Money plants are not just ideal for indoor and outdoor gardens but also improve the quality of air

Leaves don’t usually attract the same kind of admiration as the flowers due to their seemingly monochromatic appearance. It is another matter that foliage comes in as much variation not only in colour, but also in shape and size. Pothos, widely known as the ‘money-plant’, however, arrests the onlooker’s attention solely by its leaves— bright, big, curvy and colourful.

Pothos, a favourite house plant worldwide, is an easy-to-take-care-of shrub with ornamental-foliage, native to Southeast Asia and commonly called Epipremnum aureum Pothos aureusScindapsus aureus Money Plant, Devil’s Ivy and Golden Pothos.

Besides its ornamental value indoors, Pothos is one of the most effective plants to improve indoor air quality by removing certain gaseous toxins like formaldehyde.

Features

Pothos grows vigorously and can reach varying heights and has aerial roots at internodes that can hook onto tree branches as it climbs. It spreads on ground rapidly and densely covering a wide area. Colours, variegation and sizes of foliage depend on the cultivars, lighting conditions and other cultural factors.

Young plants feature bright, waxy, heart-shaped leaves (up to 4 inches long) where large mature vines display much bigger leaves (up to 3 feet long). Flowers and berries rarely appear on indoor plants. All parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested.

If grown on ground and unrestricted, this woody climber can grow quickly up the trunks of huge trees by attaching its aerial roots to their surfaces, reaching 50-60 feet tall and producing gigantic mature leaves. The higher it climbs, the larger the top leaves are. However, as a container plant it has restrained growth.

Pothos is a multipurpose garden plant that can be easily grown in containers, as ground cover, as climbing vine in the landscape, in hanging baskets or in a jar or vase in water. It grows quickly up the tree trunks. When not allowed to climb, it rapidly conceals the ground with a dense cover of its bright foliage. Because of its tolerance to low-light conditions, this easy-growing and hardy plant is an excellent indoor variety, used in homes, offices, and public places.

Outdoors, Pothos, with its sprawling habit, is most suitable as a groundcover in garden-beds and borders, or grown in above-ground planters or small to large containers raised on a pedestal for a cascading effect. It can also be trained as a climber on walls, trellis, poles, fences and trees.

Care

Being robust and hardy, Pothos is one of the easiest plants to grow. It requires little care and withstands neglect. It grows best in humus or organic-enriched fertile potting-mix that holds moisture, yet well-drained and well-aerated. It is not susceptible to diseases of major concern.

The plants require bright diffuse light or partially sunny locations with protection from afternoon sun. Under bright light or filtered sunlight they attain the best leaf coloration and growth. They shall be regularly watered during dry periods. Keep soil consistently moist during the growing season, but reduce watering during winter. Frequent trimming is required to control growth and maintain shape.

Growing in water

Instead of using soil-mix, Pothos can be grown in water. They root readily from cuttings placed in water and grow well as long as they are positioned in bright light.

Addition of liquid fertilizer will boost the growth and health of the leaves.

Periodically the water shall be changed and the vase or jar rinsed to remove the algae formation.

(The author is a forest officer and can be contacted at: nchandramohanreddy@gmail.com)

Keywords: money plantsgardens