Pothos Care

Pothos, or Devil’s Ivy, are popular houseplants that many people love for their attractive leaves and easy care. If you’re thinking about growing pothos or already have one at home, understanding the right conditions for their care is crucial. This article will guide you through each aspect of pothos care, helping you nurture healthy and thriving plants.

Scientific Classification

Every plant has a unique identity, much like your name tells who you are. Scientists sort plants into groups based on their features. This sorting is called scientific classification. For the pothos, it goes like this:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Alismatales
  • Family: Araceae
  • Genus: Epipremnum
  • Species: Epipremnum aureum

Each level of the list gets more specific. It starts big with the kingdom and ends up with the unique species, the pothos you might have at home.


Pothos plants need the right amount of light to grow well. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight. This means you should place them near a window, but not in the direct path of the sun’s rays. Too much sunlight can burn their leaves, causing them to turn yellow or brown. On the other hand, not enough light can make their growth slow, and their leaves might become less green. A good balance is to give them a spot where sunlight is filtered through a curtain or blinds. That way, they get just enough light without the harsh effects of direct sun. Remember, if natural light in your home is low, you may need to use artificial lights to help your pothos thrive. These lights are designed to mimic sunlight and can be really helpful, especially in darker rooms or during winter months.


Water is like a drink for your Pothos plant, and it’s crucial to give it the right amount. Too much water, and the roots can rot; too little, and the leaves will droop and turn brown. You should water your Pothos when the top inch of soil feels dry. Usually, this means giving your plant a drink every week or so, but it can change with the seasons. In the winter months, your plant won’t need as much water because it grows more slowly. Also, make sure the pot has holes in the bottom. This lets extra water drain out so the roots don’t sit in too much moisture. If the leaves start to yellow, that’s a sign you might be overwatering. Stick your finger in the soil to judge its moisture before you decide to water your Pothos.


When you grow Pothos, you need to think about the soil you use. Soil is like a home for plant roots. It needs to be just right for Pothos to thrive. You want soil that holds some water but also drains well. Not too wet, not too dry. A good mix for Pothos is one that has peat moss, perlite, and potting soil. Peat moss helps to keep the soil moist. Perlite makes sure air can get to the roots. And potting soil gives the plant the nutrients it needs. Together, they create the perfect spot for your Pothos to grow healthy and strong. Remember, the better the soil, the happier your plant will be.


For your Pothos to thrive, you need to get the temperature just right. Think of it as Goldilocks’ porridge: not too hot, not too cold. Pothos plants enjoy a temperature range that is comfortable for most people. That means anything between 60-85°F (15-29°C) is ideal for them. They’re tropical plants, so they like it on the warmer side. However, if it gets colder than 50°F (10°C), your Pothos might start to struggle. Its growth can slow down, and the leaves may suffer. So, make sure your plant stays away from drafty windows or air conditioning vents. It’s all about keeping the environment cozy for your green buddy.


Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Pothos plants need a certain level of humidity to grow well. They like it best when there’s a bit of moisture in the air, but not too much. Imagine how the air feels in a bathroom after a hot shower—this is an example of high humidity. Pothos plants can do okay in lower humidity too, which is often the case in most homes. If the air is too dry, you might see the tips of the leaves turning brown. This is the plant telling you it wants more moisture. To help your Pothos, you can mist the leaves with water from a spray bottle or use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Remember, the goal is to keep the air around your Pothos comfortably damp, like a gentle morning dew, not wet or soggy.


Fertilizer is like a vitamin boost for your pothos. It provides extra nutrients that the plant needs to grow healthy and strong. Just like you sometimes need a little extra snack to keep you going, your pothos sometimes needs a bit more than what ordinary soil offers. But you should be careful not to give it too much. Over-fertilizing can harm your plant, so it’s all about finding the right balance. You might only need to fertilize your pothos every few months, especially during spring and summer when it’s growing more. There are many kinds of fertilizers out there, like liquids, sticks, and granules. Always read the label to know how much and how often to use them. Remember, just a little bit of fertilizer can go a long way in keeping your pothos plant happy and thriving.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of a Pothos plant tells you how fast it will grow under the right conditions. A healthy Pothos can grow quickly, often adding between 12 to 18 inches of length each month during its growing season, which is spring and summer. The plant grows slower in the fall and winter, which are its dormant months. This rate can change based on how much light, water, and nutrition the plant gets. When your Pothos does not get enough of what it needs, its growth will slow down. If you take good care of your Pothos, you will see new leaves appearing often, making the plant look fuller and longer over time. Remember, each plant is unique, so some may grow a bit faster or slower than others.

Common Issues

When you care for pothos, you may see some problems. Leaves can turn yellow or brown and might even drop off. This often happens if you water the plant too much or too little. Bugs like spider mites and scale insects sometimes attack pothos plants. They can cause the leaves to look damaged. If the leaves have brown tips, it could mean the air around your pothos is too dry. Root rot is another issue you might face. It happens when the roots sit in wet soil for too long. This can make your plant very sick and needs quick action to fix it. Keep an eye on your pothos for these signs so you can deal with them early.


Pothos, while easy to care for, contains a hidden danger if ingested. It is toxic. The leaves and stems have a type of sap that can cause irritation. This is especially true for pets like cats and dogs or small children. If someone eats part of a pothos plant, they might feel a burning sensation in their mouth. This can lead to swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat. Vomiting and diarrhea are also symptoms of pothos toxicity. Therefore, always ensure pothos plants are out of reach from pets and young children. If you think your pet or child has eaten any part of the plant, contact a health professional or vet right away. Remember, pothos are meant for decoration, not for eating.

Pro Tips

When caring for your pothos, the small details can make a big difference. Here are some extra tips to help your plant thrive:

  • Don’t Overcrowd: Give your pothos plenty of space so it doesn’t get too crowded.
  • Clean Leaves: Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust. This helps your pothos breathe.
  • Check for Pests: Look under leaves for signs of pests and treat them quickly.
  • Trim Routinely: Cut back long vines to encourage fuller growth.
  • Use a Stable Pot: Make sure your pot is sturdy to prevent tipping as the plant grows.
  • Repot When Needed: Change to a larger pot if the roots outgrow the current one.
  • Filter Your Water: If your tap water is hard, consider using filtered water to avoid mineral buildup on the soil.
  • Be Patient: Pothos grows at its own pace, so don’t rush it with too much water or fertilizer.
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