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Epipremnum aureum, colloquially known as golden pothos, pothos plant, or devil’s ivy, is a reasonably large houseplant belonging to the Araceae family.
It is a tropical plant, specifically originating from the society islands, a remote part of French Polynesia. Its large green leaves and overall visual appeal make it a pretty popular houseplant in many circles.
The following guide, based on my many years of professional gardening experience, as well as the advice of other prominent plant experts, will provide you with everything you need to know about caring for this magnificent plant.
Light and Location for Epipremnum Aureum Care
Epipremnum Aureum plants are relatively easy to care for in terms of sunlight, meaning that you can mostly ignore this factor when choosing the right location for them.
The plant tolerates low light quite well and can also be grown in moderate or bright light if needed. Remember that you should keep it out of direct sunlight, as the natural sun can burn its leaves quite quickly. Indirect light, such as that in a somewhat dim room, is the best.
As a rule of thumb, too much light is often more harmful than too little of it (but don’t keep your pothos plants in complete darkness as they still need to perform photosynthesis!)
If you have any other Araceae plants in your living space, you can apply the same lighting conditions to this heartleaf philodendron. Low light is less of an issue than bright light, in general.
Choosing a location for it, however, can be a little tricky.
An Epipremnum Aureum is quite a large plant, meaning that finding the right place to put it can be somewhat tricky.
A fully grown golden pothos can reach over 8 feet in height, and that’s just the stem!
The plant becomes even bulkier if you consider its many green leaves, so it will need a lot of space to grow.
Watering Epipremnum Aureum
Epipremnum aureum plants aren’t particularly demanding with watering. The plant tolerates dry soil quite well, but you should still remember to water it at least occasionally.
Like many other Araceae plants, it gets in more trouble by having too much water than not having enough.
This means you should never leave your plant in soggy soil, as doing so can cause root rotting, which can kill the plant if left unchecked.
The best way to know if golden pothos needs watering is by checking the top layer of the soil with a finger.
If the top inch of the soil is completely dry, you should water the plant.
When watering an Epipremnum aureum, make sure to do so thoroughly.
It would be best if you only stopped pouring in more water when the excess starts leaking out of the pot’s drainage holes.
Golden Pothos Plant Air Humidity
Epipremnum aureum is first and foremost a tropical plant.
It prefers high humidity (over 50%), but it will tolerate less humid air if other needs are taken care of.
Severely dry air can cause leaf tips to go brown and die off, so you should avoid placing this plant near a heat source such as a radiator.
In the end, air humidity levels don’t change much regarding this plant’s wellbeing.
If you think that the plant is suffering from dry air conditions, you can try misting its leaves or using a humidifier.
Epipremnum Aureum Temperature Needs: Keeping Your Plant Warm
In its natural habitat, this plant enjoys reasonably high temperatures the entire year.
However, this does not mean you should turn your home into a tropical resort to please it.
A pothos plant is quite accommodating in temperature needs and will grow perfectly fine in an average household, with temperatures around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
They dislike severe cold: anything under 10 degrees Celsius will, at first, slow down the plant’s growth rate.
Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures may even kill the plant, so keep it inside your home!
Feeding and Fertilization
Keeping your Epipremnum Aureum well feed is simple: the plant isn’t a heavy feeder, and it isn’t very picky about the type of fertilizer you give it, either.
It should be given a general houseplant fertilizer about twice a month (once during the winter months, as the plant is less active during this season).
Ensure that the fertilizer is water dissolvable; otherwise, it can cause root burn.
Finally, the plant needs many nitrates to maintain a constant growth rate.
You should ensure that you are using a nitrate-rich fertilizer.
Epipremnum Aureum Soil Requirements
The plant stays green year-round, so you should choose a suitably organically rich soil for it, similar to what it would have access to in its native tropical habitat.
Still, as most all-purpose soil mixes can easily match this standard, you don’t have to sweat much when choosing the potting mix: any good quality ones will do.
What you do need to think of, however, are the soil’s moisture retention properties.
The plant can suffer from rotting roots if planted in well-draining soil and given a pot with at least several drainage holes.
Because of this, most of the soil requirements can be traced back to the plant’s watering needs.
Repotting Pothos Plants
When it comes to repotting a pothos epipernum, there is no singular rule of thumb.
Its growth rate will vary depending on the level of care you provide it with, so adjust the repotting speed appropriately.
In general, this plant will need to be repotted once every two or three years, but as we already said, that can change.
Regardless of your pothos plant’s growth rate, however, there are some rules you will have to follow when it needs a new pot.
Firstly, the easiest way to notice that the plant is beginning to lack space is by looking at its roots.
If they are beginning to stick out of the ground in places, or worse, distorting the shape of the pot itself, you should start looking for a new one.
As with other Araceae plants, the best time to repot them is early in the growing season (preferably in the spring, early summer at the latest).
Doing this will ensure that your plant has an entire growing season to recover from the shock caused by replanting.
Pothos Epipremnum Propagation Methods
There are two main ways to propagate a pothos plant (well, technically three, if you count propagation by seeds, but it is ridiculously overcomplicated in simply not worth doing for an average gardener).
1. Propagation in a water container
However, of the two recommended ways, the first is propagation in water.
It is done by putting a small plant cutting in a nutrient-rich water-filled container such as a vase or a large jar.
This young plant will need conditions similar to those suitable for an adult one, so keep it somewhere relatively warm and with access to a source of indirect light.
If you plan on moving such a grown water plant to the soil, do so as soon as it has started to grow roots.
Doing so will allow the plant’s roots to avoid most of the shock caused by its new environment.
Still, the plant doesn’t need soil to grow: you can keep it in water indefinitely if you want; ensure that you are feeding it properly.
