Top 15 Rare Pothos Varieties: From the Rarest to the Most Expensive Plant Types

This article was originally published at Nature of Home. Check out this rare pothos plants!

We all know and love the common Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum). But did you know that the Pothos genus comes with more than just the Devil’s Ivy’s golden variegation? There are cultivars with white variegation, exciting leaf shapes, and so much more!

What Makes a Rare Pothos?

Rare pothos plants are just like regular plants, but they will have something ‘special’ about them, making them stand out from common pothos varieties. The most obvious example is variegation, but special features can also be in growth patterns, leaf sizes, or leaf shapes.

Many rare houseplants are cultivated in labs nowadays, which means that for some varieties, only limited specimens are available, making them even more valuable. 

Pothos plants will become rare when there is a limited supply available of them. Sellers can ask high prices for rare plants because buyers cannot find the plant elsewhere easily. When plants become expensive, they are almost always seen as a rarity because only a few people can afford one. 

However, when more people get their hands on a plant and start to sell cuttings for lower rates, the value of the plant decreases as the availability rises. This rise and fall in prices mean that plants that were once rare can become very common and affordable over time.

Top 15 Rare Pothos Varieties

1.) Pothos Manjula

This plant is likely not considered rare nowadays. However, it is worth purchasing to expand your Pothos collection. The Pothos Manjula has striking white, cream, and green variegation. 

If you own this stunning plant, give it bright sunlight or grow it under a grow light to help bring out all the beautiful colors in the leaves!

2.) Harlequin Pothos

This hyper-rare variety is similar to the Manjula pothos, but the two have some key differences. Harlequin Pothos grows only white and green variegated leaves, while Manjula’s leaves have a harmony of greens, creams, whites, and even yellow. 

Unless you are a rare houseplant collector or seller, and your goal is to own every Pothos variety on the market, there is no need to spend a lot of extra cash on the Harlequin. Most people cannot tell the difference if you grow the plant in your home!

3.) Cebu Blue Pothos (Epipremnum Pinnatum)

What makes Cebu Blue Pothos so special is the color. As the name suggests, the Cebu Blue Pothos has a faint blue tint to its leaves. The Cebu Blue is a trendy variety among plant collectors. It is fast-growing, relatively low-maintenance, and has a fascinating leaf shape. 

As the plant matures, its leaves will grow splits and holes, similar to a Monstera! You can encourage this plant to mature by letting it grow on a moss pole or totem. You will be surprised at how fast this beautiful plant will grow!

4.) Marble Queen Pothos

The Marble Queen Pothos is a stunning plant that grows large leaves with lots of cream-colored variegation. Due to the large patches of white or cream on the leaves, Marble Queen Pothos does not grow very fast. 

Provide it with bright, indirect light and apply a balanced fertilizer to this plant twice a year to encourage healthy growth, and you will be sure to get the most out of this stunning Pothos. 

5.) Pothos Silvery Ann 

This Pothos truly stands out due to its shimmery, silvery foliage. This variety is often seen as a higher variegated version of the similar Silver Satin Pothos, which often only has specks of silver on its leaves. 

Silvery Ann pothos will make a great addition to any home decor and look stunning when grown as a hanging plant on a plant wall or from a shelf.

6.) Silver Satin Pothos (Scindapsus Pictus)

The Silver Satin Pothos is a classic, which makes it impossible to imagine a houseplant collection without one. The silver specks stand out on this beautiful plant’s dark green leaves and can be grown effortlessly in various conditions.

Whether you have a dark space in your home or want to display this plant in your window, this silver pothos will adapt quickly and produce many stunning vines!

7.) Neon Pothos

Named after their impressive light-green, almost yellow hue, the Neon Pothos will brighten up any location. However, due to the light-colored leaves, you will want to ensure that this plant gets bright, indirect sunlight. It will not grow well in dim locations in your home.

Do not mistake the Neon Pothos for the very similar Neon Philodendron! While they are the same color, you can tell the difference by the leaf shape. Philodendrons have heart-shaped leaves, while Pothos varieties have more elongated and pointy foliage. 

8.) Snow Queen Pothos

Often mistaken for the Marble Queen Pothos, the Snow Queen Pothos is one of the most wide-saught after Pothos cultivars. This plant can be hard to find, as sellers often sell other plants under its name for high rates.

The Snow Queen is so unique because it has highly variegated leaves. Maybe even the most out of all the Pothos varieties! Leaves may sometimes even be completely white with just some specks of green. This plant is an impressive addition to any houseplant collection. 

9.) Global Green Pothos

The Global Green Pothos stands out due to its unique variegation. Rather than white, cream, or yellow, this plant grows leaves with variegation in different shades of green! 

The Global Green is often mistaken for a different type of pothos: the Emerald Pothos. But the difference lies in the shape of the variegation; Global Green Pothos has darker variegation on the outside of the leaves, and Emerald will have darker insides!

10.) Jessenia Pothos

Give Jessenia Pothos bright indirect light exposure to bring out all the beautiful colors this plant has in store! Low light conditions can result in a loss of variegation on the leaves. This plant will happily trail from your ceilings or bookshelves if it gets the needed light.

The leaves show lime-green and yellow stripes in a marbled pattern. You want to see this plant in real life to appreciate its beauty truly!

11.) Pothos N’Joy

Even though this plant is relatively new, the Pothos N Joy is not uncommon in a collectors’ home. This adorable plant grows smaller leaves than your average Pothos, and they have some thrilling variegation. 

The N-Joy Pothos is often mistaken for the Pearls and Jade Pothos. The difference between the two is that the N’Joy has a higher contrast on the leaves. Pearls and Jade Pothos will have shades of green and cream, whereas the N-Joy mainly has dark green and white.

12.) Shangri-la Pothos

Perhaps the most unique and exciting plant on this list! The Shangri-la Pothos is genuinely outstanding, and you only need one look at it to understand why. This stunning cultivar was made in a laboratory in Japan, meaning that there is only a limited supply available of this plant, which adds to its rarity and uniqueness. 

This Pothos will require more attention than most. Give it high humidity and keep the soil slightly moist to encourage healthy leaf growth on your Shangri-La Pothos. 

13.) Baltic Blue Pothos

People will often think Baltic Blue is the same plant as Cebu Blue, and while they are similar, they are not the same. The Baltic Blue tends to grow darker leaves and fenestrate earlier than the Cebu Blue, making it a good option for impatient plant parents. 

The Baltic Blue Pothos is a plant that will thrive when grown as a climber. Offer the plant a moss pole or trellis to encourage leaf maturing and fenestrations. 

14.) Scindapsus Treubii

First, let us admit that this is not a true rare pothos plant. However, it is related to philodendrons and pothos. And it can be rare and is worth considering.

The Scindapsus Treubii has two varieties; dark form and ‘moonlight.’ The dark form has dark-colored leaves that are so deep green that they almost appear black. On the other hand, the moonlight has shiny, silvery leaves that resemble the light of the moon at night.

It goes without saying this is an impressive plant! It’s also very low-maintenance and does not require constant attention like some other rare Pothos varieties. Its easy-care requirements make the Treubii a great plant for friends and loved ones to present as a gift!

