On occasion, you might run across someone that says that Pothos need sunlight. And at other times you will come across others that say Pothos plants can do great in low light. The truth is that it depends on the type of Pothos plant you have. Some like bright light and some will do fine in low light areas. Of those that need brighter light, do those Pothos plants like direct sunlight? The quick answer is not really, and direct sunlight can harm them by causing sunburn on the leaves of the Pothos.
Pothos Plants and Too Much Sun
When you think about a Pothos in its natural habitat, it is found in tropical forests growing across the floor of the forest. When it grows, it vines along the ground and then finds a tree to climb up to reach the sunlight.
Now that might sound like it likes sunlight since it grows towards it. But think of a tropical forest, it is full of very tall trees with foliage that act as a filter. It’s shady in most of the forest unless you find a clearing.
So while the Pothos plant will grow towards the source of the sunlight it’s not going to grow to the very top of the trees and be directly under the sun. It will get filtered light even growing up the tree. Any direct sun it gets will be some short bursts here and there as the wind blows moving the foliage of the large trees in the forest.
How Much Light Does a Pothos Need?
As a general estimate for Pothos plant as a whole, 10 to 12 hours of light is a good target.
However, if you have a type of Pothos that has large amounts of white, yellow, or cream-colored variegation the intensity and time of light should be increased to help the plant with its photosynthesis process. This would include N’Joy, Manjula, Marble Queen, and Pearls and Jade Pothos.
For my highly variegated Pothos I usually have 12 to 15 hours of light. I get this increased amount of time by using LED grow lights to supplement the natural indirect light that they get throughout the day. For some, I turn them on when I wake up and turn them off when I go to bed. Others have built-in timers in the lights that I can set to 12 hours, I set these to turn on before the sun comes up to add some extra light for the plants during the day.
Should You Put Your Pothos in the Window?
If you have a variegated Pothos plant such as a N’Joy, Manjula, Pearls & Jade, or Marble Queen Pothos plant, then these are going to need brighter light. But if you have a Global Green Pothos, Jade, or Golden Pothos you won’t need as much light and can get away with placing them in a darker area.
Those that need brighter light would do well with being placed in a window, but you need to pay attention to the direction your window is facing and how the sunlight comes through the window throughout the day.
If you have a north-facing window then that would be a great option to put your Pothos plant. The other option would be an eastern-facing window where the only direct sun it might get is a brief bit in the early morning.
If your only options are to put your Pothos plant in a southern or western-facing window, then it would be best to filter the light as much as you can. You can use blinds or even a sheer curtain to provide a filter.
Other options can be on the opposite side of the room if there is a lot of direct sun coming through the window. This is an especially good option if you have some of the Pothos varieties that don’t need as much light.
Can Pothos Grow in Direct Sunlight?
This depends on the type of Pothos plant that you have.
If direct sunlight is unavoidable and you have no way to filter the sunlight or move the plant out of the direct sun, it would be best if you have a less variegated Pothos such as Jade, Golden, or Global Green.
Pothos plants with high amounts of light-colored variegation will be more susceptible to damage from the sun and will stand a much less chance of being able to grow in the direct sun due to the amount of burn they will receive on their leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pothos and Direct Sunlight:
No, Golden Pothos, like all other types of Pothos plants, do not like being in direct sunlight. This cultivar is still a tropical plant that grows under the tall, sunblocking trees, of the forest. Always filter any direct sunlight that your Golden Pothos would be in.
The more variegated the Pothos that you have the brighter the light it will need. On the other hand, if you have one of the darker and less variegated varieties such as a Jade, Global Green, or Golden Pothos then they will not need as much light and can even be placed away from bright light and in a medium-light setting.
Pothos plants don’t need direct sunlight, they need indirect sunlight. At least 10 hours of bright indirect light a day, but no direct sunlight. Always filter sunlight coming in from a window that will fall directly on your Pothos.
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