Propagating pothos is a rewarding experience, but what if you don’t have rooting hormone on hand? Fear not! There are other methods you can use to successfully propagate pothos, and this article will show you how.
Choosing Pothos Cuttings
Identifying Healthy Leaves
When propagating pothos without rooting hormone, the first step is to identify healthy leaves on the mother plant. Healthy leaves are essential for successful propagation as they support the cuttings’ growth and overall health. Look for leaves that are firm and turgid, with a bright green color. Avoid choosing leaves that are yellowing, wilted, or damaged, as they may not provide the desired results during the propagation process.
Selecting the Right Nodes
The next step is to identify the appropriate nodes on the plant stems. Nodes are the small, raised bumps along the stem and serve as the growth points for new roots during propagation. To maximize success, select stems with nodes placed every inch or two source.
To take a cutting, use a pair of sterilized pruning shears, scissors, or a sharp knife source. Choose a stem with at least 2-3 nodes (preferably with fresh green growth at the end), then make a clean cut just below a node. Keep the top leaves on the cutting to support its growth source.
Here are some additional tips for preparing pothos cuttings:
- Thoroughly water the mother plant before harvesting cuttings, as turgid plants provide more vigorous rooting compared to water-stressed plants source.
- Avoid collecting cuttings in harsh temperature conditions to minimize stress on the plant source.
- After taking the cuttings, place them in water or soil promptly to reduce their exposure to air and prevent drying out source.
By carefully selecting healthy leaves and the right nodes, you increase the likelihood of successful pothos propagation even without using rooting hormone.
Preparing the Cuttings
To propagate pothos without rooting hormone, start by identifying a healthy stem with fresh green growth. Look for raised bumps every 2-3 inches along the stem; these are called nodes and are crucial for rooting (source). Make a clean cut using sharp scissors or pruning shears just below a node. It is advisable to take a cutting with at least 2-3 nodes to increase the chances of successful propagation.
Removing Excess Leaves
Before placing the cutting in water or soil, remove any excess leaves from the stem. Ensure that the top leaves remain, as they will provide energy for the cutting to grow. Removing the lower leaves will reduce the risk of rot and encourage root development(source). Place the cutting in a container with fresh water, ensuring the node is submerged. Change the water once per week to keep it fresh and provide the best environment for root growth.
After several weeks, the pothos cutting should begin producing roots from the submerged nodes. Once you see a significant root system, you can transfer the cutting to soil for continued growth. Remember to avoid extreme temperatures and water the mother plant thoroughly before harvesting cuttings to ensure the best chance of successful propagation(source).
Water propagation is a simple and effective method for rooting pothos cuttings. To begin, identify a healthy stem with at least one leaf and a visible node. Snip the stem about an inch below the node, and remove any leaves from the bottom inch of the cutting. Simply place the cut end into a container of clean water, ensuring the node is submerged but the leaves are not touching the water. Place the container in a warm, bright spot with indirect sunlight, and change the water every week to prevent bacterial growth. Roots should start to develop within a few weeks. Once roots have grown to at least an inch long, the cutting can be transferred to soil or kept growing in water1.
Soil propagation is another method to grow pothos without using rooting hormones2. Start by taking a stem cutting with a healthy leaf and a visible node, just like in water propagation. Prepare a small pot filled with well-draining potting soil, and make a small hole in the soil using your finger. Place the cut end of the stem—ensuring the node is buried—into the hole and gently firm the soil around it. Water the cutting to settle the soil and keep the medium consistently moist but not soggy. Place the pot in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight, and keep the humidity high by covering the pot with a plastic bag or placing it in a mini greenhouse. The cutting should start rooting within a few weeks3.
Sphagnum Moss Propagation
Propagation in sphagnum moss offers an excellent alternative for growing pothos without rooting hormones. Begin by gathering a handful of moist sphagnum moss and wring out any excess water. Take a cutting with a healthy leaf and node, as described in the previous methods. Lay the cutting on the moss, with the node in contact with the sphagnum. Gently wrap the moss around the cutting, taking care not to damage the leaf. Secure the moss bundle with a piece of string, and place it in a plastic bag to preserve humidity. Poke a few holes in the bag for air circulation, and place it in a warm location with bright, indirect light. Check the cutting regularly for root development, ensuring the moss remains moist. Once roots are visible, carefully unwrap the cutting and transplant it into soil4.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.