 15.) Pothos Skeleton Key (Most Expensive Pothos & Rarest Pothos Variety)

This is the rarest and most expensive Pothos on this list. The Skeleton Key is named after its distinctive leaf shape, resembling a key in the shape of a skull.

The Pothos Skeleton Key has made its way onto many plant collectors’ wishlists over the past few years. But finding it is not easy, and people will often sell cuttings with only two leaves for over sixty dollars!

FAQ About Rare Types of Pothos

What is the Rarest Pothos Type?

The rarest Pothos type is debated and can vary depending on location and availability. However, some of the most highly sought-after and rare Pothos varieties include the Pothos Shangri-la, Pothos Skeleton Key, and Pothos White Ghost. These varieties are known for their unique leaf patterns and difficulty propagating and finding in the market.

Where Can You Find Rare Pothos?

You can find rare Pothos plants both in stores and online. However, ensure you purchase yours from a reputable seller and know what you are looking for! Don’t fall for low prices; if something seems too good to be true, it likely is. 

Pothos Trailing: How To Get Your Pothos To Trail Faster

a pothos plant trailing

Pothos are excellent houseplants. We wanted to share this article by Nature of Home because it teaches you how to get them to trail and look beautiful!

Adding trailing houseplants to your home decor is becoming more and more popular. If you want to create a rustic cottage look in your home, trailing plants are for you! One of the easiest and low-maintenance houseplants to do this with is Pothos. Its fast-growing vines will soon take over your furniture and walls.

But what if your Pothos doesn’t seem to trail, or it’s simply not looking how you want it to? Encouraging your Pothos trailing is effortless once you give it the right care and conditions.

Do Pothos Plants Always Trail?

trailing pothos plants in kitchen

If you’ve ever seen a beautiful, mature Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) in the wild, with massive leaves and stunning variegation,  you will have noticed that it’s almost always climbing up on something; trees, buildings, or even rocks! The Pothos plants grow something called aerial roots, which are small ‘air’ roots used by the plant to attach to surrounding objects and climb up. 

Does that mean we can conclude that Pothos are strictly climbing plants? Not exactly. When there is nothing to climb onto, Pothos will happily trail down. As trailing plants, their vines can reach 40ft in length.

As the plant ages and matures, it will naturally look for something to climb, even when grown indoors. But, if no support is available, it will start to trail down and reward you with fast-growing, long vines. Like the common houseplant Philodendron, Pothos plants can be grown trailing and climbing.

When grown as indoor plants, you will find many different types of Pothos. The most common pothos variety is the yellow-variegated Golden Pothos, also known by its common name: Devil’s Ivy. Other equally beautiful varieties are Neon Pothos, named after its neon green leaves, and Satin Pothos, with specks of silver. Further, you can find Pearls ‘n Jade Pothos with white variegation or Jade Pothos, which is plain and green.

7 Ways: How To Get Pothos to Trail Faster

If your Pothos seems to grow slowly and you want it to start trailing, there are a few ways you can encourage your plant to grow longer vines. 

The most crucial part is that the plant is in good health and gets the right conditions to thrive. Luckily, Pothos care is easy, and promoting healthy growth is as easy as providing the right conditions.

1. Your Pothos Well-Hydrated

watering a pothos plant

To grow and thrive, all plants require ample amounts of water. When you give your Pothos too little water, its leaves may curl, turn yellow, and eventually stop growing

On the other end, overwatering can cause your plant’s roots to rot, leading to death. Maintaining a good watering schedule ensures your Pothos remains healthy and happy. 

Allow the top inch or two of your Pothos’ soil to dry out between watering. Allowing only the top to dry out helps to keep the soil slightly moist but never waterlogged. This way, the roots will always have access to sufficient moisture, but they are never getting suffocated by too much water.

Pots with drainage holes in the bottom will help prevent overwatering your plant. These holes allow any excess water to drain out of the pot, which prevents the roots from sitting in moisture for too long and suffocating. 

2. Give Your Pothos Plenty Of Light

pothos with light shining on a wood table.

You may have heard that Pothos are low-light plants, and while this is partly true, you will always want to ensure that your plants receive enough light to photosynthesize and produce energy.

When you place your Pothos in low light conditions, it will not be able to create enough energy to grow well. This is why you often see low variegation, small new leaves, and leggy stems on Pothos in dark corners.

Too much direct sunlight can cause burnt leaves, so protect your Pothos against harsh direct light.

Giving your Pothos bright indirect light will allow it to grow fast and put out healthy, strong leaves! Additionally, when placed in brightly lit conditions, variegated varieties such as Marble Queen Pothos will have brighter, stronger variegation. 

3. Encourage Trailing With Pruning

showing pothos pruning with scissors

Pruning your houseplants will encourage them to put out new leaves faster and promotes bushier, fuller growth on your plants.

Also, remove dead leaves regularly so the plant won’t waste energy sustaining dead foliage and focus all of its resources on new growth. 

When cutting your Pothos, cut right below a leaf node. A node is the thick, dense part of the stem where aerial roots grow. It’s also where the new leaf will sprout! You can use the cut ends of the trailing vines for propagating!

Simply stick the stem cuttings into a vessel of water and refresh the water once a week. Ensure that at least one node is submerged in water and place the propagation in bright indirect sunlight. Soon, you will see roots growing! 

4. Fertilize Your Pothos As Needed

showing plant growth with pothos fertilizer

Sustaining all leaves, an extensive, big root system, and growing leaves all take a lot of building blocks. Pothos is a plant that doesn’t need much additional feeding, as it can grow very well on minimal nutrients. Naturally, they grow in a poor, nutrient-deficient soil type. 

But at some point, even Pothos can benefit from some extra help. Fertilizing your plant regularly will help ensure it has access to all the essential nutrients it needs to grow and thrive! 

Feed your Pothos once at the beginning of spring to help kickstart the new growing season, then again at the start of summer to give it a little extra push where needed. Use an all-purpose, balanced houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half the recommended strength. 

Avoid fertilizing your Pothos too much. As said above, these plants don’t need a lot of extra food. Overfertilizing your Pothos can result in burnt roots and even kill your plant over time. Make sure to water your plant well before applying fertilizer to reduce the chances of root burn. 

5. Offer Your Pothos Support

pothos climbing a moss pole

Since Pothos are natural climbers, they will often grow faster when given some kind of support. When you give your Pothos something to climb on, it will be encouraged to mature faster, resulting in bigger and stronger leaves. 

You can add support to your Pothos using moss poles or a trellis. Alternatively, you can train your Pothos to climb up your wall using wall hooks or pins. 

6. Protect Your Pothos Against Pests

When your Pothos becomes infested with pests, it will soon stop growing, and leaves may become discolored or deformed. This happens because pests like spider mites or mealybugs (common among Pothos!) feed on the nutrient-rich sap inside of your plants, essentially draining the life out of your plants!

Protect your Pothos from pests by regularly rinsing the leaves, spraying with a neem oil solution, and checking on your plants often. Isolate infested plants immediately and treat the bugs with a pesticide right away. 

