The Ultimate Guide to Pothos Propagation

Ready to clone your pothos plant and turn your living room into a jungle? Brace yourself for the ultimate “plant party” – it’s not a real bash until the pothos starts duplicating itself faster than a photocopier with a coffee addiction!

Before we start, here’s a fun fact: the propagation process for golden pothos is the same as for regular pothos. So, whether you’re growing the golden variety or the regular one, you’re in for a green thumb workout. It’s like having two plants for the effort of one!

Key Takeaways

  • Propagate your pothos like a pro with water, soil, or moss options!

  • Choose healthy stems and make clean cuts for guaranteed success.

  • Troubleshoot rooting issues & transplant shock – don’t let them get you down!

Unraveling The Best Time To Propagate Pothos: Does Timing Really Matter?

Ideally, spring and summer are optimal seasons to propagate pothos plants, as both golden pothos and regular ones are in their prime growing period and more likely to root.

But truth be told, the timing doesn’t matter because propagating pothos is a breeze!

Choosing the Right Method for Pothos Propagation

A picture of pothos plants with new roots growing from the stem cuttings

Before you get snip-happy with your pothos plant, it’s crucial to decide on your preferred propagation method. You have three options for pothos propagation: water, soil, or moss.

  1. Water propagation: This method involves placing a pothos cutting in water until it develops roots.

  2. Soil propagation: With this method, you plant the cutting directly into soil and provide the necessary care for root development.

  3. Moss propagation: Moss propagation involves planting a pothos cutting in moist moss to encourage root growth.

Now, I’ll explore these methods in detail.

Water Propagation

Water propagation is a fan-favorite method that’s perfect for those who enjoy seeing their plants’ progress like a proud parent. Like me!

  1. Start by taking a stem cutting that has at least one leaf and one node.
    Choose a stylish container and fill it with room-temperature water.
    I like seeing how the roots develop so I chose a glass jar.

  2. Place the stem cutting in the container, ensuring the nodes are submerged in the water.

  3. Keep the leaves above the water surface, as if they were a small boat sailing away.

Within less than three days, you’ll see new white roots appearing from the brown aerial roots, and you’ll be well on your way to successfully propagated pothos plants.

See these white dots near the stems? These are the new pothos roots!

pothos propagation - new pothos roots emerging

Maintain your water-rooted cuttings by following these steps:

  1. Refresh the water every few days if propagation takes longer than 3 days.

  2. Add a root stimulator if propagation takes longer than 3 days.

  3. Remove any cuttings that aren’t thriving.

  4. Once the roots reach half an inch in length, it’s time to transfer your newly-rooted pothos into some soil.

  5. Be cautious not to let the roots of your cuttings grow too long as they may sustain damage during the transfer process.

  6. For transferring, choose the soil that is specifically designed for pothos; it should be written on the bag (see the Soil Propagation section for more details)

Since the propagating pothos does not require light, you can use the cuttings to decorate your home, like I did! I sometimes place it in the bathroom…

Pothos cuttings in my bathroom

…or on the shelf in the entryway.

Pothos cuttings in on the shelf in my entryway

I really enjoy using these cuttings as unique decorations around my home, which inevitably leads to an abundance of plants… so I often end up gifting these baby plants to my friends. There’s even a library in our neighborhood that hosts a plant swap! I always contribute my plants but never take any home.

Soil Propagation

Soil propagation is a direct method that bypasses the water phase and proceeds straight to planting in soil. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a pot with indoor houseplant mix designed for pothos – it should be written on the bag.

    Pre-maid soil for pothos
  2. Place your cuttings into the pot, making sure the nodes are buried and the top leaf or leaves are above the soil.

  3. If you’re feeling extra fancy, dip your cuttings in rooting hormone before planting for an extra boost of root-growing power.

Keep your freshly propagated pothos plant hydrated by watering as recommended, ensuring the soil is evenly moist but not soggier than a wet weekend.

Within a few weeks, roots will make their grand entrance, and you’ll have successfully propagated pothos plants ready to take over the world (or, at least, your living room).

Moss Propagation

Moss propagation, though less commonly used for pothos, is akin to a boot camp for the more challenging species. However, if you’re looking to level up your propagation skills and train for trickier species, moss propagation can be your stepping stone to plant mastery.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Soak your sphagnum moss in water and wring it out like a soggy towel to remove as much water as possible.

  2. Wrap your pothos cuttings in the moist moss, ensuring the nodes are in contact with the moss, and secure it with string or plastic wrap.

  3. Keep the moss damp throughout the process.

  4. Watch as your cuttings adjust and grow roots in their new mossy environment.

Preparing Your Pothos Cuttings

Now, it’s time to prepare your cuttings.

Choose healthy, green and firm stems to ensure successful propagation.

A good stem for propagation should have at least one or two leaves and one node. If the stems have leaves, it increases the chances of successful propagation. But don’t fret if your cutting doesn’t have leaves. In my experience, propagating stem cuttings that are leafless can also be successful; see my photos below in the post.

For my cuttings, I had a long branch at my disposal, which I then split into several parts. This branch was a remnant from a pruning session I had with a friend’s overgrown pothos. I have a rule of never discarding live stems that have the potential to sprout new life.

Stem I chose to make cuttings

Making Clean Cuts

Now is the moment to literally make the cut. Arm yourself with a sharp pair of pruning shears or scissors to ensure clean cuts without damaging your pothos plant.

