The House Plant You Can’t Kill & Our First Propagation!!!
“Your green thumb came out of no where, what the heck” — Matt
Hi, it’s Beau. I’ve killed approximately 7,000 house plants in the last six or so years. That’s not true. But anyone who has ever looked at all of their plant children and felt more like they were looking at a war zone knows that even just a few dead plants can make you feel like the kind of parent you promised yourself you’d never become.
Matt was wrong though, my green thumb didn’t come out of nowhere. It came from me just changing the plants I was buying. Like, right now I’m absolutely not taking on succulents, or obscure fancy cacti, or massive fiddle leaf figs. There aren’t staghorn ferns all over the house. Or orchids. Fuck orchids tbh!!! I’ve changed my plant buying to hearty, more forgiving plants, and will maybe eventually start buying more attention-needing plants down the line. But 2019 has become the year of managing expectations and doing my best and so having easy houseplants that will make me feel good about myself is a must.
Today, we’re focusing on one: pothos. The easiest house plant I know. Really, I think pretty much everyone in the house plant world recognizes this as the easiest plant for beginners.
Why do I love our Pothos? It follows the rules you expect plants to follow: give it water, sunlight, and good soil, and it will flourish. But it also communicates well, and if you mess up one of those things the signs will be clear in the way the leaves droop or how the new leaves shrivel or die or how there’s no new growth at all. It’s also hearty, and forgiving, so even if it does show signs of not doing 100% perfect, it’ll hang in there until you’ve fixed the issue (within reason). And if you are doing everything right, it’ll reward you by constantly growing and sprouting out new leaves. It’s just a kind, easy to understand plant. We should all be more like a pothos house plant.
As mentioned, these are a hearty plant and can live in pretty varied environments, but in general:
Potting: these plants can be planted in hanging baskets, or secured to a trellis or rod, or really literally any other container you’ve got as long as there is proper drainage. Pothos will thrive in nutrient rich potting soil, but will tolerate less nutrient-rich soil as well. It’ll also do perfectly fine just in water with no soil at all (see photo three below).
Light: the biggest light-related rule for pothos is to avoid direct sunlight. They will flourish in large amounts of indirect sunlight, but will tolerate lower light conditions as well.
Water: as with pretty much all plants, you don’t want to overwater pothos or the roots may begin to rot. My general rule of thumb is to water every two weeks, but this is definitely one of those plants that I’m not marking watering dates in my calendar, as they’ll easily tolerate going an extra few days without water. In fact, it’s perfectly fine (and some would say ideal) to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings.
Another cool thing about pothos is that it’s incredibly easy to propagate, which basically means you can cut a piece of it off, stick it in water, and it’ll sprout new roots and continue to grow. Once the roots are there you can plant it in soil if you’d like, and then you can have like a million plants growing all cloned from one momma plant. And you can look around the room and talk with your plant children every weekend night instead of seeing your friends!
We just did our first set of propagations, and to be honest it was mostly because we love the way little hanging pieces of pothos look in clear vases once they’ve sprouted their new roots. Like that’s legit the reason we did it. But now they’ve all developed their own roots, so we’ve planted them in soil and will be cutting new propagations and just keep moving!
I’ve put the incredibly easy propagation process below.
Note: I’m not an expert, there are many ways to propagate these things, and also pretty much everyone in the intense household plant community will probably look down on me for making an entire blog post about this.
What You’ll Need
1.) Snip one of the vines just beneath a node (see the first image below). It’s ideal for there to already be those little brown things (aerial roots) springing off of the vine, so if you’ve got one like that, snip that one!
2.) Remove the 2-3 leaves closest to the cut part. Basically you just want to make it easy for the vine to be placed in water without submerging any leaves. Also the more leaves, the more energy the plant needs to create to survive.
3.) Place the cut end into a water-filled vase or jar or really whatever (I linked to some cute little clear vases in the list above). Change out the water every few days to keep things fresh and also to help circulate and provide more oxygen. After about 2 weeks you should begin to see new roots poke out.
4.) After the roots have been present for one or two weeks, you can go ahead and plant them in soil. The longer you wait to transfer them to soil, the harder time they’ll have adjusting. That being said: you don’t necessarily have to plant them in soil at all, as they can exist in water forever, basically. But if you do put the sprouted root system in soil, you’ll want a pot with good drainage. You can put several cuttings into one planter!
That’s it! Caring for the pothos is easy. You probably won’t kill it. If you do, don’t blame me!
Thanks for stopping by the blog, and as always please drop a comment below if you’ve got any thoughts or opinions or sweet nothings.