Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Care for the Durable Pothos

Scindapsus aureus
This pothos belongs to my sister-in-law. She's had this plant for at least 15 years! It has been kept in different places with varying degrees of light. This one is grown in fairly low light. If it was in more light, more yellow would appear in its new leaves. Sometimes its looked better and sometimes its looked worse. You can't keep a good pothos down for long! They can live with you, as long as you will have them, with minimal and correct care.

Commercially, its always been called a Pothos. I do not know why it is called that. A true pothos, botanically speaking, looks much different. Scindapsus aureus is its official botanical name. The Scindapsus aureus 'Marble Queen' has white marbling throughout its leaves and is just as easy to keep.

Care instructions:
  • Tolerates low light but does best with bright indirect to some direct sun. Full afternoon sun will bleach the leaves. 
  • Water thoroughly when the soil surface is good and dry on top or up to 1/2" or so below the soil surface.
  • A plant in a 6" (15cm) diameter pot should be watered with about a pint (or almost a half liter) of water. 
  • A pothos in an 8" (20cm) diameter pot should take about a quart (almost a liter) of water when ready. 
  • Regular fertilizing keeps them lush.  If they are trimmed back from time to time, you will have a fuller, lusher looking plant.
  • Make sure they don't sit with water in their saucer for long. 
  • Propagation: Stem cuttings root very easily in water and can be planted in potting soil when the roots have grown to be about 2" long or longer. 
  • They grow well in water or hydroponically, too. Refresh the water weekly. When you mix up some fertilizer for your other plants add a little of the fertilized water to any container of plants that are growing in water.

***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:

The Indoor Garden TV show



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