7. Most Importantly: Patience!

If you’re doing everything right, but your Pothos doesn’t seem to be trailing well, it may simply not be old enough. As the plant ages and grows bigger and bigger, it will eventually begin trailing.

But don’t worry. Pothos are fast growing, so the wait won’t be too long. During their growing season, they can grow 12 inches of new vines. But know that this will only happen if your Pothos plant grows in the right conditions. 

2 Trailing Pothos Ideas to Display Your Plant

Hanging Basket

pothos plant in a hanging basket

The most common way to display the beautiful vines with heart-shaped leaves of the Pothos plant is by planting them into a hanging basket and hanging them from the ceiling, the wall, or the window. 

Since Pothos is toxic to pets, such as cats and dogs, placing yours in a hanging basket will ensure that it stays safe from the jaws of your furry friends. Always keep toxic or harmful plants out of reach of pets or children. 

Dangling From A Bookshelf

If you’ve got an empty space on your bookshelf, consider adding a trailing Pothos. The trailing vines will look stunning as they drape down from your shelves! A bonus is that houseplants can improve indoor air quality, which can help reduce the scent of musty books over time. 

If your bookshelves hang high, dust will soon collect on your plants, inhibiting the light your plant receives. When you place your plant with your books, please dust the leaves regularly and ensure that your Pothos gets all the light and water it needs.

Top 10 Most Useful Plants for Food, Medicine, and Materials

motherwort plant

We had the share this article by Nature of Home. Plants are amazing and more people need to be aware of their benefits.

What are the most valuable plants you know for food, medicine, and materials? One of the better-known is the Aloe Vera plant. It has incredible medicinal value. However, after someone asked a popular online forum for other examples of useful plants, these are the top-voted choices you probably have yet to hear of.

1. Moringa Oleifera

Moringa Oleifera plant

Moringa Oleifera is a tree with leaves rich in proteins, calcium, iron, and vitamin C. One shared, “They grow so fast and have so many nutrients that I haven’t bought meat in seven months. I prepare the leaves in many ways. 

The leaves are helpful for tea, juice, and cooking. My favorite recipe is fried rice with onion, bell pepper, carrots, eggs, and moringa. They burn easily, so add them last.”

2. Dandelions

dandelion flowers and salve

Many in the thread agreed that dandelions grow anywhere and are helpful in many ways. The leaves are a nice bitter green that gets much less bitter when sauteed like spinach or can be served raw in recipes that call for ingredients like arugula. 

It’s more nutritious than spinach, kale, or other popular greens. You can make syrups, whines, and many other things with flower heads. The heads are an attractive-looking edible garnish. The dandelion flowers and stems have a much more palatable, non-bitter flavor. 

One added, “The roots can be roasted to make a lovely tea, similar to regular black tea but without caffeine. I like to have it at bedtime.”

3. Yuca (Not Yucca)

yuca root

Have you ever heard of Yuca? It’s not just a word that sounds like someone’s name, but a nutty and delicious root vegetable that is a staple in many parts of the world. Native to South America and also found in Asia and parts of Africa, this starchy tuber is a fantastic carbohydrate source many enjoy.

However, there’s often confusion between Yuca and another plant that sounds almost identical: Yucca. Although they share similar names, these two plants are entirely different. Yucca is a spiky plant that’s native to the southeastern United States, and while it does bear edible seeds, flowers, and fruits, it doesn’t have an edible root.

So if you’re ever talking about Yuca, make sure you’re thinking of something other than Yucca. While the names might be confusing, there’s no mistaking the delicious taste of this root vegetable!

Yucca is great for adding more fiber to your diet. One noted, “When I was younger, my mother would soothe our stomach aches and indigestion with small amounts of yuca. Then, she would add some ginger and a small amount of garlic. It did the trick every time.”

4. Stinging Nettle

freshly harvested stinging nettle

Stinging Nettle can be used for so much. It’s super nutritious and great for seasonal allergies. You can add the leaves to soup or even make tea with them. It is also possible to dry the leaves, grind them into powder, and add them to capsules to create supplements.

5. Willow Trees

willow bark tea

Willow trees are some of the most beautiful and helpful trees you can grow. Willow bark contains salicylic acid, which helps with pain, inflammation, stiffness, and even period cramps. Willow bark has been used through the generations for medicinal purposes.

6. Hemp

hemp plant

Hemp is a plant with multiple purposes. You can use it to make clothing, paper, food cultivation tools, and much more. Hemp grows quicker than most plants, and with all of the possibilities, hemp could replace many of our non-renewable materials.

7. Plantain

plantain trees

Plantain fibers are tough and pliable, which allows them to be used in survival situations to make fishing lines, braiding, or sutures. In addition, the leaves are commonly used in salads when young. 

They become tougher as they get older and more prominent, and many countries use them instead of plates. The leaves contain calcium and nutrients. You can also grind plantains into a flour substitute.

8. Cattails


One ecology expert explained, “Cattails are the mother of all materials. While it has nutritious edible tubers, shoots and green flower heads, and pollen, it is often risky to consume them from unknown sources due to human contamination. 

However, they unequivocally shine in their abundance of uses as materials. The roots contain thin, strong fibers that make for very strong cordage. 

The stalk has many benefits in weaving, wattling, and basketry, making it an excellent structural material; pounding and washing away the stalk may also produce fibers for cordage, but doing so is often lossful overall. 

The mature seeds make for a fantastic insulating material for shoes, primitive pillows, and plushes. Finally, the leaves may be used for basketry and weaving. Overall, an amazing plant.”

9. Chestnut Trees

chestnut tree

Chestnut trees are incredible. The wood is perfect for building because it is so strong. In addition, the chestnuts are an abundant food source that often goes overlooked. They are comparable to sweet potatoes with their carb content and are high in protein and fat.

Popular Reading: 10 Beautiful Household Plants That Are Toxic for Cats

10. Bamboo

bamboo tree forest

Finally, many agreed that bamboo might be the most helpful plant on this list. It grows extremely fast and is near impossible to over-forage. 

Bamboo can be turned into tool handles, bows, fishing rods, spears, arrows, farming tools, pipes, containers, building materials, ladders, shelves, rafts, furniture, baskets, and more with minimal effort.

We hope you enjoyed these Reddit recommendations for the most useful plants.

6 Steps: How to Propagate a Pothos Plant

how to propagate pothos plants

Pothos plants are beautiful, easy-to-care-for additions to any home. So if you’re looking for a way to add more greenery to your living space without wasting your time and energy, propagating pothos plants is the answer! 

We’ll show you how to propagate pothos plants so that you can create more plants and enjoy their beauty for many years to come.

Understand the Basics of Pothos Propagation

Propagating pothos plants is a great way to increase the size of your indoor garden with minimal effort. All you need is some cuttings, soil, and water to start.

The first step in propagating pothos is to take cuttings from an existing plant. Choose stems at least 6 inches long with several leaves on them. 

Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, as these will be planted in soil.

Once you have your cuttings ready, fill a pot about 2/3 full with fresh potting soil and start placing the cuttings around the edges of the pot, adding soil as necessary to keep them firmly in place. 

