How To Propagate Pothos

Do you want to add some color and texture to your house with indoor plants, but don’t have a lot of time to care for them?

Have you been trying to grow houseplants for a while, but have remained unsuccessful?

vining pothos plant ready to propagate, rooting hormone helps cutting root faster.
Vining Pothos plant in front home entry | Image: PlantCareToday.com

No matter what category you fit in, you should consider growing a pothos plant!

The Pothos plant, bearing the botanical name Epipremnum Aureum, is inarguably one of the easiest plants to grow indoors. 

Though the plant features tender stems, it is hardy, undemanding and low-maintenance. 

It thrives even with minimal care and can survive some neglect.

Pothos Plant Profile

Pothos, or Epipremnum Aureum, is an evergreen flowering plant from the Araceae or arum family. 

Though the Pothos plant is native to Mo’orea, an area in the Society Islands in French Polynesia, it has been naturalized in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world. 

These include South Asia, Southeast Asia, the West Indies, the Pacific Islands, and Northern Australia.

Featuring waxy, heart-shaped and pointed dark green variegated leaves, the plant displays a trailing growth habit and grows up to 6’ to 10’ feet. 

Sometimes, the trailing vines of pothos can grow as much as up to 30’ feet.

Pothos is one of the most popular houseplants. 

It is prized for its hardiness, undemanding nature, attractive foliage, and air purifying qualities.  

The plant can help remove hazardous chemicals, like benzene, xylene, toluene, trichloroethene, and formaldehyde from the indoor air. 

The leaves are generally variegated with yellow, but some varieties also produce leaves splashed with white, cream, or pale green.  

Though Pothos plants are essentially a flowering plant, it rarely produces bloom on its own. 

To initiate flowering, the plant needs to be fed with a hormone supplement. 

The widespread cultivation of Epipremnum Aureum has earned it a multitude of common names. 

Some of the most widely used ones are:

  • Golden pothos
  • Devil’s ivy
  • Devil’s vine
  • Silver vine
  • Ivy arum
  • Ceylon creeper
  • Solomon islands ivy
  • Hunter’s robe
  • Marble queen
  • Taro vine
  • Money plant

The Pothos plant is often confused with the philodendron plant and Monstera plant. 

While both of them are common houseplants, they are separate genus and species.

Caring For The Pothos Plant

As mentioned above, pothos is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. 

Although it prefers bright, indirect light and not direct sunlight. It also grows well in low-light conditions and even just with fluorescent lighting. 

On the other hand, the Pothos plant can survive partial sun exposure, if offered protection from the afternoon sun. 

However, too much direct sunlight leads to paler pothos leaves and also damages the plant.

Devil’s ivy doesn’t have specific soil requirements. 

It grows easily in any ordinary potting soil as long as it is well-draining. 

However, it does prefer a slightly acidic soil pH.  

When it comes to watering, however, you have to be a little careful. 

The plant doesn’t like to be left in wet soil for prolonged periods of time. 

Leaving the plant in wet soil for extended periods of time can lead to root rot.

The best way to water golden pothos is to let the top 2” inches of the soil dry out between waterings. 

While Pothos plants can tolerate some neglect with regards to watering, do not leave them without water for too long. 

It can cause the edges of the Pothos leaves to turn brown, withering of leaves, and can even lead to some leaf loss.

Silvervine isn’t a heavy feeder. 

But, since potting soils lack even the basic nutrients, it is recommended to feed it once or twice a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.

While pothos is generally grown as a houseplant, it can grow outdoors as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11.

The trailing pothos vines will climb up a structure, such as a window or a door frame, with little support. 

They also make great displays in hanging baskets or when placed over a shelf with vines cascading down, creating a tropical effect.

Since Devil’s vine grows too much and at a fast rate, it will become pot bound and will need to be repotted after some time. 

If the leaves of your pothos plant are drooping despite watering frequently, and for no other apparent reason, it most likely needs to be shifted to a bigger pot.

If you don’t want to transfer the pothos plant to a bigger pot, prune it and use the cuttings for plant propagation. 

Golden pothos is one of the easiest plants to propagate through stem cuttings.

Propagating Pothos Plant

Golden pothos is one of the easiest plants to propagate through stem cuttings. 

The stem cuttings should be either rooted in water or soil.

