Devil’s Ivy is a plant that belongs to the Epipremnum genus under the order or Alismatales. The genus name comes from the Greek word epi meaning upon and premnon meaning a trunk. Such names come in reference to it usually growing on trees in the wild. Due to its growth pattern, this flora is often listed under the category of vining plants. Pothos are mostly terrestrial plants that can be grown outdoors in temperate climates. However, it is also one of the easiest plants to adapt itself as a vivarium plant.
What Is Devil’s Ivy?
Epipremnum Aureum is a species of flowering plants in the Araceae family. It is most commonly known as Devil’s Ivy or Golden Pothos and makes for one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. For this particular reason, many hobbyists use it as an ornamental plant inside of their vivarium as well as outside the tank due to its ability to rapidly grow.
Devil’s Ivy Facts
Besides Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy is commonly known as Devils Vine, Silver Vine, Taro Vine, Hunters Robe, and Ceylon Creeper. Due to its creeping nature, it is usually used as a hanging plant in common household use.
This plant is extremely simple to take care of and does not require a whole lot of maintenance. For this reason, Devil’s Ivy is a great plant for beginners to use. In fact, Devil’s Ivy got its funky name because it is nearly impossible to kill. It will continue to grow and can become invasive to the environment even in conditions that would ordinarily be considered deadly for most plant life.
Epipremnum aureum also has an exceptional ability to purify the air. It is able to absorb or filter out toxic chemicals from the air such as toluene, trichloroethene, formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene.
Golden Pothos hold their beauty in its leaves. The vine will produce heart-shaped leaves that rotate location with the leaves around it. The tops of the leaves appear waxy green variegated with bright yellow and golden streaks. Each leaf has its own color pattern and is unique from the others on the vine.
Even on young plants, the leaves appear exactly the same as they do on mature plants, simply as miniature versions of themselves. This foliage can grow up to 39 inches long and 18 inches across. However, the overall size of the ivy will depend on the environment/enclosure that it is growing in.
Devil’s Ivy is a species of plant native to tropical regions all over the world. It originates from Mo’orea, a French Polynesian island; however, it has seen been adapted in a number of locations including Japan, China, Australia, Indonesia, and the West Indies.
It grows freely and very quickly in tropical forests around the world, taking over any area it finds itself in. Epipremnum aureum is also known to be seen naturally growing upon trees. Devil’s Ivy will find a tree and then send out aerial roots into the tree’s bark. They have the ability to feel the humidity coming off the surrounding area and sprout roots in that direction.
The plant will travel out across a branch until it gets to the end, where it will start to hang back down to the floor. Epipremnum aureum thrives best in 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can survive temperatures as low as 50°F or as high as 95°F for short periods of time.
This climbing plant can grow so fast and easily that it has been known to become dangerously invasive in some places such as Hawaii and Florida. Two rainforests are already known to have been destroyed in Sri Lanka due to the ecological damage done by Devil’s Ivy. It surrounds tree trunks and takes over floors of the jungle, killing off most surrounding plants. It is for this reason that some US states have banned residents from growing the plant outdoors.
All Pothos, in general, prefer shady locations that have an acidic substrate. Soil with a pH of 7 is considered neutral. A pH below 7 is acidic and a pH above 7 is alkaline. Devil’s ivy can survive in a wide range of soil conditions from acidic to alkaline. However, it tends to prefer and thrive within a slightly acidic PH of 6.1 – 6.5.
This type of vine will do great in a variety of vivarium types. When deciding if rather or not to use Devil’s Ivy in a particular type of enclosure, Be sure to go with setups that have dry terrain areas. Here are recommended vivariums Epipremnum Aureum will do well in:
- Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
- Ripariums – Mostly aquatic-based enclosure with some terrain features present.
- Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosure with little to no aquatic features.
Devil’s Ivy is a mostly terrestrial-based plant. Therefore, it should not be placed fully submerged in water. Although Pothos can survive for short periods of time completely underwater, it will eventually drown. On the other hand, it can thrive quite well when only its roots are placed in water and the leaves allowed to grow above water lines. It is important to keep this in mind when using this plant in an enclosure with aquatic features.
