Skip the soil and score lush pothos plants for free. This beginner-friendly guide turns cuttings into cascading beauties. Learn how to propagate pothos in water with these simple tips.

Pothos is one of the easiest houseplants to grow and care for. They are low maintenance, resilient, can tolerate different levels of light, boost the mood, and purify the air. But did you also know that they are super easy to propagate in water?

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of easy-care houseplants. My plants grew so much while summering outdoors. So it’s time to clean them up and cut some of them back.

But what to do with the cuttings? I’m going to grow more plants! Keep reading to learn all about propagating pothos in water and get all your questions answered.

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Reasons to Propagate Pothos

Propagating pothos in water is not only easy – it also comes with some great benefits for you and your plants!

Pothos propagation can help you enjoy your plants longer.

When you propagate your pothos plants, you can use the same plant to keep growing pothos for years to come! Each new pothos you grow can eventually be propagated, too, helping you keep your pothos collection going strong. Not to mention you can have extras to give away to friends and family too!

Propagating pothos can bring a struggling plant back to life.

If you have a pothos that is struggling, you can salvage the healthy part of the plant and propagate it in water to create a new, healthy plant.

Propagating a pothos plant cuts down on waste.

Most houseplants need a good trim from time to time. Reduce the waste produced by these trimmings by propagating the clippings in water with ease to create new plants. You can grow more plants or even give them away as gifts!

Propagating pothos saves you money.

When you propagate pothos plants you can skip a trip to the greenhouse and save some serious money! Use your existing plants to grow new ones and you won’t have to spend money buying more!

Not to mention, when you propagate pothos, you can make new plants and give the gift of growing them to friends and family. You can save lots of money on gifts for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and more!

Watering Day for Houseplants in my farmhouse kitchen

When to Propagate Pothos

The best time to propagate pothos plants is in the spring and summer when days are longer and warmer, giving the plants the best growing conditions. However, you can use plant clippings to propagate any time of the year. It just might take longer for your clippings to root during the colder winter months.

How to Propagate Pothos in Water

Several easy-care houseplants can be propagated in water. And pothos are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate. You can pot up pothos cuttings after they form roots or continue to grow them in water.

My pothos was growing out of control in the kitchen. So I gave them a haircut and started rooting them in these cute bud vases. I started my pothos cuttings about two weeks ago and already have some roots.

This is how I did it.

pothos plant close up

Supplies Needed to Propagate Pothos

Can you use tap water to propogate pothos?

Yes, you can use tap water. However, it’s a good idea to let your water sit for about 24 hours in an open container to off-gas any chlorine used in water treatments, which can harm your plants. You can also use distilled water for propagating pothos if you prefer. Either way, make sure to change the water every 5-7 days to prevent bacterial growth and maintain optimal growing conditions.

Cut stem on pothos with sharp snips or scissors -Easy Care Houseplants to Propagate in Water

How to Propagate Pothos in Water Directions

Propagating pothos in water is one of the easiest things to do. At the end of a few weeks to a few months, you’ll have new plants to pot up and keep or give away to friends and family.

1. Cut Clippings from the Pothos Plant.

Determine where to cut pothos to propagate from the main plant. If possible, find the pothos node. To do this, look for a mature vine and find a small brown bump before making any cuts. Try to keep a pothos node or two with the cutting.

Using clean, sharp garden snips (I love these by the way) or pruners, cut about 1/4″ or so below the pothos node. Remove any leaves that are below the root node or that will be in the water.

2. Add pothos clippings to water.

Fill a jar or bud vase with room temperature water and drop the pothos cutting in. Be sure to cover the nodes with water because that is where the roots will grow.

Place in an area that gets bright indirect light. I have been growing mine on my kitchen ledge near the windows.

3. Change the Water Regularly

Replace the water every few days or top it off if it’s running lower. If the water looks dirty, change it.

How Do You Know When Pothos is Done Propagating?

  • It can take a few weeks to a few months for pothos roots to grow, so keep an eye on the cuttings. As long as the cutting looks green and healthy, leave it be.
  • You’ll be planting pothos cuttings when the roots grow about 3-5″. You can also keep them growing in water, but I prefer potting them up.

Propagating Pothos in Soil

While I prefer propagating a pothos plant in water, it’s just as easy to propagate them in soil too. Simply follow the directions on where to cut pothos above and remove the first few leaves above the cut stem.

Using a pencil, make a hole in a small pot filled with half peat moss and half perlite. Dip the cutting in the rooting hormone. Then gently plant the cutting in the pre-made hole. Be careful not to knock off the rooting hormone. Gently cover the hole around the stem.

Place it in a location out of direct sunlight and keep it moist. Within a month or so, roots should develop and the plant will be ready to pot up a few months after when roots are longer and more substantial.

