Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum), is an enormously popular plant for the home or office. It comes in several beautiful varieties and is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. If you give it the care it needs, it will grow at a healthy, fast rate.
Follow these nine tips for how to make pothos grow faster. So, you can have a healthy plant that you can be proud of.
Tip #1 – Know Its Native Habitat
Pothos plants are native to the French Polynesian Islands in the Pacific Ocean and have naturalized in tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide.
They are vines that can grow up to 65 feet long at a rate of 12 inches a month or more as they trail along the ground and climb trees by anchoring their aerial roots in the bark.
Their natural habitat is bright sunlight, with rich, moist soil and high humidity, filtered through the trees. If you can give it similar conditions, your Pothos will thrive and grow quickly.
Tip #2 – Give It the Right Amount of Sunlight
To mimic the filtered, tropical sunlight, you’ll need to give your Pothos bright indirect light. That means in an east- or north-facing window or set back from a west- or south-facing one out of the direct sunlight.
These plants don’t do well in direct sun, especially the harsh afternoon light that can burn their leaves.
If your house has limited sunlight coming through the windows, consider a grow light for your plant, especially if it has highly variegated foliage with only a partial amount of green in the leaves.
Highly variegated plants, like N’ Joy, and Pearls and Jade, will need more light than all-green varieties like Global Green or Jade Pothos because they don’t have as much chlorophyll to use for energy-producing photosynthesis.
More variegation means higher light needs, and you will have to meet those needs for it to grow quickly and retain its variegation. The leaves will revert to all green if they don’t receive enough light.
Tip #3 – Keep It at the Right Temperature
Average household temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit will promote excellent Pothos growth. But the plant will also tolerate heat up to 90 degrees and will happily live outdoors in the summer as long as you keep it out of the direct sun.
Pothos plants don’t do well in temperatures below 50 degrees, so if you set your plant outside, be sure to bring it in when the temperature drops.
These plants are hardy in USDA zones 10 to 12.
Tip #4 – Provide the Right Humidity
As a plant of the tropics and sub-tropics, Pothos loves high humidity. It is very tolerant of a range of humidity levels, but to help it grow its fastest, boost the humidity by using a pebble tray or humidifier or set it in the bathroom or kitchen where humidity levels are high.
It will also love a misting several times a week.
Tip #5 – Grow It in the Right Soil
The type of potting soil you provide is another factor in helping your Pothos to grow quickly. It must be well-draining and have a pH of about 6.0 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic.
A loose, somewhat chunky soil, rich in nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, with micronutrients) and amended with perlite, sand, or peat moss, will do fine.
And be sure to choose a pot with drainage holes so water will not collect around the roots.
Tip #6 – Give It the Right Amount of Water
Watering your plant correctly is key to fast growth. Pothos likes moist soil but never soggy. So water your plant when the top half an inch to an inch of the soil is dry, and make sure the water drains completely out of the holes in the bottom of the pot.
Empty any remaining water from the tray or dish under the pot. Overwatering or allowing the roots to sit in water can produce root rot and slow down or kill your plant.
Tip #7 – Fertilize It During the Growing Season
Feed your plant with half-strength of a balanced fertilizer every month during the growing season – spring, summer, and early fall to promote the fastest growth.
Your plant will grow slower in the winter, so you won’t need to fertilize it during those months, and then you can resume feeding in the spring.
Tip #8 – Prune When Necessary
Pothos plants love to climb and have even been known to attach themselves to wallboards with their aerial roots. They tumble over the edges of a hanging basket or clamber up a moss pole and will grow as long as you allow them to.
Trim the stem between the leaf nodes with a clean pair of pruning shears or scissors, and save the cuttings for propagation if you want more plants.
Tip #9 – Watch for Insect Pests
Bugs can significantly slow down your Pothos’s growth. Check frequently for insects like aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale and treat with insecticidal soap or Neem oil.
If you faithfully follow these nine tips, your Pothos will be a healthy plant. Remember, the healthiest plants will grow the fastest.
Nancy has been a plant person from an early age. That interest blossomed into a bachelor’s in biology from Elmira College and a master’s degree in horticulture and communications from the University of Kentucky. Nancy worked in plant taxonomy at the University of Florida and the L. H. Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University, and wrote and edited gardening books at Rodale Press in Emmaus, PA. Her interests are plant identification, gardening, hiking, and reading.