Pothos Propagation in Water


Pothos propagation in water is a great way to add healthy and beautiful plants to your home without spending a dime. Why buy more plants from the store, when producing new ones at home is so easy!?

The Pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum) is one of the most popular house plants and for good reason. They are not fussy about light, water, or fertilization. For a newbie plant mom like me, this is great news. The best part about Pothos plants is that once they are thriving, propagating them to make more plants is simple!

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Pothos in pots on open shelves.

Caring for Pothos.

Caring for Pothos is easy. It’s the perfect indoor house plant for beginners. Here are some tips on how to care for them so that they will thrive.

  • Pothos thrive in a warm location; room temperature is ideal.
  • Bright indirect light is best, however, Pothos can tolerate low light. Low light will lightly slow the growth of the plant and could possibly affect the variegation of the leaves. 
  • Pothos does not need a lot of water. They should be watered only when the soil feels dry. If the soil is too wet, the leaves will yellow.
  • Cut back vines just above the leaves to make Pothos plants fuller. 
  • Dust Pothos leaves occasionally. (The waxy texture of the leaves tends to attract dust.)
  • Remove any dead or rotted stems and spotty or yellow leaves.  

Time for a trim.

Pothos plant in a white plater sitting atop a wood cabinet with books and a candle.

Oftentimes, a healthy and thriving Pothos plant, which is a trailing vine, begins to get long and spindly (or leggy). When this happens, it’s the perfect time to begin propagating. Some people call it, “giving your Pothos a haircut.” 

Using garden scissors, begin to cut off the long Pothos vines so that the remaining ends are a few inches below the top of the pot. Now that the vines have been trimmed off the mature Pothos plant, it’s time to begin collecting our clippings to propagate in water.

Trimming a Pothos plant with garden scissors.

Important parts of the plant to know for Pothos propagation in water.

Pothos vines have two parts:

  • The leaf
  • The eye

Photo of the Pothos leaf showing where the "eye" is located. This is where Pothos root in the water.

The key to propagation is knowing that new growth on a Pothos begins at the eye (root nodes) on the stem. They are located right below the leaf or branch junctures. This is where roots begin to grow in water during propagation.

Photo showing the "eye" of a Pothos vine.

Pothos Propagation in water.

Now that the vines have been trimmed from the healthy and thriving Pothos plant, it’s time to propagate. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Lay the vine out on a table and snip just above and just below where the leaf (stem) meets the eye. This is the part of the plant that will root in the water. There will be a couple of inches or so of vine between the next snips; discard that piece. Repeat this all the way down the vine. (The last leaf on the vine is not ideal for propagation, so it can be discarded as well. )
  2. Once the leaves have all been snipped from the vine, gather them up. Fill an old glass or jelly jar with clean, fresh water. At this time, indoor plant food can also be used (use according to label instructions). 
  3. Place your leaves in the jar of water and leave them in a warm room (without drafts) and where there is plenty of light. However, they should be kept out of direct sunlight. 

Photo of the parts of the Pothos plant used and discarded when propagating in water.

Patience is a virtue.

The Pothos has now started its propagation. Be patient. This is the hard part! It will take about 4-6 weeks before you start seeing roots. Once the roots start though they grow exponentially each day. When the roots are a few inches long, it’s time to plant the Pothos in soil. Do not let the new plant root too long in the water. The longer it spends in the water, it will have a harder time adapting to soil.

Pothos leaves rooting in a jar with water on a shelf.

Brown thumbs can turn green.

As I always say with everything I share here, “If I can do it, you can too!” Two years ago, if you would have told me that I’d be sharing how to propagate houseplants on the blog I would have laughed. My family would have joined me in laughter and likely been brought to tears from laughing so hard at the thought.

Up until two years ago, my thumb was terribly brown. True story: My husband at one point banned me from bringing home any more house plants because I had killed so many. After several massacres, shopping for plants for our home was no longer in the budget. 

After the ban, I was determined to turn my brown thumb green. I started reading and studying up on the best ways to care for household plants. I decided to start with Pothos plants because according to everything I read, they were basically considered the most foolproof house plant on the planet (so, basically perfect for me). 

Practice makes perfect.

After promising my husband that I was not going to kill any new indoor plants because I had done my research and I was ready to give them a proper home, I went out to the local garden store and brought home two Pothos plants. (Notice, I had to be specific in regard to my promise of not killing “indoor plants” because I also didn’t have a very good track record with outdoor plants… Baby steps, I’m still working on success in that department!)

A few years have passed since I brought my new plant babies home and I am happy to report that they are thriving. I water them when necessary and monitor the light. It’s official, I can finally claim that I have a green thumb. Hallelujah!

Laundry room with open shelves styled with Pothos plant..

Now feeling confident in my new skill set, I felt like it was time to challenge myself once again. I decided to try my hand at propagation. From the two Pothos plants, I brought home originally, I now have successfully propagated FIVE plants so far and I am continuing to propagate from them. It is with great joy that today I can report that all my plants are thriving. I even gave one to our daughter for her apartment. What a wonderful feeling that was!

Enjoy the process.

All of this to say, don’t be afraid of propagation. If I can do it, you can too! Pothos plants are the perfect way to begin to turn your brown thumb green. Once your plants are thriving, you’ll be propagating in now time. The beauty of propagation, aside from the multitude of plants you get for your home, is that propagation gives you a tremendous sense of fulfillment and is great for building your green thumb confidence.

Here are some of my favorite “propagation stations.”

My favorite “propagation stations.”

I hope this post has encouraged you to put your brown thumb fears aside, head to your local garden store, pick up a Pothos plant and once it’s thriving, start to propagate.

What’s next for me? Thank you for asking, I plan to propagate my spider plants next. Stay tuned!

Spider plant on a side table in a white planter styled with a lamp and candlesticks.

Looking for a fun, easy, and inexpensive DIY that you can use to display the new Pothos plants you propagated? You’re going to love my DIY Concrete Bowl post. They’re perfect for styling inside and outside your home.

Join me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date with everything happening on the farm, in the farmhouse, and with me. I’d love to see you there!

Pinterest Pin of Pothos in white pots on open shelves in the laundry room.

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  1. Cheryl says:

    I’m so glad you kept trying! You have done a great job!!

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