One of the best ways to redecorate a space is by adding a little greenery. As it happens, pothos plants are an excellent way of doing that.
Not only can they add a bit of brightness to a room, but they also have many other advantages. From decorative to health-based, pothos are quite handy to have around.
Let’s take a look at pothos benefits and how you can get the most out of your plant.
What Are Pothos Plants?
Pothos is a species of plant and a proud member of the Araceae family. While it’s native to French Polynesia, it’s incredibly popular all over the globe.
The reason behind its fame is that plants are beginner friendly. So, even owners who have a tendency to forget to water their plants can grow healthy pothos.
While “pothos” is the official name, it isn’t the only one. Some call this plant the Ivy Arum, Devil’s Vine, or Money Tree.
Each one of these describes a different aspect of the plant’s abilities.
Why Grow Pothos?
There are many reasons why people like having these plants around. Let’s dive into some of the main advantages of growing pothos.
Are Pothos Air Purifying?
We all know that plants can help reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air. However, pothos can do a lot more than just that.
These plants can purify many toxins from the air with ease. According to a NASA clean study, pothos are adept at filtering the environment.
They’re able to deal with five different dangerous materials.
Carbon dioxide is all around us and doesn’t cause serious issues. On the other hand, its relative, carbon monoxide, can be incredibly toxic.
Generally, the gas occurs after incomplete combustion. This can be a result of wood fires, gas heaters, or some electrical appliances.
The main problem with this chemical is it can affect the way our bodies carry oxygen. This is because it enters the bloodstream and binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells.
That binding will decrease the oxygen capacity of the blood and may lead to respiratory problems. High concentrations of the gas can even cause fainting.
Just keep in mind that while pothos can help filter out some of the carbon monoxides from the air, there’s only so much the plants can do.
So, if you’re in an area with a large amount of gas, the pothos pot won’t be useful. It would take too long to remove the harmful chemical.
So, it’s best to evacuate and call in a professional.
Benzene is an organic compound that we use as a solvent. Substances like detergents, glue, and paint all use a form of this chemical.
Even though the compound is useful, it can be quite harmful. Because of its composition, benzene can be an irritant.
Any contact with the skin may lead to itchy rashes and, in severe cases, allergic reactions. The same principle applies to the lungs.
As people use substances with benzene, they release vapor into the air. When someone inhales this contamination, it may lead to rashes or even burns in the lungs.
Pothos plants can absorb the pollutant and completely neutralize its effect.
Many of us know formaldehyde as one of the main components of embalming. So, you may think that you won’t come into contact with it regularly.
Yet, the chemical is all around us. For example, appliances like wood-burning stoves, gas stoves, and heaters emit the gas.
On top of that, some pressed wood and carpets contain formaldehyde.
In small amounts, the chemical is harmless, but as it builds up, it may lead to health issues. For example, it can cause certain types of cancer, like leukemia.
Pothos will absorb the formaldehyde and help keep the concentration low. For the best result, try growing the plants in water.
This may increase their ability to deal with the harmful gas.
Xylene and Toluene
Xylene and toluene are both volatile solvents that can be toxic in the air. Because of how quickly they evaporate, we use them in paints.
When inhaled, these chemicals can attack the central nervous system. As a result, they may cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
So, when you add a fresh coat of color to your walls, these chemicals can build up. Placing pothos plants in the room can help get rid of the gasses.
In addition, they’ll help clear out the pungent paint scent in no time.
Are Pothos Easy to Grow?
As anyone with house plants will tell you, growing plants indoors can be a little difficult. They have such specific watering and sunlight needs that it can be tricky to keep up.
However, this isn’t an issue with the resilient pothos.
First off, they don’t require a strict watering schedule. Healthy pothos plants can last two to three weeks without water at all.
Yet, to ensure your plants stay strong, it’s best to fully moisten the soil once every week.
Other than that, pothos can grow in almost any light condition. So, you can place them in the shade on a windowsill or in incredibly dim areas.
