When we look at pothos in our gardens, we tend to think that it is a flaky perennial, a trellis-filled upstart. But in reality, pothos can be so much more. It is rich in essential oils, has a reputation for having deep-seated magical properties, and is a terrific source of sun protection.
Pothos is readily grown and well tolerated in gardens everywhere. It’s primarily used in humid areas, though it can also thrive in sunnier locations. Its flowers can be dainty and fragrant, or scalloped and angular. It looks just great in just about any arrangement, and makes the perfect foundation for a few strung pink pothos sprigs growing on top of a white flowerpot or similar container. These delicate flowers grow around the base of the crown of pothos, giving it its name.
Set Your Plants in Water
You can plant pothos in the ground all summer, or perhaps something in a pot will work better. The key to a successful pothos placement is to place them in as much water as possible. Place the plant in a wading pool or water-filled jar on top of a cloth. Water thoroughly to protect the plants from the cold. Gently allow them to acclimate to the soil, and you should have a gorgeous plant in about a week.
Gently stimulate the growth of pothos by sweeping the soil around its crown with your fingers. Over time, this will encourage the plant to establish and set up roots. Keeping the soil moist will make pothos last longer, and grow better.
Pothos bulbs contain natural oils and they naturally attract moisture to the plant, but don’t allow it to be too constant. Thoroughly mist the plant once a week, or more if you are beginning to notice the plant’s water loss. Water pothos, when water loss is noticed, very gently. Don’t put water in your eyes or mouth, and remember that pothos leaves are toxic to small animals.
Simply trying to cut the soil off around the crown of the plant will prevent it from growing. Water out the existing soil, if necessary, and replace it with fresh soil. Water will be absorbed more easily if it does not remove any existing soil. Allow the soil to return to a fairly soft shade to a state similar to the green of the leaves.
Do not use gardening gloves to apply water to the plant.
As the weeks pass, the pothos is likely to begin to wilt and brown. This is a good sign that it is nearing completion and is ready to be removed from the ground. It is important to remove the dried leaves or any other material that may contain fungi. Drain any overwatering water from the ground, and let any remaining water evaporate away.
Once the plants are removed from the ground, they can be gathered up and enjoyed. Pothos flowers can be dusted in aromatherapy, or stored in the freezer for good winter use. After spring is out of sight, use the foliage to cut back dead branches from hardwood trees. Don’t let it sit in your basement, though. It will do great things if the ground gets a good light watering again.
You can read more about creating pothos gardens in my book, Growing Pothos. It has all of the specifications needed to make a stunning arrangement, from pothos seeds to planting to storing.
Benjamin Law has been covering the nursery business for more than 35 years. He contributes a popular column to the mail-order company The Home Depot’s website. He also is the owner of Treasures in a Jar, an online flower shop and floral ware showroom.