Do Pothos Like Deep Pots? The Pot Shape Secret to Thrive Your Leafy Friend!

When considering the ideal pot for my pothos plants, I always take into account the specific needs of their root systems.

As I’ve nurtured pothos over the years, it’s become evident that they’re quite adaptable regarding their container. However, their health and vigor can be affected by the shape of the pot.

Unlike some houseplants, such as Cyperus Papyrus or Birds of Paradise, that thrive in deep containers, pothos prefer well-rounded, almost circular-shaped pots.

Although a deep pot isn’t detrimental, a more spacious one that provides ample room for the roots to grow horizontally is generally better. This preference aligns with the nature of their roots, which tend to spread outwards rather than deep down.

Now, let’s delve into details!

Pothos in deep pot
Pothos in deep pot

Key Takeaways

  • Pothos plants have a preference for pots that accommodate both horizontal and vertical root growth rather than only vertical.
  • A well-rounded pot optimizes a pothos plant’s health and overall growth.
  • The adaptability of pothos does not extend to favor deep pots, emphasizing the importance of choosing the right container.

Understanding How Pothos Roots Grow

A pothos plant with root bound
Pothos roots

In my experience with caring for Pothos plants, their root systems tend to expand both laterally and deeply rather than only deeply.

I’ve noticed that the roots typically spread outward in a circular pattern, with a natural tendency to stay closer to the soil surface. In nature, this allows the plants to thrive in limited spaces.

As a result, Pothos are considered to have relatively shallow roots. This growth pattern implies that the roots will fill out the upper part of the pot first.

In pots that are deeper than necessary, I’ve seen that the lower portion often remains unused and the root ball gets very condensed at the top. This can lead to less effective nutrient absorption from the soil.

This means that Pothos do not require deep pots to thrive and can actually perform better in wider containers that accommodate their spreading growth habit.

Optimal Pot Characteristics for Pothos

watering pothos
Watering my pothos that grows in a well-rounded pot

When selecting a pot for my Pothos, I prefer a shape that’s more horizontal than vertical.

A pot that’s wider than it is tall offers ample space for the roots to expand horizontally, enhancing stability and growth. However, avoid excessively shallow pots to ensure enough soil for nutrient absorption and root growth.

Good drainage is paramount to prevent root rot and other issues related to overwatering. I always choose pots with adequate drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. A larger pot accommodates the Pothos root ball with room to grow, but I’m careful not to go too big as this could retain unnecessary moisture.

Here’s a quick guide I use for pot selection:

  • Pot Shape: Wide and shallow are better than narrow and deep.
  • Pot Size: I choose a pot that’s 1 inch (2 cm) bigger in diameter than the previous pot.
  • Drainage: Pots with drainage holes are preferable to prevent waterlogging.
  • Pot material: Better to use a porous one than non porous.

Pot materials range widely:

  • Ceramic pots can be porous if they are not glazed, and their weight helps balance the Pothos’ trailing nature.
  • Plastic pots are lightweight and less prone to breakage, making them a suitable budget-friendly option.
  • Terracotta pots are excellent for their porous nature, which allows soil to dry more evenly, but they do require more frequent watering due to their moisture-wicking properties.
  • Metal pots or containers are not recommended because they can easily rust.

Using porous materials and ensuring suitable pot size can mimic natural growing conditions for Pothos.


In exploring the preferences of pothos plants, I’ve gathered that they are quite flexible when it comes to the type of pots they can thrive in.

They do not require deep pots but indeed appreciate room to allow their roots to expand comfortably in all directions and especially horizontally.

Pothos plants have a tendency to do well even when their roots are a bit crowded. This means that while a shallow pot can work, it must still provide enough space in terms of width.

In short, whether you choose a shallow or a slightly deeper pot, ensure it’s spacious enough in width and has a functioning drainage system. With these considerations in mind, your pothos should remain a lush and flourishing presence in your space.


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