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Pothos Plant Care – Everything You Need to Know

Got Pothos plant? These trailing vining beauties may just be the perfect houseplant for both newbie gardeners and experienced plant parents. With their telltale heart-shaped leaves and ability to thrive in low light conditions, pothos plants have taken over as the unofficial mascot of apartment growing. Even better – they’re almost impossible to kill! Before you head to the nearest gardening center to grab one of these golden-leafed wonders, let’s dig into the simple secrets of Pothos success. With just a few basic guidelines for water, light, and nutrition, you’ll have the easiest tropical foliage thriving at home. Get ready to find out exactly how to care for the Pothos plant.

Pothos Plant Care

Known for their lush cascading vines and vibrant yellow and green variegated leaves, pothos are one of the most popular houseplants. Pothos care is fairly straightforward – their suggestively hardy nature has earned them a reputation for being almost indestructible! However, while they are more forgiving than many plants, pothos do still need adequate moisture, light, and humidity to look their best. Providing a few basic requirements for pothos is key to keeping them healthy and helping them thrive indoors.

The good news is that if their needs are met, they will readily grow to become an impressive display in your home with vines trailing several feet long from hanging baskets or climbing trellises. With the simple growing tips and troubleshooting tricks outlined here, growing lush pothos at home is achievable even for novice gardeners! Let’s walk through the fundamental keys to success when cultivating these cheerful tropicals indoors.

Pothos Plant Care – Light and Temperature

Pothos appreciate a luminous exposure, avoiding direct sun. They can be grown outdoors during spring and summer, as long as they are in the shade.

It is a plant that suffers from temperatures below 41°F (5º C), so it is most common to grow them indoors. That is why it is very important to control the temperature for Pothos plant care.

pothos plant care temperature and light

Pothos Plant Care – Substrate and Repotting

The substrate should be very light and well-drained to avoid waterlogging. Having the roots too humid can cause the appearance of fungi, the reason why a universal substrate mixed with perlite usually works very well. A small layer of perlite at the bottom of the pot will facilitate drainage and lighten its weight.

They appreciate an annual repotting to a slightly larger pot. Of course, its enormous capacity for growth in pots that seem small for the large amount of foliage it produces is often surprising.

If you grow it indoors, you should try dividing the plant to be able to continue using the same pot. Sometimes the space in our homes is limited and we can’t afford a larger pot. Open the root ball wide to divide it and don’t worry if in the process some of the roots break off. As soon as you repot them with new soil you will see that they start to grow quickly.

Pothos Plant Care – Watering

Watering Pothos should always be done when the substrate is dry. And this depends on several factors, such as the time of year, but also the size of the pot that contains it. A large plant still growing in a small pot may need more frequent watering during the summer, so it is difficult to establish a watering pattern for this plant. The best advice is to observe the substrate and hold the pot in your hand to feel its weight, as when the soil dries out, it is much lighter.

If you use plates under the pots, avoid water accumulating in the pot. And if the leaves are yellow and fall off, it is usually a symptom of excessive watering.

It is a plant that likes high humidity, which we can provide with frequent spraying during the warmer months. Watch the tips of the leaves: if they are dry, they probably need more spraying.

You should wipe them with a damp cloth, preferably soft microfiber, or take advantage of rainy days to take them out onto the balcony, patio, or deck. My mother has a huge one and what she does is to put it in the bathtub to clean it with the shower phone. It’s not a very glamorous method, but I guarantee it’s just as effective.

Let the Pothos plant drain well before putting it back in place.

pothos plant care watering steps

Fertilizing Pothos

Pothos plants need regular fertilizing during spring, summer, and the first months of autumn if they are still warm. Use a liquid fertilizer for green plants or indoor plants, following the guidelines indicated by the manufacturer. If you are a bit absent-minded, opt for solid fertilizers in sticks that are stuck in the substrate and are washed away with the irrigation water. Normally they should be replenished once a month or a month and a half.

Pothos Fertilizer | Pothos Plant Food | Liquid Fertilizer for Epipremnum Aureum | Devils Ivy | Golden Pothos | Neon Pothos Food | NPK Fertilizer by Aquatic Arts
  • POTHOS NPK FERTILIZER: Support the growth of a variety of pothos seeds or live plants. Observe rich, green, variegated leaves developing from your pothos pot. Nutrient based constitution of nitrogen fertilizer augments life cycle.
  • EPIPREMNUM AUREUM PLANT GAMUT: Fall fertilizer will care for cebu pothos, epipremnum pinnatum, jessenia pothos, manjula pothos, marble pothos, n-joy pothos, satin pothos and more. Specially designed genus formula treats epipremnum aureum seeds and existing indoor pothos plants.
  • EFFORTLESS APPLICATION: Add 1 teaspoon (1 full bottle cap = 1 teaspoon) of plant food per two cups of water. Use this mixture to water your Pothos once per month during months with plenty of sunlight (usually March through September). During the winter (in cooler climates), use this mixture once every 6 weeks rather than once per month.

