House Plants/Devil's Ivy

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Question
I know little about plants. According to the photos online, I have a hanging Devilís ivy or pothos plant. I water it once a week and it grows like crazy. At some point I will have to go out of town unexpectedly for at least 2 weeks (not sure which season) and it won't get watered for that long....will I come home to find a dead plant? Thanks

Answer
Hi Lee,

It is hard to predict individual plants. Pothos are reasonably forgiving of underwatering, but if you suddenly doubled the watering interval, I suspect you would return to a wilted plant with some yellow leaves, but it would revive after watering. If you go beyond two weeks there may be serious damage. If your home heats up a lot while you are away, that will increase the plant's need for water. So try to keep it in a cool location while you are gone.

The most obvious solution is to have someone else water it while you are away. Otherwise, there are several things you can do to extend the watering interval without damage.

Move the plant to low light. It can survive a couple of weeks with low light better than it can survive drought. Be sure to give the plant a thorough soaking just before you leave. You can also leave the pot sitting in several inches of water contained by a large bowl. This will act as a reservoir for the plant to draw on. Finally, you can place a large clear plastic "tent" over the plant so that the moisture does not evaporate away from the plant.

Hope this helps. Have a great trip!

I have written a detailed article on Pothos care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Regards,
Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed

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I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.

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I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

Education/Credentials
BA, Amherst College

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