Pothos Winter Watering Guide: Essential Tips to Keep Your Devil’s Ivy Healthy in Cold Dark Months

Caring for pothos plants during winter requires a special approach, especially when it comes to watering.

As someone who adores these hardy, leafy plants, I’ve learned that the cold dark season brings a set of challenges that can impact the health of our indoor green friends.

watering pothos
Watering pothos

Pothos plants, with their lush vines and heart-shaped leaves, generally thrive with less water as their growth slows down, and the evaporation rate of soil moisture decreases in the cooler, less light-abundant months.

During winter, the frequency and amount of water your pothos needs will differ significantly from the warmer months. I make sure to check the soil moisture more diligently, watering only when necessary to prevent root rot and maintain plant vigor.

Adopting these changes in my winter plant care routine has helped my pothos stay healthy and vibrant despite decreased lighting and reduced indoor humidity.

Key Takeaways

  • Winter watering for pothos should be reduced and adapted to less frequent needs.
  • Checking soil moisture is crucial to avoid overwatering and root rot.
  • Maintaining plant vigor in winter includes adjusting care routines beyond just watering.

Understanding Pothos Watering Needs in Winter

pothos growing in winter
Pothos plant standing on a window still in winter

Properly watering a pothos plant during the winter months is crucial since they generally enter a dormant state due to reduced light levels.

My goal here is to provide clear guidance on how to adjust your watering routine to prevent common issues like overwatering.

Winter Watering Schedule

In the winter, I adjust my watering frequency to roughly every 2-3 weeks, aligning with the dormant growth phase of my pothos.

Observing how the reduced sunlight affects my plant, I’ve learned to be flexible and responsive to its needs. Here’s a general guideline I follow:

  • Bright Artificial Light: Weekly check, water if dry
  • Natural Low Light: Check every 2-3 weeks, water if dry

I’ve set up a weekly reminder in my Google Calendar to check my plant’s soil moisture, but this doesn’t always mean it’s time to water.

It’s the soil condition that dictates my actions. First, I test the soil condition and if it is still wet, I’ll wait and check again the following week.

Assessing Soil Moisture and Plant Health

Understanding soil moisture is essential. Here’s how I keep my pothos happy:

Using a Soil Moisture Meter

I’ve found that a soil moisture meter is an invaluable tool for this task, helping me avoid guesswork.

my soil moisture meter with my pothos plant
My soil moisture meter with one of my pothos plants.

The meter comes with a handy table showing how to interpret its results:

According to the soil moisture meter table, pothos is the Green Zone Plants 6-7 category
According to the soil moisture meter table, pothos is the Green Zone Plants 6-7 category.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Insert the soil moisture meter to the root level in the middle of the pot
  1. If the reading is below 6-7 or 6-7, water.
The soil moisture meter shows a number below 6-7 for pothos
The soil moisture meter shows a number below 6-7 for pothos.
  1. If the reading is above 6-7, hold off.
soil moisture meter shows the pothos is well-watered
The soil moisture meter shows a pothos plant is well-watered.

Using a Finger Test

pothos watering - test soil with finger
Test soil moisture with a finger

If you do not have a soil moisture meter and do not want to buy it, you can use a finger test:

  1. Insert your finger into the soil for about t1 inch (1.5 cm)
  2. If your finger comes out dry, water.
  3. If your finger comes out wet, hold off!

Signs Of Overwatering

Pothos plant with yellowing leaves
Pothos plant with yellowing leaves

Look for Signs of Overwatering:

  • Yellowing leaves suggest too much water.
  • Wilt or brown spots on the leaves indicate potential over-watering or poor drainage.

Smaller pots can be a bit more challenging. They dry out quickly but are also more prone to waterlogging.

Golden pothos with root rot
Golden pothos with root rot

Initially, I struggled with overwatering which led to root rot. Installing grow lights to supplement light made a significant difference, helping me normalize watering and prevent root rot.

pothos and grow light
Pothos plant and a grow light

Key to all this is a consistent check for dry potting mix before deciding when to water my pothos. By following these steps, I’ve managed to prevent dehydration during the darker months, keeping my pothos healthy and vibrant.

What Water to Use

I always favor using room-temperature settled water.

After I am done, I refill the watering can to prepare for the next watering session. This ensures that the plants won’t get cold shock from cold water and won’t get harmful chemicals such as chlorine or fluoride that will evaporate during settling.

Best Practices for Pothos Care Beyond Watering

My pothos with root rot
My pothos with root rot

When I care for my pothos plants, I pay close attention to their environment, which is crucial for their overall health. Here’s what I focus on:

Temperature: Pothos thrive in a range of 70-90°F (21-32°C), though they can survive in slightly cooler temperatures. To prevent shock, avoid sudden temperature changes, for example, opening a window or balcony door next to your pothos plants.

Light: These beautiful houseplants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Too much direct sun can scorch their leaves, while too little can diminish their characteristic variegation and slow their growth. Consider using a growth light in dark winter months.

Humidity: Pothos love a medium to high humidity level, so I place them in a pebble tray with water, especially during drier months.

Soil: Choosing the right potting soil is key. I always go for a well-draining mixture to prevent root rot. Proper drainage holes in the pot are a must to allow excess water to escape.

Feeding: During spring and warmer months when growth is more vigorous, I feed my pothos every 4-6 weeks with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. This supports their development of luscious, heart-shaped leaves.

Pruning: To keep my pothos looking full and tidy, I prune any black stems or damaged leaves. This also promotes healthier growth.

Propagation: It’s simple to grow more pothos by snipping off cuttings just below the aerial roots and placing them in water until they root, which I then pot in soil.

By sticking to these practices, my pothos plants remain a vibrant, healthy part of my indoor garden.

Remember, caring for these resilient houseplants goes beyond just a watering schedule; it’s about creating a nourishing home where they can thrive.


In my experience tending to Pothos plants during the winter months, I’ve found that less is more when it comes to watering.

I stick to a simple routine, ensuring the soil is dry before adding any water. This usually means watering my Pothos once every 14 to 20 days—a frequency that keeps them healthy without the risk of root rot, a common issue linked to overwatering.

The key indicators I look for before watering are:

  • Dry soil to the touch or when a soil moisture meter shows numbers 6-7 or below
  • Slightly droopy leaves signaling the need for hydration

To ensure my Pothos are receiving the care they need, I focus on:

  1. Warm temperatures: Keeping my plants in a space that doesn’t drop below 50°F (10°C).
  2. Indirect sunlight: Placing my plants where they’ll receive plenty of indirect light, even though it’s more scarce in winter, or under a growth light.
  3. Proper hydration: Judiciously watering, considering their slower growth rate and dormancy during the cold season.

By adhering to these practices, I’ve found that my Pothos not only survive the winter months but remain vigorous and ready for more robust growth in the spring.

Remember, understanding the subtle changes in your Pothos’ winter needs can go a long way in keeping them thriving.


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