Water the soil, so it’s moist but not soggy, and place it in indirect sunlight or a bright window sill.

Keep an eye on your cuttings for signs of root development over time. When roots begin to form, you can transplant them into individual pots or mix them into other containers with similar-sized plants. 

Make sure to keep the soil moist but not soggy at all times while they’re growing! With a bit of patience and care, propagating pothos plants can be an easy and rewarding experience!

Choose a Healthy Pothos Plant

Choosing a healthy pothos plant for propagation is essential in growing new plants. 

When selecting, it is crucial to look for stems that have at least three leaves and are free from disease or stress. 

Cut the stem just below the roots using a clean and sterile cutting tool. Once you have your healthy cutting, you can propagate it in water or soil. 

Place the cutting into a jar of water for water propagation and wait until roots form. For soil propagation, prepare a pot with houseplant soil mix and insert the cutting so that only two-thirds of it is below the surface of the soil. 

Make sure to keep both methods consistently moist and in indirect sunlight while they root. With enough patience and care, you will soon see your pothos plant start to thrive!

Tip: Use Sharp Pruning Shears

Using a sharp pair of pruning shears is essential. Pruning shears help you shape your plant and keep it neat while allowing you to propagate new plants from the cuttings. 

Pruning shears should be sharp enough to make clean cuts on the stem but not too sharp so that they can damage the leaves or cause any harm to the plant. 

It’s vital to use disinfected pruning shears before each use to ensure that no disease or pests are spread during pruning. More on that is below.

Once you have your supplies ready, trim off any excess vines or stems with your pruning shears, making sure to make clean cuts close to the nodes so you can propagate easily.

Before Starting: Clean Your Tools with Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an essential tool when it comes to cleaning your gardening tools. Not only does it help kill off any fungal spores that may have found their way onto your tools, but it also ensures that you’re not transferring bacteria or other organisms from one plant to another. 

To properly clean your gardening tools with rubbing alcohol, follow these steps:

  1. Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 9 parts clean water in a spray bottle.
  2. Thoroughly spray the blade and handle of each tool with the mixture and let sit for at least 3 minutes.
  3. Wipe down the blades and handles with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any debris or dirt particles that may be present.
  4. Allow the tools to air dry before using them again on plants or pots.

Rubbing alcohol is an excellent choice for cleaning gardening tools because it is non-toxic and has antifungal properties, so you can rest assured that no harm will come to your plants.

1.) Cut Stems at a 45 Degree Angle

Cutting stems at a 45-degree angle is crucial in propagating pothos plants. Using sharp and sanitized scissors, cut the stem just below a node. 

A node is a spot where a stem is connected and looks like tiny bumps on the vine. 

Cutting at an angle will provide more surface area for rooting hormone and water, which will help promote healthy root growth for your new pothos plant cutting. 

When taking cuttings from the parent plant, choose a 3- to a 6-inch-long piece from a healthy portion of the stem. This will help ensure that your new cutting has all the necessary components to thrive and grow.

2.) Place Cuttings in Water Immediately

If you’re looking for an easy and fast way to propagate your pothos plant, cuttings in water is the way to go. This propagation method is simple, fast, and can be done with just a few supplies.

To start:

  1. Gather your supplies. You’ll need a sharp pair of scissors or pruners, an old glass or jelly jar, and some tap water (preferably room temperature).
  2. Once you have these items ready, determine where to make the cut on the main plant.
  3. Make sure it’s a healthy stem with at least two leaves.
  4. Cut the stem below the second set of leaves, ensuring each cutting has at least two leaves attached.

Once you’ve snipped off all your cuttings, fill your jar with water and place them inside, resting them on the side of the jar if needed. 

Place this jar out of direct sunlight and watch as new roots form over time! If you have a heating mat available, it will help speed up root formation for your pothos plant

3.) Change Water Regularly

Water is essential for keeping plants healthy, and it’s essential for pothos plants. Pothos are easy to propagate in water, but they need to have the water changed regularly to stay healthy.

To change the water for your pothos plant, first, gather the supplies you need:

  • A healthy pothos plant.
  • A pair of sterile scissors or gardening shears.
  • Tap water.
  • A small clear container such as a Mason jar or glass vase.

Then, use the scissors or shears to make several one-inch cuts from the main stem of your pothos plant. 

Place these cuttings into the jar with fresh tap water on its side so it can take root properly. Place the jar in a sunny spot and regularly check to add or replace water.

It’s important to remember that you should change out the water every one to two weeks because oxygen does run out of it over time. If you want your pothos cuttings to keep growing and healthy, give them clean, fresh water regularly!

Rooting Hormone May Help

Rooting hormone is a plant growth regulator that helps stimulate root growth in cuttings. This can be an excellent tool for propagating plants, as it can help increase the success rate of cuttings by providing the necessary nutrients and hormones to promote root formation.

 It’s especially beneficial for more difficult-to-propagate plants like pothos, as it can help speed up the process and increase the chance of success. 

The use of rooting hormone is optional for all plants, however. Easy growers like pothos will often root just fine without it. Dip the cutting ends into a powdered or liquid solution to use rooting hormone before planting in a soil medium or water. 

This will provide extra nutrients and hormones that stimulate root formation and ensure your cuttings take off quickly.

Wait for Roots to Grow Long Enough 

Rooting and propagating pothos plants can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. 

All you need to do is wait for the roots of the cuttings to grow long enough before you can transplant them into soil. This process is usually done by keeping the soil moist and waiting for roots to form, which typically takes just a few weeks. 

If your pothos cuttings are not rooting, it may be due to cold water or incorrect season. 

Remember that warmer water is critical for successful propagation, and wait until the roots are at least 2 inches long before transferring your cutting into the soil. 

With patience and care, you will soon have healthy pothos plants growing in no time.

4.) Plant New Cuttings in Potting Soil   

Newly cut pothos plant cuttings can easily be propagated in potting soil. To get started, fill a pot about two-thirds full with a mix of potting soil, coconut coir, and perlite to ensure good drainage. 

Then, remove the first leaf above the cutting’s end and dip it in the rooting hormone for optimal growth. 

Place the cuttings around the edges of the pot and add more soil as needed to keep them standing upright. 

Water thoroughly and place them in an area with bright indirect light for several weeks until new leaves grow on the stems. 

With patience, you’ll soon have beautiful pothos plants that you can enjoy for years!

5.) Place in Bright, Indirect Sunlight                     

Pothos plants need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. If you are growing your plant indoors, the best place to put it is near a window that doesn’t get direct sunlight. 

You can also use artificial lighting if necessary. The important thing is that the light should be bright and indirect.

If you are propagating pothos cuttings in water, you should place them in a container and set them in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid putting the cuttings too close to the light, which could lead to burned foliage.

If your potted cuttings are planted in soil, ensure they receive plenty of bright, indirect light and water them well. 

Monitor the soil’s moisture levels regularly and keep it evenly moist for optimal growth.

6.) Keep Soil Moist, Not Saturated       

Watering your pothos plant is integral to keeping it healthy and thriving. 

