Epipremnum Pinnatum Care – Growing Dragon Tail Plant

The Dragon Tail Plant is also known as the Epipremnum Pinnatum. Some people prefer to call it Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail.

However, it has tons of other names. These include:

  • Philodendron Dragon Tail
  • Dragon Tail Monstera
  • Dragon Tail Pothos
  • Monstera pinnata
  • Rhaphidophora pinnata
  • Scindapsus pinnatus
  • Pothos pinnatus

As you can see, people kind of associate the plant with different plant genera because it has some resemblance or features that are similar to that genus.

In any case, the Dragon Tail Plant is a rare climbing vine that belongs to the Araceae family.

Its large leaves start out whole but will eventually have fenestrations.

The plant is native to the tropical regions of Asia including Taiwan, Malaysia, China and the Philippines. In the latter, it is called tibatib.

How do you care for the Dragon Tail Plant? Give it bright, indirect light. It enjoys consistently warm, humid environments and is not frost hardy.

Water only when the top layer of soil has dried as it is susceptible to overwatering. It is a big plant with large leaves so you’ll need to accommodate enough space indoors.

Dragon Tail Plant Care

Epipremnum Pinnatum Light Requirements

The Dragon Tail Plant enjoys medium to bright indirect light. It can be kept indoors as well as outdoors.

However, keep in mind that lighting indoors is always less than that outside. The reason is that ceilings and walls limit how much light can get in.

So, the amount of natural light that enters your home depends a lot on how many windows you have and the direction those windows are facing.

For optimal growth, the Dragon Tail Plant will appreciate a spot near an east facing window.

This gives it morning light which is gentle. It also gets many hours of direct morning sunlight here.

That said, the plant also does well in low light.

As such, you can place it in the middle of the room or near the wall.

A north facing window likewise works.

The only thing to keep in mind is that less light means less growth. That’s because the plant’s growth depends on photosynthesis, which in turns depends on light as raw material.

Therefore, the less light it receives, the less energy it can create from photosynthesis.

As such, this affect how many energy the plant has to push out new leaves and further develop other leaves to help them get bigger.

On the other hand, you do want to be wary of too much light.

Excess light is something that the plant cannot tolerate.

More specifically, direct sunlight from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or during the summertime. These times are when the sun is harshest.

And leaving the plant for more than 2 or 3 hours in this environment on a regular basis will eventually burn its leaves.

 

Epipremnum Pinnatum Temperature

The Epipremnum Pinnatum likes warm climates. That’s because it is native to the tropical regions of Asia.

As such, the plant is used to warm to hot weather all year round.

This is why the Dragon Tail Plant prefers temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. And it will thrive if the temperature stays consistent.

On the other hand, it has trouble in temperatures below 50 degrees.

More importantly, it is not frost hardy.

Therefore, avoid leaving it outdoors during winter as the plant won’t reach to see spring.

The only exception here is if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. That’s because these areas have moderate or warm weather all year long.

So, the plant will be happy with the fairly consistent weather.

 

Humidity

The Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail Plant likes humidity. Ideally, keep humidity at 60% to 70%. This will let to grow optimally.

It is used to this because it comes from the tropical forests of Asia.

However, the plant can tolerate humidity of 50% without any issues. And it can withstand slightly lower levels as well.

The key thing to watch out dry air.

This can cause its leaves to turn brown, crispy and dry. When the edges and tips do this, the plant is trying to tell you that humidity is too low.

The good news is, you have a few options.

The most obvious is to get a humidifier. Of course, this comes at a cost and it does require some maintenance as well.

You can likewise mist the plant a few times a week.

Or you can set up a pebble tray and keep the plant on that. This is more hands-off. And you only need to refill the tray with water once it gets depleted.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Dragon Tail Plant

Allow part of the soil to dry before giving your Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail Plant more water.

Watering is the trickiest part of caring for the plant because it has issues with overwatering and underwatering.

When overwatered, its leaves will turn yellow.

After a while they can fall.

More importantly, too much water can lead to root rot.

On the other hand, an underwatered Dragon Tail Plant will experience dry, brown and wilted leaves. You may also see spots on the leaves.

So, how do you water the Epipremnum Pinnatum?

Since the Dragon Tail Plant is better able to bounce back of from underwatering, staying on this side is safer.

Still, avoid letting the plant go completely dry.

In contrast, overwatering is more dangerous. That’s’ because it can lead to root rot.

The problem with root rot is that there are no second chances. One it happens, it will keep spreading.

Additionally, the rotten roots are hidden under the soil. So, you don’t see their damage until later one.

Therefore, the best way to water the Dragon Tail plant is to allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry between waterings.

This will prevent you from adding more water when he soil is still wet.

 

Dragon Tail Plant Potting Soil

The Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail Plant needs well-draining soil.

This stems from its susceptibility to overwatering.

Good drainage will reduce the risk of overwatering and waterlogging because it gets rid of excess moisture quickly.

As a result, the roots don’t end up sitting in water for extended periods of time.

