Pothos are one of the most commonly grown houseplants, beloved for their attractive foliage and easy-going nature. But getting your pothos to flower is a bit trickier.
That is, these plants are considered a shy flowering plant, which means it doesn’t produce an abundance of blooms, and several things have to align perfectly in order for your pothos to develop blooms.
But does that mean this plant never flowers? Let’s look at whether or not pothos flower and what can be done to help encourage blooms to grow.
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Do pothos ever flower?
Pothos generally only flower in their native habitat. This is because the pothos flower only occurs on mature plants, and the pothos grow indoors as houseplants are actually only in the juvenile phase. As such, indoor pothos don’t actually live long enough to flower.
That is, even when the pothos is grown outdoors, it can take 10 to 20 years for the plant to reach the stage where flowering can occur. When grown as a houseplant, the pothos’ average lifespan is 5 to 10 years. So, as you can see, the chances of your indoor pothos flowering is extremely rare.
Because the chances are so low of seeing a pothos flower, don’t grow this plant if you want something that will produce an abundance of blooms. Pothos are instead grown for their stunning, heart-shaped foliage.
Will pothos flower indoors?
Potted pothos that live indoors as a houseplant typically stay in a juvenile phase. Pothos in this phase do not flower. That means it is extremely unlikely that you will see your pothos flower indoors, although it’s more common for those grown outdoors.
Plants have two growth phases: the vegetative phase and the reproductive phase (which is when you will see a pothos flower).
The vegetative phase is its juvenile stage, and this is when the plant focuses on developing foliage, stems, and healthy roots. How long this stage lasts will depend on a few different factors, including the environment in which it is growing.
For pothos, the triggers that will shift this plant from its juvenile stage to the mature/reproductive stage are temperature, amount of daylight, and even hormonal changes. However, when a pothos is growing indoors in a pot, the plant stays in the juvenile/vegetative stage indefinitely. You can also choose the best pots for your pothos.
Why is my pothos flowering?
The pothos flower will only appear once the plant has reached its mature phase. This can only occur when the plant is growing in its optimal outdoor growing conditions. Since this is a tropical plant that needs year-round warmth, most regions in the United States aren’t well suited to growing pothos outside.
If your pothos is flowering, it is because it has reached its mature stage. This means the plant has optimal growing conditions and has been subjected to environmental triggers that signal for the pothos to go into its reproductive phase.
FYI: Seeing a pothos flower on your plant can be a bit unnerving, especially if the plant has never flowered before. Thankfully, these flowers do not signal anything is wrong with the pothos and is a natural process for pothos when they are grown outdoors in their natural environment.
What does a wild pothos flower look like?
Pothos produces numerous flower stalks that are grouped together. It’s on these stalks that the pothos flower will appear. It has a cream-colored spatha shaped like a spade with a trim of purple. These stalks are tall and erect, and the flowers are large and impressive-looking.
There is no mistaking these blooms for anything other than flowers when you see them on your pothos.
The pothos flower typically only lasts a few weeks, if even that, and is not commonly seen on pothos grown indoors as a houseplant. Indoor pothos are not provided with the growing requirements and time that the plant needs to move to the flowering phase.
You may also be interested in: 21 Best Pothos Types to Add to Your Home
Can I make an indoor pothos flower?
It is very unlikely that you can make an indoor pothos flower because of the simple fact that it doesn’t get the vital environmental triggers that switches the plant from the juvenile to the mature phase. In addition, indoor pothos plants simply don’t live long enough for this.
If you live in a tropical area where you can plant the pothos outside, you may be able to get the plant to produce flowers.
That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with your pothos houseplants or that they aren’t unhealthy. Indoor pothos are just not able to produce flowers because the plant is in a perpetual juvenile phase, which means it doesn’t grow into its mature phase, which is when the flowers appear.
How to make pothos flower
The chances of your indoor pothos flowering are extremely unlikely. The truth is, your indoor pothos is essentially frozen in its juvenile stage, which means it is not mature enough to produce flowers. However, there are some things you can do to help increase the chance of seeing your pothos flower.
1. Warm temperature and high humidity
Pothos need warm temps and high humidity. They grow best when temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and your pothos’ humidity levels are above 60 percent.
