Everything You Need to Know About the Uses and Benefits of Pothos Plants

Appearing in almost every houseplant lover’s home around the world, the Pothos plant is a must-have for beginners and experienced plant owners. Besides their sought-after trailing vines and remarkable ease of care, pothos plants provide a host of other uses and benefits. There’s no reason not to love the popular Pothos.


About Pothos Plants

About Pothos Plants

Pothos is known botanically as Epipremnum aureum, after beginning in the Pothos genus and going through a few name changes over the years. These plants are native to the islands of French Polynesia, but have naturalized in tropical forests across the world.

They can be found climbing tree trunks outdoors in their habitats. Here, they develop massive leaves that make the plant almost unrecognizable from what we have come to know indoors. 

Thanks to their tropical habitats, Pothos make wonderful indoor plants and provide a range of benefits within our homes.


12 Amazing Benefits of Pothos Plants:


1) Low Maintenance

Low Maintenance

Look at any beginner-friendly houseplant list and you will surely find Pothos near the top. Tolerating plenty of neglect, these plants are great for almost any indoor condition. They still look as good as new when under a bit of stress.

Place a Pothos in almost any spot with enough light and it will stay happy. It doesn’t require high humidity levels to maintain its sheen and isn’t fussed about a missed watering or two.

Besides appropriate light, water, soil, pruning, and occasional fertilizer, these plants require no additional input from you to look good. Pop them in almost any spot in your home and they will spread their wonderful vines. You’ll just need to consider repotting your pothos plant in a larger potting vessel every year or two.


2) Almost Impossible to Kill

Almost Impossible to Kill

Along with being low-maintenance, Pothos are incredibly resilient to most pests and diseases. They fall under the category of plants that are almost impossible to kill, along with the popular Sansevieria and Cast-Iron Plant. 

You can leave them almost anywhere, forget about them, and they won’t look any different for weeks on end.

As good as they look, that doesn’t mean they are thriving or even surviving. For the best care, they shouldn’t be left or neglected for long periods. But if you happen to forget about them for a while, the Pothos won’t punish you for it.

Yellowing leaves are a common sign to watch out for though on your pothos plant, which typically emerges when environmental conditions are less than ideal.


3) Tolerates Varying Light Conditions

Tolerates Varying Light Conditions

Lighting is a struggle to manage indoors. Finding that perfect happy medium that most houseplants prefer – bright indirect light – can be tricky, especially when you have many plants that need to fit into the same spot.

That’s where the Pothos comes in. These plants make the best of any lighting conditions they are given, so much so that they are often given the label of ‘no light’ plant. Whether placed in a darker spot in your kitchen or glistening in the rays of some direct morning sun, these plants will continue to thrive.

But, it is essential to keep in mind that their ability to manage low light incredibly well doesn’t mean they will grow successfully in those conditions. 

If you’re content to keep your Pothos the size it is, low light isn’t an issue. But, if you want it to grow bigger and last longer, bright indirect light is best.


4) Easy to Propagate

Easy to Propagate

Propagating is a popular activity for houseplant parents, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Propagating pothos allows you to produce more of your precious plants at absolutely no cost. All it requires is a sharp pair of scissors and a few minutes of your time. And, when it comes to Pothos, the process couldn’t be more straightforward.

With long stems that climb structures and trail across shelves, propagating from stem cutting is incredibly simple. 

Snip a 4-inch-long piece of the vine just below a leaf node. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, leaving at least two leaves at the top.

Root your cuttings in a glass filled with filtered water or a soil propagating mix. They should grow roots within a few weeks, after which they can be grouped together and replanted to form an entirely new Pothos plant.


5) Can Grow in Water Alone

Can Grow in Water Alone

As they are so easy to propagate in water, Pothos has another plant superpower – they can grow long-term in water alone. 

While this isn’t as easy as popping the stem in a glass of water and forgetting about it, it is possible to leave your pothos stems in water to grow for more than the few weeks it takes them to grow roots.

The only upkeep these water-grown Pothos plants will need is a few drops of a liquid fertilizer added to the water every few weeks. A regular top-up of water or a complete water change every couple of days will help keep the roots as healthy as possible. 

With some additional nutrients in the water, these plants can live for several months or even years in a clean jar.

Make sure you use a clear glass to watch the roots grow, turning your propagating endeavors into a fully-fledged décor piece.


6) Air Purifying

Air Purifying

You’ve probably heard of the famous NASA Clean Air Study, often cited online. In this study, scientists tested the ability of houseplants to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air for potential use in space stations. 

You may not know that the humble Pothos was part of this study and showed promising results in removing several harmful compounds from the air.

