Pothos Care

Placement

PRO TIP: The cut leaves of the Pothos can survive for months in a vase. Change the water out once a week, and place this beauty in any surface throughout your home.

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), also known as Devil's Ivy, is a lovely trailing houseplant with hardy oblong green leaves. This plant can be found on many favorite houseplants lists because it is easy to care for, can be trained to grow as you wish, and can tolerate lower light conditions.

Pothos thrives in bright but indirect light, however this plant will also comfortably adapt to low and medium light spaces. Growth will be slower in these conditions but the plant should remain healthy. It can even adapt to fluorescent lights, making it a fabulous office plant and a rare trailing plant that can survive in low light.

These plants are amenable to almost any lighting conditions provided there is some sort of light present, but if you're curious about the lighting conditions in your home of office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.

Pothos Plant Leaves

Pothos vines have been measured reaching 70 feet in the wild, but they can also be trained to climb up surfaces instead of trail! Frequent misting helps the vines attach to a stake or trellis by promoting aerial root growth and the increased humidity also keeps the foliage looking its best.

Routine Maintenance

PRO TIP: Pothos are especially notable for their air purification properties, found in a study by NASA to clean the air of benzene and formaldehyde.

Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. Also, consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breathe and allow moisture to be released.

In bright light, Pothos appreciates a watering when the soil has dried half way through the pot. In low and medium light spaces, it is best to allow the soil to dry almost all the way through the pot, but do not let the plant sit dry for extended periods. A good indication of your plant needing water is when the foliage begins to wilt. It is best to water just as it begins to wilt (not after it has collapsed), and always be sure to feel the soil in addition to visually monitoring the plant.

Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. When dusting the leaves, also take the opportunity to inspect the undersides and keep an eye out for pests.

Standard Planter Instructions

There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery NYC—those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. The presence of drainage holes and size of the vessel play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.

Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole have been set up with a built-in drainage system. A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir for any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the excess water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.

For plants potted with drainage, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.

Always be sure to assess your plant's watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for your plant’s specific moisture requirements. 

Self Watering Container Instructions

The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir first in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks. Then the reservoir is ready to be tested.

TEST: After four weeks, fill the water reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.

RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.

From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.

Frequently Asked Questions

Help! My Pothos is turning yellow!

  • Most often yellowing occurs due to over or underwatering. If you see a combination of yellow and brown on the same leaf, it is likely due to overwatering. If you're noticing yellow leaves, along with some brown crispy spots on additional leaves, then the cause could be underwatering. Check in with the soil to determine if it matches your diagnosis.

There are leafless brown growths coming off of my Pothos. Is that normal?

  • Yes! These are called aerial roots and they are totally normal. In nature, this is what helps give support to the plant and also allows it to climb and reach more light. The roots will not damage walls or surfaces, and you can always prune them if they get unruly.

How can I train my Pothos to climb up a stake or trellis?

  • Gently wrap and weave the plant up the stake or trellis, attaching the vines if necessary with string — but be cautious not to tie too tightly. Continue caring for the plant as usual, but introduce misting to the foliage of the plant. Added humidity in the air increases the production of roots along the vine that will will attach the plant to the stake or trellis. Eventually the plant will grow upwards on its own and you can remove the string if desired.

My Pothos has gotten way too long. What can I do?

  • Prune it back! These guys are very hardy and can handle a good trim. You can also propoate your plant by placing the cuttings in water. You can either leave them in water, or when a substantial amount of roots grow you can transfer the cuttings to soil.

How often should I fertilize my plant?

  • In general, house plants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil, so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.

How often does my plant need to be repotted?

  • For smaller desktop plants, we suggest repotting once every 12-18 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 1”- 2” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plant's roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.
  • For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plants roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.

Additional Care Guides