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Acer's Florist & Garden Center
Edition 16.07 Acer's Florist & Garden Center February 19, 2016
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Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is one of the best known houseplants out there. Tolerant to low light, infrequent watering, and outright neglect, it is best known for its shiny leaves, long, draping foliage, and its ability to purify air where it is kept.

Depending on conditions, Pothos will grow shoots that are as long as 6-10' long, dangling from the outside of its pot (in the tropical climates where it is native, these can be as long as 40'. ) This makes it ideal in a hanging basket. Pothos can survive with minimal sunlight, but cannot do entirely without, so plan to place it in a room with a window. It will also do fine under the bright fluorescent tubes most offices have, so if you want to take it to work with you, don't worry about windows.

Care for this is very simple. Let the dirt dry out before watering again. Too much water can cause root rot and wash out nutrients in the soil. Too much watering will cause drooping and possibly black spots on the leaves. The best way to tell if it needs water is to use a finger and dip it into the soil. If you get wet dirt on your finger, wait a couple more days.

They prefer slightly acidic soil, but as long as your soil drains well, it should be fine. The plant can either be allowed to grow long vines to drape down around it, or pruned up to give it a bushier shape. As with any plant, confine your trimming to less than 1/3rd of the volume of the plant.

When the leaves start to regularly droop, even upon watering, it is a good sign that it's time to transplant into a larger container. If you're cursing your black thumb, or just hoping for some low-maintenance greenery in your home, give Pothos a try.

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Garden Primer

What's the difference between a plant fungus and a plant virus?


The big difference is that most fungus problems can be controlled with fungicides, while viruses cannot. A fungus normally attacks the foliage, while a virus can attack every part of a plant--eventually killing it. Most fungus is transmitted through the air while most viruses are transmitted through the soil.

The most common types of fungus are leaf spots (red, brown, or black), mildew (white), and types of rust (orange and brown). Leaf spots normally affect both sides of leaves, mildew the top side, and rusts underneath. They are fairly easy to prevent and control with a fungicide.

Most viruses enter a plant through the roots. They are prevalent in poorly draining or over-watered soils that never dry out. Many viruses cause leaf wilt; you will see this in the individual leaves--or the whole plant may look sickly and drooping. The only solution when a virus is identified is to try to let the soil dry out. If you catch it early enough, some plants can recover. Unfortunately, by the time most people discover a virus problem, it's usually too late.

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