Pothos vs Money Plant: Decoding Key Differences

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If you’re new to indoor plants, you might confuse Pothos and Money Plant because of their similar appearance. However, despite their common characteristics, these plants are quite different from each other. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Pothos and Money Plant and help you choose the one that suits your needs.

Pothos and Money Plant Overview

Pothos Plant Overview

Pothos, also known as golden pothos or devil’s ivy, is a popular indoor plant. It is an evergreen plant with thick, waxy, green, heart-shaped leaves that have splashes of yellow. As a houseplant, pothos is commonly seen in hanging baskets, as it can trail or climb using aerial roots. The plant can adapt to a range of conditions, making it easy to care for in various indoor environments. Pothos grows well in ordinary, well-draining potting soil that can be on the dry side or even rocky, with a soil pH ranging from 6.1 to 6.8. When planted outdoors, it can reach enormous heights using trees as support.

Some Pothos plant characteristics include:

  • Thick, waxy, green heart-shaped leaves
  • Yellow splashes on the leaves
  • Aerial roots for climbing or trailing
  • Adaptable to a range of conditions
  • Grows well in ordinary, well-draining potting soil
  • Can reach significant heights outdoors

Money Plant Overview

Money plant is a term that might refer to various plant species. One common money plant is the pothos, as many people might refer to it as money plant. However, there are other plants that are also called money plants but do not belong to the pothos species. Different types of money plants may have similar shapes, colors, and leaf patterns, making them easy to confuse with pothos.

Money plant features that can help differentiate them from pothos could include:

  • Varieties across multiple plant species
  • Confusion with other trailing or climbing plants
  • Similar leaves and colors to golden pothos
  • Known by various regional names and identifiers

Although pothos and money plants might be seen as one and the same, remember that the term “money plant” may encompass various plant species, while pothos specifically refers to the popular evergreen plant with heart-shaped leaves and yellow splashes.

Appearance Differences

Leaf Shape and Size

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) and Money Plant have distinct differences in their leaf shape and size. Pothos leaves are large, thick, and waxy, with a heart-shaped structure and slightly pointed tips. The leaves can grow up to 8 inches in length, providing an attractive appearance for indoor spaces [1].

On the other hand, Money Plant leaves have a more rounded shape, often resembling coins [2]. These leaves are also flat, which contributes to the coin-like appearance that led to the plant’s name. Although similar in texture, Money Plant leaves tend to be smaller than those of the Pothos.

Color Variations

Regarding color, Pothos exhibits a vibrant combination of green and yellow. The leaves display a green base, interspersed with yellow splashes or variegation [3]. This unique color pattern adds visual interest, making it a popular choice for indoor plant enthusiasts.

In contrast, Money Plant leaves often exhibit different shades of green, depending on the variety. Some varieties may showcase a lighter green hue, while others have darker, more saturated colors. Although Money Plants may not have as much color variation as Pothos, they still provide an appealing and fresh aesthetic for various indoor settings.

Caring for Each Plant

Watering Requirements


Pothos plants require their soil to be allowed to dry out completely between waterings. Care should be taken not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. It is essential to ensure that the top two inches of soil are dry before irrigating the plant.

Money Plant

Like pothos, money plants should not be overwatered, as this can cause root rot. Only water when the top two inches of soil are dry. You can also mist the plant once a week to maintain adequate humidity levels.

Light Preferences


Pothos thrives in bright, indirect light but can also adapt to low-light conditions. Avoid exposing the plant to harsh, direct sunlight, as this can cause damage to the leaves.

Money Plant

Money plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. It is important to position them in a spot where they receive adequate sunlight without being exposed to direct rays that could scorch their leaves. Make sure to rotate the plant regularly to promote symmetrical growth.

Soil and Fertilization


Pothos plants can grow in standard houseplant potting mix or a chunky, well-draining aroid mix. Make sure the soil allows for proper drainage to prevent overwatering and root rot. Fertilize pothos with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every month during the growing season.

Money Plant

Money plants can grow in regular houseplant soil as long as it has good drainage. Fertilize the money plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every month during the growing season, following the same guidelines as for pothos.

Propagation Methods

Pothos Propagation

Pothos plants can be propagated effortlessly in a variety of mediums, such as water, soil, and sphagnum moss. The most popular method involves taking 4-6 inch length cuttings below the nodes and placing the cut ends in a container of water, ensuring the node and aerial root are submerged. It’s essential to keep the leaves above water and place the container in a warm area with bright, indirect sunlight. Changing the water every few days will help prevent microbial growth and maintain a healthy environment for the plant’s roots to emerge in about 3 to 8 weeks.

Another option for pothos propagation is rooting the cuttings directly in soil. Plant the cuttings in moist potting mix, making sure the node and aerial root are covered, and place them in a warm, well-lit location with indirect sunlight. Keep the soil consistently moist until new growth starts to emerge. This method takes a little more time but can result in a more robust root system.

