Golden Pothos is a popular houseplant that’s known for its attractive foliage and easy-to-care-for nature. As the plant grows, it can become quite large, which can be both a blessing and a challenge for plant owners. In this article, we’ll explore the essential growth guide for Golden Pothos, including how big the plant can get, how to encourage healthy growth, and how to care for your plant as it grows.
Golden Pothos Overview
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is a popular, easy-to-grow houseplant. It belongs to the Araceae family and is known by various names, including Devil’s Ivy and Silver Vine. The plant is characterized by its heart-shaped leaves, which are typically 4 to 8 inches in length under indoor conditions.
Originally from tropical regions, Golden Pothos can be found in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In its natural habitat, it grows as an evergreen climbing vine and can reach impressive lengths of 20-40 feet. The plant’s vines can grow at a rate of 12-18 inches per month when healthy, but will not climb walls on their own like ivy or satin pothos without a substrate.
As a houseplant, the Golden Pothos remains relatively smaller in size, with the vines rarely extending more than a couple of dozen feet under ideal conditions. Indoors, the stems of the Pothos plant can grow to an average length of 8-10 feet. You can allow the plant to grow downwards out of hanging baskets or have it climb up a support structure such as a moss pole.
The Golden Pothos is often considered an invasive species in some parts of the United States, given its rapid growth rate and ability to take over surrounding environments. However, when grown indoors and properly maintained, it serves as a beautiful and versatile addition to any home or office space.
In summary, the Golden Pothos is a fast-growing, tropical climbing vine that thrives both in its natural habitat and as an indoor houseplant. While it can achieve substantial lengths in the wild, it remains relatively smaller in size when grown indoors.
Growth and Size
Golden pothos, also known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular houseplant that thrives in various environments. This section will discuss the typical growth patterns of golden pothos when grown indoors and the maximum size they can achieve under ideal conditions.
Typical Indoor Growth
Golden pothos plants are known for their versatility and adaptability, which makes them an excellent choice for indoor planting. When grown indoors, the plants usually stay relatively small, with an average length of about 8-10 feet. They can be grown in several types of pots, including plastic, ceramic, metal, and terra cotta, as long as the pot has proper drainage holes. The pot should be no more than two inches wider and deeper than the plant’s root ball when repotting.
Maximum Size in Ideal Conditions
In the wild, golden pothos can achieve much larger dimensions than when grown indoors. Their stems can reach lengths of up to 30 feet in their natural habitat, and the leaves can grow as large as 39 inches long by 18 inches across. In a forest setting, the leaves can grow 3″x2″ on thick, 50-foot-long vines. It’s important to note that these plants have become an invasive species in some environments and can cause significant ecological damage. As such, it is essential to take care when planting them outdoors or in settings similar to their natural habitat.
Overall, the growth and size of golden pothos plants can vary greatly depending on their environment. When grown indoors, they are relatively modest and manageable, but under ideal conditions or in the wild, they can grow to impressive lengths and cause ecological issues.
Factors Affecting Growth Rate
Golden pothos plants require indirect light to promote healthy growth. Providing the right amount of light is essential for optimal growth and helps the plant reach an average growth rate of 12 inches per month (1). Too much direct sunlight can cause leaf burn, while insufficient light may slow down growth significantly.
Watering and Soil Conditions
For golden pothos, it’s crucial to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can cause root rot, while underwatering may lead to slowed growth (2). The ideal soil pH for pothos is between 6.1 and 6.8, with the plant tolerating a range of conditions from neutral to slightly acidic.
Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity play significant roles in the growth rate of golden pothos plants. These plants thrive in average room temperatures or in temperatures between 70-90°F (1). Lower temperatures and lower humidity levels may result in a slower growth rate, averaging around 3 or 4 inches per month (3).
Fertilization is another vital factor that affects the growth rate of golden pothos. Giving your plant the proper nutrients can help it grow faster and healthier. However, overfertilizing can result in adverse effects like nutrient burn, so it’s crucial to follow the recommended fertilization schedule and product specifications.
Managing and Maintaining Size
Golden pothos can grow quite large, both in leaf size and vine length, especially when given proper care and attention. Keeping your pothos plant manageable is essential for maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your indoor space. In this section, we will discuss pruning techniques, repotting and root care, as well as supporting growth with trellises or stakes.
Regular pruning helps maintain the size of your golden pothos while promoting a fuller, bushier appearance. To prune your pothos effectively, follow these steps:
- Identify the node: Locate the small brown rings on the stem of your pothos plant, also known as nodes. Nodes are the points from which leaves and new shoots grow.
- Cut just above the node: Using a clean, sterilized pair of scissors or pruning shears, cut the vine at a 45-degree angle approximately 1/4 inch above the identified node.
- Repeat as needed: Repeat this process for any vines that are growing too long or out of control.
Remember that pothos plants are resilient and can handle pruning at any time of year (The Indoor Nursery). However, it’s essential to avoid over-pruning, as it can cause the plant to become stressed and may negatively impact its health.
Repotting and Root Care
Golden pothos plants may require repotting as they grow in size. When repotting, choose a pot that is just 1 to 2 inches wider than the current pot, as larger pots can cause the plant to focus on root growth instead of foliage (mindbodygreen). Be sure to loosen the root ball gently, removing any dead or damaged roots, and place the plant in the new pot with fresh, well-draining soil.
Additionally, golden pothos plants prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH between 6.1 and 6.8 (The Spruce). When watering your pothos, let the soil dry out completely in between waterings to prevent root rot.
Supporting Growth with Trellises or Stakes
Providing a support structure can help manage the size and growth of your golden pothos. Two common support systems include:
- Trellises: These latticed structures allow the vines to climb, spreading the growth upwards rather than outwards. You can either purchase a trellis or make one using materials like wood or metal.
- Stakes: Similar to trellises, stakes provide support for the vines to climb up vertically. Sturdy materials like bamboo, wood, or metal are ideal for stakes.
Whether you choose a trellis or stake, train your golden pothos by gently weaving the vines around the support structure or using plant ties to secure the vines in place as they grow. This will encourage your plant to grow in a controlled manner while showcasing its natural beauty.
Common Issues and Troubleshooting
Signs of Overwatering or Underwatering
Golden pothos plants can experience issues from improper watering. Overwatering often leads to yellowing leaves, while underwatering can cause wilted or drooping leaves. To avoid these problems:
- Check the top quarter of the soil for dryness before watering
- Ensure the soil is evenly damp after each watering session
Leaf Discoloration and Remediation
Leaf discoloration in golden pothos can be due to several causes, such as:
- Overwatering leading to yellow leaves
- The natural process of older leaves turning yellow before dying off
- Disease, like Southern Blight or Bacterial Wilt, causing brown, dying leaves
To remedy discolored leaves, follow these steps:
- Prune affected leaves and stems to prevent the issue from spreading
- Adjust watering habits if overwatering or underwatering is the cause
- Inspect your plant for pests such as mealybugs
Remember to give your golden pothos the proper care and monitor any changes in its appearance to keep it healthy and thriving.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.