Keeping the soil moist but not saturated is key. The best way to achieve this is to water your pothos when the top inch of soil feels dry. 

It’s also a good idea to poke a few holes in the surface of the potting mix so that excess water can drain out and keep air circulating around the roots. 

Use room temperature or slightly warmer water when watering, as cold water can shock and damage the plant’s delicate roots. 

Finally, never let your pothos sit in standing water, as this can cause root rot. Following these simple steps will ensure that your pothos remains healthy.

  – Consider Using Fertilizer for Growth and Color

Fertilizer can be a great way to help your pothos plants grow and produce vibrant colors. 

When using fertilizer to help your pothos plants reach their full potential, it’s essential to use a high-quality liquid fertilizer that is balanced and applied every 2-3 months. 

Don’t forget to keep pests at bay as well! Once your plant’s roots reach two inches long, you can either place them directly into soil or continue to grow them hydroponically. 

Place the cutting near indirect natural light to stay cool and dry. With proper care and feeding, your pothos will soon be thriving.

  – Avoid Direct Sunlight and Drafts

When caring for pothos plants, avoiding direct sunlight and drafts is best. Instead, pothos should be placed in an area with bright, indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. 

Filtered bright light works best for this plant, as the direct, intense sun can cause damage. 

It is also essential to keep the growing medium well aerated and allow the plants to dry out slightly between waterings. 

The ideal spot for a pothos plant is near a window that receives bright indirect light away from cold drafts.


Propagating pothos is a great way to multiply your single plant and have more beautiful plants in your home. 

There are three main methods for propagating pothos: layering, water propagation, and stem cuttings. 

Layering is the simplest method and requires the least amount of effort. All you need to do is choose an offshoot from the mother plant, lower its aerial roots into a pot filled with soil, and then cover them with soil. 

For water propagation, take 3-4 stem cuttings with at least one node each, put them in a glass jar filled halfway with room temperature water, and keep changing it every few days. 

For stem cuttings, snip off stems at a 45-degree angle below the node so that they contain one or two nodes each. Then, place the cuttings in soil or water and wait for roots to appear before transplanting them into separate pots. 

Experiment to find which method suits you best, and you’ll be a pro in no time!


A Horticulture Information article from the Wisconsin Master Gardener website, posted 15 Jan 2007PDF

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) Diseases: Identification and Control in Commercial Greenhouse ProductionPDF

Epipremnum aureum – FL – PDF

How to Propagate Pothos – Beginner Guide – Link

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Care & Propagation Guide + 6 Common Problems 

Rhaphidophora decursiva is a rare houseplant that has been making waves among collectors since 2020. Its glossy, fenestrated leaves can add a veritable touch of exotic elegance to any home. And although it’s difficult to find, this tropical vining plant is just as easy to care for as its more common relatives, like pothos or monstera. 

In this houseplant care guide, we’ll reveal our top tips on how to help this coveted beauty thrive in your home. We’ll also discuss the best way to propagate this rare species and dispel some common misconceptions about it.

1857 Orgin & Ever-Changing Names

Rhaphidophora decursiva is a tropical plant belonging to the Araceae family. It is a climbing vine with glossy green leaves that have a smooth, leathery feel.

What’s truly fascinating about this species is how the leaves change shape as they mature. When the plant is young, the leaves are small and oval-shaped. But when the plant starts using its aerial roots to climb, it will enter its mature form, and the leaves will develop deeply-cut fenestrations that resemble the fronds of a palm tree. 

This aroid is native to the tropical forests of China, India, and Southeast Asia. Rhaphidophora decursiva in the wild a mature plant can grow to an impressive height of 66 feet (20 meters), with split leaves almost 2 feet (60 cm) long. When grown indoors, it usually reaches a height of 7 feet (2.1 meters), with large, monstera-like foliage.  

Scientists first identified this plant in 1857, and since then, they have changed its name several times. R. decursiva was once known as:

  • Monstera decursiva
  • Pothos decursiva
  • Scindapsus decursiva

Today, there still needs to be more clarity surrounding this plant. Due to its foliage and growth habit, it’s often mistaken for a monstera or philodendron species. 

Some sellers list it under the common name of Dragon Tail plant, which is also used for a species of pothos, the Epipremnum pinnatum’ dragon tail’

But whatever you decide to call it, there’s no denying that this trendy indoor plant will make a fantastic addition to your indoor jungle. 

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Care Guide

This unpretentious tropical houseplant can quickly adapt to the average indoor growing conditions. It prefers bright indirect light, well-draining soil, regular feeding, watering, and high humidity if your home can provide it. 

Most importantly, it will require support to climb on to develop mature, fenestrated leaves. So let’s take a closer look. 


Rhaphidophora decursiva needs bright indirect light to thrive. If your home is too dark, the lack of light can cause leggy growth and the leaves to get smaller. However, direct sunlight exposure can burn the plant’s leaves.

Try keeping it in an east or west-facing room, about 2 – 3 feet away from the window. In a south-facing room, you can use sheer curtains to block the intense sun and provide the plant with filtered light.  


The ideal soil mix for this plant should be rich in organic matter, well-draining, and moisture-retentive.

If the soil dries out too fast, this can result in underwatering issues and curling, yellowing leaves. However, if the soil doesn’t have sufficient drainage, it can become waterlogged and can cause problems such as root rot.

You can use a pre-made aroid potting mix or make your own at home. Here’s an excellent soil recipe you can try:

  • 50% peat moss
  • 20% perlite or pumice
  • 20% orchid bark
  • 10% horticultural charcoal.


The Rhaphidophora plant has moderate watering needs. Keep the soil moist, but avoid watering it too often. 

This plant doesn’t like having ‘wet feet,’ and the excess water can cause root rot, which may prove fatal (mushy stems are an indicator).

Water your decursiva when the top 2 inches (5 cm) of the soil feel dry to the touch. Always use the soak-and-drain watering method for this plant. 

This ensures that the soil gets evenly moist, and also helps flush out excess fertilizer salts and minerals. 


This tropical plant grows best in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 82°F (18°C to 28°C). Avoid exposing it to temperatures below 59°F (15°C), as this can stunt its growth and can lead to root damage. 

You can grow it outdoors if you live in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12. In cooler climates, you can keep the plant outside throughout summer, then bring it inside when night-time temperatures drop too low. 


This plant can tolerate average household humidity levels. But if you want to help it thrive, try to increase the humidity levels in your home to at least 60%. The easiest way to achieve this is by using a humidifier or keeping the plant in a naturally more humid room, such as a bathroom. 

If your home has very low humidity, you may notice that the leaves will start curling or develop brown, crispy tips.  


Rhaphidophora decursiva requires regular fertilizer applications to support its fast growth. Feed it with a balanced houseplant fertilizer from early spring until mid-fall. 

A fertilizer with an N-P-K nutrient ratio of 20-20-20 works best for monthly applications. For example, if you’re using a fertilizer with a 10-10-10 ratio, you can apply it once every two weeks.  Micracle-Grow also sells liquid fertilizer that can also be an option.


