How to Care for Devil’s Ivy Houseplants

How to Care for Devil’s Ivy Houseplants

How to Care for Devil’s Ivy Houseplants


Devil’s ivy, also known as pothos or golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum), is one of the most popular and easy to care for houseplants. As a new devil’s ivy owner, I am excited to learn how to properly care for my new plant so it thrives indoors. With the right care, devil’s ivy can grow to be quite large and cascade beautifully in hanging baskets. Here is a comprehensive guide on everything I need to know about caring for my devil’s ivy at home.

Light Requirements

Devil’s ivy is flexible when it comes to light requirements. While it prefers bright, indirect light, it can tolerate lower light conditions as well. Here are some tips on providing the right light levels:

  • Bright indirect light is ideal for devil’s ivy. This means placing it near an east, west, or north facing window where it gets plenty of daylight but no direct sun.

  • Low light is okay too. Pothos will survive in dim corners of a room or away from windows. Growth may slow down and leaves look paler.

  • Direct sunlight should be avoided as it can scorch the leaves. Filter sunlight through a sheer curtain.

  • Move the plant to different spots and observe its growth. Find the spot where it thrives best in your home.

Watering Needs

Devil’s ivy prefers soil that is evenly moist but not soggy. Use these tips to water properly:

  • Water when the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry. Stick a finger in to check.

  • Water thoroughly until it drains out the bottom. This ensures the whole root ball gets hydrated.

  • Allow excess water to drain away before putting the plant back. Never leave it sitting in water.

  • In winters, water less often as growth slows. In summers, check more frequently and water when needed.

  • Yellowing leaves indicate overwatering. Allow soil to dry out completely before watering again.

Ideal Temperature

Devil’s ivy thrives best at normal room temperature between 60°F to 80°F. Here are some tips on maintaining the right temperature:

  • Keep it away from hot and cold drafts from heating/cooling vents or open doors/windows.

  • Move it to a warmer spot in winters if the room gets cooler than 60°F at night.

  • During extreme heatwaves in summer, avoid letting the plant get hotter than 80°F. Mist the leaves or use a fan to circulate air.

  • Monitor the plant’s growth and leaves. Wilting or browned leaves mean it’s getting too hot or cold. Adjust its location accordingly.

Fertilizer Needs

Devil’s ivy typically doesn’t need heavy feeding. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer at half strength during the active growing months of spring and summer:

  • Fertilize every 2-4 weeks from spring to fall. Discontinue in winter when growth is minimal.

  • Always dilute liquid fertilizers to half strength. Full strength can burn the roots.

  • For dry fertilizers, scatter as directed on soil every 6-8 weeks.

  • Never overfertilize as excess salts can build up and damage the roots.

  • If the plant is getting adequate sunlight, it doesn’t need frequent fertilizing.

Pruning and Shaping

Pruning devil’s ivy encourages bushier and more compact growth. Here’s how to prune:

  • Use clean shears or scissors to make cuts right above a node or leaf.

  • Cutting stem tips prompts branching and fullness. Remove any unwanted trailing stems.

  • Prune away any damaged, diseased, or crowded stems to keep the plant healthy.

  • For a fuller look, pinch off stem tips regularly. Pinching also prevents legginess.

  • Prune aggressively in early spring to shape the plant as desired and remove any winter damage.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Here are some common problems seen in devil’s ivy and how to fix them:

  • Yellow leaves – Usually caused by overwatering. Allow soil to dry out completely before watering again.

  • Wilting – Can indicate underwatering or exposure to temperature extremes. Check soil moisture and move plant to suitable spot.

  • Dry and brown leaf edges – Sign of low humidity. Mist leaves regularly or use a pebble tray.

  • Few new leaves – Insufficient light. Move to a brighter location. Fertilize monthly.

  • Leaf spots – Can be due to fungal disease. Prune affected leaves. Improve air circulation.

Propagating Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s ivy is fun and easy to propagate! Just take stem cuttings with a few leaves and nodes. Place them in water or soil and roots will sprout in a few weeks. Mature plants can be divided at the root ball for more pothos babies.

With the right care, devil’s ivy makes a fantastic houseplant that can enhance any indoor space with its lush cascading foliage. Follow this guide to provide it with everything it needs to thrive indoors. Enjoy your new low-maintenance green companion!