Characteristics of Golden Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum) in the Wild

Epipremnum aureum
The Golden Pothos or Ceylon creeper is a species of flowering vines in the Araceae family, native to French Polynesia. This species is a popular ornamental plant in temperate climates but has also naturalized in tropical and sub-tropical forests around the world, including northern Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the West Indies.

Sometimes people get it wrong and call it the Philodendron. Even though it is categorized as a flowering plant the Golden Pothos plant will not flower without artificial hormone supplements.

Golden Pothos is classified as Angiosperms, which usually produce flowers at some point in their life cycle, it is the only species reported in its family (Araceae) that do not develop flowers.

INFO: Golden Pothos does not flower due to genetic defects of the biosynthetic gene gibberellin (GA), EaGA3ox1. This damage causes plants to be unable to develop bioactive GA, which is responsible for flowering through the EaLFY flower meristem identity gene. In these plants, the expression of the floral meristem identity gene was absent due to the lack of GAs from EaGA3ox1. It was found that when GAs was experimentally sprayed onto plants, flowering could result.

 

Characteristics of Golden Pothos Leaf

Epipremnum aureum Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Dinesh Valke

Leaves are heart-shaped in juvenile plants, but irregularly pinnatifid in mature plants. Each leaf blade of a mature plant can be up to 100 cm long and 45 cm wide (juvenile leaves are much smaller, usually under 20 cm long).

If this plant is planted in a pot, the leaf size will get smaller and usually only 10 cm or less.

 

Characteristics of Golden Pothos Flower

The flowers are produced in a spathe up to 23 cm long. Golden Pothos flower very rarely, the last known natural flowering plant was in 1964.

 

Characteristics of Golden Pothos Plant

Epipremnum aureum Plant
Source : flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

Golden Pothos grows as a vine that can climb up to 20 meters high, with stems up to 4 cm in diameter.

In tropical climates, the Golden Pothos is popular as an indoor ornamental plant with a variety of cultivars selected with white, yellow, or light green leaves.

Golden Pothos are often used in decorative displays in shopping malls, offices, and other public locations primarily because they require little maintenance and are attractive leaves.

Golden Pothos can grow either in indirect light or shade. It tolerates intense luminosity, but cannot withstand direct sunlight for long. The best temperature for the Golden Pothos to live is between 17 and 30 °C.

This plant only needs to be watered when the soil feels dry to the touch. Fertilizer can be added in the spring and done every two years. However, the Golden Pothos is a very tough plant that can survive in poor growing conditions.

 
BENEFITS: The Golden Pothos is sometimes used in an aquarium or aquascape, it is placed on top of the tank and allowed its roots to grow in the water. This plant is beneficial to the aquarium because it can absorb a lot of nitrates and use it for growth.

WARNING: Golden Pothos is listed as a poisonous plant for cats and dogs by the ASPCA, due to the presence of insoluble raphides. The placement of the plants should be considered to ensure that the plants are not consumed by pets. Symptoms of poisoning this plant in animals include mouth irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

Due to the calcium oxalate contained in this plant, it can also be toxic to humans. Possible side effects of ingesting plant parts are atopic dermatitis as well as burning and swelling of the area in and around the mouth.

 
HOW TO CULTIVATE GOLDEN POTHOS PLANTS

This plant can be cultivated from cutting.

 

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