Devils Ivy vs Pothos: Unraveling the Intricate Differences

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Please note that while we always strive to provide 100% up to date and accurate information, there is always the small possibility of error. Therefore, we advise conducting further research and due diligence before consuming any plants or exposing pets to anything mentioned on this site. Kindly refer to the full disclaimer for more details here.

Devil’s Ivy and Pothos are two popular indoor plants that are often confused with each other due to their similar appearance. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two plants and help you identify which one you have or which one you would like to add to your collection.

Devil’s Ivy and Pothos Overview

Botanical Classification

Devil’s Ivy and Pothos are often referred to as the same plant, although they have subtle differences. Devil’s Ivy typically denotes Golden Pothos, while Pothos may encompass other Epipremnum plants. Both plants belong to the Epipremnum aureum species, within the Araceae family.

These popular indoor plants are low-maintenance and easy to grow, making them a popular choice for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. They have similar care requirements and can be propagated by cuttings, further adding to their appeal as houseplants.

Physical Characteristics

Both Devil’s Ivy and Pothos are known for their heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines. They are desired for their glossy, green or variegated leaves that cascade beautifully, making them well-suited for hanging baskets and decorative displays.

Devil’s Ivy and Pothos can adapt well to low-light conditions, with Philodendrons tolerating even lower light levels more readily than Pothos. As for temperature preferences, Pothos plants tend to prefer slightly higher temperatures than Philodendrons.

The length of these trailing, climbing vines varies greatly depending on their growing conditions. They can grow 6 to 8 feet as a horizontal groundcover but may produce vines as long as 40 feet when allowed to climb and spread freely.

Due to their resilience and toughness, Pothos plants have been nicknamed “Devil’s Ivy” – a testament to how difficult it is to kill them, even when neglected or exposed to challenging growth conditions.

Cultivation and Care

Both Devil’s Ivy and Pothos are popular, low-maintenance indoor plants known for their adaptability to various growing conditions. This section will provide essential tips and guidance on cultivating and caring for these plants, focusing on light requirements, watering, soil, and temperature and humidity.

Light Requirements

Devil’s Ivy and Pothos thrive in a range of light environments. They can grow well in bright, indirect light but are also capable of adapting to low-light conditions, making them suitable for placement in various locations within a home or office space. However, it is essential to avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves and damage the plant.


Both plants enjoy moderate watering, with the soil allowed to dry out somewhat between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s crucial to ensure that the plants are not sitting in standing water. A simple way to determine whether it’s time to water your Devil’s Ivy or Pothos is to insert your finger approximately two inches into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water.


Devil’s Ivy and Pothos prefer well-draining soil to prevent the roots from sitting in water. Using a high-quality potting mix, enriched with organic matter and a blend of perlite or coarse sand, can help to provide the appropriate drainage and support for these plants.

Temperature and Humidity

These plants are highly adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of indoor temperatures. However, they thrive best in temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). It’s essential to avoid exposing them to extreme temperature fluctuations, such as drafts or direct heat from radiators or air conditioning vents. As for humidity, Devil’s Ivy and Pothos can survive in average household humidity levels, although they appreciate higher humidity if provided.

Propagation Techniques

Propagation is an essential aspect of growing and multiplying houseplants for both beginners and experienced gardeners. In the case of Devil’s Ivy and Pothos, propagation can be carried out using two primary methods: stem cuttings and water propagation. Understanding these techniques will enable you to propagate your plants effectively and efficiently.

Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings consist of taking a portion of the plant’s stem, which includes a leaf node, and planting it in soil or water. It’s vital to cut just below the root node, resulting in a 4-inch (10 cm) stem cutting (source).

When propagating in soil, use a well-draining soil mixture and plant the cuttings in a small pot with drainage holes (source). Water the freshly potted plant and place it in a location with bright, indirect light. Keep the soil evenly moist for the first one to two weeks, allowing the roots to acclimate to the soil.

Water Propagation

Water propagation involves placing the stem cuttings in water rather than soil (source). To begin, fill a container with clean water and insert the stem cuttings, ensuring that the root nodes are submerged. Place the container in a spot with bright, indirect light and change the water every few days to maintain cleanliness and avoid bacterial growth.

Once roots have established in the water, you may transfer the cuttings to a pot with well-draining soil if desired. This process can take several weeks, but it allows you to observe root development and ensures the propagation success before planting in soil.

Common Problems and Solutions


Both Devil’s Ivy and Pothos plants may occasionally experience issues with pests. Common pests affecting these plants include mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. To prevent the infestation, it’s crucial to inspect the plants regularly and keep the foliage clean. If you notice any pests, you can try wiping the affected leaves with a damp cloth or use an insecticidal soap to combat the infestation (source).


Devil’s Ivy and Pothos plants are generally disease-resistant, but they can still be susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections. Overwatering or inadequate air circulation can lead to root rot, cutting off the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and water (source).

To prevent diseases in your plants, ensure that you are using a well-draining soil mix and avoid overwatering. Additionally, providing adequate air circulation around the plants can minimize the risk of infections. If you notice any diseased leaves or stems, remove them immediately to prevent the spread of infection (source).

Cultural Problems

Some common cultural problems that might affect Devil’s Ivy and Pothos include leaf yellowing, wilting, and slow growth. These issues are often related to improper care, such as insufficient light, inconsistent watering, or inadequate nutrients (source).

Here are some solutions to these issues:

  • Insufficient Light: Ensure your plant is placed in an area that receives bright, indirect light. If natural light is not sufficient, consider using artificial lighting sources, such as fluorescent lights or LED lamps (source).
  • Inconsistent Watering: Maintain a regular watering schedule, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other issues (source).
  • Inadequate Nutrients: Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Do not fertilize during the winter months, as this can lead to excessive salt buildup in the soil (source).

Benefits and Uses

Air Purification

One of the key benefits of both Devil’s Ivy and Pothos plants is their ability to purify the air in your home or office. These plants are known for their ability to remove toxins like formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene from the air, which can help create a healthier environment. This makes them an excellent choice for those with allergies or sensitivity to air pollution. Furthermore, having these plants indoors may even contribute to a better overall mood and well-being. (source)

Aesthetic Appeal

Both Devil’s Ivy and Pothos plants have a beautiful, trailing growth habit that adds a touch of natural beauty to any space. Their attractive heart-shaped leaves come in a variety of colors, including green, white, and yellow, depending on the specific variety. (source)

These plants are versatile and can be displayed in multiple ways, such as hanging from baskets or placed on shelves, adding a lively ambiance to your interior. Their low maintenance and adaptability to different light conditions also make them a perfect choice for both experienced and beginner plant enthusiasts. (source)

In summary, Devil’s Ivy and Pothos plants offer numerous benefits and uses for homeowners and plant enthusiasts alike. Their air-purifying capabilities and aesthetic appeal make them valuable additions to any indoor space, promoting a healthier and more visually appealing environment.

Helpful Video