Golden Pothos Care – Growing The Devil’s Ivy Plant
What if I told you that the devil's ivy plant was given that name because it's nearly impossible to kill?
As a houseplant enthusiast, any plant that's hard to kill is a plant that I want to grow!
Devil's Ivy Overview
|Common Name(s)||Devil's ivy, ivy arum, hunter's robe, Solomon Islands ivy, taro vine|
|Scientific Name||Epipremnum aureum|
|Height||Uo to 40 feet|
|Light||Bright, indirect sun|
|Soil||Well-draining potting mix|
|Fertilizer||Feed every 2 weeks with houseplant fertilizer, once a month in winter|
Golden pothos is one of the most popular houseplants in the world because it is so easy to care for.
It's a gorgeous vining plant with heart-shaped leaves that are variegated in green and yellow. It's a fast grower, hardy, and can tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions.
The vines can reach 10' or longer, making them ideal for hanging baskets where they will create beautiful draping foliage.
If a moss pole or other type of support is provided, the devil's ivy plant will create a beautiful climbing houseplant.
Golden Pothos Care
Devil's ivy care is pretty straightforward. It takes the name devil's ivy simply because it's hard to kill and is actually an invasive species if grown outdoors in many regions.
While that's bad for people battling it outside, it's actually GOOD for a houseplant - it means even if you're a beginner, it's hard to kill it!
An excellent beginner plant, it's not fussy at all and can thrive in both bright sunlight or dim lighting inside your home. The only lighting conditions it can't tolerate are full, direct sun and complete darkness.
If exposed to bright, filtered light, your devil's ivy will have more yellow variegation in its leaves.
The root system of pothos plants is rather shallow, so you only need to water a little bit to penetrate the roots. Water it as often as needed during the growing months of spring and summer. Just avoid soaking the soil completely and you should be fine.
As far as soil goes, a standard houseplant potting mix is perfectly fine. It should be well-draining, but hold on to enough water to remain moist in between watering (devil's ivy doesn't like super dry soil).
Golden pothos is quite hardy and can survive without fertilizer for months on end. However, if you want to produce vigorous growth and foliage, give it a 20-20-20 mix.
Fertilize during the growing season and avoid fertilizing during the winter months.
If the plant stops producing new growth, reduce the frequency of fertilizing to once every two or three months.
Pothos does well in a smaller pot, so feel free to keep it in the pot you buy it in for quite some time. I have had mine in a 6" pot I bought at the nursery for over half a year and it's doing just fine!
However you can repot it if you want more vigorous growth. Just add extra soil and pick a pot 1-3" larger than the existing pot. You don't need to be extremely careful when repotting because the plant is so hardy.
You should prune your plant to control its shape over the year. Sometimes it will send out vines that look a bit bare except for foliage at the very bottom, so pruning those back will make your plant more aesthetically pleasing.
They grow so quickly that you can prune back heavily to reshape your plant and it will start coming back in no time.
Along with being easy to care for, golden pothos is also one of the easiest houseplants to propagate!
You can simply clip the vines and root golden pothos in water. New roots will form at leaf nodes, which are directly under a leaf.
When you make your cutting, remove the lowest leaves and place the cuttings in water.
You can also propagate by air layering, but most gardeners use the water method because of how quickly the cuttings form new roots.
You don't even have to worry about trimming the plant for propagation because the vine will start a new shoot at the cut area!
Like I've mentioned, it's hard to actually kill this plant, even if you try. There aren't a lot of mistakes you can make that will harm the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Although the plant is susceptible to several pests, infestations are rare. Fungal and bacterial problems are the main cause of failure with this houseplant. These problems which cause root rot and leaf spots can be avoided by making sure the soil is only moist and not soaked.
Pests include spider mites and mealy bugs, but mealy bugs are most common. They can easily be removed by using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or an insecticidal soap.
Goal: To answer common problems and questions about planting, caring for, harvesting, or storing this plant.
Q. My golden pothos plant is growing like crazy and I don't know what to do with all of the vines - help!
A. When you cut off parts of a pothos vine, typically new vines grow right out of the cut. Sometimes you'll even get two new vines, just like the heads of a hydra. To prune down a crazy pothos plant, you should either wrap the vines so they're more manageable, or cut some completely back to the soil surface.
Q. What should I water my pothos plant with? Tap water, distilled...?
A. Unlike some houseplants, golden pothos is fine with normal tap water. You may want to let it cool to room temperature though to avoid shocking the root system with a sudden temperature change.
Q. What is the best pruning strategy for devil's ivy plant?
A. If you don't prune it at all, it will become a vining plant and drop a lot of foliage and vines all over the place. If you want to control it, all you need to do is cut off a vine completely to thin it out. You can also root these cuttings if you want even more golden pothos!