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Pothos Plant Care 101 (A Guide for Beginners)

Pothos Plant Care 101 (A Guide for Beginners)

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If you’re looking for a good houseplant to own, pothos plants should fit the bill nicely. These are very popular houseplants that are said to be perfect for beginners.

Caring for pothos plants won’t be too tough, even if you’re new to keeping houseplants in your home. Even so, it’s best to learn about what you should expect ahead of time.

Knowing about the basics of pothos plant care will allow you to get good results right away. Read on to learn everything you need to know about growing these plants.

After reading everything, you’ll be able to approach caring for these plants with full confidence. Your plants will stay in good shape, and they’ll look amazing in your home for a long time.

Are Pothos Easy to Care For?

Pothos plants are among the easiest plants to care for. Many people love these plants simply because they’re good for beginners.

If you’re not used to caring for houseplants, it’ll be good to buy some pothos plants. They’re hardy enough that they can survive if you make a few mistakes.

These plants are so nice because they aren’t fragile. It’s pretty simple to keep these plants in good shape.

So if you’re on the fence about buying pothos plants, know that they’re among the hardiest plants that are easy to care for. You’ll have a good time with them.

Even knowing this, it’s important to consider the care needs of the plant to keep them looking great. Below, you’ll learn more about the specific care requirements of pothos plants.

Can They Live Outside?

It’s fine to grow pothos plants outside if you live in the right climate. These plants are considered to be either tropical or subtropical vines.

There are different types of pothos plants that you can purchase. All of them require you to live in a warm climate if you’re going to plant them outdoors.

Only those who live in USDA hardiness zones ten through twelve can keep these plants outside. If you live in a colder region, it’s not wise to even attempt planting these outdoors.

If you live in the right climate, these plants can be grown outdoors as evergreen vines. It simply depends on where you live.

Most people keep pothos plants as houseplants. So they’re commonly thought of as houseplants rather than outdoor plants.

The Ideal Temperature Range

Pothos plants generally do best when kept in temperatures that range from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

They can be kept indoors easily since they do well in common indoor temperatures. You will want to keep these plants away from vents, though.

A pothos plant can survive in temperatures that are as cool as 65 degrees Fahrenheit. When exposed to cooler temperatures, the plant can become shocked and might even die.

For the health of the plant, you want to keep it away from drafty windows and doors during the winter. Also, it’s wise to keep the plant away from air conditioning units.

Do Pothos Like Humidity?

Yes, pothos plants certainly do like humidity. Since these plants are tropical or subtropical plants, it makes sense that they would thrive in humid environments.

This is one of the only big problems that you need to look out for when keeping these plants indoors. Pothos plants don’t do as great when placed in environments with low humidity.

If the humidity levels in your home are lower than average, you might want to take steps to add humidity to the plant area. You can do this by placing a small humidifier near the area where you keep your plants.

The best humidity range for these plants will be between 60% and 100%. Of course, you don’t want your home to be kept at 100% humidity since that could damage your house.

Most homes stay between 40% and 60% humidity. Some might be too dry based on the area that they’re located in, though.

Note that pothos plants can survive in low humidity. They simply do and look best when kept in environments with 60% humidity or higher.

The Ideal Amount of Sunlight

To keep the pothos plant looking healthy, you want to ensure that it gets enough sunlight. These plants do best when they receive bright sunlight.

They can tolerate less sunlight, but they might not grow as well for you. So it’s better to give them bright sunlight so long as you’re able to do so.

Direct sunlight is a bit too harsh for these plants. Harsh sunlight is known to scorch the leaves of these plants.

So you should give your pothos plants either filtered sunlight or indirect sunlight. Make sure that you put the plant in the best position to thrive.

If necessary, pothos plants can do fine in medium sunlight. They can also tolerate low sunlight, so they can be kept in office environments.

Generally, when the plant doesn’t get enough sunlight, it’ll just grow a bit slow. It won’t usually have a problem staying alive or looking healthy so long as it is indeed getting sunlight.

No sunlight at all won’t be acceptable for this plant. It can’t tolerate no sunlight unless you’re using some type of artificial light source.

Do Pothos Need Drainage?

You’ll find that drainage is very important for pothos plants. If these plants don’t have good drainage, they will wind up experiencing various issues.

Root rot is one thing that can potentially kill a pothos plant. This occurs when you water a plant way too much, and it causes the roots to get mushy and rot away.

To avoid such issues, it’s important to water the plant correctly. You’ll learn more about that later.

For now, it’s important to know about the right type of soil. You want to use soil that has adequate drainage to protect your pothos plant.

The best soil for pothos is well-draining and nutrient-rich. It’s common for people to make their own custom soil mixtures for pothos plants.

One of the most common soil mixtures that people love includes coco coir, orchid bark, worm castings, perlite, and activated charcoal.

There are other good soil mixtures that you can choose as well, but this is a nice and simple recipe for success. Be sure to choose a pot for the pothos plant that has adequate drainage holes as well.

If you don’t like the idea of making your own soil, most well-draining potting soil mixes that can be bought at stores will work fine. You can get what you need at a garden center and be done with it.

Pothos Watering Tips

Watering a pothos plant isn’t difficult, but you want to try to get things right. Remember that watering these plants too much can be problematic.

Having well-draining soil will help quite a bit, but you still need to avoid watering the plant too often. Usually, pothos plants need to be watered once every few weeks.

During the summer, they might need to be watered weekly. You should never water plants on a strict schedule, though.

You need to check the soil to see if the plant truly does need to be watered. The soil needs to dry out between watering sessions.

If the pothos plant is receiving bright light, you’ll be watering a bit more often. When keeping the plant in medium or low light, you’ll be watering less often.

