Growing Pothos Plant in Water: A Guide for Gardeners

Overview of growing pothos plant in water

If you’re a gardener looking to add a touch of greenery to your indoor space, growing a pothos plant in water might be the perfect solution for you. Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is a popular houseplant that is well-loved for its lush foliage and easy care requirements. While traditionally grown in soil, pothos can thrive just as well in water, making it a versatile option for any plant lover.

In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the ins and outs of growing pothos in water. We’ll explore the benefits of this method, including its low maintenance requirements, enhanced root development, and easy propagation. We’ll also provide you with step-by-step instructions on propagating pothos in water, along with essential care tips to ensure your plant thrives.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner looking to embark on your plant journey, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to successfully grow pothos in water. So, let’s dive in and discover the wonders of this captivating plant propagation method.

Benefits of Growing Pothos in Water

When it comes to growing plants, many gardeners are familiar with the traditional method of using soil as a growing medium. However, there is an alternative method that is gaining popularity among plant enthusiasts – growing pothos plants in water. This unique approach offers several benefits that make it an attractive option for both seasoned gardeners and beginners alike.

Low Maintenance

One of the biggest advantages of growing pothos in water is its low maintenance nature. Unlike plants grown in soil, which require regular watering and monitoring of soil moisture levels, pothos plants in water have a self-regulating system. The water acts as a constant source of hydration for the plant, eliminating the need for frequent watering. This makes it an excellent choice for busy individuals or those who may not have a green thumb but still want to enjoy the beauty of indoor plants.

Enhanced Root Development

Growing pothos in water also promotes enhanced root development. When the plant is submerged in water, the roots are able to absorb nutrients and oxygen more efficiently. This encourages robust and healthy root growth, which in turn leads to stronger and more vibrant foliage. Additionally, the clear visibility of the roots in the water allows gardeners to monitor their health and make any necessary adjustments to the plant’s care.

Easy Propagation

Propagation is an exciting aspect of gardening that allows you to expand your plant collection or share your favorite plants with others. Pothos plants are known for their ease of propagation, and growing them in water makes the process even simpler. By taking stem cuttings and placing them in a container of water, you can watch as new roots develop and the cuttings transform into new plants. This method is not only convenient but also gives you the opportunity to experiment with different varieties of pothos and create a lush display of trailing vines.

In conclusion, growing pothos plants in water offers several benefits that make it an appealing option for any gardener. With its low maintenance requirements, enhanced root development, and easy propagation, it’s no wonder why more and more people are turning to this method. Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or just starting out on your gardening journey, exploring the world of pothos in water can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. So why not give it a try and see the beauty that can flourish in a simple container of water?

Propagating Pothos in Water

When it comes to propagating pothos, water propagation is a popular and reliable method. Not only is it a fascinating process to witness, but it also offers several advantages over other propagation methods. In this section, we will explore the steps involved in propagating pothos in water, from selecting the right stem cuttings to providing proper care for their growth.

Selecting the Right Stem Cuttings

To begin the propagation process, it is crucial to select healthy stem cuttings from a mature pothos plant. Look for stems that are at least 4 to 6 inches long and have multiple nodes. Nodes are the points where leaves emerge from the stem. These nodes contain the dormant buds that will eventually develop into new roots. Choose stem cuttings that are free from any signs of disease or damage, as this will increase their chances of successful propagation.

Preparing the Water Container

Once you have selected the perfect stem cuttings, it’s time to prepare the water container. Any clean glass or plastic container will work, as long as it is tall enough to accommodate the length of the stem cuttings. Fill the container with room temperature water, ensuring that at least one node of each stem cutting is submerged in the water. It is important to use filtered or distilled water to prevent any harmful chemicals or minerals from affecting the propagation process.

Placing the Stem Cuttings in Water

Now that your water container is ready, gently place the selected stem cuttings into the water, ensuring that each cutting is fully submerged. Make sure that no leaves are touching the water, as this can lead to rotting. You may choose to place multiple stem cuttings in the same container, but make sure they have enough space between them to allow for proper growth and development.

Providing Proper Care

Proper care is essential to ensure successful propagation. Place the water container in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can be too harsh for the delicate cuttings. Monitor the water level regularly and top it up as needed to maintain the desired level. It is also important to change the water every few days or whenever it appears cloudy or murky. This helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and keep the environment clean for the developing roots.

