Create Your Garden

Pothos / Devil’s Ivy

Pothos or Devil's Ivy is an air-purifying, easy-to-grow houseplant that thrives with minimal care, enhancing indoor environments.

Marble Queen Pothos, Epipremnum Aureum Marble Queen, Variegated Pothos, Variegated Houseplant
Marble Queen Pothos, Epipremnum Aureum Marble Queen, Variegated Pothos, Variegated Houseplant
Neon Pothos, Epipremnum Aureum Neon, Golden Pothos, Golden Houseplant
Cebu Blue Pothos, Epipremnum Pinnatum Cebu Blue. Silver Pothos, Silver Houseplant
Satin Pothos, Silver Pothos, Scindapsus pictus, Houseplant
Silver Lady Pothos, Satin Pothos, Silver Pothos, Scindapsus pictus, Houseplant

Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a group of highly versatile and popular houseplants known for their attractive foliage and ease of care. These plants are often celebrated for their air-purifying qualities and adaptability to various indoor environments.

What is Pothos / Devil’s Ivy?

Pothos plants are characterized by their lush, trailing vines adorned with glossy, heart-shaped leaves. The foliage can vary widely among the species, from the solid green and golden variegated leaves of Epipremnum aureum to the deep green with silvery splashes of Scindapsus pictus, and the blue-green, sometimes fenestrated leaves of Epipremnum pinnatum.

Native: Epipremnum aureum and Epipremnum pinnatum are native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, thriving in tropical forests. Scindapsus pictus shares a similar native range, growing in the understory of tropical and subtropical forests. They belong to the arum family (Araceae), along with Zantedeschia (Calla Lily), Caladium (Angel Wing), Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant), or Colocasia (Elephant Ear).

Plant Type and Habit: These are vining plants capable of climbing and trailing. They often climb trees and other structures using aerial roots in their natural habitat. Indoors, they are typically grown as trailing plants but can be trained to climb on supports.

Size: The vines of these plants can reach lengths of 4-40 feet (1.2-12 m). Their size can be easily managed through pruning, allowing them to fit into various indoor spaces from hanging baskets to climbing trellises.

Flowers: Flowering is rare for these plants when grown indoors. They can produce a spadix surrounded by a spathe, typical of the Araceae family, but this is seldom seen in household environments.

Foliage: The foliage is the main attraction, with each species offering something unique. Epipremnum aureum (Golden Pothos) is known for its golden variegation, Scindapsus pictus (Satin Pothos) for its silvery markings, and Epipremnum pinnatum (Dragon Tail Plant or Money Plant) for its blue-green leaves and potential for fenestration.

Hardiness: These plants are best suited for warm, humid indoor environments but can survive outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10-12. They prefer temperatures between 60°F and 85°F and can suffer if temperatures drop below 50°F.

Uses: Beyond their decorative use, these plants are valued for their ability to purify the air, removing toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. They are versatile and capable of adapting to various light conditions, making them suitable for many indoor settings.

Toxicity: Pothos plants are toxic to humans and pets if ingested, causing mouth and stomach irritation and potentially leading to vomiting.

Invasiveness: In tropical and subtropical regions where conditions are ideal, these plants can become invasive if not managed properly, potentially overtaking native vegetation.

Marble Queen Pothos, Epipremnum Aureum Marble Queen, Variegated Pothos, Variegated Houseplant

Marble Queen pothos and prayer plant

Pothos Plants Benefits

Pothos plants offer a myriad of benefits that extend beyond their aesthetic appeal. Here’s a look at the advantages of incorporating Pothos into your indoor spaces:

Air Purification

One of the most celebrated benefits of Pothos plants is their ability to purify indoor air. Research, including the famous NASA Clean Air Study, has shown that Pothos can remove common household toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from the air, contributing to a healthier living environment.

Easy Care and Resilience

Pothos plants are renowned for their hardiness and low maintenance requirements. They can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions, from low to bright, indirect light, and can tolerate irregular watering schedules. This resilience makes them ideal for both novice gardeners and those seeking fuss-free greenery.

Versatile Aesthetic Appeal

With their trailing vines and lush, variegated leaves, Pothos plants add a touch of natural beauty to any indoor setting. They can be styled in numerous ways—hanging from baskets, climbing on trellises, or simply draped atop shelves—making them versatile additions to home decor.

Humidity Enhancement

By releasing water vapor during transpiration, Pothos plants can help increase indoor humidity levels. This is particularly beneficial in dry climates or environments with artificial heating, where dry air can be problematic for both human health and the condition of other indoor plants.