The Rhaphidophora plant is a natural climber. So also, the only way to help it reach maturity and develop split, fenestrated leaves is to give it something to climb on. 

A sphagnum moss pole would be ideal, but you can also use a coco coir pole or even a simple trellis. 

Pruning & Maintenance

Prune your R. decursiva in spring or summer. Removing the dried or yellowing leaves will maintain its looks and encourage the plant to spend its energy on new growth. 

If the vines are becoming too long, you can trim them down to about half the length and use the cuttings for propagation.

Once every one or two weeks, use a damp cloth or a microfiber glove to wipe the leaves. Dust and grime can block sunlight and clog the stomata in the leaves, reducing the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. 


You will need to repot your plant once every two years. Rhaphidophora has a rapid growth rate and can quickly outgrow its container. 

If you can see the roots come out through the drainage holes, transplant it into a pot that’s two inches wider or one size bigger than its current pot. 

Rhaphidophora Decursiva Propagation Guide

The easiest method for propagating Rhaphidophora plants is rooting stem cuttings in water. This method works best if you use it in spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. 

Here’s our simple step-by-step propagation guide.

  1. Take a pair of sharp scissors and disinfect the blades with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Find a stem that’s at least one foot long, and cut it between two nodes. For best results, use single-node cuttings with one growth node and one leaf. If the cutting has two or more leaves, it will take longer to grow roots. 
  3. Fill a glass or plastic container with water, and put the cutting in it. The water level should cover the node but not the leaf.
  4. Keep the container in a warm, sunny room, away from direct sunlight.
  5. Change the water once every 5 – 7 days. This will prevent algae from growing inside the container and reduce the risk of water-borne diseases leading to stem rot.
  6. The cutting should take between 3 and 6 weeks to grow roots. Wait until the roots are at least 2 inches long (5 cm) before transplanting.
  7. When the roots are long enough, fill a nursery pot with a well-draining potting mix and transplant your cutting.
  8. Water the new plant regularly and monitor its development for the next month to ensure it has successfully transitioned from water to soil.

Alternatively, you can root cuttings in sphagnum moss, perlite, or vermiculite. 

Soil propagation is also an option, but keep in mind that the roots will develop slower. Also, the cutting is more susceptible to stem rot if you use this method. 

Can You Grow Rhaphidophora Decursiva From Seed?

You can grow a Rhaphidophora plant from seeds. However, this propagation method is rarely feasible for indoor gardeners because it requires freshly harvested seeds. 

To be successful, you must wait for your plant to flower, then manually pollinate it. After pollination, your plant will produce small, round berries. Once the berries are ripe, you can remove the seeds from the fruit and plant them as soon as possible. 

The main problem with this propagation method is that R. decursiva rarely flowers indoors. Also, the seeds last only a short time after you harvest them. And once they dry, their germination rate drops dramatically.

As tempting as it is, never buy Rhaphidophora seeds online. Most of them are too old and dry, and they will not sprout after you plant them. 

Common Problems

This low-maintenance plant rarely suffers from any serious problems. However, here are a few things to keep an eye out for.


Common Rhaphidophora decursiva pests include thrips, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. These pests can cause leaf discoloration and stunted growth; in severe cases, they can kill your plant. 

You can use a neem oil solution to prevent severe pest infestations. 

Use an insecticidal soap solution or a mix of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol to treat scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. 

If you’re dealing with thrips, prune the damaged leaves, then spray the plant with a systemic pesticide. 

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves are usually a sign of giving your plant too much or too little water. In severe cases, watering issues can lead to root rot, and leaf discoloration is the first symptom that your plant’s roots are dying.  

Other causes for yellowing leaves include low light, nutrient deficiency, low humidity, and pest infestations.  

Leaves Curling

Curling leaves are a defense mechanism used by the plant to preserve moisture. This could indicate that your plant is thirsty, that the air in your home is too dry, or that the plant is sitting too close to a heating vent.

Leggy Growth 

The main culprit is low light if your R. decursiva has a long stem with no leaves. In a dark room, the plant will spend its energy trying to find a light source, which will result in bare, leggy stems. Move your plant to a brighter location or use a grow light, especially if your home has very little natural light.  

Plant Not Growing

If your plant is not producing any new leaves or stems, it needs more light, nutrients, or a bigger pot. Keep the plant in a room with bright indirect light, fertilize it regularly during the growing season, and repot it in fresh soil at least once every two years.

Growing Smaller Leaves

The amount of light your Rhaphidophora plant receives plays an essential role in leaf shape and size. 

If the new leaves are smaller than the older ones, you need to move your plant to a brighter location. 

Also, consider giving the plant something to climb on. If kept as a hanging plant, R. decursiva will maintain its juvenile shape, and its leaves will get smaller with each passing month. 


Is this plant pet safe?

This plant is toxic to cats and dogs. All parts of the plant contain small, needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals called raphides. They can cause painful skin irritations and, if ingested, can cause swelling of the lips and mouth, difficulty breathing, nausea, excessive drooling, and other gastrointestinal problems. 

Always keep this plant away from pets and small children. 

Is Rhaphidophora Decursiva Rare?

Rhaphidophora decursiva is relatively rare. It became a houseplant sensation in 2020; back then, it was pretty expensive. 

Since 2021, it has become cheaper and easier to find, thanks to tissue culture propagation. But only a few sellers stock it and, depending on where you live, the price for a small plant can range from $15 to more than $60.   

Is it a crawler?

No, it is a species of climbing aroid. You can grow it as a hanging or trailing plant, but to encourage large, fenestrated leaves, it’s best to grow it on a trellis or a moss pole.

Is Rhaphidophora Decursiva a Philodendron?

No. Although some sources call it the Creeping Philodendron, Rhaphidophora decursiva is neither a creeping plant nor a philodendron species. 

Instead, it belongs to the genus Rhaphidophora which, admittedly, does bear some similarities to philodendron and monstera plants regarding leaf shape and growth pattern.

This article was produced by Nature of Home.  

Drought-Tolerant Plants For Every Landscape & Plant Type

drought tolerant plants in a front yard

This article was initially published on We’ve republished it because a part of healing water is reducing the amount of water that is used on landscape irrigation. Drought-tolerant native plants are the key to making this work, along with many other benefits. Plus, they’re beautiful and require less maintenance. Enjoy! I hope it inspires you to plant drought-tolerant plants and help save our water supply.

Drought sounds like a gardener’s worst nightmare. But despite the common association of gardening with watering cans or hoses, many plants can tolerate periods of drought once they are established. 

So many that it would be impossible to survey them all here. Instead, we’ll go over a few of our favorite drought-tolerant plants. Plus, we’ll offer some tips for additional ways to make your plants more drought-tolerant.

A Quick Definition

Before we dig into specific types, let’s start with a quick definition to define the meaning of drought-tolerant plants.

A drought-tolerant plant is any plant that can survive long periods without water. You can identify many of these plants by the appearance of visible characteristics that help them resist drought and harsh sun rays. 

Some plants use a silver leaf color to reflect harsh sun rays. By reflecting sunlight, this foliage reduces the water loss that would otherwise occur via transpiration. 

