What Does Pothos Mean: A Concise Guide to the Popular Plant

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If you’re a fan of the pothos plant, you may be curious about its name and what it signifies. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning behind the name “pothos” and delve into the fascinating history and symbolism surrounding this popular houseplant.

Pothos: The Plant

Botanical Classification

Pothos, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is a tropical vine native to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. It belongs to the Epipremnum genus and is a member of the aroid plant family (Araceae), along with philodendrons, which belong to the Philodendron genus source.

This evergreen plant features thick, waxy, heart-shaped leaves that display splashes of yellow coloring source. As a climbing plant, Pothos relies on aerial roots to reach great heights, using trees or other supports in its natural habitat and indoors source.

Different Varieties

There are multiple varieties of Pothos that exhibit different leaf colors and patterns. Some of these include:

  • Golden Pothos: This variety has leaves with golden-yellow variegation, creating an attractive contrast with the deep green base.
  • Marble Queen Pothos: Recognizable by its striking marbled pattern of green, white, and cream on the leaves, this variety adds a touch of elegance to any space.
  • Pearls and Jade Pothos: This variety features smaller leaves with white and green tones, along with a sprinkling of silvery-gray markings.
  • Neon Pothos: Exhibiting bright, chartreuse-colored leaves, the Neon Pothos is an eye-catching choice for any indoor garden.

Each of these varieties shares the same basic care requirements, making them popular choices for houseplants due to their adaptability and ability to survive in various lighting and humidity conditions.

Symbolic Meanings of Pothos

Greek Mythology

Pothos has connections to Greek mythology, where it is associated with one of Aphrodite’s Erotes, a group of winged gods. As the god of longing, Pothos symbolizes yearning or desire, particularly when someone is alone.

Feng Shui

In Feng Shui, Pothos is believed to bring luck and prosperity. It is commonly known as the ‘Money Plant’ and is used to encourage financial abundance. To enjoy these benefits, it is recommended that the Pothos be placed in the Southeast part of one’s home.

Modern Interpretations

Nowadays, the Pothos plant is appreciated for its aesthetic qualities and easy maintenance. With its leathery or waxy, heart-shaped green leaves that often have yellow or white variegation, Pothos is a popular houseplant. Native to Southeast Asia, it is also well-known for its air-purifying properties, making it a popular choice for indoor environments.

Caring for Pothos

Pothos plants are known for their effortless care and durability. In this section, we will explore the specific care requirements for these hardy plants, including their light needs, watering, soil and fertilization, and propagation techniques.

Light Requirements

Pothos plants thrive in a range of lighting conditions. They can tolerate low light, but they will grow more vigorously in bright, indirect light1. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as this can lead to scorching their leaves. When choosing a location for your pothos plant, consider an area that receives plenty of natural light but is protected from harsh sun rays.


It is crucial to let your pothos plant’s soil dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, black spots on the leaves, or even the collapse of the plant. To check if your pothos needs water, touch the soil with your finger. If dirt clings to your finger without feeling wet, it’s time to water the plant. If your finger is wet or the soil is soggy, wait before watering.

Soil and Fertilization

Pothos plants are adaptable when it comes to soil. They will grow well in nutrient-rich soil but can also survive in nutrient-poor soil. A well-draining potting mix is recommended to prevent waterlogged roots. Although pothos plants do not require frequent fertilization, you can apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every few months to promote growth.


Propagation of pothos plants is a straightforward process. You can easily propagate cuttings in water or soil. To do this, simply take a cutting with at least one leaf node and place it in a container of water or moist potting mix. In a few weeks, roots will start to develop, and you can transfer the cutting to a new container with fresh soil. Soon, you’ll have a new pothos plant to care for and enjoy in your space.

In conclusion, caring for pothos plants involves understanding and meeting their light, watering, soil, and fertilization requirements while also knowing how to propagate them for further growth.

Common Pothos Issues

Pothos, also known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular houseplant known for its low maintenance and charming appearance. However, it can still experience several problems related to pests, diseases, and yellowing leaves.


Pothos plants can be affected by various pests such as:

  • Spider mites: Tiny arachnids that feed on plant tissues, causing leaves to turn yellow, wither, or fall off.
  • Mealybugs: Small, white insects that leave a powdery residue and can cause leaf curling or yellowing.
  • Scale insects: These pests attach themselves to plant stems or leaves, resulting in leaf drop or yellowing.

To prevent and manage pests, one can wash the foliage occasionally, use pesticide, or introduce beneficial insects to the plant’s environment.


Diseases that can affect pothos plants may include:

  • Root rot: Often caused by overwatering, this issue leads to wilting leaves and mushy stems due to roots struggling to absorb moisture in the soil. To avoid root rot, allow the soil to dry out between waterings and provide adequate drainage. Blooming Backyard
  • Bacterial blight: Water-soaked spots with yellow halos spread rapidly on leaves. Avoid overhead watering, discard infected plants, and maintain proper distance between plants. Penn State Extension

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves on pothos plants can have multiple causes, such as:

  • Age: Older leaves naturally turn yellow as the plant no longer needs them.
  • Overwatering: Excessive watering can cause root rot, leading to yellowing leaves. Allow soil to dry between waterings.
  • Underwatering: Too little water can also cause leaves to turn yellow. Ensure the plant receives adequate water.
  • Nutrient deficiency: Lack of essential nutrients in the soil may result in yellow leaves. Regularly fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer to address this issue.
  • Excessive sunlight: Pothos plants prefer indirect light. Leaves may turn yellow or curl inward if they receive too much direct sunlight. Houseplant Resource Center

By addressing these common issues, one can maintain a healthy and vibrant pothos plant.

Pothos plants are admired for their ease of care and lush appearance, however, even they can encounter pests, diseases, and yellowing leaves. Ensuring proper care and monitoring for signs of these issues can help keep your pothos thriving in your home or office.

Benefits of Having Pothos

Air Purification

Pothos plants are known to improve indoor air quality by filtering out common airborne toxins, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. This ability to purify the air contributes to pothos’ positive symbolism and adds to their appeal as a popular indoor plant.

Aesthetic Appeal

A visually-pleasing feature of pothos plants is their climbing nature. Found naturally in surroundings like tree trunks, they can be trained around shelves, moss poles, or other structures in your home, creating a unique, lush appearance. Their vibrant, green leaves and trailing stems make them ideal for giving a touch of natural beauty and style to any room.


Pothos plants are well-regarded for their ability to thrive in various conditions, making them an excellent choice for those with a less-than-green thumb. They can grow in both sun and shade, are adaptable to moist or dry soils, and can even tolerate a poor substrate. For optimum growth, however, it’s best to place them in bright, indirect light and water sparingly, ensuring the soil remains slightly dry between watering.

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