Why Is My Pothos Growing Up?

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If your pothos plant is growing tall instead of trailing, it could be due to several reasons, including lack of light or pruning. This article will discuss the possible causes and solutions for your pothos growing upward.

Understanding Pothos Growth Patterns

Climbing and Trailing

Pothos, also known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular houseplant valued for its ability to grow and climb. It is a vining plant, meaning that it naturally climbs and trails along supports like trees or walls. In their natural habitat, pothos can be found climbing up tree trunks and reaching for sunlight. Similarly, as a houseplant, pothos seeks out vertical surfaces to climb and expand its foliage. This understanding of the plant’s natural growth pattern can help explain why your pothos might seem to be growing upwards.

Spatial and Light Requirements

When considering the growth patterns of pothos, it’s essential to take into account the plant’s spatial and light requirements. Pothos thrives in bright, indirect sunlight, which encourages its growth1. The more access to appropriate light it has, the more likely it is to grow towards the light source. Hence, if your pothos appears to be growing upwards, it may be trying to reach an area with optimal light.

To promote healthier, more even growth, it’s crucial to provide your pothos with enough space to spread out and receive sufficient light. Ideally, position your pothos in a spot with bright, indirect sunlight, and consider adding supports such as trellises or stakes to aid in its climbing and trailing behavior. Regularly rotate the plant’s position to ensure even exposure to light. Additionally, maintaining a room temperature between 70°F and 90°F, along with proper watering and feeding practices, can contribute to a faster growth rate2.

In summary, the upward growth of your pothos can be attributed to its natural climbing and trailing tendencies, as well as its efforts to reach optimal light conditions. By understanding these growth patterns and providing the necessary spatial and light requirements, you can support your pothos in thriving as a houseplant.

Reasons for Pothos Growing Up

Inadequate Surface Area

Pothos plants are naturally inclined to climb and grow upwards. If they don’t have enough surface area to spread out horizontally, they will seek to grow vertically instead. This is their natural growth pattern, and it is not something to be concerned about. In fact, providing support structures like stakes or poles can help the plant adopt its natural climbing habit, further enhancing its growth and overall appearance.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors also play a significant role in the upward growth of pothos plants. These plants thrive in filtered light with high humidity and perform best in temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees F (21-32 C)1. Any changes in temperature, lighting, or humidity can affect the growth direction of the plant. Therefore, maintaining optimal environmental conditions will help support healthy growth and the plant’s natural inclination to grow upwards.

Genetic Variations

Lastly, genetic variations within the pothos species can also contribute to their upward growth pattern. For instance, variegated plants like the N’ Joy and Snow Queen pothos tend to grow slower because they have less chlorophyll necessary for converting sunlight into energy for growth2. This slow growth rate might make the plant appear to grow more upward since it may not have enough energy to spread horizontally. Ensuring proper light exposure and providing optimal environmental conditions can help support the natural growth of these genetically diverse plants as well.

How to Encourage Horizontal Growth

Proper Trimming Practices

One effective way to encourage horizontal growth in your pothos plant is through proper trimming practices. Pruning the plant regularly not only helps to maintain its shape but also stimulates the growth of new branches or vines. To promote horizontal growth, focus on trimming the longer stems, which will encourage the plant to grow outwards rather than upwards (source).

Providing Support

Another method to promote horizontal growth in your pothos plant is by offering support. You can use items such as trellises, stakes, or even strings to guide the plant’s growth horizontally. Gently wrapping the stems around the chosen support will encourage the plant to grow along the horizontal plane instead of growing upwards. This technique makes the plant appear fuller and more aesthetically pleasing (source).

Adjusting Environmental Conditions

Lastly, adjusting environmental conditions can also contribute to horizontal growth in pothos. Ensure the plant receives sufficient bright, indirect sunlight, as this promotes overall growth (source). Creating a hot and humid environment can also prove beneficial, as pothos plants grow faster in these conditions (source).

Some additional tips for adjusting environmental conditions include:

  • Maintain room temperature between 70°F and 90°F
  • Water the pothos only when the soil dries out
  • Use a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 months to provide necessary nutrients for growth

By following these guidelines and suggestions, you can encourage your pothos plant to grow horizontally and achieve a fuller, more attractive appearance.

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