How Long Can Pothos Live in Water?

Pothos living in water

Pothos is a wildly popular houseplant. Its popularity is due to its low maintenance schedule and ease of propagation. Once you have one healthy Pothos, you can create 10 more if you please. Pothos can be grown in soil, or it can live forever in water.

Do Pothos Need Soil?

Like most plants, Pothos don’t necessarily need soil to survive. Plants require nutrients that are naturally occurring in soil, as well as water.

Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in water. The water the plants grow in is inoculated with the nutrients that each plant needs to thrive.

Can I Grow Pothos in Water?

Yes. Pothos can easily grow in water. However, once a Pothos is used to growing in soil, it can be difficult to transition it to a soilless medium like water.

How Do I Grow Pothos in Water?

The easiest way to grow Pothos in water is to take a cutting from a healthy plant. This cutting should contain leaves and nodes. Cut from the farthest reaching tendril of the plant.

Your cutting should contain at least one leaf and three nodes. Nodes are the little bumps along a plant stem where leaves emerge from. About a half of an inch below the third leaf, make your cut with a scalpel or a clean pair of scissors. Your cut should be diagonal. A diagonal cut prevents the stem from suctioning itself to the bottom of your vessel and depriving itself of water.

Above your cut, remove the leaf closest to where you’ve made your cut. You can remove the leaf by plucking it off or making a clean cut at the base of the stem, leaving the node unharmed.

Then, place your section of Pothos in water. Make sure your freshly cut areas are submerged in water. This will promote growth at the node where you’ve removed the leaf. If there are any air roots branching off the rest of the stem, you’ll want to submerge those in water as well. Otherwise, the roots will dry out and be unsuitable for growing.

How Long Does It Take for Pothos to Root in Water?

You will notice new roots emerging from the plant’s nodes in as little as seven days, but it can take up to two weeks for sufficient roots to form.

Can I Take the Pothos Out of the Water?

Only take the Pothos out of water if you’re planning on planting the rooted cutting in soil. Otherwise, leave it be. Without water or soil, your Pothos will quickly die.

If you’re using water as a means to propagate Pothos for planting, you can plant the cutting once roots have formed. To plant the cutting, simply submerge the roots in soil and tamp the surface of the soil down around the plant. Water the newly planted cutting thoroughly. In no time, the roots will latch onto the soil and begin growing a brand new Pothos plant.

pothos out of it's pot

What Happens If I Leave the Pothos in Water?

If the Pothos is left to live in water, it will continue growing. Roots will continue growing outward from the plant, and the vine will continue to stretch out and grow new leaves.

A Pothos can grow in water indefinitely if properly cared for.

How Do I Care for a Pothos Growing in Water?

Taking soil out of the equation doesn’t change the light needs of your Pothos. All Pothos like bright, indirect light. They can withstand low light, but they will grow much more slowly if not given enough sunlight to perform photosynthesis.

Since your waterborne Pothos doesn’t have soil to derive nutrients from, you’ll have to do all the feeding. Pothos grown in water should be fertilized every four to six weeks. Add a few drops of liquid fertilizer to your Pothos’ water. Using liquid fertilizer over crystallized fertilizer makes the nutrients more bioavailable to your plants.

Avoid overfertilizing. It may sound tempting to give your plants an extra dose of fertilizer to increase their growth and production, but it can be really harmful to plants.

Freshen up your Pothos’ water every other week as well. The oxygen in your plant’s water is depleted from the plant drawing it up as well as from evaporation. Leaving water in your vessel for too long could also cause mold and other fungi to grow in the water. These pathogens can quickly kill your plant.

Can Algae Grow in the Container?

Yes. Algae can form in any aquatic environment as long as it has light and nutrients. You do not want algae to grow in your Pothos’ vessel because algae is also a plant, and it will take up all the nutrients in the water that your Pothos needs. Algae can also grow on the plant’s roots, suffocating your plant and killing it.

To prevent algae from growing in your container, choose an opaque container. This could be a dark brown glass bottle, or something that does not allow any light in. Only the leaves of a Pothos need light, not the roots. Keeping your Pothos’ water fresh can also prevent algae growth. If you notice algae forming in the container, immediately remove the plant from the water and dump the water out. You will need to sanitize the container with hydrogen peroxide or bleach before using it again.

If you really want to grow your Pothos in a clear glass jar, avoid overfertilizing the Pothos. If too many nutrients are present in the water, it will fuel algae growth.

Do Pothos Grow Faster in Water or Soil?

Pothos grow quicker in soil than in water. The pace of their growth is largely dependent on the nutrients available to them. In soil, nutrients are not only present from the start, but soil can absorb and convert gases from the atmosphere and turn them into micronutrients for the plant. This is how plants in nature grow without any human intervention.

This fast-paced growth can become unmanageable for some people, which is why Pothos are often grown in water. The plant grows slower, and you don’t have to worry about who will water your plant while you’re on vacation!

With proper care and maintenance, Pothos can live in water indefinitely.