While it’s generally a good practice to sanitize your cutting tools, I don’t always do this with pothos. They propagate so effortlessly that it’s not typically required. However, if you’re dealing with a rare or expensive hybrid and want to minimize any risks, sanitizing your tools is a wise step. You can do this by giving them a thorough cleaning with a bleach solution to kill off any potentially harmful germs.

Here are the aerial roots that will eventually develop into regular roots:

Ariel roots of pothos

Here are the spots where I’ll make the cuts to ensure each cutting has at least one node and leaf:

Places on the stem where I will make cuttings

When making cuts, aim for a 45° angle just below a node on the stem. This will encourage the cutting to start its root-growing journey!

Removing Bottom Leaves

Having snipped your cuttings, the next step is to trim them down a bit. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Remove the bottom leaves from each cutting if there are any.

  2. Leave 1 to 2 leaves at the top for a chic look. If the cutting does not have any leaves, it’s also Ok.

  3. This will prevent the leaves from getting soggy and encourage the roots to grow like there’s no tomorrow.

With your cuttings pruned and prepped, it’s time to embark on your pothos propagation adventure. Whether you choose water, soil, or moss propagation, your cuttings are now ready to take root and grow into a lush indoor jungle.

My preferred way is to propagate pothos in water.

My pothos cutting ready for propagation


Now, you need to wait.

If you are propagating in water or moss, wait for about three days.

If you planted your cuttings directly into soil, wait for about a week to see new leaf sprouting near the top leaf of the cutting.

Planting Propagated Cuttings (If Needed)

A picture of a pothos plant in a pot filled with fresh potting soil

If you’ve propagated your cutting in soil, you’re all set! There’s nothing more to do here – just watch your new plant thrive. You could almost say it’s a “plant and forget” situation, but let’s not forget about our green friends, shall we?

However, if you’ve propagated your cuttings using other methods such as water or moss propagation, it’s now time to transplant those rooted cuttings into soil.

BTW, you can see on the photo below that I propagated a cutting that has no leaves.

I propagated a pothos cutting that has no leaves

There’s a wide range of potting soils available that are specifically designed for pothos, thanks to their popularity. It’s almost like pothos has its own fan club!

I am using this one:

premade soil for pothos

On the other side, it says “pothos:”

premade soil for pothos

To plant your pothos cuttings, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a pot. I like to give a second life to used plastic containers and cups by turning them into plant pots. The clear plastic cups from bubble tea or other takeaway beverages work particularly well, as their transparency allows you to monitor the development of the roots in the soil.

    My pot made of a plastic cup
  2. Fill it with fresh potting soil.

  3. Create a hole in the soil for each cutting.

    Create a hole in the soil for each cutting.
  4. Carefully insert the cuttings into the holes to avoid breaking new roots; ensure the nodes are covered and the top leaves are above the soil.

  5. Firmly but gently pat down the soil so the cuttings are secure.

Finally, give your new plants a thorough watering to help them settle into their new home. Keep the soil moist, and then sit back and watch as your new pothos plants grow and thrive! It’s like a home makeover show, but for plants!

Starting Fertilization

Once your propagated pothos has been planted and has started to show new growth, it’s time to think about fertilization.

Typically, you should start fertilizing about a month after planting. This is because the plant has had enough time to settle into its new environment and begin growing. Fertilizing too early can cause the roots to burn as they may not be fully developed and can’t handle the nutrient boost.

I use the Schultz Liquid Plant Food fertilizer as it has proven to be both effective and easy to use. Since it can be used as a root stimulator (on that later), you can start using it right away after propagation.

Schultz Liquid Plant Food fertilizer for pothos fertilization

It is developed for pothos as stated on its packaging:

Schultz Liquid Plant Food fertilizer for pothos fertilization

Troubleshooting Pothos Propagation Issues

Propagation can sometimes present challenges such as rooting issues and transplant shock. But don’t worry! I’m here to guide you through these common problems. Whether you’re dealing with slow-growing cuttings or acclimatizing issues, I’ve got the tips you need to ensure your pothos plants grow healthily and robustly.

Rooting Problems

If your cuttings are being stubborn and refusing to grow roots, you may need to step in and give them a little nudge. While pothos plants typically don’t require rooting hormone, it can be used as a last resort to encourage root growth if your cuttings are struggling.

I’ve used Schultz Liquid Plant Food fertilizer (the same I use for fertilization) as a root stimulator and it worked well.

Schultz's liquid plant food as a root stimulator

Thanks to its “Starts & Feeds” formula, it is an effective agent in promoting root growth, thus speeding up the entire process.

Schultz's liquid plant food as a root stimulator

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Mix two drops of Schultz Liquid Plant Food fertilizer with a glass of water (double the quantity used for fertilization);

  2. Submerge the cuttings in this solution;

  3. Give it another 2-3 days to see if the root stimulator has had any effect;

  4. If there’s still no progress, get rid of the cuttings.

Transplant Shock

New roots of newly propagated pothos

Transplant shock can occur when your newly planted pothos cuttings find it hard to adapt to their new environment, leading to stress and inhibited growth.

To mitigate transplant shock, you can help your cuttings adjust to their new environment by gradually introducing the growing medium to the water and modifying light conditions as needed.

If your plants continue to struggle, using Schultz Liquid Plant Food fertilizer, which I mentioned earlier, can be a game changer. Watering them with this can aid your plants in rooting, and get them back on track to growing strong and healthy.


Well done, green thumb! You’ve mastered the art of pothos propagation. Now, get out there and turn your home into a plant paradise. Remember, the world (or at least your living room) is your greenhouse!


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