragon Tail Plant, Centipede Tongavine, Dragon Tail Pothos, Dragon Tail Philodendron

Description

Dragon Tail Plant (Epipremnum pinnatum) also called Centipede Tongavine is a rare sought-after plant on account of its ease of care and the interesting leaves which resemble a dragon tail.

The young leaves in Dragon Tail Plant have an elongated shape with a pointed end and a smooth margin. As they mature, they become deeply lobed which gives them the appearance of a dragon tail and hence the common name.

Dragon Tail Pothos leaves are glossy, dark-green on top and a lighter color on the undersides. They can grow to 1 ft long when mature.

The plant is a climber with thick fleshy stems and climbs by means of aerial roots. It can also creep along the soil surface.

Centipede Tongavine can be grown in a hanging basket where the stems and leaves can cascade downwards beautifully or it can be provided with a climbing structure like a moss pole or a trellis.

Though it is sometimes called Dragon Tail Philodendron, Dragon Tail Plant is not a Philodendron. It belongs to the genus, Epipremnum. However, both genera; Philodendron and Epipremnum, belong to the same family, Araceae.

Origin

Epipremnum pinnatum also called Epipremnum elegans is native to Northern Australia through to Malaysia, tropical and southern China, Taiwan, Japan and Melanesia.

Size

Dragon Tail Plant can grow to a height of 30 ft in its natural habitat but indoors it will only grow to about 3-5 ft.

Where to Buy

Dragon Tail Plant is a spectacular plant to add to your houseplants collection. Beautiful and healthy plants are available online at Etsy. Purchase Dragon Tail Plant (Epipremnum pinnatum) from Etsy.

Dragon Tail Plant, Epipremnum pinnatum

Epipremnum pinnatum Care Indoors

Dragon Tail Plant (Epipremnum pinnatum) thrives in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding.

Dragon Tail Pothos requires potting only when it becomes pot-bound. Regular pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat and tidy as well as rejuvenate growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions.

Light Requirements

Dragon Tail Plant grow best in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.

Dragon Tail Pothos can tolerate lower light but the growth will be much slower than in brighter conditions. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

Water Dragon Tail Plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.


Temperature

Dragon Tail Plant thrives in an average warmth within the range of 15-280C. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for the plant.

Keep Centipede Tongavine away from cold draughts like air conditioners, drafty windows and doors, as they can cause leaf drop. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Dragon Tail Plant can grow in average room humidity. However, if the air is too dry the plant will develop brown and shrivelled leaf tips.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly damp-wipe the leaves with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Dragon Tail Plant every 3-4 weeks during the growing period with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.

Do not feed the plant during the cold season as growth at this time is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Dragon Tail Plant during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound. Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger for the plant.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.

Soil

The best soil for Dragon Tail Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most potting mixes designed for aroids are ideal for this plant. You can select and purchase quality Aroids potting soil for Dragon Tail Pothos from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Dragon Tail Plant involves frequent removal of any dead foliage to keep the plant neat and tidy.

Cut back the stems at the beginning of the growing season when they become straggly to rejuvenate growth.

The foliage emanating from the pruning can be used to propagate new plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Dragon Tail Plant (Epipremnum pinnatum) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. The cuttings can be rooted in soil or in water.

How to root Dragon Tail Plant stem cuttings in soil

Dragon Tail Plant propagation in water: Take a 4-6 in. stem cutting from a healthy Dragon Tail Plant. Ensure the cutting has at least two leaf nodes and some aerial roots.

Strip off the lower leaf and insert the cutting in moist, rooting soil, ensure at least one leaf node together with the aerial roots are covered under soil.

To hasten rooting, cover the set up with clear polythene to create a greenhouse effect; warm and humid conditions.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until roots develop.

The cuttings should root in about 2-3 weeks and the new Dragon Tail Plant will be ready to be transplanted in about 2-3 months.

How to root Dragon Tail Plant stem cuttings in water

Dragon Tail Plant propagation in water: Take a 4-6 in. stem cutting from a healthy Dragon Tail Plant. Ensure the cutting has at least 2-3 leaf nodes and some aerial roots.

Strip off the lower leaf and place the cutting in a jar of plain water, ensure at least one leaf node is covered in water as well as the aerial roots.

Place the set up in a well-lit spot and change the water every 5-7 days.

The Dragon Tail Plant cutting should root in about 3-4 weeks. When the roots are about 2 in. long, start acclimating them to grow in soil.

Acclimating the roots to grow in soil entails adding a little soil daily into the rooting jar over a period of time until when there is more soil than water in the rooting jar.

The new Dragon Tail Pothos is ready for transplanting when the roots have grown to about 4 in. long after which you can begin routine care.

Dragon Tail Plant, Epipremnum pinnatum

Epipremnum pinnatum Problems Indoors

Dragon Tail Plant (Epipremnum pinnatum) problems indoors are brought about by improper care. These problems include leaf drop, yellow leaves, rotting, leaf spots, brown leaf tips, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Yellow leaves, leaf drop, rotting stems

Yellow leaves, leaf drop and rotting stems in Dragon Tail Plant is an indication of root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Dragon Tail Pothos cannot tolerate soggy soil. Always, ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Brown leaf edges, brown leaf spots

Brown leaf edges and brown leaf spots in Dragon Tail Plant are caused by too dry soil due to underwatering (too little soil moisture).

Water the Dragon Tail Pothos liberally to maintain the soil moist while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Do not allow the root ball to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Curled, limp leaves and rotting stems

Curled, limp leaves and rotting stems in Dragon Tail Plant are caused by sudden changes in the air temperature due to drafts.

Dragon Tail Plant is sensitive to sudden drops in temperature. Keep the plant from cold drafts emanating from air conditioners, drafty windows and doors to maintain an average room warmth within the range of 15-280C. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips

Brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Dragon Tail Plant are due to four possible reasons. One possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips is too dry air (low air humidity) or too little moisture in the air.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Dragon Tail Pothos is soggy soil. Dragon Tail Plant does not like to sit in soggy soil and it will respond with brown-black leaf tips.

Repot the Dragon Tail Plant in fresh soil. Ensure the soil is draining properly and the pot has a drainage hole. Also, do not leave water standing in the saucer after watering; discard any water that remains on the saucer after watering.

The third possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Dragon Tail Pothos is underwatering.

If there isn't enough moisture in the soil for the plant to take up, the leaf tips are the first to suffer. They begin to dry up, turning brown and later black.

Water the plant when the top 2-3 in. of soil dry out; avoid delayed watering. Read more on how to water houseplants.

The fourth possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Dragon Tail Plant is overfeeding or accumulation of chemicals in the soil.

Too much fertilizer in the soil will cause damage to the roots which means that the plant cannot take up adequate water and nutrients from the soil.

Brown tips is the first sign that the roots of the plant are in distress. Regularly flush (leach) out any excess chemicals from the soil by running a steady stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes.

Allow the water to run for about 5 minutes and let the excess water drain out before replacing the plant to its position. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Pests

The common pests in Dragon Tail Plant are spider mites and mealy bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.

Is Dragon Tail Plant toxic?

As Wikipedia indicates, Dragon Tail Plant (Epipremnum pinnatum) like other species of the Araceae family is toxic to both humans and pets. The plants contains Calcium oxalate.

If ingested it causes burning and swelling in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Keep the Dragon Tail Pothos from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishap.

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