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Genus of about 40 species of climbing plants, evergreens, originating in Southeast Asia, characterized by large, very decorative leaves.
In nature these plants reach heights of over six meters, in the apartment of course their dimensions remain much smaller.
The pothos is a plant with a decombing (or possibly climbing) habit, very common in apartments: it is in fact very simple to grow, with rapid growth and great adaptability. It is also very decorative thanks to its leaves, which are declined in many colors, but always very dense and luxuriant.
The so-called pothos is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Araceae family from the humid and warm regions of Southeast Asia (in particular from the Solomon Islands and central India). The scientific name of its genus is Scindapsus which includes at least 40 species, some very common for ornamental purposes.
In general it is a liana with aerial roots. Thanks to its flexibility in its natural environment it clings to trees or any type of support you find on its way, with the aim of being able to take advantage of more light. In that context it can reach 5-6 meters in length, while in domestic cultivation it rarely exceeds 2. It carries persistent, heart-shaped and alternate leaves that depart from the stems. The color is only rarely uniform. Spotted, variegated or marbled varieties are more common. They come in many colors: from light green to olive to dark green. However, yellow, cream, silver and white are also present. The flowers, very small, come out from the leaf axil, but in our climate they occur very rarely.
On a household level it is commonly used as a houseplant, greenhouse or veranda, making them assume a decombing or climbing habit (using materials capable of retaining a minimum level of humidity as guardians). Lately it is increasingly appreciated also for its ability to purify the air by capturing carbon monoxide, produced by engines and heating systems, toluene, benzene and formaldehyde. Extensive scientific studies have included this plant among the top ten for its ability to purify the air.
POTHOS IN BRIEF
|Family and Latin name||Araceae, Scindapsus, more than 40 species|
|Type of plant||Herbaceous, climbing or decombant|
|Leaf color||Dark green with variegations or spots of various colors|
|Adult length / width||Up to 2 m / up to 30 cm|
|Propagation||Cutting on the ground or in water|
|Resistance to cold||Rustic (up to 12 ° C)|
|Exposure||Very bright, no direct light|
|use||From apartment, veranda or outdoor potted|
|Ground||Light, subacid (lots of peat and sand)|
|pH||From neutral to acid|
It is good to place it in a very bright place, for example near a window, in summer it is advisable to make sure that it is not directly hit by the sun's rays. The ideal environment must be very bright, but direct light that could cause leaf burns must be avoided. Inside it may be a good idea to place it near a window, shielding it with light-colored curtains.
The same indications apply to the outside. It is usually good to place it under a tree or under a rich pergola of deciduous leaves, which lightly shield the light, but create a warm and humid environment, like the one found in the origin countries of our specimen.
The variegated leaf cultivars usually need a very bright environment as photosynthesis is present only in green areas. We always avoid that the sun hits them directly.
They must be contained, it is advisable never to soak the soil and let it dry between one watering and another. The pothos needs abundant irrigation, but is at the same time rather sensitive to root rot. The water supplies must therefore be abundant in all seasons, but waiting for the substrate to be completely dry before proceeding again.
To have luxuriant plants, however, it is equally important to maintain high environmental humidity. This must increase in proportion to the temperatures. You can therefore resort to frequent nebulizations (with distilled water) and place near the specimen of trays full of expanded clay and water. Outside, instead, you can simply wet the floor so that natural evaporation helps us significantly.
being a climbing plant the Pothos develops its branches very long, so if we want it to grow in height we will have to insert some pots in the pot, preferably covered with moss, otherwise we will be able to place it in hanging bowls, leaving the branches to grow towards the bass.
If we wish to make it grow a lot it is necessary to repot it every two years, possibly in March-April, and to give fertilizer for green plants about twice a month in the irrigation water, from March to September.
it takes place by cuttings: at the beginning of spring, cuttings about ten centimeters long are taken from the shoots at the base of the plant, which must be planted in a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts; the cuttings should be kept at a temperature of about twenty degrees until rooting has taken place, then they are repotted in individual pots. You can also practice leaf cuttings, possibly in May or June, by taking portions of branches containing a knot, which are then to be rooted like the previous cuttings.
Parasites and Diseases
Usually the Pothos does not suffer from particular diseases, however if the waterings are too abundant it can happen that the plant is hit by root rot. Sometimes it can be attacked by aphids which, sucking the sap, slow down the growth of the plant.
It is one of the healthiest houseplants ever. It is in fact rare that it becomes prey to parasites (if not some rare case of attacks of red spider mites, which can be increased by increasing humidity).
The only drawbacks that may arise are related to incorrect cultivation treatments, such as too frequent irrigation or low environmental humidity, in addition to too little or too bright exposure.
Pothos aureus: has heart-shaped leaves, light green, with yellow spots, up to 30 cm long, can reach two meters in height and has aerial roots at the nodes.
P. a. Golden Queen: has almost completely yellow leaves.
P. a. Marble Queen: has white stained leaves.
Square in shape, light green.
There are also cultivars with a yellow or almost white stem
Shiny leaves, of a beautiful bright green with yellow or white spots.
They are 10 to 30 cm long, heart-shaped when ripe.
From the Solomon Islands.
Climbing or decombente.
Among the most common on the market
Rounded acid green color
More often, at heart, dark olive green with silver spots, up to 8 cm long
From the island of Java and from Borneo
Climbing or hanging habit
Stems with rounded shape, light green
Heart-shaped, light green with silver or dark green spots. White back.
From all over Southeast Asia, from tropical wetlands
THE POTHOS CALENDAR
Planting / repotting
From February to April
|Vegetative rest (repair at home)||From October to April|