Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) are some of the most popular houseplants around, and for good reason! With their trailing vines and easygoing nature, pothos will make any space feel more lush. Even better, they’re super simple to propagate! By taking trimmings from a mature pothos plant and rooting them in water or soil, you can easily multiply your plants. It essentially allows you to turn one pothos into two, three, or more new little ones with minimal effort.
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In this post, How to Plant Pothos Cuttings: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to propagate pothos cuttings successfully, from supplies you’ll need to troubleshooting any issues that crop up along the way. I’ll also cover how to plant your newly propagated pothos to ensure healthy thriving plants. You’ll be a houseplant multiplying machine in no time! By the end, you’ll have an unlimited supply of new pothos plants to spread all across your home, share with friends, or keep for yourself.
About Propagating Plants
Did you know that humans have been propagating plants for thousands of years! Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depict propagation activities using cuttings back in 1250 BCE. Plant propagation allows us to multiply plants from just stem and leaf cuttings thanks to specialized botanic cells that can regenerate into whole new plants. We’ve gotten very skilled at cloning all kinds of botanicals this way for endless supplies. Some plants that propagate fabulously from cuttings include pothos, philodendrons, succulents, herbs, African violets, roses, and carnivorous plants. Pothos (also known as Devil’s Ivy) remains one of the easiest plants for beginner gardeners to grow via cuttings – which makes them so fun and rewarding! The entire process taps into plants’ natural abilities to replicate and regenerate. With just a snip, stem, and patience you’ll start producing baby clone plants on your windowsill – how cool is that!
Why You Should Propagate Pothos
There are a few fantastic reasons why you should try propagating your pothos:
- Fuller, Bushier Parent Plant
When you regularly prune and propagate a pothos, it motivates that main mama plant to push out new growth closer to the base and crown instead of just sending out longer vines. More branches and leaves near the soil means a lusher, fuller-looking plant. It goes from scraggly to fabulous with just some simple snipping for propagation here and there!
- Unlimited Supply of New Plants
These ivy-like vines can keep on growing and multiplying seemingly forever. A single pothos plant could produce hundreds of cuttings over time if you wanted! Taking propagation cuttings ensures you’ll have baby pothos for yourself as well as plenty to give out as gifts or use elsewhere in your home. It’s an unlimited supply!
- Fun and Easy Propagation
Compared to propagating trickier plants, pothos is an absolute breeze. In fact, it’s one of the best plants for beginner gardeners to try their hand at plant parenting through cuttings. You’ll start to see little root nubs emerging within weeks! And who doesn’t love seeing sweet baby plants growing from just a cutting? It’s incredibly rewarding. Propagating pothos is cheap, fun, and super simple.
Before You Begin
Getting your propagation station set up takes just a few supplies. Clean pruning shears, a sharp knife or scissors are key for snipping cuttings. Have jars, cups, or even a dedicated propagation station like this decorative glass one ready to hold cuttings. Quality potting mix, small starter pots, and plastic bags to create mini greenhouses round out materials. Rooting hormone powder can give an added boost.
Beyond the gear, consider setting up a bright propagation area for your cuttings whether on a windowsill or under a grow light. Maintaining optimal warmth and light keeps cuttings in root growth mode.
The best time to propagate is during spring through summer when natural light levels are higher to activate development. But supplementing light and warmth means you can propagate pothos successfully year-round! Just mimic ideal conditions for your cuttings indoors.
Step-By-Step Guide For Propagating
Propagating pothos is super easy once you know what you’re doing. Follow along below as I walk you through exactly how to do it from start to finish!
First up, you need to select which vines you’ll snip for propagation. Look for healthy long vines and cut 6-8 inches below the final leaf. Aim your pruners at a 45-degree angle for a clean cut rather than blunt chopping. Cut just under the root nodes (the little brown bump below the leaf or branch junctures). Go for vines with 3+ leaves to maximize your odds of rooting success.
How large and how many root cuttings you take is up to you! Just don’t overdo it and leave your mama plant with barely any vines left.
My favorite prop method is water! Pop your cuttings into a jar, cup, or vase filled with room temp fresh water. Change out the water every 2-3 days since the cuttings absorb oxygen from it. Making sure the water stays fresh prevents bacteria buildup.
In a couple of weeks, you should notice little white bumps forming from the nodes on the cut stem – baby roots! Once the roots reach 2-3 inches you can transfer to soil.
You can also skip water and stick cuttings directly into starter pots with potting mix. Pat the soil gently around the stems. Slip the whole pot into a plastic bag or under a glass cloche to create a greenhouse environment.
Remove the bag once roots form, in 1-2 weeks. The new humidity helps kickstart growth!
How to Plant Pothos Cuttings
As your pothos cuttings mature and develop strong roots, it’s time to guide them into the next stage of their journey—potting them into their permanent homes. Whether you initiated the propagation in water or soil, this crucial step ensures their transition to a more stable environment, providing the foundation for continued growth and vitality. In this section, we’ll delve into the specifics of potting your rooted cuttings, exploring the ideal pots, the best soil, and the step-by-step process for a successful planting experience. Let’s transform those flourishing cuttings into thriving, independent pothos plants.
