How To Grow Golden pothos, Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum aureum) In Your Garden

What is Epipremnum aureum?

Epipremnum aureum is more commonly known as Devil's Ivy, Golden Pothos, or Devil's Vine.

It is a perennial plant that is great for growing indoors, or as an outdoor ground cover.

It has dark green, slightly heart-shaped glossy leaves. These have veins of a lighter shade of green streaked through.

'Marble Queen' pothos cultivar photograph by spurekar; CC.

The vines can be long and trailing, sometimes growing up to 40 feet (12 m) or more in length. This makes it a great option for a hanging planter. The vines make good climbers. A trellis support system will promote upward growth and help produce abundant leaves.

Plants grown as houseplants in containers are typically restricted to Juvenile stage growth, and so often only reach about 20 cm (8 inches) in height; dependent on pot size and growing conditions.

Another bonus is that this plant does not have any serious pest or disease issues. This means that it will likely continue to grow and thrive without problems in the leaves.

Epipremnum aureum plants will occasionally produce flowers. These can be yellow, green, or purple in color.

'Neon' Pothos cultivar picture by Dan Jones; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Epipremnum aureum

Epipremnum aureum can do well in nearly any type of light. Indoors, it does best in medium, filtered light, and can survive for a long time in very low levels of light as well.

The plant prefers a humid environment. If growing in a greenhouse is not an option, then the frequent misting of leaves with a spray bottle and maintaining a damp soil is essential for best results.

Ensure that there is good drainage in the planter as well.

To aid in keeping Devil's Ivy Houseplants healthy, leaves should be wiped down occasionally with a damp, gentle cloth. This helps to remove any build-up of dirt and dust.

Quick Growing and Care Guide

Scientific Name: Epipremnum aureum. Synonyms: Pothos aureus, Epipremnum mooreense, Rhaphidophora aurea, Scindapsus aureus.

Common Name (s): Devil's Ivy, Devil's Vine, Golden Pothos, Ceylon creeper, Money plant, Taro vine, Ivy Arum, Pothus, Marble Queen,

Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): USDA Zones 10 to 12; Europe and UK H1b – This makes it winter hardy to about 10°C (50°F).

Best Used For / Garden Location: Houseplant. Ground coverage. Wall side borders.

Plant Details

Life Cycle / Plant Type: Evergreen. Climber.

Plant Height: 12 to 60 feet (4 to 18 m) if allowed to climb outdoors in a tropical environment. Plants should take about 10 years to reach their full height.

Trailing variegated Epipremnum aureum image by Francis Chung; CC.

Plant Spread: 3 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 m).

Blooms: Plants do not naturally bloom due to a mutation in the flowering-time pathway.

Flower Details: Produces long Spathe if induced by application of gibberellic acid. Nine inches (18 cm). Will not naturally produce a flower.

Leaf Foliage: Large Cordate to ovate green leaves. Becomes pinnate when mature. Glossy. Often variegated or spotted with white, silver, yellow, lighter green, or cream markings.

Fruit: Showy orange to red berries on the spadix.

Growing Conditions and Location

Best Light Conditions: Medium light. Dappled. Avoid direct sunlight for best results. Tolerates low light conditions.

Suitable Soil Types: Well drained. Fertile.

Soil Moisture: Medium.

Sowing, planting, and Propagation: Easily rooted in water or soil. Usually propagated from leaf buds or stem tip cuttings in spring or autumn. Alternatively, they can be propagated through the layering of young shoots.

Care: Enjoys a humid environment, so mist leaves to help recreate this. Allow soil to dry out between waterings. Grow in a sheltered location. Use a trellis or grow next to a tree as a climber.

Growing in pots and containers: Yes, makes a great house plant. Use a potting medium. Prefers a well-lit environment. Avoid direct sunlight. Dry out between waterings. Overwatering may lead to root rot. Supply a water mist to aid humidity.

Fertilize every two months during the growing season; no need to fertilize in winter when dormant. Keep dust free through wiping leaves.

Maintain a bushy habit through pruning. Repot into same size containers in the spring – to maintain a small size.

Further Information

Miscellaneous: Very easy to look after houseplant, even if neglected. Leaves will even keep their green color if they are left in darkness.

Plant naturally climbs by attaching its aerial rootlets around tree trunks.

Generally pest free, though Algal leaf spot can occur. Plant has anti-pollutant properties.

Cultivars: 'Marble Queen', has highly variegated moss green leaves that are streaked with white. 'Golden Pothos', Yellow leaves, variegated. 'Jessenia', slow growing, variegated form. 'Manjula', roundish leaves, in a variety of colors, often with cream or silver mid sections. 'Neon', wonderful greenish-yellow (chartreuse) leaves, which can also be variegated. 'Jade'. Dark green leaves.

Golden Pothos / Devil's Ivy photograph by Dinesh Valke; CC.

Family: Araceae, the Arum plant family

Native: French Polynesia. Naturalised in many tropical countries.

References and Further Reading: NC State Extension Toolbox Epipremnum aureum; Teak and Terracotta Pothos Propagation Guide; Flowering in Golden Pothos.

Common Questions

How do I get Giant Golden Pothos Leaves?

Larger leaves are found in Golden Pothos plants that have been allowed to climb towards the sun. You may also be interested in growing the Hawaiian Pothos variety, as these natuarlly have bigger leaves (up to 12 inches (30 cm) across) that are twice the size of a normal Golden pothos plant.

How Do I Propagate Golden Pothos?

Golden Pothos is readily propagated. Cut off a stem that has a few leaves and nodes. Trim off leaves from the bottommost nodes. Place in water, so that the nodes are submerged, but the leaves are in the air.

After a couple of months roots should emerge from the nodes. Once strong root growth has established, transplant then into a pot containing a potting mix. Pothos plants can also be propagated into soil or Sphagnum moss, or through layering.

Cultivating Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum plant) in water, photograph by 哔肖哔嘤; CC.

When to Plant Epipremnum aureum? When do they Bloom?

They are usually grown from cuttings in spring or autumn. They will not bloom, unless stimulated with an application of an exogenous plant hormone (GAs).

Is Golden Pothos poisonous?

Yes, this plant is considered to have a medium poison severity as it contains oxalates in its sap, roots, and leaves (and also in the seldom seen flowers, fruits, and seeds). These consist of tiny and sharp calcium oxalate crystals that burn the mouth and cause swelling if ingested. This may make them a problematic plant if you have pets, though the plant defence mechanisms should usually make a cat or dog think twice before contemplating eating a Golden Pothas plant.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Epipremnum aureum. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Arum italicum, Anthurium andreaanum, Angel wings, and Dracunculus plants.