During the propagation process, it is important to be patient. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the stem cuttings to develop a healthy root system. Once the roots have reached a sufficient length, you can transfer the rooted cuttings into a pot with potting soil or continue to grow them in water, if desired.

By following these steps and providing the necessary care, you can successfully propagate pothos in water and enjoy the satisfaction of watching new roots form and grow. Water propagation not only allows you to expand your pothos collection but also offers a wonderful opportunity to witness the beauty of nature in action. Happy propagating!

Learn more about pothos propagation here.

Care Tips for Pothos in Water

Choosing the Right Water

When it comes to caring for your pothos plant in water, choosing the right water is essential for its health and growth. Opt for filtered or distilled water to avoid any harmful chemicals or minerals that can be present in tap water. Chlorine and fluoride, commonly found in tap water, can be detrimental to the plant’s root system. By using filtered or distilled water, you provide a clean and pure environment for your pothos to thrive.

Providing Adequate Light

Just like any other plant, pothos needs adequate light to carry out photosynthesis and grow. Place your pothos plant in an area where it can receive bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as this can lead to leaf burn and damage. A north or east-facing window is ideal for providing the right amount of light without exposing the plant to harsh sun rays.

Changing the Water Regularly

To ensure the health and well-being of your pothos plant, it is crucial to change the water regularly. Stagnant water can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to root rot and other issues. Every two to four weeks, empty the water container and replace it with fresh, clean water. This will help maintain optimal nutrient levels and prevent any potential problems that may arise from stagnant water.

Fertilizing the Plant

While pothos plants can survive and thrive in water alone, a little bit of fertilizer can go a long way in promoting healthy growth and vibrant foliage. Use a water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for houseplants, and follow the instructions on the package for proper dilution and application. Fertilize your pothos plant once every two to three months, or as directed by the fertilizer manufacturer. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to salt build-up in the water and damage the roots.

By following these care tips for pothos in water, you can ensure that your plant remains healthy, vibrant, and a beautiful addition to your indoor space. Remember to choose the right water, provide adequate light, change the water regularly, and fertilize the plant appropriately. With proper care, your pothos will flourish and bring a touch of nature into your home.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Yellowing Leaves

One of the most common issues that gardeners may encounter when growing pothos in water is yellowing leaves. While pothos plants are generally known for their resilience and adaptability, they can still exhibit signs of stress or nutrient deficiencies.

Yellowing leaves in pothos plants often indicate a lack of nutrients, specifically nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential element for healthy leaf growth and overall plant vigor. When the plant doesn’t receive enough nitrogen, the older leaves may start to turn yellow.

To address this issue, it is important to provide the pothos plant with the necessary nutrients. Fertilizing the plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for indoor plants can help replenish the nitrogen levels. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for proper application.

Additionally, yellowing leaves can also be a result of overwatering. Pothos plants are susceptible to root rot when they are consistently sitting in waterlogged conditions. Excess moisture can lead to oxygen deprivation in the roots, causing the leaves to turn yellow and wilt.

To prevent overwatering, make sure to change the water regularly and provide adequate drainage for the plant. Allow the water to drain completely after each watering session to avoid water accumulation at the bottom of the container.

Root Rot

Root rot is another common issue that can affect pothos plants grown in water. This fungal disease occurs when the roots are constantly exposed to excessive moisture, leading to their decay. Root rot can be identified by the presence of dark, mushy roots that may emit a foul odor.

To prevent root rot, it is crucial to provide the pothos plant with proper drainage and avoid overwatering. Make sure the water container has drainage holes or use a well-draining medium such as perlite or vermiculite to support the roots.

If you suspect root rot in your pothos plant, it is important to act quickly to save the plant. Remove the affected parts of the plant, including any mushy or discolored roots. Repotting the plant in fresh, well-draining soil or water can help promote healthy root development.


While pothos plants grown in water are generally resistant to pests, they can still fall victim to a few common invaders. Mealybugs and spider mites are two pests that can infest pothos plants, causing damage to the leaves and overall plant health.

Mealybugs are small, white, cotton-like insects that feed on the sap of the plant. They can be found in clusters on the undersides of leaves or in the leaf axils. Spider mites, on the other hand, are tiny pests that can cause webbing and yellow speckling on the leaves.

