Question: What is the #1 indoor plant? The Spathiphyllium plant – or Corn Plant – Palms? Megan, Hope, Arkansas
Answer: I have to vote for the – Epipremnum aureum – commonly known as pothos. The pothos comes in a few different flavors:
Why is it the NUMERO UNO? – Versatility! Pothos plants are popular indoors because, they are easy to grow and survives under the care of someone who has no green thumb.
It can be used as:
- Single stand alone potted plant on a desk or credenza
- Planted in mass as a ground cover
- Grown up a totem pole as an upright plant
- Hanging basket
- Planted with other plants in small gardens
- Covering on large trees or palm trunks
- Underplanting "garnish" for large potted plants or trees
Not only does the pothos have many uses but pothos can handle a wide variety of indoor conditions that rival some of the best indoor plants.
Conditions like cooler temperatures, lower humidity, and lower light levels. In south Florida you’ll even find the pothos growing in full sun.
Over the course of the year the average professional plantscaper uses more pothos than any other plant.
Conditions for Success with Pothos
Pothos does have some conditions that must be monitored for success. The number one area to watch is the root system. Pothos doesn’t like wet feet.
The pothos does not have a deep root system and can very easily be kept with too much water in the soil. Under lower light levels and cooler temperatures the soil should be allowed to dry about half way down. Try not to soak the soil but water lightly around the entire pot.
Pothos are grown from leaf-eye cuttings. Especially with the golden pothos growers try to select cuttings from plants that have a high marbling of yellow and green. The higher the light the brighter the yellows.
The average 6 or 8 inch pot can have 15 to 35 cuttings, with each one producing a new plant. With that many plants making up one pot you can see how important it is to not over water these plants.
If you find plants that are “underrooted”, make sure that the pot does not sit in water. Drain the excess water off. Keep the plant on the dry side.
Before you buy a pothos, pop it out of the pot, and look at the roots. You should see a healthy root system that looks full and active.
Plants that are over-watered have mushy roots and rotted stems which pull out of the pot easily.
Pruning and Trimming Pothos
During the year as your pothos grows you’ll need to prune it back. Be selective and trim the vine back to 2 inches from the soil line. This will help promote new growth and make the plant fuller.
Don’t stick the cuttings back in the container. If you want to try your hand at starting the plant from cuttings, place the cuttings in a different pot and keep the pot small.
Pothos and Pests
The most common pest on pothos is mealy bugs. It’s that cotton like stuff you see normally on the undersides of the leaves. You can try to remove them manually, or use alcohol and a cotton swab, or try some of the insecticidal soaps (make sure you read the label)
The keys to success in growing pothos the #1 indoor plant is simple. Look for a plant that is well rooted, free of any insects or disease and easy on the water.
4 Main varieties of Pothos
There are 4 main varieties of Pothos – Pothos Gold, Pothos Marble Queen, Jade Pothos and the Neon Pothos.
Overall, the Pothos Gold or the Golden Pothos grows through its trailing stems as they climb up trees and totem poles.
The heart-shaped leaves on these trailing stems are glossy and dark green in color with yellow streaks.
Pothos Gold, also known as the Devil’s Eye, is considered as a strong climber on a tree, or wall, or on totem poles. This growth behavior makes the plant ideal for hanging baskets and moss-covered poles.
In addition to being a popular houseplant and a decorative plant, Golden Pothos or Pothos Gold are believed to be efficient in removing indoor air pollutants.
The addition to the Pothos family is the Pothos Neon or simply Neon.
The name “Neon” came from the colors of the plant leaves – bright lime or chartreuse green that really looks almost neon.
Neon Pothos is a 2-foot trailing vining plant.
Its low growing habit coupled with its elegant creeping stems make it a perfect plant for hanging baskets.
Neon Pothos makes a great gift because of its simplicity and captivating foliage that really stands out.
The pothos plant care secret to keeping a Neon beautiful is to put it in a room of average temperature with bright light.