Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) belongs to the genus Epipremnum, a large evergreen vine that grows in the tropics. It often grows on rocks and tree branches in rainforests. It has a complex vine system and can be seen air roots. 30-40 cm long leaves can be seen on mature branches. Usually, there are many irregular clean yellow spots. This can be seen especially on the leaf surface.
Growth habits of pothos
Pothos is a negative plant and likes a hot and humid environment. It also avoids direct sunlight and prefers shade. It likes to have rich humus, loose, fertile, and slightly acidic soil. The overwintering temperature shall not be lower than 15 ℃.
Pothos likes shedding light and is more shade resistant. Because of its tenacious vitality, it is known as the “flower of life.” You can grow well indoors, whether it is potted or hydroponic, with a few broken stems.
It can be attached to the support and cultivated into a hanging shape and placed in the study, windowsill, or directly potted. It is a beautiful flower very suitable for indoor planting.
Geographical distribution and main varieties of pothos
Pothos is native to the Solomon Islands and is now widely planted in tropical regions of Asia. There are three main varieties of pothos.
01. Neon Pothos
The leaves are light golden yellow and thin.
02. Jade Pothos
The leaves are all green, without patterns and variegated colors.
- Cebu Blue Pothos
Arrow-shaped pure dark green leaves with a metallic sheen.
03. Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos refers to that the leaves of it have markings of different colors.
There are many varieties according to the color and characteristics of the patterns.
- Marble Queen Pothos
Leaves with milky white markings, stronger than the original variety
- Pearls and Jade Pothos
Mainly white strips along the edge of the leaf
- Manjula Pothos
Has broad heart-shaped green leaves. Variegated in silver, white, cream, and light green.
- Satin Pothos
The hart shaped dark green leaves are dotted with silver
Pothos breeding method
Usually, the cutting method is used for the propagation of pothos. Also, You can plant it in the water. The best time to cut the pothos vines for breeding is at the end of spring and the beginning of summer.
Select the healthy pothos and cut the branch’s length from 15cm to 30cm. Then remove the leaves of the section at the base. Be careful not to hurt the air roots.
Insert it into sand or cinder, with a depth of 1/3 of the cuttings. Pour it with enough water and place it in the shade. Spray water on the leaf surface or cover it with plastic film to moisturize it every day. If the environment temperature is not lower than 20 ℃, the plant’s survival rate will be more than 90%.
The specific process of planting pothos cuttings is as follows
1. Vine selection and treatment of cuttings
- Select semi-lignified branches for cuttings with strong growth and no diseases and insect pests.
- Cut into 15-30cm long,
- The lower cut should have an angled mouth.
- Leave 2-3 leaves at the upper end, and cut half of the leaves to reduce water evaporation and facilitate cuttings survival.
2. The planting medium
- The planting medium should be loose, breathable, well-drained, loam, or sandy soil with high humus.
- It is best to use vermiculite, peat moss, or perlite to take root quickly and have a high survival rate.
- The soil should be disinfected with 2% formalin or 5% potassium permanganate before inserting the plant.
3. Potting method of vines
- Dip the lower end of the prepared cuttings quickly with ABT rooting powder or indole butyric acid to speed up the rooting.
- Then insert them into the prepared medium, put them into the soil for 1 / 2, pour water.
- Tighten the medium to make the cuttings in close contact with the medium, and then cover them with polythene film.
Post planting management of pothos
- Pay attention to keep the soil moist and high air temperature after insertion. The soil humidity should be about 50%, while the air humidity should be 80% – 90%.
- In the early stages of planting, the shade should be maintained at about 80% shade. This prevents direct sunlight and ensures sufficient diffused light, facilitating photosynthesis with the cuttings and facilitating rooting.
- More careful about light. If it is too dark for a long time, the internodes will be slender and weak, and the leaves will also become thinner, lighter and lose luster.
- Through the above treatment, the roots are basically rooting after 20 days. Then you can remove the polythene film and increase the illumination. At the same time, pay attention to foliar spray and shading on sunny days in summer, and prevent cold in winter. After rooting, it can be moved to the pot for normal management about 10 days after rooting.
