Are you a new Pothos Plant parent looking for some guidance on how to care for your new green baby? If so, first – congratulations! Second, read on because in this post, how often should I water a pothos plant, I will share proper care for your new green family member along with tips on how much and how often you should water. We will also go over ideal lighting, tips for pruning, how to propagate and whether you need to fertilize your plant – and so much more!

Golden pothos sitting on our vintage mantel turned shelf.

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Pothos Watering Quick Tips

  • Plastic pots need less frequent watering than terracotta pots
  • Water pothos plants more frequently in summer, less in winter
  • Droopy or wrinkled leaves indicate the plant is thirsty
  • Water until it drains freely from the bottom drainage holes
  • Underwatering causes brown crispy leaf edges
  • Overwatering causes dark brown soft spots on leaves
  • Allow soil to partly dry out between waterings
  • For plastic pots without drainage holeswater only when top 2 inches of soil are dry
  • Create a watering routine but remain flexible based on plant signals
  • Humidity impacts frequency – less needed in high humidity
  • Self-watering planters work well but don’t allow soil to stay soggy
A green pothos plant in a white ceramic pot on a white table.

Pothos Plant Basics at a Glance

Briefly, the Pothos (scientifically Epipremnum aureum), pronounced “pow·thows”, earns its reputation as a low-maintenance houseplant. Also called Devil’s Ivy, Pothos are easy-care evergreen perennials in the arum family. There are several varieties including golden pothos, neon, and marble queen with variegated foliage.

Pothos have cascading stems and glossy leaves that adapt well to various light conditions. At their full potential, they can extend 10 feet with 4-8 inch leaves. Pothos also have air-purifying abilities1 that filter toxins like formaldehyde.

Now let’s explore the key question – how often should you water this adaptable plant?

An above shot of a heavily variegated marble queen pothos plant.

How to Water a Pothos Plant

Now for the question at hand – how to water a Pothos Plant. It’s important to keep in mind that each home has its own unique environmental factors including humidity level, amount of sunlight, temperature, etc. Also, each plant pot is different as well, some with drainage holes some without, some are made of terracotta and some Pothos plants come in a plastic hanging basket. The point is with all this variability it’s challenging to pinpoint exactly when and how much water your pothos will need.

Having said that there are some guidelines that can be applied while you and your Pothos get to know one another and begin to cohabitate! With a few pointers, there’s no doubt in just a short period of time you and your new plant will be able to set a watering schedule.

As a starting point, aim to water pothos every 1-2 weeks when the top few inches of soil become dry. Allow more time between waterings for plastic pots as they retain moisture longer than terracotta pots which are more porous. Be sure pots have drainage holes to allow excess water to drain fully. For pots without drainage, water less frequently, only when the top 2 inches of soil become dry. In low humidity environments, below 40%, pothos may require slightly more frequent watering. Below is a chart to help you with your Pothos watering schedule.

Watering a large golden pothos with a watering can.
Pot TypeEnvironmentSeasonRecommended
PlasticHumidWinterEvery 2-3 weeks
PlasticHumidSummerEvery 2-3 weeks
PlasticDryWinterEvery 2 weeks
PlasticDrySummer1 – 2 times per week
TerracottaHumidWinterEvery 1-2 weeks
TerracottaHumidSummerEvery 1-2 weeks
TerracottaDryWinterEvery 1-2 weeks
TerracottaDrySummer1 – 2 times per week


  • Frequency is a general guideline, water based on soil dryness
  • Smaller pots may need more frequent watering
  • Allow soil to partly dry out between waterings
  • Reduce frequency in winter months
  • Increase frequency in hot, dry environments
  • Pothos is better kept too dry than too wet 2
Watering a Golden Pothos in my kitchen sink.

Plan on watering your plant with cool tap water every 1-2 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions for How Often Should I Water a Pothos Plant?

How often should I water my pothos plant?

