Pothos has become a universal favorite and a popular houseplant for plant lovers that grow effortlessly at any given spot. Their care requirements are basic, and they flourish with little care. But, does pothos flower? Let’s find out.
Pothos is a flowering plant, but it does not generally flower indoors. These plants remain restricted indoors and cannot reach their full glory. However, in the wild, pothos produces erect flower stalks with cream spathe marked with purple surrounding the spadix.
This article will look into this often-ignored issue and discuss how we can make our pothos bloom and what conditions are required for pothos to produce flowers.
Table Of Contents
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Do pothos plants flower?
Unlike most flowering plants, pothos or Epipremnum aureum are mostly grown for their vibrant leaves that act as wonderful climbers and add a lot of tropical vibes to any home.
Being native to the tropical areas of South East Asia, French Polynesia, and Australia, these plants are warm-weather plants.
They are commonly known as devil’s ivy due to their resilient and hardy nature.
Pothos plants can indeed bloom, but they need to grow to massive heights for them to be able to bloom.
Since these plants are mostly grown indoors in containers, they can’t bloom in such conditions.
For pothos to flower, they need to grow in the ground in the same conditions as in nature.
Pothos bloom with spathe-shaped flowers and rod-shaped spadix in the middle on a funnel-shaped bract.
The strange thing about their flowers is that very few of us even know that these plants bloom.
This is because they do not bloom indoors in container gardening.
In the wild, they grow on the bigger trees, with the vines reaching up to 100 feet long and 30-40 feet wide.
As they mature and attach themselves to the bigger trees, the vines form aerial roots from which they get nutrients and food to grow stronger.
What do the pothos flowers look like?
Pothos may take about 10 years to mature, and sometimes even after that, they may not bloom.
The flowers of pothos are not extremely spell-bounding, so the foliage is what we notice in them.
The pothos gives out stalks, and the bloom opens at the top.
The flower’s spathe is like a hood that encloses the spadix, which is often yellow or white.
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Vegetative vs. reproductive growth
The way pothos grow is important to understand here.
These plants grow in two distinct growth phases that are vegetative or juvenile phase and the reproductive phase.
Vegetative or juvenile phase
When humans are in the juvenile phase, our bodies focus on growing new bones and tissues and maturing the organs.
The growth happens fast, and the changes are more prominent till puberty, and the same happens for the plants.
During this period, the plant grows every day, and new leaves, stems, and roots every day.
Their growth is rapid, and they try to expand their photosynthetic abilities.
How long the plant stays in this stage depends on its environmental conditions and the nature of the plant, whether annual, biennial, or perennial.
Now the trigger that pushes the pothos from the vegetative phase to the reproductive phase is not available in the container plants indoors.
As soon as the plant reaches the reproductive stage, there is a huge change in its appearance and activities.
In pothos plants, the shift is first identified by the leaf pattern change.
They change from small heart shape ones to large mature pinnate-looking leaves in which the pothos’ flowering hormones get activated, and the plant begins to prepare to begin the flowering process.
This stage is different from the vegetative stage because instead of focusing on stems and leaves, the pothos shifts their energy to focus on flowering, bearing fruits, and producing seeds.
Do pothos flower indoors?
Indoors in the pots, the shy plant pothos stays indefinitely in the juvenile phase.
The leaves remain small heart-shaped, hardly develop any fenestrations or holes, and the vines seldom grow over 1 foot.
Pothos do not bloom indoors because they do not reach the stage of full maturity to reproduce in a restricted environment.
At what age do pothos bloom?
It is impossible to give an exact age when the pothos matures as it depends on several external factors.
Depending on the environment, some may take 10-15 years to reach maturity, and others may even take 20 years.
You can encourage the plant to reach maturity by providing it with the ideal conditions.
Ideal conditions for pothos to flower
The only way to make your pothos flower is if you grow them outdoors under the shade of bigger trees.
They cannot flower indoors unless you move them outdoors and plant them in the ground.
Pothos plants in the wild rainforests grow on the forest floor, where they remain shaded from direct sunlight by the bigger trees.
You must build a similar condition if you want your pothos to flower.
- Light: Pothos require bright, indirect light, which simultaneously gives the plant the necessary energy and does not make the leaves scorched. Find a spot in your yard or garden that remains under shade from the hot sunlight. It can be shaded from nearby trees or buildings, so the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight.
