The vigorous foliage of the fast-growing pothos adds beauty to your home. But what if your current pothos is showing signs that it’s dying or you want to grow more plants? Spending money for new pothos plants shouldn’t have to be your only option.
What you need is an easy and reliable propagation method to create a new pothos plant. And that’s by using water as the growing medium. Read on to learn about propagating pothos in water and why it’s an easy method for growing more pothos plants!
How to Propagate Pothos in Water
Step One: Gather
Because water propagation for pothos plants is low maintenance, you’ll only need a few common materials. These are the tools you’ll need to get you started:
- Scissors or pruning shears
- Glass container (e.g., jar, cup, vase)
- Clean, distilled water
The following materials are for the transplanting and caring steps of the pothos’ water propagation:
- Small pot with drainage holes
- Well-draining potting mix
- Soil test meter
- Pencil or pen
- Spray bottle
- All-purpose liquid fertilizer
Step Two: Snip
Before you begin cutting pothos stems, sterilize your scissors or pruning shears to avoid any bacterial spread. Start near the end of your current pothos’ vines and select a thick, strong stem that’s about five to seven inches long. Then cut it at a 45-degree angle at about ½–1 inch below the lowest leaf.
The cutting needs at least three to four nodes, which are tiny brown bumps where aerial and new roots grow. It also needs one to two fresh, mature leaves at the top of the cutting. Any leaves at the bottom of the cutting need to be removed.
If you cut a long stem, cut it into separate pieces according to the abovementioned features. Try for three to four cuttings of pothos stems to propagate a full pothos plant. Multiple cuttings are ideal because some of them may not survive after transitioning from water to soil.
Step Three: Submerge
Now it’s time to begin propagating pothos in water! After filling your glass jar, cup, or vase with a few inches of water, submerge the cut ends of the stems. At least two nodes should be underwater.
Take care not to let any of the leaves get in the water; if they do, remove them from the cuttings. Getting the leaves wet is an invitation to rot and bacterial spread.
Afterward, place the glass container somewhere that’s warm and humid and has bright, indirect lighting. Pothos plants generally need six to eight hours of light each day in that environment.
While your pothos cuttings are taking root, keep an eye on the water. Change out the water every two to three days or if it starts to look cloudy or murky.
Sitting water eventually runs out of oxygen. Propagating pothos in water that’s unoxygenated doesn’t just make way for the growth of bacteria and algae. It also stunts the transportation of nutrients and minerals to the leaves and stems, stunting the cuttings’ growth.
Step Four: Prepare
After seven to 14 days (or even four to six weeks), depending on the lighting and environmental conditions, roots will sprout from the nodes. Prepare the soil for when it’s time to transplant the cuttings.
Take a small pot with drainage holes and fill it with a well-draining and slightly acidic potting mix. The pot should be about two inches larger than that of the parent plant. Test the soil to ensure its pH level is between 6.1 and 6.8.
Step Five: Transplant
Once the roots are around ½–3 inches long, remove the cuttings from the water. Then, transplant the cuttings from the water to the soil.
With a pencil or pen, create holes in the soil, insert the cuttings, and press the soil around them. They should be at the same depth as they were in the water.
Transplant them as soon as possible so the cuttings will develop a strong root system. Otherwise, they’ll have a hard time adapting to the soil.
Step Six: Care
Once your pothos cuttings are rooted in the soil, continue keeping them under indirect lighting. Water the soil every seven to 10 days to keep it moist after having time to dry. Avoid overwatering and getting the soil all soggy, as this can cause root rot.
At this point, you can also mist the leaves every two to three days to provide moisture. This is especially helpful if you feel that the cuttings aren’t getting enough water but don’t want to risk overwatering.
Though pothos plants don’t need much fertilization, you still have the option of adding it to encourage growth if needed. Each month, or every four to six weeks during the spring or summer, is when you may apply all-purpose liquid fertilizer.
