Poto: benefits, care, tips and varieties of a super plant
Hello! How are you? 🙂 This is the ultimate guide to pothos. One of the most interesting plants to create green areas in our houses. We tell you its secrets, cares and most important tips.
In addition, below we will tell you step by step how to make cuttings to reproduce your pothos and have many mini pothos! 🌿
Pothos, a unique plant
Pothos is a super houseplant. In fact, it could be said that it is "the indoor plant".
If one day the Martians came to earth and we had to explain to them what a plant is, we would surely show them a photo of a pothos 🌱👽
It's an ideal plant for beginners, since it gives a lot and asks for little. It is probably one of the most common plants in homes around the world. And it is very resistant, it takes out new leaves almost every week and gives a green, fresh and tropical touch to any space. And this has its reasons ...
It is also a purifying plant. Below I show you results of NASA studies on their Benefits to health.
It is definitely one of the "must haves" in your personal jungle.
Scientific name of Pothos and characteristics
Pothos is commonly known by different names: Marble Queen, Golden Pothos, Ceylon Creeper, potus, devil’s ivy, and so on.
However, its scientific name is Epipremnum Aureum, which belongs to the Araceae family (before it belonged to the genus potos, hence the common name of pothos).
It comes from the regions of Southeast Asia, specifically of the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean; Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. That is to say, hot and humid areas 🌦
Is a evergreen (perennial) and climbing plant, liana type. It uses aerial roots, which emerge from the nodes of the stems, to cling to trees or stakes. And its stems can reach more than 20 meters in length and have a diameter of up to 4cm. We won't see something like this at home, but we will try! 💪😌🌱
It has variegated leaves, that is, green leaves with white or yellowish spots, which appear depending on the variety and the amount of light they receive.
Finally, comment that on a decorative level, you can usually choose to make a vertical pothos or a hanging pothos. At the end of the article we comment how to make a leafy pothos and how to guide it.
The pothos is a purifying plant that can help us improve our environment and health.
In short, having pothos in our house will help us in 3 things: will absorb toxic volatile particles, will increase humidity of the air and, to a lesser extent, will generate oxygen.
But if you want to know more ...
The air we breathe in the city is not the same air we breathe in the mountains.
In almost every city we are exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Compounds such as nitrogen oxide (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehydes or benzene. And that are widely used in gasoline or in products such as resins, paints, varnishes, ketones, chipboard furniture or detergents.
And according to the EEA (European Environment Agency), long exposure to these toxic particles can cause breathing difficulties, cancer, irritability, headaches and stress among others.
Of course, the solution to this problem is first to limit its use in everyday products, to reduce traffic, and to replace internal combustion engines with electric motors.
However, a few years ago, NASA published a very interesting study.
The NASA study on the benefits of Pothos
In this study, they placed several pothos in a closed room, in which they could control all the parameters. Little by little they were introducing these toxic particles (formaldehyde, acetone and xylene), first without the plants in the room and then with the plants.
Research Horizons Day 2016 NASA Study -> Link to study
The results showed that when the plants were in the room, the toxic compounds were removed practically completely and at a much higher rate (3 to 6 times higher) than when there were no plants 😱
That is to say, Having pothos at home will help reduce toxic volatile particles.
The study also shows that humidity levels increased in the air. Something that definitely helps in dry environments and people with breathing problems.
Finally, is great to know that several pothos could help generate around 1L of oxygen per day. A person breathes around 8,000L a day. So well .. It's something! Haha.
About the care of the pothos a lot of things have been written. And a lot of information out there is contradictory. But this has an explanation and that is that pothos is a plant that grows well in a wide range of temperatures and environments 🌿
We go in parts.
Between 17 and 25ºC. The pothos comes from temperate climates. Therefore the temperature should never drop below 10ºC. It will be able to withstand temperatures of up to 35º as long as it does not receive direct sun. The temperature inside our house will be perfect.
The always indirect light, since it is a semi-shade plant. The best location will be near a window or in bright rooms. It can withstand a couple of hours of direct sunlight, but be careful in summer, because it can burn the leaves (brown spots on the tips).
The amount of light is what causes certain varieties of pothos to have more or less white and yellow spots on the leaves (variegated leaves). The more light, the more white spots. With less light, the leaves tend to be greener.
This is a plant mechanism to self-regulate and adapt. Photosynthesis only occurs in green areas. Therefore, in areas with a lot of light, this variety will create white spots. And on the other hand, in varieties of areas with a lot of shade, the plant tends to completely "paint" the leaves green by means of chlorophyll, in order to have more light-catching surface. Nature always in search of balance ✅🌞🌿
Watering the pothos
Once every 10 days. In summer 1 time a week. Never more than 1 time a week.
The overwatering it is the main cause of premature deaths of innocent potus. And that the Poto tolerates water very well. But a poorly draining substrate always ends up causing problems, even with pothos.
It is preferable that your plant goes a little thirsty, than makintg it float in water. Excess water will remove oxygen pores from the substrate, making the roots unable to breathe and rotting. And with dead roots there is no going back.
However, pothos can breed in water. But once they have taken the first roots, it is better to quickly move them to a good substrate. I explain it below.
Substrate and Subscriber
The substrate has to be rich in organic matter (organic fibers) and light (well aerated).
