Shangri La Pothos Care – How to Grow Sleeping Pothos

shangri la pothos

The Shangri La Pothos is also known as the Sleeping Pothos. Its botanical name is Epipremnum Aureum ‘Shangri La’, though some people just go by Epipremnum Shangri La for short.

This is a rare and expensive plant that is hard to find, even in online shops.

The plant also looks quite different from most pothos plants which have lovely shaped leaves

Instead, the Shangri La Pothos is kind of an acquired taste at least when it comes to looks. I remember the first time I save its leaves and couldn’t help but think that they look like cooked spinach.

That’s because they have this rich, green color. And the fact that its leaves naturally curl.

That said, if you look closely, you’ll notice the light green variegations against the darker green background.

The Shangri La Pothos is a vining plant that will creep or climb depending on where you keep it. It can get to between 6 to 8 feet long although most growers will prune it way before that because its vines get very messy as they get longer.

All said, this is a great plant to add to your collection because of its unique look and rarity.

It is also fairly easily to care for with a few pitfalls to watch out for. But, once you know which ones to look out for, it won’t be a problem.

Shangri La Pothos Plant Care

Shangri La Pothos Care Summary

 

Light Requirements

The Shangri La Pothos is quite versatile in the kind of light it can take as it does well in both bright and low light conditions. However, the thing it cannot tolerate are the extremes.

On the on end, exposure to direct sunlight for more than 2 to 3 hours a day of morning sun will eventually scorch its leaves and turn them pale color. Similarly, very intense or harsh sun will also damage its gorgeous dark green foliage.

Meanwhile dark rooms and corners will prevent the plant from growing properly. Like other plants, it relies of photosynthesis to create it own food.

Without it, or under insufficient lighting, the plant will become leggy and produce fewer, smaller leaves.

Both too much and too little light will both cause the plant to lose its beautiful foliage marbling.

On the other than, ideal conditions featuring bright, indirect light will allow it to produce the most vibrant colors and sustains its beautiful light green to dark green marbling.

 

Related Posts

 

Temperature

The ideal temperature for your Shangri La Pothos is between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a tropical plant that prefers moderate to warm conditions, because that is its native habitat.

And, it can likewise tolerate warmer weather over 85 degrees. However, you do want to give it a bit of shade or protection once the heat gets to near 100 degrees.

On the other hand, 50 degrees is about as low as it can tolerate. The plant is hardy to USDA Zones 10 to 12. So, it cannot withstand the cold, much less freezing conditions.

If left in temperatures under 50 degrees for long periods of time, it will eventually sustain damage. And, the lower the temperature goes the more problems it will experience.

This is why it cannot survive through snowy winters.

 

Humidity

Humidity is another very important aspect of caring for your Shangri La Pothos. Like temperature, it prefers high humidity. Again, this comes from its tropical nature.

Ideal humidity for the plant is between 50% to 70%. And, it won’t have an issue slightly above that either up to 85% to 90%.

It is likewise able to tolerate average room humidity with not harmful effects. But, only to a degree.

As such, you should keep it somewhere humidity stays between 40% to 50%. At the lowest, in the high 30s. Otherwise, you’ll see its start to experience dryness as the edges of its leaves will turn brown.

This means in most cases you won’t need to resort to a humidifier.

But, if you live in a fairly dry region, or the air gets very dry during the winter (which naturally happens), it is a good idea to take a few measures to increase humidity levels around the plant.

Misting is probably the most popular. But, it is also tedious as you need to mist 2 to 3 times a week consistently.

Alternatively, you can move the plant tot the bathroom or kitchen which are the most humid areas in the home because we regularly use water there.

Another option is placing the plant on top of stones in a water tray.

Finally, you group it with other plants.

 

How Often to Water Shangri La Pothos

Your Shangri La Pothos has a shallow root system. This means it you do not need to douse it with too much water or water it too frequently to hydrate them. in also means that too much water can easily overwhelm it.

As such, you want to avoid overly large containers or those that that are very deep. This will increase the soil volume, which when wet, leaves the roots swimming in lots of water.

Instead, always wait for the top soil to dry a bit before watering again. You can stick your finger into the soil down to about an inch deep (the first knuckle of your index finger) and feel the soil.

If it is dry, then it is time to water. But, it is feels moist, wait and then test again.

You can likewise you a moisture meter if you find it hard to feel for soil wetness.

This makes it easier to water the plant because it lets you automatically adjust watering frequency without sticking to a strict schedule.

The reason for this is that the plant enjoys moist soil during its growing periods (spring and summer). But, should be kept relatively dry during the winter when the weather is cold and it is resting.

 

Soil for Shangri La Pothos

shangri la pothos

To help avoid overwatering, provide your Shangri La Pothos with well-draining soil. Ideally, the soil should be light and loose as well.

Heavy soils or those that retain too much water increase the risk of waterlogging. Similarly, compacted soil will close out air pockets preventing oxygen from getting through to the plant’s roots.

Both situations can lead to the dreaded root rot, which if not caught and treated early enough, can destroy your beautiful plant.

The easiest way to achieve this is to combing peat moss and perlite.

Avoid garden soil as it is not a good idea for indoor plants and houseplants.

