Propagating houseplants is a fun, rewarding way to get more plants for free. Pothos is one of the easiest plants to propagate at home. With just a few cuttings, you can multiply your pothos to fill your whole house!
In this guide, you'll learn two different methods for propagating pothos:
- Single Long Vine Method
- Multiple Cuttings Method
Each method produces different results, so you can choose the best way to propagate based on your goals.
Here's a quick overview of what you'll learn:
- How to select and prepare pothos cuttings from an existing plant
- How to root the cuttings in water
- When to plant the rooted cuttings in soil
- How to care for your new baby pothos plants
- The results you can expect from each propagation method
- Tips for troubleshooting any issues that arise
Propagating pothos is an easy process anyone can do at home with minimal supplies. In a few months, you can transform a few cuttings into endless pothos plants to fill your home.
Pothos are versatile houseplants that grow quickly and require little maintenance. Their trailing vines and heart-shaped leaves make them perfect for shelves, hanging baskets, and tabletops.
This guide will walk you through each step. Soon you'll have propagating pothos down to a science! Let's get started.
Why Propagate Pothos?
Here are some of the benefits of propagating your own pothos:
Multiplies your plants - Get more plants without spending more money!
Preserves rare varieties - Propagate special pothos types you can't find in stores.
Satisfaction of growing - Fun and rewarding to nurture your own plants.
Easy process - Pothos propagate quickly and easily compared to other houseplants.
Adaptable plants - Pothos thrive in most indoor conditions.
Decor purposes - Fill any space with trailing vines and lush leaves.
Gifts & sharing - Share cuttings with friends and family.
Propagating pothos at home is simple, fun, and practical. Now let's look at what materials you'll need...
II. Needed Materials
Propagating pothos at home is easy with just a few supplies. Here's what you'll need:
Pothos plant - You can take cuttings from your own pothos or get some from a friend or neighbor. The video uses two types:
- Marbled queen - Stems are white/green variegated
- Green - Stems are solid green
Leaves and nodes - The cuttings need:
- Leaves for photosynthesis
Nodes for growing roots
Nodes look like brown/black crusty bumps on the stem near where leaves meet the stem.
You'll need two types of containers:
Water propagation - Root cuttings in water first. Use:
- Clear glass jars or bottles - Lets you watch roots grow
- Other containers like bowls or cups
Soil planting - Pot up rooted cuttings in soil. Use:
- Small indoor flower pots or other containers with drainage holes
Any indoor potting mix is fine. Standard potting soil provides:
- Moisture retention
Don't use outdoor gardening soil. It's too heavy.
- Water - Use bottled or filtered water without chlorine
- Plastic wrap (optional) - Cover jars to increase humidity
- Plant mister - Gently mist leaves
- Bamboo stakes or plant Velcro (optional) - Support vines as they grow
Gather Your Materials
Make sure you have everything before you start taking cuttings:
- Pothos stems with leaves and nodes
- Jar for water propagation
- Pot, soil, etc. for potting up later
- Water, plastic wrap, etc.
Once you have your supplies, you're ready to propagate!
How you prepare the cuttings depends on which method you want to use.
Single Long Vine
For this method, you'll take:
- One long cutting - Has several leaves and nodes along the stem
Follow these steps:
- Start with a long, healthy stem with no bare spots.
Trim the bottom with a clean sharp knife or pruning shears. Make a fresh cut.
- Removes any damaged/woody part
- Exposes the nodes inside to water
Put the cutting in water.
- Cutting will produce one long vine
- Rooting time: ~3 weeks
Multiple Small Cuttings
This method involves taking multiple short cuttings. Each should have:
- One leaf
- One node with a bit of stem on either side
Follow these steps:
- Prepare a long stem with lots of leaves and nodes.
- Decide how many cuttings you want - the more the bushier!
Cut the stem into separate ~2 inch segments.
- Cut above and below the nodes
- Leaves in tact
Put the small cuttings in water.
- Will produce more vines and a bushier plant
- Rooting time: ~2 weeks
The steps seem simple but it's important to cut properly. Exposing the nodes to water helps them sprout roots faster.
III. Single Long Vine Method
The single long vine method involves taking one pothos cutting and rooting it to produce one long trailing vine.
Follow these steps:
Select the Cutting
Choose a long, healthy stem from the pothos with no bare spots.
It should have several leaves and nodes along the length.
Nodes are the brown bumps on the stem near each leaf. They are important!
Prepare the Cutting
Use a clean, sharp knife/shears to trim the bottom 2-3 inches of the stem.
Make a fresh cut across the bottom.
This removes any woody or damaged part.
It exposes the inner nodes to the water for better rooting.
Root in Water
Place the prepared cutting in a jar of clean water.
The water should cover just the bottom nodes of the stem.
Leave the top leaves sticking out above the water.
Set in a spot with indirect bright light.
Change the water every 1-2 weeks to keep it clean.
Roots will begin emerging from the nodes after about 3 weeks.
Look for long white water roots when it's ready to plant.
Plant in Soil
Once well rooted, plant the cutting in a pot with indoor potting mix.
Keep soil moist but not soaked.
Gradually decrease watering over 2-3 weeks.
Support the trailing vine with a stake or trellis.
This single cutting will produce one long vine. It's a quick way to get a nice pothos starter plant!
Results of Single Vine Method
Rooting one long cutting produces:
One thick, vigorous trailing vine.
Can reach 4+ feet long.
Lots of large, healthy leaves.
A full looking plant in 1-2 months.
Quickly establishes a nice starter plant.
Produces long vine growth fast.
Trailing vine looks great in hanging basket.
Only one vine, so looks sparse long-term.
Gets overgrown and messy as vine lengthens.
Needs tall narrow pot or hanging basket.
The single long vine method is best for a quick starter plant or trailing vine plant. Now let's look at the multiple cuttings method...
IV. Multiple Cuttings Method
The multiple cuttings method involves taking several small pothos cuttings and rooting them together to produce a bushier plant.
Follow these steps:
Select the Cuttings
Start with a long, healthy pothos stem with lots of leaves.
Decide how many cuttings you want - the more the bushier!
Cut the stem into segments around 2 inches long.
Each should have:
- One leaf
- One node (brown bump)
- A bit of stem on either side of the node
Prepare the Cuttings
Use a clean, sharp knife/shears.
Make a fresh cut above and below each node.
Cut right next to the node, but leave the leaf intact.
This exposes the nodes for optimal water rooting.
Root in Water
Place all the small cuttings together in a jar of clean water.
Only the bottom part with the node should be submerged.
Leave the leaves sticking out above the water.
Set in indirect bright light.
Change water every 1-2 weeks to keep clean.
Roots will emerge from the nodes after 1-2 weeks.
Look for long white roots before planting.
Plant in Soil
Once well rooted, plant 2-4 cuttings together in one pot with indoor potting mix.
Space them evenly around the pot.
Keep soil moist initially. Slowly decrease watering.
These multiple cuttings will produce a bushy pothos plant with multiple vines!
V. Selecting Cuttings
Choosing the right pothos cuttings is an important first step for successful propagation. Here are tips for selecting optimal cuttings:
Cuttings Must Have Nodes
The cuttings need special structures called nodes to grow new roots.
Nodes look like brown/black crusty bumps on the stem.
They are located right where each leaf meets the main stem.
Nodes contain meristematic tissue that can generate new roots.
No node = no new plant! Always select cuttings with nodes.
Select Healthy Stems
Choose vigorous, healthy stems for your cuttings:
Avoid woody, limp, or damaged stems.
Pick stems with shiny green leaves.
Look for stems with at least 3-4 nodes spaced out.
More nodes = more potential places to grow roots.
Cut Stem Sections With Nodes
When preparing cuttings:
Include at least one node on each stem section.
Cut so each node has 1/2 to 1 inch of stem on either side.
The node with surrounding stem will root and become a new plant.
Leaves Are Important Too
Leave leaves attached to each cutting:
Leaves enable photosynthesis to provide energy for new roots.
But avoid cuttings with huge leaves, which demand more water.
Smaller leaves reduce water needs during rooting.
Take Multiple Cuttings
Take several small cuttings rather than one large one:
Maximizes the use of limited stem length.
Gives you backup cuttings in case some fail to root.
Produces a fuller plant in the end.
Carefully selecting the best cuttings will set you up for propagation success!
VI. Water Propagation
Once you have prepared pothos cuttings, the next step is rooting them in water. Here are some tips for water propagation:
Use Clean Water
Use bottled, distilled, or filtered water.
Avoid tap water with chlorine or fluoride added. This can damage tender new roots.
Change Water Regularly
Replace water every 1-2 weeks.
Changing keeps the water clean and prevents rotting.
Water should cover just the node and bottom of the cuttings.
Leave the leaves and top stem exposed to air.
Roots emerge from the node in 1-3 weeks.
Look for long white roots extending into water before planting.
Place in bright indirect light, not direct sun.
East or west facing windows are ideal.
Add plastic wrap over the jar to increase humidity.
Mist leaves every few days with a spray bottle.
Avoid disturbing or tugging new delicate roots.
Patience is key during the water rooting phase! Monitor for root growth before planting.
Containers for Water Rooting
You can root pothos cuttings in any small container that holds water, like:
Clear glass jars/bottles - Lets you watch roots develop
Coffee mugs or cups
Bowls or food containers
Vases or drinking glasses
Short cuttings may need support to stay upright in water:
Prop against the edge using stones or marbles
Place a grid of reusable straws
Insert floral foam at the bottom
Suspend with twigs laid across the top
Get creative with materials you have on hand!
Transition to Soil
Once the cuttings have an extensive root system in water, it's time to plant them in soil. Here's how:
Gently loosen and untangle the water roots.
Partially fill a pot with indoor potting mix.
Place cutting in pot, filling in soil around roots.
Water thoroughly until it drips from the bottom.
Keep the soil moist but not soaked at first.
Gradually decrease watering over 2-3 weeks.
The key is slowly transitioning from water to soil. This prevents shock to the tender new roots.
VII. Planting in Soil
Once your pothos cuttings have grown strong water roots, it's time to plant them in soil!
Follow these tips for successfully potting up your propagated pothos:
Choosing a Pot
Pick a small pot, around 4-6 inches wide. Pothos prefer being a bit rootbound.
Make sure the pot has drainage holes on the bottom. This prevents wet soil and root rot.
Use a plastic nursery pot or a decorative container with a drainage tray.
Soil for Pothos
Use a general indoor potting mix. Avoid heavy outdoor soil.
Potting mix provides:
- Nutrients for growth
- Moisture retention
- Good drainage
- All-purpose potting soil
- Potting mix for tropical plants
- Soilless blends (peat, coir, perlite)
Follow these steps carefully:
Gently loosen the roots in water. Try not to break the delicate new roots.
Partially fill the pot with soil. Leave space for the roots.
Place the cutting in the pot. The original stem should sit 1-2 inches below the soil surface.
Surround roots with soil, filling in gaps. Lightly tamp down but don't pack too tightly.
Water thoroughly until it drips from the bottom drainage holes.
Important tips for planting cuttings:
Handle new roots gently. They break easily!
Make sure the newest leaf is pointing upward so it can emerge.
Water lightly at first to prevent transplant shock.
The key is helping the young plants transition from water to soil:
Keep the soil evenly moist for the first 1-2 weeks after potting.
Slowly begin to let the soil dry out between waterings.
Mist leaves with a spray bottle to boost humidity.
Place in bright indirect light. Avoid direct hot sun at first.
Stake vines for support if needed. But be gentle!
With attentive care while establishing, your propagated pothos will thrive in their new pots!
VIII. Results of Each Method
The video demonstrates two different methods for propagating pothos - single long vine and multiple cuttings. Let's compare the end results of each method.
Single Long Vine Method
This method produced one long vine by rooting one large cutting in water and then soil.
Over 2-3 months, it grew:
- One thick, vigorous trailing vine up to 4 feet long
- Lots of large, healthy leaves all along the vine
- A nice full plant within 1-2 months
- Quickly grows into a good looking starter plant
- Rapidly produces a very long trailing vine
- Looks great as a hanging basket plant
- Only one vine, so the pot looks sparse long-term
- Managing the fast growing vine gets tricky
- Needs a tall narrow pot or hanging basket
Multiple Small Cuttings
This method used several tiny cuttings, each with one leaf and node.
Over 2-3 months, it produced:
- A large bushy, full plant
- Multiple shorter vines emerging from the cuttings
- Looked sparse at first but filled out over time
- Yields a huge, bushy potted plant long-term
- Multiple vines make a very full pot
- Thrives well in standard wide pots
- Takes 2-3 months to fill out the pot
- Looks scraggly and sparse in the beginning
- Each cutting is fragile and delicate initially
Here's a quick comparison of the key differences:
|Single Long Vine
|Multiple Small Cuttings
|1 long cutting
|Several small cuttings
|One 4ft+ vine
|Bushy plant with multiple vines
|Quick starter plant or hanger
|Maximizing fullness long-term
|Takes time to establish
Overall, the multiple small cuttings method produces the best long-term results.
- Grows into the fullest, bushiest potted pothos
- Easier to manage than one extremely long vine
- Maximizes plant yield from the original cuttings
However, it does require more patience up front. Expect 2-3 months for a full, robust pot.
The single long vine method is great if you want a quick starter plant or hanging basket pothos.
Propagating pothos at home is generally an easy, fool-proof process. But occasionally issues can arise. Here are some troubleshooting tips:
Cuttings Won't Root
If your cuttings fail to root in water after 4-6 weeks, try:
Using new, fresh cuttings
Trimming more stem off the bottom
Making sure the nodes are submerged
Changing the water more frequently
Moving to brighter indirect light
If slimy black roots develop, the cuttings are rotting from too much water. Try:
Changing the water more often
Using distilled or rain water
Only submerging the nodes, not whole stem
Yellow leaves usually indicate overwatering. Troubleshoot by:
Letting the soil dry out more between waterings
Repotting in fresh, well-draining soil
Watering only when top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
Cutting off any mushy or rotten roots
Sparse, Scraggly Growth
For slow, sparse growth try:
Moving to a brighter location
Switching to a fast-draining potting mix
Using a balanced liquid fertilizer to nourish
Taking new, more vigorous cuttings
Checking for pests like spider mites
Original Plant Dies
Don't despair if your original pothos plant dies! Simply take new cuttings and propagate again. This gives it a fresh start.
Propagating Revives Plants
Struggling pothos plants often rebound and thrive once propagated. The fresh cuttings essentially rejuvenate the plant.
Don't give up too quickly on an ailing pothos. Try propagating first before tossing it out!
Follow these tips to avoid issues from the start:
Select healthy cuttings with no defects
Use sharp, clean tools to make cuttings
Change water frequently during rooting
Allow 2-4 weeks for water rooting
Plant in fast-draining potting mix
Avoid overwatering when potted
Give bright indirect light for best growth
With good care, your propagated pothos will flourish! But don't hesitate to troubleshoot issues as needed.
Here are 5 frequently asked questions related to propagating pothos:
Q: How long does it take to propagate pothos in water?
A: It typically takes 1-3 weeks for pothos cuttings to root in water. Check for 1-2 inch long roots emerging from the node before planting in soil.
Q: Can I use tap water to propagate pothos?
A: It's best to use filtered, distilled, or bottled water. Tap water may contain chlorine/fluoride which can damage new root growth.
Q: What type of soil is best for propagated pothos?
A: Use a general indoor potting mix, not heavy outdoor soil. Look for a mix that provides nutrients, moisture retention, and drainage.
Q: How much light does propagating pothos need?
A: Bright, indirect light is ideal. Avoid direct hot sunlight. East or west facing windows are perfect spots.
Q: How do I encourage my propagated pothos to be bushy?
A: Take lots of small cuttings and plant close together. Prune long vines. Rotate the pot and train vines in different directions.
In conclusion, propagating pothos at home is an easy and rewarding way to get more beautiful plants for free.
While both the single vine and multiple cuttings methods work, the multiple cuttings technique is best long-term.
- Select cuttings with nodes and leaves
- Use clean, sharp tools
- Allow 1-3 weeks for water rooting
- Plant in appropriate potting mix
- Give bright indirect light
- Avoid overwatering when potted
With the right propagation method, your pothos will continue thriving. Enjoy watching the vines multiply!
Once propagated and potted, pothos requires minimal care:
- Water when soil is partly dry
- Wipe dust off leaves
- Provide support for vines
- Prune or take cuttings as needed
Propagating pothos is an easy, fun way to get beautiful new plants. Follow the steps and soon your pothos will be overflowing its pot!
 University of Illinois Extension. "Propagating Houseplants." https://extension.illinois.edu/houseplants/propagating_houseplants.cfm
 The Spruce. "How to Propagate Pothos." https://www.thespruce.com/pothos-propagation-methods-5090482
 Garden Design. "How to Propagate Pothos." https://www.gardendesign.com/how-to/propagate-pothos.html
The University of Illinois Extension article provides research-based instructions on propagating houseplants, including pothos.
The Spruce article offers step-by-step propagation guidelines specifically for pothos plants.
The Garden Design article explains the keys to propagating pothos and troubleshooting common issues.