Common Pests and Diseases of Pothos

Although they are generally easy-going plants, pothos are still susceptible to a few stubborn pests and diseases that can take hold if conditions become favorable for them. Here are some of the most common pests and diseases that affect pothos plants:


  • Mealybugs: Cottony insects that leave sticky residue on plants. Often found in leaf axils and on stems.
  • Spider mites: Tiny spiders that create small webs and stippling damage on leaves. Check the undersides of the leaves.
  • Scale: Immobile insects that attach to leaves and stems. Look for round bumps on plants.
  • Aphids: Small soft-bodied insects that cluster on new growth and stems.


  • Leaf spot: Round water-soaked lesions on leaves, usually with yellow halos. Caused by fungus or bacteria.
  • Powdery mildew: White powdery coating on leaf surfaces caused by fungal infection.
  • Root rot: Brown mushy roots caused by overwatering or poor drainage.
  • Mosaic virus: Distinctive patterns of yellowing/dark green on leaves caused by virus infection.

Prevention measures for pests and diseases include providing good air circulation, proper light levels, maintaining optimal temperatures, and monitoring for early signs of problems. Remove infected parts immediately and treat as needed with gentle pesticides or antifungals.

common diseases pothos plants

How to Propagate Pothos Step by Step

Pothos plant care is very important, but it is also important to know how to propagate pothos correctly, follow these steps for correct propagation.

  1. Choose one of the branches and cut it below one of the leaves.
  2. Cut the branch into smaller parts keeping the leaves and a small part of the stem on both sides of the leaf. Just below will be the nodes where its aerial roots are formed. In this case, they will form underground giving rise to a new plant.
  3. This is how the different leaves should look like if you notice, under each leaf we have an inverted “T”. At this point, choose to submerge them in water or directly in a pot with a new substrate. Both methods are equally valid.
  4. Bury the “T” part under the soil, compact it around it, and water generously afterward.
  5. Keep the cuttings in a light location and after a few weeks, you will see new leaves sprouting from the soil.

Learn more about how to propagate Pothos in water.

Can Pothos Plant Grow in Water?

Yes, pothos plants can grow in just water. Pothos plants can live for a long time in the water, even for years. If you are going to keep your pothos plant in water, I recommend that you change it every week.

can pothos plant grow in water

Why Is My Pothos Plant Turning Yellow?

There are a few common reasons why a pothos plant may be turning yellow.

Overwatering: If the soil is staying too wet, it can cause root rot and yellow leaves. Check if the soil is soggy or takes a long time to dry out between waterings. Allow the top inch or two of soil to dry before watering again.

Underwatering: On the flip side, if the plant is not getting enough water, it can also cause yellowing leaves. Check if the soil is very dry right before you water. Water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom.

Excess fertilizer: Too much fertilizer can burn the roots and tips of the leaves. Flushing the soil by watering heavily can help remove excess salts from fertilizer. Only fertilize pothos every 2-3 months and use half or less of the recommended dose.

Insufficient light: Pothos like bright, indirect light. If they are getting too little sunlight, such as no nearby window, leaves can turn pale yellow. Move it closer to a sunny window or supplement it with a grow light. Remove very yellow leaves.

Temperature changes: Dramatic shifts in temperature can shock pothos. Keep it in similar temperature conditions. Move away from drafty areas, AC vents, heaters, or cold windows.

I recommend you to read our complete guide about yellow leaves on Pothos.

why is my pothos plant turning yellow

Where to Buy Pothos Plant?

Pothos plants can be purchased from most garden centers, nurseries, and big box stores with garden departments, or ordered online from retailers selling live plants.

Are Pothos Plants Toxic?

Yes, pothos plants are toxic to both humans and pets. The effects of the Pothos plant in humans are skin irritation, swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, vomiting, and diarrhea but in cats and dogs, it causes drooling, choking, swelling of the mouth and tongue, difficulty breathing, and stomach upset. Excessive consumption of its leaves can lead an animal to kidney failure and/or death.

Is Pothos Plant Bad Luck?

According to Feng Shui recommends not to have more than three Pothos in your house, that’s why the legend that the Pothos bring bad luck, and also these should be located near the door or a window because they can absorb all the positive and negative.

According to Feng Shui if you put a lot of Pothos in your house this can bring a great energetic imbalance. So, if you believe in Feng Shui beliefs, keep the right number of Pothos so that it is not one of the plants that bring bad luck to your home.

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About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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