Of all the compounds tested, Epipremnum aureum had the ability to remove benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene from the air. They did not remove trichloroethylene or ammonia in the study, but still performed better than many other houseplants, including the very similar climbing plant Philodendron hederaceum.

This study, although sound in its methods, has been ‘debunked’ for in-home use over the years. To produce the same results, you would need hundreds of plants in a small space. 

However, even a few plants will have some positive effects. Plus, as they are so easy to propagate, you can always make even more to reap the rewards.


7) Feng Shui

Feng Shui

If you’re interested in Feng Shui, you’ll love the Pothos even more. 

This deeply symbolic plant is said to remove stale or dark energy from unused parts of your home. Thanks to its ability to thrive in lower lighting conditions, you can place it on top of a cupboard or in a dark corner to improve the energy in those areas and improve the overall energy balance in your home.

In some regions, Pothos is also believed to bring luck and prosperity. Among its many common names is the nickname ‘Money Plant’, used in traditional Feng Shui to encourage financial prosperity and abundance. 

According to the tradition, you should place the Pothos in the Southeast part of your home for the benefits to take effect.


8) Ornamental Value

Ornamental Value

Following their ease of care, the thing Pothos plants are most beloved for is their looks. 

With glossy, heart-shaped leaves appearing along trailing stems, Pothos is one of the most Insta-worthy houseplants you can find. 

They are often used to brighten bookshelves or kitchen windowsills and look great hanging from the ceiling in a basket, making your home feel like an actual urban jungle.

You don’t have to stick with the popular golden Pothos, although they are also stunning. 

There are many exciting pothos cultivars available with different variegation patterns. ‘Neon’ has – you guessed it – neon green leaves, while the famous ‘Marble Queen’ has striped white variegation. 

Try ‘Cebu Blue,’ with elongated leaves in a deep green-blue hue for something completely different. With so many to choose from, you’re bound to want to collect them all.  


9) Climbing Ability

Climbing Ability

Pothos make excellent indoor hanging plants, and their stems are typically left to trail down the sides of shelves or cascade down baskets. 

However, few make use of them in the other direction. Pothos are excellent climbers, typically found in their natural habitats surrounding tree trunks. This ability lends them to a wide range of uses and benefits in your home.

Pothos stems can be trained around shelves or moss poles to create a more impressive leafy feature than one pot can provide. 

When trained up a trellis and given the right lighting conditions, they can even be used as a privacy screen to cordon off rooms within open living plan areas. 

Alternatively, you can leave the trellis against the wall for a mix of living wallpaper and a wonderful air purifier.


10) Can Help with Allergies

Can Help with Allergies

For those who suffer from allergies, the Pothos may provide some relief. 

Not only it is an allergy-friendly plant (in other words, not allergy-inducing), but it also has some properties that can aid allergy sufferers in the home.

As tropical plants, Pothos love humidity, but they can also increase the humidity levels within your home. A few plants are required to have an effect in a small area, but they will raise the humidity levels by a few percentage points when placed together. 

This, combined with their ability to remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air, can relieve allergy symptoms.

Pop a few Pothos plants near your bed or on your desk in your office to reap the full benefits.


11) Mental Health Benefits

Mental Health Benefits

It is now common knowledge that plants make us happier

Scientists have confirmed the benefits of plants and nature for mental health, forming the basis for a practice called therapeutic horticulture. Interacting with the natural world positively impacts our moods and overall outlook, in essence, making us happier.

These benefits also apply to the Pothos. One study looked at the benefits of interacting with Pothos plants specifically. They found that merely touching the leaves produced a natural calming effect in the participants, even though they could not see the plants while touching them. 

This study, as well as many others, shows how ingrained our connection to nature is.


12) Productivity and Memory

Productivity and Memory

If you’re struggling to get work done in your home or office, placing a Pothos plant on your desk may be the answer to your problems. 

Several studies have shown that the presence of greenery around offices improves productivity quite significantly and gives employees a more positive outlook on their work.

But that’s not all. Plants can also help you improve your memory. Just an hour of interacting with nature, including your friendly Pothos, can aid in memory retention in the short term. 

Pop a few Pothos plants on your desk or around your office to feel the positive, productive energy.


Wrapping Up

Thanks to their ease of care and good looks, there are so many reasons to love the Pothos already. But scientists have given us even more reason to love these stunning plants for their benefits for our physical and mental health. Start out with one and propagate more to fill your home with these wonderful plants.


Author

Madison is a writer and editor with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. She writes and photographs for various online and print publications in the gardening sphere and is the author of the book The Next-Generation Gardener.

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