Pothos is among our favourite houseplants – it is one of the most spectacular and easiest to grow and care for ornamentals on the market. Without a doubt, if you are looking at any beginner-friendly list of houseplants, you will find Pothos among them.
This plant is a favorite of gardeners around the world. And, since you are here, you are probably eager to find out how to propagate Pothos and we are more than happy to help!
The Pothos vine goes by the scientific name Epipremnum aureum, but it is often referred to as Devil’s Ivy. If you are not familiar with this plant yet, you will be surprised by its exotic and interesting appearance.
The unique-patterned, variegated foliage can bring back to life even the dullest place in your house. This feature, along with its low-demanding nature of it, has brought Pothos into the spotlight and made it gain the prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
Epipremnum aureum, usually known in the gardening world as golden pothos is the most popular variety of pothos plants. But, there are many other varieties of Pothos plants that make amazing houseplants including the jade pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade’) that has attractive glossy green leaves, the marble queen pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’) that features attractive light-coloured variegation on its green leaves, etc. As the name rightly suggests, golden pothos plants have golden-yellow variegations on their leaves.
This plant could not be more tolerant and forgiving of its owner. The Pothos vine thrives only with lots of bright but indirect light, average temperatures, well-draining soil, and some water whenever its growing medium is completely dry.
When compared to other exotic houseplants, it is safe to say that the Pothos plant does have many requests in terms of the environment. Luckily, this is also viable when it comes to propagation. Keep reading to find out more about the most efficient propagation method for Pothos and what mistakes you should avoid for the greatest results!
- 1 Quick Facts
- 2 Propagating Pothos Through Stem Cuttings
- 3 Propagating Pothos Cuttings in Water
- 4 Propagate Pothos Cuttings in Soil
- 5 Transplanting Pothos Cuttings
- 6 Common propagation mistakes – Why won’t my Pothos cuttings root?
- 6.1 1. The Pothos cuttings need more time
- 6.2 2. You took a cutting from a damaged or old Pothos plant
- 6.3 3. You did not cut the stem in the right spot
- 6.4 4. You forgot to change the water
- 6.5 5. Your Pothos cuttings do not receive enough light
- 6.6 6. The cutting experiences cold temperatures
- 6.7 7. You waited too long before transplanting
- 7 In Conclusion
- 8 Article Sources
|Botanical Name||Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Aureum’ / Scindapsus aureus|
|Common Name||Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Golden Pothos, Money Plant|
|Plant Type||Exotic, Perennial, Vine|
|Mature Size||250–500 inches long, 30 – 60 inches wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Soil Type||Well-draining potting mix, soilless mix|
|Soil pH||Neutral to slightly acidic|
|Bloom Time||No flowers in cultivation|
|Hardiness Zones||10-12 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Solomon Islands|
Propagating Pothos Through Stem Cuttings
The first step when it comes to propagating Pothos will consist of equipping yourself with the best propagation weapon you can find – a sharp, clean, sterilized pair of garden scissors or pruning shears. A sharp cutting tool will help you prevent damage to the stem and also avoid any potential bacteria or disease to spread on your Pothos plant or its cuttings.
When you are ready to begin, get your Pothos plant and look for the healthiest stems you can find on it that have at least three leaves attached. Make sure you take cuttings of at least 4 inches (10 cm) in length and cut right below a leaf node for the highest chances of rooting. Likewise, you should cut each Pothos stem at a 45° angle.
Once you have as many Pothos cuttings as you need, make sure you remove all the leaves you see on the bottom half of each cutting. This is the moment when rooting can begin and you can do it either in water or directly in the soil.
Propagating Pothos Cuttings in Water
The most popular propagation method for Pothos cuttings is by using water, as it is undoubtedly the easiest technique and requires no extra equipment at first. Also, it will allow you to watch the progress of your cuttings’ root development, helping you find out when they become ready to transplant.
Place each Pothos cutting in its individual glass filled with filtered, room temperature water. This particular type of water will stimulate growth, so it is the best option if you want the cuttings to produce roots faster. You should avoid submerging the leaves in water because they can rot over time and encourage bacterial growth. On the other hand, the leaf nodes must remain submerged in water to promote root development.
When you propagate Pothos cuttings in water, this is your moment to get creative. Although you can place the cuttings in a regular type of glass, you can always opt for ones that are more decorative for your house. Once you decide on the perfect glasses for your taste, you can place them in a warm, indirect-lit location. It would be wise to change their water once every couple of days or when it seems cloudy.
Propagate Pothos Cuttings in Soil
After you take the Pothos cuttings from the parent plant and groom them, you can also plant them straight into the soil. This method will limit the need to transplant the cuttings later on, but you need to prepare a potting mix at home and a few pots, depending on how many cuttings you have, from the very beginning.
The most suitable propagation substrate is a mix of good-quality potting soil, perlite, and coconut coir. This potting mix will ensure that the Pothos cuttings get the best start and drainage out there. You should also plant the cuttings in containers that come along with drainage holes at the bottom, as they will help you prevent rotting.
Fill the pots with the homemade potting mix, then plant a few Pothos cuttings in each at the edges to make sure they have enough space to develop roots. Bury only the bottom half of each stem in the soil. For extra chances of success, you can even dip the ends of your cuttings into a rooting hormone before planting them. Water the growing mediums thoroughly and move the pots to a warm spot where the cuttings can get lots of bright, indirect light. After this, you will need to keep their soil damp by misting it once every two days or so.
Transplanting Pothos Cuttings
If you have chosen to propagate your Pothos cuttings in water, the part of transplanting them into the soil will be mandatory at some point. No worries, though! It is a simple process in general and does look very much like the soil propagation method.
