How Long to Propagate Pothos: A Quick and Simple Guide

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If you’re a plant enthusiast, you’ll know that pothos is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Whether you’re looking to expand your collection or share your pothos with friends and family, here’s everything you need to know about how long it takes to propagate pothos.

Propagation Process

Propagating pothos is a simple process, taking only a few weeks to complete. This section provides detailed steps for successful pothos propagation, including choosing the right cutting, preparing it, and selecting the right rooting medium.

Choosing the Cutting

First, select healthy pothos cuttings with at least one or two leaves intact. Make sure the leaves are vibrant and free from any signs of disease or damage. To promote root growth, choose cuttings that have nodes, the small brown bumps on the stem where roots emerge.

Preparing the Cutting

Before propagating, it’s essential to prepare the cuttings properly. Use a clean pair of scissors or pruning shears to make a diagonal cut near the node, about a centimeter below it. Remove any lower leaves, leaving only the top one or two on each cutting. This ensures the plant can focus its energy on root development.

Rooting Medium

When propagating pothos, you can choose from two primary rooting media: water and soil.

For water propagation, place the cuttings in a container filled with clean water, ensuring the nodes are submerged, but the leaves are not touching the water. Roots should begin to develop within 10 days. Once the roots are 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) long, it’s time to transfer the cutting to a pot with soil.

Alternatively, propagating pothos in soil requires planting the cuttings directly into a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil consistently moist, and place the pot in a warm, bright area with indirect light. According to Houseplant Authority, the cuttings should be ready to plant in 4 to 6 weeks if grown in ideal conditions.

Time Frame

Factors Affecting Propagation Time

There are several factors that can influence the amount of time it takes to propagate pothos successfully. One of the critical factors is the season in which the propagation is done. The best time to propagate is during the spring or summer months when the plant is in its active growing period, which can lead to quicker and more successful results The Spruce. Another factor affecting propagation time is the method used. Soil propagation can take a bit longer as the nodes have slightly less access to hydration Houseplant Authority.

Typical Duration

Under optimal conditions, pothos propagation typically takes around 4 to 6 weeks for the cuttings to develop roots when planted in soil Nature of Home. During this time, new growth should be in the region of 1 to 2 inches (2 to 5 centimeters) Houseplant Authority. However, it is essential to take into account the various factors that can affect the propagation time and adjust the expectations accordingly.

In water propagation, roots typically begin to show after a month, or once the roots are 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) long, at which point the cuttings can be transitioned to soil and treated as any other houseplant Gardening Know How. It is crucial to place the jar of pothos cuttings in a location with plenty of light but not direct sunlight during the water propagation phase.

Overall, with the proper care and consideration of the factors mentioned above, pothos propagation can be achieved within a reasonable time frame, resulting in healthy and vibrant new plants.

Caring for Pothos during Propagation

When propagating pothos plants, it’s vital to provide them with the right conditions for healthy growth. This involves maintaining proper light, humidity, temperature, and watering habits. By offering the appropriate environment, your pothos cuttings will develop roots and transition well into their new soil homes.


Pothos cuttings thrive in bright, indirect sunlight during the propagation process. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves and negatively impact the health of the cutting. A well-lit room with filtered light or a windowsill that receives soft, indirect light will provide the optimal conditions for your pothos cuttings to grow strong roots.


Humidity plays a critical role in the successful propagation of pothos plants. High humidity levels encourage root development and prevent the cuttings from drying out. To maintain sufficient humidity, you can place the cuttings in a propagation box, cover them with a plastic bag, or use a humidifier in the room. Be sure to regularly air out any enclosed cuttings to avoid mold growth.


Consistent, warm temperatures are essential for pothos propagation. Maintain an environment with temperatures between 65°F and 80°F to encourage root growth. Avoid placing cuttings near cold drafts, air conditioners, or heating vents, as fluctuations in temperature can stress the cuttings and hinder their development.


When propagating pothos in water, it’s important to monitor the water levels and maintain water cleanliness. Top off the water as needed to keep cuttings submerged, and change the water every 7-10 days to prevent bacteria growth and root rot. For cuttings propagated in soil, keep the soil consistently moist but not overly saturated. Water sparingly until roots form and begin to grow.

Transplanting Pothos

When propagating pothos, timing is essential for successful transplanting. After cutting the pothos, the cuttings need to be rooted either in water or soil before transplanting them to a permanent pot. Generally, it takes around 3 to 8 weeks for the roots to grow before they are ready for transplanting.

Root development varies depending on the method used for propagation. For instance, rooting cuttings in water typically yields roots that are approximately 2 to 3 inches long within a few weeks to a month (The Spruce). On the other hand, transplanting pothos directly into soil can require slightly more time, as the nodes have less access to hydration (Houseplant Authority).

When transplanting pothos, consider the following steps:

  • Choose a well-draining soil mixture to encourage healthy root development.
  • Select a small pot with drainage holes to prevent overwatering and root rot.
  • Ensure the pot is placed in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight may cause scorching.

Once the pothos cuttings have been successfully transplanted, they can be treated as any other houseplant. Remember to monitor the water, humidity, and light exposure to ensure the newly transplanted pothos continues to thrive.

Common Pothos Propagation Problems

No Root Development

One issue that some gardeners face while propagating pothos is a lack of root development. This might be due to several factors, such as improper cutting techniques, insufficient nutrients, or an unsuitable environment. To ensure successful propagation, it’s crucial to take cuttings below nodes and use healthy parent plants(All About Gardening). Additionally, providing bright indirect sunlight and maintaining an optimal environment can help promote rooting.

It is essential to be patient during the propagation process, as it can take 4-6 weeks for roots to develop when planted in soil(Nature of Home). Using a well-draining potting mix can expedite root development by providing a balance of moisture and oxygen for the cutting(Nature of Home).

Rotting Cuttings

Rotting cuttings are another common problem faced during pothos propagation. This issue usually occurs due to overwatering or poor aeration. To prevent cuttings from rotting, it’s vital to use a well-draining soil mix and ensure that the plant receives adequate oxygen.

Moreover, keeping the cuttings clean and sterilized can help avoid rot and other issues(Houseplant Authority). When propagating in water, it’s necessary to change the water regularly – every 3-8 weeks – and maintain proper hygiene to prevent bacterial growth that can lead to rotting(All About Gardening).

Lastly, it’s essential to monitor the health of the cuttings and observe any signs of rot or other issues. If a cutting rots, remove it promptly to avoid contaminating the remaining healthy cuttings. By taking preventive measures and carefully monitoring the propagation process, gardeners can successfully avoid common problems and achieve healthy pothos growth.

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