Pothos plants prefer to dry out between waterings. A good general guideline is to water a pothos plant once every 1-2 weeks. Allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out before watering again.

Where can I place my Pothos to make sure it has the right amount of lighting?

Pothos are rockstars when it comes to adapting to the amount of light they have access to. They prefer bright but indirect sunlight but will adapt to low light conditions. Golden and variegated varieties may revert to green in very low light conditions. Jade pothos are the best option for low light situations. Direct sunlight will burn leaves quickly so avoid long exposure to direct light. A south facing window is best!

What to look for when buying a Pothos Plant?

Look for a healthy plant with bright, shiny, perky leaves. Avoid plants with leaves that have brown edges or are yellow. New growth is a sign of a healthy plant.

Does Pothos need fertilizing?

Fertilizing is not required however a liquid fertilizer may give your Pothos a boost. Additionally, Pothos like coffee so you may consider making a coffee grounds “tea” or add used coffee grounds to the potting soil. For more Homemade fertilizer options please visit my Indoor Plant Fertilizers You Can Make at Home (Feed Your Plants the Natural Way) post.

Is it okay if I occasionally forget to water my pothos?

Occasionally forgetting to water is fine as long as the plant doesn’t completely dry out. The leaves may droop to indicate it needs water. Bounce back occurs in a day or two after watering.

How do I fix an overwatered pothos?

If overwatered, take the plant out of the wet soil. Inspect roots and trim any rotted ones. Repot in fresh, dry soil and do not water for 1-2 weeks to allow it to recover.

Can I let my pothos dry out completely between waterings?

It’s best not to let it completely dry out. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry before re-watering. Completely dried soil can be very difficult to rehydrate.

Using a Self-Watering System for Your Pothos

Let’s give your pothos some independence with a self-watering planter! I’m a huge fan of these systems, as they take a lot of the burden off us plant parents. Pothos will thrive in self-watering planters that use wicks to draw water up from a hidden reservoir to the soil, so the roots can absorb exactly what they need.

This helps avoid issues like root rot from overwatering. The roots take moisture as required through the wicking action, while allowing the soil to have a drying period before the reservoir is refilled. So the plant self-regulates, maintaining a constant but moderate moisture level. Self-watering containers help conserve water and nutrients and make it possible to ignore your containers for a few days3. It’s satisfying to see pothos get the water they need on their own terms. Give your pothos some autonomy with this low-maintenance system!

A self-watering planter can help Pothos avoid root rot which happens from over-watering.

Beautiful hutch with pothos plants sitting in ceramic bowl.
This fabulous Hutch is from Tina @To_Mimishousewego

Pothos Plant Maintenance

Congratulations! You’re a successful Pothos Plant parent! Your baby is thriving, you have your watering routine down and are now on a set schedule and your plant has decided it likes its new home. You did it! With proper care your plant now has new leaves, new growth, a solid root system and pothos vines are sprawling everywhere. Below are some helpful maintenance tips to make sure your green baby will continue to thrive! With all that work with air toxin removal she deserves the best care!

Propagating: If there was ever a plant that was made for propagating, Pothos is it and boy is it fun! Propagating is the process of creating new plants from the mother plant. Did you know that you can actually propagate Pothos in either soil or water. Pretty cool! Pothos plants regrow new roots from their nodes, tiny brown bumps that grow on their stems. Leaving 1-3 leaves cut the stem at a 45-degree angle so that your cutting contains at least one of those nodes. Place the snipped stem including the node in a glass jar in fresh tap water. In 10-14 days you should see new roots begin to grow. After new roots have grown you can transfer them into a pot with soil.