Supplies Needed to Propagate Pothos Plant

Gather all the following supplies before you take stem cuttings from the mother plant:

  • A pair of pruning shears or a fine, sharp knife. 
  • Clean the shears or knife with rubbing alcohol before using it. 
  • If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, use a bleach solution made by mixing 1 part bleach in 9 parts water.
  • Jars or vase – if you are going to root the cuttings in water
  • Rooting hormone – if directly planting the cuttings in soil.
  • Small pots or containers
  • Potting mix
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How to Grow Pothos Cuttings in Water

Here are the step by step directions for rooting pothos stem cuttings in water:

  • Snip off about 6” inch long pieces from healthy stems by cutting just below a leaf node (the tiny brown bumps or nubs on stems). 
  • Use pruning shears or a sharp, clean knife to take the cuttings and make sure each cutting has at least two nodes and four leaves.
  • Remove the bottom-most leaf from all the cuttings.
  • Fill a glass, jar, or vase with water and place cuttings in it.
  • Place the jar in a window sill or anywhere where it receives bright but indirect light. 
  • The new roots will start emerging from the root node within a few days.
  • Either continue to grow cuttings in the water or transfer them to the soil.

Transferring Rooted Pothos Cuttings from Water to Soil

Let the cuttings grow in the water for about four weeks, after they start to develop roots before transplanting.

To move golden pothos cuttings from water to the soil, fill pots (3-4 cuttings per pot) with potting mix and water the soil, so it gets lightly moist. 

Now carefully move the cuttings to the pots – you do not want to break or even harm the delicate new roots.

A great way to prevent the new roots from getting damaged is to first add about a couple of inches of any soil in the base of the pots and then place the cuttings in them. 

Now fill the pots with potting soil and gently pack it down. 

Water the new plants lightly and care for them as usual.

Pro-Tip

While you could transfer the pothos cuttings to the soil after rooting them in water, it is recommended to not do it. 

Devil’s vine grows the best in the medium in which the new roots develop. 

This means the cuttings which have been rooted in water will grow more easily and better flourish when left in the water. 

However, transfer them to a different vessel.

Propagating Pothos Cuttings in Soil

If you wish to avoid the extra step of transferring cuttings from water to soil or just want to grow pothos in water for any reason, root the cuttings in the soil as well. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start with taking about 6” inch long pothos cuttings from mature and healthy stems using pruning shears or a sharp and clean knife. 
  • Cut just below a node and make sure the cuttings have at least four nodes and stems.
  • Remove the leaf closest to the bottom from each cutting.
  • Dip the cut ends of the stems in a rooting hormone ensuring they get a light coating of it up to the first set of root nodes.
  • Now plant the cuttings in pots filled with a moist potting mix made with equal parts of peat and perlite or sand (remember to water the potting mix before inserting cuttings). 
  • When planting the cuttings of Pothos plants, make sure to place them a little deeper so the first root node at the end of the stem is in the soil. 
  • For rooting purposes, place three to four cuttings in one pot.
  • Place the pots at a place where they get plenty of bright, indirect light.
  • Water the cuttings regularly, but only enough to keep the soil moist. 
  • Do not overwater the cuttings or they will get damaged.
  • Let the cuttings grow new roots in their initial pots for about 8 to 12 weeks and then transplant them to bigger pots filled with the standard (all-purpose) potting mix.
  • Keep an eye on the transplanted cuttings until the roots get established. 
  • New growth is the sign of established new roots.

Recommended Reading: Is Pothos Poisonous?

When Should You Propagate Pothos?

Spring is the best time for pothos propagation. 

However, propagating at other times of the year also remains successful in most cases.

Pothos is one of those few plants which is propagated throughout the year without much hassle.

Plant Care Tips for Successful Propagation of Pothos Plant

While pothos plants are easiest to propagate and care for, here are a few things you need to follow to avoid any potential issues:

  • Take cuttings from healthy stems and cut just below a node.
  • When rooting in water, do not leave the cuttings in water for more than the recommended period of time. 
  • Otherwise, the plant will likely suffer from transplant shock and may also have difficulty in recovering from it.
  • Make sure the pots have proper drainage holes.
  • Once the cuttings have developed roots and have been transplanted into pots, feed them with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer specifically meant for indoor plants, once a month.
  • Keep the pothos plants away from direct sunlight. 
  • Too much sunlight is most often the reason behind yellow leaves on pothos. 

Keep Pothos Plants Away from Children and Pets

Golden pothos makes one of the best houseplants. 

It is easy to grow, doesn’t demand too much attention, displays a fast growth rate, produces attractive foliage, and isn’t prone to many diseases and pests. 

However, this wonderful looking plant is poisonous.

All parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, which when comes in contact with the skin causes skin irritation, swelling, and pain. Ingestion of pothos plant will lead to irritation and swelling in the gastrointestinal tract and vomiting. 

Severe pothos poisoning, caused by the ingestion of the plant in a large amount, can cause breathing difficulties.

Therefore, if you have children or pets in the home, make sure to keep the plant away from their reach. 

Seek emergency medical help in case of accidental ingestion of golden pothos.

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