In its native tropical environment, pothos (Epipremnum spp.) grows to several feet with leaves that can measure up to 2 feet long. A sturdy vine, pothos wraps itself around other plants, such as trees, or trails across the ground, making it useful in warm climates as a dense ground cover. Below U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, where it grows outside as a perennial, pothos, also called devil's ivy, can be grown as a houseplant. An aggressive grower, pothos can quickly become overgrown and tangled, but you can trim it and save the cuttings to grow new plants. You can root these cuttings in water.
1 Unwind one of the longest vines and cut it a few inches above the soil. Lay it on several thicknesses of newspaper to absorb the moisture that leaks out of the cut ends.
2 Start from the leafy end of the vine, and find the root nodes along its length, which appear as small yellowish-brown nubs protruding from the green tissue.
3 Make a cut about 2 inches below the first root node at the leafy vine end, and make other cuts every 6 inches along the rest of the vine. Include at least one node and two or three leaves on each section.
4 Fill vases or cups halfway with water and place one cutting in each vase. Adjust the water level so it is over the node. Remove any leaves that are below the water.
5 Place the vase in an area that receives filtered sunlight, as pothos dislikes intense direct light. Add more water, as needed, to keep the water level above the root node.
Items you will need
- Sharp knife or scissors
- Small glasses or vases
- Leave the cuttings in the vases when roots develop, replenishing the water as needed, or transfer them to pots that contain a peat-based growing medium.
- Pothos may release moisture through the tips of its leaves, which can damage furniture or other surfaces. Place a waterproof mat or plastic cloth under the pots that extends beyond the outer leaves.
- As a vining plant, pothos often develops one or two long stems that will continue growing outward if not twined around the plant. To minimize this and keep the plant looking bushy and full, trim off any stem ends that start to grow away from the center and root or discard them.
- Rooting and growing pothos in clear glass jars, glasses or vases allows children to see close up the development of a root system.
- The best time to root pothos is late spring or early summer, as the main plant has resumed its seasonal growth.
- The sap from pothos can irritate the skin. Wear gloves if you're sensitive.
- Pothos can be toxic if eaten in large quantities.
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