Pothos stems in a glass jar with water.
  • Repotting: As your Pothos continues to grow it may become pot bound. This is when the plant’s root system has outgrown the pot it has been growing in. When a pot bound plant is lifted out of the pot you will see a large number of roots and often less soil than is required to provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to thrive. It is best to re-pot the plant in a new pot that is one size up. Be sure to use a good potting mix with organic matter and consider adding some used coffee grounds for an extra boost.
  • Pruning: Sometimes as the Pothos vines grow they can become “leggy” meaning the vines get long and the foliage on the strands becomes sparse. The vines may also be hanging too low for your space covering up items you want to see…Um hello, I can’t see the TV! Don’t be afraid to take scissors or pruning shears and prune the vines back. Once cut you can either toss the “straggely” legs out or consider propagating them!
A very long pothos vine hanging.

Pothos Troubleshooting: A Helpful Chart

Uh oh, is your pothos not looking so hot lately? Don’t stress, plant friend! Many common pothos problems can be easily remedied. I’ve put together this handy troubleshooting chart to diagnose what may be going on with your plant so you can get your pothos perky again.

Simply match up your pothos’ symptoms to the chart below to determine the potential culprit. Then you’ll find easy tips to fix the issue! Between the possible reasons and solutions, hopefully you’ll get to the root of what your plant needs to get back in tip-top shape. Take a look and breathe easy – solving pothos problems is totally doable!

Pothos Troubleshooting

ProblemPotential CauseSolution
Black SpotsOverwatering, Root Rot, Cold DraftsWater less, Move plant
Yellow LeavesUnderwatering, Overwatering, Drainage Issues, Low LightAdjust watering, Improve drainage, Add light
Brown Leaf EdgesUnderwatering, Overwatering, Too Much SunAdjust watering, Filter light
Droopy LeavesUnderwateringWater plant
Dull ColorLow LightMove to brighter spot
The leaves of A beautiful marble queen pothos. This is a variegated variety that needs good sunlight.
Variegated leaves of a Marble Queen Pothos

And there you have it folks, everything you needed to know about watering your new Pothos baby! Caring for plants can seem tricky at first but have no fear, with a little time and attention you’ll get to know your pothos needs and personality. Before long you will have your watering schedule down pat!

The key is to stick to a routine but remain flexible. Observe your plant’s signals, feel out the soil, and adjust as needed on season and conditions. Pothos are adaptable plants so even if you make a mistake here and there, they tend to bounce back well.

For more Pothos Plant care tips visit:

The arm of a black bench in front of a large pothos plant that hangs to the ground.

The Ultimate Guide to Fertilizing Your Pothos Plants: Tips and a Homemade Recipe : This post is a guide to fertilizing Pothos plants for indoor and outdoor gardeners. It provides tips on choosing the right fertilizer for Pothos plants and outlines the benefits of fertilization for healthy growth and vibrant foliage. The post also includes a homemade fertilizer recipe for Pothos plants.

A side view of a pothos plant on a shelf with plate and dishes in the background.

The Ultimate Pothos Soil Mix Recipe : This post explains the importance of providing the right kind of soil for Pothos plants, which should be well-draining, rich in organic matter, and have good moisture retention. The post also discusses the pH levels required for Pothos plants to thrive, the benefits of making your own soil mix, and the key requirements for a perfect Pothos soil mix.

For more indoor plant ideas be sure to visit:

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on watering Pothos plants. Do you have any tips or tricks that have worked well for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Your insights and experiences could help other plant lovers care for their Pothos plants with greater success!

I hope you find the post, ‘How Often Should I Water a Pothos Plant? – Made Simple’ helpful! You got this!!

Thanks for visiting the blog today, you know I love it when you do!

This is my signature. A drawing of me holding a coffee cup that says Create.


  1. Purification characteristics of pothos for airborne chemicals in growing conditions and its evaluation Publication Date: January 2008 Journal: Atmospheric Environment Volume: 42 Issue: 3 Pages: 594-602 DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.10.028 Retrieved: April 2, 2023 From: ↩︎
  2. Pothos as a houseplant. (n.d.). ↩︎
  3. Self-Watering containers. (n.d.). University of Maryland Extension. ↩︎

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