How to Care for a Pothos Plant — Tips for Growing Devil's Ivy

The pothos, also known as "Devil's Ivy", is considered by gardening enthusiasts as an excellent way to grow your green-fingered credentials.

This is because pothos care is easy and undemanding, making these beautiful pot plants a simple and stylish way to add a dash of green to your home.

Jo Lambell, founder of houseplant site Beards & Daisies, describes pothos plants as "super-easy" to look after for even for the least competent gardener, adding "they even thrive off a little neglect."

She told Newsweek: "Fast-growing and fabulous, no green collection should be without one."

Read to find out everything you should know to grow this fun and forgiving houseplant.

What Is the Pothos Plant?

When to Plant a Pothos Plant
Common names for the pothos plant include, devil's ivy, golden pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum and money plant. Firn/Getty Images

While it thrives under the sun as a tropical forest plant, the adaptable pothos lives indoors in coolers climes so contentedly it has few other competitors in this category.

The plants boast a distinctive trailing, vine-like habit, topped with pretty heart-shaped leaves.

They also possess a helpful propensity to purify a room's air, in particular Formaldehyde, and to prosper in areas of low light and humidity.

And coupled with a useful ability for flourishing even when neglected for long stretches, the pothos is the perfect low maintenance plant for those who struggle to keep more complicated foliage alive.

This unusual tolerance and hardiness is the explanation for its slightly daunting name, the "devil's ivy" thought to refer to its stubborn inability to die.

Does The Pothos Require Repotting?

When to Plant a Pothos Plant
The pothos can help clean a room's air of toxins, in particular formaldehyde and benzene fumes. Firn/Getty Images

Repotting is a necessary part of plant care to help greenery grow to the best of its potential, but Beards & Daisies founder Jo Lambell reassured anyone usually uncomfortable with growing that "it's not as complicated as you think."

She said: "The process involves upgrading your plant to a bigger pot, usually around three to 5cm larger—and replacing its soil with a fresh mix, so it can access new nutrients.

"Try not to go too big when choosing a new pot—never go beyond two pot sizes bigger, as this can overwhelm the plant with soil and water it doesn't need and have a disadvantageous effect on it.

The houseplant expert adds a typical time to repot is when a plant is spring, as "this marks the beginning of the growing season, when your plant will be thriving, flourishing and even flowering if it's the type to produce blooms, during the warmer months."

She summarized: "In other words, it's a great time to make the most of your plant actively growing by encouraging it to get bigger."

However, while this is the case, spring may not be the only time to repot your plant, should the following situations present themselves.

Lambell said: "You may want to consider repotting your plant if you notice its roots growing out of the pot, if your plant's growth has become stunted or at the other end of the scale—if your plant is growing far too quickly, causing it to topple over.

"As a rough timescale, you will need to repot your plant between one to two years, depending on its growth rate."

How To Care For Pothos Plants

When to Plant a Pothos Plant
Pothos plants prefer having soil dry between waterings. Maksym Ponomarenko/Getty Images

Grow pothos indoors, preferably with bright, not direct light, although it also will tolerate low-light conditions.

Having a plant with unusually pale leaves usually indicates the presence of excessive sun, while loss of variegation means it too little natural light.

The hardy houseplant is at its happiest when its soil has time to dry between waterings and therefore accepts erratic attention from a watering can.

Owners should note its leaves start to droop when the pathos is thirsty and needs a drink, but avoid withholding water for too long or its leaves will start to fall.

Pothos is a light feeder, but those looking after the plant can reward it with a balanced fertilizer formulated for houseplants once a month.

Is the Pothos Plant Poisonous?

pothos
The leaves start to sag when the pothos plant requires some water. Kristen Prahl/Getty Images

Although the pothos enjoys a reputation for being extremely easy to care for, owners should be conscious of the fact the houseplants are poisonous.

And while deaths attributed to pothos plants are very rare, the plant is capable of triggering irritation and vomiting if eaten, because it contains calcium oxalates.

Even the sap from the plant may cause particularly sensitive people to exhibit an unpleasant rash.

The pothos is also considered toxic to cats, dogs, and children, but even though the houseplant can make these all very sick, it is highly unlikely to result in death.

Tropical 'Epipremnum Aureum N'Joy' pothos houseplant
Tropical 'Epipremnum Aureum N'Joy' pothos houseplant with variegated leaves. Firn/Getty Images