Pothos care and maintenance
The original growth condition of pothos is that “it is not sunny in the woods covered by towering trees”. However, in autumn and winter, in order to supplement the deficiency of temperature and photosynthesis, its lighting should be increased.
So how to increase the lighting in autumn and winter
Put the pothos in place with the best indoor light, or move to the sealed balcony to revel in the sun at noon. At the same time, windows should be opened as little as possible when the temperature is low because the leaves may be frostbitten in a very short time.
Indoor cultivated pothos can be placed next to the window but avoid direct sunlight. Too strong sunlight will burn the leaves of pothos, and overcast will make the beautiful spots on the leaves disappear.
Usually, pothos has the best growth and development by receiving scattered light for four hours. Therefore, the pothos can be placed in a sunny place indoors in four seasons.
If it is placed In a darkroom, it should be moved to the environment with strong light every half a month for recovery for a period of time, and it will cause the trailing stem to grow excessively. As a result, the internodes grow longer, and the plant shape to be scattered.
Also, it will cause the yellow and white spots on the leaf surface will become smaller and lighter, and even the color spots will completely disappear and fade to green.
If pothos is cultured outdoors, pay attention to shading, especially in summer, to prevent direct sunlight. Otherwise, it will lead to smaller new leaves, dim leaf color, and easy to burn leaf edges.
When the room temperature is above 10 ℃, the pothos can survive the winter safely. When the room temperature is above 20 ℃, the pothos can grow normally.
It’s not a big problem for ordinary plants to reach this temperature. What we need to pay attention to is to avoid excessive temperature differences. At the same time, we should also pay attention to keeping leaves away from heating equipment.
The humidity refers to the water content of the air in the plant growth environment. Under the condition of ensuring normal temperature, increasing humidity is very beneficial to plant growth.
You can use the following methods to increase the humidity.
- Keep the plants close to the humidifier. Open the humidifier for more than 5 hours every day, and the plants can have the water mist emitted by the humidifier.
- Spray the water into a mist to the leaves, stems, and roots of plants several times a day. Keep a proper amount of water in the flower pot tray. It will increase the local temperature of the plant through its evaporation.
- Gently wipe the pothos leaf surface with a cold, wet towel or toilet paper or gently compress the leaf surface in a short time (1-2 hours a day)
- Cover the transparent polythene film on the plant to create the effect of a small greenhouse. Supplement the water of the plant by evaporating the water vapor in the soil. Make water less than 2 hours a day. Too much watering will affect the ventilation and photosynthesis of the plant.
You should strictly control the watering amount in autumn and winter according to the room temperature. The temperature is low, and the soil evaporation of plants is slow before heating. Therefore, you should control the water volume between 1/4 – 1/2 of the original to reduce watering.
Watering should not be too frequent even after heating. Watering should be less poured into the pot, which should be infiltrated by brown silk. In addition, spray water to the air rooting growth place of the brown column to reduce the insufficient water absorption of the root caused by too fast evaporation.
The water poured in winter is better than the water dried for one day. If the water is too cold, it is easy to damage the root. In hydroponics, the amount of water should not be too much, only sink the roots. When the amount of water is too much, it is easy to rot the stems and leaves.
You can use nitrogen phosphorus potassium compound fertilizer every 2 weeks or 0.2% potassium dihydrogen phosphate solution sprayed every week to make the leaves green and the stripes more bright.
Pothos likes to be wet. Therefore, it is suitable to keep the potting soil moist during the growing season. Do not dry the potting soil. Otherwise, it is easy to cause yellow leaves and poor plant shape. If too much watering causes ponding in the potting soil, it is easy to cause rotten roots and dead leaves. This will especially happen when the room temperature is low in winter.
Pay attention to often spraying water on the leaf surface while fully watering in summer. If the weather is dry in winter, it is also necessary to spray the leaves with warm water every 4-5 days to wash the dust on the leaf surface to keep the leaves bright and green.
