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Devil’s Ivy (Pothos)

Question:

I know little about plants. According to the photos online, I have a hanging Devil’s ivy or pothos plant. I water it once a week and it grows like crazy. At some point I will have to go out of town unexpectedly for at least 2 weeks (not sure which season) and it won’t get watered for that long….will I come home to find a dead plant? Thanks

Answer:

It is hard to predict individual plants. Pothos are reasonably forgiving of underwatering, but if you suddenly doubled the watering interval, I suspect you would return to a wilted plant with some yellow leaves, but it would revive after watering. If you go beyond two weeks there may be serious damage. If your home heats up a lot while you are away, that will increase the plant’s need for water. So try to keep it in a cool location while you are gone.

The most obvious solution is to have someone else water it while you are away. Otherwise, there are several things you can do to extend the watering interval without damage.

Move the plant to low light. It can survive a couple of weeks with low light better than it can survive drought. Be sure to give the plant a thorough soaking just before you leave. You can also leave the pot sitting in several inches of water contained by a large bowl. This will act as a reservoir for the plant to draw on. Finally, you can place a large clear plastic “tent” over the plant so that the moisture does not evaporate away from the plant.