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Golden Pothos with vines Photo by Severin Candrian on Unsplash

How to care for a Golden Pothos

A Golden Pothos is one of those plants that grows quickly and is well prepared to recover from all kinds of issues.

The Golden Pothos is not difficult to take care of, but it might also not be the best plant for beginning plant owners. It requires a fine balance between dry and wet soil and a bright spot in your house. This means it's a little more involved than plants like a Dracaena, Sansevieria, or a ZZ plant.

To find out exactly how to take care of this beautiful plant, let's break the plant care routine down into a few parts:

  1. Sunlight requirements
  2. Watering your Golden Pothos
  3. The perfect soil
  4. Propagation
  5. Fertilizing
  6. Toxicity
  7. Pests

Let's get into the first topic: sunlight requirements!

Sunlight requirements for a Golden Pothos

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It's plant care routine is very similar to it's cousin, the Philodendron. However, where it differs from a Philodendron is that it actually likes brighter spots in your house. The Golden Pothos likes bright indirect sunlight. This will keep it's leaves strong and healthy. Too little sunlight will cause the leaves to become pale and grow smaller in general. While too much sunlight will cause sunburns on your Pothos' leaves.

If you don't have any bright spots available, that's no problem either, your Pothos will still be able to grow in low-light situations. The only downside is that the beautiful variegation on the leaves will slowly fade. The variegation needs more sunlight to stay bright and pronounced.

Brown spots on the leaves

When your Pothos gets too much sunlight, it'll get sunburns on its leaves. The sunburns will show up on the variegated parts of the leaves most of the time and are unfortunately permanent. Sunburns won't heal, so you could trim the leaf off if you want to.

Ideal growing temperature for a Pothos

The ideal growing temperature for a Golden Pothos is between 20 to 32 Celsius (70-90 F). Your Pothos loves these tropical temperatures. This is quite warm for a normal house, so to achieve this temperature for your Pothos, you can keep it in a bright spot. Just make sure you're not exposing your Golden Pothos to direct sunlight.

Watering your Golden Pothos

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Golden Pothos in a bright place Photo by Severin Candrian on Unsplash

The Golden Pothos is a plant that loves to be in moist soil most of the time. You can let it dry out for a day or two as well, but it shouldn't be dry for much longer than that, as the Pothos doesn't tolerate dry soil very well. The Pothos vines can grow very long, so it prefers a constant supply of moisture to absorb.

Your Pothos loves moist soil at all times, but it doesn't tolerate wet soil very well. Like most other plants, the Golden Pothos is can get root rot if it's in wet soil for too long or too often. When the soil is wet, it's very difficult for oxygen to reach the roots of your Pothos, which kill the roots. This will harm the plant, as it won't be able to absorb any more moisture and nutrients.

You can avoid getting root rot by making sure your pot has drainage holes, so the excess water can escape out of the bottom.

Yellowing leaves

When you see your Golden Pothos' leaves to yellow, it's most likely due to incorrect moisture levels in the soil. Especially overwatering your Pothos will cause the leaves to turn yellow. However, if you're consistently water your plant too much and let it dry out for too long, it will also stress out your Pothos. In this case the leaves will also turn yellow.

Brown spots on leaves

When your Pothos is not exposed to direct sunlight, but it's still getting brown spots it could be due to overwatering. When your Pothos is suffering from root rot, the variegation often turns brown. So if you're sure you're not giving your Golden Pothos too much sunlight, it's good to have a second look at how much water you're giving it.

The perfect soil for your Golden Pothos

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The Golden Pothos likes to be in moist soil at all times. To make it easier for you to give it this growing environment, it's a good idea to get a soil that drains excess water away well, but also hangs on to water well. There are premade soil mixes you can get for this, or you can mix it yourself. If you're looking to get a premade mix, you can get a palm soil mix.

