*This post, How to Grow, Care for and Propagate a Pothos Plant (+ Video), was first published in July 2018 and updated in August 2020.
Looking for an easy to grow plant? One that can be cut and propagated when you want another plant – or better yet, a gift? Let me introduce to you to a pothos plant. When it comes to pothos plant care, they’re easy to grow, very easy to propagate and add a lot of green to your house!
If you’re new to plants, pothos plants (or Epipremnum aureum if you want to get technical) are the easiest starter houseplants. In fact, they were the very first indoor plant I ever owned!
Pothos plants go by a variety of names: golden pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, taro vine and devil’s ivy. The name devil’s ivy came to be because they’re so hard to kill and won’t die, even in the dark. Now do you believe me that these are easy plants?
My mom gave me one when I was in college and if a college student can master pothos plant care, so can you! That one houseplant has been propagated into many, many, many other plants for myself as well as numerous friends and family members.
It’s no secret I love pothos plants. I have them all over my house and have even used them for tablescapes. They’re perfect for hanging plants since they look vine quickly and can be strewn across a wall.
I have pothos plants in three rooms in different types of hanging planters around our house because it’s the easiest hanging houseplant with the most beautiful ivy-like appearance.
Pothos clippings can even live in water! I love decorating with pothos clippings in water because they’re dual purpose: the clippings add green to a space and you can eventually plant the clippings to make additional plants!
Ready to add some pothos plants into your life? Here’s everything you need to know.
Pothos Plant Care
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How often do you water a pothos plant?
When it comes to watering a pothos plant indoors, it’s fairly simple. In fact they can survive if you more than occasionally forget to water them, but no, I don’t recommend doing that! Pothos plants typically like to be watered once a week.
My best recommendation for watering your pothos is how I water most of my plants: stick your finger in the first inch or two of the pot and check for moisture. If it’s wet, don’t water it. If it’s dry, it’s time to give it a drink.
Pothos plants don’t like to be in too wet of soil for too long so you’re better off under-watering them than overwatering them.
How much light does my pothos plant need?
Pothos plants can live in a variety of lighting situations including low light places! Ideally they like moderate indoor light.
They’re even tolerant of fluorescent lights which is why they have a reputation of being a good cubicle plant. I always brought a pothos to work when I worked outside the home.
If you notice that your pothos plant has pale leaves, that means it’s getting too much sun. On the other side, if there’s a loss of variegation, that means it’s getting too little light.
Tip: If your plants typically live in a low-to-no light area, occasionally give them some love in a window, perhaps before a weekend out of town. Don’t place them in direct sunlight for an entire day though.
What kind of soil and water does my pothos plant need?
One of the fun things about pothos plants is they don’t actually need soil to grow. Simply keeping them in a jar of water is just fine. However, if you do plant them in soil, a simple, well-draining potting soil will work great.
Why are the leaves on my pothos plant turning yellow?
If the leaves of your pothos plant are yellowing or getting soft, you’re watering it too much. If your pothos is looking droopy or the leaves are turning brown, it needs more water.
Don’t worry if your plant looks a little sad. Pothos plants are hardy plants and will likely pull through.
Does a pothos plant removes toxins?
Pothos plants are great at removing toxins! This is yet another reason why it’s great to bring it to your office to hep clean the air a bit. Pothos plants removes a significant amount of toxins including benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene.
Check out more plants that remove toxins!
How do I repot a pothos plant?
Eventually your pothos plant’s pot will be busting at the seams with roots! You’ll know this by the fact that the leaves continue to droop no matter how often you water it or you’ll see roots popping up from the soil. That means it’s time to repot it!
This isn’t too hard to do. You’ll just want to find a pot one size bigger than the current pot it’s in and transplant it. You’ll notice it perking up again soon after giving it more space to stretch it’s roots.
How do I trim a pothos plant?
Some people love long stems that can hang over a plant stand or down a wall. You might love short perky stems. You can do both!
Short, perky pothos plants simply need more frequent propagating or trimming. Longer plants just need some time to grow. I have a mix of both in my home!
