Thrive or Survive: Do Pothos Grow in Winter? Here’s How You Can Ensure The Growth Of Your Plant During Cold Dark Months

Winter can be a challenging time for many houseplants, including the beloved pothos. As the cold sets in and the daylight hours dwindle, these tropical natives often struggle to maintain their lush vibrancy. But fear not, fellow plant parents! With the right care and a bit of savvy, you can help your pothos not only survive but flourish during the winter months. Ready to learn about “do pothos grow in winter”? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • In winter, pothos plants may enter a period of dormancy in response to decreasing light and temperature.

  • Balance humidity, heat & light exposure for optimal indoor conditions. Adjust watering & feeding schedule to avoid overwatering/overfertilizing.

  • Pre-winter pruning and pest management strategies are key preventative measures for successful pothos winter care.

Understanding Pothos Dormancy During Winter

As winter approaches, you may notice your pothos plant starting to slow down. This is known as dormancy – a period when the plant goes into a sort of hibernation to conserve energy. This is a natural adaptation that helps pothos survive winter, but it does mean that your plant will require different care during these colder months.

Two pivotal elements trigger pothos dormancy during winter: light levels and temperature. As days become shorter and temperatures fall, your pothos will adjust. Let’s examine how these elements influence your pothos and ways to lessen their impacts.

The Impact of Lower Light Levels

Less daylight in winter can be a challenge for our leafy friends. Pothos, like other houseplants, needs light for photosynthesis – the process they use to convert light into food. When light levels drop, pothos can’t produce as much energy and may slow down their growth or even enter dormancy to save resources.

Insufficient light can also impact the color and health of the leaves, possibly causing your pothos leaves to lose vibrancy or turn into brown or yellowing leaves. To prevent yellowing leaves, ensure your pothos receives enough light in winter. Place it near a window where it can get bright, indirect light, but be careful to avoid direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves.

Temperature Influences on Pothos Dormancy

The other significant factor that influences pothos dormancy in winter is temperature. These tropical natives prefer warm conditions, thriving best in temperatures between 70-90°F. However, they can survive winter temperatures as low as 50°F. This adaptability is one of the reasons why pothos make such great indoor plants!

Nevertheless, safeguarding your pothos from drastic temperature swings during winter is essential. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid placing it near cold drafts or too close to heat sources such as radiators or heaters, which can cause temperature spikes and potentially damage the leaves.

  • Make sure the room temperature remains consistent and doesn’t fluctuate too much.

  • Consider using a humidifier to maintain the right level of humidity for your pothos.

  • Keep an eye on the leaves for any signs of stress or damage. Remember, a happy pothos is a comfy pothos!

Optimizing Indoor Conditions for Pothos Growth

Balancing humidity and heat for pothos plants

Now that you understand why your pothos slows down in winter, let’s talk about how you can create the best indoor environment for it. This involves balancing humidity and heat, and ensuring your pothos gets optimal light exposure.

Humidity is of particular significance for pothos, accustomed to the moisture-laden air of their tropical habitats. Indoor heating systems can significantly dry out the air in your home, which can dehydrate your pothos and lead to crispy leaf edges. On the other hand, too much heat can also be a problem, causing your pothos to wilt or turn yellow.

Balancing Humidity and Heat

Achieving the correct balance of humidity and heat is vital for your pothos’s health during winter. Pothos prefer a humidity level of around 60-70%. To achieve this, you might need to use a humidifier or regularly mist your plant. However, be careful not to overdo it, as too much moisture can cause fungal diseases.

When it comes to temperature, pothos are happiest in a range of 65-75°F. Avoid placing your pothos near a heat source that could cause rapid temperature fluctuations. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to temperature and humidity!

Ensuring Proper Light Exposure

As stated previously, light is essential for your pothos, particularly in winter when daylight hours diminish. But remember, pothos prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can cause leaf burn, while too little light can lead to dull, lifeless leaves.

If your home doesn’t get much natural light, you might want to consider using a grow light. Fluorescent tubes are an affordable option that can provide the light spectrum necessary for your pothos. And don’t forget to dust your pothos leaves regularly. Dust can block light and hinder photosynthesis, so a quick wipe with a damp cloth can do wonders for your pothos’ health.

Watering and Feeding Your Pothos in Cold Weather

Having established the right environment for your pothos, we can now address watering and feeding. These are key aspects of plant care that need to be adjusted in winter.

Pothos are susceptible to overwatering, especially during winter when the plant is dormant and the evaporation rate is slower. Overwatering can lead to root rot, a common plant killer.

Equally, while pothos are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to feeding, over-fertilizing can do more harm than good, particularly in winter.

Adjusting Your Watering Schedule

During winter, it is preferable to slightly underwater your pothos. Waiting for the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again can help prevent waterlogging and root rot.

Remember, overwatering can lead to soggy potting soil and root rot, which can kill your pothos. Always check the soil moisture before watering, and make sure to empty the saucer under the pot after watering to avoid waterlogged soil.

To Fertilize or Not?

