Pothos, the name given to evergreen climbers in the Epipremnum genus, is one of the most popular climbers to grow indoors.
Also known as ‘devil’s ivy’ it is often grown in pots or other containers inside our homes. If you already grow this plant then you may wish to expand your houseplant collection and propagate an existing Pothos plant to get new plants for your home.
Propagation Methods for Pothos
Pothos is a plant that can easily be propagated by home growers in a couple of different ways. The first and most usual way to propagate these plants is from cuttings. Cuttings can be placed in water or in potting mix to root.
In certain circumstances, though it will of course be more difficult when growing indoors, you can use layering too.
In spring or summer, you can bend an existing shoot tip down and keep it pegged in contact with soil (or the growing medium in a pot), and the section of the stem below the soil or growing medium should take root.
You can also keep a moist medium in contact with a node in a process known as air layering.
When To Propagate Pothos
Pothos is best propagated from cuttings or by layering in the spring or summer months, since the plants will be in active growth at this time and should be growing strong.
While propagation may also be successful during the colder part of the year, in fall or winter, the parent plant will have a harder time recovering, and rooting, even when you are successful, will tend to take much longer.
What You Need To Propagate Pothos
To propagate Pothos you will of course need an existing, healthy Pothos plant.
Additionally. When propagating Pothos from cuttings, you will need:
- Pruning shears, secateurs, or gardening scissors to take your cuttings.
- Rooting hormone – optional but useful, and you can if you wish make your own natural and organic solution.
- A container or container of some kind (a vase or other vessel, pot, or other container in which to place cuttings).
- Water or free-draining potting mix to fill your container(s).
Propagating Pothos from Cuttings
Propagating Pothos from cuttings is a simple process.
- First, take your cuttings, snipping the tops/ends of healthy stem sections from a mature plant with a clean, sharp pair of shears, secateurs, or gardening scissors.
These cuttings should be long enough to have on them three or four nodes – points where the leaves or aerial roots emerge from the stem, which look like little bumps along the shoot. It is best to choose shoots with existing aerial roots where possible as these will tend to root more quickly since the aerial roots can extend into normal roots.
- Take the bottom leaves off the cuttings you have created, leaving just 1-2 leaves at the top of the cuttings.
- Next, you can if you wish dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone solution of some kind. (This can be a homemade, natural and organic rooting hormone solution, and will greatly increase the chances of rooting, especially if you take the option to root your cuttings in potting mix.)
- You will need to decide whether you will try to root your cuttings in water or in potting mix.
If rooting cuttings in water, you will next need to:
- Prepare a vase or other container filled with water. Clear glass containers are ideal because you can easily see when roots form.
- Place the cuttings so that they are in the water, with the leaves above the surface of the water but the lower nodes submerged.
- Change the water in your receptacle every week or so to prevent algal growth or other issues.
- Roots should form within 2-3 weeks or so, and when roots are 5-7cm or so long, you can if you wish move your Pothos plants to new containers in the soil.
If you decide to root Pothos cuttings in potting mix you will need to:
- Prepare a pot or other container filled with a free-draining peat-free potting mix.
- Use a dibber or a finger to make a hole in the potting mix.
- Place the stem cuttings into the hole you have made in the potting mix. Make sure that the leaves are above the soil but the lower nodes are submerged.
- Firm the growing medium around the cuttings gently to keep the cuttings in place.
- Water to keep the soil consistently moist, especially until roots form. The cuttings should root within a few weeks, but will typically take a bit longer than those rooted in water.
In either case, place the cuttings in a location that receives bright but indirect light, and keep an eye on them so that you remain on top of any problems.
Propagating Pothos By Layering
Propagating Pothos by layering is a little more challenging for beginners, perhaps, but it is a lower risk endeavor as new roots will form before a part of a plant is even removed from the parent specimen.
You can layer when growing Pothos outside or in a conservatory bed or another similar setting simply by bending a stem down to the ground and pegging a node below the ground. This allows it to root while still attached to the parent plant.
Another option is a process known as air layering. This involves wrapping moist material around a stem, holding this in place against a node or aerial root to encourage longer roots to form.
In either method, the sections can be removed from the parent as independent plants and potted up or replanted elsewhere once the roots have formed.
Propagating Pothos from cuttings is far more common. But layering is one more propagation method to consider when you want to obtain new Pothos plants for your home.