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Sunday - January 05, 2014

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Container Gardens, Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: Use of non-native pothos for outside wall from Las Vegas NV
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am in Las Vegas, NV. I live in a cottage-style apartment so I have a north facing porch with no one on the west so I get some there (and have an inherited cactus probably a yard all round) I would like to grow a pothos, or something like to grow around the window. the wall is rough, plaster not stone. Could a pothos handle 30s - freezing is rare for us and I'd wrap the pot if necessary - and 100s - mostly 101-109 range but we have got into teens in Aug-Sep. thank you for your help!


From Wikipedia:

"Epipremnum aureum is a species of flowering plant in the family Araceae, with a broad native Old World distribution. Native range extends from Northern Australia through Malesia and Indochina into China, Japan and India. The species has become naturalised in tropical and sub-tropical forests worldwide, where it has caused severe ecological damage in some cases (see below). The plant has a multitude of common names including Australian native monstera, centipede tongavine, devil's ivy, golden pothos, hunter's robe, ivy arum, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy and taro vine. It is sometimes mistakenly labeled as a Philodendron in plant stores."

From the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (home of Mr. Smarty Plants):

"The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."

From Mr. Smarty Plants: If we correctly understand your situation, you want a container plant to sit on your porch, in the shade, to climb the wall around a window. Epipremnum aureum (pothos) is considered a house plant in the Northern Hemisphere. It might do all right in the environment you describe, but it might not. If you are determined to stick to the pothos, here is an article from SF Gate on the use of and care for the plant. This article says if it is used as an outdoor plant, it will need to be grown in Zone 10 or above, because of its tropical origins. The USDA Plant Hardiness Map shows Clark County, in the southeastern tip of Nevada as being in Zone 9b, so you could probably get away with having it on a sheltered porch.

Since we have no information on non-natives in our Native Plant Database, we are going to suggest some native possibilities that could satisfy your requirements, but it is not likely that we will find something that will grow around your window. First, please read our How-To Article on Container Gardening with Native Plants.  

Next, we want to teach you how to use our Native Plant Database to make your own selections. Follow the link to that page and scroll down to "Combination Search." On that search, select Nevada, and "shade" for Light Requirements. You can run two searches, the first one on "herbs" (herbaceous blooming plants" and the second on "vines" both under Habit. We ran this search and after we clicked on "Submit Your Search" on herbs, there were 63 possibilities, of which only 3 were native to Clark County in the southeastern tip of Nevada, as seen in the USDA Plant Profile Map on each. This would indicate to us that most plants needing that much shade probably grow farther north in the higher elevations of Nevada. We then tried "vines" under Habit, of which there were 5, and exactly one native to Clark County.

Herbaceous Blooming Plants for Shade:

Antennaria parvifolia (Small-leaf pussytoes)

Equisetum hyemale (Canuela)

Veronica americana (American speedwell)


Clematis ligusticifolia (Western white clematis)


From the Image Gallery

Small-leaf pussytoes
Antennaria parvifolia

Scouringrush horsetail
Equisetum hyemale

American speedwell
Veronica americana

Western white clematis
Clematis ligusticifolia

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