On other plants, fine hairs protect stems and leaves. These hairs help trap moisture at points of delicate plant tissues. They also function as a physical barrier that limits air movement across the leaves, thus reducing transpiration. 

Succulent leaves and taproots store water, helping plants to tolerate dry spells. 

Drought-Tolerant vs. Drought-Resistant

While preparing your gardens for harsh summer weather, you’ll probably come across the term drought-resistant. Drought-resistant and drought-tolerant do not indicate the same thing, even though people use the terms interchangeably. 

Drought-tolerant plants will survive on minimal rainfall for short periods. Drought-resistant plants can survive without water for long periods. 

You might also come across the term xeriscape or xeriscaping (PDF). These terms refer to a landscaping style that deliberately uses drought-tolerant plants to achieve water conservation goals. 

Similarly, water-wise indicates gardening that incorporates sensible water usage techniques. This strategy and associated gardening practices can also be called a dry garden, dry landscaping, water-smart, water-conservation, and desert landscaping. 

Drought-Tolerant vs. Heat-Tolerant

These two terms reflect often related conditions. However, they don’t refer to the same kind of tolerance. Remember: droughts can occur in the winter as well in the summer. The word drought simply refers to an extended period without moisture. 

Heat tolerance refers to a plant’s ability to endure heat stress rather than water scarcity. (Even under intense heat, heat-tolerant plants can sustain vital leaf gas exchange.) So, while many heat-tolerant plants are also drought-tolerant, the terms should not be regarded as interchangeable. 

Drought-Tolerant Plants For Pots

Potted plants typically require more water than bedded plants because there is less available moisture in the soil. It also means less space for roots to spread, limiting their ability to capture what moisture is available. The soil in pots has a higher temperature than ground soil, meaning it dries out faster. 

Nevertheless, if you want to grow a container garden, you have many options for drought-tolerant plants. Here are a few favorites: 


Blue Marguerite Daisy

Genus Name:Felicia amelloides
Features:Spring & Summer Blooms
Light:Part to Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings and Seed


Genus Name:Lantana
Features:Summer & Fall Blooms
Height:6-12″, 1-3′, 3-8′
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings and Seed

Morning Glory

This flower is a cottage garden classic. Loved for its trumpet-shaped flowers that blossom from summer to fall. Available in a range of colors, some also feature variegated foliage.

Grows well in warmer weather with structures such as trellises, arbors, and fences.

Genus Name:Ipomoea mauritiana
Features:Summer & Fall Blooms
Height:3-8′, 8-20′
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings and Seed


Zinnia is one tough annual and comes in various sizes and colors. Pollinators also love them. Use low-growing Zinnias for landscape or garden borders. And tall varieties for fresh cut flowers. Plus, they are deer-resistant.

Genus Name:Zinnia
Features:Summer & Fall Blooms
Height:3-8′, 1-3′
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings and Seed



Geranium’s often get confused with annuals (genus Pelargonium), but there are more than 300 varieties of perennial Geraniums. So, you can find one that will work with practically any spot in your landscape.

Genus Name:Geranium sp.
Features:Spring Through Fall Blooms
Height:6-12″, 1-3′, 3-8′
Width:6″ – 4′
Light:Shade, Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Division and Seed


Works great as a ground cover or in a container. Features shiny evergreen leaves with blue flowers

Genus Name:Vinca
Features:Spring Through Fall Blooms, Evergreen in Winter
Height:6-12″, 1-3′
Light:Shade, Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings and Division


Salvia is a relative of mint and features long blooms. Available in a range of colors and sizes. Make for excellent drought-tolerant planting that hummingbirds will love (along with pollinators).

Genus Name:Salvia
Features:Spring Through Fall Blooms
Height:1-3′, 3-8′
Light:Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings, Division and Seed



Also known as pot marigolds, the calendula resembles daisies and features great fall blooms. It is also a drought-tolerant edible plant, as you can eat the blossoms.

Genus Name:Calendula
Features:Spring & Fall Blooms
Light:Part Sun, Full Sun


Catmint is easy to grow and versatile. It features deep purple blooms that blossom at the beginning of summer.

Genus Name:Nepeta
Features:Summer & Fall Blooms
Height:6-12″, 1-3′, 3-8′
Light:Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Seed, Division & Stem Cuttings


Lavender will delight with its aromatic oils. For more flavor and scent, choose darker flowers.

Genus Name:Lavandula spp.
Features:Summer Blooms
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Seed & Stem Cuttings


Genus Name:Rosmarinus officinalis
Features:Spring & Summer Blooms
Height:1-3′, 3-8′
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Seed & Stem Cuttings


This is also another drought-tolerant edible plant. Thyme is perfect for adding some additional flavor to food while also adding texture to the landscape. Some people even use thyme as a lawn substitute.

Genus Name:Thymus
Features:Spring Blooms
Height:Less than 6″, 6-12″
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Seed, Layering, Division & Stem Cuttings

Grasses & Ferns

Big Bluestem

When people think of big bluestem grass, they think of vast parries in the midwest. This grass will add color to your landscape year-round.

Genus Name:Andropogon gerardii
Features:Fall & Spring Blooms
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Seed, Division

Foxtail Fern

Genus Name:Asparagus densiflorus
Features:Attracts Birds
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Seed, Division

Maiden Grass

Genus Name:Miscanthus
Features:Summer & Fall Bloom, Colorful
Light:Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Seed, Division

Mondo Grass 

Many gardeners use mondo grass as a drought-resistant turf replacement in shady areas.

Genus Name:Ophiopogon
Features:Summer Bloom
Height:Less than 6″, 6-12″, 1-3′
Light:Shade, Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Seed, Division

If possible, move container plants out of direct sun during periods of extended dryness. Warm soil aids the evaporation process, so shading plants (i.e. keeping soil temperatures down) is an easy way to slow moisture evaporation. 

Glazed or nonporous pots will also help your plants survive droughts by preventing water evaporation through the container. The mass of a substantial pot will also help keep the soil cooler. 

Drought-Tolerant Plants For Beds 

Although the soil in garden beds will dry out less quickly than the soil in pots, you still need to make considerations for drought tolerance. You can move pots to shady positions, but once you’ve planted your beds those plants will have to endure any sun that shines on them. 

In addition to considering the position of your beds, also consider which flowers you plant. For the most part, any drought-tolerant flower you plant in a pot will also survive in a bed. (The same cannot always be said the other way around.) 


California Poppy

Genus Name:Eschscholzia californica
Features:Spring, Summer & Fall Blooms
Width:Up to 12″
Light:Full Sun


Genus Name:Cosmos
Features:Summer & Fall Blooms
Height:1-3′. 3-8′
Light:Full Sun

Sweet Alyssum

Genus Name:Lobularia maritima
Features:Spring, Summer & Fall Blooms
Height:1-6″, 6-12″
Light:Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings, Seed



Genus Name:Echinacea
Features:Summer & Fall Blooms
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Seed, Division

Dusty Miller

Genus Name:Jacobaea maritima
Features: Fall Color
Height:6-12″, 1-3′
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings, Seed


Genus Name:Sedum
Features:Fall & Summer Blooms
Height:1-6″, 6-12″, 1-3′
Width:6″ to many feet
Light:Part Sun, Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cuttings, Seed & Division

You can also plant herbs, grasses, and ferns in beds. Just keep in mind that some herbs (mint comes to mind) will spread prolifically if not contained within a pot. 

