How to Grow and Maintain Pothos in Water?

How to grow and Maintain Pothos in Water? A practical guide on Dos and Don'ts
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Growing and Maintaining Money Plant in Water- A Guide on Do’s and Don’ts

Growing Pothos is one of the easiest and difficult at least it has been like that for me. I am going to share my experience in growing pothos. Pothos is the most common plant that is found on anyone’s house who wish to grow something. Like many others I got all jacked up by watching some youtube videos on growing pothos and decided to choose the easiest and most economic way- ‘Getting a cutting form someone’. Now all there is to grow some roots in water. Well that way I tried and failed for more than 5 times.

Let me walk through on what worked for me and what should you avoid. Growing Pothos in water can be tricky, but it certainly isn’t impossible. Here are my tips for growing perfect Pothos plants!

I suggest you to start experimenting on what works for you. Let us begin the Test Run:

  • So let’s start by getting a cutting form a friend or a neighbor.  
  • Make sure the cut is made just after a node. If not cut it there.
  • Then remove the last 2-3 leaves from bottom.
  • Immerse the cutting into a glass bottle with water. That is all voila!

The Catch
Pothos in a bottle

Now what is the hard part here? Being a tropical plant is very hardy and can withstand quite a bit of neglect. Also, this can grow in low light conditions too. But the catch is for rooting you have to keep it in a medium to bright light (indirect preferebly).

The Patient Part

When you follow all the criteria the plant begins to root. You will be tempted to transfer them to a pot(with soil). I know, I did. But, It doesn’t work that way.

  • Let them be in water and wait for the roots to grow longer and branch.
  • Wait till their roots become mature enough to transplant them in to soil.

I got very impatient and tried transplanting them as soon as I saw the roots emerging. Take it from a serial pothos killer it is not the way.

The Good Cuttings part

When I got my first Pothos cutting from my neighbor I was so excited that when it didn’t turn out well. I thought I will never be a good plant parent.  To prevent all this follow the tips below:

  • From my experience of rooting plants in water, I suggest you to take cuttings from a vine(or a branch) that is healthy and is not stressed. Because when you cut it and put them in water we are already introducing a huge stress on it. The Process is to drag it to an extreme conditions where it has to root in order to survive.  (I know this is a bit harsh but this is how the plant kingdom works.)
  • If you get a cutting that is already heat stressed or sustained damaged or in a bad condition chances are there that they won’t root. They sometimes root but don’t survive.
  • Also get a cut that is not too old and not too young. If this all confuses you then just make a cut that snaps easily and that is not too fibrous. This is to increase the chances of rooting.

These are some major things that are to be taken care of when you plan to grow a pothos for a first time in water. Now let us see a detailed guide on how to grow Pothos in water, how to care for it, and how to prevent problems that are common to maintaining this plant.

How to Grow Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) in Water

1. Select a glass jar, vase, or bottle.

You can use what ever glass vessel available to you. An old pickle jar, or a glass bottle anything will do. Clear ones are best to start with so that you can see the roots emerge. After that, it is better to choose a darker color vase that will block out some light and slow the growth of algae, otherwise you’ll find yourself cleaning algae quite frequently.

2. Fill the jar with clean water.

Tap water is usually fine. Plants can survive fairly well on it most of the time. However, if your tap water is chlorinated, you’ll have to let the water sit in an open container for about a day to let the chlorine evaporate before pouring the water into a jar with a new plant or watering an existing plant. I follow this method and it works like a champ.

3. Add fertilizer.

Usually this plant thrives just in water. It needs very little to no fertilizer. You can get an organic liquid fertilizer from a nearby nuersery or even can make one. Will soon update on how to make a liquid organic fertilizer. 

Add some drops of liquid fertilizer before you insert the cuttings into the water. It is preferred to add fertilizer every 4–6 weeks henceforth.

4. Add the plant.

Place your cutting in your container, making sure that the cut ends are covered with water. Wait a few weeks, and you’ll begin to see roots forming on your cuttings. In time, these roots will grow longer, and the cuttings will then be able to support new growth.

5. Change the water every 1-2 weeks.

Water loses oxygen over time, so I recommend pouring out the old water and adding in fresh water every couple of weeks. I change water every week. (Did you know that roots needs oxygen to breathe? )

6. Make sure roots are below the water line.

Some roots or sections of roots may be exposed to the air; this is beneficial. However, most of the roots should be submerged below water. This can be easy to take care of. Just look at your container and fill it to an appropriate level of water.

7. Clean algae as often as needed.

Algae forms when the water is not changed for a long time or when the jar is not washed. It’s best to use something like an old toothbrush or a cloth to scrub the algae off the glass. You can also rinse the vase out periodically. While you clean out the container, you can transfer the plant to another vase full of fresh water or even a bucket of water.


Use darker-colored containers to hinder the amount of light penetrating the sides of the container. This significantly slows the growth of algae.

How to Grow Pothos Faster

Devil’s Ivy is an invasive plant and grows really fast on its own. But, it might take a little longer indoors with only water to absorb from. If you want to speed up the growth, here are the best tips to help Pothos grow faster:

  • Give the plant plenty of bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Keep the temperature in the room on the warmer side of the ideal range, which is 21° to 32°C.
  • Give the plant fresh water every week and a few drops of fertilizer.

Problems Associated With Growing Pothos in Water

Yellow or brown leaves : Too much or too less sunlight; excess or inadequate amounts of fertilizer; dirty water. As you might wonder this is all that can go wrong in this plant. You have to experiment by tweaking the above conditions in order to find out what works best for you. This is why we call it the Test Run remember?

Algae buildup :  Use a darker-colored vase to minimize sunlight.

Stunted leaf growth :  Temperatures are too high or too low; not enough fertilizer

Tips for Maintaining Pothos in Water

All the points we talked above acan be considered as maintaining tips as well. In addition to that as your Pothos plants grow, they may begin to grow rather long. Simply cut the tips off and root them in water. Soon, your Pothos will be growing dense and lush in whatever container you use.

Hope this post is useful to you. If you like it share the green love to your circle too!

Do you have any other problem that is not mentioned above? Or have a great tip to add? Comment it below or message me by clicking the WhatsApp Icon on the left side.

Thanks for all the support and the responses! It means a lot.

This is a Bilingual Post. இப்பதிவினை தமிழில் படிக்கே இங்கே கிளிக் செய்யவும்.

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