The only condition pothos may struggle with is direct sunlight. The leaves prefer the dark since too much sun can damage their structure.
Are Pothos Decorative?
When most people think about plants, they imagine bright, colorful displays. Pothos don’t usually flower, but they’re still incredibly beautiful.
These plants have long stems with many green leaves sprouting out. Each type of pothos looks slightly different, from broad leaves with curved edges to thin, straight shapes.
You can also expect a little variety in the colors.
Traditionally, the leaves are light green, with a few specs of white here and there. Yet, there are also pothos plants with solid, dark green leaves, which can add warmth to a space without being too distracting.
Besides that, pothos are ascending plants. So, they can climb and grow around objects to blend into their environment.
All you have to do is gently guide them in the right direction to create a wall of pothos. That’s where they get the name Ivy Arum as they grow similar to ivy.
Can Pothos Grow Without Soil?
Even though we all want to have a positive impact on the environment, it’s easier said than done.
One of the biggest issues of growing plants indoors is having to deal with soil. Every time you add water to a pot, you risk dragging mud all over the house.
This is especially true if you have a furry friend who enjoys digging in the mud.
Luckily, pothos don’t necessarily have this problem. While most people choose to grow the plants in soil, they don’t have to.
Pothos can grow perfectly healthy in just water. As long as you provide them with the needed nutrients, the plants should have no issues.
However, since water can’t anchor pothos like soil, getting them to climb will be a little difficult. You’ll need to figure out another way to support the plant to keep it growing in the right direction.
Do Pothos Affect Humidity Level?
Most plants are incredibly sensitive to humidity. This is because they rely on the moisture in the air to maintain their shape and hydration.
So, when you place pothos in a dry environment, they’ll change their surroundings. The plants will start to release some of their water content to increase the moisture in the air.
Generally, the effect one plant will have on the overall humidity is tiny. However, you could see a change with a large group of pothos.
Do Pothos Affect Mental Health?
With more of us working from home, staying motivated and upbeat can be difficult. You no longer have the support or energy of many people working around you.
On top of that, spending a lot of time indoors can impact overall mental health. One way around that is to bring the outdoors to you.
A few pothos plants around the house can do wonders for morale. They’ll add a nice pop of green and brighten up any space.
In addition, pothos plants have an incredibly calm presence that can boost productivity. That’s why many people dub these plants the Money Tree.
Are There Downsides of Growing Pothos?
While pothos may have many benefits, the plants can be a little dangerous. The leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are poisonous.
This may be the reason behind the name Devil’s Vine.
For the most part, the plants are safe to handle. You can touch them and move them around.
However, with excessive contact, pothos may cause irritation and swelling. So, it’s best to wear protective gloves when pruning or trimming the plants.
Aside from that, pothos can be incredibly toxic for cats and dogs when ingested. They may lead to terrible legions and stomach aches.
That’s why it’s important to keep the pot away from pets.
What Variety of Pothos to Grow?
There is a wide variety of pothos plants out there. So, it can be a little tricky to pick one to grow.
The most common type is the Golden Pothos, with broad leaves with a deep, rich green hue. They get their name from the subtle yellow streaks in the leaves.
Golden pothos can grow quite rapidly and cover a large area. With more leaves, the plants will be able to purify the air faster.
However, you may not always have the space for a massive garden. In that case, the Glacier pothos may be the way to go.
These plants are compact and highly vegetative. This means they won’t take up much room, but they grow plenty of leaves.
Still, you’ll need a few pothos plants around a room for them to make a difference. In addition, they’ll take a long while to purify a space.
Many of us like to keep pothos plants around because of how easy they are to grow. However, there are many other advantages to having them around.
So, what are pothos benefits?
First off, the plants are air purifying. They can clear out several pollutants, like carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene, from the surrounding environment.
Other than that, pothos are incredibly decorative and can lighten up any space.
However, be sure to handle the plants with care, as they can be toxic to pets.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.