Regarding feeding your pothos in winter, moderation is key. As the plant is not actively growing during this time, it doesn’t require as much nutrition and can get by on the nutrients already present in the soil.

If you do decide to fertilize, opt for a balanced liquid fertilizer and use it sparingly. Over-fertilizing can lead to nutrient burns and other issues. A good rule of thumb is to fertilize only once a month during winter, or even better, feed your pothos a slow-release fertilizer in fall to prepare it for the coming winter.

Pothos Varieties and Their Winter Behavior

Variegated pothos plant in low light conditions

Now equipped with an understanding of general winter care for pothos, let’s explore the specific needs of different pothos varieties comprehensively. Pothos come in a wide range of varieties, each with its unique beauty and characteristics.

From the vibrant Neon Pothos to the elegant Marble Queen, these varieties have slightly different care requirements and adaptability to winter conditions. Understanding these differences will help you provide the best care for your specific pothos variety.

Variegated Pothos Needs

If you’re a fan of variegated pothos varieties such as the Marble Queen or Golden Pothos, you’ll want to ensure your marble queen pothos and other varieties get plenty of light during winter. These varieties are prone to losing their variegation (the contrasting color patterns on the leaves) in low light conditions.

One way to maintain their vibrant colors is to place them near a window where they can get bright, indirect sunlight. But remember, direct sunlight can burn the leaves, so make sure it’s not too intense. With the right light conditions, your variegated pothos can maintain its stunning color patterns all year round.

Solid Green and Neon Pothos Adaptability

Solid green and neon pothos varieties are generally more adaptable to winter conditions, making them a great choice for those new to plant parenthood or living in areas with severe winters. These house plants can tolerate lower light conditions better than their variegated counterparts, which makes them easier to care for during the darker winter months.

However, even these hardy varieties require some care to thrive during winter. The solid green pothos, for instance, may grow slower and have darker leaves during winter, while the neon pothos typically has brighter lime green leaves and grows faster than the solid green variety. By understanding their needs and preferences, you can help these pothos varieties stay healthy and vibrant throughout winter.

Propagating Pothos in Winter: Is It Possible?

Propagation of pothos cuttings in water

After our extensive discussion, you might be asking: “Is it possible to propagate my pothos in winter?” The answer is yes, it’s possible! However, it might take a bit more patience and care than doing it during the growing season.

Propagation is the process of creating new plants from the parent plant. For pothos, this is usually done by rooting stem cuttings in water and then transplanting them into soil. While this process is generally easier and faster during the warmer months, it can still be successfully done in winter with some extra care.

Rooting Cuttings in Water

To propagate your pothos in winter, start by taking cuttings from the mother plant. Place these cuttings in water, making sure to change the water weekly to keep it fresh and prevent root rot.

Keep in mind that the rooting process may take a bit longer in winter due to the cooler temperatures and reduced light levels. However, with patience and proper care, you should start seeing roots sprouting from the cuttings within a few weeks.

Transplanting to Soil

Once the roots on your cuttings are a few inches long, it’s time to move them to soil. This should ideally be done before winter arrives so that the new plants have a chance to establish themselves before the cold sets in.

When transplanting your rooted cuttings, follow these steps:

  1. Use a well-draining potting mix to provide the best conditions for root growth.

  2. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.

  3. Place the new plants in a warm spot with plenty of indirect sunlight.

With the right care, your new potted plants, especially potted pothos plants, will be thriving in no time!

Preventative Measures for Pothos Winter Care

In addition to all the winter care tips we’ve covered, implementing some preventive measures can help maintain your pothos’s health during the cold months. These measures include pre-winter pruning and implementing pest management strategies.

By taking these preventative steps, you can avoid many common winter issues and ensure your pothos remains vibrant and beautiful all year round. Let’s explore these measures in more detail.

Pre-Winter Pruning

Before the onset of winter, it’s advisable to trim your pothos slightly. Pruning involves removing any yellowing or brown leaves and snipping off the tips of the vines to encourage bushier growth.

Not only does this keep your plant looking neat, but it can also help prevent disease and pest infestation. By removing unhealthy leaves, you reduce the risk of pests or diseases spreading to the rest of the plant. Plus, your pothos will appreciate the fresh new look!

Pest Management Strategies

Lastly, adopting pest management strategies can contribute to keeping your pothos healthy throughout winter. Pothos can sometimes attract pests like spider mites and mealybugs, especially when stressed due to low light or temperature fluctuations.

Avoiding overwatering, which can create a damp environment that attracts pests, is one preventative measure. If you do notice any pests, treat your pothos promptly with a natural insecticidal soap or neem oil to prevent further infestation.


In conclusion, while winter may present some challenges for your pothos, with the right care and attention, your plant can not only survive but thrive during the colder months. From understanding the plant’s dormancy cycle to adjusting your watering and feeding schedules, to taking preventative measures against pests, these tips will have you well-equipped to ensure your pothos remains healthy and vibrant all winter long. Remember, a happy pothos is a comfy pothos!


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