QUESTION: My pothos in a hanging basket spent the summer outdoors in the shade this summer. When I brought it in, I discovered the stems had grown very long but most of the leaves are near the ends, and the stems are bare in the middle. Will it hurt to cut the stems back?
Pothos may be the perfect houseplant for anyone who says they can’t keep a houseplant alive. It does best in moderate to bright light and a moderate amount of water, but is tolerant if you forget to water it. In fact, it prefers soil that is on the dry side over soggy soil. If it stays too wet, the leaves may turn yellow and drop off. Houseplant expert and author Barbara Pleasant notes that if pothos grows in very low light, the stems grow longer with more space between the leaves.
To help the plants fill out again, cut the bare stems to within 2 inches of the soil, or cut stems above a leaf node (where the leaf emerges from the stem). These cut-off stem tips can be rooted in water, and the rooted cuttings can be potted in regular potting soil.
Great gift for gardeners
Here’s something any gardener would enjoy as the new gardening season cranks up in 2013: Rodale, the publisher of Organic Gardening magazine, offers the Organic Gardening Desk Calendar, a year-full of tips for good gardening, and providing ample space each day, diary-style, to jot notes, sketches, tasks and to-do lists. It’s illustrated with beautiful photographs by garden photographer Matthew Benson (who I talked to earlier this year after the publication of his book, The Photographic Garden), and it includes a special feature, “Fun with Backyard Chickens,” that’s perfect for anyone who may be thinking of adding hens to the backyard garden experience.
You can order the calendar/diary from Rodale for $21.95.