How I love the Pothos plant with its feminine heart-shaped leaves! They’re similar to Philodendrons in looks, but they’re from different families.

Pothos is Scindapsus. I’ve never heard anyone use that word. Here’s a picture of a happy little Pothos I took this morning at Superior Mortgage:

Pothos

Pothos

One reason I like this plant so much is that it requires no real light. Look where this plant is – in the copy hallway. There are no windows and it’s doing just fine. So if you are looking for a plant for a dark corner of your house or apartment, Pothos is your plant!

Once you get a Pothos started, you’ll see that it can be a voracious grower. People will come up to me and tell me about they have one that goes around the top of the living room, or down the banister.

That’s ok, but that’s not ideal. If you’re one of those people, look at the vine. Are there big stretches where there are no leaves or only crunchy brown leaves? Like this for example (or worse – this one’s not that bad):

Unkempt Pothos

Unkempt Pothos

Aesthetically, that’s weak. But the plant doesn’t like it healthwise either. Especially if it only has one or two stems coming out of the pot. Plants want to be full and healthy, not spindly and anemic-looking.

The solution? You’re not going to like it. You have to do some pruning.

Yup, you have to break out the scissors and trim your Pothos back. Not all the stems, just pick a few to start, until you feel more comfortable.

Pruning is the same thing for plants as it is for humans getting their hair cut. It’s necessary, or else your hair would be dragging on the floor and you’d always have bits of pizza stuck in it. As a houseplant owner, it’s your responsibility to keep the plant the size and shape that’s proportional to your home.

Er, I preach that to you, as I clearly have not done for this plant at the mortgage company. Let’s take another look to remind us of my hypocrisy before we go on:

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Sometimes before I cut a plant’s stem or branch, I get a little worried that I’m hurting it. So I whisper softly, “Hold your breath little one, this will make you feel soooo much better.” Then I make the cut. In the case of this vine above, the trick is to make the cut close to the soil. Every time you cut a stem, you’ll get shoots popping out the side, usually two or three to replace the one you just cut. So if you cut by the soil, the plant will have a vigorous base. Here’s where I cut this one:

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Sorry, that’s kinda hard to see. I’m still getting used to my new camera. I’ll show you some closer images in a minute. First here’s how the planter looks now:

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In the weeks that follow, I’ll take pictures of the cut stem and show you exactly what happens to it. That way, when you try it at home, you won’t be scared.

Don’t throw away the vine you just cut. I’m going to show you exactly how to make it grow roots and start you a whole new plant for free!

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