- Soil: Since the only way to make your pothos is by planting them in the ground, you need to pay lots of attention to the soil. Remember, pothos in the wild grows on the forest floor with light, loose, fertile soil with excellent drainage. The soil should be such that it does not get waterlogged, so if you live in areas with heavy clayey soil or daily rainfall, you must prepare the soil before growing your pothos. Though pothos is not too picky about the soil type, they still need soil with airflow for the plant to grow. They cannot grow in soil that is too tight and clayey.
- Temperature: Pothos is tropical vines that enjoy warm and humid climates. If you live in a region with harsh winter, you cannot grow your pothos outdoors in any way. The temperature of your region should be between 65-90°F for pothos to grow outdoors. If temperatures go below 50°F, outdoor pothos may find it hard to survive.
- Water: Watering is a crucial part of caring for your plants. Outdoors, the plants need more water than those growing in pots, but you must be careful not to overwater your pothos. Water the soil when the top few layers of the plant get dry, and let it dry until it dries off again.
- Humidity: For tropical plants, humidity is a critical requirement often overlooked. Misting your pothos in the early morning is a great way to increase the humidity around the plant. If you already live in high-humidity areas, you might not need this, but in drier regions, you must regularly mist the plants in the early morning.
- Fertilizer: Feeding your pothos is another important part of providing the plant with the necessary nutrients. Fertilizers help to provide the plant with extra energy and nutrients. You need to fertilize your pothos during the growing season in spring and summer. It is recommended to use an all-purpose balanced fertilizer for your pothos or NPK 20-20-20.
Refrain from fertilizing your pothos in the colder months because they remain dormant during this time, so fertilizing can only increase the risk of root burn in the plants.
So if you live in warmer regions, you can go ahead and try to grow your pothos outdoors, but if you live in colder areas, making your indoor pothos flower may not be possible.
How do I get my pothos to bloom?
Pothos flowering, especially in containers, is an extravagant sight rarely seen.
The pothos in our homes are stunted in the reproductive state; therefore, they cannot reach the mature stage.
Certain pothos plants have been known to flower in the southern regions of the United States or the greenhouse in the subtropical regions.
However, the conditions must be perfect for the plants to push out the blooms.
The temperatures need to be ideally between 60-80°F, with sufficient humidity and an abundance of space to grow and spread for the plant.
Generally, the pothos reaches this stage not before they reach at least height of 35-40 feet in height.
Are pothos flowers toxic?
Pothos plants are toxic, and all of their parts, including the flowers, have toxicity.
If ingested, they can cause severe skin diseases, respiratory troubles, cardiovascular problems and blisters, and mouth and digestive tract irritation.
The sap of the plant and the flowers contain insoluble oxalate crystals that attack and injure the soft tissues and cause irritation and infections.
How long do the flowers last?
The flowers of pothos, when they open up, last for only a few days, and then it starts to droop and fade.
So it isn’t easy to make them flower, and even when they do, it stays for a short time.
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Caring for pothos
Pothos is one of the most easily maintained and cared-for plants that flourish without much effort.
However, if you want your pothos to flower, it will not be possible indoors, and you need to build a greenhouse for the purpose, especially if you live in USDA zones 9 or above.
These plants can grow outdoors all year long in zones 10 through 12 in California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona.
For them to flower, they need to grow with temperatures above 70°F all year long.
Installing humidifiers inside the greenhouse is important to create a more natural environment for the plant.
Also, since pothos needs loose and well-draining soil that retains moisture, you need to amend the soil heavily with vermiculite and peat moss.
Peat moss can hold moisture, while vermiculite improves soil drainage.
One of the biggest common mistakes while growing pothos is to overwater them.
They catch root rot quickly if overwatered and can die if not treated.
Contrary to whatever beliefs, pothos is still a flowering plant. The only problem is that it is difficult to make them flower indoors, and the blooms last for a short span.
But still, as we have understood from the above article, to make your pothos flower, growing it outdoors in the ground is mandatory. If you reside in areas where the conditions are appropriate, then it is possible to make your pothos flower.
While it may be difficult to make your pothos flower indoors, they are, needless to say, loved for their shiny foliage. These plants are predominantly known for the leaves that grow bushy and gorgeous with very little care.
Provide them with 50-60% humidity, warm temperatures between 70-85 °F, and loose draining soil. Water them whenever you find them to be 2 inches dry.
Sources: Common insect pests and diseases, University of Florida Research, Effects of Different Pot Mixtures on Pothos, Pothos water needs study
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