Pothos Plant Meaning, Symbolism, and Cultural Significance

In some regions, Pothos plants are believed to bring good luck and financial prosperity. According to Feng Shui principles, the Pothos can rid your home of negative or stagnant energy. Due to their vigorous growth habits, they also symbolize determination and the concept of eternal life and are associated with the Greek god of longing, Pothos. Join me as I explore the fascinating meaning and symbolism of pothos plants.

Pothos Plant Meaning and Symbolism Around the World

History & Origins

The Pothos are believed to be native to the islands of French Polynesia, residing in tropical forests where they can be found climbing along tree trunks or sprawling along the ground as a ground cover.

You may not recognize this plant when you come across it in the wild, as the leaves and vines grow far larger than they do indoors, with leaves up to 20 inches long. They also develop slits in the leaves under the right conditions, like the Monstera and some Philodendron species.

This plant underwent a period of botanical confusion, initially placed in the Pothos genus – then a ‘catch-all’ genus for plants that marginally fit the characteristics.

It was moved to the Rhaphidophora genus in the 1960s and had a brief period as Epipremnum pinnatum before its characteristics were found to be deserving of its own species.

The Meaning and Symbolism of Pothos Plants

Variegated trailing leaves of a pothos plant growing indoors

Good Luck

The Golden Pothos is one of a few plants believed to bring their owners good luck. They are said to attract positive energy and promote prosperity. Their ability to purify the air and rid it of common toxins, proven in the famous NASA Clean Air Study, contributes to this positive symbolism.

Financial Gain

Along with good luck, Pothos plants are said to provide their owners with financial prosperity too. They even have the common name Money Plant in some regions, partly due to their somewhat coin-shaped leaves and party due to the financial gain they offer.

According to some South Asian cultures, keeping a Pothos around will ensure you are never short of cash.

Determination and Perseverance

In some areas, Pothos plants symbolize the wonderful qualities of determination. Their long-growing vines and strong growth habit, along with their ability to climb, are said to evoke qualities of perseverance in the face of adversity.

Keep a Pothos in a common area of your home or around your desk as a reminder to keep working toward your goals throughout the day.

Ridding Homes of Negative Energy

Pothos plants are also popular for use in Feng Shui, for their low-maintenance nature and ability to purify the air. But that’s not all they do.

According to the principles of Feng Shui, Pothos plants are also believed to remove negative or stagnant energy from the corners of your home.

Place your Pothos in an unused corner on a cabinet or shelf to bring bright, positive energy to a neglected space.

Eternal Life

Bright and vibrant lime-green leaves of a pothos plant sitting on a wooden table by a wall indoors

The Pothos is a houseplant that is almost impossible to kill. Its other common name isn’t Devil’s Ivy for nothing. This ability to adapt and survive the harshest conditions for years on end has led some to associate the Pothos with eternal life or the concept of an eternal soul.

Desire or Longing

The common name of the Pothos is also associated with Greek Mythology. Pothos is one of Aphrodite’s Erotes, a collective of winged gods. Known as the god of longing, Pothos represents yearning or desire, particularly when alone. He also carries a vine with him, which is a connection to wine but also suits his association with the vining Epipremnum aureum.

You will find it hard to scroll through houseplant social media pages without coming across at least one Pothos. They have become one of the most popular plants in the new wave of houseplant obsession, beginning several years ago and showing no signs of slowing down.

They are beginner-friendly, low-maintenance, and look stunning trailing across shelves or from hanging baskets. What more could you ask for?

Wrap Up

Pothos plants are beautiful additions to any houseplant collection. With so many wonderful meanings and positive symbolism, it’s hard not to want at least one, usually more.

Further reading: Where to position pothos plants in the home for optimal care and Feng Shui benefits.

Contributing Editor | madison@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

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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