How to Repot Pothos from Water to Soil: A Simple Guide

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If you’ve been growing your pothos in water and it’s outgrown its container, it’s time to repot it into soil. Repotting your pothos from water to soil is an important step in its growth and development, as it provides the plant with access to essential nutrients and promotes healthy root growth. While the process may seem daunting, it’s actually quite simple and can be done in just a few easy steps. In this guide, we’ll take you through the process of repotting your pothos from water to soil, including when to do it, how to prepare the soil, and how to care for your newly repotted plant. Whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or new to gardening, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully repot your pothos and help it thrive.

Understanding Pothos Repotting Basics

Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a popular, easy-to-care-for houseplant. When transitioning a pothos plant from water to soil, it’s essential to understand the repotting basics to ensure a successful transfer and a thriving plant.

Water-to-Soil Transition

Before repotting a pothos plant from water to soil, gently rinse the roots to remove any debris that may be present. It is crucial to provide a well-draining soil mix for the newly potted pothos to avoid waterlogged roots. You can use a mixture of standard potting soil, perlite, and vermiculite to create a well-aerated environment for the pothos roots.

When placing the plant in its new pot, create a small hole in the center of the soil, slightly larger than the root ball. Carefully position the roots into the hole and surround them with soil, ensuring the roots are adequately covered but not too deep. Press the soil gently around the base of the plant to provide stability, but do not compact it too much to allow for proper drainage and airflow.

Ideal Time for Repotting

The best time to repot a pothos plant is when it shows signs of being root-bound, or every one to two years, depending on its growth rate. Signs that your pothos needs repotting include roots growing out of the pot’s drainage holes or circling the bottom of the pot. If it’s not obvious from the outside, you can gently pull the plant out of its container to check the state of its roots.

It is best to repot pothos during the active growing season, primarily in spring and early summer. This will provide the plant with the energy and resources it needs to establish itself in its new environment and grow its roots into the soil.

Choosing the Proper Soil and Pot

When repotting a pothos from water to soil, it’s essential to choose the right soil mix and pot for the plant’s health and growth. This section will help you select the best options for your pothos.

Selecting Soil Mix

It is crucial to choose a soil mix that retains moisture but also provides good drainage. A well-draining mix prevents the roots from sitting in water, which can cause root rot. One suitable option for pothos is a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. This combination allows for both water retention and drainage, providing optimal conditions for the plant to grow.

Pot Selection

Consider several factors when selecting the right pot for your pothos. First, choose a pot that’s only slightly larger than its current container. This helps prevent over-watering and root rot. Next, consider the pot material. Materials such as terracotta and ceramic are ideal because they allow the soil to dry out between waterings, promoting healthy root growth. Alternatively, plastic pots can also be used, but they retain more moisture, so be sure to monitor the plant carefully to avoid over-watering.


A critical aspect of pot selection is choosing a pot with proper drainage. Ensure the pot has one or more drainage holes at the bottom. This allows excess water to escape, helping to prevent root rot and other moisture-related issues. If your pot doesn’t have any drainage holes, consider adding some manually or placing a layer of rocks, gravel, or perlite at the bottom of the pot to create better drainage.

The Repotting Process

Transitioning a pothos plant from water to soil requires a proper repotting process. The key steps include preparing the roots, adding soil and planting, and watering after repotting.

Root Preparation

Before repotting the pothos, the roots must be prepared. First, remove the rooted cutting from the water container and rinse the roots gently with fresh water to clean off any debris. Loosen the roots carefully with your hands, as this will help them expand into the new soil instead of staying tightly wound up inside the root ball1.

Adding Soil and Planting

Choose a pot that has drainage holes, as this is essential for preventing root rot. Fill the pot with about 1-2 inches of soil at the bottom, leaving enough space for the pothos roots to be placed within2. Carefully position the roots into the pot and cover them with soil, making sure not to pack it too tightly as the roots need room to expand. Leave a gap of about 1 inch from the top of the pot3.

You can also add some preventive insect controls in the soil, as this will help protect the pothos from potential pests

Watering After Repotting

Once the pothos has been planted, it’s important to water the plant generously. Thoroughly soak the soil until water begins to drain from the bottom of the pot. This will ensure that the roots have adequate moisture, helping them to establish themselves in their new environment4. After watering, make sure to let any excess water drain away, as this will prevent water from collecting and stagnating at the bottom of the pot5.

Post-Repotting Care

Initial Adjustment Period

After repotting your pothos from water to soil, it’s important to give the plant some time to adjust to its new environment. Immediately after repotting, be sure to water the plant generously to encourage new root growth and limit shock(source). During this initial period, it’s crucial to avoid any further changes in conditions to prevent additional stress. Try to place the plant back in the same spot it was in before repotting.

During the first few weeks, your pothos may display signs of stress, such as yellowing or wilting leaves. This is normal and should resolve on its own as the plant acclimates to its new home(source).

Ongoing Maintenance

Once the initial adjustment period has passed, you can focus on ongoing maintenance to keep your pothos healthy and thriving. One key aspect of post-repotting care is ensuring proper moisture levels in the soil. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy, and you should not let it dry out completely between watering sessions(source).

To maintain your pothos in its new soil environment, you’ll also need to monitor its light exposure. Pothos plants prefer moderate, indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while insufficient light can stunt their growth. It’s essential to find a balance that works for your specific plant and its unique environment.

Lastly, be sure to provide your pothos plant with the necessary nutrients for optimal growth. Using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every few months can help nourish the plant and promote healthy growth. With proper care and attention, your repotted pothos plant should thrive in its new soil environment.

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