Money Plant Propagation

Money plant (commonly known as Pilea peperomioides or Chinese Money Plant) propagation involves a different method than pothos. To propagate a money plant, carefully remove a healthy “pup” growing at the base of the mother plant. These plants naturally produce new offshoots that can be easily separated and replanted.

Gently tease the pup away from the mother plant, ensuring you keep its roots intact. Plant the pup in a small container filled with well-draining potting mix, and water it thoroughly. To promote root growth and establishment in the money plant, place it in a well-lit spot with indirect sunlight and maintain consistently moist soil. The money plant should begin to root and establish itself within a few weeks.

In summary, both pothos and money plants can be propagated, though they require different methods. Pothos propagation makes use of cuttings placed in water or soil, while money plant propagation involves replanting offshoots called pups. Both benefit from indirect sunlight and moist conditions during the propagation process.

Symbolism and Beliefs

Feng Shui and Money Plant

The term “money plant” is often used to refer to a number of different plant species around the world. In Feng Shui, the practice of harmonizing and optimizing the flow of energy in a space, certain plants are associated with wealth and prosperity due to their symbolic meanings or physical characteristics. For example, plants with coin-shaped leaves might be called a money plant as a result of their resemblance to currency (The Spruce).

Pothos and Good Fortune

Pothos, an evergreen plant with thick, waxy, green, heart-shaped leaves, is sometimes referred to as a money plant due to the shape and flatness of its leaves (The Practical Planter). It is a popular indoor plant often grown as a hanging plant, and when grown outdoors, it can reach great heights by climbing with the help of its aerial roots (Britannica).

Aside from its physical appearance, there is a belief that giving a money plant or its cuttings to others symbolizes giving your wealth to them. It is also thought that if a person propagates this plant using stolen branches or cuttings, their wealth will increase (Dengarden).

In summary, while the money plant and pothos are often used interchangeably, their symbolism and beliefs might vary. Their association with wealth and prosperity is primarily rooted in their physical characteristics and cultural beliefs.

Common Issues and Solutions

Pests and Diseases

Pothos and Money plants can sometimes face issues like pests and diseases. They are generally low maintenance, but it’s essential to monitor their health regularly to avoid any problems. Some pests that affect these plants include mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. To combat these pests, use organic insecticidal soap or neem oil spray on the affected areas.

Diseases such as Southern Blight or Bacterial Wilt can also occur, causing parts of the leaves to turn brown and die off. To address this issue, prune off the affected leaves and stems as soon as they’re spotted to prevent the problem from spreading.

Overwatering and Underwatering

Both Pothos and Money plants can suffer from overwatering and underwatering. When overwatered, these plants face the risk of root rot. To avoid this, make sure the soil dries out slightly between watering sessions. It’s crucial to let the top two inches of soil dry out before irrigating the plant again. In case the plant dries out completely to the roots, its growth may be negatively affected, and the overall health of the plant may suffer.

If underwatering occurs, the leaves of these plants will turn yellow and wilt. To help them maintain their health, it’s a good idea to provide fertilizer once per month during the growing season. Using a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer supplies essential nutrients, such as phosphorus, nitrogen, copper, and potassium, to the plants.

By keeping an eye on these issues and implementing the solutions provided, responsible plant owners can maintain the health and beauty of their Pothos and Money plants.

Choosing the Right Plant for Your Space

When deciding between pothos and money plant for your indoor space, there are a few factors to consider. One key difference is the appearance and texture of their leaves. Pothos have thicker, waxier leaves, while many philodendrons, including the popular heartleaf philodendron, have thinner, softer leaves with a heart shape.

Both plants are evergreen perennials, making them ideal candidates for providing year-round greenery to your home or office. They both thrive in containers, and can be potted in various types of pots like plastic, ceramic, metal, and terra-cotta, as long as there is proper drainage.

Some suggested factors to evaluate when choosing the right plant for your space include:

  • Light requirements: Both pothos and money plants can tolerate low light, but will grow more quickly and produce larger leaves in medium to bright, indirect light conditions.
  • Watering needs: Both plants prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. Over-watering can lead to root rot and other issues, so it’s essential to be mindful of your watering habits.
  • Maintenance: While both plants are relatively low maintenance, pothos typically require less frequent pruning because their growth is slower.
  • Size and space: Consider how much space you have available and the size of the plant you prefer. Pothos plants tend to be larger and more robust, while money plants (heartleaf philodendrons) can have a slightly more delicate appearance.

In conclusion, both pothos and money plants are excellent choices for adding greenery to your indoor spaces. Your personal preferences, the available space, and your desired level of maintenance should ultimately guide your decision.

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