Pothos tend to cascade down and make the perfect accentuating tool for decorating a tank. With that in mind, any location higher up in a vivarium is typically preferred. Epipremnum aureum can be placed in a bucket like structure towards the top of an enclosure and allowed to creep its way down. Some hobbyists enjoy using this plant to cover up backgrounds and walls of a tank in order to hide unattractive equipment.
When it comes to the substrate, Devil’s Ivy does best in rich, well-drained, and slightly acidic soil. However, there are many different substrate options that can work. The most important factor is usually that the mix is well-draining and allows for good airflow. A lack of appropriate drainage can lead to rotting roots and eventually the plant’s death.
If planting this vine in direct soil, aim for a loose mixture of the substrate with a slightly acidic PH. A combination of sand and coco fiber will be light enough for roots to easily stretch through. Adding peat moss to the top layers or mix will aid in moisture as well. In addition, the substrate should always be well-drained and never completely saturated in water. Mixing in small pebbles, gravel, or perlite to the mix will encourage drainage and prevent rotting.
In the case where Devil’s Ivy is being grown in water, no substrate will be needed. As mentioned above, simply make sure that only the roots are submerged and the rest of the plant can grow above water.
In the wild, Epipremnum aureum will grow on the forest floor or along the side of a tree. Therefore, they are by nature always in a shaded sunlight area. Although, it prefers shaded areas with moderate indirect sunlight the Devil’s Ivy can withstand any lighting conditions and will even survive through total darkness. If conditions are too dark, it will survive perfectly well, but its growth will be stunted.
If the plant is not given any access to light the color patterns and strikes may fade or completely vanish. However, once the light is introduced again, the variegation will usually return. On the other hand, the plant can also tolerate bright direct light, but the leaves may burn as a result of this. When growing inside a vivarium bright artificial or fluorescent light would be the best choice to preserve its marbled look.
Buy Devil’s Ivy
When shopping for possible Devil’s Ivy, expect a few key indicators you are buying the best quality plant. The plant should be snail-free along with any other type of pest. The source of the plant will usually be sold in small or large garden pots, ready to propagate. The batch should arrive fairly green and without any welting parts. Click the image below to find out more about the current price and other relative info of Epipremnum aureums:
Pothos Care and Propagation
Golden Pothos are one of the hardiest plants that require little to no care or maintenance. As long as the roots have enough room and the plant’s basic needs are met, extremely rapid growth should be expected. Removing dead fronds and periodically trimming the Devil’s Ivy will further promote the health and growth of the plant.
How to grow
The easiest and quickest way to propagate Devil’s Ivy will be through the process of division. Divide an existing parent plant by taking a stem and cutting it from the tip. Simply repot the new pieces somewhere else and allow for roots to form. The new plant should begin growing in no time.
Another way to propagate Epipremnum Aureums would be to take a plant and simply divide it in half when reporting it. Tear the plant down the middle, separating the roots, and repot each root bundle in anew area. The plant will continue growing as before. This way the second plant will already be mature and won’t require as much time to grow.
Devil’s Ivy is highly drought tolerant. With that being said, no need to freak out if you forget to water the plant. Yes, even if it’s for several weeks. In fact, Epipremnum Aureums prefers its substrate to dry off a bit between watering. If the plant is left in overly saturated soil, its roots will begin to rot.
A simple way to know if it needs to be watered is to dip a finger into the top layer of the substrate. If it is dry to the touch, then you can proceed with watering, and if it still feels moist, then you can wait a few days before checking again. Watering the plant once a week should be ideal when growing in moderate temperatures.
If the soil is consistently too dry, the leaves might begin to turn rubbery in texture and brown in color. On the other hand, if overwatered the leaves will begin turning yellow and eventually fall off. If you notice either one happening, reduce watering immediately. In cold temperatures, the plant will need less water than usual but may benefit from an occasional light misting.
Plants Similar To Devil’s Ivy
Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing enclosure. Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment. Furthermore, if for some reason you find this vine hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this plant… Here are some other plants you might find may do well with or in the place of Epipremnum Aureum:
In summary, Epipremnum Aureums are suitable for all types of vivariums and all level enthusiast. Whether you are an experienced hobbyist or an amateur in the field, Devil’s Ivy will not disappoint. Not only is it almost impossible to kill off, but it is also an excellent way to take any enclosure to the next level. This plant’s quick growth and marbled look will help bring life and attention to otherwise dull areas.