Drought-Tolerant Succulents

There is a reason succulents have skyrocketed in house-plant popularity. In addition to their cute and varied appearances, succulents thrive on little water. (In fact, too much water can ‘drown’ your succulent.) 

A quick scroll through an Instagram Influencer’s profile will show you succulents in attractive ceramic pots and elaborate macrame. However, you don’t need to confine your succulents to indoor gardens.

Here are some drought-tolerant succulents that work well as shrubs or ground cover. 



Genus Name:Agave
Features:Summer Blooms
Height:1-3′, 3-8′, 8-20′, 20′ or Larger
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Seed & Division


Below is Aloe vera. Another excellent variety is Aloe Arborescens.

Genus Name:Aloe vera
Features:Drought Tolerant
Light:Full Sun

Jade Plant

Genus Name:Crassula
Features:Spring & Winter Blooms
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cutting

Ground Cover

Lizard’s Tail

They are also known as Crassula muscosa.

Moss Rose

Genus Name:Portulaca spp.
Features:Summer & Fall Blooms
Height:Less Than 6″, 6-12″
Width:Up to 18″
Light:Full Sun
Propagation:Stem Cutting, Seed

Houseleek Sempervivums

In addition to their ability to tolerate dry weather, succulents also offer easy propagation – meaning you can take clippings from your flower beds to create a low-water indoor garden.   

Drought-Tolerant Shrubs

The key to successful shrub cultivation is to select shrubs based on specific growing areas. This selection pertains to your growing zone. But you should also base your decision on the soil quality and exposure of the precise location where you plan to plant your shrubs. (Also, be aware that many drought-tolerant shrubs are invasive plants.) 

Remember, even the most drought-tolerant shrubs require sufficient watering while establishing their root systems. But once they have formed mature root systems, shrubs such as the following will use water efficiently: 

  • Evergreen Shrubs: Adam’s Needle, Eastern Arborvitae, Evergreen Sumac, Juniper
  • Flowering Shrubs: Bougainvillea, Butterfly Bush, Cistus, Forsythia, Lilac

Popular Mediterranean herbs rosemary and lavender will grow to shrub size if given adequate room. When not contained by a pot, lavender can grow over two feet tall and four feet wide. At maturity, certain types of rosemary can reach a height of up to six feet and a spread of eight feet. So don’t be afraid to release these herbs from their pots!

Drought-Tolerant Trees

When correctly selected, trees are an excellent addition to a drought-tolerant garden. Once established in the ground, they will require watering much less frequently than a potted perennial. 

Choosing native trees will ensure that these new additions to your backyard are already suited to your region’s soil and climate. 

Also, look for small-leafed trees over large-leafed trees as smaller leaves aid trees in more efficient water usage. 

Here are a few favorites: 

  • Deciduous: Bald Cypress, Hackberry, Hickory, Oak, Paperbark Maple
  • Evergreen: Holly, Shortleaf Pine, Snow Gum, Virginia Pine

Generally, thin leaves allow evergreen trees to tolerate drought better than deciduous trees. However, this is not always the case, so check local recommendations before purchasing enough pines to form a small Christmas tree farm. 

How to Help Your Plants Survive With Minimal Water

Now that you’ve planted drought-tolerant plants, check out these additional tips for maintaining a garden with minimal water: 

  • Apply mulch to help keep the soil cool. A two- to three-inch layer on the soil’s surface will protect the roots of your plants from harsh sunlight and help the surrounding soil retain moisture. Mulch also prevents soil crusting. This prevention is a crucial benefit as soil crusting reduces water’s ability to penetrate soil down to the root system. Unlike sand or clay soils which reflect light and heat back up to surrounding plants, dark mulch with an uneven surface will limit reflectivity.  
  • Use organic matter to improve moisture availability (as well as soil drainage). Add organic matter to the soil before you plant drought-tolerant plants. 
  • Avoid fertilizer. Adding fertilizer to your soil will encourage plants to grow rapidly. This excess growth will require extra watering to prevent it from flopping in summer. It will also be more susceptible to frost in cold months. 
  • Plant small specimens early in the growing season. This advanced planting will allow your plants to acclimate to their environment over time. This gradual development will give them a better chance at defense when harsh conditions occur.
  • Weed your borders, beds, or pots. Although weeding by hand can be a literal chore, weeds suck up precious moisture (and nutrients) from your cultivated plants.
  • Shade plants that are more vulnerable to drought conditions. When planning your garden layout, try to place drought-tolerant plants in areas that receive the most sun and exposure.
  • Prune sparingly during a drought. (Pruning can encourage growth, requiring additional water usage.)

Additionally, try conserving rainwater. For those gardeners who are really dedicated to water conservation, keep a bucket near the shower to collect water as you wait for your shower to heat up. 

Top Tip: Avoid the temptation to water your lawn as this will consume huge amounts of water. If your lawn is established, its root system will help it survive droughts. Even grass that has turned yellow or brown will recover upon the next rainfall. 

Prioritize Your Watering 

Climate change is making droughts and record-breaking heat more common. To curb water usage during drive spells, some municipalities impose water-hose bans, mandatory water rationing, or water-wise landscaping incentives. 

Whether you want to maintain your garden within these limitations or just want to lower your home’s water bill, try to prioritize which plants you water (and how you water them). 

Especially if you water your garden with a hose, it can be tempting to water your garden indiscriminately. However, not all plants require the same amount of water. Creating a summer watering plan is another way to reduce water usage during hot months. 

Hint: The occasional thorough watering is more beneficial than a more frequent but less-thorough watering. 

Here’s a quick rundown of how often you should water certain plants during a drought: 

  • Once a Day: seedings, young plants, cuttings, anything not yet established
  • Once a Week: shallow-rooted plants 
  • Once Every Two Weeks: shallow-rooted shrubs
  • Do Not Water: mature shrubs, hedges, trees, lawns

Try to narrow your irrigation system so that you only water areas that require moisture. Sprinkler systems might be easier to use than a watering can, but they are highly inefficient – especially when compared to drip irrigation systems. 

If possible, water your plants in the early morning. This time will allow water to travel down to the roots before the sun heats the soil, hydrating them before the heat of the day. 

Particularly when using water sparingly, water plants at the base so that it will travel to the roots. Watering plants at the leaves will encourage evaporation before the water even reaches the roots. 


The video below will show you 50 more drought-tolerant landscaping ideas:

When In Doubt, Survive Drought By Keeping It Local

Selecting plants that are well-suited to your garden’s growing conditions is one of the best ways to make your garden more environmentally beneficial. Not only do native plants help the local ecosystem thrive, but they also tend to be drought-tolerant. 

Want to cultivate an attractive garden while also conserving water? Contact local universities or garden centers to learn about drought-tolerant plants native to your region.