If you prefer to mix this yourself, be sure to get some perlite and coconut fibers or Sphagnum Moss. The Perlite is perfect for draining excess water, while the coconut fibers and sphagnum moss are great for retaining moisture in your soil. By combining these ingredients with some potting soil, you'll make the perfect growing medium for your houseplant. It makes for a growing medium which drains excess water well, while still allowing plenty of oxygen to reach your Pothos' roots and keep everything moist.

Propagating a Golden Pothos

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Golden Pothos vines Photo by Severin Candrian on Unsplash

Propagating a Golden Pothos is quite easy, as its vines naturally start growing air roots. These air roots grow out of little nodes in the vines of your Golden Pothos. New leaves also grow out of these little nodes in the vines. In the picture above, you can see where the leaves come out of the vines, little air roots also stick out.

If you want to propagate your Golden Pothos, you can make use of the fact that the roots and new leaves grow out of nodes in the vines. You can cut the vines about 2.5 cm (1 inch) under the node, and stick that right back into the soil. New roots will start to grow from the vines and in a few weeks, you'll have a new Golden Pothos growing in your house.

The best time to propagate your Pothos is during the growing season: spring and summer. During this time, your houseplant will recover quickly and will start to grow and settle into its new environment more quickly.

Propagation is a great way to make your Pothos look fuller and bushier, but also to keep your Golden Pothos under control. It grows very quickly, so trimming it and propagating it is a good way to keep it from taking over your living room.

Fertilizing your Golden Pothos

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A Golden Pothos is a fast-growing houseplant, especially in the spring and summer. The fact that it grows quickly, means it also requires regular fertilizing. During the growing season (spring and summer), you should use liquid fertilizer about once per month. You can also use some sort of slow-release fertilizer at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of summer. This will give your Golden Pothos plenty of energy to grow quickly.

During the autumn (fall) and winter, you shouldn't fertilize your Pothos, as this is it's dormancy period. This dormancy period helps your Pothos to catch it's breath and relax after growing so quickly during the growing season.


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Golden Pothos leaves Photo by Severin Candrian on Unsplash

Unfortunately, like many other tropical plants, a Golden Pothos is poisonous to pets and humans. The plant is poisonous when eaten or when you've touched the sap, as the plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals are very sharp and cause irritation on your skin or in your mouth when eaten.

If your pets have been eating this plant, make sure to call your veterinarian right away to prevent any more harm and pain for your pets. It's not just harmful for your pets, but also for humans, so make sure to keep this plant out of reach of your small children.


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Your Golden Pothos, like many other tropical plants, are susceptible to several types of pests. These pests include mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. When you do notice these pests on your plant, there are a few things you can do. You can clean the pests off your plant by using some alcohol with a Q-tip, insecticidal soap, or a neem oil mixture. Whichever method you use is up to you.


The Golden Pothos is a gorgeous plant that will instantly give you a jungle feeling in your house. It's not the easiest houseplant to take care of, but it's also not very difficult. This houseplant will show you when it's not happy, but it does require a little bit more care than a succulent or Sansevieria.

Your Golden Pothos loves bright indirect light and likes to grow in moist, but well-draining soil at all times.

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: pothos, sun-loving, humidity

Posted on: Jan 18, 2021 Last updated on: Sep 17, 2022

Other common names for this plant

  • Epipremnum aureum
  • Devil's ivy
  • Marble Queen
  • Jade Pothos
  • Neon

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Frequently asked questions

Why are my Golden Pothos leaves getting brown spots?
Brown spots could be due to too much sunlight or overwatering. When your Golden Pothos gets too much sunlight it might get brown sunburns. When it gets too much water, the variegated spots could turn brown.
How often do I need to water my Golden Pothos?
It's important to keep the soil moist at all times for a Golden Pothos, so in the summer you should water around once per week if you notice the soil is getting a little dry. In the winter it's best to do this once every two weeks.
How much sunlight does a Golden Pothos need?
A Golden Pothos prefers bright indirect sunlight, but can also tolerate low-light environements. It's very sensitive to direct sunlight and this could burn its leaves.
How often to I fertilize my Golden Pothos?
You should fertilize your Golden Pothos once per month in the spring and summer and not at all during the autumn/fall and winter.

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