Pothos plants will propagate in water readily if you provide the right conditions.
From my own experience, it takes anywhere from a few days to a month for a pothos to propagate in water. Once it has propagated you will need to wait for the root to grow to at least two inches (5.08cm) in length before you can transplant it into the soil.
The time taken for pothos to propagate varies greatly depending on a lot of things. In the rest of this article, I’ll take you through these factors and how you can speed up the process based on my findings from propagating a golden pothos several times.
Factors That Affect Propagation Time Of Pothos In Water
A few days up to a month is quite a large range, so how can you estimate how long it will take for a given set of circumstances?
There are three main factors – listed below – that impact the rate of propagation the most.
Temperature plays a crucial role in the propagation of pothos in water.
Ideally, you want the temperature to be between 70°F and 90°F. The best time of year for this is during springtime, as this is the growing season for pothos.
Keep temperature in mind when you decide where to place your pothos during water propagation.
Water Changing Schedule
When I first attempted to propagate my golden pothos, I completely forgot to consider that the water needed to be changed regularly.
Needless to say, I didn’t have much success.
Water needs to be changed regularly – ideally once every 3 or 4 days – for two main reasons:
- Algae Growth – If the conditions are right then algae can grow quite quickly, especially if you use incorrect amounts of liquid fertilizer. Changing the water every so often will reduce the chances of this happening drastically.
- Oxygen – Plants need oxygen to convert food to energy. Once the oxygen is used up within the water it will not replenish, so you need to refresh the water to maintain levels of oxygen for your pothos to propagate.
Pothos require a lot of indirect sunlight to grow properly.
While pothos plants can survive with low light conditions, they won’t grow as fast and will be at risk of dying completely if left neglected for a long time.
The same theory applies during propagation in water. Without an abundance of bright, indirect light the roots will develop at a much slower rate than usual.
How To Make Pothos Grow Faster In Water
If you want your pothos to develop roots quickly in the water then there are a few things you can do.
Firstly, make sure that the temperature is between 70°F and 90°F, as this will encourage the roots to grow quickly. You’ll also want to place the pothos in an area that gets bright but indirectly sunlight – I personally place mine on a chest of drawers in my bedroom that gets plenty of indirect sunlight throughout the day.
You can also use water-soluble fertilizer to increase the growth rate. I have personally never tried this as I have had success with regular water, but there is a lot of evidence for this working well.
When Should You Transplant?
As I hinted at previously, you want to wait for your root to have grown over two inches (5.08cm) in size before you transplant it into the soil.
The key to successful transplantation is to make sure that your soil is well-draining. Look for soils that are designed for houseplants and contain good amounts of vermiculite, peat moss and coco coir. I’ve had good success with Miracle-Gro, but you can use whichever brand you prefer.
Ensure that there are a few inches of soil on either side of the cutting and below, and gently place it into its new home. Water generously afterwards to promote the roots to settle into their new environment.
Once you’ve transplanted successfully you can optimise the conditions so that your pothos will quickly grow into a larger plant. I like to use fertilizers to speed up the growth rate of my pothos plants, as well as ensuring that they are placed in an optimal position for bright, indirect sunlight.
Can You Put Cuttings Directly Into The Water?
When it comes to placing the pothos into the water to propagate, you need to make sure that you have cut either side of the node.
Once you’ve done this, you can place this cutting directly into the water so that the node is submerged as well as a small amount of the petiole. The leaf itself should be propped up and completely out of the water (never submerge the whole thing!).
Pothos propagation in water is incredibly easy to do, and it can take a matter of days for new roots to grow if you provide the right conditions for it.
If you live in a colder climate as I do you can expect the process to take up to a month, but as long as the leaf maintains its appearance you can rest assured that it is working well.