A Guide to Growing Pothos Plants

Pothos plants are generally beginner-friendly and adapt well to various environmental conditions; however, changes can still cause issues; for instance, when their leaves begin to droop it could be time for a repot.

Pothos plants tend to outgrow their small pots quickly. Moving to a larger one will enable their roots to thrive more effectively and ensure proper development.


Pothos plants are very adaptable plants that thrive under various conditions, yet require enough light in order to flourish. Without sufficient lighting, their vibrant green hue can fade quickly and they may take on an unruly or stringy form with vines stretched far apart and leaves that appear leggy or stringy.

Pothos plants thrive best when kept in bright indirect light but may tolerate direct morning or midday sun as well. Extended exposure to direct afternoon sun will eventually burn its leaves, decreasing new growth. Patterned leaves require extra light so their patterns can come alive!

Hold your hand about six inches above the foliage, and see if your hand casts an easily distinguishable shadow, which indicates sufficient lighting. If the top inch or two of soil feels dry, that indicates insufficient illumination for that plant.

Pothos plants should be placed in containers that have drainage holes, use high quality potting mix (which typically includes coco coir and peat moss), and feature proper size containers to quickly use up any excess water that accumulates. If soil remains damp for too long periods of time without sufficient light exposure then root rot could result in eventually.

If you have a pothos that’s growing well but just isn’t producing as expected, try propagating some cuttings. To do this, cut a 6-inch stem from its growing tip and remove its adjacent leaves before placing in water with bright indirect lighting for about a month – until roots form then transplant them into soil pots for planting.


Growing pothos in water may reduce pest risks, but does require special attention and special fertilizer supplies to avoid nutrient deficiencies and overcrowding of roots.

You can be sure to get the benefits of pothos plants as long as the soil in their container remains consistently moist, though occasionally repotted as its roots may outgrow its container. When this happens, new containers should be slightly larger to allow room for expansion.

When watering, be sure to use room temperature water as colder temperatures may shock the roots. Furthermore, ensure all standing water from containers has been emptied after each watering session to prevent root rot.

Pothos plants thrive in various containers, although traditional terra-cotta pots work best as their porous surface allows the roots to breathe easily. If desired, pothos plants may also be grown in decorative glazed pots or even glass or metal vessels with drainage holes; otherwise they risk having waterlogged roots which will prove fatal for the plant’s survival.

Watering pothos plants should take place when the top 1-3 inches of soil feel completely dry or when poking your finger into it produces damp results. You could also try misting leaves and soil until everything feels moist enough – another method.

An alternative method for propagating pothos is cuttings. To do so, take an established plant and cut below a node (where a stem emerges), placing each cutting in a pot of warm water with plenty of drainage until roots start growing out from it – an effective and easy way to increase this hardy houseplant’s numbers!


Pothos plants rely on regular doses of water-soluble nutrients in order to thrive and keep their leaves looking their best. Fertilizers are an essential part of plant care but often overlooked due to not being visible enough compared to aspects such as soil quality and light levels.

When propagating pothos plants, cut stems that are at least 6 inches long with at least two or three leaves and two nodes (parts of the vine where roots will form) that have at least two nodes on them. Submerge these cuttings in water in indirect sunlight with light moisture levels (but no soggy sogginess) until roots start appearing within about one month – when these roots reach at least an inch or two long pot them into soil immediately to ease adaptation to growing in soil. It is vital that this step be completed as quickly as possible because plants that are too used to growing in water may struggle adjusting when forced into soil environments compared with plants used to living in water-grown cuttings from being potted cuttings from seedlings planted directly into soil can have difficulty adapting.

Though low maintenance, pothos still needs regular fertilization. A liquid fertilizer is ideal, although natural sources like banana peels or coffee grounds could also work to give your pothos the necessary nutrition boost it needs to grow properly. Just ensure to dilute any fertilizers as instructed on their bottle for best results.

Common telltale signs that your plant needs some extra TLC include limp or drooping leaves, wilted plants and black spots on leaf surfaces. Fungal infections could be the source of this issue and it is wise to repot with new potting soil as soon as possible and sterilize old one to reduce spread of disease.


Maintaining the lush appearance of your pothos requires regular pruning. Without access to soil, vines growing too long without accessing it will eventually become leggy and lackluster, so remove any excessive vines. Doing this also helps maintain denseness in your plant while encouraging more lateral branching. Extra cuttings from your pothos may be propagated by taking one stem below each node and placing in water with roots growing from them – ideal if propagation becomes an issue!

Cleaning and sterilizing scissors or shears before pruning to reduce any risk of diseases being spread between houseplants is also key; either wiping them with rubbing alcohol or submerging the shears in boiling water are effective ways of protecting them.

Prune your pothos every 2-4 months to maintain its bushy shape and stimulate new growth. At this time, remove any dead vines or any that appear drooping or yellowed as well as cleaning the water vessel to minimize algae growth that can become an issue with some houseplants.

At this stage, it is also wise to inspect your plants for signs of pests or diseases. While pothos are generally beginner-friendly and tolerant of various conditions, they still suffer from common houseplant issues like pests, diseases and fungal infections that can make their home in your pothos garden. If any discolorations or wilting occurs on leaves or stems, cut back directly at their source before treating with fungicidal soap or neem oil; early intervention will help ensure these issues don’t spread throughout your garden!


Growing pothos in water instead of soil reduces maintenance needs and pest- and root-rot risks associated with soil cultivation. Furthermore, transplanted containers grown in water may take less time adjusting than ones transplanted from containers that previously held soil-grown pothos. However, new pothos plants may take some time to adjust.

To propagate a new pothos, use a sharp, sterile cutting tool to cut a length of vine from its parent plant and use this in a glass of filtered water (preferably). When under ideal conditions roots will start forming quickly – transfer into permanent containers filled with potting soil as soon as the first roots appear!

A jar or vase should have a lid to prevent its contents from drying out, and new plants should be exposed to bright indirect lighting at moderate temperatures to protect their roots from scorching. Be sure to water regularly enough so as to maintain moist soil without making it soggy or saturated.

As a vine, pothos makes for an excellent addition to hanging baskets and macrame planters, as its graceful trail will gracefully span over the sides of its container. Terrariums also work well, while this plant can even be grown as part of a living wall! However, you should carefully choose your container depending on how you plan to display your plant – using too large of an over-sized pot could overshadow it; too small would cause its roots to become entangled, stunting growth – find something in between when choosing sizes!

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