How To

How To Propagate Pothos


How To Propagate Pothos

Share this article
How To Propagate Pothos

How To Propagate Pothos

How to Propagate Pothos: A Comprehensive Guide to Creating New Plants

Pothos, also known as the devil’s ivy, is a popular houseplant prized for its lush foliage and easy-going nature. Its ability to thrive in various lighting conditions and tolerate neglect makes it an ideal choice for both experienced and novice plant enthusiasts. If you’re looking to expand your pothos collection or share its beauty with others, propagation is a simple and rewarding process that allows you to create new plants from your existing one.

Understanding Pothos Propagation Methods

There are two main methods for propagating pothos: stem cuttings and air layering. Each method has its advantages and is suitable for different situations.

  1. Stem Cuttings: This method involves taking a section of a healthy pothos stem and rooting it in soil or water. It is a straightforward and widely used propagation technique.

  2. Air Layering: This method involves rooting a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant. It is particularly useful for propagating plants with long, trailing stems or those that have lost their lower leaves.

Step-by-Step Guide to Propagating Pothos by Stem Cuttings

Materials you’ll need:

  • Sharp scissors or pruning shears
  • Rooting hormone powder (optional)
  • Potting mix or well-draining soil
  • Small pot or rooting container
  • Water


  1. Select a healthy stem: Choose a stem with several nodes, which are the points where leaves and roots grow. Avoid using weak, damaged, or diseased stems.

  2. Make the cutting: Cut a 4-6 inch section of stem below a node. Make a clean, angled cut to increase the surface area for rooting.

  3. Remove the lower leaves: Remove the leaves from the bottom 1-2 inches of the stem. This will help prevent rot and allow the stem to focus its energy on root development.

  4. Dip in rooting hormone (optional): Dip the end of the cutting into rooting hormone powder if desired. This can help stimulate root growth, but it is not necessary for successful propagation.

  5. Plant the cutting: Fill a small pot or rooting container with potting mix or well-draining soil. Make a hole in the soil deep enough to accommodate the cutting, and insert it into the hole. Firm the soil around the stem to secure it.

  6. Water the cutting: Water the soil thoroughly until it is evenly moist. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

  7. Provide warmth and humidity: Place the cutting in a warm, humid environment. You can create a mini greenhouse by covering the pot with a clear plastic bag or cloche.

  8. Check for roots: After a few weeks, gently tug on the cutting to see if it has developed roots. If there is resistance, roots have formed.

  9. Move to a larger pot: Once the roots are well-established, transplant the cutting into a larger pot with fresh potting mix.

Step-by-Step Guide to Propagating Pothos by Air Layering

Materials you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife or utility blade
  • Small baggie or piece of aluminum foil
  • Sphagnum moss or rooting medium
  • Twist ties or string
  • Rooting hormone (optional)


  1. Select a stem: Choose a long, trailing stem that is not woody or stiff.

  2. Prepare the rooting site: Locate a node on the stem and make a small, upward incision about 1 inch below it. Avoid cutting too deeply into the stem.

  3. Apply rooting hormone (optional): If desired, apply rooting hormone to the cut surface.

  4. Create a rooting ball: Fill a small baggie or piece of aluminum foil with sphagnum moss or rooting medium. Wrap the rooting ball around the incision, securing it with twist ties or string. Keep the rooting medium moist.

  5. Monitor and care for the air layer: Check the rooting ball periodically to ensure it stays moist. Avoid letting it dry out completely.

  6. Check for roots: After several weeks, roots should begin to emerge from the rooting ball. Once the roots are visible, cut the stem below the air layer and remove the rooting ball.

  7. Plant the rooted stem: Plant the rooted stem in a pot with fresh potting mix. Water well and care for it as you would any other pothos plant.

Troubleshooting Common Propagation Issues

Problem: The cutting is rotting.

Solution: Remove the cutting from the soil or water and inspect it for signs of rot. Cut away any rotten areas and replant the cutting in fresh potting mix or water. Ensure the environment is well-aerated to prevent further rot.

Problem: The cutting is wilting.

Solution: Check the soil moisture. Water the cutting if the soil is dry. If the soil is wet, remove the cutting and check for root rot.

Problem: The cutting is not rooting.

Solution: Ensure the rooting environment is warm and humid. Provide adequate light to promote growth. Check for any pests or diseases that may be inhibiting root development.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How long does it take for pothos cuttings to root?

A: Rooting time can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, and rooting method. In general, stem cuttings root in about 2-4 weeks, while air layers root in 4-8 weeks.

Q: Can I propagate pothos in water?

A: Yes, you can propagate pothos in water. Simply place a stem cutting in a glass or jar of water and provide bright, indirect light. Change the water regularly to prevent bacteria buildup.

Q: Can I propagate pothos from a single leaf?

A: No, it is not possible to propagate pothos from a single leaf. Pothos plants require a stem with nodes to successfully propagate.

Q: How often should I water propagated pothos?

A: Water propagated pothos when the soil is dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

Q: Can I propagate pothos in the winter?

A: Yes, you can propagate pothos in the winter, but it may take longer for the cuttings to root due to the lower temperatures. Provide ample warmth and humidity to aid rooting.