How to grow and care for Pothos (Scindapsus aureus) Indoors

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Pothos care, Scindapsus aureus Care

Botanical name: Scindapsus aureus
Synonym: Epipremnum aureum
Family: Araceae
Common names: Pothos, Devil's Ivy, Devil's Vine

Pothos Description

Pothos also called Devil's Ivy or Devil's Vine are popular colourful houseplants with air purifying properties and are easy to grow even for the beginner.

The Pothos are hard to kill plants that easily adapt to a wide range of growing conditions. Pothos are low maintenance and generally pest resistant.

If kept away from draughts, direct sunlight and with moderate watering, Pothos will thrive. They can be treated as a trailer or climber, reaching up to 6 ft or more under good conditions.

The aerial roots in Pothos need to be provided with support: a moss stick is ideal to provide support and feeding.

The stems can also be allowed to trail from a hanging basket or wall display.

Pothos Origin

Pothos are native to Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Queensland and parts of western Pacific Islands.

Pothos Air Purifying

According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Scindapsus aureus was found to get rid of common VOCs like xylene, toulene, benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia from indoor air.

Pothos Varieties

Many varieties of Pothos are available. The easiest one to grow is the Golden Pothos also called Devil's Ivy probably to suggest the vigour with which it grows even under adverse growing conditions.

Golden Queen is more yellow than green, Marble Queen is near white and Neon is almost yellow. Silver Vine bears white edged-leaves; the leaves have silver splashes on the upper surface of the foliage.

Pothos for Sale

Buy beautiful and healthy Pothos Plants (Scindapsus aureus) from Etsy.

Pothos care, Scindapsus aureus Care

Pothos (Scindapsus aureus) Care Indoors

Pothos Light Requirements

Pothos grows best in bright light away from direct sunlight.

Pothos can tolerate low light but the variegation will fade in poor light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Pothos

Water Pothos liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Pothos 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.


Temperature for Pothos

Pothos thrives in an average warmth with a minimum of 120C. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for your Pothos.

Protect your Pothos from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Pothos

Pothos have no need for high air humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for Pothos. However, if the air is too dry Pothos will respond with brown-black and shrivelled leaf tips.

Mist the leaves more frequently or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. 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) for Pothos

Feed Pothos every 4 weeks with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer during the growing period.

Withhold feeding 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.

How to Repot Pothos

Repot Pothos 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 your Pothos.

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

Soil for Pothos

The best soil for Pothos 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 Pothos.

Buy quality Aroids Potting Soil for your Pothos from Etsy.

How to Prune Pothos

Pruning Pothos involves frequent removal of any dead foliage. Pinch off the growing tips to encourage bushyness and prevent the plant from becoming leggy.

Cut back the stems of your Pothos 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 Pothos plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Pothos (Scindapsus aureus) Propagation

Pothos can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. The cuttings can be rooted the cuttings in soil or in water.

How to propagate Pothos from stem cuttings in soil

Take a 4-6 in. stem cutting from a healthy Pothos plant. Ensure the cutting has at least two leaf nodes and some aerial roots.

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

Place the set up in a warm, shaded place and maintain the soil moist through out until roots have developed.

To hasten rooting for your Pothos, cover the set up with polythene to create a greenhouse effect.

Rooting Pothos should take about 2-3 weeks and the new Pothos Plant will be ready to be transplanted in about 2-3 months.

How to propagate Pothos from stem cuttings in water

Pothos can also be rooted in water. Take a 4-6 in. stem cutting from a healthy Pothos plant. Ensure the cutting has at least 2-3 leaf nodes and some aerial roots.

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

Place the set up in a well-lit spot and change the water every once a week.

Rooting your Pothos in water should take about 3-4 weeks. When the roots are about 2 in. long, start acclimatizing them to grow in soil.

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

The new Pothos plant is ready for transplanting when the roots have grown to about 4 in. long.

Pothos care, Scindapsus aureus Care

Pothos (Scindapsus aureus) Problems Indoors

Pothos yellow leaves, leaf drop, rotting stems

Yellow leaves, leaf drop and rotting stems in Pothos 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.

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.

Pothos brown leaf edges, brown leaf spots

Brown leaf edges and brown leaf spots in Pothos are caused by too dry soil due to underwatering.

Water your Pothos liberally to maintain the soil moist while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Never allow the root ball to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Pothos curled and limp leaves, rotting stems

Curled and limp leaves and rotting stems in Pothos are caused by sudden changes in the air temperature due to draughts.

Pothos are extremely sensitive to sudden drop in temperature. Protect your Pothos from cold draughts to maintain an average room warmth. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Pothos brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips

There are a four possible reasons for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Pothos.

One possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in your Pothos is too dry air (low air humidity) or too little moisture in the air.

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

The second possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in your Pothos is soggy soil.

Pothos do not like to be in soggy soil and they respond with brown-black leaf tips.

Repot your Pothos 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 asfter watering your Pothos.


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

If there isn't enough moisture in the soil for your Pothos 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 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 your Pothos is overfeeding or accumulation of chemicals in the soil.

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

Brown tips is the first sign that the roots of your Pothos are in distress. Regularly flush out any excess chemicals from the soil. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Pothos pests

Common pests in Pothos are Spider Mites and Mealy Bugs.

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

Is Pothos (Scindapsus aureus) toxic?

Pothos (Scindapsus aureus) are toxic to both humans and pets. The plants contains Calcium oxalate.

If Pothos is ingested it causes burning and swelling in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains.

Keep your Pothos plants from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishap.

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