Bringing Your Green Inside: How to Wash a Pothos Plant When Bringing It Indoors

Bringing the vibrant greenery of pothos plants into your living space not only adds a touch of natural beauty but also improves indoor air quality. However, before you transform your interior with these verdant vines, it’s essential to learn “how to wash a pothos plant when bringing it indoors” and prepare your pothos plant for its new indoor environment. This ensures a healthy and thriving plant that will continue to purify the air and keep your space looking fresh and inviting.

Key Takeaways

  • Inspect your pothos plant for pests and prune damaged leaves before bringing it indoors.

  • Regularly wash the plant with lukewarm water, gently wipe its leaves every few weeks, and rinse prior to relocation.

  • Allow the pothos plant to air dry at a temperature of 70-75°F (21-24°C) with 40%-50% humidity level for optimal health.

Preparing Your Pothos Plant for the Indoor Transition

Healthy pothos plant in a decorative pot

Ensuring the health and cleanliness of your pothos plant is a key step before bringing it indoors. Preparing your plant for the indoor transition involves two key steps: inspecting for pests and pruning damaged leaves. Taking the time to complete these steps will not only help your plant thrive inside but also protect your other indoor plants from potential infestations.

Inspecting for Pests

Checking for pests, which can harm your pothos plant’s health, is a necessary step before transitioning the plant indoors. Signs of pest infestations include yellowing or wilting leaves, mealybugs, spider mites, and fungal growth. Common pests affecting pothos plants are spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, whitefly, and fungus gnats. To inspect your potted pothos plant for pests, check under the leaves, along the stems, and in the soil for any signs of these uninvited guests.

Adopting appropriate care practices and using good quality fresh potting soil can help ward off infestations in your potted plant. To avert future infestations, routinely inspect the plant for signs of distress, eliminate any detected pests, and take steps to decrease humidity around the plant. Providing bright indirect light, while avoiding too much light, can also help maintain the overall health of the plant.

Pruning Damaged Leaves

Pruning damaged leaves is another necessary preparation for transitioning your pothos plant indoors. Damaged leaves can negatively affect the plant’s overall health and appearance, hence it’s necessary to remove them before relocating the plant indoors. Signs of damage on a pothos plant include:

  • Yellow flecking or spotting on older leaves

  • Darkening veins

  • Premature leaf drop

  • Browning leaves

To remove damaged plant leaves, such as those with brown leaf tips, you can either manually pluck them off or use scissors or pruning shears to cut them as close to the stem as possible. Pruning damaged leaves encourages healthy growth and enhances the plant’s appearance, especially for popular varieties like the golden pothos, known for its vibrant foliage.

Washing the Pothos Plant

Washing the pothos plant, to remove dust, dirt, and potential pests, is a necessary step before its indoor transition. The process involves:

  1. Using lukewarm water

  2. Gently wiping the leaves

  3. Rinsing the plant

  4. Allowing it to air dry

Following these steps will result in clean, healthy tropical houseplants, such as flowering plants like African violets, ready to flourish in their new indoor environment with fresh soil.

Using Lukewarm Water

Lukewarm water is best for washing the pothos plant due to its gentle impact on the leaves and effectiveness in removing dirt and debris. Cold or hot water can cause damage to the plant’s cells, leading to potential shock and harm to the plant. Room temperature water, around 70-75°F (21-24°C), is recommended for washing the plant to avoid any adverse effects.

Additionally, lukewarm water averts the risk of cold shock to the plant that can occur when using cold water. The right water temperature is necessary for maintaining the health and cleanliness of your pothos plant’s leaves.

Gently Wiping the Leaves

When washing your pothos plant, follow these steps:

  1. Carefully wipe the leaves to remove dust and dirt, without harming the delicate foliage.

  2. Use a soft cloth or a non-abrasive sponge dampened with a mild soap and water mixture to gently clean each leaf.

  3. Support the leaves with one hand as you clean, avoiding scrubbing hard or using your nails.

Regularly cleaning the leaves not only maintains their health but also enhances the plant’s appearance. It is recommended to wipe the leaves of a pothos plant, such as the marble queen pothos, every few weeks.

Rinsing the Plant

A thorough rinse of the pothos plant after washing is necessary to guarantee removal of all dirt, debris, and potential pests prior to its indoor relocation. You can soak the plant in a solution of 2 tablespoons of baking soda per quart of water for 15 minutes, followed by a rinse with filtered water. Alternatively, you can place the plant in the shower and use filtered water to rinse the leaves.

Using plain water is recommended for rinsing the plant, as it effectively removes any remaining dirt or soap residue without causing harm. Ensuring a thorough rinse helps maintain the health and cleanliness of your pothos plant.

Allowing the Plant to Air Dry

After washing and rinsing, it’s important to let your pothos plant air dry. This helps prevent the growth of mold or mildew and ensures the plant is ready for its indoor environment. The ideal temperature and humidity level for a pothos plant to air dry are around 70-75°F (21-24°C) with a humidity level of 40-50%.

Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, with the top 1-2 inches of soil being dry to the touch. A properly air-dried pothos plant will have firm, healthy leaves and no signs of wilting or drooping. Ensure there’s a drainage hole in the pot to prevent overwatering.


In conclusion, preparing and washing your pothos plant before bringing it indoors is essential for maintaining its health and appearance. By inspecting for pests, pruning damaged leaves, and properly washing the plant, you can ensure a thriving and beautiful indoor addition that purifies the air and adds a touch of natural elegance to your living space.


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