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Plant of the Month: Pothos

September 16, 2015

 Meet the easy, peasy, pothos — 

The Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a trailing plant native to Mo’orea, French Polynesia. In the wild, a pothos vine climbs by neighboring trees by means of aerial roots which adhere to surfaces. The plant also produces trailing stems which take root when they reach the ground and grow along it. These trailing stems are the ones we normally see on the pothos plant when it is cultivated as a houseplant. It is not surprising that the pothos, with its many climbing root systems, can be an invasive species – and even cause severe ecological damage in some cases.

As an indoor plant, it is often used in decorative displays in busy high-traffic areas like retail spaces and offices because it requires little care and minimal sunlight, yet is attractively full and leafy. They come in a variety of green-hued variegations to choose from (Golden Pothos, Jade Pothos, Marble Queen Pothos, and Neon Pothos just to name a few favorites…). And a major bonus – the pothos plant is effective at removing indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene – making it a great addition to living spaces.

Wonderfully versatile, it can be grown in both soil and water – and is sometimes used on the edges of aquariums, where its roots can trail down to the water and absorb nitrates, which it uses for growth, making for a mutually beneficial relationship between plant and tank.

The pothos can be toxic to cats and dogs, although it is not considered fatal. Symptoms include oral irrigation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. Consult your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested any part of the plant.





The pothos plant is super tolerant of all light levels. It can do well in bright, indirect light – as well as low light. It has been nicknamed the cubicle plant due to its tolerance. The one thing it doesn’t like? Direct sun. If it’s too harsh for your skin, it is definitely too harsh for the pothos leaves.


Although there’s no golden watering schedule to follow, we recommend watering your pothos once weekly during the summer and every other week during the winter. We’ve all had those moments where we’re so busy we forget to water our plants – don’t fret – the pothos is a hardy fellow and can go weeks without water if necessary (though it might start to look a bit unhappy). Never allow excess water to sit in the saucer. Not only can it lead to root rot, but also pests.


If you’re a novice, we always recommend potting your plant in nutrient-rich soil in a planter with a drainage hole and saucer – but pothos plants will thrive in just about anything, including a vase of water. Note – they have trouble switching between mediums, from soil to water or vis versa, so we recommend only growing clippings in water and keeping them water-bound for the long run.



Browse all our potted plants at TheSill.com and The Sill Shop at 84 Hester Street, NYC.




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