Can Pothos Grow in Water? A Definitive Answer

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Pothos is a popular houseplant that is known for its trailing vines and ease of care. One of the benefits of growing pothos is that it can be propagated and grown in water without the need for soil. To grow pothos in water, begin by taking a cutting that is at least 4 to 6 inches long and has several leaves. Place the cutting in a jar or vase filled with clean, room-temperature water, making sure that the bottom of the stem is submerged. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and prevent bacterial growth. Over time, the cutting will develop roots and can be transplanted into soil or left in water. However, it’s important to note that pothos grown in water may not grow as vigorously as those grown in soil, as they may not have access to the nutrients and minerals found in soil. Understanding whether pothos can grow in water can help gardeners choose the right propagation method for their plants.

Properties of Pothos

Pothos, also known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular and easy-to-grow houseplant that can thrive in various conditions. This section will explore the different types of Pothos and the conditions favored by the plant.

Types of Pothos

There are several varieties of Pothos, each with its own distinctive characteristics. Some common types include:

  • Golden Pothos: Known for its green leaves with yellow variegation, it is the most common type found in homes and offices.
  • Marble Queen Pothos: Featuring a mix of green and white variegated leaves, this variety is slower growing compared to others.
  • Neon Pothos: This eye-catching variety has bright, solid neon-green leaves.
  • Jade Pothos: This type has solid green leaves, making it an excellent option for those seeking a simple and classic look.
  • Manjula Pothos: With its wavy-edged leaves, this variety exhibits a unique blend of green, white, and cream variegation.

Favored Conditions

Pothos plants are quite versatile, and they can grow in both water and soil. When growing Pothos in water, it’s essential to choose a suitable container, provide adequate light, and maintain proper water quality. A glass container, either clear or colored, can be used for this purpose, although colored glass may help reduce algae growth.

For optimal growth, ensure that one or two nodes of your Pothos cutting are submerged in the water, and place it in a location with indirect sunlight, preferably a north-facing window. Occasionally add a small amount of liquid fertilizer and change the water every couple of weeks to keep it fresh and avoid algae buildup.

Growing Pothos in Water

Pothos plants can indeed grow in water, making them an attractive and low-maintenance option for many gardeners and indoor plant enthusiasts.


To propagate pothos in water, begin by taking a healthy vine cutting with at least one leaf and one node. Remove any lower leaves near the node and place the cutting in a glass container filled with water, ensuring that the node is submerged. The container can be made of clear or colored glass, with clear glass providing better visibility for observing root growth (Gardening Know How).

Water Type

When growing pothos in water, it is essential to choose the right type of water. Tap water can be used, but it is often better to use distilled or filtered water to minimize the presence of chemicals and impurities that may harm the plant (Epic Gardening). Regularly change the water to prevent the buildup of bacteria and ensure the plant remains healthy.

Nutrient Solutions

Since pothos growing in water do not have access to nutrients from soil, they require a nutrient solution to thrive. Utilize an all-purpose liquid fertilizer to feed your plant, and fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks (Epic Gardening). Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and adequately dilute the fertilizer to avoid damaging the plant.

With proper care, pothos can not only grow in water but also provide an aesthetically pleasing and low-maintenance addition to any indoor space.

Potential Challenges

While pothos can grow in water, there are several challenges that may arise when opting for this method. It is important to be aware of these issues and take necessary precautions to ensure a healthy and thriving plant.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue faced by plants growing in water. In the case of pothos, constantly submerged roots can become vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections, leading to root rot. To avoid this problem, ensure that the water is clean and fresh, and replace the water every two to three weeks or whenever it starts looking murky.

Insufficient Nutrients

Another challenge in growing pothos in water is the lack of nutrients. Water alone does not provide all the necessary nutrients for plant growth. Supplementing with a liquid feed is essential. To keep the pothos well-nourished, fertilize it every 4-6 weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

Stagnant Water

Stagnant water can cause several issues, including promoting bacterial growth and creating an environment for root rot. To avoid this, it is important to regularly change the water in the container. Keep an eye on algae formation, particularly if using a clear vase – this will require more frequent cleaning. Choosing an opaque vase can help prevent algae growth by blocking light, thus reducing the need for constant cleaning.

In conclusion, regularly changing the water, providing sufficient nutrients, and maintaining a clean environment for the roots will help you overcome potential challenges while growing pothos in water.

Converting Soil Grown Pothos to Water

Transitioning a pothos plant from soil to water is a fairly straightforward process. To successfully convert a soil-grown pothos to a water-based environment, follow these steps:

  1. Carefully remove the pothos plant from its pot, taking care not to damage the roots.
  2. Gently rinse the roots under lukewarm water to remove any remaining soil particles. Be cautious not to break or damage the roots during this process.
  3. Once the roots are clean, trim any damaged or unhealthy-looking sections.
  4. Find a suitable container, ideally one that is transparent, clean, and provides enough space for the roots to grow. Having a transparent container allows you to monitor the water level and root growth easily.
  5. Fill the container with clean, chlorine-free water. You may use tap water that has been left to sit for a day or utilize filtered water.
  6. Place the pothos plant in the container, making sure the roots are fully submerged in water. The leaves should be above the water level to prevent rotting.
  7. Choose a location for your pothos plant that has bright, indirect sunlight. Pothos can thrive in low-light conditions, but too much intense sunlight may cause leaf discoloration or stunted growth.

After successfully converting your pothos plant to water, it is essential to provide proper care. Regularly replace the water every one to two weeks to maintain adequate oxygen levels, and ensure the water remains clean and clear (HappySprout). Additionally, add a liquid fertilizer to the water every 4 to 6 weeks, as this will encourage strong growth despite the absence of soil nutrients (Epic Gardening).

Following these steps and providing proper care, you’ll successfully convert a soil-grown pothos plant into a water-growing one, allowing it to flourish and bring beauty to your home or office space.

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