Psychological Benefits

Interacting with and caring for plants, including Pothos, has been shown to reduce stress, enhance mood, and improve concentration and productivity. The presence of greenery indoors can create a more calming, restorative environment, promoting mental well-being.

Easy Propagation

Pothos plants are incredibly easy to propagate from stem cuttings, allowing plant enthusiasts to easily expand their collection or share with friends. This ease of propagation ensures that the benefits of Pothos plants can be widely enjoyed with minimal effort.

Non-demanding Light Requirements

Pothos’s ability to adapt to various light conditions, including low-light environments where many other plants might struggle, makes it an excellent choice for spaces away from natural light sources, such as offices or interior rooms.

Best Pothos Varieties

Pothos / Devil’s Ivy Plant Care

Growing and caring for a Pothos plant indoors is remarkably easy, making it an ideal choice for beginners and seasoned gardeners.

Light: Pothos thrives in moderate to low light conditions, making it perfect for indoor spaces away from direct sunlight. Bright, indirect light is ideal, but it can also adapt to lower light levels, although growth may slow.

Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix to ensure healthy growth. A mixture that includes peat moss, perlite, or vermiculite will help keep the roots well-aerated and prevent waterlogging.

Water: Water your Pothos when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. It’s better to err on the side of underwatering, as Pothos is susceptible to root rot if overwatered. During winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant’s growth slows.

Temperature and Humidity: Pothos prefers temperatures between 60°F and 85°F (15°C to 29°C) and should be protected from drafts and extreme temperature changes, which can stress the plant. While Pothos can tolerate average household humidity levels, it prefers a more humid environment. If your home is particularly dry, consider misting the leaves regularly or using a humidifier to boost humidity.

Fertilization: Feed your Pothos with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce feeding in fall and winter when the plant’s growth naturally slows.

Pruning: Regular pruning helps keep your Pothos looking full and bushy. Trim back long, leggy vines to encourage branching and fuller growth. Pruning is also a great way to propagate new plants from cuttings.

Repotting: Repot your Pothos every 1-2 years or when you notice signs of being root-bound, such as roots growing through the drainage holes, water running straight through the pot, or slowed growth. The best time to repot is during the spring or early summer when the plant is entering its active growing season.

Silver Lady Pothos, Satin Pothos, Silver Pothos, Scindapsus pictus, Houseplant

Silver Lady Pothos

Pothos Propagation – A Step-By-Step Guide

Propagating a Pothos plant is an easy and effective way to create new plants from your existing one.

Choose a Healthy Stem: Look for a healthy stem on your Pothos plant. Ideally, one that’s vigorous and has at least 4-6 leaves. Ensure the stem is free from any signs of pests or diseases.

Make the Cut: Using a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, cut a 4-6 inch section of the stem just below a node (the point on the stem where leaves are attached). The node is where new roots will sprout, so it’s crucial for successful propagation.

Prepare the Cutting: Remove the leaves closest to the cut end, leaving at least 2-3 leaves on the upper part of the cutting. This prevents the submerged leaves from rotting in water and focuses the plant’s energy on root development.

Rooting Medium: You have two options for rooting your Pothos cutting: water or soil.

  • Water: Place the cutting in a glass or jar filled with room-temperature water, ensuring the node is submerged but the leaves remain above water. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh.
  • Soil: Plant the cutting directly into moist potting soil, burying the node about 1-2 inches deep. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

Location: Place your Pothos cutting in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the young cutting.

Wait for Roots to Develop: If you’ve chosen water propagation, you’ll begin to see roots forming within a few weeks. Wait until the roots are at least an inch long before transplanting to soil. For soil propagation, gently tug on the cutting after a few weeks; resistance indicates root formation.

Transplanting: Once your cutting has developed a healthy root system, you can transplant it into a pot filled with well-draining potting mix. Water thoroughly after transplanting to help establish the roots in their new environment.

Aftercare: Continue to provide your new Pothos plant with bright, indirect light, and keep the soil evenly moist. With proper care, your propagated Pothos will grow into a full, lush plant.

Satin Pothos, Silver Pothos, Scindapsus pictus, Houseplant

Pothos: Pests, Diseases, Common Problems

Pothos can encounter pests, diseases, and other common problems, especially when grown indoors.


Spider Mites: These tiny pests can be identified by the fine webs they weave on the plant. They cause yellowing or speckled leaves. Increase humidity around the plant and wash it with a strong stream of water. For severe infestations, use insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Mealybugs: These white, cottony pests tend to cluster in leaf axils and under leaves, sucking sap and weakening the plant. Remove with alcohol-dipped cotton swabs or apply neem oil.

