About a year ago, I wrote an article about cubicle-friendly plants that can survive — and thrive — without ever seeing sunlight through a window. Atop the list were the usual suspects you often see recommended to the black-thumbed: ZZ plants, peace lilies, snake plants, and pothos. All tend to be low-maintenance plants that are pretty tolerant of whatever you throw their way; really, they only need the occasional glass of water to stay happy wherever you put them. To get some hands-on experience while writing and researching that article, I bought a ZZ plant and kept it on my desk. Soon after it published, though, I received a gift from The Sill: a small jade pothos plant like the one horticulturalist and The Sill’s then–plant scientist Christopher Satch recommended when I spoke to him for my article.
At first, I’ll admit I didn’t quite know what to do with the pothos. The ZZ was easy because it just grows neat and vertical, making it well-suited to cubicle life. But the pothos is a little wilder. It’s a vining plant, so once it started to grow over the edge of pot, the leaves just sort of awkwardly pooled down on top of my desk. It came into its own after I put it on a little bamboo stool, and a year after receiving it, the pothos has now probably doubled in size. One of the vines hangs down, growing around the legs of the stand, and I put some little pins in the cubicle wall to support the other. I love the contrast between the nondescript office architecture, with all its right angles and muted colors, and the jungle-y bright green vines just doing their thing.
But a pothos is more than just a great office plant (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). It’s also a really fantastic houseplant. I have another jade pothos in my apartment that I inherited when I moved in four years ago, and it’s still going strong after many prunings and re-pottings. Since pothos don’t need much light, they’re great for adding a pop of green on shelves and ledges that could use a little something. The hanging vines create a dynamic visual, a sort of overgrown and lush look. Pothos are, of course, also great to hang, but I think putting one on a shelf or simple stool is probably the easiest way to elevate the plant enough for its vines to unfurl. Though, lately, I’ve also seen people (on plant Instagram at least) starting to take advantage of pothos’s vining inclination by training them to grow up a moss pole, or by supporting the vines with little hooks so they can crawl up walls. Truly, it’s hard to go wrong with where you put one. Just don’t overwater it.
My pothos is the only plant I own from The Sill, but I remember being really impressed when it arrived. Everything was well packaged and the plant showed up in very good condition — inside its own nice-looking ceramic pot, no less. There are a bunch of pots to choose from, too, but I like the Hyde because it has a built-in drainage hole and a separate saucer (meaning there’s less risk of root rot from excess water). Normally you pay a slight premium at The Sill, but with this Cyber Monday deal, you’re getting plant and pot for basically the same price as buying everything separately and potting it yourself. It might even be cheaper. Either way, if you buy only one thing today, and you have five-inches of surface area to spare — at your desk, home, or wherever else — you can’t go wrong with a pothos.
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