If you’re new to the world of pothos plants, one of the first things you’re likely to ask yourself is ‘how fast do pothos plants grow?’.
It’s widely recognised that pothos plants will grow an average of 12 inches per month during the growing season between December and May. This assumes that the conditions are as close to ideal as possible, which is rarely achievable in practice.
There are a lot of factors that come into pothos growth, and in my experience with my own golden pothos, it can be tricky to get things perfect. Let’s take a look at the 5 key factors that affect the growth of pothos plants to see what it’s all about.
5 Key Factors That Affect Pothos Growth
Pothos tend to do well in most environments and are one of the fastest growing houseplants you can get, but if you can optimise for the factors below then you can drastically increase the growth rate.
1. Different Types Of Pothos Grow At Different Rates
The most common type of pothos is the golden pothos, which has a growth rate of up to 20 inches per month in ideal circumstances. I have owned a golden pothos for over a year and have achieved a growth rate much less than this due to the climate where I live, but more on this later.
Variegated types, such as pothos n’joy and the manjula pothos, tend to grow at a lower rate nearer to 10 inches per month in ideal conditions. This is because the parts of the leaves that are not green do not contain chlorophyll, which means photosynthesis cannot take place in these areas.
This is the reason why variegated versions should be kept in areas with more indirect sunlight, as they will lose their variegation if they don’t have access to sufficient sunlight.
2. Temperature And Humidity
Temperature and humidity play a huge role in the growth rate of pothos plants.
My golden pothos probably averages 3 or 4 inches per month in growth as the temperature in my apartment is usually quite low, and the humidity is not very high either. The plant is still healthy, as you can see from the photo of it below, but it definitely does not grow as fast as it is capable of doing.
If you want to achieve optimal growth rates then you’re looking for temperatures between 70°F and 90°F and humidity around 60%. You can use a humidifier to increase humidity or choose a spot in your house that has better conditions for your pothos to grow (if that’s what you want).
Seasonality will also affect the growth of pothos plants greatly as the temperature and humidity change.
3. Soil Quality And Fertilizers
As I’ve mentioned in other articles regarding the pothos plant, it’s crucial that you use a well-draining soil mix and fertilize regularly to ensure your plant gets the right nutrition.
If you don’t use the correct soil your pothos can develop root rot very quickly, and if the correct nutrients are provided the growth rate will be substantially less.
4. Indoor VS Outdoor
In the right climate, pothos plants grow much faster outside than inside.
This is simply because pothos is found in tropical environments which are difficult to replicate inside the home. While you can ensure good conditions for your pothos inside, it’s not practical to achieve a tropical environment in most homes.
5. Water Vs Soil
Pothos can grow in water, but the process can be difficult as the water needs to be properly fertilized and replaced every couple of weeks to ensure that it contains the right amount of oxygen.
I’m currently propagating my own golden pothos and it is definitely taking a long time to get things going.
In terms of growth speed, growing a pothos in water definitely slows things down and it is also a lot more work than in soil. It does look very unique though, and it can be ideal if you want to keep your pothos on the smaller side.
How Do You Speed Up Pothos Growing?
Getting a pothos to grow quickly is a culmination of optimising the conditions, as well as using a few tricks to ensure those conditions stay constant.
Nutrition is also important and you should fertilize your pothos regularly. I usually fertilize twice per month in the summer and spring with half-strength fertilizer.
Speeding up pothos growth is a whole topic, so you can always check out this article I wrote covering the entire discipline to learn more.
Do Hanging Pothos Plants Grow Faster Than Climbing?
If you’ve trained your pothos to climb then you might be worried that this will affect the growth rate, but fortunately, this is not the case.
Pothos plants are mostly found climbing in the wild to get better access to sunlight, and they are therefore naturally suited for this type of growth.
As long as you give your pothos the right conditions to climb, it will do so at a similar rate to if it were hanging.
What Type Of Pothos Grows The Fastest?
As I mentioned earlier, pothos varieties that are greener grow faster as they contain more chlorophyll for photosynthesis.
Variegated pothos, therefore, grows slower, which means that popular pothos’ such as golden pothos are the fastest growing types whereas varieties with variegation such as jade will grow slower.
Pothos plants can grow very quickly if you give them the right conditions.
If you’re like me and have sub-optimal conditions in your home then don’t worry, it’s still very likely that your pothos will survive but it will just grow a a slower rate.