Pothos Party Time! Root Your Plant Cuttings with Just a Wet Paper Towel!

I’ve often been asked if you can propagate pothos plants using a wet paper towel. The answer is yes, this method is indeed possible and quite effective for rooting pothos cuttings.

In my experience, using a wet paper towel has several advantages.

It’s a clean method, reduces the risk of soil-borne diseases during the sensitive rooting stage, and provides a moist environment conducive to root growth.

Moreover, it’s a method that doesn’t require any special equipment; just a paper towel, some water, and a plastic bag or container to create a miniature greenhouse effect.

Let’s dig in!

Key Takeaways

  • Pothos can be easily propagated using a wet paper towel.
  • This method is advantageous in several cases.
  • It’s crucial to monitor for any potential issues during the rooting phase.

Propagation Pothos With Wet Paper Towel

Let me guide you through the key steps to ensure your pothos cuttings develop healthy roots.

Choosing the Right Pothos Cutting

Small cuttings of Pothos plant

For successful propagation, I make sure to select a healthy pothos cutting.

It must have at least one leaf and one or two leaf nodes. These nodes are small bumps on the stem where the leaves emerge and the roots will grow from.

Tools and Materials Required

Things required to propagate Pothos with paper towel

Here’s what you need to gather before starting:

  • Pothos cuttings
  • Paper towel
  • Ziploc bag
  • Water

How To Propagate Pothos With Wet Paper Towel: Step By Step

Wet paper towel wrapped on nodes of Pothos cuttings

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Start by thoroughly wetting a paper towel.
  2. Wrap the damp towel around the bottom of the stem, ensuring the node area is snugly covered.
  3. Then, place the wrapped cutting in a Ziploc bag to create a mini greenhouse effect.
  4. Seal the bag.
  5. Place the bag in a warm spot with indirect light.

Monitoring Root Development

Every couple of days, I peek into the bag to ensure the paper towel hasn’t dried out. It’s crucial to keep it moist for the roots to form.

In about three to four days, I usually see roots sprouting. When they reach about half an inch long, I know it’s time to move the pothos to a more permanent home in potting mix.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do keep the paper towel moist at all times.
  • Do ensure the cuttings are not sitting in direct sunlight as it can overheat them.
  • Don’t forget to check on them regularly to track their progress.
  • Don’t let the paper towel dry; roots need consistent moisture to develop.

Potential Problems and Solutions

When I am rooting Pothos cuttings using this method, I make sure to watch out for a couple of key issues that can arise during the process.

Problem: Mold

Mold development is one of the hurdles I encounter. This typically occurs if my paper towel is overly damp and doesn’t get enough air circulation.

  • Prevention: Ensure the paper towel is moist but not soaking, and I occasionally open the plastic bag to let air in.
  • Solution: If mold appears, immediately remove the affected part of the paper towel and the moldy portion of the plant, then transfer the healthy cutting to a fresh setup.

Problem: Slow Root Growth

Sometimes, the roots might take longer to develop than expected, or they might not grow at all.

  • Prevention: Cut just below a node, as this is where roots grow best.
  • Solution: Maintain a warm and humid environment without direct sunlight and check if the paper towel has dried out—if it has, I moisten it to kickstart root growth.

Why Choose the Wet Paper Towel Method

A person holding prepared cutting in hand

When I set out to root my Pothos cuttings, I find the wet paper towel method preferable in a few cases.

Firstly, it’s incredibly straightforward. All I need are household items: a paper towel, a zip-top bag, and a bit of water. This simplicity makes it a go-to option, especially when I don’t want to deal with a lot of water that can spill, soil, or special rooting mediums such as moss.

Beyond ease of use, this method works well for small, short, and malformed cuttings. Such cuttings might be difficult to propagate in water or soil due to their size or shape so the wet paper towel method is excellent to use here.

Also, it is easy to transport the cuttings in wet paper towels in a bag. Recently, I gave some of my Pearls-and-Jade pothos cuttings to a friend of mine. Instead of giving him the cuttings as is, I prepped them according to this method. Not only did it safeguard the cuttings from damage during the transportation, but it also helped my friend to continue rooting them since they were already almost half a way there.

Moreover, I adore involving my little one in plant propagation, and the wet paper towel method serves as an excellent educational activity. Watching roots grow in the transparent bag is like a mini science lesson right at our kitchen table. It engages children’s curiosity and fosters a love for gardening.

From Rooting to Planting

After successfully rooting your pothos using the wet paper towel method, it’s essential to transition the plant carefully to ensure strong growth.

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Roots should be healthy and not too long (0.5-1 inch or 1-2 cm) before considering the move to soil.
  • Choosing the right pot, with ample drainage holes, is critical to prevent root rot.

When I plant pothos after propagation, I start by filling a pot with a well-draining potting soil blend. This creates a welcoming environment for the newly formed roots that crave both moisture and oxygen. Gently placing the roots into the soil, I make sure they spread out without bending, covering them lightly, and pressing the soil down to eliminate air pockets.

Once planted, I focus on providing adequate light and nutrients. While pothos can adapt to low-light conditions, bright, indirect light supports vigorous growth.

Additionally, using a liquid fertilizer in moderation promotes healthy foliage without risking fungal infections.

It’s important to water the plant when the top inch of soil dries out, maintaining consistent moisture but avoiding overwatering, which may cause rotting and other issues.

Keeping a close eye on the plant during this stage reflects my dedication to its health. The emergence of aerial roots indicates that the root growth is progressing well.

A successful transition from rooting to planting marks the start of a new phase for your indoor plant, where continuous care and attention shapes your pothos into a flourishing member of your home’s foliage.


Through my experimentation, I’ve found that propagating Pothos with a wet paper towel is indeed a viable method. It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t require complex tools or a green thumb.

  • Ease of Use: Simply wrap the cuttings in a damp paper towel.
  • Suitable for short cuttings: The welcoming nature of the moist paper towel allows to propagate even small, short, or malformed cuttings. This can be important if you harvest cuttings from a rare or small plant.
  • Humidity Control: Maintaining humidity around the cutting is simpler, promoting faster root growth.

I ensure the paper towel remains moist but not overly wet, as excessive moisture can lead to rot. In a few weeks, healthy roots typically emerge. At this point, I transfer the new plants into the soil or water, where they continue to thrive.

Remember, patience is key, and it’s essential not to rush the process. Transferring the cuttings too early or when the paper towel dries out can hinder growth. By following the proper steps, cuttings can flourish, turning into beautiful Pothos plants.


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