Check the soil with your fingers to see if it has dried out. When the soil is a bit dry, you can water it.

The soil is meant to be kept moist. So keep an eye on the plant and water it as necessary to keep the plant in good health.

Being a proactive plant owner and checking things often makes a difference. If you pay attention to your plants, you won’t have a tough time watering pothos plants.

What Are Signs of Watering the Plant Too Much?

It’s good to look out for the plant to ensure that you aren’t watering it too much. Typically, when you’re watering the plant too much, you’ll see yellowing or browning of the leaves.

This can also occur when you’re not watering the plant enough. It’s not unusual for pothos plants to lose their leaves when they’re watered too much.

Look out for these signs and stop watering the plant if you think you’ve been going overboard. Always make sure to check the soil to see if it’s dry, and the plant truly needs to be watered.

Do Pothos Plants Need Fertilizer?

Since pothos plants are fast-growing, it’s good to give them fertilizer. You can get away with avoiding fertilizer if you’re keeping the plants in nutrient-rich soil.

However, using fertilizer is very helpful. When you use fertilizer, it helps to keep the plants healthy and strong.

You want to fertilize these plants during the spring and summer. This is the growing season for pothos plants.

There are different types of fertilizer that you can use. Most people say that using liquid fertilizer is the easiest route to take.

Generally, you want to pick a water-soluble fertilizer that contains a good balance of different nutrients. A simple 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 houseplant fertilizer will work just fine.

During the growing season, you should fertilize these plants every four to six weeks. Don’t fertilize the plant during the autumn and winter months.

How to Fertilize a Pothos

Fertilizing the pothos will be very easy. Just buy a standard type of fertilizer for houseplants.

Use a liquid fertilizer and fertilize the plant by placing the fertilizer in the soil. You don’t want the fertilizer to touch any portion of the plant.

Always follow the directions that you receive with the fertilizer that you buy. You might need to dilute the fertilizer to keep the plant safe.

Once you’ve gotten the fertilizer ready, you can use it on the soil. Be sure to only use the recommended amount of fertilizer.

You can do this every four to six weeks during the spring and summer. Don’t fertilize more often than this since too much fertilizer can be detrimental to the plant.

When Is the Growing Season?

The growing season for pothos plants is during the spring and summer. So you only want to fertilize during these times.

The winter and fall will be dormancy periods for these plants. They don’t need fertilizer during those months, so you’re supposed to stop fertilizing at the end of summer.

Since these plants only need to be fertilized every four to six weeks during the growing season, it’s important to keep an eye on the calendar. Try not to fertilize the plant when it’s too close to autumn.

How Big Will Pothos Plants Get?

Pothos plants grow to be pretty large in the wild. Some of these plants can even reach sixty feet when climbing up trees.

When kept as houseplants, pothos plants will generally be much smaller. You can expect these vines to grow to be between six and ten feet indoors.

If you’re keeping these plants outside in a non-tropical setting, they can grow to be fairly large still. It’s said that pothos plants grow to be up to twenty feet outside in non-tropical conditions.

Of course, it has to be warm enough for the plant to survive outside. So you must live in USDA hardiness zones ten through twelve to make that happen.

Pothos Plants Aren’t Safe for Pets

It’s important to know that pothos plants aren’t safe for pets. They aren’t safe for children either.

Don’t let this scare you away from buying pothos plants for your home. These plants aren’t incredibly dangerous or anything, but they are toxic.

If you try to chew on this plant or eat it, you’ll experience a burning sensation. It’ll cause your lips to swell, and it can also cause swelling in the tongue, throat, and mouth.

You don’t want to try to consume any part of a pothos plant. It’s not wise to do so, and it’ll only lead to pain.

Of course, there’s no reason why you would ever try to do this. Pets and small children won’t know any better, though.

So you need to keep these plants out of the reach of your pets as well as your kids. This prevents any accidents from happening.

When a pet consumes a portion of the plant, it’ll lead to discomfort. The pet will likely throw up and will have diarrhea symptoms.

It won’t kill a pet, but it’s still important to note that it’s bad for them. Be careful, and you can avoid issues with this plant being eaten by your cats or dogs.

Final Thoughts

Pothos care isn’t that tough so long as you focus on the basics. You can have an excellent experience caring for these plants in your home.

They do best when you give them bright indirect sunlight. They can survive with less light, but they grow stronger and look healthier when given bright sunlight.

You want to give them enough humidity to help them thrive, too. Try to keep these plants in environments with at least 60% humidity for the best results.

On average, you’ll be watering these plants once every one or two weeks. You need to check the soil with your fingers to see if it has dried out first, though.

Watering these plants too much is a bad idea. It’s one of the things that can kill the plant since it might lead to root rot issues.

So be mindful of this, and only water the plant as much as necessary. So long as you’re checking the soil before watering the pothos plant, this will be easy to achieve.

You should use well-draining soil so the plant can dry out between watering sessions. Many types of soil can be used, but many people choose to make their own custom soil mixtures.

Fertilizing these plants is a good idea. However, you’re only meant to fertilize pothos plants in the spring and summer.

You can fertilize pothos plants every four to six weeks during this time. Never fertilize these plants during the autumn or winter.

Now that you have all of the information you need, it’ll be even simpler to care for these plants. You’ll be able to do so to the best of your ability.

It’s easy to see why pothos plants are so beloved. They look great, and they’re not hard to care for overall.

Whether you’re an experienced plant owner or if you’re a newcomer to the world of houseplants, pothos plants will be perfect for you. Just be sure to keep them where pets and small children can’t reach them.

Before you go: Now is the perfect time to start tracking your gardening progress, and I created a garden journal to do exactly that. Click the image below to see it in action and to get your own copy.

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