Pothos, known as devil’s ivy, is a common type of hanging houseplant, which is fast-growing. It is one of the easiest plants to grow even if you happen to be somebody who does not water plants on a regular basis. You’ll have to prune this popular plant at some point, though, so you might as well do something with the cuttings.
You will not even need any expensive rooting hormones to do so. In fact, whether you’ve never propagated anything before or have done so for a while, you’ll find this article extremely useful. In no time, you’ll be putting the “pro” in propagation if you follow our guide. Plus, you can always give clematis, roses, geranium and monstera plants a “go” as well.
Table of Contents
Best time to propagate Pothos
There are many pothos varieties, with the most common being golden pothos. As a general rule of thumb, never grow a sick plant or any of the varieties that you think is sagging or has yellow leaves.
We understand that it is the best approach to keep the plant alive. Nonetheless, the propagated plant may survive for a while, but it will most likely fail to grow properly.
During the winter, you may try to propagate the plant, but it will certainly grow slowly, and throughout the cold months, it will be unlikely to succeed. From mid-spring to early autumn is the optimal time to propagate your plants.
During this period of time, the plant reaches a point of outstanding development. Keep in mind that the key to good growth is tolerance. It is necessary to provide the plant with the best possible growing conditions to see success.
What you’ll need
Before you make your first cut, double-check that you have everything you’ll need:
- Healthy and mature Pothos plant (Epipremnum aureum)
- Clean and sharp scissors
- Plastic sheet or newspaper
- Spare pot/pots with or without drainage holes
- Fresh soil and water
How to propagate pothos in water
Yes, you read that right! You can propagate your strong, low-maintenance pothos in water. Pick a bright spot, and let’s get started with this easy DIY method:
1. Sterilise the supplies
You should always prune with clean scissors, so you will begin by disinfecting the pruners. Otherwise, you might end up with bacteria or mites being transferred, which is something that you don’t want.
2. Clip the pothos at a suitable point
You can get a lot of pothos cuttings from a single vine when you know how to cut right. The roots are the most important ingredient in propagation. The nodes serve as a springboard for the development of the roots. It is recommended that you cut in between the nodes.
The nodes are those brown bumps on the vine where you can witness the leaf growth. The internode must be cut too so that you can obtain several stem cuttings from a single vine. Because one leaf node will be immersed in the water and the other will have the leaf on it, each cutting will require two nodes.
That is literally all you need from the vine to grow a new plant. Remember not to cut too close to the node. Otherwise, the plant will have problems sucking up the water. As such, you should leave about 1.5 cm of healthy stem attached to the cutting.
3. Inspect the vine for air roots
You will see that the plant has an air root at some point, which is a good indicator. This will aid in a faster establishment of the roots.
In any event, the air root serves as a backup. A node is what you need here. When an air root is present, it will transform into a water root. There will be little roots emerging from those places. The air root increases the success rate of the plant propagation.
4. Fill the jar halfway up with water
Fill a container with tap water. If the water in your area has a lot of chlorine, consider heating it and letting it cool down. You will immerse the cutting in the water once the container is ready and filled with water.
5. Submerge in the jar
The node should be submerged because the roots will sprout from there. The change of water is a significant factor for the assessment of the cutting, so you should consider doing so at least once a week.
It won’t be a big problem if you don’t change the water for about fourteen days. Nonetheless, this may still result in algae growth. Plants absorb nutrients from the water, and the more frequently the water is changed, the better the chances of success.
6. Place the plant in the right spot
Bright indirect light is ideal for pothos. Keep the plant out of the sun if you don’t want it to burn, but also avoid super low light.
7. Repot the plant
Use a pot that has a good drainage system for the repotting. You can also add pebbles to help with the water drain. Remove the cutting from the water container and examine the root’s colour, whether it’s white and crusty or dark and mushy. The cutting should be transferred only if there is no root rot.
8. Maintain good plant care
Continue to water the container regularly and always check the soil. You can water it after a day or two if it is saturated on top. This is due to the fact that the root must transition from being water roots to soil roots.
The plant should never be overwatered. Because the roots are weak, too much moisture in the potting soil can cause root rot and eventually yellowing leaves. After around two months, you should water the pothos plant as you would with any other indoor plant.
How to propagate pothos in soil
Keep in mind that the way to cutting here is the same as described above in water propagation. So, now that we’ve cleared everything up, let’s look at how you can do it in soil:
1. Sterilise your tools and make the cut
Clean your scissors, pull up the vine and use the node to cut it. The root node is where you will establish the roots.
2. Prepare the soil and the pot
Prepare aerated soil, which aids in drainage for the propagation of pothos. The air circulation has to be consistent and the soil should remain continually moist. Fill a pot with a mixture of soil and pumice or dirt and perlite, then water it.
As much water as possible should be drained from the container, and so make sure it has a good seepage system. The size of the pot should be proportional to the size of the cutting that you made. If the pot is too small in comparison to the cutting size, the formed roots may form a covering and injure the roots. This means you should re-pot the plant as the root structure matures, so you don’t have any problems with the soil absorbing too much water.
3. Find the perfect spot
Now you will need to position the pot. Because the pothos leaves will rot in direct sunlight, you need to place the new pothos plant in an appropriate location where it will receive bright backhanded sunshine.
Direct sunlight may evaporate the water, making it difficult for the plant to absorb nutrients from the soil. This plant also requires a lot of moisture, so make sure you mist it on a regular basis.
Propagation without any cuts
You can propagate pothos in a natural way when you have just enough space to grow the plants. All you really need for this method is some pots and paper clips. You won’t need to make any cuts. Instead, You will choose two vines to work with. Many vines, for example, can be selected at the same time.
Fill two pots with a combination of soil and pumice or soil and perlite. After you’ve added the mixture, make sure the pot is watered. Keep the pots close to the plant and make sure one of the vines hits the soil by going over the containers. For both pots, do the same thing with two separate vines.
You must ensure that the vine’s nodes come into contact with the wet soil. You can pin the vine to the soil with regular-sized paper clips.
The plant will then begin to grow roots from the nodes, so, pin it down in various places and repeat with the second pot. Depending on the size of the container and the vine, each pot should have two or three nodes. Make sure the pots are watered and keep the soil moist.
The new root growth from the nodes will eventually be visible. After around 2 to 3 weeks, you should be able to see roots that are about 2 to 4 cm long. You can extract the new plants from the mother plant once the new roots have grown by using scissors or a pruner. Pruning allows the plant to grow stronger and bushier.
By now, you should be more confident in your ability to create new pothos plant! While propagating in water is more commonly seen these days, doing it directly in the soil gives the stem the advantage of adjusting to its new soil-rich environment. Whatever way you choose above, happy gardening!