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Meet the Pothos!


What's in a name?

My full name is Epipremnum Aureum, but you can call me Pothos or Devil's Ivy (because I'm so hard-to-kill and I retain my bright green leaves in low-light!). I come in all different colors, including the Golden Pothos, Neon Pothos, Pearls and Jade Pothos, and Silver Satin Pothos varieties that Desk Plants sells.

I am a perfect hard-to-kill house plant because I’m an effective communicator: when I droop or slump, I’m usually telling you that I need water. Besides that, just keep me out of the cold and in some medium light (artificial light is fine!) and I’m a happy camper. If you own me, just refer to my care instructions on the Desk Plants plant care page.

The Pothos’ History in the Wild, and Why they do Great in Low-Light

Pothos are tropical foliage plants native to French Polynesia. They grow like a vine and can climb trees and other vertical structures. Because of this, pothos have adapted to grow in the dappled shade of their host trees, rather than basking in the direct sunlight (although they can tolerate almost any light conditions). When climbing, pothos leaves can reach up to 39 inches long.

What's that poking out of the vine?

Desk Plants, Hard-to-Kill Plants, Low-Maintenance Plants, Office Plants, Pothos, Ivy Roots

You'll notice aerial roots on the opposite side of where the leaves attach to the vine. These are located near root nodes, which are small, brown bumps that produce roots when cut and put in soil or water (see “Pro Tips for Advanced Plant Parents” below for detailed instructions on how to multiply/propagate your pothos fam).

Bringing your new frond home

First, give your pothos a name. It makes it easier to remember to care for your plants when they have names (Dr. Sigmund Frond or Diana Moss are great options). Second, find a spot away from the window, that has access to medium light (most workspaces or living spaces are great). Look at your Desk Plants care card and set a watering reminder using your iPhone's custom reminders, siri, Amazon Alexa or your Google Home.

Start to get familiar with how heavy your plant is when it's freshly watered versus how heavy it feels when the top inch of potting soil is completely dry. This will help you get to know when to water, though you can always stick your finger in the soil up to your first knuckle (a classic moisture testing method).

You may also want to regularly and gently wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth or paper towel, as dust can clog the tiny holes the plants use to expel oxygen.

Troubleshooting

Feel free to ask questions about pothos care on instagram @desk_plants or via email support@deskplants.com. Attach a photo where applicable. Otherwise, you can use the chart below to try to diagnose your issue.

Not Enough

Too Much

Water

leaves drooping
leaves shriveling
leaves slumping        random brown spots
leaves turn from yellow to brown

Bright yellow leaves indicate that the soil has gotten too dry before you watered it

Similar signs as not enough water, but the difference is the soil will likely still be moist.

Light / Sun

Dropping vines
May lose variegation in leaves

Brown spots will start showing up.

Temperature

Keep me away from cold drafts!

Crispy, wilted leaves

Pro Tips for Advanced Plant Parents

Pothos are really easy plants to share with your work spouse via propagation. You can also propagate them as leverage in salary negotiations with your boss (without sacrificing the health of your own plant). Cut your pothos after it starts to trail over the side of your pot. Count 3-4 leaves down from the end of the vine and cut diagonally just below a root node. These are the are the small, brown bumps on the underside of the stem (see aerial root photo above). Put the cutting in a glass of water (change water weekly) covering just above the root node (not the leaves!) until it forms roots about an inch or two long. Don't wait too long, the plant will “get used to” water and it’ll be increasingly difficult to transfer to soil. Once they’re about an inch or two long, you’re safe to plant in well-draining soil!

Supports

Just about anything can be used as a support to encourage your pothos to climb. There are ready-made options available online that are as simple as sticking them in the pot and arranging the plant’s vines on the support. If you want to go the DIY route, you can use an old wire hanger and twine to make your own.

Please do not consume your pothos. This plant is also not pet-friendly when consumed.

Health Benefits

Like all Desk Plants, The Pothos is an air-filtering plant that removes benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene from the air. 

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