Regardless of how you prefer your pothos to look, trimming up extra long stems or stems that are getting a little bare is important to keeping your plant healthy.
How do I propagate a pothos plant?
Here’s what you need: a pothos plant (of course!), a pair of scissors and a jar or glass with water. You could also get a cool propagation station to make your pothos clippings into decor.
Check out the video below for all the steps for propagating a pothos plant or keep reading for all of the detailed instructions.
1. Snip off about 6 inches of stem.
First up is cutting a piece of your pothos plant. You’ll want to make the cut right below the root nodes, or the small bumps on the stem.
This is where the root will shoot out from. I typically like to cut the stem so there are three to four leaves attached. You want at least 6 inches of stem so there’s enough stem to plant under the soil but still have a couple leaves popping out above the soil when it’s time to plant.
2. Remove the bottom leaf.
The roots will shoot out from the bottom so that is what will be in the soil. You don’t want to plant a leaf in the soil!
You also don’t want to submerge leaves into the water while it’s attempting to grow roots since the water could become moldy and gross from it. Simply cut the leaf with a scissor.
3. Fill up your jar with water.
Fill up the jar or propagation station vessel with room temperature water. If you have a giant jar you won’t want to fill it to the top. You do, however want to make sure you have at least enough water to cover one node.
I actually prefer to cover two nodes in case one node doesn’t produce any roots. If they both produce roots, all the better.
4. Put your pothos clippings in water.
Submerse the nodes (little bumps) of your pothos clippings in water. This will help roots to grow.
5. Watch for roots!
Roots will typically grow faster if the jar has some sunlight. In all honesty I put these in our bathroom which get no light and the grow roots just fine.
I fill my jars with anywhere from five to 10 clippings so it not only looks pretty while the roots are growing but they will also fill up a pot nicely! (Do you really want one clipping in your pot? Nope!)
When roots have formed – I usually wait until they’re about an inch or so long – you can plant the pothos clippings!
Simply put the pothos cuttings in a pot, add dirt so the roots are fully covered, pat down the soil so it’s in there nice and tight, water and enjoy!
Soon enough you’ll be the favorite friend of your friend group when you show up to house warming parties, birthdays or even meeting a new baby (I think all babies need a plant in their nursery!) with a lovely pothos plant. Bonus: it only cost you the amount of a pot and some soil.
Pothos in Water
After propagating, many people like to leave their pothos in water. This is a great option for growing your pothos.
Here are a few tips for growing your pothos in water!
1. Use Water Without Chlorine
This doesn’t mean you need to purchase distilled water! You can simply leave a jar or propagation station filled with water out for 24 hours to off-gas chlorine from your water.
2. Add a Liquid Fertilizer
If you leave them in water for an extended period of time you’ll want to add a liquid fertilizer.
3. Consider Using a Clear Container
Personally I love using a fun propagation station but a clear container can cause more algae when growing pothos in water. You can do either clear or opaque but a clear vase will need to be cleaned more!
Does pothos in water grow faster than pothos in soil?
Not necessarily! If you’re adding the necessary liquid fertilizer to your pothos in water water then it should grow the same rate as pothos in soil.
Are pothos plants pet friendly?
According to the ASPCA, the pothos plant is toxic to both pets and humans. Though rarely fatal, pothos plants can cause irritation or vomiting if ingested.
Common side effects if ingested are itching, burning and irritation of the mouth, tongue and lips. Also possible drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. Be sure to keep these away from cats, dogs and kids!
Check out one of these plant stands to keep them away from little hands and furry friends.
Where do I buy a pothos plant?
And look at this amazing neon pothos I found on Etsy! So cool.
Hope this helps your pothos plant parenting journey! Be sure to reference this post for all your pothos plant care needs. Thanks for reading and sharing!
See more plant care stories:
- Spider Plant Care – How to Grow and Propagate
- 15 Pet Friendly Houseplants
- How to Grow, Care for and Propagate a Snake Plant
- 11 Plant Propagation Stations