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Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Pothos Overview

Scientific name:

Epipremnum aureum



Water requirements:


Light requirements:

Indirect Sun


Air Purifying, Low Maintenance

Table of Contents

Pothos, also known by its scientific name Epipremnum aureum, is a popular houseplant prized for its easy care, lush green foliage, and ability to thrive in a variety of indoor environments. With its cascading vines and brightly variegated leaves, pothos makes a beautiful addition to any home or office.

Unique Qualities

One of the things that makes pothos so well-suited to office environments is its ability to tolerate low light conditions. Unlike many houseplants, pothos can do well in areas with limited natural sunlight, making it perfect for brightening up cubicles and windowless rooms. Its trailing vines can be trained to climb walls, file cabinets, and bookshelves, adding a tropical feel wherever it grows. Pothos is also a natural air purifier, removing harmful toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, and carbon monoxide from indoor air. This helps create a healthier work environment while also looking great. The plant requires little maintenance, only needing to be watered once the soil has dried out and given an occasional trim to keep it tidy.

Common and Scientific Names

Pothos has many common names including golden pothos, devil’s ivy, money plant, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, and taro vine. But no matter what you call it, this versatile houseplant is an excellent choice for giving offices, cubicles, and other work spaces a boost of green.

Detailed Description of Pothos

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a popular houseplant known for its easy care, climbing growth habit, and attractive variegated leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped and come in shades of green, yellow, and white. There are over a dozen different Pothos cultivars to choose from, each with its own distinctive leaf variegation pattern.

Appearance and Growth

Pothos is a vining plant with long, trailing stems that can grow up to 10 feet long or more. As a climbing plant, Pothos does well when given a moss pole, trellis, or other vertical support to climb. Without support, Pothos will trail along the ground or cascade from hanging baskets and shelves.

The leaves of Pothos emerge from green stems. They are thick, waxy, and heart-shaped with a pointed tip. The size ranges from 2-4 inches long. Variegation occurs in shades of golden-yellow, white, or light green, resulting in a marbled or speckled effect.

Distinctive Features

One of the most distinctive features of Pothos is its variegated foliage. While the solid green variety does exist, most Pothos have leaves with yellow, white, or light green patterns. This variegation adds visual interest and makes the plant stand out.

Other key features that make Pothos special include:

  • Trailing vines that can reach 10+ feet long
  • Thick, waxy leaves in a heart shape
  • New leaves emerge wrapped in a sheath
  • Aerial roots used to climb and absorb moisture and nutrients

Variegated Leaves

There are over a dozen varieties of variegated Pothos to choose from. Some of the most popular include:

  • Golden Pothos – Bright yellow splotches on green
  • Marble Queen – White or creamy white patterns on green
  • Jade Pothos – Small speckles of light green on dark green
  • Manjula – Irregular patches of light green/white on green

The variegation patterns not only add visual interest, but also help brighten up shady indoor spaces where Pothos thrives. The colors seem to glow against the dark green backdrop of the leaves.

Optimal Care Guide for Pothos

Pothos are relatively easy houseplants to care for, but providing optimal conditions will keep them healthy and vibrant. Here are some key things to know about caring for pothos:

Light Requirements

Pothos prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions. They should be placed in a north or east-facing window where they will receive plenty of ambient daylight but no direct sun, which can scorch their leaves. Pothos can adapt to lower light during winter months or in darker corners of a room, though their growth may slow. In lower light, the leaves may be darker green or smaller.

Watering Needs

Pothos should be watered whenever the top inch or so of soil is dry. The frequency depends on factors like light levels, temperature, humidity, and container size, but a general guideline is to water a pothos every 1-2 weeks. Always water thoroughly until it drains freely from the drainage holes. Allow any excess water to drain away before returning the plant to its spot.

Temperature & Humidity

Pothos prefer average room temperatures between 10-24°C and do best with 40-50% relative humidity. Cooler winter temperatures and lower humidity may cause leaf tip browning. To boost humidity, mist the plant daily or use a pebble tray filled with water. Keep pothos away from cold drafts, heat vents, and direct sun.

Soil & Potting

A well-draining potting mix amended with perlite suits pothos best. Repot every 2 years in spring, moving it to a container only 1-2 inches larger. Add fresh potting mix and trim away any dead roots. Pothos can be kept in the same pot for years by top-dressing with new soil annually.

Benefits of Having Pothos in the Office

Pothos is more than just a visually appealing plant. Bringing its trailing vines and brightly variegated leaves into the office can provide some powerful benefits for employees and employers alike.

Purifies Indoor Air

One of the best reasons to add pothos plants to your office is that they work hard to purify indoor air. As a tropical plant, pothos is excellent at removing pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide from the surrounding environment through its natural process of photosynthesis. This leads to cleaner, fresher indoor air that is healthier to breathe.

