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 NameEpipremnum aureum
OriginFrench polynesia
HeightUo to 40 feet
LightBright, indirect sun
SoilWell-draining potting mix
FertilizerFeed every 2 weeks with houseplant fertilizer, once a month in winter
PestsScale insects

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!​


Devil's Ivy Plant

Golden Pothos doesn't have many pest or disease problems.

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!

I’m the founder of Epic Gardening, a website dedicated to teaching 10,000,000 people how to grow plants. I enjoy skateboarding, piano, guitar, business, and experimenting with all kinds of gardening techniques!

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49 thoughts on “Golden Pothos Care – Growing The Devil’s Ivy Plant

  1. Well you think it can’t be killed, but I do it every time. I got this beautiful huge plant and now it’s merely one vine what did I do wrong I water it , have in a well lit place still it want grow HELP!¡!!!!!!

    • Hahaha, it’s not invincible Linda! Make sure you are checking moisture levels and the soil quality is good. You can definitely kill it by over / under watering.

  2. I love Pothos. I occasionally spend a half-hour at night fussing around with my plant, then come back in the morning to find what LOOKS like insect damage to a leaf or two, or three. It just looks as if something is just nibbling away at the edges of the leave…close to the tip of the leaf. I have searched through a magnifying glass to find the little bugger, but cannot.

    Can you or anybody else tell me what is going on?

  3. Hello. I reported my pothos and now the leaves are turning brown. What should I do? I did use a much larger pot than what it was originally in however.

    • Usually you want to use a pot only 1″ bigger. It might be an issue with the soil mix you used…I’d try to mimic whatever mix the pothos was growing in before you repotted. Also check for watering issues.

  4. One thing I’m curious about is I’ve seen people grow this plant in nothing but a glass bottle with water and no soil. I’ve also heard this plant does fairly well in hydroponics. Is there a specific way this needs to be done or should it just be avoided for a healthier plant?

    • Yes, you CAN do it this way but it’ll need some fertilizer for sure if you do it in only water. It’ll simply do better in soil though, and with far less maintenance!

  5. Hi!
    My photos is growing pretty well, I placed it in a hanging basket for the first months after I bought it. It was growing really well so I figured there was no need to check on it! When ai eventually took it off the wall for an inspection, I found out that the whole soil surface was covered by a grey-fuzzy mold. I repotted it straight away, cleaned the roots, which looked healthy and kept a close eye on it. It is still growing well but I recently noticed that mold is coming back, what am I doing wrong? What can I do? I really like this plant and I wouldn’t like to lose it!

    • Mold usually thrives on a particular set of environmental conditions – moist air, relatively warm temperatures, and moist soil. I might try seeing if your pothos is in a location that fits those and moving it out and experimenting with watering less!

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