In general, soils in tropical areas are very rich in organic matter, but poor in minerals (nutrients), because the constant rains filter them. Therefore, a universal substrate with a good content of organic matter will be sufficient.
If you decide to pay, do it at most a couple of times a year, in spring and summer. Too much could burn the roots and cause the leaves to turn yellow.
We use the cocotakos, which are made from organic coconut and peat fibers, with a balanced pH and nutrients. But there are many others on the market that could also serve, as long as they comply with what we have commented.
Yellow leaves on the poto
The typical leaf that turns completely yellow and falls off is common in pothos. It is not something serious as long as it does not happen often. If so, the most common cause is usually overwatering or/and lack of drainage.
Other less common causes can be: an excess of fertilization, a compact / poor substrate, some fungus or lack of iron.
Iron deficiency can be solved by adding iron chelates or simply driving rusty iron nails into the substrate. It works!
Although the potos is a very resistant plant to pestsYes, we can find an unwanted visitor.
The most common are cottony mealybugs, which are easily detectable. If the pest has not spread, we can eliminate it manually with a little cotton or kitchen paper soaked in methyl alcohol. If it has spread, it will be better to use a natural insecticide such as Neem oil or potassium soap diluted in water and in spray format.
Keep in mind that the mealybug usually appears within the branches of the new leaves and there it is usually more difficult to detect it. Check the branches well once a month and try to let some air flow to avoid excess humidity!
How to prune a pothos and make cuttings successfully
Pruning and multiplying a pothos is very simple. But you have to know a thing or two. Here are some tips to reproduce it successfully.
The branches of the pothos have what are called knots, which is where the magic happens. New leaves emerge from these protrusions and, just below, aerial roots.
To make a pothos cutting (and to prune pothos in general) the ideal is identify strong and developed stems. We locate the knot, and with clean scissors we make a diagonal cut 1cm above the knot and a cut 3cm below. In this way, later we can easily puncture the cutting in the substrate so that it begins to develop new roots ->
Pothos cutting with new roots after several weeks in a cocotako
I recommend that the cuttings have a single knot (2 maximum), since if not, there would be too much leaf to feed, for a stem without roots yet.
If the cutting is pricked back into the pot, it is advisable to take the opportunity to water the plant, and thus increase the humidity, which will stimulate the appearance of the roots.
Finally, another way to propagate your pothos is to place the cuttings in water. To oxygenate the water, stir it with a stick or spoon once every two or three days (or directly change the water). Once the first roots have appeared, move it to the ground so that it can have access to the nutrients.
Varieties and types of PothosAlthough the most common is usually the golden pothos, there are other very interesting varieties. Some of them are:
- Golden Pothos or Golden Pothos. It would be the common one, with variegated green leaves.
- Pothos Marble Queen. The white-leaved pothos. With a much more pronounced pattern of light spots on the leaves.
- Potus Neon / Lemon. It is a rare variety that presents leaves without spots, with an electric yellow color.
- Silver pothos. In reality this variety is not a pothos, although it is called that. It is a Scindapsus Pictus, with very interesting silvery green leaves. And beaauutiful roots :D
Pot Marble Queen
Curiosities and frequently asked questions
The questions around this plant are many and very diverse. Here we have tried to collect some of the most common:
Is pothos poisonous to my cat / dog / turtle? :D
Yes and no. It is not as such a toxic plant because it does not have toxins. But it is true that can be harmful when swallowed. This is due to the calcium oxalate contained in its leaves, which form small crystals called raphides. If your dog or cat nibbles and swallows a few leaves, it may have indigestion or vomiting. Therefore, if in doubt, it may be better to place the plant in a high place.
How to entangle or guide a pothos?
The best way to get a creeper pothos is through tutors. If the pothos is already developed, you can use metal rods or ropes so that the branches can support themselves.
If the pothos is small and if it is developing, you can make a hanging pothos by placing it in a high area, above the window, so that the leaves tend to fall searching for the light.
How to make a leafy pothos?
We all want our pothos to grow and turn our living room into the Mowgli jungle. And with patience we will achieve it 😎
The best way is to start concentrating a large number of cuttings at the base of the plant. As the plant grows, it will develop new branches. Instead of letting them grow lengthwise for the first 6 months, cut the branches and stab them at the base of the plant.
In this way, you will get much more density and the pothos will be much more leafy.
My pothos is down. What can it be?
It can be many things. But as a general measure, you will have to put your little plant in the ICU of the plants or do a "Reset". The recovery steps are:
Remove dead leaves (yellow or brown spots).
Remove all the soil and clean the roots in a bucket of water.
Wash the pot well.
Place stones or expanded clay in the bottom of the pot.
Place a light universal substrate and reposition the plant.
Give a first watering and place the plant in an area with indirect light and good ventilation. Don't water for two weeks.
Can I get more variegated leaves (with white spots)?
It is often thought that it is, but the reality is that it is not. I have tried with cuttings of the same plant in areas with a lot of light and areas with shade and the truth, it does not matter. The plant did what it basically wanted.
What really makes the difference is the variety. As always, genetics rules 🙃
ConclusionsIf you are looking for a cool plant to start or give your home a tropical touch and you don't want to complicate your life, pothos is your plant. If it has been so successful in homes around the world, it is for something. And it is a very rocky and grateful plant that grows fast and adapts to everything. put a Pothos in your life! 🤘😎🌿