Money plant’s scientific name is Epipremnum aureum and is a beautiful plant that you can keep indoor, in your balcony or in a hanging basket.
It is also a great plant for beginning gardeners to grow indoors or outdoors as a money plant is hard to kill aside from cold exposure.
The genus name derives from the Greek words “epi” for upon and “prem a m” for the tree trunk.
This plant is widely planted and it naturalizes in subtropical and tropical climates around the world. It is commonly known as the money plant in India.
Its other common names are Golden pothos, devils ivy, devils vine etc.
It is the only plant in its species which does not flower.
But in more or less light, discolouration of the leaves take place.
Benefits of Keeping Money Plant
There are a number of benefits of the Money Plant.
It can grow in a water-filled bottle (alone for a reasonable time if you simply keep changing the water or refill at frequent intervals.) or in a container with soil.
Although many plants can be grown hydroponically, money plant can survive without the addition of nutrients in the water just with naturally found salts in the water.
It is an excellent air cleansing plant.
According to Nasa clean air study, money plant is quite efficient at removing formaldehyde in addition to other toxins like benzene, xylene, and toluene.
The National Toxicology Program lists Formaldehyde as ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen’. It is an indoor contaminant and is released by many household products, like pressed woods, some types of foam insulation, paper products, certain paints and varnishes.
Money plant is considered a good Feng Shui plant as it is considered to remove toxins from the air. Feng Shui experts recommend keeping one plant near each computer, television or WiFi router.
Placing the money plant in front of a sharp corner or angle reduces anxiety and stress. Vaastu experts recommend planting of money plant inside the house as it brings good luck to the house.
An unexpected benefit is that actively touching a leaf of natural pothos causes people to experience an unconscious calming response.
It is an excellent plant for a beginner. A no-fuss plant, it can tolerate various light conditions.
The plant exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against various pathogens. Leaves and aerial roots of money plant have shown the great potential of antimicrobial activity.
Money plants are sometimes grown on top of aquariums with roots inside water. It helps in removing nitrates from water. The nitrates benefit plant growth.
How to Grow Money Plant
Money plants are quite easy to grow.
You can grow them in water or in the soil. One important point to remember is that those which have grown in soil have a hard time adapting to water and those which have grown for a long time in water have a hard time adapting to the soil.
It is easily available in markets as a small starter plant or a large hanging baskets.
They are sometimes sold wrapped around a piece of wood in different container sizes. It can also be grown from a cutting having at least two stem nodes.
While growing them from stem cuttings it is best to grow them in a potting mixture of coco peat (or peat moss and coco peat) for good root formation.
Warm humid temperature and bright filtered light will cause it to grow roots within 3-4 weeks and bud will start to form in 1-2 weeks.
You can grow the cuttings in water and after two weeks, when the roots form, transfer them to the container.
It is a good idea to plant several root cuttings in a pot. Once the plant starts to grow vines it is a good idea to train it to climb on a coir moss stick by wrapping it around the stick lightly with thread.
Another idea is to hang the pot in the basket and allow the plant vines to cascade downwards.
Growth Conditions for Money Plant
LIGHT: t requires bright filtered light. Although it can grow in a variety of light conditions, direct sunlight can burn the leaves of the plant. Give it partial shade/indirect sunlight. Indoors it requires bright filtered light.
WATER: Allow the soil to dry out first 2 inches before watering them. This plant can survive fewer waterings (only the growth will be stunted) but overwatering will cause root rot. However, give it less water in winters allowing the soil to go completely dry between waterings.
TEMPERATURE: They grow quite well in the temperature range of 17-30 degree Celsius. They love high humidity.
Soil- A cactus soil mix works very well for money plants as it will ensure good drainage. Adding of pebbles at the bottom of the pot also ensures a well-drained soil. Repotting needs to be done every two years or when the plant breaks the pot.
Money plant does not have much fertilization requirements. But since it is grown in a pot, and nutrients are lost in potting soil over time, a monthly 20-20-20 is enough.
Growing Money Plant in Water
For someone who does not have enough time or patience to grow pothos in the soil, it is one of the best plants to grow in water. It is also a great option if one does not like the mess associated with soil.
All you need is a jar (preferably a dark color) as that will slow the algae growth. If and when algae does form over time, just remove the plant and water and clean the Jar. Add fresh water and its ready to use.
About water, tap water works very well as long as it is not chlorinated. To remove chlorine, just let the water stay open in a container for a day. This way the chlorine is evaporated and the water is ready to be used by the money plant.
With time, water gets deprived of oxygen. Therefore change the water solution in 1-2 weeks for a healthy money plant.
Money plant can grow in water without any fertilizer using the salts in water. But it grows quite well if a few drops of any liquid fertilizer are used. (1:4 ratio solution, that is one part fertilizer into 3 parts water). Add this diluted solution every 4-6 weeks. Remove the plant before adding the solution and then place it back.
To grow a money plant in water, choose a healthy vine. Avoid the vines with brown or soggy leaves. Cut just below the leaf nodes ( the part where leaves stem join the main vine). The roots will grow from beneath the nodes. At Least two to three nodes are required for good growth.
Remove all the leaves below the nodes so that the leaves will not suffocate the newly emerging roots. Place the cutting in water so that at least the bottom two nodes are covered in water.
Place the jar near a window having indirect sunlight ( not direct sun). Ideal temperature range is 21-30 degree Celsius. Roots should emerge in 3-4 weeks.
After the roots have formed, either continue to grow it in water or transfer to potting soil.
Some Problems with Money Plant
It is a highly invasive species.
This plant produces trailing stems when it climbs up trees and these take root when they reach the ground and grow along with it. In some US states including Hawaii and Florida, it is illegal to grow money plant outdoors as it is declared invasive species.
It has destroyed rainforests in Sri Lanka and caused ecological disturbances in Australia and other parts of Asia. It is said to take over the forest floor and tree trunks.
Plant ingestions are among the chief cause of accidental poisonings in children younger than 5 years.
Pets are common victims of plant poisonings.
Money plant is listed as “toxic to cats and toxic to dogs” by the ASPCA due to the presence of insoluble calcium oxalates.
All parts of this plant are poisonous with toxic calcium oxalate crystals. Symptoms may include oral irritation, vomiting, eye pain, skin irritation, mouth swelling, etc.
Taking Care of Money Plant
One of the limitations of money plant is an inability to survive in cold temperatures below 10-degree Celsius.
Pothos is a sturdy plant. However rarely, it can be infested with bugs and diseases. The most common insects affecting money plant are mealybugs and scales.
Pesticides may be used to control these insects. It is, however, better to discard the plant and start over with clean stem cuttings. Spider mites can also infect money plants and can be easily removed by insecticides, alcohol rub, neem spray etc.
Other issues to look out for due to improper care of money plants are blackening of leaf edges and tips indicating excessive fertilizing salt buildup, underwatering or overwatering.
Black spots on the leaves and sudden collapse of the plant can be due to overwatering.
Low light can result in loss of variegation. Paler looking leaves mean the plant is getting too much sun. Dry brown edges mean the plant was kept dry too long. Yellowing of leaves which fall are mostly due to overwatering.
Stem rotting with limp leaves can be because of the drop in temperature.
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