Pothos Propagation: How To Prune & Propagate Pothos

2 Materials
2 Weeks

Pothos are popular hanging houseplants. This outlines Pothos propagation – pruning, propagating, cuttings care and good things to know.

Pothos are easy-care, easy to find hanging indoor plants which come in a variety of leaf colors, patterns, and sizes. If you’re a beginning gardener, they’re one of the old standbys to start with.

The method I use on the regular when propagating Pothos is via stem cuttings in water.

Spring, summer, and early fall are the best times to prune a Pothos for propagation. If for some reason you have to propagate in winter (like a trail snaps off) no worries, just stick it in water or a light mix. 

A sampling of materials you’ll need.

1) Gather Materials

Not much is needed for this project. You’ll want a  Clean And Sharp Pruning Tool. I prefer to use my  floral snips because they make clean, precise cuts. You can also use pruners or a good pair of scissors.

I propagate my cuttings in water so I use a jar here. Whatever vessel suits your fancy is fine but I prefer mine to be clear. That way, I can see how the rooting action is going. 

The small trowel is pictured because I use it to plant the rooted cuttings back in the mother plants.

I’m pointing at a brown root node.

2) Cut The Pothos

I cut the stem straight across about 1/8″ below a root node.

My Golden Pothos sits on top of a bookcase and 2 of the trails were hitting the floor. I made the cuts about 2-3″ above where I wanted them because a new stem will appear out of a node above the cut. That new stem will eventually trail down so this gives me 2 years or so before I have to prune those 2 stems again. 

I’ve taken both longer cuttings and shorter cuttings. Both have rooted fine. The longest has been around 24″. I like to take cuttings between 6 – 12″ because they’re easier to transplant once rooted (because my preferred method is propagation in water).

I’ve found that the longer cuttings can get a bit leggy during the process but they do root well.

3) Place The Cuttings In Water

Make sure the bottom node (or 2) is submerged in water at all times. If the cutting is shorter, I submerge 1 bottom node. If longer, then the 2 bottom nodes.

Keep the jar in a bright spot. My cuttings are currently rooting on a ledge in a north-facing kitchen window which gets plenty of natural light (I live in the desert in Tucson, AZ where there’s lots of sunlight).

If they’re in too much direct sun, they’ll burn. If the light is too low, the foliage will become stunted and the cuttings will be weaker.

Change the water every 7-14 days to keep it fresh and clean. Be sure to maintain the water level so those emerging roots don’t have a chance to dry out.

This is how the roots look after 2-3 months in water.

Pothos cuttings are tough. In all reality, you can plant them a couple of weeks after those roots start to emerge.

I like to wait about 2 months after they start to poke out. This way they’re a bit better formed and I plant them at this time.

4) Plant The Cuttings

You can put start a new plant or put them back in the mother plant.

I already have 4 Pothos which is plenty for me. I planted mine back in the mother plants (to fill in bare spots at the top) which you’ll see in the video below.

Pothos propagation is practically foolproof so give it a go. The cuttings just keep on coming!

Happy gardening,


Resources for this project:

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Joy Us garden

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • JackieGirl
    on Apr 19, 2021

    Thank you for this. Can you tell us how to propagate Christmas cactus?

  • Jane Moreno
    Jane Moreno
    7 days ago

    I pruned my pothos and put the cuttings in water for 2-3 months. They grew lovely roots. About 2 weeks ago I planted the cuttings in potting soil and now the leaves are turning brown and falling off. What did I do wrong? Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Joy Us garden
      Joy Us garden
      7 days ago

      Hi Jane - It sounds like they're going through transplant shock after growing in water for a few months. My cuttings which I transplanted back in the mother plant 3 or 4 weeks ago are just perking up. They like a bit more water when settling in. Nell

Join the conversation

4 of 16 comments
  • Fran
    on Apr 17, 2021

    pant to get too much sun. So I am starting over. It’s fun and easy I tried this before seeing your article and it worked until I allowed the

  • Barbara
    on Apr 18, 2021

    Thank you so much! I’ll check this out! 😁

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