How to Grow and Care for your Golden Pothos

What is a Golden Pothos Plant?

Why is this plant so popular and used in homes as well as commercial decorative displays like shopping centers, offices, and public locations? Because it requires little care and is so attractive! The Golden Pothos is one of the world’s best-selling plants, for a good reason! You can display these beautiful trellising plants in a hanging basket, or they will drape gracefully off of shelving. This plant is unbelievably low-maintenance, having a popular reputation for being impossible to kill, which is why it is sometimes nicknamed devil’s ivy. 

Golden Pathos is a great starter gift for new plant parents, as it can survive without much water and can thrive in darker parts of your home. Very little will kill this plant, even a few weeks without water or a dim room! On top of being easy to take care of, it is a natural air purifier making it a great bedroom addition. Its unique variegated leaves add a pop of variety even in your green settings, and the plant drapes beautifully making it perfect for higher spaces. If you don’t want to hang it, this plant can be trained to climb upwards and reaches heights up to 60 feet in its native environment!

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Toxicity Level

Pothos contain insoluble calcium oxalates making it toxic to pets, cats, and dogs (and humans). If ingested, it can cause vomiting, oral irritation, and difficulty swallowing. Keep this plant out of your pets’ reach, or avoid it in the case of having tricky, curious critters that may eat it. 

Air Cleaner

NASA includes the Golden Pothos on a list of recommended plants for air purification. It removes benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene from the air. In fact, the NASA study saw that Golden Pothos was one of the best household plants for removing toxins! 

Great for People:

  • Who are new plant owners and want something easy to start with
  • That travel often and are on the go, who may not have time to water often
  • Who loves tropical vibes, and even maybe Feng Shui!
  • Who has a small space but want immediate impact
  • Who like variety and variegated leaves on their plants!

Great for Spaces Like:

  • Homes with low-medium light (northern or eastern exposure)
  • Vertical space to hang baskets or on shelves so the vine can drape
  • Where it can be an  underplanting with other similar greenery
  • Those with high humidity
  • Partial shade patios

How to Care for a Golden Pothos Plant

Light preference

The Golden Pothos loves medium to low indirect light. Placing near an eastern or northern window source would be ideal. Rotate the plant a half turn each time it’s watered to ensure it gets even light on both sides of the plant. While it does love sun, it can tolerate less sunny areas. If you have it in shade and it seems to have issues, try moving it somewhere with slightly more sun to see if it encourages growth!

Water/Humidity

Allow the soil to dry out between watering. To check, poke down into the soil gently to see if the top two inches are dry. When it seriously needs more water, it’s leaves will start to curl. Flush the soil with rain, filtered, or bottled water for the best results. Empty any saucer under the pot to make sure that the roots don’t drown and get over-hydrated. Overwatering is the most common cause of death for the Golden Pothos, so use a high-drainage soil and pot. It enjoys high humidity, so spritz it occasionally or place it on top of a pebble tray filled with water to create humidity.

Ideal Temps

This tropical plant enjoys temperatures between 70-90°F, which is its environment in the remote islands in the South Pacific. Placing the Pothos somewhere where it may get drafts, such as near a window or air conditioning vent, can cause damage or reduced growth in your plant. Make sure it stays above that 70°F to keep it completely happy and healthy. 

Plant Food/Fertilizer

Fertilize the Golden Pothos with a balanced fertilizer once a month in the spring and summer months with an organic fertilizer for optimum growth and plant health. Feeding your plant may seem intimidating at first, but it is easy once you get the hang of it! Let it rest in the fall and winter months from fertilization. When fertilizing, make sure the indoor plant isn’t stressed (dry or soaking wet, or has a pest or disease).

Repotting Frequency

Check the roots every two years, and if it is ready to repot, go up 2 inches in diameter with a new pot. Use containers with drainage holes, so your roots don’t get waterlogged. Always use a high-drainage soil as well to prevent overwatering and root rotting issues. Transplant in the spring or summer. If your vines are long, gently tie them to keep them out of the way until you’re finished.

If the vines have gotten out of order and a bit messy, you can always clip them off and propagate a new plant. This will stimulate new growth on your existing plant too. You can place the stems in water to cover two nodes. Change the water out every couple of days using filtered, rain, or bottled water. Roots will begin to form. When they have several inches of the root system, it’s easy to plant them in moist, well-drained soil. Another way is to cut off and dip in some rooting hormone, then stick into the well-drained indoor potting mix. Water, fertilize, and proceed with regular plant care.

Cleaning

When cleaning these plants, put in a shower and fill a watering can with filtered water and rinse the leaves. This simulates rain which naturally cleans these plants in their natural environment. Let drain and air dry naturally. Spritzing with filtered, bottled, or rainwater will also clean their leaves easily. Others prefer to hand-clean leaves with a damp cloth, gently wiping away any dirt or debris. 


 

 

Common Issues of the Golden Pothos Plant

Sometimes pests can hop from plant to plant. Be aware of your plant and examine it each time you water. Look at the stems, underside of the leaves and soil around it. Some Pothos may get spider mites, scale, or mealybugs. Identify and treat promptly, otherwise the infestation may spread to other plants. Unfortunately, all plants are prone to these issues, so keep a lookout on all of your green friends! Otherwise, this plant is an excellent plant for the low maintenance indoor gardener!

Complimentary Plants with your Golden Pothos plant:

Dieffenbachia is an excellent plant to team with your Golden Pothos. It would be a lovely understory plant to plant together as both enjoy medium, indirect light, and like the same soil conditions and humidity. The variegated leaves of both will play off each other and create a very eye-catching look to your indoor plant collection.

ZZ Plants are another extremely low-maintenance indoor plant and could be treated like a succulent. Like the Golden Pothos, it likes medium to low light and prefers the soil to dry out completely between waterings. It has an upright appearance next to the hanging vine, which gives variety to any indoor space.

For more information on caring for your new indoor plant, check out our comprehensive care guide here.

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