How to Propagate Pothos


Welcome to the wonderful world of pothos propagation! Pothos, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is a beloved houseplant cherished for its lush, trailing vines and air-purifying qualities. If you’re a proud pothos parent looking to expand your green family or share the beauty of this resilient plant with friends, propagation is the way to go. Also, here is a detailed article on how to care for Pothos

In this article, I’ll share my extensive knowledge and experience on how to effectively propagate pothos. We’ll explore various methods, their timelines, levels of difficulty, and the materials you’ll need. By the end, you’ll be equipped with all the information you need to successfully propagate your pothos plant.

Pothos Propagation Basics

Before diving into the propagation methods, let’s take a look at the essential information you’ll need to get started. The table below provides a quick overview:

MethodTime for PropagationWorking TimeTotal TimeDifficulty LevelMaterials Required
Water Propagation4-6 weeks15 minutes4-6 weeksEasy– A glass or jar
Soil Propagation4-6 weeks15 minutes4-6 weeksEasy– Potting soil
Cutting Propagation4-6 weeks15 minutes4-6 weeksModerate– Pruning shears
Aerial Root Propagation4-6 weeks15 minutes4-6 weeksEasy– Sphagnum moss

Propagation Methods

Now that we’ve covered the basics of pothos propagation, let’s dive into each method in greater detail, providing step-by-step instructions and discussing the materials required. Additionally, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed choice.

Water Propagation


Step-by-Step Instructions:

Materials Required:

  • A healthy pothos vine with at least one node.
  • Clean pruning shears.
  • A glass or jar.
  • Water.


  • Excellent visibility of root development.
  • Suitable for multiple cuttings simultaneously.
  • Easy for beginners.


  • Vulnerable to rot if water is not changed regularly.
  • Transplanting can be tricky due to delicate roots.

Soil Propagation


Step-by-Step Instructions:

Materials Required:

  • A healthy pothos cutting with at least one node.
  • Potting soil.
  • A small pot with drainage holes.
  • Water.


  • Mimics natural growth conditions.
  • Low maintenance once established.
  • Multiple cuttings can be planted in one pot.


  • Longer waiting period for visible root growth.
  • Risk of overwatering if not careful.

Cutting Propagation

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Materials Required:

  • A healthy pothos vine with at least one node.
  • Clean pruning shears.
  • Potting soil.
  • A small pot with drainage holes.
  • Water.


  • Direct rooting in soil promotes faster growth.
  • Ability to create multiple new plants.
  • Mimics natural propagation in the wild.


  • Slightly more complex than water propagation.
  • Longer initial rooting period compared to soil propagation.

Aerial Root Propagation


Step-by-Step Instructions:

Materials Required:

  • A mature pothos plant with established aerial roots.
  • Clean scissors or pruning shears.
  • A small pot or container.
  • Sphagnum moss.
  • Plastic wrap or a plastic bag.


  • Utilizes natural aerial roots for propagation.
  • Ideal for plants with existing aerial roots.
  • Multiple new plants can be created from a single parent.


  • Limited to plants with developed aerial roots.
  • Requires more patience and monitoring compared to other methods.
  • Initial establishment can be slower.

Common Problems in Propagating Pothos: A Comprehensive Guide

When embarking on the journey of propagating pothos, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges that may arise along the way. Understanding these common problems will help you troubleshoot and ensure a successful propagation process. Let’s explore these issues using the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) framework to guide us through each problem and solution.

1. Attention: Rotting Cuttings

Problem: One of the most common issues during water propagation is the rotting of cuttings. This occurs when the cuttings are left in water for too long without a change.

Solution: Pay close attention to the water quality and change it every few days to prevent rot. Ensure the node is submerged while keeping the leaves above the water line.

2. Interest: Slow Root Development

Problem: Some growers may become impatient when they don’t see rapid root development, especially during soil propagation.

Solution: Understand that pothos propagation can take time. Be patient and maintain consistent moisture levels without overwatering. Adequate indirect light is essential for root growth.


3. Desire: Overwatering and Root Rot

Problem: Overenthusiastic watering can lead to root rot, particularly when propagating in soil.

Solution: Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Ensure your pot has proper drainage, and never let your cutting sit in standing water. Monitor the moisture levels closely.

4. Action: Stunted Growth and Yellowing Leaves

Problem: Sometimes, propagated pothos plants may exhibit stunted growth or yellowing leaves.

Solution: Adjust your care routine. Ensure the plant receives the right amount of light, not too much direct sunlight. Review your watering schedule and check for signs of pests or diseases.

Tips to Propagate Pothos the Right Way

Basic Level Tips:

Propagating pothos can be an exciting journey for both beginners and seasoned plant enthusiasts. Let’s start with some basic tips to get you on the right track.

Water Propagation: Method Overview: Water propagation is like giving your pothos cuttings a relaxing spa day. You’ll place cuttings in a glass or jar of water until they sprout roots.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Choose a healthy vine with at least one node (those little bumps where leaves grow).
  2. Use clean pruning shears to cut a section just below a node.
  3. Place the cutting in a glass or jar with enough water to submerge the node but keep the leaves above water.
  4. Change the water every few days to prevent rot.
  5. After 4-6 weeks, you should see those delightful roots forming. Once they’re a few inches long, you can transplant the cutting into soil.

Soil Propagation: Method Overview: Soil propagation is like starting a new adventure with your pothos. You’ll plant cuttings directly into soil, mimicking their natural growth.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Get a healthy cutting with at least one node.
  2. Plant it in potting soil, burying the node beneath the surface.
  3. Water the soil thoroughly and place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight.
  4. Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering.
  5. In about 4-6 weeks, your cutting should have developed roots and can be treated as a mature pothos.

Advanced Level Tips:

For those looking to take their pothos propagation skills to the next level, consider these advanced techniques.

Propagation by Division: Method Overview: This method involves dividing mature pothos plants into smaller sections and replanting them.

Rhizome Propagation: Method Overview: Rhizome propagation is a bit more specialized, where you divide the plant’s rhizome (underground stem) into sections for propagation.

These advanced methods require a deeper understanding of pothos growth patterns and may involve more careful handling. It’s recommended to master the basic techniques first before venturing into these advanced propagation methods.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How often should I change the water when propagating in water?

Change the water every 2-3 days to prevent rot and ensure a healthy root development environment.

Can I propagate pothos in low light conditions?

While pothos is adaptable, it’s best to provide bright, indirect light for successful propagation.

What’s the ideal temperature for pothos propagation?

Pothos thrives at room temperature, between 65-80°F (18-27°C), which is suitable for most propagation methods.

Do I need to use rooting hormone for pothos propagation?

While it’s not necessary, rooting hormone can expedite root development, especially in soil or cutting propagation.

Can I propagate variegated pothos the same way as green pothos?

Yes, you can propagate variegated pothos using the same methods, but keep in mind that variegated varieties may take longer to establish.

How long does it take for a pothos cutting to become a mature plant?

It typically takes 6-12 months for a propagated pothos cutting to grow into a mature and fully established plant, depending on the method and conditions.

About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

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