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Pothos Care Guide

The scientific name for pothos plants is Epipremnum Aureum. The common name pothos is used to refer to several kinds of similar looking plants, including at least one that isn't related to Epipremnum Aureum at all. The plants you have are of the varieties Pearls and Jade (white and green) and Marble Queen. (the more solid green ones)

Pothos is nicknamed the "Devil's Ivy" because it grows quickly and is hard to kill. It's a plant that can take a bit of neglect, and they're known for being easy to take care of. The key to success when caring for your plants is figuring out how to best meet their needs. Pay attention to your plant and experiment to figure out what works best.

Quick Reference

Light Level
Low to Moderate
Watering Needs
Feeding Needs
Monthly note
Soil Preference
Well Draining
Repotting Interval
Every 2 Years
Growth Habit
Stem Cuttings

Pothos need monthly feedings during the growing season, but less food during fall and winter. See the feeding section for more information.

Light Level

Pothos plants like low to moderate amounts of light. They will grow best in bright indirect light, but will tolerate low levels of light. Bright, indirect light can be achieved by finding the plants a space with diffuse, bright light, especially if the plants get some sun in the mornings. Low light levels likely won't kill the plant, but it may lose its variegation (the color patterns on the leaves.) If the plant's leaves start looking more green, try moving the plant to a sunnier spot to bring back the variegation.

The Marble Queen pothos will need more light than the Pearls and Jade pothos to maintain its coloring.

Light level is affected by lots of things, including, but not limited to: the current time of day, the current season, what direction the window is facing, the presence of any window coverings, and anything blocking the window. The best thing you can do is experiment and see what your plant reacts well to.

Notes on Window Direction

North facing windows get the least amount of light. They might not get as much light as a pothos wants.
South facing windows get the most light -- so much so it might be too much for a pothos. Pay attention to how your plant reacts. Are they growing well, or do they look sunburned?
East facing windows get bright light in the morning, and indirect light in the afternoon. They would likely be an idea spot for your plants.
West facing windows get indirect light in the morning, but bright light in the afternoon. They might produce too much sun for a pothos -- if so, try moving the pothos a bit further back from the window.


Pothos plants like a moderate amount of water. Water the plants when the top two inches of their soil feel dry. Depending on the plants' environment, this might not work out to once a week.

When watering the plants, water them until water pours out their drainage holes. Empty the saucer about half an hour after you water the plant to make sure the plant doesn't stand in the excess water for too long. Tap water will likely be fine for watering the plants, but they may prefer filtered water -- experiment, and see what your plants like best.


Plants need more food in the spring and summer, during their growing season. Feed your pothos once a month in the spring and summer (late March to late September), every other month during fall (October to late December), and don't feed them at all in the winter. Be careful not to over feed them -- too much plant food can cause burns on the plant's leaves.

Look for a plant food with an even N/P/K ratio to make sure your plants get the right combination of nutrients, and follow the instructions on the container regarding dosage and application.


Pothos likes well draining soil. This is most easily achieved by using standard potting mix that allows water to easily drain through it. If needed, drainage can be increased by adding perlite to the mix.

Growth & Repotting

Pothos plants have a trailing growth habit, which means they will eventually grow vines over the side of the pot that trail towards the ground. This makes pothos an ideal plant for shelves and bookcases. The vines can also be cut to encourage bushier growth, and properly taken cuttings can be propagated.


Pothos should be repotted every two years with some fresh soil, or when it becomes pot bound. A plant is pot bound when the pot is not big enough to accommodate any new plant growth. You can tell a plant is pot bound when it refuses to stay watered and stops growing.

The typical recommendation is to repot the plant into a pot two inches bigger in diameter than its previous pot. Repotting the plant into a significantly larger pot can actually be bad for the plant, as it encourages water retention in the bottom of the pot that can cause health problems. Make sure any pot you use has drainage holes for excess water to seep out of. Unglazed terra cotta can be a good choice if you're worried about overwatering your plant, since excess water can also evaporate through the sides of the pot.

Ideally, try and repot your pothos in the spring or summer. But if the plant is pot bound, don't wait.


Pothos plants can be propagated from stem cuttings. This can be a quick way to make more plants while encouraging an existing plant to form a bushier growth pattern.

The best time to propagate a pothos is in the spring or summer, when the plants are actively growing.

To propagate a pothos, take a cutting of a stem at a 45 degree angle about 4 inches in length. It should have one or two nodes on the stem and a few leaves. Place the cutting directly in water (ideally filtered) or some fresh potting mix. After 4-6 weeks, check if the cuttings have developed roots. Cuttings in water will be ready to be potted when their roots are about 2 inches long. There's a high probability that not all of the cuttings will grow, so if you make to make sure you succed, take several.


If you plant looks like they're not doing well, here are a couple of possible causes and fixes. There's also lots of information out there on how to treat a sick plant, but when it comes to plants, prevention is the best cure.

Leaves Drooping

If the plant's leaves are droopy, it likely needs more water.

Black Spots on Leaves

If black spots appear on the plant's leaves, that means it's getting too much water. Let the soil dry out more before you water it again, and decrease how often you water that plant. If there are lots of black spots on the plant's leaves, you may need to repot the plant to prevent the problem from worsening.

Leaves Turning Yellow or Brown

If the plant's leaves are turning yellow or brown, there are two likely causes: too much water, or too much sun. Over watering is treated as detailed in the Black Spots on Leaves section. If the plant is getting too much sun, try moving it to a shadier spot in the house, or putting up some sheer curtains in front of the plant.

Pale Leaves or No Variegation

If the plants leaves are looking pale, or there's not much variegation, that likely means the plant needs more sun. Try moving it to a sunnier spot in the house.