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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.