A Complete Guide on the Growth and Care of Golden Pothos
Epipremnum aureum commonly called golden pothos or creeping charlie belongs to the family Araceae and is native to the Solomon Island. This hardy plant whether growing in or outdoors cannot be killed easily, I have worked with the golden pothos on many garden projects and have seen how well they perform.
The golden pothos is a popular indoor plant, this plant looks great especially when used at the base of palms and other garden plants which was one of my specialties when creating both indoor and outdoor garden designs. For more on golden pothos plant care continue reading and find out how easy it is to grow and care for this plant.
Although the golden pothos is popular for growing indoors they can also be grown outdoors in the home garden. What I love about photos is these garden beauties can tolerate a range of lighting conditions from low light to bright filtered light indoors while thriving in the full sunlight outdoors. So if you’re thinking about sprucing up your outdoor living space then an area that gets full sun to partial shade is the ideal place to install your golden pothos.
A neutral to acidic soil that is well-drained but holds moisture well will meet the golden pothos requirements.
Because the golden pothos has a shallow root system the soil should be kept evenly moist not saturated or waterlogged which can lead to root rot.
Applying a 20-20-20 fertilizer once a month will supply the required nutrients, before using fertilizer read and follow the manufacturer’s label for the best results.
Growing golden pothos from a container
When growing golden pothos in a container the container should be of the right size for your plant to sit comfortably, the container should also have drain holes for water drainage. A good potting mix that holds the right amount of water but allows excess water to drain is the right fit for your golden pothos.
When watering your golden pothos plant ensure that the soil is evenly moist at all times and not soggy which will lead to root rot, a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer, or granular slow-release such as osmocote will supply the required nutrients. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the direction for the best results.
Growing golden pothos indoors
I have had much success with growing golden pothos indoors, locate an area that gets low-medium light or indirect bright light for your pothos to thrive. The container should have drain holes and a saucer to catch the water that drains, allow the soil to dry out between watering to avoid root rot, and then water thoroughly again.
Fertilize once a month or once every three months with a water-soluble (20-20-20) fertilizer. Treat garden insect pests as directed in the section on common garden pests of golden pothos.
Growing golden pothos in water
Growing the golden pothos in water can work just as well as growing this vine in soil, select a length of pothos vine with three or four nodes. A plant’s node is those areas from which branches, leaves, and aerial roots grow out from the stem. The node is a very small growth zone, this selected length of vine should be healthy with green leaves.
Avoid vines with leaves that are yellowing or turning brown, remove the leaves on the lower part of the vine because the leaves that are covered in water will rot. Fill a clear glass jar or container with fresh water from the tap, ensure however that the chlorine in the water is not that strong. If tap water is heavily chlorinated letting it sit for a day or two will allow chemicals to evaporate.
Add a few small drops of water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer in the water, place the length of vine that was cut, in the jar of water. Place the jar in an area that gets bright indirect light. Every two t0 three weeks or when the water starts to turn brackish, the pothos can be removed and the jar should be scrubbed clean to remove algae. Once done rinse the jar thoroughly with fresh water, refill the jar with water, and reinstall your vine back into the jar. Fertilize once a month.
Common garden pests of golden pothos
From my experience garden, insect pests of the golden pothos are mealybugs, spider mites, and scales. These insects can simply be removed by wiping the leaves with a piece of clean cloth that has been dipped in a solution of soapy water and rubbing alcohol or by applying insecticidal soap. Before applying soap spray read and follow the label as directed.
Diseases of golden pothos
Before purchasing a golden pothos remove the plant from the grower’s pot and examine the roots, the roots should look healthy. If the roots are sickly looking (mushy) with wilted stems and leaves that droop avoid making the purchase. A plant that has healthy firm roots and stems along with leaves that are erected makes a great choice.
Diseases that commonly affect the golden pothos are Pythium root rot Rhizoctonia stem rot, root rot, and bacterial leaf spot, overwatering will lead to root rot therefore watch the moisture level and water as directed. Bacterial leaf spot appears as brown spots on the leaves of the golden pothos, a yellow halo may form around the spot and the entire leaf may yellow and die.
Bacterial leaf spot– is encouraged by poor air circulation, high humidity, overcrowding, and when the plant is stress. Brown spots may also form if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, if the leaves are touching a cold window pane, or being exposed to direct sunlight. This issue can be fixed by removing brown leaves and moving the plant to a more secure area that meets its requirements.
Overwatering– not only contributes to root rot but brown leaf spots as well, when the soil becomes waterlogged oxygen is removed from the soil causing the plant roots to become oxygen-starved. When this happens the plant is stressed and no longer able to take up water and nutrients. Again it is important to monitor the moisture level.
Chemicals such as household products may be accidentally sprayed on the plant, avoid the use of herbicides near your golden pothos because of drift-off by the wind, or overuse of pesticides especially in extremely hot weather contributes to leaf burn.
Pythium root rot– The cuttings have a poor root system and the leaves of plants that are established turn yellow and die, the stems also have a mushy black rot. The use of a good potting mix that is free of disease along with applying a fungicide will help greatly.
Rhizoctonia stem rot– At the soil level, the stems are killed, under wet conditions a fungal growth that appears as fine webbing can be seen near the infected stem on the soil’s surface. Plant in a potting mix that is free of disease and apply a fungicide.
Pruning golden pothos
There are several reasons to prune pothos which include controlling the growth, helping pothos to keep their natural form, to remove disease and pests. Pruning will also give you a bushier and healthier-looking plant, the best time to carry out pruning procedures is during the growing season which is from spring into early fall that will encourage new growth to emerge quickly.
With sharp scissors or pruning shears remove the stems that are growing out and down, this procedure will encourage new growth to emerge or branch out from the top of the plant. Make the cuts just below a leaf node, this technique will ensure that there is not bare stem without new growth at the end.
Transplanting golden pothos
Transplanting your golden pothos requires a little effort, if your pothos has outgrown its pot size it is just a matter of removing your plant from the smaller pot and installing it in a larger one along with adding more potting mixture. Another reason to transplant your pothos is if it has become root-bound when this happens you will need to water more often.
The roots will dry out much quicker and another injury include the plant’s roots getting squashed if in the case of root-bound remove the golden pothos from the existing pot. Turn the plant over and then with a sharp knife cut into the root ball at the base in a cross-section method. This process will allow the roots to become free growing into the soil that is added to a larger pot. Water your golden pothos thoroughly and monitor the soil moisture level.
The final word on golden pothos plant care
As you can see growing and caring for the golden pothos vine is that simple all it takes is some know-how and the good news is you have come to the right place to equip yourself to have much success with this garden beauty. Add the golden pothos vine to your outdoor or indoor living space and watch as this plant goes to work for you. I have worked with the golden pothos on many garden projects and have never been disappointed so give this vine a try and see for yourself that growing the golden pothos in or outdoors is that easy.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.