Pothos plants are great for beginners and can be trained to climb quite easily, so if you want to learn how to train a pothos to climb you have come to the right place.
There are a few methods to train pothos’ to climb, but most revolve around providing a structure for the plant to grow around and ensuring that the conditions for growth are optimal. Once these are in place, it’s simply a case of pruning the plant so it grows exactly how you want it to.
Follow the 10 steps below for a bullet-proof method to get your pothos climbing in no time at all.
- 10 Easy Steps To Train A Pothos To Climb
- 1. Optimise The Placement For Light
- 2. Temperature/Humidity
- 3. Choose The Right Soil And Fertilizer (Water Optional)
- 4. Decide What Support You Want To Use
- 5. Put The Support In Place
- 6. Attach The Vines To The Support
- 7. Prune As Needed
- 8. Water The Soil
- 9. Allow The Plant To Grow And Monitor The Progress
- 10. Increase Support Size As Needed
- Final Thoughts
10 Easy Steps To Train A Pothos To Climb
I’ve owned a golden pothos for just over a year now, and I’ve always been fascinated by how resilient it is. If you’re looking for a great beginner houseplant, there are only a few better options in my opinion.
Teaching a pothos to climb is not only fun but it can also completely change the way a particular room looks, and it starts with optimising the placement of the plant to ensure it has the right conditions to grow.
1. Optimise The Placement For Light
While pothos plants are easy to care for, you really do need to consider the placement of the plant and even more so if you want yours to climb successfully.
Pothos are typically found in rainforests in shaded areas and climb up the surfaces of trees towards sunlight. If you want your pothos to climb quickly, you should ideally place it where there is sunlight above (remember that pothos’ prefer bright and indirect sunlight).
This isn’t a requirement, but it does help speed up the process. You can also consider using a grow light if you’re unhappy with the growth of your pothos as it climbs.
Light isn’t the only thing to consider.
When it comes to pothos plants you need to make sure that the temperature and humidity of the surrounding environment are suited for the growth of the plant.
Aim for temperatures between 70°F and 90°F with humidity ideally around 60%. I mist my golden pothos quite frequently but this does not have a long-term impact on humidity, so consider placing your pothos next to another plant or in a more humid room if you are concerned about this.
If you can’t keep these conditions all the time I wouldn’t worry; my apartment tends to get quite cold during the winter and while my pothos does slow its growth it doesn’t show any signs of dying.
3. Choose The Right Soil And Fertilizer (Water Optional)
Most pothos plants grow fast when given the right environment alongside soil and fertilizer.
When planning to train a pothos to grow you should consider the type of soil and how often you want to fertilize the plant. I like to fertilize my pothos up to twice a month in the spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer at half strength, but you can use any fertilizer you like.
In terms of soil, any well-draining potting mix will do the trick. You can also add perlite or coco coir to increase the drainage capability if you think this might be an issue in the future.
Growing a pothos in water and teaching it to climb is also possible, but you may find that growth is slower unless you use nutrient-rich water instead. I personally only use water to propagate my pothos and stick to soil for growing it.
4. Decide What Support You Want To Use
The key to training a pothos to climb is to choose the right type of support. Pothos’ won’t climb on their own and need to be attached to a support in order for them to climb properly.
You can use any of the supports listed below to achieve this effect:
- Moss Pole – Moss poles are probably the most popular option and can be bought at most gardening or plant stores. A benefit of using moss poles is that they absorb moisture which can promote growth as your pothos climbs.
- Trellis – Trellis is another good option that provides a solid structure for the pothos to climb around. This is particularly good if you have a large surface area to cover or want an alternative to a regular moss pole.
- Wall – A wall can act as support itself with hooks attached to it. For this, I would recommend invisible command strips, but you can use anything you want.
- Plant hoops – Plant hoops are very simple and can be a good option if you know exactly how you want your pothos to climb.
5. Put The Support In Place
Once you’ve decided on support to use it’s time to put it in place. Moss poles and plant hoops can be placed directly into the soil, while trellis is more flexible and can be used on different surfaces.
When placing directly into the soil, make sure you give a clearance of a few inches to protect the central roots of the plant.
If you want your pothos to climb up a wall, attach hooks to the surface to act as an anchoring system for the plant to climb up. Any type of hook will do, but I think that clear command hooks are the best option as they can be removed easily without leaving marks behind.
6. Attach The Vines To The Support
When the support is in place you can begin attaching the vines of the pothos to the support.
Plant ties work perfectly for moss poles and plant hoops, and you can use string for hooks on walls or trellis frames.
If you want to provide more freedom you can tie the vines loosely; this will allow the pothos to grow in different directions which can create a nice aesthetic.
7. Prune As Needed
When attaching the vines you may begin to notice that some leaves or vines look out of place, and this is perfectly normal for when you first start to train a pothos to grow.
You can trim your pothos without causing much damage, but if you need to remove significant amounts of foliage then consider using larger support instead.
8. Water The Soil
Once you’ve got the support set up and the plant in place the last thing to do is water the soil.
If the top 1-2 inches are relatively dry then water the soil until this layer is quite moist. Once you have watered the soil all that’s left to do is wait as your pothos adjusts to its new environment and begins to climb.
9. Allow The Plant To Grow And Monitor The Progress
Monitoring the growth of climbing pothos is quite easy as you can use the plant ties/hooks as a guide.
During the growth phase, it’s crucial that you continue to monitor the health of your pothos – you can use this guide for pointers to keep your pothos healthy.
10. Increase Support Size As Needed
As your pothos climbs you will need to provide more support if you want it to keep climbing upwards.
Simply repeat steps 5 and 6 in this guide when the time comes and you will be able to keep your pothos climbing for years to come.
There’s a lot to cover when it comes to training pothos to climb, so I’ve included a few extra questions below that get asked a lot around the topic and aren’t covered extensively in the steps above.
Will Climbing Pothos Damage Walls?
In 99% of situations, climbing pothos will cause no damage to a wall.
The 1% really only occurs due to excess misting which can lead to moisture damage or if you use a permanent structure to secure your pothos to the wall such as nails.
Is It Better For Pothos To Climb Or Hang?
There really is no preference for a pothos to climb or hang in terms of plant health, and both have different benefits depending on your space and how you want it to look.
In the wild pothos’ are usually found climbing but this is due to the abundance of trees and other surfaces to climb on as well as the direction of sunlight.
I hope you have a better understanding of training pothos to climb from reading this article.
As long as your support structure is positioned correctly, you really should have no problems at all getting your pothos to climb – after all, they climb like crazy in the wild!