To control these pests, you can use natural remedies such as wiping the leaves with a mixture of water and mild soap or using a neem oil solution. Ensure to cover both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves for effective control.

Regularly inspecting your pothos plant for any signs of pests and taking immediate action can help prevent further infestation and keep your plant healthy.

By being aware of these common issues and knowing how to troubleshoot them, you can ensure that your pothos plants thrive in water and continue to bring beauty and greenery to your indoor space. Don’t let these challenges discourage you from enjoying the benefits of growing pothos in water. With proper care and attention, you can overcome any obstacles and have a thriving pothos plant collection.

If you want to learn more about pothos plant care or explore different pothos varieties, feel free to check out our other articles on

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for pothos cuttings to root in water?

One of the most common questions gardeners have when propagating pothos in water is how long it takes for the cuttings to root. The rooting time for pothos cuttings can vary, but on average, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the roots to develop. Patience is key when it comes to propagating plants, as the rooting process can be influenced by various factors such as temperature, light, and the health of the cutting itself. During this waiting period, it’s important to provide the cuttings with the proper conditions to promote root growth, such as placing them in a warm and well-lit area, changing the water regularly, and ensuring they have access to adequate nutrients.

Can I transfer my pothos from water to soil?

While pothos can be successfully propagated and grown in water, many gardeners eventually choose to transfer their plants from water to soil. Transferring pothos from water to soil can provide a more stable environment for the plant’s long-term growth. The process of transferring pothos from water to soil is fairly straightforward. Once the roots have developed and are at least a few inches long, carefully remove the cuttings from the water and gently rinse off any remaining residue. Choose a well-draining potting mix and plant the rooted cuttings in a pot or container, ensuring the soil is evenly moist. Place the newly potted pothos in an area with bright, indirect light and continue to provide the plant with the necessary care, such as regular watering and occasional fertilization.

What are the best varieties of pothos to grow in water?

Pothos is a versatile plant with a wide range of cultivars, each with its own unique characteristics. When it comes to selecting the best varieties of pothos for growing in water, there are a few popular choices that are known for their adaptability and stunning foliage. Here are some of the top varieties to consider:

  1. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): This variety features heart-shaped leaves with vibrant golden-yellow variegation, making it a popular choice for adding a touch of brightness to any space.

  2. Marble Queen Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’): With its marbled green and white leaves, this variety adds an elegant and sophisticated touch to any indoor environment.

  3. Neon Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’): Known for its electric, neon-green foliage, this variety is a favorite among plant enthusiasts looking to make a bold statement.

  4. Jade Pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘Jade’): With its deep green, glossy leaves, this variety brings a sense of serenity and tranquility to any space.

These varieties, along with many others, can thrive when grown in water and add a touch of lush greenery to your home or office. Experiment with different varieties to find the ones that resonate with your personal style and preferences.


In conclusion, growing pothos plants in water is a rewarding and low-maintenance way to enjoy the beauty of these versatile houseplants. With their vibrant foliage and cascading vines, pothos plants add a touch of greenery to any space, whether it be a sunny window sill or a shady corner.

By propagating pothos in water, gardeners can take advantage of the plant’s natural ability to develop strong and healthy roots. This method also allows for easy propagation, making it simple to expand your pothos collection or share cuttings with friends and family.

To successfully propagate pothos in water, it is important to select the right stem cuttings and provide them with the proper care. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your pothos cuttings take root and thrive.

Once your pothos plants are established in water, it is important to provide them with the care they need to flourish. This includes choosing the right water, providing adequate light, changing the water regularly, and fertilizing the plant as needed.

While pothos plants generally do well in water, it is important to be aware of common issues that may arise. Yellowing leaves, root rot, and pests can all be potential challenges when growing pothos in water. By being proactive and addressing these issues promptly, you can maintain the health and vitality of your pothos plants.

In conclusion, growing pothos plants in water offers a range of benefits, from low maintenance to enhanced root development and easy propagation. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty of these versatile plants in your home or office. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch your pothos thrive in its watery home!

For more information on pothos propagation, pothos varieties, and pothos plant care, please check out the related articles on our blog. Happy gardening!