Pothos grow slowly or even stop growing in autumn and winter, so you should reduce fertilization. Before winter, it is mainly to spray liquid inorganic fertilizer once every 15 days.
After winter, fertilization should spray on the leaf surface. Mainly fertilizer is absorbed through the pores on the leaf surface, and the fertilizer effect can directly act on the pothos leaf surface.
It should use special fertilizer for foliar fertilizer, and ordinary inorganic fertilizer is not easy to be absorbed by foliar fertilizer.
When the vines crawl over long, and the support exceeds the palm stubs by about 20cm, cut off the stalks 40cm of the 2-3 plants. When new buds and leaves sprout after shortcutting, cut off the stems and shoots of other plants.
The whole pothos plant or lower part is defoliated due to freezing in winter or other reasons. In this situation, half of the stems and vines of the plant can be cut short by 1/2 and the other half by 2/3 or 3/4. To stagger the height of the scissor so that the new leaves growing rice under the scissor can quickly cover the brown column.
Pothos diseases and pest control
The pothos bought in winter is generally frozen, so it will soon appear yellow leaves indoors. After these frozen yellow leaves fall, new leaves will arise during the spring.
Generally, the newly bought pothos have an adaptation period of about one month from the new environment. After that, the yellow leaf at the bottom is normal.
However, remember to do not peel off the yellow leaf or dead leaf directly. Instead, cut it from the middle of the petiole to avoid excessive water loss and increased wound caused by direct peeling, resulting in yellowing of the upper leaves.
Although pothos is not worried about darkness, a very dark environment will also cause yellow leaves. You can move your position regularly to a place with good light. At the same time, do not expose to the sun. Excessive exposure under strong light will cause yellow leaves and fallen leaves and lead to the death of the whole plant.
If the pothos potting soil is too dry or too wet, both cases will cause metabolic disorders, root damage, and yellow leaves.
Lack of fertilizer and malnutrition will also produce yellow leaves. Therefore, at this time, you should supplement fertilizer in time.
Excessive fertilizing is also easy to cause root burning, resulting in yellow and withered leaves. Instead, you can dilute the fertilizer with water to let the nutrients go with the water.
The pathogen mostly threatens the middle part of leaves. In the beginning, wet reddish-brown or dark brown pustular spots appear in the diseased part. Then, there is a faded green halo around the spots. After expansion, they appear as long oval or strip-shaped patches, with dark brown at the edge and yellowish-brown inside, and dark spots gather ring-shaped spots.
It is also called black spot or black and brown disease because its spot color is black and brown. The plant can repeatedly infect in a long time.
Prevention methods of anthracnose
There are many pesticides that can control anthracnose, such as mancozeb, carbendazim, thiophanate, carbendazim, etc.
Spray 50% carbendazim powder or 5% carbofuran granules during the onset period, and irrigate the roots.
Remove diseased leaves and pay attention to ventilation. You can control it by spraying 95% of the solution of ammonium Daisen or 80% of the solution of carbendazim wettable powder.
The main values and uses of pothos
Pothos is an excellent foliage plant with strong winding, developed air roots, colorful leaves, evergreen in four seasons, and long drooping branches.
It can be attached to the column and trunk greening made of brown, placed in the lobby and hotel, and cultivated into a hanging shape and placed in the study, windowsill, wall, and wall. It can also be used as a ground cover plant under the shade. However, it is a kind of flower more suitable for indoor placement.
Pothos can absorb benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde in the air. According to environmentalists, the newly paved floor is very easy to produce harmful substances. Therefore, it is very suitable to place a few pots of pothos in the newly decorated room.
Pothos also has a strong air purification function and has a reputation as a green purifier. It can convert formaldehyde into sugars or amino acids in metabolism. It can also decompose and absorb benzene emitted by copiers and printers.
In addition to its high ornamental value, environmentalists have found that a pot of pothos in a room of 8 ~ 10 sqm is equivalent to an air purifier. It can effectively absorb harmful gases such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene in the air.