Aphids: Small, soft-bodied insects that can be green, black, brown, or pink, aphids typically feed in groups on the undersides of leaves. Combat them with a gentle spray of water, neem oil, or insecticidal soap to protect the plant’s health and appearance.

Scale insects: Hard or soft-bodied insects that attach themselves to the stems or leaves, causing yellowing and growth stunting. Scrape off with a fingernail or use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Insecticidal soap or neem oil may also be used.


Root rot:  Overwatering is the primary cause, leading to brown, mushy roots and yellowing leaves. Reduce watering, improve drainage, and repot the plant into fresh, well-draining soil. Severely affected roots should be trimmed before repotting.

Leaf spot: Fungal or bacterial infections can cause dark or black spots on leaves, often with a yellow halo. Increase air circulation, avoid wetting leaves when watering, and remove affected leaves. Fungicides or bactericides may be necessary in severe cases.

Common Problems

Yellow Leaves One of the most frequent issues is yellowing leaves, often due to overwatering or poor drainage. Ensure the soil is well-draining and allow the top inch to dry out between waterings. Yellow leaves can also indicate nutritional deficiencies, so a balanced fertilizer application during the growing season can be beneficial.

Brown Leaf Tips or Edges This problem is usually a sign of low humidity, which is common in indoor environments, especially during winter. Increasing humidity around the plant through misting, using a pebble tray, or employing a humidifier can alleviate this issue. Brown tips may also result from tap water chemicals, so using filtered or rainwater for watering might help.

Leggy Growth or Small Leaves Leggy stems and smaller than normal leaves are typically signs of inadequate light. While Pothos plants can tolerate low light conditions, they thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Moving your plant to a brighter location can encourage fuller growth and larger leaves.

Leaf Drop Sudden leaf drop can be alarming and is often a reaction to a drastic change in the plant’s environment, such as a sudden temperature drop, overwatering, or under-watering. Keeping your Pothos in a stable environment and adhering to consistent watering routines can prevent leaf drop.

Fading or Loss of Variegation If your variegated Pothos starts losing its distinctive patterns, it might not be getting enough light. Variegation is best maintained under bright, indirect light. However, too much direct sunlight can lead to leaf scorching, so finding the right balance is key.

Curling Leaves Curling leaves can indicate the plant is either too dry or exposed to too much direct sunlight. Check the soil moisture and consider relocating your Pothos to a spot with diffused light.

N'Joy Pothos, Epipremnum Aureum N'Joy, Variegated Pothos, Variegated Houseplant

N’Joy Pothos

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Pothos Prefer Sun or Shade?

Pothos plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight but can also tolerate low-light conditions, making them versatile for various indoor environments. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, so it’s best to avoid placing them in direct sun exposure.

Why Is Pothos Called Devil’s Ivy?

Pothos is called Devil’s Ivy because it’s incredibly hardy and difficult to kill, thriving even in poor light and neglect. The name also refers to its ability to stay green and lively even in the darkest, most inhospitable environments.

Is Pothos a Good Indoor Plant?

Yes, Pothos is an excellent indoor plant due to its low maintenance requirements, ability to adapt to various lighting conditions, and air-purifying qualities. Its attractive foliage and trailing vines also make it a popular choice for decorative purposes.

Is Pothos Called Money Plant?

In some regions, Pothos may be referred to as a Money Plant, although this name is more commonly associated with other species, such as Crassula ovata (Jade Plant). The term “Money Plant” is used for several different plants in different cultures.

Is Pothos Good or Bad?

Pothos is generally considered good for indoor spaces due to its air-purifying properties, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air. However, it is toxic if ingested, so it should be kept away from pets and small children.

Do Pothos Clean the Air?

Yes, Pothos plants are known to clean the air. They have been shown in studies, including NASA’s Clean Air Study, to remove common household toxins, thereby improving indoor air quality.

How Often Do You Water a Pothos Plant?

Water Pothos when the top inch of the soil becomes dry, typically every 1-2 weeks, depending on the light and temperature conditions. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s important to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings.

Is Pothos a Climber or Creeper?

Pothos is a climber. In their natural habitat, they use aerial roots to climb trees and other structures. Indoors, they can be trained to climb supports or allowed to trail from hanging baskets and shelves, showcasing their versatile growth habit.

Discover These Helpful Guides for Further Reading

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

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