How to Pot Up Your Propagated Pothos Cuttings

And the best place to pot up new plants? A potting bench. Do you have one yet? If not, you NEED ONE. I curated a great list here.

Potting bench with potted plants, mums, and pumpkins with potting shed signWhy You Need a Potting Bench

Common Questions About Propagating Pothos in Water

How Long Does it Take For Pothos to Root in Water?

It takes roughly 7-14 days. I’ve had some plants root quickly and others take a bit longer. So just be patient. And wait to pot them up until they are about 4 inches long.

Is It Better to Propagate Pothos in Soil or Water?

I don’t think one way is better than the other per see. However, if you propagate pothos in water, you want to make sure the roots are long enough to be potted.

Can Pothos Stay in Water Forever?

Pothos can live a very long time in water as long as you provide it with fresh water and nutrients as needed.

How Long Should Pothos Roots Be Before Planting?

A good rule of thumb is about 4 inches. But the roots can be longer if you choose.

Roots forming on this pothos cutting in a bud vase with water - Easy Care Houseplants to Propagate in Water

How Do You Make Cuttings Root Faster in Water?

It takes a lot of patience to propagate pothos in water, but there are a few things you can do to speed the process up. Changing the water regularly (at least every few days) can help ensure the clippings have optimal growing conditions. 

Keeping the clippings at a warmer temperature can also help. Propagating pothos in spring and summer is often faster than doing it during the winter, but you can also try placing your propagating clippings on a heat mat to achieve a similar effect.

What Can I Put in Water to Encourage Rooting?

You don’t need to add anything when propagating pothos in water – that’s one of the reasons I love this technique so much! It couldn’t be any easier because pothos produce their rooting hormone when propagating in water.

And pothos are so good at naturally rooting in water that you can even add a pothos clipping to your container when propagating other plants in water to speed the process up.

Neutral Fall Finds from the Christmas Tree Shops with pothos plant hanging from corner hutch in farmhouse kitchen

When Should I Repot my Pothos?

A good rule of thumb is to wait until your pothos roots are roughly 4 inches long. But the roots can be longer if you choose.

Why Aren’t My Pothos Cuttings Rooting in Water?

If you’re running into issues propagating pothos in water, there are a few likely culprits.

  • Incorrectly cut clipping: Check to ensure that you included a root node on each of your pothos clippings. This is vital for root development.
  • Light exposure: Make sure your clippings are getting adequate lighting when propagating.
  • Water quality: If you’re not changing out the water every few days or letting the water get dirty, this could also impact your pothos’ ability to root.
christmas sunroom view with cozy armchair, plaid blanket, and houseplants

More Easy Care Houseplants that Propagate Easily in Water

Here’s a great list of some easy-care houseplants to propagate in water. I’ve propagated several of these with great success.

Not sure if a particular plant will root in water easily? Try it anyway! What do you have to lose?

Half the fun of gardening is experimenting with different plants. Next on my propagating list is this swiss cheese plant!

Swiss cheese plant (monstera adanosii)with vintage pottery and jugs in window -Easy Care Houseplants to Propagate in Water

More About Propagating Pothos in Water

Have you ever propagated pothos in water before? If not, will you try it now? I would love to know more in the comments below.

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Garden Supplies I Use

Since I’ve been gardening for well over twenty-five years, I’m often asked about the garden supplies and tools that I use most. Here are some of my favorites that I use in no particular order.

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Want to learn more about me? I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.

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  1. This is so good to know! I always wondered where to cut it properly. Even me, the plant killer, could probably do this!

    1. You can totally do this! And if you don’t have pothos, try growing it because it’s really forgiving. But if you are starting from scratch, try snake plant. They are tough as nails and THE EASIEST to grow! xoxo

    1. You will love indoor gardening Kim! It’s a great filler for the time we can’t be out in the gardens! xoxo

  2. I’m crushing on that Swiss Cheese plant!!! (as I chant to myself “I do not need any more plants…I do not need any more plants”). I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to put all my plants now so I can decorate for Christmas. Last year I kept bringing them into one of my son’s rooms and kept getting the eye roll!!!!

    1. Aren’t they so pretty? That’s next on my list to propagate. And I have the same problem – I’m doing the houseplant shuffle right now! lol

  3. My plants are not full like yours. If I progate, am I able to place this in my current pot to fill it?

    1. I would start them in a different container with fresh potting soil. If the one you currently have does not have a pest or disease problem, then you can pot them up in the same container later. But I’d give the newbies time to grow and develop on their own for a while first.

  4. Hi Stacy, It’s a marvelous blog. I also love gardening and Pothos are my favorite and are one of the easiest houseplants to grow and care for. I got many more ideas propagating pothos. Keep sharing!

    1. Thanks you SO much Jane! I really appreciate your kinds words. Pothos are the BEST! And I’m potting up my newbies today! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. xoxo

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