This tropical plant cannot handle temperatures below 60 degrees, and subjecting it to extreme temperature fluctuations will cause the plant to go into shock, eventually killing the pothos.
Unfortunately, temperature and humidity levels are hard to control when the plant is outside. However, the pothos need to be outside in soil in order to flower. Because of this, there are only a few regions in the United States where the pothos can be grown outdoors.
2. Indirect, bright light and well-draining soil
Pothos do not do well when planted in direct sunlight. In fact, direct sunlight can cause this plant to experience stunted growth and leaf damage. Additionally, pothos need the best soil to thrive, which generally means that they prefer a rich soil that drains well in order to be healthy and increase their chance of producing a pothos flower.
Make sure the pothos is growing in an area where it can receive filtered or dappled sunlight. Furthermore, mix equal parts potting soil with vermiculite or peat moss will help provide the plant with that well-draining, rich soil it needs.
3. Sufficient space
Pothos are large plants that can grow up to 40 feet tall in its native habitat. This space is needed in order for the plant to grow to maturity and develop a deep root system that is vital for the plant to produce flowers. Without the proper space, your pothos won’t flower.
The best location is one where the pothos can grow up some sort of structure, such as a tree. This will encourage the pothos’ natural vining tendencies, resulting in the plant growing larger leaves, a mature root system, and the possibility of a pothos flower.
4. Time for your plant to mature
One of the most important things you can give your pothos to encourage flowering is time. The truth is, it takes many, many years for a pothos to get to the point of maturity, which is when it will develop blooms. This can take 10 or more years before the pothos matures enough to flower.
Indoor pothos typically don’t live this long, and instead have an average lifespan of between 5 and 10 years. This means indoor pothos don’t live long enough for them to reach the age of maturity.
5. Regular waterings
Pothos like soil that is moist but not overly soggy. This can be a difficult balance to find, but it is an important one to ensure the pothos is healthy. A healthy pothos is more likely to flower than an unhealthy one.
Thankfully, outdoor pothos get the benefit of rain, but you should supplement the watering in periods of drought to avoid having an underwatered pothos. Without proper watering, the pothos cannot continue growing and maturing, which means they won’t have the ability to produce blooms.
Find out more about: How Often to Water Your Pothos (So It Thrives)
Should I make my pothos flower?
Pothos growing indoors as a houseplant cannot typically be forced to flower. So if you are growing the pothos inside, there is little you can do to make the plant produce blooms. Because of this, there is really no need to try to make the pothos flower.
What you can do instead, however, is to ensure your pothos are healthy and happy so that they can live a long life. If you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 to 12, you can plant the pothos outdoors in the ground. Doing this will increase the chance of your pothos flowering.
If you can grow the pothos outdoors in the ground, then you should try to make the pothos flower, since all the steps needed to encourage the plant to bloom are directly related to the plant’s optimal growing conditions. Only healthy pothos will flower, so you can assume that if you get your outdoor pothos to bloom that means the plant is healthy.
Are pothos flowers toxic?
Yes, the pothos flower is toxic to not only humans, but to dogs, cats, and other pets. In fact, all parts of the pothos are toxic. This is because the plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which cause pain and burning in the lips, tongue, mouth, and throat when consumed.
The good news is that, in most cases, ingesting a pothos isn’t deadly and won’t cause severe symptoms unless an abundance of the plant is consumed. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should allow your children or pets to nibble or bother the plant.
If you do believe your children or pet has ingested any part of the pothos, it’s best to immediately contact poison control or medical attention. They can determine if the issue is an emergency based on the amount of pothos consumed by the individual.
How long do pothos flowers last?
When grown as a houseplant, pothos typically live between 5 and 10 years. The pothos flower, however, will only last a few weeks. Keep in mind, however, that many factors can affect the lifespan of not only the plant, but its flowers as well.
Don’t be concerned if your pothos flower only lasts a week or so. Unlike other plants, the blooms of pothos don’t last for more than a few weeks and it is not uncommon for them to only appear for a few days before starting to look a little spent.
Because the flower only lasts a few weeks, at most, it isn’t necessarily something you should be worried about. Trying to force an indoor pothos to flower will bring more stress for you and the plant. Instead, enjoy your houseplant for the attractive foliage that brings interest and texture to your home.