Is Epipremnum Pinnatum a Pothos? Unraveling the Mystery

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Epipremnum pinnatum is a plant species that’s closely related to the pothos plant and often confused for one. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between Epipremnum pinnatum and pothos to help you identify and care for these plants.

Epipremnum Pinnatum Overview

Botanical Description

Epipremnum pinnatum is a species of flowering plant in the Araceae family. The plant’s leaves are shiny and green, and its foliage varies depending on its environment, age, and variety1. As the plant matures, it develops vines that require support, such as trellises or fences2. An interesting feature of Epipremnum pinnatum is that its leaves develop holes as the plant grows older3.

Common Names

There are several common names for Epipremnum pinnatum, including centipede tongavine and dragon-tail plant4. In the Philippines, it is known as “tibatib”4. The plant is also referred to as pothos, devil’s ivy, golden pothos, or hunter’s rove, especially in North America1.

Origin and Distribution

Epipremnum pinnatum has a broad native Old World distribution4. Its origins can be traced back primarily to Asia and Australia5. The plant is particularly popular in the Philippines and North America. It is often confused with Rhaphidophora Decursiva, another similar-looking species in the Arum/Araceae family5.

Comparing Epipremnum Pinnatum with Pothos


Epipremnum pinnatum and Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) are both tropical vines with striking foliage, making them popular choices for houseplants. They both hail from the same Epipremnum genus, sharing similarities in their growth habits and care requirements. Both plants can easily be grown indoors, with their versatile vines trailing or climbing, depending on the owner’s preference. Their care is similar, as they both thrive in indirect light, moderate humidity, and well-draining soil.


Despite their similarities, Epipremnum pinnatum and Pothos have some distinct differences as well. Epipremnum pinnatum, also known as Dragon’s Tail Pothos, has smaller, thinner, jade-green leaves compared to the more common Pothos varieties, which often feature heart-shaped leaves with white, yellow, or pale green striations (source). As the Dragon’s Tail Pothos matures, its leaves grow larger and develop fenestrations, making it look quite different from the traditional Pothos.

Pothos, on the other hand, is commonly known as Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos and is native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific (source). It is often characterized by pointed, heart-shaped leaves that may be variegated in various colors. Among the different pothos varieties, you may find other Epipremnum aureum cultivars with unique leaf shapes and colors (source).

In summary, while Epipremnum pinnatum and Pothos share some similarities in appearance, care, and growth habits, they have notable differences that distinguish them from one another.

Care and Cultivation

Light Requirements

Epipremnum pinnatum enjoys bright, dappled sunlight. This tropical vine can tolerate low light but thrives in a well-lit environment. Preferably, provide it with indirect light to prevent scorching the leaves.

Watering and Humidity

When it comes to watering, Epipremnum pinnatum requires a moderate amount of moisture. It is best to water it once a week to maintain damp but not overly wet soil. As for humidity, this vine thrives in a range of conditions but prefers a slightly more humid environment. If the air is too dry, mist its leaves occasionally to maintain adequate humidity levels.

Soil and Fertilizer

To grow a healthy Epipremnum pinnatum, plant it in soil that mimics its natural habitat. This means using moist, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and nutrients1. Avoid overly wet, mucky, or dry, sandy growing mediums, as they can be detrimental to the plant’s health2. When it comes to fertilization, provide the plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the spring and summer months3.


Propagation of Epipremnum pinnatum can be accomplished using stem cuttings. To do this:

  1. Choose a healthy section of the plant with one or more nodes.
  2. Cut about 4-6 inches of the vine below the node.
  3. Remove any lower leaves, leaving only a couple of leaves at the top of the cutting.
  4. Place the cutting in a glass of water or moist sphagnum moss4.
  5. Keep the cutting in a bright, warm location and ensure the water or moss remains moist.

Once roots have developed, transplant the cutting into an appropriate soil mix, following the care instructions outlined earlier in this section.

Benefits and Uses

Air Purification

Epipremnum pinnatum, commonly known as pothos or golden pothos, is well-known for its air-purifying properties. The plant is effective in removing formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air, enhancing the quality of air and contributing to a healthier living environment1.

Decorative Purposes

The Epipremnum pinnatum is not only prized for its air purification abilities but also its attractive foliage and versatility as a decorative plant. With its distinct leaf patterns, including shades of chartreuse, mint green, and white marbling2, it adds a touch of elegance in various indoor spaces. Pothos plants are low maintenance, making them an ideal choice for both beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts3. They can be grown in hanging baskets, shelves, or as a table centerpiece.

  • Low maintenance: Pothos plants are great for almost any indoor condition and can tolerate a wide range of environmental factors. They can handle a bit of neglect and still maintain their appearance3.
  • Versatile: Epipremnum pinnatum is adaptable and can be grown as a climbing or trailing plant, making it a popular choice for various decorative purposes4.
  • Humidity enhancement: Pothos plants can help increase the humidity in indoor spaces, which in turn can potentially protect you from cold and influenza viruses, reduce allergic reactions, and keep your skin hydrated5.

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