Pothos Plant Care

Pothos Plant Care

A fast-growing, shade-tolerant vine that litters the ground and climbs tree trunks in moist, warm thickets from the tropics of India to the northern regions of Australia.

The botanical names of this plant of the aroid family are quite diverse: at different periods, representatives of the species were called Rafidophora, Scindapsus, Pothos, Epipremnum.

However, in the practice of indoor plant growing, an elegant liana is more often called «Scindapsus».

Plant species

«Scindapsus Golden»

He is «Epipremnum Golden» or «Golden Pothos» at home can grow stems up to 5 meters long. Its bright green leaves are adorned with yellowish strokes and stripes.

The photo shows the flower «Golden Scindapsus» (Potos) with proper care at home:

Pothos Plant Care

«Scindapsus Painted»

It has dark green foliage speckled with light silvery spots and splashes; when cared for at home, it is no different from Scindapsus Golden.
The photo shows the flower «Scindapsus Painted» (Potos) with proper care at home:

Pothos Plant Care

Home Care

Is it possible to keep «Scindapsus» (Potos) at home?

Attention! The leaves and stems of «Scindapsus» are poisonous, like all members of the aroid family.

Therefore, the vine should not be placed where pets and small children can reach it.

Pothos Plant Care

In addition, there is a belief of unclear origin, referring this plant to the category of «husbands», as if representatives of the stronger sex surviving from the house.
In fact, of course, men, if they are about to leave, do so for reasons much more fundamental than a vine in a pot.
«Scindapsus», meanwhile, grow well in shady corners, climb vertical supports, branch willingly, forming lush ampelous garlands, and easily propagate vegetatively.

Lighting

This vine does not even belong to shade-tolerant, but to shade-loving plants. The most suitable lighting for it is given by windows of northern directions.
«Scindapsus» can do without the sun at all — they only need a white light lampworking 12 hours a day. True, with a lack of lighting, the variegation of the leaves disappears — picturesque stripes and spots are replaced by an even green color.

Temperature

The temperature optimum for spring and summer is from 22 to 24ºС, in the winter season the temperature can drop to 16-18 degrees.
The plant must be protected from drafts and temperature changes.

Attention! A sharp drop in temperature to + 12ºС is critically dangerous.

Container and soil

Pothos Plant Care

The root system of the vine develops more in breadth than in depth, therefore, a low capacity is chosen for it.
It can be wide enough to plant cuttings to the mother plant and form a lush growth of young shoots.
In order to prevent stagnation of moisture, which is detrimental to Scindapsus, the bottom must necessarily have a drainage hole.
The plant needs a neutral or slightly acidic, fairly fertile and loose soil.
Suitable universal purchased soil with the addition of perlite or one of the mixtures:

  • three parts of sod land with one part of leaf and the same amount of sand;
  • equal amounts of leafy soil, peat, humus and sand, additionally loosened with perlite.

Landing and transplant

At the bottom of the pot, it is imperative to lay a drainage layer of small pebbles, expanded clay or ceramic cullet. Then pour a layer of prepared soil, place straightened liana roots on top of it and, compacting from time to time, supplement the container with an earthen mixture. Water the planted plant.
The frequency of transplantation depends on the age of the vine. Young «Scindapsus» are transplanted annually in the spring. Mature specimens — in a year or two.

Watering and humidity

Excess moisture in the soil is especially harmful to this plant.
Therefore, regular watering with settled water at room temperature is carried out on the dried top layer of soil, and the moisture accumulated in the pan is drained.
The average frequency of watering in spring and summer is from two to three times a week, in winter — once or twice a week.
Tropical liana needs high humidity, which is provided by spraying with soft water 1-2 times a day, as well as placing a container with a plant on a pallet with wet pebbles or expanded clay.

Top dressing

«Scindapsus», which develops intensively in the spring and summer, needs to be fed with a liquid mineral complex every two to three weeks.
In winter, large plants with long stems should also be fed once a month.

Pruning

Pothos Plant Care

At home, the growth rate of the stems of this vine reaches a meter per year, and without formative pruning, any vertical support quickly becomes small.
Pinching and pruning shoots in the spring-summer period stimulates branching, due to which Scindapsus becomes an attractive ampel bush or forms dense deciduous «walls» of the desired size.
Waste after pruning can be used for vegetative propagation.

Reproduction

In the practice of home plant growing, Scindapsus are propagated exclusively by vegetative — apical and stem cuttings.
Cut off the tops of the shoots with two or three leaves or harvest parts of the stem with the same number of leaves. Apply preliminary water rooting or immediately plant cuttings in a mixture of equal amounts of sand and peat.
The planting is covered with transparent polyethylene, aired, sprayed, the soil substrate is kept moist and kept at a temperature of 20-22ºС. The root system of seedlings develops within two to three weeks.

Application

In room culture, «Scindapsus» are indispensable landscapers of dimly lit rooms.
Their intensive growth can be directed by vertical supports and formed by targeted pruning, obtaining unpretentious and viable ampelous plants.

Interesting! These vines actively absorb volatile formaldehyde compounds, purifying the air from harmful impurities.

Possible problems and solutions

Leaves turn yellow and fall, stems rot with excess moisture in the soil, especially in winter, in combination with low temperatures. It is required to optimize the temperature and humidity conditions.
The tips of the leaves turn up, turn brown with insufficient air humidity. The plant needs regular spraying.
Sluggish rolled leaves, areas of decay on the stems — a consequence of the content at a temperature of 12 degrees and below. «Scindapsus» needs a warmer room.
Yellowing or falling leaves causes insufficient feeding, a sharp decrease in illumination, drafts. It is necessary to optimize the conditions of detention and feed the plant.
Brown spots on the leaves and along the edges of the leaf plates occur with insufficient watering during the growth period. The soil should not be waterlogged, but, at the same time, its overdrying is unacceptable.
Color fading, the replacement of green areas with light, “burnt out” occurs with excessive sunlight. It is necessary to rearrange the plant in a more shady place.
Small leaves that lose their variegation, elongated shoots develop with a lack of light. Even the shade-loving «Scindapsus» requires lighting of the required intensity and duration. Needs refurbishment or relighting.

Diseases and pests

Pothos Plant Care

Under optimal conditions, the plant is practically not affected by diseases.
Low temperatures combined with high humidity provoke the development of stem and root rot.
If these processes have gone far, you need to prepare cuttings from healthy sections of the vine and root them.
It is necessary to get rid of the rest of the plant and soil, and then thoroughly disinfect the vacated pot.
Pests that settle on Scindapsus are scale insects, spider mites, aphids and thrips.
As a first measure, they resort to removing insects with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and treating the plant with a soapy solution.
However, only systemic insecticides used according to the instructions finally destroy pests.
«Scindapsus» (Potos) is an unpretentious indoor plant that can develop intensively in low light and at the same time absorb harmful volatile impurities from the air. Simple care and regular pruning form decorative leafy ampelous bushes or “mats” of vertical gardening from tropical vines.