Money plant

There are myths that you cannot kill a money plant (Epipremnum aureum), that it grows even in dark places around the house, even in a jar of water. All false, as three generations in my family can attest to. The Family finally got one to grow by taking a dying stem and planting it in a pot in our balcony. It hasn’t exactly thrived there, but it has grown for a while, and lived for a long time. You can see the spray of leaves it has put out in the featured photo. There’s such a variety of leaf colours in this species, that I find it hard sometimes to tell whether a money plant is indeed one.

You would be as surprised as I was when I read that this is a flowering plant. Apparently it seldom flowers spontaneously, and needs you to add plant hormones to the soil. I guess its remarkable ability for vegetative propagation was useful for it to reach and proliferate in the remote Pacific islands of the French Polynesia, from which it was exported in historically recent times across the world. The fact that it can grow in saline water perhaps also helps it to live as it crosses oceans. I wonder why it was confined to just one island in the South Pacific before humans transported it across the world. It is a mystery on par with how it reached that island in the first place.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


  1. Luckily it has been growing for me, but yes, it’s a moody plant. Some of the perfect stems which were given very good soil wilted, and few placed inside broken ceramic tea kettles in water are lush with growth. I have that green and white variety and the common green variety, and once they dropped root both grew like wild. If only money grew similarly 🙂
    Didn’t know they flower too, need to find out about the hormones to stimulate flowering.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The leaves have leaf designs on them!

    As for the origins of the plant on that one French Polynesian island: While it’s been decades since I read it, James Michener’s book Hawaii starts with a detailed explanation of the volcanic formation of those islands and how they were eventually populated with flora and fauna, then people. I remember something about a migrating bird stopping to rest and pooping undigested seeds it had eaten elsewhere, starting vegetation on a Hawaiian island that by then had the necessary soil/environment to sustain it. Maybe something similar occurred with the money plant? Fun mystery to ponder.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most migratory routes are north-south, so it is unlikely that there are major migratory routes across the open Pacific.. But there could be lost birds, and they might stop at any land they see in the middle of the Pacific. More often, plant material gets washed across oceans. Things which survive in salt water have a better chance of getting to a new land. A mystery for sure

      Liked by 1 person

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