Cut and stick, wait and see
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I have a plant in my office at work that is very happy
and I am wondering how easy it would be to start cuttings to give
away. It is an Epipremnum, Pothos. (I thought it was a
Philodendron when I bought it, is there a
The plant is putting out long vines and I don't want it
to develop into one of those office plants that take over the all
shelves and eats the office. Is it share-able or should I just
prune it and throw the cuttings away? Thanks guys, - J.C.
It's eminently share-able.
Stick any short bit of stem with
one leaf into some sandy potting mix, and tent it with a sandwich
baggie to create a mini terrarium.
Keep it in decent light -- something many offices have which have
fluorescent lights shining from dawn long into the night. It'll not
only root but bust out of the tent on its own in a month or so. Give
it bottom heat, see it happen even faster.
Or root cuttings in water. Move
them into pots soon as you see roots, or just grow them on in water
More about propagation in the notes from our Propagation
Commonly, understandably confused
Plenty of people confuse members of Epipremnum and
Philodendron. A pothos grown in low light may be very
green, very similar in leaf and habit to heartleaf
Philodendron (P. scandens). The two like the same
growing conditions, too -- bright but not direct light, steady
moisture, good drainage. In practice, they are interchangeable.
However, it's pothos that provides the gold leaf and some
variegated types people find especially attractive .
Right: Golden pothos is definitely a plant that can take
over the shelf and eat the office. Yet it has no need to be so big
and makes no argument if continually trimmed back.
We're among those who often mix them up. Friends who specialize
in interior plants have chuckled over this, and seem able to tell
them apart at a distance. However, we did overhear, one time, "You
need to feel the new leaf. Even then it's a relative thing. If it's
glossier, it's pothos. If it's matte it's a
We look at the leaf stalk to make a stab at which is which. An
Epipremnum petiole has a trough in it, while
Philodendron leaf stalks are smooth and round in cross
section. If they ever bloomed we'd see bigger differences, but
we're not likely to ever see a bloom on either one. They fail to
receive some trigger or condition they need to flower, outside
their home tropic/subtropic environment.
Below, left: Pothos leafstalk or petiole forms a trough.
Below, right: The Philodendron petiole is
Making cuttings of indoor plants brings a smile to our
faces, forever linked to a day of sticking cuttings (What's
Coming Up issue 32*) with our young friends Mackenzie Moore and
Cody Tripp, who dubbed Janet, "Nature Girl." (What's Coming Up
*Check Ensemble Weekly Editions for these two fun issues. If
they are not yet posted, they will be. You can also look them up on
our CD collection, Asking About Asters.