Updated: Mar 10, 2019
Pothos is arguably the easiest of all houseplants to grow. This long-growing, leafy vine can reach 70 feet or more in tropical jungles. It usually confines itself to about 6 to 10 feet in containers, but don't be surprised if yours just keeps growing. One advantage growing pothos is that they are high on the list of plants that can help purify indoor air of chemicals such as formaldehyde, trichloroethene, toluene, xylene, and benzene.
Pathos is a trailing vine with pointed, heart-shaped green leaves, sometimes variegated with white, yellow, or pale green. The vines do not cling to trellises and supports on their own, but they can be trained onto supports to give the appearance of twining. These tropical plants are known to grow to very long in their natural settings. As indoor plants, specimens 30 feet long are common, though most are kept much shorter. These plants can get leggy left unpruned, and if allowed to dry out, the stems may become bare to the base, leaving leaves only on new growth.
Pathos rarely are seen to flower, except when treated with hormone supplements.
Pothos carries the taxonomical name of Epipremnum aureum. It is native to the island of Mo'orea in French Polynesia, but has become naturalized in many tropical and subtropical forests in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific islands; it is considered seriously invasive in some areas. It can serve as a perennial outdoor plant in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11 but is normally grown as an indoor houseplant.
Pothos carries many different common names, including golden pothos, silver vine, and taro vine. It is sometimes known as devil's vine or devil's ivy, because it is nearly invincible and thrives even in the dark. It is sometimes mislabeled as philodendron in plant stores.
Many varieties of pothos have been developed with different types of leaf variegation featuring white, yellow, or light green patches interrupting the predominant deep green. There are also cultivars with leaves that are a solid light green.
Pothos is a perfect houseplant for areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight and for people who tend to forget to water their plants. They are excellent for busy people, non-plant people, even for those with black thumbs. They're excellent plants for locations such offices and dorm rooms; they can thrive on nothing but fluorescent lighting.
You don't have to limit your pothos plants to indoor growing. They can be used in containers and borders in the summer. They will die back with the first frost, but you can always bring them back indoors or simply take cuttings!