Benefits of Propagating Pothos in Water
Water isn’t the only method for propagating pothos; there’s also the soil method. In that case, water is only for moistening the soil. However, there are plenty of reasons why water is the best propagation method for pothos!
Unlike soil, water propagation lets you track the pothos cuttings’ rooting progress. You won’t have to guess if the weeks have passed for you to transfer the cuttings from water to soil. Of course, that’s only if you’re using a glass container and not cups or pots you can’t see through.
Also, propagating pothos in water doesn’t require regular watering like the soil propagation method would. That’s one task you won’t have to worry about when monitoring these low-maintenance plants as they grow in the water.
Finally, water propagation enhances root development. With the pothos cuttings’ nodes having consistent access to water, it becomes easier for the roots to sprout. The more moisture the nodes receive, the faster the cuttings will grow.
Frequently Asked Questions for Propagating Pothos in Water
Is the water propagation method good for all varieties of pothos plants?
There are many varieties of pothos plants that you can propagate in water because of how versatile and adaptable they are. However, there are four varieties that are the most ideal for doing so. These include the golden, Marble Queen, neon, and jade pothos plants.
This doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with other varieties. Before you propagate pothos in water, choose a cultivar that you’d like to grow in your home. See if you want to have more than one plant of that cultivar around the house!
When is the best time for propagating pothos in water?
For your pothos, it’s best to begin water propagation during the spring and summer months.
You could do it in the fall or winter, but that may lessen the chances of the cuttings’ successful growth. If that’s not the case, then the process will be much slower.
Also, if your parent pothos is still growing well during those seasons, it’ll have a hard time recovering from being cut.
What kind of water is best for the water propagation method for pothos?
Of course, you want to use clean water for your pothos cuttings, but that doesn’t include tap water. With the many minerals contained in it, that water may turn the cuttings’ leaf tips brown.
The best water for propagating pothos is distilled water. And it needs to be at a lukewarm temperature because very hot or cold water will shock the cuttings.
Can I skip the transplanting step and leave my pothos cuttings in water?
Yes, you may leave your pothos cuttings in water instead of transplanting them into pots. In fact, this is another reason why water is the best propagation method for pothos; it can grow in water!
Should you decide to let your cuttings remain in water, simply leave them under indirect sunlight.
Add some all-purpose liquid fertilizer once a month or so to strengthen the cuttings and keep the water rich in nutrients. Be sure to dilute it to ⅙–¼ strength. Above all, rinse out the glass container and refill the water when necessary.
Do I need a rooting hormone for propagating pothos in water?
Propagating plants usually involves dipping cuttings in a rooting hormone before placing them in soil or water. This speeds up their growth and strengthens the roots. In the case of pothos plants, it’s an optional step because they’re resilient and will root easily in water.
If you’d like to give the cuttings additional nutrients and quicken the roots’ growth, dip the cut ends in the powder. Do this before submerging the cuttings in water.
Successfully Grow Pothos via Water Propagation!
You’re now ready for when your pothos is dying or when you want to grow extra plants indoors. By propagating pothos in water, you’ll have such an easy time growing these hardy plants.
Clear views of the nodes, provided water to hydrate the cuttings, and easy transplantation surely save you from buying new pothos!To see what other plants you can propagate at home, visit our indoor gardening plants post for some ideas!
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With a lifelong appreciation for the vibrant hues and serene beauty of landscapes, Sarah Keck brings a wealth of practical and observational gardening knowledge to her writing. Her hands-on experience stems from years of assisting her mother in tending a diverse array of plants, mastering the art of plant care through careful adherence to proven horticultural practices.
A seasoned observer, Sarah delights in the study and admiration of flourishing flower gardens and lush greenery during her frequent strolls through local parks and the quiet streets of her neighborhood. Her natural curiosity drives her to investigate various plant species, deepening her understanding of the flora she encounters.
In addition to her botanical pursuits, Sarah cherishes the culinary arts, drawing from her college experiences of handling and preparing fresh produce. Her penchant for discovery leads her to continually refine her methods, which she eagerly documents and shares with fellow gardening enthusiasts.