If you love Pothos, but you're not sure exactly how to care for them, you're in the right place! This comprehensive care guide will give you all the information you need to feel confident caring for these beautiful lush trailing plants.
To be honest, they're not particularly hard to care for. In fact, we love them as they are what we would call, a "tantrum-free" kinda houseplant. These don't need a lot of fuss and handle a little neglect, so they're an ideal plant for a beginner. It's a plant you can confidently have and enjoy in your home, whilst building up your plant care knowledge. You may feel like you're "winging it" but these guys will help you to feel like 'you've got this!"
Here's just a few reasons why we adore them.
Whilst these handle a little neglect, we want you to know how to care for them so that they not only survive, but also thrive. Let's now take a closer look at what they love.
💧 When to water your Pothos
Pothos prefer to be under-watered rather than over-watered. So, give them a good drink until water comes out of the pots draining holes and then don't water again, until the top few inches of soil are dry. Yes, that means you will need to use a highly sophisticated water meter - aka your finger, to check the soil under the surface, to see how wet the soil is. By digging down a little, you will either see the soil change colour (e.g., go darker if moist), or remain the same (e.g., it's dried out enough).
If you leave watering a little too long, you will start to notice your Pothos leaves curling. Think of it as their way of saying "I'm thirsty, give me a drink please." You should notice them perk right back up again once you've tended to their needs.
It's worth mentioning here as well, that the amount of light that your Pothos receives, will alter your plants watering needs. The brighter the room, the more frequently they will require a drink.
☀ Can Pothos grow in low light?
Most Pothos (unless highly variegated), can tolerate lower light levels. Their preference, however, is a bright room, where sunlight doesn't hit their leaves. Growth will slow in lower light levels, so if you want your Pothos to take off and throw out loads of new leaves, a brighter spot will help you to achieve this.
A leggy vine can also be an indication that the light is too low for your Pothos. Ideally you want your Pothos to throw out loads of leaves from each stem/vine, and if it's looking a little bare, light is most likely your issue.
The best soil for Pothos
Pothos prefer a free draining soil, so you will want to ensure that water can escape from the pot when watered. We recommend a soil mixture of 1 part perlite to 3 parts potting mix. Perlite helps to aerate the soil and also holds moisture that is released slowly. If you tend to overwater plants, you may also like to consider mixing a little bark (smaller chunks preferably) into your soil mix, this will ensure that excess water is not being retained within the pot, increasing the risk of root rot.
Make them SUPER happy...
Sometimes plants need more than just light and water. Whilst Pothos are easy-care, fuss free plants, there are some things you can do to really help them love life. They originate from tropical rainforests, so replicating that environment as much as possible, will help them to thrive. Therefore, their preference is a warm spot with higher humidity. Let me reassure you though, they don't NEED this to thrive and can tolerate normal household temperatures and lower humidity.
We recommend Groconut for all houseplants, mainly becaus of its amazing growth stimulant superpowers. Your Pothos will also require some houseplant food during the growing season - an all-round fertiliser will do the trick. Just ensure that you dilute to the instructions on the pack as it can be too much of a good thing if not diluted correctly. This is why we recommend a one-month food supply that's already mixed, such as the houseplant droplet feeder. Your Pothos will only require this during the growing season (e.g., spring-summer).
From time to time, you may notice something a little different and ask "what is wrong with my Pothos?' Watch for these signs, as they're easy to fix...
Why are my Pothos leaves turning yellow, brown or black?
Yellowing leaves of a Pothos, are not usually something to be too concerned about. In fact, it can be completely normal for older leaves to yellow which is the plants natural way of putting its energy into growing newer leaves. This will usually occur in leaves closer to the soil, not at the end of a growing vine. Ensure that your Pothos is not getting too much light, as yellowing leaves can also be a sign that the light is too bright for the plant.
If you're confident that the yellowing is not due to ageing leaves, or too much light, your next consideration, should be the soil and you need to ask yourself, "is the soil consistently wet?" If you answered "yes" to this, your problem is likely root rot, and you will want to remove the plant from the soil and carefully cut back any mushy roots. This will give your plant the best chance of survival by repotting it in fresh soil and ensuring the soil is not kept wet for prolonged periods. The number of yellowing leaves will indicate the extent of root rot.
If you notice brown or black spots on your Pothos, this can also be a result of too much light, or more likely due to overwatering, causing root rot. Whilst not common, it can also be a result of leaf spot disease and may require treatment. If you are a little overzealous with your fertiliser, brown spots can also appear as you've given the plant more than it requires.
Are Pothos toxic to cats and dogs?
Unfortunately, these are toxic if ingested by your fur babies. However, don't despair as you can assist them to climb, which means you can ensure that they're not within reach and still enjoy them whilst keeping your pets safe.
I hope you now feel confident to take control and know what your Pothos needs. Our goal is to make plant care easy. Why? Because we've been there and have also felt overwhelmed and like it's all too hard. You can read our story here.
If you've read this far, your Pothos are loving you right now and doing a little happy dance.