If you want to know how to make pothos leaves bigger then I’ve got you covered with 9 easy techniques you can use right away.
The most important thing that will determine the size of your pothos leaves is the variety of pothos that you own. Hawaiian pothos, for example, grows the largest leaves and can grow over 12 inches long indoors – whereas varieties like Pearls and Jade tend to be much smaller.
Aside from the variety, it’s all about the conditions and care that you provide.
9 Ways To Make Your Pothos Leaves Bigger
I’ve owned a golden pothos for more than a year now, so I’ve had the chance the try a few different things to get it to grow larger leaves.
No matter what type of pothos you own, there are always things you can do to promote leaf growth specifically.
1. Choose The Right Variety
The variety of pothos that you have will determine how large the leaves can get.
When given optimal growing conditions some varieties such as Hawaiian or even Golden can grow very large leaves, to the point where you might not even recognise the plant as a pothos anymore.
In indoor settings, you’ll want to opt for Hawaiian pothos if leaf size is your main concern. With optimal conditions, you can expect the leaves to exceed 12 inches in length in some cases!
Odds are though, you probably didn’t consider this when buying your pothos – I know I didn’t!
So, what options are there if you already have a pothos?
2. Temperature And Humidity
Pothos are tropical plants that are native to Southeastern Asia.
If you want your pothos to grow leaves as it does in the wild, it’s a good idea to replicate these conditions. This can be very difficult in practice, but you should aim for temperatures between 70°F and 90°F and humidity around 60% (or higher).
You can increase temperature simply by placing your pothos in a warmer area of the house, and humidity can be increased by placing it near other plants, misting regularly or using a pebble tray or humidifier as you would with other tropical species such as the Philodendron Atom.
Propagating pothos is very easy and can be done either in soil or water.
If you want the leaves of the new pothos plant to be large then take cuttings with the largest leaves. This may sound like common sense, but it will give the new plant a higher chance of developing larger sized leaves as it grows.
Pothos, just like most houseplants, require three main nutrients (NPK) for growth:
- Nitrogen (N) – Boosts leaf growth and is crucial for the growing season in spring and early summer.
- Phosphorus (P) – Promotes root development.
- Potassium (K) – Promotes fruit and flower growth.
While all of these are essential for pothos, it’s nitrogen that plays the biggest role in leaf development. I would recommend using an NPK-rated fertiliser anyway, just to be sure you are supplementing all the nutrients that your pothos needs.
These are often called ‘Complete’ or ”All-Round’, and a brand that I personally use is Miracle-Gro.
5. Soil Type
If you get the soil wrong your pothos will struggle to grow at all, never mind with large leaves. A soil that doesn’t drain well will hold moisture which can lead to root rot, other types of soil will lack vital nutrients that your pothos needs to develop large leaves.
Choose a type of soil that is well-draining, or make your own mix using orchid bark, coir, perlite, activated charcoal and worm castings instead.
6. Watering Schedule
Pothos don’t need to be watered very often, and there aren’t any strict rules for it either.
I personally water my golden pothos once every 2 weeks, but I always check the top 2 inches of soil beforehand to see if it is dry or moist. If it’s dry, I will water it and vice versa.
Water is crucial for pothos leaf growth, so don’t neglect this even if your pothos doesn’t look like it is struggling.
Pothos need plenty of bright and indirect sunlight in order to grow properly.
In the wild pothos are typically found underneath the jungle canopy and thrive in similar light-level conditions. Aim to give your pothos at least 4 hours per day of bright indirect light to promote leaf and overall plant growth.
9. Outdoor vs Indoor
If you live in an area where the conditions outside are suitable for pothos to grow, it could be worth planting yours outside to speed up the growth.
There’s a reason the largest pothos are seen outside in their natural environment, and this is due to the abundance of sunlight, humidity and nutrients that they receive.
Be wary though, they are classed as an invasive species in the Galapagos Islands, Tanzania, St. Lucia, Hawaii, French Polynesia and Micronesia. It is listed as an invasive category II specifically in Florida (source).
Pruning is an essential part of getting your pothos to grow and maintain large leaves.
Just think about it, if you have larger leaves covering smaller ones below they will receive much less sunlight and grow at a smaller rate. Pruning will allow you to remove smaller leaves that are struggling, leaving more nutrition for the larger leaves to grow.
How Big Can Pothos Leaves Grow?
The larger varieties of pothos can grow leaves up to and sometimes more than 12 inches long.
In indoor environments, it is likely to be less than this figure, but in the wild, they will happily exceed this length given the right conditions.
Do Pothos Leaves Get Bigger After Unfurling?
When pothos leaves first grow you’ll probably be as surprised as I was to see that they are tiny and curled up.
After a while, they will unfurl to reveal a tiny leaf, usually less than an inch long. These leaves will then begin to grow and increase in size – with newer leaves slowly turning old and increasing in size as more new leaves are produced that follow the same pattern.
Do Small Pothos Leaves Get Bigger?
Most small pothos leaves will continue to grow, but those that have matured under sub-optimal conditions may stagnate at a small size.
If you’re wanting the leaves to get as big as possible it’s worth removing stagnated leaves to allow for others to grow.