Reduces Stress

Research has shown that having plants in office environments can help reduce stress and increase feelings of wellbeing amongst employees. The presence of living, growing things taps into our innate biophilia — our connection with nature. Being around plants like pothos helps us feel more relaxed and at peace even in the midst of our hectic workdays.

Increases Productivity

With pothos plants helping to filter the air, reduce noise, and decrease stress, it’s no wonder that offices full of plants tend to see higher employee productivity. When we feel comfortable in our surroundings, we tend to get more work done. Pothos’ lush cascades contribute to a welcoming environment.

Brightens Up Office Design

With their trailing vines and brightly colored variegated leaves, pothos plants are beautiful additions to any office décor. They instantly liven up spaces with vibrant plant life. Position pothos vines along shelves, file cabinets, and other surfaces to add a touch of nature to your workflows. When it comes to boosting office environments, it’s clear pothos offers abundant benefits. This easy-care plant should be a staple in every workplace looking to enhance air quality, comfort, and productivity.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Pothos

Pothos plants are generally quite hardy and easy to care for, but they can develop a few common issues. Here are some of the most frequent problems pothos owners face, along with solutions to get your plant back to health.

Yellowing Leaves

If the leaves on your pothos begin turning yellow, it usually indicates the plant is getting too much or too little water. Pothos like for their soil to dry out between waterings. If the leaves yellow and the soil is damp, cut back on watering frequency. If the soil is very dry, give the pothos a good soak and see if the yellowing improves over the next week. Insufficient light can also cause yellowing, so try moving the pothos to a spot with more bright, indirect light.

Browning Leaves

Brown leaf tips or margins often result from dry air or soil. Try misting the pothos more regularly or using a pebble tray to increase humidity around the plant. Also check that you are not underwatering. Fertilizer burn can also brown the leaves, so reduce or eliminate fertilizer to remedy this.

Drooping Leaves

If the leaves of your pothos start to droop, it’s likely due to overwatering or underwatering. Check the soil moisture and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Drooping may also happen if the plant is not getting enough bright, indirect light, so try moving it to a spot with more sunlight streaming in.

Root Rot

If the roots of your pothos appear brown, mushy, or foul-smelling, root rot is likely the culprit. This fungal disease thrives in wet conditions. To treat it, remove the plant from its pot and cut off any severely affected roots. Repot the pothos in fresh, well-draining soil and avoid overwatering going forward.


Mealybugs, fungus gnats, and scales are common pothos pests. Check leaf undersides for small insects or white fuzzy growths, which indicate an infestation. Wipe leaves down with a damp cloth, hose the plant off, or use insecticidal soap as needed to get rid of bugs.

With some attentive care and troubleshooting, pothos problems can usually be corrected quite readily. Just be observant of your plant’s needs and make adjustments to lighting, watering, or pest control as issues come up.

Fun Facts and Trivia about Pothos

Pothos has a long and storied history. It was first described scientifically in 1880 as Pothos aureus, leading to its common name of “pothos.” After its inflorescence was observed in 1962, it was reclassified as Rhaphidophora aurea.

Pothos is known by many names across different cultures and regions. Some alternate monikers include hunter’s robe, arum ivy, money plant, and taro vine. Its ability to grow quickly and vigorously once led to the nickname “devil’s ivy.”

In its native tropical habitats, pothos can grow over 60 feet tall as it climbs up tree trunks. The plant is well adapted to low light conditions, helping explain its popularity as a houseplant able to thrive even in darker indoor spaces.

There is evidence suggesting the presence of pothos plants in Central America as far back as the Maya civilization. The Maya incorporated the plant into their architectural decorations.

Pothos played a unique role in European colonial expansion. Cuttings were frequently loaded onto ships headed across oceans to establish new settlements. The hardy pothos cuttings helped provide greenery in far-flung colonial outposts.

Today, new pothos varieties are still being discovered and documented. In 2021, a distinct solid neon-green variety was identified on the Hawaiian island of Kauai and dubbed “Hawaiian pothos.”

Pothos is sometimes incorporated into spiritual traditions and beliefs. In parts of India, pothos plants are considered lucky. The plant also plays a role in the spiritual practices of Wicca.

The pothos plant is able to remove harmful volatile organic compounds like benzene and carbon monoxide from indoor air. This ability to purify air adds to its popularity in homes and offices.


Pothos thrives in bright, indirect light and only needs to be watered every 7-10 days. Its trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves add a tropical flair while requiring very little care. Multiple studies have also shown pothos to be excellent at removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from indoor air.

With all these advantages, it’s easy to see why pothos deserves a spot in more workspaces. Its lush foliage can lower stress levels and increase productivity. And by filtering out pollutants, pothos creates a healthier environment for employees.

Bringing Pothos into Your Office

If you’ve been inspired to incorporate pothos into your office, here are some great options:

Aztec Plants offers a wide selection of plants for rent or purchase. Their team of experts can help determine the best type and quantity of plants to suit your office layout and lighting conditions. This takes the guesswork out of choosing and caring for office plants.

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