You can likewise use cactus and succulent mix combined with some peat moss or coco coir as well. While you can use this on its own, I’ve found that that cacti and succulent mix tends to get a bit dry for pothos. And, since the plant likes moist soil during the summer this can be a problem unless you’re willing to water more frequently.

If you don’t mind using more ingredients, you can combine perlite, vermiculate, shredded bark along with peat moss or coco coir.

In case you have standard potting soil at home, you can use that as well. Combine equal parts of cactus & succulent mix with the potting soil to improve its drainage as regular potting soil is too heavy on its own for the pothos liking (causing it to retain too much moisture).

Topping this off with a layer of worm compost will also improve the soil over time.

 

Fertilizer

Your Shangri La Pothos does not need fertilizer. It can do well on its own. If you want, you can give it a fresh layer of compost each spring.

This is enough to keep it happy and healthy.

That said, many home gardeners like using fertilizer to help the plant grow even faster. While this works, it is important to be wary of overdoing it.

Since the plant does not need much feeding, it is easy to overfertilize it.

Thus, if you choose to give it plant food, do so only during the spring and summer when the plant it actively growing. It won’t need this during the fall and winter.

You can give it a balanced, liquid fertilizer once a month, making sure to dilute it to half strength.

Feeding is most effective if you have poor quality soil. Although that’s rarely the case if you crease your own mix.

 

Pruning

Your Shangri La Pothos is a vining plant that will eventually grow long sprawling stems that reach 6 to 8 feet long.

Although most people keep it quite short by pruning since the vines get a bit unruly and grow all over the place in different direction.

Thus, in most cases, it looks better sparse when longer. Or, you can keep it bushy but a bit on the shorter side.

Once a year shaping is all the plant really needs in most cases.

As always, make sure to sterilize your cutting too before you trim. This will prevent bacteria from being transferred from the blade to the plant.

 

Shangri La Pothos Propagation

shangri la pothos propagation

At some point, I highly recommend propagating your Shangri La Pothos. It is a rare and expensive plant. So, you always want to have a few backups in case something happens to one or another.

You can also give a few away to friends who you know will appreciate this kind of rare plant. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it a lot.

The best way to propagate the plant is from stem cutting.

You can root the cuttings in water or soil. And, the best time to propagate the plant is during spring or early summer when it is growing. This allows you to take advantage of this time to speed up the rooting and growing process.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Take a stem cutting. Ideally, choose a healthy stem with at least a few leaves.
  • Remove the lower leaves to expose the leaf nodes.

If you decide to start in water, place the stem cutting (cut side down) in the water. I prefer using a glass or glass jar so I can monitor the roots growing.

  • In about 2 to 3 weeks, you should see roots developing.
  • Once the roots get to about an inch long, you can move the cutting to a pot with fresh, well-draining soil.

If you decide to propagate in soil, prepare a pot and fill it with fresh, well-draining mix.

  • You can dip the stem cutting in rooting hormone. But this step is optional.
  • Then plant the stem cutting into the soil.
  • Water the soil and keep it moist.
  • You can cover the container with a plastic bag with holes to increase humidity.
  • Then place the plant in a warm location with bright, non-direct sun.
  • It will take about 3 to 4 weeks for the roots to develop as soil provides more resistance than water. But, the roots also get stronger and are able to dig deeper into the soil.

 

How to Repot Shangri La Pothos

In most cases, you’ll see the Shangri La Pothos in a small container. However, over time, it will grow from its 6 inch pot and need to be moved.

But, there’s no need to hurry.

Instead, wait for the plant to send you signs that it has outgrown its pot. You can lift the container and check the holes at the bottom. Once you see roots coming out, it means it is starting to look for more space.

Similarly, the plant will slow down in growth once it gets too pot pound.

Also, soil tends to dry up quite quickly as the roots, which are not curling around the root ball, are quickly absorbing the moisture since it is not enough for the plant.

When repotting, go up 1 to 2 inches in size only. Avoid increase 6 or 8 inches as this will significantly increase soil volume, which when wet will leave the plant swimming in moisture.

 

Toxicity

As beautiful as the Shangri La Pothos is, it is not something you want to just leave around the house. The plant is toxic to people and animals. Although you do need to ingest enough for the side effects to happen.

Nevertheless, it can cause anywhere from mild to moderate problems depending on how much is ingested. The insoluble calcium oxalates will cause irritation and pain once them react to moisture in the body.

As such, outside your body, touching the plant is not a problem.

 

Pests and Disease

Shangri La Pothos are not prone to pests nor diseases. It is quite a resilient plant which makes it a good choice for beginners since it can take a bit of neglect.

However, no plant is 100% safe from pests and diseases.

That’s because problems, stress, illness, improper care or unfavorable living conditions make it more susceptible to these issues.

As such, spider mites and mealybugs, the most common pests for this plant, will take any opportunity to attack. Once they do they will suck the sap of the plant which affects its health.

And, the more they are in number the more nutrients and moisture they’re able to steal from the plant.

Thus, finding them early is very important. And, immediate treatment with neem oil or insecticidal soap is key.

On the other hand, bacterial and fungal problems are often what lead to houseplants’ demise. Root rot is another dreaded issue.

Fortunately, these are all related. And, they are man-made. That is, they are result of watering issues. This includes how much you water, how often you water, how you water and so on.

Thus, you can fix this by being mindful of how and when you water the plant.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *