Golden Pothos Care – Growing The Devil’s Ivy Plant

Ed Wike
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Devil’s Ivy Overview

Devil’s ivy is a beautiful indoor houseplant, with light green and dark green variegated leaves. This plant is available in two forms, the variegated and the nonvariegated. The variegated form has one fourth of a leaf with green and one fourth with gold. The nonvariegated form, has all green leaves with no variegation. The nonvariegated plant is quite a bit hardier, so it is the better of the two plants to start with.

Devil’s ivy, also known by its Latin name Pothos aurea, is often used as an ornamental plant in houses. The palms of the ivy tend to coil around the stems of the plant, giving it an interesting habit and look. The leaves are easily attached to other surfaces and are a popular choice as a hanging plant.

This plant is quite a popular plant in households. People like the fact that it is a fast growing plant and that it does not need any large pots or repotting. This also makes it a popular house-warming gift, because the person will be able to enjoy the plant from the start.

Golden Pothos Care

Golden pothos is a flowering plant that is commonly referred to as Devil's ivy or money plant. It has bright, heart-shaped leaves with yellow variegation. The plant itself is a vining variety, which makes it easy to grow on the right surface, whether it's a mount, a piece of driftwood, a hanging basket, or a mix of all three.

The name pothos is derived from the Greek word "pothos," which means "to covet" or "longing." This plant was originally brought back to the United States in the 1800s by a sea captain who was returning from Indonesia. It was such an eye-catching specimen that he brought two of them for his own home. Luckily, he shared the second one with his sister, who termed it "Devil's houseplant" because it grew up a trellis so quickly. But the man's sister did not name the plant "Devil's ivy" then and there, but held onto it for some time until her own sister asked her about it. Some people think that it's a relative of china-aster, which was known as "money plant" in India, because it was believed to bring wealth to the owner of the plant.


This versatile plant can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from bright indirect sun to low light from a shaded north window.

Pothos grows best when placed within two to three feet of a bright window.

Too much direct daylight will cause leaf spotting and shriveling, so avoid placing the pothos near a window that receives midday or afternoon sun.

Pothos is well suited to indoor growing since it grows well in a wide range of temperatures and can survive a wide range of water conditions.


Plants love water. That’s why most people refer to potted plants as “plants,” because most of them are watered!

Watering your plants should be done on a schedule, rather than when you think the plant needs it. If you water at the wrong time, you’re going to experience a lot of problems, such as personal injury, overwatering, and root rot.

Watering is a very simple task, and there’s very little that you can do wrong. It’s more of a common sense thing. Do you have to water your plant right now? Can you wait? Will the plant survive if you don’t water it yet?

But there are some dangers you need to watch out for when watering indoor plants. As we said, plants need water, and they actually need more water than most people think. Truth is, your plant will probably die before it will tell you it’s thirsty.


Virtually any type of potting soil can be used to grow golden pothos. My favorite, however, is one that is formulated for African violets. This type of soil has a higher sandy component than regular potting soil. While some experts recommend a sandy component, I prefer potting soil with more than 50% organic material. The reason for this is that many items that are used in organic gardening, such as fish emulsion, can be easily overused. Think of them as a time-release fertilizer. The large amounts of fish emulsion that a plant takes up when it is applied in a liquid form, may cause stress. You can use the same principle when you apply too much compost. When it is time to repot your golden pothos I would recommend using regular potting soil.


One of the best features of the pothos plant is that it needs very little attention as far as fertilizing goes, especially if you choose a well matured plant. If you decide to fertilize it, keep the fertilizer very light. You know when the plant needs fertilizer because it will develop brown leaf edges. It can only take so much before the browning is irreparable. If you do not have access to fertilizer, you can always brew your own using water, Epsom salt and mild fertilizer. 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1/4 cup of mild fertilizer will do nicely for a container plant.


If you’re re-potting a golden pothos for the first time, be prepared for a big event. There is a lot of potential here and the plant will reward you with abundant growth if you do everything correctly.

You need to first prepare your tools. It’ll probably come as a surprise to you that you need tools for re-potting a plant that’s so popular, but you do. The most important tool you need is a sharp knife. You should also get a pot that’s two to three sizes larger than the current pot.

You might also want to get some Coconut husk sheets. These will line the bottom of the pot to get your plant off on the right foot.

When the time comes, cut a section of roots that’s about one third of the total volume. Place these in a pot with fresh potting material.

In the original pot, remove all the coir material. This dirt can host a lot of fungus and bacteria, and keeping it in the pot could cause the plant to rot.


Pothos plants maintain a very similar appearance regardless of growing conditions and location. They are one of the ten toughest houseplants (ranked second out of 10) because of their ability to thrive in conditions widely varied from light to temperature.

Pothos plants adapt to many conditions because they grow in a vine-like manner. They do not have a leader because stems sprout from nodes that grow on leaf petioles. Stems tend to grow upward, so pruning the plant is crucial to keep a manageable shape and size.

Pothos plants do not need to be pruned. Cutting the vines will keep them short, but new vines will grow at the nodes. Pruning just the tips of vines allows you to control the size. The best time to prune pothos is in May and June when new growth is starting. This is very easy to toss the snips into compost.


The propagation process is very simple and a lot of fun. Start by cutting off a stem with at least four leaves from the mother plant. The stem should be at least three inches long and you should have a clear idea about where you want to position it later.

Mix some sphagnum moss (one half cup) with some sharp sand (one quarter cup). You can also use any other good quality potting soil.

Now gently remove the leaves from the stem and sand the stem area as well.

Mix a few drops of hydrogen peroxide with one liter of water and dip the tip of the stem in the solution. This will prevent fungus formation and enhance root growth.

Place the stem in the sphagnum moss and pack it down gently until the moss is even with the stem.

Water thoroughly so it penetrates down to the root area.

Put some plastic wrap over the leaves so they will not droop and make sure the plastic is not touching the leaves.

Place the stem in a warm and well-lit place so it grows faster.

Leave it for at least two weeks so roots can grow and stabilize.

You can now remove the plastic and start watering again.

You can as well place the cuttings directly in a growing media or use well-draining rock wool cubes and put them into the larger vented plastic cubes.


Keep pothos plants in low humidity environments.

Mist them sparingly, as they’re prone to root rot.

Beware of overwatering as they’re susceptible to root rot.

Misting causes foliar diseases among pothos plants.

Be careful about dry air.

Do not expose devil’s ivy plants to cold draughts.

Pothos leaves turn yellow because it’s a sign of over-misting.

Keep plants out of full sun.

Rotate plants so that its soil will dry up well.

Pothos plants grow best when the temperature is between 65-82 degrees F.

Pests and Diseases

The most problematic problem with the golden pothos vine is the three-striped spider mite. If you notice webbing in the plant, white spots on leaves, yellow foliage, brown leaf stems, or brown spots on the leaf edges, then this is the culprit.

The spider mites eat the plant and present as rust colored spots on the plant with a sandpaper feeling.

Use the vegetable oil control method by spraying the plant with vegetable oil. Repeat weekly until the main problem is under control. Rotate to insecticidal soap for the long-term control of the mites.

Pollen rot is another bacteria that can plague the golden pothos if you are around a large number of people, have a lot of pets, or there is dust and dirt in the air. There are two types of pollen rot.

The first type of pollen rot occurs as a result of the plant coughing up the diseased pollen and, subsequently, picking up the bacteria from the floor or ground.

The second type of pollen rot occurs when a honeybee lands on a leaf to collect pollen. When it flies off, it leaves behind the bacteria. The bacteria then attacks the plant’s system and devastates the plant.

Pollen rot eventually gets to the roots, leaves, petioles, and stems. It can be characterized by spotty or blistered leaves and leaf fall.



Most houseplants do not require sunshine to thrive. They will grow indoors and in shaded areas; however, if you use natural sunlight, your plant’s leaves will grow stronger and bigger.


Repotting is done when you notice that your Pothos plant has outgrown its previous pot. To repot your Pothos plant, follow these steps:

Dampen the soil in the plant’s pot.

Lift the Pothos plant and gently remove the old soil.

Replace the new soil.


Some houseplants are easy to maintain. Pothos plants are one of them. Make sure to water your Pothos plant regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering.

Some people think they should over-water their Pothos plant, but this isn’t true. Overfeeding your Pothos plant is actually worse for the plant than underfeeding it.