How to Propagate Pothos Plants Into New Plants

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Propagating Pothos
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Amanda Feltz

Propagating Pothos Three Different Ways!

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Are you a plant parent? Did you know that your houseplants can be parents, too? Today, we’re going to talk about propagating pothos—making new plants from an existing one. Pothos is a gorgeous, low-maintenance, vining houseplant that drapes gracefully from shelves and hanging baskets. It’s the ideal giveaway plant, too!

Pothos doesn’t demand perfection—it can handle low light (though it does fine in bright, indirect light as well) and tolerate a bit of neglect, so it’s okay if you stick it on an office shelf and forget to water it every now and again. See? Perfect gift plant!

One word of caution: Pothos contains a skin irritant called calcium oxalate, so be sure to wear gloves when taking cuttings or dividing your plant.

Now, without further ado, here’s information about propagating pothos.

Pothos houseplant propagating in small plants. Credit: Green Thumb Shots

When to Propagate Pothos

Just like most outdoor garden plants, houseplants claim the warmer months (think spring into summer) as their growing season. Since you aim to grow more plants, this is the best time to propagate pothos.

How Long it Takes to Propagate Pothos

The length of time between starting to propagate pothos and being able to confidently hand one of the plant babies over to a friend depends on the propagation method you choose (see below for more on that). 

If you’re starting from a cutting, it usually takes 3 to 6 weeks for roots to grow and your new plant to become established. If you’re dividing an existing pothos, though, it will be ready for a giveaway soon after you pot up the sections.

Learn more about how to propagate plants from cuttings

  1. How to Propagate Pothos in Water

Perhaps the easiest way to propagate pothos is to take a cutting and allow the roots to grow in water before transplanting into soil. Here’s how.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Glass container with fresh water
  • Clean snips or shears
  • Small pot with drainage holes
  • Potting mix

The steps:

  1. Put your gloves on!
  2. Choose a healthy, actively growing vine on your “mother” pothos plant. Using your snips or shears, cut a 4 to 6-inch stem just below a root node, which is where a leaf meets the stem and from where the new roots will grow. Your cutting should contain at least two nodes. 
  3. Place the cut end in a glass of water, removing any leaves that are below the water line.
  4. Completely replace the water every week while the roots are growing. 
  5. Once the cutting has grown roots that are at least 2 inches long, it’s time to transfer your new plantling to a small pot. Choose one that’s just a little wider than the root span.
  6. Remove the plant and rinse the roots with fresh water.
Propagating pothos plant from leaf cutting in water. Credit: Angie Yeoh

2. How to Propagate Pothos in Soil

You can also skip the water and put your cutting right into the soil, though this method requires a little more attention than using water.

Materials you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Clean snips or shears
  • Rooting hormone
  • Small pot with drainage holes
  • Potting mix
  • Chopstick or other small stake
  • String or garden twine

The steps:

  1. Protect your hands with gloves.
  2. Pick a robust, growing vine on the mother plant and trim off a 4 to 6-inch stem. Make the cut just below a root node, and make sure the cutting contains at least two nodes. Remove any leaves from the part of the stem that will be in the soil.
  3. Dip the cut end in water, then in rooting hormone.
  4. Fill a small pot with potting mix, stopping at an inch below the rim. Gently push the cut end of the stem into the soil.
  5. If needed for stability, put a chopstick into the soil next to the baby plant and gently tie a bit of string around both.
  6. Water the new planting and plan to keep the soil moist (but not soggy) while it takes root.
  7. Once the roots grow and can anchor the stem, you can treat it like you would a mature plant.

3. How to Propagate Pothos through Division

If your pothos is large with many vines, you also have the option of simply dividing the plant into multiple smaller plants. This is an especially good choice if the plant is outgrowing its pot. The process may be a bit messy, but it’s worth it!

Materials you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Pots with drainage holes
  • Potting mix
  • Clean knife
  • Newspaper

The steps:

  1. Spread out newspaper on a table or the floor to make clean-up easier.
  2. Got your gloves? You know what to do.
  3. Loosen the plant by running a knife around the inside of the pot, then gently pull the plant out of the pot and shake the excess potting mix from the roots. 
  4. Patiently untangle the vines, then use your thumbs to explore the root ball, looking for a natural gap you can pull apart. Do so by being careful not to break any roots if you can avoid it.
  5. Repeat if desired, and your mother plant is large enough, ensuring each new section has at least 2 or 3 vines
  6. Put potting mix in a pot, add the plant, and fill in more soil, stopping an inch below the rim. Repeat for as many plants as you have.
  7. Water thoroughly.

And that’s all there is to it! If you’re looking for simple, excellent care tips for your new (and old) pothos plants, be sure to check out our How to Care for Pothos Plants article.

About The Author

Su Reid-St. John

Su, a master gardener, spent many years editing and writing garden content for Bonnie Plants and Miracle-Gro. Read More from Su Reid-St. John

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