How to Split a Pothos Plant: Simple Steps for Success

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Pothos is a popular houseplant that’s known for its attractive foliage and easy-to-care-for nature. As the plant grows, it may become necessary to split it into multiple plants to encourage healthy growth and prevent overcrowding. Splitting a Pothos plant is a simple and rewarding process, but it’s important to do it correctly to avoid damaging the plant’s delicate roots. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to split a Pothos plant, including tips on selecting the right tools, preparing the plant, and caring for your newly divided Pothos.

What Is a Pothos Plant

Pothos plants, also known as Epipremnum aureum, are popular houseplants due to their low-maintenance nature and attractive foliage. These plants are native to Southeast Asia and can be found climbing up trees in their natural habitat. Their leaves are heart-shaped, come in various shades of green and yellow, and have unique patterns.

As trailing plants, pothos can be grown in hanging baskets, allowing their long vines to cascade beautifully. They are also known for their air-purifying qualities, making them a desirable addition to indoor spaces. These versatile plants thrive in different light conditions, including low light, but prefer bright indirect light. They can tolerate irregular watering and can adapt to a range of humidity levels.

It is worth mentioning the ease of propagation of pothos plants. They are commonly propagated through cuttings, which can be placed in water or soil to root and grow into new plants. Moreover, they can be divided to create several individual plants, ideal for repotting, gifting, or expanding your own collection.

In summary, pothos plants are low-maintenance, adaptive, and decorative plants that make an excellent addition to any home or office. Their ability to thrive in various conditions and their air-purifying qualities make them an attractive choice for novice and experienced plant enthusiasts alike.

When to Split a Pothos Plant

Pothos plants are known for their hardiness and ease of care, making them popular among houseplant enthusiasts. Knowing when to split a pothos plant will go a long way in ensuring its healthy growth and propagation.

Generally, the best time to split a pothos plant is during its active growing season, which is typically spring and summer. This period of growth allows the plant to recover more quickly from the splitting process and maximizes the chances of successful rooting of the separated sections. However, pothos plants can be divided at other times as well, given their adaptability and resilience.

Aside from the optimal season, there are other indicators to watch for before deciding to split a pothos plant. One such sign is when the plant becomes root-bound or overcrowded, with roots tightly packed into the pot. This situation may lead to limited growth, as the plant struggles for space and nutrients. Splitting the plant at this stage would relieve the stress on the roots and encourage new growth.

Another reason to split a pothos plant is when it becomes too large or unruly for its space. Pothos plants are vigorous growers, and if left unchecked, they can easily outgrow their allotted area. By dividing the plant, you can maintain a more manageable size and prevent it from overwhelming other plants or taking over your living space.

In summary, the ideal time to split a pothos plant is during its active growing season in spring and summer. However, keep an eye out for indications of overcrowding or excessive growth, as these may warrant a division at other times of the year. By splitting your pothos plant when appropriate, you can ensure its continued healthy growth and enjoy a thriving, beautiful houseplant.

Tools and Materials Required

When splitting a pothos plant, it’s essential to have the necessary tools and materials on hand to ensure a successful propagation.

Potting Soil

A well-draining, indoor or all-purpose potting soil is crucial for pothos plant propagation. This type of soil helps the new roots establish themselves and provides the essential nutrients for healthy growth.

New Pots

Selecting appropriately-sized pots is vital for your new pothos plants. Ensure that the containers are only slightly larger than the divisions you’ll be creating. It’s also beneficial to have pots with drainage holes, as they aid in preventing root rot.

Pruning Shears

Sharp scissors or pruning shears are necessary for cleanly cutting the stems of your pothos plant during the division process. Dull blades can damage the plant, making it difficult for the cuttings to root properly.


When handling and dividing your pothos plant, using protective gloves is a good precaution. They help prevent any accidental injuries from sharp tools or potential skin irritation caused by the plant’s sap.

In conclusion, having the right tools and materials is crucial for a successful pothos plant division. By gathering potting soil, new pots, pruning shears, and gloves, you can ensure a smooth propagation process and create healthy new plants.

Splitting the Plant Step by Step

Identifying Healthy Sections

Before attempting to split a pothos plant, it’s crucial to identify healthy sections to ensure growth success. Look for healthy roots, thick leaves, and strong stems. Assess the plant’s overall appearance and choose the healthiest sections to focus on, as these are more likely to thrive once replanted.

Preparing the Workspace

Prepare the workspace by gathering necessary materials. You will need:

  • A clean, flat surface
  • A new pot or container for each new pothos plant
  • High-quality indoor plant potting soil
  • A trowel or gardening shears
  • Gloves (optional)

Ensure your hands and tools are clean to minimize the risk of transmitting diseases or pests to the plants.

Removing the Pothos from its Pot

Carefully remove the pothos from its current container. Hold the plant at the base and gently tip it out of the pot, catching the root ball in your other hand. Examine the root ball and notice any gaps between stalks or areas with multiple stems or leaves close together, as these will be the focus for splitting the plant.

Dividing the Pothos into Sections

Hold the pothos root ball and find a gap between stalks. Grip the stalks firmly on either side of the gap, and slowly pry the root mass apart, trying not to tear the roots. They should separate fairly easily. Repeat this process until you have the desired number of sections.

Potting Each New Pothos Plant

Once the pothos has been divided, each new section is ready for potting. Fill the new pot with high-quality indoor plant potting soil, leaving enough space for the root ball. Place the new pothos section in the container, ensuring the roots are covered with soil. Press the soil down gently around the roots and water the plant immediately. Keep humidity levels high and hold off on adding fertilizer to avoid stressing the plants as they acclimate to their new environment.

Caring for the New Pothos Plants

Watering Requirements

After dividing your pothos plant and repotting the cuttings, it is essential to provide adequate water. Water the newly potted plants thoroughly, ensuring the soil is evenly moist but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry between watering sessions, as overwatering can lead to root rot. Pothos plants generally prefer a consistent watering routine to maintain healthy growth.

Light Requirements

Pothos plants are adaptable to a range of light conditions, making them an excellent choice for various indoor settings. They thrive in bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light levels as well. Place your new pothos plants in a location that receives indirect sunlight for the best results. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.

Fertilizing Needs

To support the growth of your pothos plants, it is essential to provide proper nutrients through fertilization. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, diluted according to the package instructions. Fertilize your plants every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce the frequency to every 8 weeks in the colder months (fall and winter). This fertilizing schedule will help maintain vibrant foliage and promote healthy growth.

Common Splitting Problems and Solutions


One common issue when splitting a pothos plant is overwatering. Overwatering can result in root rot and unhealthy plant growth. To avoid this issue:

  • Ensure proper drainage in the pot to prevent water buildup
  • Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings
  • Monitor the plant’s appearance for signs of overwatering (yellowing leaves, wilting)

Root Rot

Root rot is another common problem that can occur during the splitting process. This can be caused by overwatering, poor drainage, or contaminated soil. To address root rot:

  • Remove the affected plant from its pot and gently clean the roots to remove rotting sections
  • Allow the roots to dry out before repotting
  • Use fresh, well-draining soil when repotting
  • Avoid overwatering to prevent future root rot issues

Poor Lighting

Poor lighting can also hinder the growth and overall health of a split pothos plant. Lower light levels mean less photosynthesis, which produces food in the form of sugars to keep the plant alive and spur growth. To ensure your pothos thrives after splitting:

  • Place the plant in a location with bright, indirect light
  • Rotate the pot periodically to ensure even light exposure for all parts of the plant
  • Adjust your watering schedule to accommodate the specific light conditions, as lower light levels may require less frequent watering.

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