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Pothos Propagation: How To Propagate A Pothos

Pothos Propagation: How To Propagate A Pothos


By: Jackie Rhoades

Pothos plants are one of the most popular houseplants. They aren’t fussy about light or water or fertilization and when it comes to how to propagate a pothos, the answer is as easy as the node on your stem.

Pothos propagation begins with the root nodes on the stem right below the leaf or branch junctures. These tiny bumps on the stems of rooting pothos are the key to propagating pothos. When your aging plant begins to get leggy or your full and healthy plant grows too long, simply give your plant a haircut.

Pothos Propagation – How to Propagate a Pothos

Begin by snipping off 4- to 6-inch (10-15 cm.) lengths of healthy stem for your pothos cuttings, making sure each cutting has four or more leaves. Remove the leaf that is closest to the cut end. Once you’ve cut your stems, you’re ready to begin rooting. Pothos propagation can be accomplished in two ways. You might want to try both to see which one works best for you.

The first method of propagating pothos is to place the cut ends of your stems in water. An old glass or jelly jar is perfect for rooting pothos. Place the jar of pothos cuttings in a place that gets plenty of light, but not direct sunlight. About a month after the roots begin to show, you can plant the cuttings in soil and treat them as you would any other houseplant. Be careful though, the longer pothos cuttings remain in water, the harder time they have adapting to soil. It is best to transplant rooted pothos cuttings as soon as they start roots.

The preferred method of how to propagate a pothos begins the same as the first. Take the pothos cuttings and remove the first leaf above the cut ends. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Make sure you cover the first set of root nodes. Set the cuttings in a potting mixture of half peat moss and half perlite or sand. Keep the soil moist and keep your rooting pothos out of direct sunlight. Roots should develop after one month and after two or three months, the new plants will be ready.

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How To Propagate Pothos : The Correct Way


Pothos is one of the most popular indoor plants. These are generally not fussy about light or water or fertilization and when it comes to propagating a pothos, it’s easy that even a kid can propagate pothos easily.

Pothos propagation begins with the root nodes on the stem right below the leaf or branch junctures. These tiny bumps on the stems of rooting pothos are the key to propagating pothos.

When your aging plant begins full and healthy plant grows too long, simply give your plant a trim.

Pothos Propagation – How to Propagate a Pothos

Begin by cutting out 4- to 6-inch (10-15 cm.) lengths of healthy stem for your pothos cuttings, making sure each cutting has four or more leaves pending on it. Remove the leaf that is closer to the end. Once you’ve cut your stems, you’re ready to begin rooting. Pothos propagation can be accomplished in two ways. Both ways are easy and guaranteed.

The first method of propagating pothos is to place the cut ends of your stems in water.

An old glass or jelly jar is perfect for rooting pothos. Place the jar of pothos cuttings in a place that gets plenty of light, but not direct sunlight. About a month after the roots begin to show, you can plant the cuttings in soil and treat them as you would any other houseplant. Be careful though, the longer pothos cuttings remain in the water, the harder time they have adapting to the soil. It is best to transplant rooted pothos cuttings as soon as they start roots.

The preferred method of how to propagate a pothos begins the same as the first. Take the pothos cuttings and remove the first leaf above the cut ends. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone/Honey. Make sure you cover the first set of root nodes. Set the cuttings in a potting mixture of half peat moss and half perlite or sand. Keep the soil moist and keep your rooting pothos out of direct sunlight.

Roots should develop after one month and after two or three months, the new plants will be ready.


Pothos Propagation FAQs

No, the roots emerge from a root node.

You’ll see roots emerge in about 2 weeks. I consider them good and rooted in about 2 months. The time can vary for you depending on the growing conditions.

The longest I’ve had Pothos cuttings in water was about a year and a half. My friend had some in water for over 3 years. The stems and foliage were thinner and not as robust. The stems will need nutrients at some point to keep them healthy and looking good.

For the long haul, I’d say soil.

It may need simply brighter light. Or, you may have to prune the long stems to encourage bushiness.

I threw this one in just for fun. I’ve moved to different cities in different states and have left the majority of my houseplants behind with friends. The longest I’ve had a Pothos for is 9 years.

