There you are, and here I am with more plant parenting learnings! For those who didn't know, my educational background is in accounting, so in my personal life, I have been spending time evaluating and rebalancing investments.
This has got me thinking about how the plant pursuit we've found ourselves on can be discussed much like portfolio management! Before you get that second yawn in, allow me to elaborate!
I think it's safe to say you're here because you're looking for a long term strategy for success in this plant lifestyle. Whether you are just getting started, or already have a 'mature' portfolio, common questions we should think about before making a purchase (unless you have an urge to live on the edge...which I do from time to time) include, what are our overall goals? How about risk tolerance? Will I get a return on my (emotional) investment (i.e. If I spend $80.00 on that Calathea, will I be feeling some type of way if I'm prepping for a plant funeral by month end after missing a watering?)?! Step into my office, because I'm here to help.
MY LOW-RISK INVESTMENT PICK
I have pondered all of the questions above along my Plant Penthouse journey, and am here today to overview the most conservative investment to-date in my plant portfolio, the Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)!
In the same way you construct an investment portfolio against your risk tolerance, today we are replacing stocks, bonds, and mutual funds with a low-risk plant equivalent!
Pothos will forever be my 'conservative' investment choice for three reasons:
Pothos are easy going in that they do not require any special soil, will not freak out from pruning when needed, and will tolerate low-light conditions (but variegated pothos do tend to show off more with bright, indirect light).
While pothos do prefer a chance to dry out in between waterings to prevent root rot (i.e. when the top inch of soil has dried out), pothos provide a great visual care reminder for plant parents new and old (hey, even I need a reminder from time to time!). What I mean is they droop when they need water (so you will NEVER be confused if your pothos needs a drink!) and if you’re heavy-handed (which I was guilty of when I first started!) wilting, brown leaves and/or soaked (passed the point of being ‘moist’) soil will remind you to let up.
Pothos are very easy to propagate (I've learned SO much from Planterina!) so they are the gift that can keep on giving at all plant skill levels!
As detailed by the ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), pothos can be toxic if ingested. This is caused by insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation of the lips, mouth, and tongue and difficulty swallowing. It is recommended that you contact your veterinarian if your pet has chewed on this plant, or poison control if eaten by a child (...or adult).
As with any portfolio allocations, diversifying your assets is always a wise decision. You're in luck, because I'm here to tell you the same can be accomplished with your pothos! To name a few, here are my top three pothos cultivars (and there are many more!):
The Silver Satin Pothos (shown styled below!) is incredibly tolerant of low-light conditions from my experience.
The Neon Pothos is fun and bright, and also tolerant of darker spaces.
The Marble Queen Pothos is great for those feeling fancy due to it's variegated leaves! As a fancy variegated lady, she also requires more light than other pothos cultivars.
Through my own confusion at big box retailers, I've learned that pothos are commonly misclassified as Philodendrons. This is because the vining philodendron has heart-shaped leaves that resemble the leaves and needs of pothos. Outside of visual aesthetic (the pothos leaf shape can appear larger and have a more waxy texture), care has been one in the same for me, so I don't stress about it!
Whether you are just getting started or looking to rebalance, the Pothos is a conservative investment that always pays dividends. Can somebody say cha-ching?!
Here's to a healthy, thriving plant portfolio! All my love <3 Shayla