How to Grow Pothos

And the award for one of the easiest houseplants ever goes to…

  • Place it in bright, indirect light.
  • Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry down between waterings.
  • Feed it regularly with plant food.
  • Create more pothos plants by placing cuttings in water or a rooting medium.
  • Avoid too much sun to prevent yellow leaves.

If you've failed at being a houseplant parent in the past (it's okay, we'll never tell), pothos might be just the plant for you. This vining houseplant, native to southeast Asia, is incredibly easy to grow. With very little effort on your part, pothos' vines can grow up to 10 feet long indoors, which is why it's also called devil's ivy or ivy arum. However, you'll often see its vines pruned shorter (more on that below).

Pothos comes in a variety of colors, including dark green, chartreuse, golden yellow, a mix of verdant hues, and even white. You'll likely find popular varieties such as golden pothos, neon pothos, and marble queen pothos at your local garden center, making it as easy to come by as it is to care for. Turns out some plants aren't too good to be true.

How To Plant Pothos

Pothos isn't too picky about anything, really, but it's happiest in a nutrient-rich potting soil, such as Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix. This lightweight blend helps water move through the soil more easily, reducing the chance for "wet feet" (the term for plants that fail because their water never properly dried out). Repot it in a larger container once it outgrows its current situation; you'll know it's time when the leaves seem to wilt no matter what.

Where To Grow Pothos

While it can adapt to a dimly lit setting, resilient pothos prefers bright, indirect light. It will do best near, but not directly in front of, a sunny window—too much sun will scorch the leaves. Unless you live in a tropical climate, keep pothos indoors, where it can show off its vines trailing from of a bookshelf or in a hanging basket. Just keep in mind pothos' only major flaw: Its leaves are poisonous to both pets and people, so keep vines out of reach for Fido or curious kids.

How To Water Pothos

Do you veer on the forgetful side? Or have you ever gone on vacation only to come home to sad, droopy houseplants? You've found your match. Pothos won't mind if you skip a week of watering. In fact, it's better if you let the top 2 inches of soil dry down in between. When you do give it a drink, don't hold back. While pothos won't tolerate saturated soil (make sure your pot has drainage holes!), this unassuming evergreen certainly loves its H2O when it can get it, so be sure to water it thoroughly.

How To Feed Pothos

Low-maintenance pothos still appreciates a nutritious boost, so feed it monthly with an all-purpose plant food, such as Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food. This will help to keep its vines nice and strong as they grow, and a rich shade of green. Think of it as a deep-conditioning treatment for long, flowing locks of foliage.

How To Prune Pothos

Pruning pothos is important for maintaining the overall aesthetic of your plant. Vines tend to get scraggly as they grow, so don't hesitate to cut any that aren't looking their best. Using clean scissors or your hands, snip it off at a node (the point where leaves meet the stem). From there, a fresh new vine will start. Remove any dead or weak-looking leaves, as well as vines with no leaves. If you've decided your pothos looks better with long, flowing vines (ooh la la!), swap pruning for time spent carefully untangling any vines that are becoming knotted instead.

How To Grow More Pothos

After you've pruned your pothos, use those cuttings to grow even more of this leafy delight. Propagating pothos is, you guessed it, easy! Make sure you have at least 4 inches of stem with leaves on it, and place it in a glass jar filled with water. You can also put it in a container with a rooting medium, such as a mixture of sand and Miracle-Gro® Perlite. Leave it in a well-lit area, and new roots will develop in just a few weeks. But give your plant baby another month or so before transplanting it to a container with potting soil.

How to Tackle Yellow Leaves

Despite being relatively fuss-free, you may need to tackle yellow leaves on your pothos from time to time. The most likely culprit? Too much sun. Until they invent SPF for plants, try relocating your pothos to a shadier spot to see if it improves. You may also be overfertilizing (the leaves will look scorched with spots) or overwatering (the leaves will look kind of pillowy). Fungus or bacteria are also possibilities, but begin your troubleshooting by re-examining your care strategies.

Pothos is a wonderful entry-level indoor plant and ideal for forgetful gardeners. This carefree houseplant will thrive in almost any room that needs a touch of green. Just give it a little love every once in a while, and your pothos will be perfectly happy. If only everything were that easy!