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Care Instructions for the Pothos Indoor Plant

By Aaron Painter

The pothos ivy (Epipremnum aureum) is a highly popular indoor plant because it is versatile and easy-to-care-for. Interior landscapers use the pothos more than any other plant. You can grow them as a single tabletop plant, or in a hanging basket. Pothos plants are also often grown upright on a totem pole. You will find several different varieties of pothos to chose from, including variegated types featuring gold or sliver colors. If you don't overwater your pothos, you'll have great success in growing one.

Place your potted pothos plant or hanging basket in a room with windows, but away from direct sunlight. Set the thermostat to ensure the room temperature remains between 65 and 75 degrees F.

Fill a watering container with lukewarm water. Gently pour water lightly around the entire pot until it begins to run out of the bottom. Insert your finger into the soil. If the soil is moist, but not wet, do not add more water.

After several days, insert your finger into the soil again. If the top of the soil feels moist, wait another day or two and check again. If the soil is dry, repeat Step 2. Repeat this process throughout the life of your plant.

Once per week, inspect your pothos leaves for mealybugs--a common pest. Grasp a leaf with your thumb and forefinger and turn it over. Look for cottony, white bugs on the underside and stem. If found, dip a cotton swap in rubbing alcohol and wipe the bugs off with the swab. Repeat this throughout the plant.

After inspecting your pothos for pests, clean the leaves with a warm, damp cloth. Grasp a leaf with one hand and gently wipe it from the stem toward the tip. Do the same for the underside of the leaf. Repeat this throughout the rest of the plant.

Occasionally you will need to prune your pothos plant. Grasp a vine that has grown longer than you'd like near the soil line. With shears or scissors, clip the vine stem off, about 2 inches from the top of the soil. Repeat this with each vine you choose.


Things You Will Need

  • Pothos ivy planted in single container or hanging basket with drainage holes Watering can and water source Bottle of rubbing alcohol Cotton swabs Damp cloth Pruning shears or utility scissors


  • After pruning your pothos, you can try to root the cutting. Cut the stem down to a single leave with a stem about an inch long. Insert the stem end into a small pot filled with moist soil. Mist the new plant regularly until it begins to grow.


  • Do not overwater your pothos. It's best to let the soil dry out before watering again. Too much water will prevent the roots from growing, an may cause them to rot.

About the Author


Aaron Painter began as a garden writer in 1999, and has more than 12 years of professional experience in landscaping and horticulture and six years in broadcast journalism. Painter holds a BA in mass communication and horticulture from LSU, and now lives in Nashville, Tenn.