Growing deep beneath the canopy, crawling across the jungle floor. Or, it might be draping down the side of a filing cabinet in your office, or even in a glass of water on your desk. They stir fear in the hearts of Australian gardeners. Pothos are growing up and down and all around Edmonton, but we aren’t afraid.
Pothos like bright light, but are quite adaptable. They are accustomed to being ground cover in a jungle, where they experience low light conditions. However, they also have the ability to extend aerial roots, with which they climb trees and head for the sunlight. The remarkable thing about Pothos is how they adapt their leaf size to light conditions. In an office environment we see leaves a few inches across. However, go to Mexico or Costa Rica where a naturalised Pothos climbs to reach for the sky (or even under the bright lights on the EIA living wall!) and you’ll see huge leaves over a foot long growing to maximise the available rays. They require drying out between through waterings and cannot cope with water logged soil. Horticulturalists and Hairdressers find themselves repeating a single refrain, “If you cut it, it will grow back fuller”. Hence why our techs come at your hanging friend with scissors.
The adapable, resourceful Pothos they have become an unwelcome invasive species in Australia. They also have a bad name in Nomenclature (pardon the pun) for having many different identifiers, all suffering a loose interpretation. For instance, they are grouped under the Araceae Family, a flowering family – but our rebellious friend has reportedly not naturally flowered since 1962! Science had forced the Pothos to put out an Arum flower through chemistry alone.
Despite being a little scandalous, our friend the Pothos is praised for its ability to filter toxins from the air and create a feeling of calm from physical contact. Perhaps Pothos have been shown in a bad light as they are so picky about their light requirements. They are tenacious, free roaming and they don’t like to be swaddled. However if you can find an equilibrium with them, you will reap the benefits.