Devil's Ivy Offers Ease to Beginners
By Jos Van Hage
Saturday, November 12, 2011 03:46 AM
One of the easiest houseplants to grow the Golden Potho's (Epipremenum aureum) also known as Devils Ivy is a plant that can tolerate many indoor conditions and still thrive.
It is a good plant for the beginner, or for those people who enjoy having indoor plants but don't always have the time to look after them. It is also a good plant to grow in offices, or commercial buildings because it does well under fluorescent lights.
Golden Potho's is nice looking with its glossy, green and yellow variegated, heart shaped leaves. The plant itself is a low growing, vining plant that can grow up to 10-12 feet long if you let it go. It makes a nice hanging plant, it can also trail along a wall, or as a table top plant if the vines are pruned back periodically making it bushy. It can also be made to climb up moss poles because of its aerial roots which allow it to cling.
The list of plants that can tolerate low light levels is short and the Golden Potho's is one plant on that list. It will grow almost anywhere. It prefers medium, indirect light. Keep it out of hot direct sun. It does well in normal home temperatures and regular humidity. Water the plant when the top ½ inch of soil feels dry. Give it a good thorough water with room temperature water and discard any excess water.
Overwatering is one of the main problems for most houseplants including the Golden Potho's as it can cause root rot, but you also do not want the plant to dry out all the time either so you need to find that happy medium.
During the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing fertilize it every four weeks with a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20. Over the winter months when the plants' growth slows down cut back on the fertilizer, giving it fertilizer once every 8-10 weeks.
Golden Potho's is a low maintenance plant that can handle some abuse. It is not often bothered by pests or disease, but sometimes it can be bothered by mealy bugs a sucking insect, that look like tiny white pieces of fluff. These are easily removed by using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
If the plant becomes leggy, the vines can easily be trimmed back. When trimming them back, cut just above the leaf node as this will make it branch out. Do not toss the trimmed pieces out as they are very easy to propagate.
Cut the trimmed off pieces into 4-6 inch lengths. Cut the bottom end just under the leave node and remove the bottom leaves as this is where the new roots will form. Place the cuttings in water, or moistened perlite, vermiculite or sandy soil. Once they've rooted, place a few in a pot filled with a good quality indoor potting soil and they will create a new houseplant. After a few years if the plant becomes root bound it can be re-potted into a pot one size larger than the one it is currently in.
If you are wanting to add some living colour to your home or workspace but are worried about the lighting, or the plant’s tolerance to other conditions then I would recommend trying a golden potho's. Not only is it a good looking, hardy, fast growing vine, but it is also one of the better plants for removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde from an indoor space. On the checklist for plants it has many attributes!
Jos Van Hage owns and operates two Art Knapp Garden Centres in Prince George:
- Highway 97 North at Northwood Pulpmill Road
- Highway 16 West at Kimball Road
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Thank you Jos! I have a devils ivy that was given to me by a family member who has now passed. It became a joke between her and I because I kept killing it! Once the cat ate it, then it fell over, then I forgot about it. So finally on my last attempt, with the cuttings off her plant, I brought them home and did the process over again, during that time she had passed away. I never got to ask her how to fertilize "my guy" or how or when to transplant it. It really is the beginners house plant! I just wanted to say a little thank you for that great info for me! :)