The best pot for pothos cuttings is typically a small, well-draining container. Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, as pothos prefers slightly moist soil. Opt for a pot that allows the roots to spread but is not excessively large, promoting a snug environment for the cutting to establish roots. Consider materials like plastic or terra cotta, ensuring they provide stability and won’t tip over. Overall, prioritize a balance between size, drainage, and stability to foster healthy growth for your pothos cuttings.
The Right Soil
Use a lightweight, airy fresh potting soil mix to ensure proper drainage and aeration.
The ideal soil for thriving pothos cuttings in my detailed blog post. Explore the perfect blend of potting mix and additives, ensuring optimal drainage and nutrient availability. For an in-depth guide, check out my blog’s insights on creating the best soil environment for healthy and vibrant pothos plants.
How to Plant
To plant your pothos cuttings, create a hole in the soil with your finger or a stick. Once the hole is ready, carefully insert the cutting into it, making sure the node—the point where leaves attach to the stem—is properly buried in the soil. This simple process sets the stage for successful rooting and the growth of a new, thriving pothos plant.
Watering Your New Pothos Cuttings
Water well initially to prevent transplant shock then let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. The babies will take some time adjusting to soil so go easy while the new root system is established.
And voila! Follow those steps closely while your cuttings root and soon you’ll have tons more pothos plants! It’s so cool watching the process unfold.
Tip: Plant 2-3 cuttings or propagated plants in one pot for a faster, fuller plant.
Caring for New Plants
Your newly propagated pothos will take some time to adjust to life in the soil. Keep the soil moist but not soaked as they develop roots and anchor in. Water whenever the top few inches feel dry for more information visit my How Often Should I Water a Pothos Plant? post. Bright, indirect light is best – these trailing vines don’t love direct sun scorch.
Once the babies have a few leaf pairs, shift them into slightly bigger starter pots. Then onto larger homes as they keep maturing! Visit my Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Pothos Plants Guide for instructions on properly nourishing your pothos plants and ensuring their robust growth.
Tips and Tricks
Tips and tricks to prop like a pro, first remember patience and care is key! Not all cuttings root so don’t fret if a few don’t make it. Maintain warm ambient temps around 70°F and keep away from hot beating sun which can scorch tender new growth.
Consider using a rooting hormone powder or gel (like RootBoost) before planting cuttings. The hormones help speed up the propagation process by boosting root development. Just dip the stem and the root node into the powder before placing it into soil or water. It triggers quicker cell growth for faster roots! Follow the product instructions for the exact dosage.
Mist your cuttings and keep the soil or water fresh. If they start looking wonky, step up how often you change the water or amend the soil. Oh and don’t freak out if early leaves yellow and drop – the plant is using up stored energy to focus on rooting in their new environment.
Common Reasons Your Pothos Cuttings Fail to Root
If your pothos cuttings are struggling to root, diagnose the issue using this at-a-glance table explaining the 7 most common causes of propagation failure, and actionable solutions.
|Cause of Issue
|Stem cuttings have no nodes submerged
|Pothos roots grow from nodes where leaves emerge. A node must be under water/soil for roots to form.
|Water not changed frequently enough
|Roots need oxygen. Stagnant water becomes depleted of oxygen, suffocating and rotting cuttings.
|Propagation area too dark
|Pothos require bright, indirect light for photosynthesis to fuel growth of new roots.
|Cutting taken from weak/damaged vine
|For best success, source cuttings from vigorously growing, healthy mother plant.
|Ambient temperature too cold
|Pothos prefer warm environments with high humidity for rapid propagation success.
|Delayed transition to soil
|Water roots are delicate. Transplant to soil within months to avoid damaging shock.
|Rooting pothos cuttings takes 2- 4+ weeks minimum. Allow a month before assuming failure.
Frequently Asked Questions About Propagating Pothos
To get more plants! Propagating lets you multiply one pothos into many bushy new potted plants.
You’ll see roots emerging in 2-4 weeks typically.
You sure can! Both water and potting mix work to root cuttings.
It’s quite normal for a few cuttings to fail, just discard them. Troubleshoot by ensuring you take healthy vines and change water/mist soil consistently. The key is patience as new cuttings propagate pretty readily. Follow the steps and in no time you’ll have babies aplenty!
Propagating pothos plants couldn’t be much simpler! Just snip off some long, healthy vines, prep them correctly, and pop in either water or potting mix. Maintain warm temps and bright indirect light as your cuttings work on growing roots over the next few weeks. Before you know it, you’ll have adorable baby healthy pothos ready for potting up and trailing around your home.
It’s a super fun, rewarding, and easy way to multiply your plants. And I hope the steps I’ve outlined here convince you to give propagation a try yourself. Grab some scissors and a jar – let’s get propagating people! Your existing pothos will love the pruning, and you’ll just love showing off the fruits of your plant parent labor in no time.
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