Pothos Plants: 2 Simple Propagation Methods

If there’s one plant I recommend to gardening beginners above the sea of other options, it’s the pothos plant.

In my experience, a pothos houseplant is the easiest plant to care for. It’s exceptionally low-maintenance and can withstand some serious neglect.

Luckily, this plant isn’t just easy to care for, it’s also easy to propagate! If you’ve never propagated a plant before, I think you’re going to love it.

It’s a simple process, though it does take a bit of patience, so beware.

Several pothos leaves with a root system, cut from the vine of a pothos plant.

Propagating pothos requires you sniping off some vines (cuttings)and giving it some time before you start to witness the miracle of plant propagation.

It is, of course, more complicated than that but once you attempt the process yourself and start to see results, you’ll wonder why you never tried your hand at it before!

There are different propagation methods but I think water propagation is the easiest to master, and soil propagation is another great option and super simple.

If you’re ready to prune your pothos plant and multiply your pothos collection, I’ll take you step-by-step!

Why You Should Prune and Propagate a Pothos Plant

Before jumping into the tutorial, let’s talk about why you should prune your pothos plant. Aside from the obvious reason of getting more plants out of one, another reason to prune your pothos plant has to do with appearance and rejuvenation.

After you prune your plant in the right places, new growth will start to sprout from the crown of the plant, which will aid in giving it a fuller, bushier look.

While care and maintenance of a pothos is low-key, people sometimes have trouble keeping their plant looking full.

It’s one of the most common frustrations when it comes to houseplants.

The spindly look in a vining plant happens when the plant puts all of its energy into producing more leaves on the cascading vine and thus neglecting new growth near the crown and base of the plant.

You see, pothos plants love to cascade out of their pot due to their vining nature, so a bare crown isn’t uncommon.

A marble queen pothos plant in a white pot.
Marble pothos plant

Thankfully, however, there’s a simple solution and that’s pruning and plant propagation.

With proper propagation, you can trim off vining leaves, wait for them to grow roots, and then add them back into the parent pot for a bushier look.

To propagate a pothos plant, all you’ll need is pruning shears or sharp scissors, a few water-filled glasses, and a warm spot in your home.

Where to Cut the Vine When You Propagate a Pothos Plant

Cutting your pothos leaves is a quick and simple process as long as you know EXACTLY where to cut on the vine.

Remember, you can’t just cut it anywhere and expect results. Follow the photos and the instructions below.

First, cut off a long vine (that’s if your pothos is vining, otherwise a shorter stem will do.)

Cut off individual vines, right below a ” root node”. Pick a vine that has 3 or more leaves.

Once you cut off a few cascading vines, you’re going to take it apart. This is the fun part!

  1. Cut the vine on the left and right side of the leaf’s node
  2. Repeat step #1 for every leaf on your vine. You should end up with several, which will give you a greater chance of success

Water Propagation Method To Propagate Pothos Plants

Now that you’ve got your leaves together, it’s time to put them in a jar or glass filled with tap water.

Here’s a very important step: change the water every day or at least every other day. You want plenty of oxygen in the water so this is why you need to change it daily.

Make sure to keep the glasses in a warm room of your house (at least 70 degrees F).

You’ll start to see tiny roots come out of the nodes in about 2 to 3 weeks. They’ll appear white in color.

Pothos stems in glasses of water as part of the pothos plant propagation process.
Water propagation method

How Long Does It Take to Propagate a Pothos Plant

It takes several weeks for a single cutting to grow roots. Like anything with gardening, it takes time!

You’ll begin to see tiny formants of roots coming out of the nodes after about 4 weeks (They’ll look like pale little spikes coming from the nodes of the leaves.)

They won’t look exactly like the roots you’re used to seeing but they’ll grow a few inches more in the weeks that follow.

Not all leaves will root. If it’s been several weeks and some of your leaves haven’t started rooting, just take them out of the glass and discard.

Transfer the Leaves from Water to Soil To Successfully Propagate a Pothos Plant

Once you have roots that are several inches long, you can plant them in fresh soil. Just stick the stems in and hope for the best! It may take a while for the leaf to adjust to its new environment, so be patient.

This is why you shouldn’t wait too long to transfer your rooted cuttings from water to soil; you don’t want the new root system to get too used to living in the water.

Propagating a Pothos Plant Using the Soil Method

I think this second propagation is the easiest because it has the least steps. You’re going to follow the steps above but instead of placing the stems in water, you’re going to stick straight into a pot filled with fresh soil, like in the photo below.

Propagated pothos leaves and stems planted into a pot of fresh soil.
Soil propagation

Then, you need to cover the pot with a large plastic bag or Ziploc bag to form a dome over it.

This plastic dome is going to create a humid environment and encourage the stems to start rooting in the soil.

Roots will start to form in about a week, and that’s when you’ll be able to take the plastic bag off the plant.

And that’s it! You’ve just learned two super-simple ways of propagating pothos plants.

While propagating using the water method is more commonly seen these days, propagating directly in soil gives the stem the advantage of adjusting to its new soil-rich environment. Good luck!

I hope you now feel equipped to give your pothos plant a good pruning!

Happy Gardening!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I'm so glad you're here learning about your favorite plants. My hope is to encourage your love of succulents and help you understand how to care for them and make them a part of your home, too, via plant crafts and beautiful arrangements!

  1. 8.24.20
    Matthew said:

    I discovered that my wife received one of these years ago. Time to propagate it.
    Thank you for the information,

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