2. Propagation by stem cuttings
Alternatively, you can also propagate your pothos Epipremnum by using stem cutting.
These cuttings are made from parts of an adult plant and then left in a new spot where they can easily take root.
The proper way to create these cuttings is by using a knife or garden shears.
Sanitize your tools beforehand to avoid any infection spread, then make small and careful incisions.
You do not want to overly stress the mother plant when engaging in this propagation method.
Regardless of which of these two methods of propagation you choose, there are several tips you should know.
First, the cutting should be between four and six inches in length and contain several leaves.
Second, the cutting must always have some of the plant’s main brown stem, as it is those cells that will allow it to root and regenerate into a full plant.
Third, the propagation, just as the repotting should be done during the first half of the vegetation season (spring or early summer), to give the juvenile plants as much time to grow as possible.
Epipremnum Aureus Diseases, Pests, and Other Issues
While a fairly resilient plant, pothos Epipremnum shares many weaknesses of its genus, the Araceae.
Luckily, this guide will show you how to prevent or fix most of the issues caused by these weaknesses.
1. Root rot
Of all the problems you can encounter when growing pothos plants, root rot is quite possibly the most dangerous one.
Caused by overly soggy soil and a lack of drainage holes in the pot, this issue allows the fungus to grow on the plant’s underground roots, making them rot away.
At first, this will merely make the plant look sickly, but if left unchecked, it can also kill it.
Thankfully, the problem is very easy to prevent or solve.
Do not, under any circumstances, overwater the plant and give the soil away to drain away, and you should be fine.
2. Fungus gnats
The second most common problem with an Epipremnum aureum caused by fungi is that of fungus gnats.
While these gnats are insects and not fungi, they feed on the latter, meaning that wet soil allows them to infest your plant as it provides them with a food source.
The main issue here is the larvae, which feed on the plant’s roots and damage them, causing the plant to wilt away.
The easiest way to get rid of fungus gnats is to let the soil dry away, as this will disrupt their breeding cycle.
3. Yellow leaves
There are several issues that can cause yellow leaves in your Epipremnum aureum, but the most common cause is a simple case of overwatering.
While significantly less threatening than root rot, it is still quite an annoying problem to deal with as it slows down the growth rate of your plant, and you will need to prune the affected leaves.
This problem is resolved in much the same manner as the previous ones: let the soil dry out before the next watering and provide the plant with enough drainage holes.
4. Curled, limp leaves
When exposed to temperatures lower than 10 degrees Celsius or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a chance that your Epipremnum aureum will end up with curled or limp leaves.
These previously green leaves are the first sign of the fact that your plant is too cold.
While not immediately dangerous, prolonged exposure to cold can be quite lethal to your plant.
Move the plant someplace warm as soon as you notice this change.
The affected leaves might need to be pruned.
Epipremnum Aureum Toxicity
Pothos Epipremnum is a popular house plant and makes for an excellent office plant or indoor plant in general.
It doesn’t come without a few problems, however.
While an excellent air purifier and able to remove indoor pollutants, the plant itself is somewhat toxic to both humans and their pets.
When grown indoors, as is usually the case, pothos problems generally include small children, who are prone to putting all kinds of stuff in their mouth, causing oral irritation, as well as difficulty swallowing.
For this reason, it is recommended that you don’t grow this plant in spaces with small children, or at least keep it out of their reach.
Excessive drooling can be a sign of pothos poisonous problems.
Animals can also get in trouble if they eat or swallow a leaf containing calcium oxalate crystals.
The plant’s roots are safe, but they are also less likely to be ingested, even aerial roots.
Pothos Plants General Tips
No matter under which name you know your pothos plant, whether as devil’s ivy, pothos aureus, or Solomon islands ivy, there are a few general tips that, while not essential, can help you a lot.
In general, the plant’s leaf is solid green when in dark conditions: upon being given sufficient light, the previously green leaf will become regularly variegated.
The plants can be tree climbers, so you should provide a moss stick for them to climb on.
It also grows year-round in appropriate conditions, even though its metabolism slows down during the winter season. It should never be left unfertilized for long periods.
This house plant has trailing stems and rarely flowers; it is mostly grown for its foliage as each leaf can be the size of an entire small plant!
Pothos Plants Varieties
Epipremnum aureum is hardly the only pothos plant out there, though it is the most common and most famous of them.
Other interesting varieties of pothos include:
Is Epipremnum aureum an indoor plant?
Yes, golden pothos is one of the easiest houseplants to grow in a home environment. It is usually grown indoors because of its relative intolerance to cold and toxicity to humans and pet animals.
This toxicity, however, is not so severe that you should pass on growing this beautiful plant in your home. If you are unsure of just what you need to do in order to provide the plant with the best care possible, we have prepared an entire guide dedicated to just that.
Is devil’s ivy invasive?
Due to its relative adaptability to various conditions as long as its temperature needs are met, pothos plants can be quite an invasive species. This means that they can grow and grow well, even outside of a pot or a home, and will quickly overtake any garden they manage to get in.
Because of this, it is not recommended to allow your devil’s ivy to grow wherever it wants to: plant it only where you want it to be. Still, the plant is not suited to all climate conditions, and people living in colder parts of the world will have no reason to worry about it spreading beyond their control.
Does devil’s ivy flower?
Flowers are a reasonably rare occurrence in a golden pothos plant. While it will occasionally bloom if provided perfect conditions, this plant is mainly grown for its beautiful green leaves and the large size it can achieve.
In the end, if you want a plant that often blooms, you should look at some other representatives of this genus, as well as other philodendron plants in general. Many flowers quite a bit more frequently than this one.