How to Grow Full, Healthy Golden Pothos Plants
If you are looking to transform your thin, stringy Golden Pothos into the lush, green beauty that it is meant to be, I have good news for you: this makeover is easy! Also, if you are looking to buy more Pothos (I have many in my home!) and want a Golden Pothos glow from the start, just keep in mind a few simple tips.
1. Choose Wisely!
Purchase your Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) as you would your produce when food shopping. Look for healthy, full plants with many cuttings -- the more cuttings in the pot the better! You want plants with glossy, green leaves that feel crisp to the touch and rigid, firm green stems (or brown and stiff -- this means the plant is older). It is also very important that you find plants that have dryish soil; Golden Pothos hate soggy soil, so if they have been living in too much moisture for you-don’t-know-how-long, you are purchasing a potential problem.
2. Give Your Pothos the Light It Needs
If your Pothos is bathing in the afternoon sun, move it! Pothos hate direct light, so you will find a dramatic improvement if you place your plant in a spot that provides medium to bright indirect light. Pothos will do well in low-light areas, but if you want the fastest and fullest growth, make sure your Pothos is in a spot that exposes the entire plant to at least four hours of indirect sun each day. You will find that long vines sometimes find their way under furniture and into dark corners -- that’s fine, but keep in mind that darkness produces smaller leaves.
3. It’s the Climb!
If you want your Pothos’s leaves to get particularly big, invest in a trellis, support, or stake to encourage climbing. In their native environments, Golden Pothos begin as below-canopy plants with smaller leaves, and as they climb their way up trees and gain access to more indirect light, the plant starts developing larger leaves to capture more of the sun’s nutrients. Fun fact: with the right amount of indirect light, the Pothos might develop Monstera-like lobes as they mature!
4. Prune your Plant!
It might seem counter-intuitive, but pruning encourages new growth and, ultimately, a fuller plant because, from each cut, the plant will sprout new growth. Indoor Pothos plants seem to grow throughout the year, so any time is a good time to groom. Just like your regularly scheduled haircut appointments, start a Pothos pruning regimen so you don’t forget!
5. Limit the Water
I said it before, but it’s important, so I’ll say it again: your Pothos hates soggy soil, so let the soil dry out between watering. When it is, in fact, time to water, saturate the entire surface of the soil (not just one spot) and do not stop watering until you start seeing drainage coming through the bottom.
6. Taking Care of Those Bald Spots
If the top of your plant is bald, then use the bobby pin method: use pins to secure long vines to the bare patches. Over time, the vines will root and fill in the head of the plant. You can use floral pins, as well.
Golden Pothos love to be frequently fed, but only in small amounts. I recommend you use a complete ¼-strength liquid fertilizer every time you water your plants when your plant is actively pushing out new foliage. You can also use a top dressing of organic fertilizer of your choice in the spring. It is fine to use a liquid fertilizer if you have top dressed your plant. Tip -- It’s best to water your plants right before you fertilize; the water reduces the chances of burning the leaves and roots.
Golden Pothos Glow
Maintaining a Golden Pothos is simple. In fact, those of us who have neglected our Pothos over a long vacation will go so far as to say that these plants are actually hard to kill. However, if your goal is to have your plant thrive, and not just survive, it doesn’t require much -- just some awareness and a bit of planning. Follow the simple tips above, and you will undoubtedly see big gains with little extra effort!