Pothos and philodendrons are two popular houseplants that are often mistaken for one another, not only because their appearance is so similar, but because they share many of the same growing requirements. This has left many to wonder if they can plant pothos and philodendron together.
Keep reading to see if it’s possible and, if so, how to ensure both plants thrive!
Can you plant pothos and philodendrons together?
You can plant pothos and philodendrons together. In fact, these two plants grow well when planted together and can actually make your job as their caregiver much easier. This is because both of these plants have similar care requirements, including the amount of water, type of light, and temperature.
This means that with the same care schedule, both types of plants should do well on your watch.
Why plant pothos and philodendrons together?
Even though pothos and philodendron are different plants, they both belong to the Araceae family, which includes about 500 species throughout the tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Pothos and philodendrons have the same care requirements, grow in the same natural habitat, and are just all around good plants to have in your home.
When you plant pothos and philodendron together, you reduce the amount of time and stress you have to spend caring for your indoor garden.
No more worrying that you are meeting all the various lighting, temperature, or watering requirements for your plants, since both need the same care.
Disadvantages of mixing pothos and philodendron together
The main disadvantage of mixing pothos and philodendron together is that the fertilizer needs of pothos is slightly different from philodendron. This can be difficult to manage when they are both growing in the same pot. However, this is basically the only disadvantage of doing this.
Pothos don’t like being fed during the winter, while philodendrons love being fed every 6 or so weeks during the winter months.
Another potential disadvantage is simply a matter of preference. Because pothos and philodendrons look so similar to one another, it can look as if you only have one type of plant growing in the container. For someone who wants contrasting plants growing together, the combination of pothos and philodendron may not be right for them.
What types of philodendrons are best to plant with pothos?
Heartleaf philodendron, philodendron micans, and philodendron brasil are three potential varieties that do well when grown with pothos. But that doesn’t mean they are the only ones out there. You can combine just about any philodendron as long as it has a similar pothos trailing growth or vining.
If you want to plant pothos and philodendron together, you will need to consider the variety of the plants.
Philodendrons are much more varied than pothos, and your success at growing these two plants together will depend on whether or not you select the right varieties to compliment one another. Choose a philodendron and pothos that grow to about the same size and have the same growth rate.
You may also be interested in: 13 Best Pothos Companion Plants to Group Together
Care needs when grouping pothos and philodendron together
If you plant pothos and philodendron together in the same container, you will need to provide these plants with specific care to ensure their survival. This includes watering, lighting, temperature, humidity, feeding, and pruning.
Pothos and philodendron cannot tolerate overwatering, and one of the quickest ways to kill your plants like pothos is to overwater. With that said, however, these plants also don’t tolerate drought-like conditions. What they do like, is for the top few inches of their soil to dry out before watering.
Pro tip: To check the soil moisture level, simply insert your index finger 2 to 3 inches into the soil. If the soil feels moist, what a day or two before checking again. You can determine how often to water the pothos or plants when the soil starts to feel dry.
Pothos and philodendrons need bright, indirect light. Not giving them enough light will cause both philodendron and pothos plants to become leggy, which means they will develop long stems with little to no leaves. Giving them harsh, direct light, however, will burn and scorch their leaves.
If you don’t have a window where the plants can get natural light, consider using artificial lighting. Artificial lighting will still provide the pothos and philodendrons with the required amount of light, and help keep them healthy. Just make sure that the artificial light is also not direct.
Find out more about: What Are Your Pothos’ Light Needs (So Your Plant Can Thrive)?
When you plant pothos and philodendron together, you will need to ensure that the best soil to use is light, airy, and well-drained. Avoid soils that are compact since they can lead to overwatering. There are specialty soils made specifically for tropical houseplants like pothos and philodendron.
Alternatively, you can create your own soil mixture by combining equal parts potting soil, peat moss, and perlite. This mixture not only drains well, but also holds in just enough moisture to hydrate the plants without keeping their roots soggy.