When the roots reach the ideal size, usually one or two inches (2.5-5 cm) long, this is a sign that you must take action. It’s recommended to avoid postponing the transplant because it will get more difficult for the roots to adapt to soil conditions with time.
As with the soil propagation method, you must fill several pots with the homemade potting mix, depending on how many Pothos cuttings you own. Take about five cuttings and plant them together in the same container to get that gorgeous, full-looking plant.
After you plant them, fill the gaps around the cuttings with more potting mix until just below the rim of the container, and press the soil gently to secure the stems in place. Water the growing medium to give the cuttings a nice start, then keep the substrate constantly damp for the next few months. Once established, you can treat the cuttings as an individual Pothos plant and decrease the frequency of watering.
Common propagation mistakes – Why won’t my Pothos cuttings root?
1. The Pothos cuttings need more time
Since the propagation process seems easy overall, you might be tempted to assume that it is also very quick in showing results. Well, this is not the case. In general, Pothos cuttings require at least four weeks to reach the ideal time for transplanting and sometimes even longer.
If you are within the normal time limit and your Pothos cuttings did not develop roots, we warmly suggest you give your cuttings a bit more time and they will eventually develop roots. However, if more than a month has passed, there might be a different reason that your cuttings are not developing roots. This sends us to the next potential problems that might prevent your cuttings from rooting properly.
2. You took a cutting from a damaged or old Pothos plant
The most successful root development typically occurs when your Pothos is healthy and shows vigorous growth. This is the most common indicator that the vine is more than able to grow roots, as the transportation systems that take shelter in the stems work as they should.
When the Pothos stems are old or present a bit of damage, your chances to propagate this plant decrease significantly. Although these particular stems can produce roots with time, they may not appear as healthy or strong as those from better cuttings. This can easily lead to disappointment, so you might want to look for stems that can bring you rewards at the end of the day.
3. You did not cut the stem in the right spot
When propagating a plant through stem cuttings, they are more likely to produce roots if you cut the stems in the right spot. And this is no different for Pothos! The roots of this vine’s cuttings will emerge from nodes in the stem, these being the spots where leaves usually show up.
For optimal results, it is best to have at least one of these nodes on each cutting you take from your Pothos. The nodes will also have to stay under the water or in the soil to produce any roots at all. And if your Pothos cuttings have leaves at the top but no nodes in the bottom part, there is basically no spot for the roots to grow from.
4. You forgot to change the water
Naturally, the Pothos cuttings will produce roots in water because it contains oxygen. If you keep the cuttings in the same water for a few days, the oxygen present will undoubtedly get depleted. Thus, without oxygen, the roots may eventually suffocate.
Another issue with standing water is that it can attract pests, fungal diseases, and other bacteria that can prevent the roots from developing properly. You can avoid it with little effort by replacing the water every couple of days. The most common indicator that you must change the water is an unpleasant smell or residue.
5. Your Pothos cuttings do not receive enough light
There is no secret that all plants including Pothos need plenty of sunlight for photosynthesis. In this process, the plant produces energy which is very important in terms of root development.
As mentioned above, the Pothos vine does well with plenty of bright, indirect light. This is also true for cuttings, so you should keep them in this particular type of lighting exposure if you are expecting nice results. Keep in mind that Pothos cuttings that grow in lower light conditions will require more time to develop roots. Or even to produce roots at all.
6. The cutting experiences cold temperatures
Since the Pothos cuttings are parts of a tropical plant, they will benefit from an environment that comes with lots of warmth and humidity. This is the only reason why you should propagate your Pothos only during the spring and summer months when it still is in its active growing period. If you take cuttings in autumn or winter, you will meet a much slower root development or no growth in general. Make sure you always place the pots or the glasses of your cuttings in the warmest room you can find in your house.
7. You waited too long before transplanting
When you propagate the Pothos cuttings in water, they will adapt to be more than satisfied with what they get from this particular medium. The roots of these cuttings appear more thin and delicate than those that develop directly in the soil. This means that the longer you allow the cuttings to sit in water, the harder it will be for their roots to get used to soil living.
The perfect time to transplant the Pothos cuttings is when the roots measure about one or two inches (2.5-5 cm) in length. You should not allow them to stay in water for more than a few months if you want to avoid future transplanting problems.
In case you want to prevent the cuttings from experiencing transplant shock, you can slowly introduce the most-promised growing medium to the water. This method will help the cuttings acclimatize to the new conditions at their own pace. When the roots have shown up, add a teaspoon of perlite or coconut coir to the water until the glass becomes full.
Although Pothos plants originate from a tropical habitat, they are incredibly adaptable and will thrive in a wide range of growing conditions. This is probably one of the things that contributed to the popularity that these plants enjoy.
Another notable advantage of adding this plant to your collection is the fact that you can grow it in hanging baskets, you can train it to climb different structures or tree trunks, as a ground cover, or you can train it to grow upright by using stakes. But the most common way to grow Pothos indoors is in a stand-alone container on a desk, windowsill, or shelf.
As you can see, propagating Pothos plants is an easy task as long as you follow a few important steps and pay attention to our tips and tricks. With minimal effort and only a bit of time spent in the process, you can obtain more tiny and adorable Pothos plants. Propagating Pothos will take at least a month, so make sure you remember to be patient.
And since propagating these plants is so fun and easy, why not do it more often to make some specimens for your plant-loving friends and family members? Producing more plants and sharing them with your loved ones is a unique experience that is worth all the effort!
Did you try your hand at propagating Pothos plants? Share your experience in the comments section!