Pothos propagation is practically foolproof so give it a go. The cuttings just keep on coming!

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Step 2: Replant It

Photography by Yushan Cheng of My Peaceful Moment Photography by Yushan Cheng of My Peaceful Moment

Grab your plastic pot with drainage holes (terracotta ones are porous and end up absorbing the water your green baby needs to grow) and fill it with equal amounts of Perlite and peat moss. This will help the air circulate and the soil retain moisture.

Photography by Yushan Cheng of My Peaceful Moment

Pre-water the soil until it feels moist to the touch. Dip your cuttings into a dry powder rooting hormone (an optional step) before sticking them into the dirt about 1 inch deep so they’re secure.


How to make the cuts

I like to use an Olfa utility knife, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol, and do a 90 degree cut right in the middle of two nodes, with at least 1 leaf, and at least 1 node on the cutting. I then place the cutting directly into water to keep it moist, whether or not I’m going to root it in soil or water. Here’s some more detail:

  1. Choose a blade. A sharp blade like a utility knife or razor blade provides a cleaner cut, which reduces surface area for pathogens to get a foothold. Scissors will work in a pinch. Make sure they’re clean, and try not to crush the plant tissue too much.
  2. Clean your blade. Rubbing alcohol, fire, or any household disinfectant that doesn’t leave a residue should work fine.
  3. Identify where to cut. Identify a section of plant where you can have at least 1 leaf, and at least one node (where the petiole connects to the stem), preferably with existing root nodes.
    • Leave at least half an inch below or above the node (towards the roots of the plant).
    • People have had success reviving pothos cuttings with no leaves, all the way up to long vines. The plant is really forgiving. There seems to be a bit of a goldilocks leaf-count. Too many leaves and the plant is consuming more water and energy, supporting more life. Too few leaves and the plant takes a lot longer to revive, growing leaves is energetically expensive.
    • Pothos will root from a leaf and petiole with no stem. But, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t grow new leaves. I would like to experiment on this.
  4. Make the cut
    • Some sources recommend making the cut underwater. This prevents the plant from sucking air bubbles into the stem, which can slow water uptake.
    • Some sources recommend cutting at a 45 degree angle instead of 90. A 45 degree angle increases surface area. Surface area is a double edged sword. It creates more area for rooting hormone and water to be absorbed. But this is also more area for bacteria, fungus, and other microorganisms to invade. Also, a 45 degree cut is more susceptible to physical damage.

Illustration 2: Leaf with no stem: may root, but doesn’t seem to develop new leaves without a section of stem.


The pothos plant is so easy to grow and propagate that even someone with a black thumb can do it. It is a great container plant that can be kept in darker rooms, in offices and even in a shady balcony garden. No matter where you choose to keep your pothos, you can easily propagate it to create more pothos plants.

The pothos and many other container plants can be reproduced by taking cuttings from the mother plant. All you need is a pothos plant vine with more than seven leaves, a pair of scissors, a glass of water and light.

Choose a spot on the pothos vine that you will cut. Leave at least three leaves on the vine, and cut off four or more leaves. When you cut, cut right below a root node (which is the little brown bump coming out of the pothos vine). Cut it so the root node will be on your new vine. The the new root will sprout from the pothos plant's root node.

After cutting a vine or two off of the mother pothos plant, rip or cut off the bottom leaf of the new vines, and then put the cuttings in a glass of water on a windowsill (or wherever it can get some light that's not too intense). Some people will recommend using a rooting hormone on plant cuttings, but this is unnecessary. You may get results faster with a rooting hormone, but you do not need it to get a healthy new pothos plant.

Because you can see through the glass container, you can see when the root sprouts. After about two weeks, the pothos cuttings can be planted in potting soil. Just be careful to not break the delicate root. The best way to protect roots is to put about 2 inches of dirt on the bottom of its new container, gently place the pothos cuttings into the plant container and drop new soil on top of the roots. Gently pack down the potting soil and water it.

Propagating plants by cutting will make the mother plant look more full and bushy, and less thin.


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