Is Pothos an Aroid? Uncovering the Plant Family Secrets

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Pothos, also known as devil’s ivy, is a popular houseplant known for its attractive foliage and easy care. But did you know that it’s also an aroid, a family of plants that includes some of the most beloved and iconic houseplants? Learn more about this fascinating plant family and how pothos fits in.

Is Pothos an Aroid?

Pothos is indeed an aroid plant, belonging to the family Araceae. This family contains a wide variety of common houseplants such as aglaonemas, monsteras, philodendrons, and ZZ plants, just to name a few. Aroids are generally characterized by their unique inflorescences and diverse foliage.

The pothos plant is known for its distinct heart-shaped leaves and natural climbing capabilities. Come in a range of colors including green, yellow, and white varieties. Distinct from other aroids like peace lily or anthurium, pothos doesn’t have showy spathes as part of their inflorescences.

Some of the pothos plant’s key characteristics are:

  • Adaptable to standard houseplant potting mix or chunky, well-draining aroid mix.
  • Able to thrive in low-light environments, often as understory plants in the wild.
  • Requires soil to dry out completely between waterings.
  • Benefits from monthly feeding with a balanced houseplant fertilizer during spring and summer months. source

In conclusion, pothos is an aroid plant and makes for an easy-to-grow and versatile addition to both indoor and outdoor environments. Their heart-shaped leaves and vibrant colors can add natural beauty and visual interest to any space.

Characteristics of Aroid Plants

Aroid plants are a fascinating group of plants belonging to the Araceae family, which includes popular houseplants such as pothos, philodendrons, monsteras, and ZZ plants. These plants are admired for their diverse and visually stunning foliage, as well as their adaptability to indoor environments. In this section, we will explore the unique characteristics of aroid plants, focusing on their inflorescence and spadix and leaf morphology.

Inflorescence and Spadix

Monstera Spadix

One of the distinguishing features of aroid plants is their inflorescence, which consists of a spadix surrounded by a leaf-like spathe. The spadix is a spike of small, tightly-packed flowers that can vary in color and shape depending on the species. This structure makes aroid plants easily identifiable and also contributes to their ornamental appeal.

Leaf Morphology

Aroid Leaves

Aroid plants are known for their remarkable foliage, which is often the main attraction for plant enthusiasts. The leaves can exhibit a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, with some displaying unique patterns or variegations.

  • Heart-shaped leaves: Pothos, a common aroid houseplant, is celebrated for its heart-shaped leaves, which are green with splashes of yellow or white. These leaves contribute to the aesthetic allure of the plant and can make a striking display when grown as a hanging or climbing plant.
  • Monstera leaves: Another popular aroid houseplant, the monstera, features distinctive, large leaves with deep incisions and holes that resemble a Swiss cheese pattern. These leaves are not only visually captivating but also serve a functional purpose, as the holes and cuts allow for better light penetration and air circulation.
  • Variegated foliage: Many aroids showcase leaves with variegation, displaying different shades of green, yellow, or white in unique, eye-catching patterns. Examples of aroids with variegated foliage include some cultivars of aglaonema and philodendron.

In conclusion, aroid plants are a diverse and captivating group, appreciated for their distinctive inflorescence and spadix as well as their impressive leaf morphology. Their adaptability to indoor settings and captivating appearance make them a popular choice for plant enthusiasts and interior decorators alike.

Pothos Features

Growth Habit

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is an evergreen plant that boasts thick, waxy, green, heart-shaped leaves with splashes of yellow. It is often cultivated as a houseplant due to its excellent adaptability and ease of care. Pothos can grow as a hanging plant or climb using aerial roots, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor spaces [1]. In the wild, pothos can reach immense heights by using tall trees for support.

Leaf Varieties

As a member of the aroid family, pothos showcases a wide array of leaf colors and patterns, ranging from green and yellow to white [2]. The plant is celebrated for its attractive heart-shaped leaves and remarkable climbing ability. Moreover, pothos can tolerate low light conditions, though not as readily as philodendron, another aroid plant [3]. Additionally, pothos tolerates moderately higher temperatures than philodendrons.

In conclusion, pothos is an aroid plant with numerous desirable features. Its versatility, ease of care, and stunning leaf varieties make it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts.

Caring for Pothos

Soil Requirements

Pothos plants flourish in well-draining soil, such as a standard houseplant potting mix or a chunky, well-draining aroid mix. These mixes provide an ideal environment for the plant’s roots, allowing them to absorb essential nutrients while preventing root rot.

Light and Temperature

Pothos plants thrive best in bright, indirect light, but they can also tolerate low-light conditions. In low light, the plant’s growth may be slower and its leaves may lose some or all of their variegation. Maintaining room temperature is ideal for pothos plants, as exposing them to regular drafts or colder temperatures can negatively affect their growth.


It is crucial to let the soil of pothos plants dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can lead to various issues, such as root rot and fungal infections. On the other hand, if the plant’s leaves start to yellow, it is an indicator that it needs more frequent watering.


Pothos plants don’t have demanding fertilizer needs, but using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer at a diluted rate every two to three months can help support stronger growth. Apply the fertilizer during the growing season, especially in spring and summer, to provide nutrients essential for optimum development.

Common Pothos Problems

Pest Issues

Pothos plants can sometimes face issues with pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, whiteflies, aphids, and scale. These pests tend to hide under the leaves and feed on the sap, as well as the leaf and stem tissues, causing parts of the leaves to die off and change color.

To prevent and manage pest issues, regularly inspect the plant and maintain proper hygiene with practices like wiping the leaves and keeping the plant away from other potentially infested plants. Additionally, using natural pest control methods or low-toxicity insecticides may be necessary to control severe infestations.


Diseases can also affect the health and appearance of pothos plants:

  • Yellowing leaves: The most common issue seen with pothos plants is yellowing leaves. This may simply be due to the natural aging process for older leaves, but if many leaves are turning yellow, consider checking the following factors:
    • Overwatering
    • Underwatering
    • Nutrient deficiencies
    • Poor drainage

Adjusting the water and nutrient supply, as well as improving the overall care routine, can help in restoring the plant’s health.

  • Brown leaves: Pothos leaves turning brown is a more severe stage of yellowing leaves. This is linked to various environmental factors such as overwatering or excessive direct light exposure. Identifying and rectifying the causes will help improve the plant’s overall health and appearance.
  • Drooping or wilting leaves: This is often a sign that the plant is stressed, possibly due to a lack of water. Properly watering the plant and monitoring soil moisture level can help alleviate this issue. Moreover, pothos plants can also become pot-bound and develop root diseases, so repotting and checking for the presence of any diseases can be beneficial.