This post shares tips about how to propagate pothos cuttings in water. Pothos plant propagation is easy, and I’m going to teach you how to grow pothos in water so you never have to buy it again! If you like this post, you’ll love my list of all my DIY planters to help you decorate with plants.
How to propagate pothos cuttings
As much of a plant lover as I am, I have to admit that I’m opting for low-maintenance indoor plants these days. When I was pregnant and really sick, I let a ton of stuff die. And I sold a bunch of plants on Facebook yard sale. Some of the bigger plants to make room for baby stuff, but also some of the harder-to-keep-alive varieties.
And by harder to keep alive, I mean stuff you have to remember to water more than once every few weeks. Since then, I’ve been slowly replacing everything with mostly cacti, snake plants, rubber plants, and pothos varieties.
And let me tell you what. The golden pothos plant is the all star of managing to thrive when suffering from painful neglect. Here is a full post about how to care for pothos plants (if you like easy plants, also check out my snake plant care tips and my post about all the ways you can propagate snake plants). My favorite pothos is in our living room in this DIY hanging planter made from a bowl:
And this is what it looks like now! I love all the green up against the black wall…even if it is now pretty much covering up the gold. But that’s a good sign because it means it’s thriving.
More spots I’ve got pothos plants in the house…
I also put golden pothos in two of the levels of this three-level Ikea planter I hung off the kitchen. Since taking this picture, I have actually put pothos plants in all three of these planters. It looks lovely trailing down.
Most recently, in our bedroom (also the same DIY hanging planter from the living room). This gold planter I eventually moved downstairs and put a hoya in it instead. Then I moved a gray stainless steel bowl planter up to this spot with a new pothos that was propagated from cuttings.
How to propagate pothos cuttings in water
In addition to being really low maintenance, one of the great things about pothos plants is that they are really easy to propagate. Growing pothos in water is super simple and can help you make new plants from pothos cuttings. You can even keep your pothos plant cuttings in water. They’ve grow slowly, but they’ll do just fine.
The little hanging pothos in Ramona’s nursery is from cuttings from the living room plant, and the matching pothos in the second bathroom is from cuttings as well. The pothos hanging in her bathroom has some huge leaves—THAT is the power of propagating and growing this plant in more humid conditions!
Want to learn more about plant propagation? Check out my guides on propagating peperomia, string of pearls, succulents, prickly pear cactus pads, and monstera and the list of best plants to propagate.
I’ve also brought pothos plants out for the summer, and all of these plants were grown from cuttings I originally rooted in water. The growth having these outside in the humid Maryland summer was INCREDIBLE! They really took off.
So here’s what you need for pothos propagation:
- Existing pothos plant
- Any container, a mason jar works really well because you can easily see when you need to add more water
And here’s how to propagate pothos from cuttings!
Step 1: Take a few cuttings
Cut a few strands from an established plant. I like to make them about 6 inches long. That way there will be plenty of plant left above the soil when you replant it. Make sure the cuttings have nodes on them, which most areas you’d cut from would. They are the little brown spots on the stems (see below).
If you want a big, bushy plant, take several shorter cuttings instead. This will take longer to get a mature-looking plant, but it will be worth the wait! Don’t forget that pothos plants grow like weeds with just a little bit of care, so a small plant will becoming a large plant in no time.
Step 2: Add to a jar with water
Stick the cut end of the pieces into a jar with water. They should be fully submerged. I like using a clear mason jar because I can easily tell when I need to add more water and see when roots sprout. After a few weeks, you’ll see new roots sprouting from the cut part of the pieces. Those roots are what prevents the plant from dying when you transplant it into new soil.
However, one of the things to keep in mind is that these are water roots. Water roots are different from soil roots. That’s why pothos can root and grow in water, but an overwatered pothos in soil will die from root rot. Water roots are white and fuzzy, while soil roots take in water differently.
Here are the cuttings after about a week in the water. See the little whiteish roots sprouting from the stems? That’s the start of the new roots. I like to let the roots get a few inches long before transplanting. It can take longer to root if you are propagating in the winter, too.
Step 3: Plant the propagated pothos cuttings
When the roots are sufficiently long, dump the water out and carefully pull the pieces out of the jar. The roots are very fragile, so be very gentle. If the new roots break off, the piece will probably wilt and die when you transplant it into the soil.
Bury the new roots and a few inches of each piece in soil just as you would any other plant. I used perlite to build some drainage into this hanging pot. (See my post on how to create drainage in hanging planters or pots without holes.) I can’t wait for this guy to get growing and develop long, beautiful leafy strands!
How to propagate pothos: More issues
Although the plant is easy to propagate and care for, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are a few pothos plant propagation care tips and issues you might encounter.
Why does my plant look droopy after planting the cuttings?
This is normal. Remember, there is a difference between water roots and soil roots. The water roots might take in a bit too much moisture when you first transplant the rooted cuttings to soil. So give it a few days to adjust after you transplant it.
If it looks a bit weepy for a few days, don’t panic. Sometimes plants need some time to rebound after being repotted. Make sure you don’t water it too much thinking that the droopiness means it is thirsty. This is a fast way to kill your new plant! Only water it against once the top few inches of soil dry out.
How long does it take for pothos to root in water?
It takes about 2 weeks for pothos cuttings to root in water. However, if it’s cooler—like during the fall or winter—your propagations will likely take longer. The spring and summer are always the best time to propagate plants, but I have propagated pothos all year. Just have patience.
Does pothos grow faster in water or soil?
Pothos can root and even live in water. However, it grows faster in soil. That’s because water does not have all of the necessary nutrients that soil has (unless you add nutrients to the water like you do for hydroponics). Choose a nutrient-rich well-draining houseplant soil for your pothos. Humidity will help it grow like a weed as well.
That said, this is such a patient plant! I took several pothos cuttings from a plant to put in water for my office cubical. I had those cuttings in water for about a year and they lived very happily. However, they grew very slowly, so keep that in mind.
Why are my pothos cuttings rotting?
If your pothos cuttings appear to be rotting (yellowing, browning, drooping), it’s likely too cold. Pothos plants live happily in warm, humid temperatures. They do not do well in cold temps.
Will pothos grow after cutting the stem?
Yes! It won’t grow from exactly the point you cut the branch, but it will grow from the closest node on the stem. It will branch out a bit. That it why one way to help fix leggy pothos plants are by pruning and propagating the thin areas. Once you trim and root the leggy parts, you can repot them with the plant for a fuller look. Like the gorgeous plant below that started as a small bunch of rooted cuttings planted closely together.