Pothos - How to care for and grow your potos
HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The genre Scindapsus (or as it is commonly called pothos) includes nice evergreen, climbing plants that can be raised in hanging baskets to brighten up our homes.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Scindapsus (or Epipremnun), better known as pothosor potos, belongs to the family of Araceaeand is native to the Solomon Islands. It includes evergreen species and varieties, much appreciated above all for their ease of cultivation.
The pothos are climbing plants that can be grown both as hanging plants and as climbers if equipped with an appropriate stake.
The pothos they are provided with aerial roots that develop at the nodes of the stems, leaves of a beautiful intense green color, leathery, shiny with thick white, yellow or silver streaks.
They are climbing plants that can grow for several meters both in height and in length. If you want to develop them in height, it is good to arrange an author or you can leave the plant hanging from a suspended basket
There are about 40 species of Scindapsus (pothos) among which we remember:
SCINDAPSUS AUREUS (POTHOS AUREUS or EPIPREMNUN AUREUM)
The Scindapsus aureus it has glossy, oval, dark green leaves with yellow streaks. It is equipped with fleshy aerial roots with which it climbs on the host plant. In the wild the plant of Scindapsus aureus it also reaches six meters in height while at home it does not grow over one and a half meters.
It has very small flowers but rarely blooms indoors. There are numerous varieties that differ from each other in the different mottling of the leaves. It can be grown either as a hanging plant or wrapped in a stake.
SCINDAPSUS PICTUS (SCINDAPSUS ARGYRAEA or POTHOS ARGYRAEUS or EPIPREMNUN PICTUM)
The Scindapsus pictus it is native to Borneo and Java is a climber with stems up to two and a half meters long which are green when young but which become reddish with adulthood.
The leaves are pointed and dull green when young which subsequently take on a bluish hue with silvery whitish streaks.
Pothos are plants that easily adapt to all environments. They do not have particular climatic requirements so that temperatures can oscillate between 13 and 27 ° C. However, they fear cold drafts from which they must be carefully protected, especially during the cold season.
They love the light that favors the variegation of the leaves but not the direct rays of the sun. Low light will cause the leaves to lose mottling.
To clean the leaves of the pothos be careful to take showers periodically. The simplest way is to place the plant inside the bathtub and fold it so that the water does not reach the ground, clean the leaves with the shower cleaner and then let the leaves drain and dry.
In the spring - summer period, the pothos it should be watered abundantly, however, being careful to wait for the soil to dry before the next irrigation. In the autumn / winter period the same rule is followed.
It is good practice to provide moisture to the plant with frequent nebulisation of the foliage with water at room temperature (three to four times a week in the summer) and always in the morning, to avoid that the drops of water, concentrating the sunlight, cause burns . In the winter period they should be reduced in proportion to the temperature.
To ensure a good humidity of the environment in which the potossi plant is located, you can place the pot on a saucer where you will have placed some expanded clay where there will be a constant stream of water which evaporating will guarantee a humid environment for your pothos. Be careful that the vase is not in direct contact with water.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The pothos is repotted every year in March - April without however exceeding the size of the pot because in this way the plant would favor the development of the root system at the expense of the aerial one. Generally, repotting is carried out when the earth begins to be insufficient in relation to the development of the roots, that is when the latter begin to come out of the pot.
An acid reaction compost is used consisting of two parts of peat and a fine sand or of a mixture of soil of leaves, peat and fine sand in equal parts.
On the bottom of the pot (which I always recommend to be made of terracotta and not plastic to favor the breathing of the earth) place a drainage layer or shards or expanded clay.If you intend to grow the pothos in height and not bushy, it is at the moment of repotting a mossy or other type of stake is placed.
It is preferable to fertilize the pothos once a month with liquid fertilizers diluted in the watering water.
As for the type of fertilizer to be administered, there are many types on the market but it is a good idea to read the label that specifies the composition.
For all green plants, that is to say for those plants that develop many leaves, it is preferable to use fertilizers that have a fairly high nitrogen content (N) which favors the development of the green parts. Therefore, make sure that in addition to having macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and that among these nitrogen is in greater quantity than it also has microelements, that is to say those compounds that the plant needs in minimum quantities (but still needs it) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo ), all important for the growth of the plant.
Slightly reduce the doses compared to what is indicated on the package.
In the apartment the pothos it does not bloom.
Usually the plant is not pruned but the topping of the vegetative apexes in the months of May and June can be carried out if you want to have a compact and bushy development.
The potos can be reproduced through stem cuttings (rooted in earth or water) or by division of the plant.
MULTIPLICATION FOR THIS EARTH-ROOTED STEM
Towards March - April, the tops of the 15 to 20 cm long stems are removed by cutting them with a sharp knife to prevent fraying of the tissues, cleaned and disinfected.The two lower leaves are removed and the base of the cut stem is treated, with hormones that they favor rooting (they can be found by a good nurseryman) and are buried in a compost made up of two parts of peat and one of fine sand.
The potos cutting is inserted up to the height of the cut leaves, supporting it with a wire and gently compacting the earth around
The pot is placed in a not too bright area and where it is possible to have a constant temperature of about 21 ° C. The jar (maximum diameter 7 cm) is closed with transparent plastic to guarantee heat and humidity. Use sticks that you place in the soil to keep the plastic away from the cutting.
Every day open the casing and check the degree of humidity of the soil and make a way that it is always humid and eliminate any When new sprouts of potos begin to appear, it means that the cutting has rooted at that point, transplant it into a compost as indicated for adult plants and treat it as such.
MULTIPLICATION BY WATER-ROOTED DRUM
The pothos also roots well in water. Take an apical cutting of the stem and place it in a container full of water. When the cutting is well rooted, gently repot it in a small pot with the soil suitable for adult plants.
MULTIPLICATION BY DIVISION OF THE PLANT
Another way to multiply the pothos is to divide the roots with the relative stems at the time of repotting. With the help of a sharp, clean and disinfected knife, the plant is divided into two or more portions depending on its size, then the individual portions are repotted as if they were single adult plants.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
Leaves with brown spots followed by yellowing and leaf fall
It means that the plant has been subjected to drafts, or to too low temperatures or has been excessively irrigated.
Remedies: the affected leaves are removed, the potos plant is moved to a warmer place and irrigation is reduced.
Stem that rots near the ground
It means that the potos plant receives too much water.
Remedies: remove the damaged parts, let the soil dry out after having adjusted the irrigations accordingly.
Leaves with loss of mottling
If the leaves show this symptom and turn completely green, it means that the lighting is poor.
Remedies: you need to move the plant to a brighter place (not direct sun).
Leaves starting to turn yellow, appear mottled with yellow and brown
If the leaves begin to turn yellow and after these manifestations are crumpled, they take on an almost dusty appearance and fall. You can also notice some thin cobwebs especially on the underside of the leaves. With these symptoms we are probably in the presence of an attack of red spider, a very annoying mite.
Remedies: increase the nebulizations to the foliage as the lack of humidity favors their development, and possibly, only in the case of serious infestations, use a specific insecticide. If the plant is not very large, you can also try cleaning the leaves to mechanically eliminate the pest using a soapy cotton ball. After that rinse the potos very well to get rid of the soap.
The name of the genus Scindapsus comes from the Greek skindapsos "Unidentified" to indicate a species with a bearing similar to ivy but which was not ivy.
The name commonly given to these pothos plants in the past is actually wrong as it refers to plants that are no longer cultivated. By now, however, this name identifies them therefore flower growers continue to adopt this terminology.