Do Pothos Go Dormant? Exploring Plant Behavior

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Many houseplants, including pothos, may go through periods of rest or reduced growth. But does this mean they’re dormant? In this article, we’ll explore the concept of dormancy in pothos plants and what it means for their care.

Do Pothos Go Dormant

Pothos plants are known for their resiliency and easy-to-care nature. However, even these popular houseplants can go through a phase known as dormancy1. In this section, we will explore the dormancy phase of pothos plants and how they adapt during this period.

During the winter months, pothos plants enter a state of dormancy2. This phase helps them conserve energy and prepare for the upcoming sunny days of spring and summer. Similar to other plants, pothos experience dormancy as a response to changes in temperature and light levels.

While the pothos is in a dormant state, its growth pattern slows down significantly3. This slowdown might be more pronounced in colder climates. To shorten or reduce the dormancy period, you can use a full-spectrum grow light to mimic the plant’s natural conditions4. This artificial light source can help provide the necessary light intensity to encourage growth during the winter season.

During dormancy, it is essential to maintain proper care for your pothos plant5. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Watering: Keep the plant hydrated, but be cautious not to overwater. The plant’s water requirement decreases during dormancy.
  • Temperature: Ensure the surrounding temperature remains above freezing to prevent cold damage. Pothos plants thrive in a temperature range of 65-85°F (18-29°C).
  • Fertilizing: Hold off on fertilizer application during the winter months, as the reduced growth inhibits nutrient absorption.

By following these care tips, your pothos plant can successfully navigate its dormant phase and emerge healthy and strong in the spring and summer months. Keep in mind that dormancy is a natural occurrence that helps plants survive changing environmental conditions, and proper care during this time is crucial for their overall health.

Understanding Pothos Dormancy

Natural Growth Cycle

Pothos plants, like many other houseplants, undergo a period of dormancy during the colder months. This dormancy is a natural part of their growth cycle, helping them conserve energy and prepare for the upcoming warmer seasons. Pothos plants typically slow down or rest during the winter months and become more active during spring and summer, when they receive more sunlight and better growing conditions. In this dormant state, pothos plants require less water and care compared to their active growing season.

Environmental Triggers

Dormancy in pothos plants is triggered by environmental factors, mainly the decrease in temperature and sunlight during the winter months. As daylight hours shorten and temperatures drop, the plant begins to conserve energy and slow down its growth. It’s essential to adjust your care routine accordingly by watering less frequently, avoiding the use of fertilizers, and providing appropriate light.

Here are some points to consider when caring for a dormant pothos:

  • Watering: During dormancy, pothos plants require less frequent watering to prevent overwatering and root rot. Monitor the soil moisture and only water when necessary.
  • Fertilizing: Refrain from fertilizing your pothos plant during winter months, as it won’t be using as many nutrients. Resume regular fertilizing during the spring and summer when the plant becomes more active.
  • Light: Pothos plants still require light during their dormant stage. Ensure they receive filtered, indirect sunlight to maintain their health.

By understanding the natural growth cycle of pothos plants and recognizing the environmental triggers that lead to dormancy, you can provide the appropriate care for your plant throughout the year. Adjusting your care routine and being mindful of your plant’s needs will help ensure its healthy growth and longevity.

Caring for Pothos During Dormancy

Pothos plants do go dormant during the winter months to conserve energy and prepare for spring and summer. In this section, you’ll find some tips for keeping your pothos healthy during this dormancy period, focusing on watering and fertilizing, lighting, and temperature.

Watering and Fertilizing

During the dormancy period, it is important to water your pothos less frequently, as they require less hydration at this time. Make sure to monitor the soil moisture and only water the plant when necessary to prevent overwatering. It is also a good idea to avoid fertilizing your pothos during winter since they are not in their active growing phase. Once spring arrives, you can resume fertilizing with a balanced houseplant fertilizer monthly.


Maintaining proper lighting conditions is crucial for the health of your pothos during dormancy. Even though the plant is dormant, it still requires a sufficient amount of light to prevent it from becoming leggy. Ensure your pothos receives indirect or filtered sunlight during the winter months, either through a window or by using artificial grow lights if necessary.


Monitoring the temperature around your pothos plant is essential for its wellbeing during dormancy. Pothos plants prefer a stable temperature and do not tolerate extreme cold or fluctuations. Ensure that the indoor temperature remains relatively consistent, ideally between 60°F and 80°F, to help your pothos survive the winter months. Also, avoid placing the plant near drafts or heat sources that may cause sudden temperature changes.

By following these guidelines and paying close attention to watering, lighting, and temperature, you can help your pothos plant stay healthy during its dormancy period.

Restarting Pothos Growth

Reviving from Dormancy

Pothos plants, like many other houseplants, can enter a state of dormancy during the winter months. This is a natural process that helps conserve energy and prepare for the upcoming growth period in spring and summer. As winter ends and temperatures begin to warm, it’s essential to restart your pothos plant’s growth to ensure it thrives in the new season.

One of the primary factors affecting pothos growth is temperature. Pothos plants are native to tropical climates, so they prefer warmer temperatures. Ideally, you should maintain a temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit in your home to keep your pothos happy and growing. If necessary, consider moving the plant to a warmer location or using a heat lamp to help raise the temperature around the plant source.

Another important aspect of restarting pothos growth is proper watering. During dormancy, it’s crucial to water the plant only when the top inch of soil has dried to prevent root rot source. As your pothos plant starts to emerge from dormancy in the warmer months, you may need to adjust your watering schedule to provide more water, especially if the plant is showing signs of underwatering, such as wilting or drooping leaves source.

To give your pothos a good start into the growing season, keep these steps in mind:

  • Gradually increase watering as temperatures rise, making sure to let the top inch of soil dry between waterings
  • Maintain a warm, comfortable environment for your plant, ideally above 60 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Keep an eye out for any signs of stress or underwatering, like wilting, and adjust your care routine accordingly

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure your pothos plant thrives and continues to grow as it transitions from its dormant period into a new season of growth.

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