Pothos, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is a low-maintenance plant known for its durability and ease of care. It doesn’t require frequent watering. Just give it a drink when the soil has dried up completely and it will be good to go, at least for a week. And it also grows relatively faster than other plants, whether placed inside or outside. Now just because pothos is a hardy plant and can tolerate a lot of conditions, doesn’t mean you won’t care about it. No matter how strong the plant is, you need to keep a couple of things in mind while growing it, such as the amount of fertilizer, type of soil, and watering and lighting requirements.
Talking about light, pothos can thrive in varied lighting conditions, including low and bright light. But the question is, what kind of light is best for the pothos plant? Does it like direct sunlight? Before answering your question, we would like to talk first about what exactly is direct sunlight.
No, pothos does not like direct sunlight. Instead, they do best in bright, but indirect sunlight. Only a couple of houseplants can tolerate direct sunlight, such as succulents and cacti. Other than these, all the plants need bright, indirect light to survive. Therefore, pothos can thrive well, rather best without direct sunlight.
What Is Direct Sunlight?
Direct light or direct sunlight is a bit specific to gardening. Basically, it means unfiltered light from the sun. So if you’re placing your plant in an open space where the sun is shining directly on it, it is getting direct sunlight.
Can Pothos Tolerate Direct Sunlight?
Since pothos is an understory plant, it cannot tolerate direct sunlight really well. If you subject it to direct sunlight, it will get scorched. Other than that, direct sunlight can also dry out the soil faster, leading to frequent watering. Excess watering can lead to root rot, a common case in pothos.
Now, that doesn’t mean pothos doesn’t like the light at all. Pothos need sunlight to produce chlorophyll, which is their food. Therefore, sunlight is a prerequisite to the growth and wellness of the pothos plant, not directly, though. For this very reason, pothos plants are best kept indoors than outdoors.
What Type Of Light Is Best For Pothos Plant?
Pothos is a strong plant and can easily tolerate low light. However, if we’re talking about the ideal type of light for pothos or Devil’s Ivy, bright, indirect light would be best. As mentioned above, pothos is an understory plant and gets a lot of light coming down, which is referred to as bright, indirect light.
Having said that, there are several different varieties of pothos plants and each prefers a different kind of lighting. Below we’ve discussed the lighting requirements of different types of pothos plants.
Cebu Blue Pothos
Cebu Blue pothos can thrive in low light also but prefers medium to bright, indirect light for faster growth. Avoid putting it under direct sunlight as that can burn its foliage.
Pearls N Joy Pothos
This is a fairly uncommon species of pothos plant but looks extremely beautiful. It thrives best in high to medium light but can tolerate low light fairly well. If you want your Pearls N Joy Pothos to be more variegated, put it under higher light, but never under direct sunlight. It’s as sensitive as other species of pothos plants when it comes to direct sunlight.
Marble Queen Pothos
The light requirement of Marble Queen Pothos is the same as Pearls N Joy Pothos. It can survive in low light but performs best in medium to bright, but indirect light. The variegation will also be better if you put it under higher light. Don’t place it under direct sunlight as that will burn its foliage.
Hawaiian pothos prefers adaptable light. You can keep it under bright, indirect light, but it tolerates medium to low light best. Bright light will also make it more variegated, which I’m sure you’ll all want. Please do not keep Hawaiian pothos under direct sunlight.
Silver Satin Pothos
Silver Satin Pothos should be kept under bright, indirect light all year round. If you keep it under harsh, direct sunlight, it will burn its leaves and if the light is too little, the leaves will lose their variegation.
Jade pothos can adapt fairly well to lower light, but if you want it to be healthy and grow faster, provide it bright, but indirect light all year round. This variety of pothos requires a perfect balance of light as harsh, direct sunlight burns out of the leaves and insufficient light makes the leaves discolored and smaller in size.
The light requirement of Neon pothos is the same as Jade pothos. Just like Jade pothos, even Neon pothos needs bright, but indirect light all year round. Do not put it under direct sunlight as that will burn the leaves and too little of it will turn it pale green in color.
Pearls N Joy Pothos
Pearls N Joy Pothos is best kept under medium and high light but can grow in low light areas as well. Keep it under higher light if you want the variegation to be more pronounced. Just like other species, avoid keeping Pearls N Joy Pothos under direct sunlight.
How To Make Pothos Get Most Sunlight?
- Place your pothos plant in the east-side window.
- Keep it in the sunlight for 3 to 4 hours and then move it to some other place.
- Place your plant where it can get diffused sunlight.
- Place it in a room where it can receive ample sunlight.
- Hang it at a place where it can receive indirect bright light all the time.
- Place the pothos in diffused light. It will definitely help it thrive.
Do Pothos Like Direct Sunlight FAQs
Where should I place my pothos plant?
Pothos plants grow best when placed in bright, but indirect sunlight. Hence, you must avoid putting it in places where it could get burned, such as window sill or porch.
In case you want to put it on the window, go for the east-facing ones. Since pothos can take in 12 hours of sunlight, east-facing windows would be the best option. But don’t forget to filter it with a sheer cloth.
If the need arises, or if you don’t have any other option, you can place your Pothos plant on the west-facing window as well. The light won’t be very strong but it will at least do the needful.
How would I know if my pothos plant is getting too much sun?
Pothos plants display a few signs when it’s receiving too much sun. For instance, if the leaves of your pothos are turning yellow, it could mean that it’s absorbing way more sunlight than required. However, if the leaves are turning brown, it means that it isn’t getting enough sunlight.
Can I put my pothos plant near the window?
Put your hands out in the light that’s coming from your window. If you get a sunburn or a tan, it means the place isn’t ideal for your pothos plant as it’s receiving direct light. In that case, I would advise you to filter the light through a curtain. And place the pothos are a couple of feet back or to the side so that the sun doesn’t shine directly on it.
How many hours of sunlight does the pothos plant need?
3 to 4 hours of sunlight is more than enough for pothos. But they can easily survive 10 to 12 hours of sunlight daily. Even if you fail to provide it with sunlight, it will still survive. But plants require nutrients to live, just like us, and the sunlight is a significant source of it. Plants need sunlight to make chlorophyll, without which they cannot survive. So if you’re growing a plant, take it as a duty to provide it with everything that it needs.
Pothos, with their beautiful heart, shapes leaves and cascading vines make an excellent indoor plant. It doesn’t require a lot of attention to grow. Just take care of its basic requirements and you’ll always have healthy pothos in your house. As for the light, almost all the species of pothos plant grow fine in bright, well-lit areas and even low light, but avoid keeping it under direct sunlight.
Aiza Siddiqui is one of the content providers in Gardener’s Toolbox. From a very young age, Aiza has been passionate about gardening, which explains her choice of major in studies. She holds a BSc Degree in Botany from the University of Calcutta. Aiza is a green thumb through and through and owns more than 100 different types of plants. Every article that she contributes to Gardener’s Toolbox is written by doing extensive research and from her own experience with planting and gardening. Hoping that you will find her articles on different houseplants helpful.