How to Propagate a Pothos Plant in Water


Given we’re all spending more time inside these days, having a room full of house plants has even greater appeal. Eager to fill your space with even more green? No problem—grow new plants yourself! You don’t need to purchase new plants, use your current plants to spawn and generate new plants.

Succulents are a great plant for cloning. And pothos plants are a great plant to propagate as well. Pothos are easy to find, easy to care for and so gorgeous!

My ‘Silver’ Pothos (Scindapsus pictus) was getting a little overgrown, with long gaps in its vines between leaves, so I decided to give it a little trim. And with trimmings comes the opportunity to grow more plants!


It’s worth noting that while pothos look beautiful spilling over a pot or hanging down, in their native habitat, they actually prefer to creep up something—like tree trunks.

Plants that behave this way are called epiphytes, and include other popular house plants like orchids and monsteras! When pothos trail too much and get too long, they have a tendency to loose leaves more frequently and get leggy; hence the need for haircut.


How to Propagate a Pothos

First thing’s first: use scissors or hand pruners to cut off the overgrown vines. As you can see, mine had a lot of awkward space between the leaves, which made it look scraggly and unattractive.

Next, prune off smaller leaf cuttings—I ended up with about fifteen total with one to three leaves each. You can use the same scissors or pruners to trim these pieces as well—they’re very forgiving plants.


Cut the Pothos into Small Sections with a Node

For the leaf cuttings, I try to leave one or two nodes below the leaves, like in the photos above. If you’ve tried to propagate pothos in water before and haven’t had much luck, it’s likely because you didn’t leave a node along the cutting.

The node—which appears as sort of a little brown nub along the vine, at the meeting of each segment—is where aerial roots (roots that grow in the air) emerge naturally, and where thin root hairs will grow from in water. It’s important to have a node on each cutting!

Leaving two nodes is a bit of a failsafe, and the extra node helps when you repot. More nodes will create more roots to take up nutrients from the soil. I also recommend leaving about an inch of vine space at the top to be safe. You don’t want to cut too close to the leaf.



Place the Pothos Cutting in a Glass with Water

Then simply gather your cuttings and a few clean clear glass jars. Clear glass offers better light penetration. I like to use jars with a smaller lip at the top, like vintage or craft milk bottles, mostly because the shape seems to help the cuttings stay in place.

Be careful if you add too many trimming to the same container or if the opening is too small because you may not be able to remove the cutting later without damaging it.


Why You Should Boil Water Before Adding it to the Plant

Before adding the water, I like to take the time to boil water first, let it cool, then use it. Why? Well, put simply, boiling water is one of the easiest and best ways to purify water. Tap water is statistically incredibly safe—and more sustainable than bottled water—but with new baby plants, those extra steps can help ensure they grow and thrive instead of die.

Now, admire your nice bouquet!


Where to Place Your Pothos Cuttings

Place the cuttings in a well-lit area. East or North facing windows are best because they ensure plants gets bright but indirect light for the majority of the day.

You want to avoid shocking the plant with the harsher and hotter afternoon light. That’s why west and south facing windows are not as ideal. Mine are on a window ledge with indirect east-facing light, right near the mother plant.


Keep the water topped up, and after a couple of weeks, you should have roots growing. The process is quite fast. Like magic: a new plant to enjoy!


Once Your Pothos Cutting Grows Roots

Once your ready to move your pothos into a planter, try one of these small pots! At first—those roots don’t need much room so you will have a lot of options for planters.

Pothos only like to be watered when the soil feels slightly dry. It doesn’t like it’s soil too wet. That should be around 1 time per week. If you want to encourage larger leaves, use a moss pole or a bamboo stick that the pothos can climb.

Have fun with your new plants!

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