The easiest way to get this is to go to your favorite nursery or online plant shop and ask for an Aroid mix.

This kind of soil will have all the features the plant needs to thrive.

On the other hand, if you prefer to make your own potting mix at home, here’s a simple but effective potting mix recipe that works for the Dragon Tail Plant.

  • 1 part potting mix
  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part orchid bark
  • ½ part activated charcoal

This combination gives you some water retention thanks to the potting soil.

But it ensures good drainage with the perlite, bark and charcoal. The latter two ingredients also make the soil mix chunky. Thus, allowing good air circulation to the roots.

 

Does the Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail Plant Climb?

Yes, the Dragon Tail is an epiphytic climbing vine. As such it will appreciate having something to go up on.

You can give it a pole or vertical support.

Similarly, it will be happy growing at the base of a tree, fence or wall as it will climb these objects as well.

This is how the plant grows in the jungle. And allowing it a similar habitat will let it grow faster, taller and produce larger foliage.

 

Epipremnum Pinnatum Fertilizer

The Dragon Tail Plant will grow faster with fertilizer. It will also produce more foliage.

You can use a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. Apply once a month during the spring and summer.

Once fall arrives, stop fertilizing the plant.

You can restart when spring comes around again.

Similarly, you can opt to go with a slow-release fertilizer. This works differently in that they come in pellet form instead of liquid form.

The biggest advantage is that you only need to apply 2 to 3 times a year.

Slow release fertilizer also distributes nutrient release of a certain time period instead of pouring all the fertilizer at once.

This reduces the likelihood of over fertilizing the plant.

 

Epipremnum Pinnatum Pruning

The Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail is a big plant. It the wild, it can reach over 66 feet high.

Although indoors, it won’t grow as big.

Nevertheless, you’ll still need a good amount of space as it gets bigger.

Its leaves measure between 12 to 20 inches long and they will get wide.

As such, the plant needs regular pruning.

A lot of the pruning will be to limit the size of the plant and shape it. But part of your work also involved trimming the leaves as they can start overlapping over one another as the plant gets bushy.

Honestly, I love how it looks when it gets full since it looks like a mini tree indoors.

But, some people may deem that look as messy or too jungle looking. It this is the case, you’ll need to prune a bit more.

That said, avoid pruning more than 30% of the plant in one sitting.

Instead, break  up your trimming session so the plant does not get stressed from excess cutting.

 

How to Propagate Dragon Tail Plant

The Dragon Tail Plant can be propagated by taking a branch and planting it. Eventually, this branch will grow into a clone of the mother plant.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Take a healthy branch from the dragon tail plant. Make sure the branch has least few leaves on it.
  • Set the branch aside while you prepare well-draining potting mix using the recipe in the Potting Soil Section above.
  • Fill a pot with the soil mix and plant the branch in the middle of the pot. Ensure that the pot is hefty enough to avoid tipping over.
  • Water the soil and keep it moist. Then place the pot in a well-lit location with no direct sunlight.

It will take a few weeks for the new plant to settle in. Then you’ll see it begin to produce new growth.

Alternatively, if your Dragon Tail Plant has gotten a bit too big, you can propagate it via division.

This will let you divide the large plant into 2 or more smaller new plants.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Dragon Tail Plant

Repot the Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail every 1-2 years. This will give it enough time to grow in between.

When repotting, also replace the soil with fresh, well-draining soil mix.

Fresh soil ensures good drainage and aeriation. Additionally, it won’t get compacted. Of course, the old soil is also depleted of nutrients.

The best way to tell when to repot the plant is to chose the pot.

You want to look at two places.

Peek at the bottom of the pot to see if there are roots poking out from the holes below. Also, check the surface of the soil. If you see roots popping up from the surface or coming out from the crevices between the pot and soil, that’s your sign.

One of the two is enough to tell you that the plant needs repotting.

The best time to repot is during spring to early summer.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Drago tail plant is toxic to humans and animals. It is not meant to be ingested as its leaves will cause irritation, swelling and pain.

Therefore, keep young children, cats and dogs away from the plant as they may accidentally consumer the leaves.

 

Dragon Tail Plant Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Mealybugs, spider mites, aphids and fungus gnats are common pests that will attack the plant.

Although the Epipremnum Pinnatum Dragon Tail is resilient to pests, they can still occur. This is especially true if the plant is sick, stressed or weak.

As such, it is important to check the plant especially its leaves for any signs of pests.

If you spot any, no matter how few, begin treatment immediately.

These bugs reproduce very quickly. So, they can turn into an infestation in a short period of time.

Use neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of these pests.

 

Diseases

Root rot is the biggest threat to the plant. And it occurs doe to overwatering.

Therefore, always wait until the top 2 inches of soil has dried before adding more water. Also make sure to use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Similarly, excess water can lead to leaf infections.

This happens when you wet the leaves too much and they don’t dry quickly enough.

To avoid this, don’t water over the plant or on the leaves. Instead, water directly onto the soil. Also, keep the plant in a well-lit location with good ventilation to allow the leaves to dry faster if they get wet.

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