Growing Pothos in Water: The Ultimate Guide to Effortless, Lush Plants!

Did you know that you can grow pothos in water, skipping the soil altogether? Yes, you can!

Not only is it easy and low-maintenance, but it also offers benefits like increased humidity for the plant and the ability to observe the fascinating root growth process.

Intrigued? Keep reading to discover the ultimate guide to growing healthy, thriving pothos in water!

Key Takeaways

  • Growing pothos in water is an easy and enjoyable way to cultivate this popular houseplant.

  • Advantages include easier maintenance, no worries about overwatering, and other benefits.

  • Keep your plant healthy with adequate light, nutrients & routine cleaning.

Why Choose Water Over Soil?

Cultivating pothos plants in water has several advantages, such as:

  • easy maintenance;

  • excellent option if you don’t have much space or if you are a houseplant newbie;

  • no worries about overwatering, as the submerged roots can take in moisture as needed;

  • easy to observe the root growth;

  • lower risk of pests and diseases typically associated with soil growth;

  • you can combine it with aqua life such as fish or tortoises.

Without soil, there’s no chance of soil-borne pests and diseases, and the absence of eggs for pests to lay further lowers the risk of infestations.

Moreover, pothos grown in water will typically grow more quickly as long as you change and fertilize the water regularly.

Types of Pothos Suitable for Water Growth

While the majority of pothos varieties thrive in water, certain types might need extra attention or specific conditions to grow optimally. Golden Pothos (also known as Devil’s Ivy) and Manjula Pothos are the best for water growth.

The growth rate of different types of pothos vine when grown in water can vary.

Providing plenty of nutrients in the water can help speed up the growth, but there’s not much information out there on how the growth rate compares between different pothos types.

Experimenting with different varieties and observing their growth patterns can be a fun and educational experience.

Preparing Pothos Cuttings for Water Growth

Adequately prepared pothos cuttings are the key to a healthy start and prosperous growth.

The ideal size for a pothos cutting to grow in water is around 4 to 6 inches. Also, ensure that your pothos cutting has at least 3 to 4 nodes.

Use sharp and sterilized pruning shears or scissors to make the cuts.

For more details, read my guide about pothos propagation.

Once you have selected the right vine cutting, remove the lower leaves to prevent leaves from being submerged in water. You can either cut the leaves off or gently pull them from the stem, but be sure to leave at least 1 to 2 leaves at the top of each cutting.

Setting Up Your Pothos Water Garden

Overall Steps

Establishing a pothos water garden requires careful container selection and consistent water quality management.

Here are some tips to follow:

  1. Choose a clean container that allows for easy water changes and plant removal for cleaning. It can be transparent or opaque.

  2. Use filtered or dechlorinated tap water for the best water quality. Settled water would work too.

  3. Remember to change the water regularly to maintain optimal conditions for your pothos water garden.

Choosing the Right Container

When selecting a container for your pothos water garden, consider using glass vases, jars, and clear glass containers.

Avoid containers made of materials such as metal or plastic, as they can release harmful chemicals into the water, which won’t be good for your pothos plant.

The size of the container should be about 2 inches larger than the stem mass.

Water Quality

Use filtered, dechlorinated, or settled tap water. Change it every other week for fresh water and nutrients.

There are several ways to dechlorinate tap water, such as adding a dechlorinator, letting it sit out overnight (thus making settled water), aerating it by stirring, agitating, or boiling it.

Distilled water is not recommended as it may lead to stunted growth and discoloration of the plants since it doesn’t contain any minerals. Similar concerns apply to using softened water for your pothos.

Caring for Your Pothos in Water

Water-based pothos care entails providing sufficient light, nutrients, and regular maintenance. To remember to do it, you can create a recurring event in your calendar.

Light Requirements

Pothos plants prefer bright, indirect light and should get at least 4 hours of indirect light a day. Direct sunlight can cause sunburn on the leaves, leading to damage and stunted growth, so it’s important to be careful.

Not having enough light or having too much light can also affect the look and growth rate of the existing plant.

Fertilizing and Nutrient Needs

Feeding pothos in water with the required nutrients is key to their healthy growth.

Adding liquid fertilizer, such as Dyna-Gro Grow, can help supply the plant with the needed nutrients. The recommended ratio of Dyna-Gro Grow to water for pothos in water is 1 teaspoon per 1 gallon of water.

Fertilizer should be added every 4-6 weeks to ensure the plant receives adequate nutrients.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Routine maintenance and cleaning are vital for fostering a healthy environment for your water-based pothos.

Clean the container by washing it in soapy water with dish detergent, and then rinse it off.

You can also soak the container in a solution of one part water and one part bleach to disinfect it, but be sure to rinse it thoroughly before using it again.

Change the water every couple of weeks to keep it fresh and clean.

Common Pothos Problems In Water

Sometimes, you might face challenges with your water-based pothos, including symptoms like yellow or brown leaves, brown spots on the leaves, or algae proliferation.

Let’s see how we can address these problems.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves in pothos plants may be due to poor water quality, nutrient deficiencies, or too much light.

To address this issue, try these steps:

  • adjust the lighting;

  • make sure to use quality water;

  • fertilize regularly.

Algae Growth Prevention

Algae growth can be an issue in pothos water gardens.

To prevent algae growth, do the following:

  • change the water regularly;

  • clean the container;

  • limit direct sunlight exposure.

If you notice any algae buildup, remove the plant and wash the container thoroughly before refilling it with clean water.

Using darker-colored containers or placing your pothos water garden in an area with less direct sunlight can also help slow down algae growth.


Growing pothos in water rather than in soil is an easy and enjoyable way to cultivate this popular houseplant.

By properly preparing cuttings, selecting the right container, maintaining water quality, and providing adequate light and nutrients, you can create a thriving pothos water garden.

With regular maintenance and troubleshooting, your pothos plants will reward you with lush, vibrant foliage and a unique, eye-catching display.


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