4. Growing Container
The growing container that you plant pothos and philodendron together in is extremely important to the overall health of the plants. Never plant them in a container that has no drainage holes or drainage holes on the sides. This will increase the chance of root rot and other fungal diseases.
Instead, choose a container that has drainage holes at the bottom of the container. This will allow the excess water to run out of the pot without having to reach a certain level first.Additionally, consider the material the pot is made from as well.
Some materials hold in more moisture, while others dry out the soil quicker. Plastic pots, for example, hold more moisture than terra cotta pots because terra cotta is a porous material that will suck up the moisture in the soil. You can still use terra cotta pots to grow the plants, however, you may be watering them more than if you used plastic.
Pothos and philodendrons are native to tropical regions, so they cannot tolerate cold temps. Both of these plants grow best when the temperature is between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pothos cannot tolerate temperatures that are below 60 degrees, while philodendrons cannot handle temps that fall below 50. Thankfully, their preferred temperature is also the average indoor temperature of most homes.
Another thing to remember is that neither of these plants can tolerate drastic temperature fluctuations. An example of this is near a front door or under a heating and cooling vent. These areas can see the temperature go up and down by several degrees, and can cause your plants to go into shock if they are living next to the area.
While pothos and philodendrons love a little higher humidity levels than some other houseplants, they can adapt to the average household humidity level. You can help them get a bit more humidity when the air is dry by setting their growing container on a drip tray.
Drip trays are shallow trays filled with small pebbles that the planter pot sits on. When you water the plant, the excess water drains out of the drainage holes and into the tray. This water will then naturally evaporate, increasing the humidity level around the plant.
Another option to increase the humidity level is to use a humidifier. This nifty small appliance is readily available at department stores and online merchants, and works by putting moisture into the air.
Since both the pothos and philodendron have a trailing growth pattern, regular pruning can help encourage healthy growth while also keeping their size in check. When it’s time to prune, use a sharp pair of pruning shears and cut just below a leaf node since this is where no growth will occur.
If the piece you cut off was healthy, you can propagate pothos without leaves instead of throwing it away. Simply place the cut end in a glass of water or soil and let root, which can take several weeks. If you root the cutting in water, you will need to change the water once every 7 to 10 days, or when it starts looking cloudy.
FYI: Remember to always wear gloves when pruning pothos and philodendron, because both plants contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation if the sap comes in contact with your skin.
As mentioned in one of the previous sections, pothos and philodendrons have a little different fertilizing requirements, which can make growing them together a bit difficult.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Pothos don’t need to be fed during the winter, while philodendrons will greatly benefit from winter feeding.
The good news is that you can stop fertilizing during the winter to appease the pothos and your philodendron will still be healthy. If, however, you decide you still want to fertilize the philodendron during this time, simply dilute the fertilizer so that it isn’t as strong.
You may also be interested in: Best Pothos Fertilizer for Your Plant to Thrive
The pothos and philodendron even have the same pests and disease problems. The good news is that most of these issues are easy to treat and fairly preventable. The only real serious problem to worry about is root rot.
Root rot is a fungal disease that occurs when the plant’s soil is consistently soggy. This could be due to overwatering, soil that doesn’t drain properly, or a combination of both. Unfortunately, there is no cure for root rot and trying to save a plant infected with this disease is extremely difficult.
The good news, however, is that root rot is completely preventable. Just ensure your plants are growing in soil that drains well and avoid overwatering them. If you accidently over water the plants, simply let the soil dry out a bit before watering them again.
Even indoor plants have to deal with pests sometimes, and it is no different when you plant pothos and philodendron together. Thankfully, the pests are typically sap-sucking insects, such as mealybugs and spider mites, which are relatively easy to control.
Simply treat the plants with insecticidal soap, making sure to liberally apply the solution to the tops and underside of the leaves, as well as to the stems. You may have to reapply the solution again after 7 to 10 days.