Pothos plants growing in a jar of water on a table.

How to Grow Pothos in Water: Quick and Easy Guide

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Are you looking to brighten up your living space with a touch of greenery? Pothos, a popular and low-maintenance houseplant, might be the perfect addition. 

Growing pothos in water is not only a simple way to cultivate this attractive plant, but it requires minimal effort on your part, making it an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced plant enthusiasts.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of growing pothos in water. By following a few essential steps, you can enjoy a thriving pothos plant that will add life and charm to your home.

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Types of Pothos

There are several varieties of Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) that you can choose from, all with their unique appearance and characteristics. Here’s a brief overview of some popular types of Pothos to help you decide which one might be the best fit for your home.

Golden Pothos is the most common variety, featuring heart-shaped leaves with a mix of green, golden, and cream shades. This type of Pothos is relatively easy to care for and is known for its ability to thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions. This is the variety I typically use when growing pothos in water.

Marble Queen Pothos has a distinctive appearance with its white and green marbled leaves. This variety prefers bright, indirect light and can be a bit more finicky than the golden pothos.

Neon Pothos is easily recognizable by its vibrant, lime-green leaves. It can brighten up any room and has similar care requirements as the golden pothos. 

Jade Pothos is characterized by its solid green leaves, making it an excellent choice if you prefer a more uniform appearance. It adapts well to various light conditions and is relatively low-maintenance, making it a great option for beginner plant enthusiasts.

Remember, regardless of the Pothos variety you choose, they all have the unique ability to grow well in water. Embrace your green thumb and enjoy watching your Pothos thrive in its new aquatic environment!

Benefits of Growing Pothos in Water

Two pothos plants growing in two separate jars.

Growing pothos in water offers several advantages for you and your lovely plants. The process is simple, low-maintenance, and ideal for beginners or those with busy schedules.

Easy propagation 

Pothos cuttings in a jar of water.

One of the biggest benefits of growing pothos in water is that it’s one of the easiest houseplants to propagate into new plants. 

All you need is a healthy pothos plant, a pair of clean scissors or pruning shears, some fresh water, and a container. Just take a couple of stem cuttings below a leaf node from the mother plant and place the cut ends into a water-filled container. 

Soon, you’ll see new roots forming, ready to grow into a new plant.


Compared to growing pothos in soil, keeping them in water requires less attention. You don’t have to worry about watering schedules, drainage, or repotting. 

Just make sure the water is topped up from time to time and occasionally do a water change, and you’re good to go. Additionally, water-growing pothos need less frequent fertilizer applications. You can use a liquid fertilizer specially designed for water-grown plants to provide the necessary nutrients.

Less mess

Soil-based plants tend to create more mess with spilled soil or debris. By keeping your pothos in water, you’ll notice a cleaner environment. 

Plus, having the roots in a transparent container can be a visually appealing aspect, allowing you to observe the growth and development of your plant.

Disease control

When growing pothos in water, you’re less likely to deal with pests, mold, or fungus, as these issues are commonly associated with soil-grown plants. Should any issues arise, you can address them quickly by changing the water and cleaning the container.

Remember, your water-grown pothos still needs proper care. Keep an eye on the water quality, ensure they receive adequate sunlight, and maintain a consistent temperature in their environment to help your plants thrive.

Growth Requirements

While there are less requirements for care for a pothos grown in water, there are still some things to keep in mind when deciding to grow your pothos in water.

Lighting Conditions

Pothos plants can live in a variety of lighting conditions. For optimal growth, place your pothos in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Pothos can also tolerate low light conditions but will grow more slowly. 

Keep in mind that excessive direct sunlight may scorch the leaves, so avoid exposing your plant to harsh midday sun.

Water Quality

When growing pothos in water, maintaining good water quality is essential. To promote healthy growth, replace the water in the container every couple of weeks to once a month, as water can run out of oxygen. Additionally, add water to the jar as needed to keep the level above the roots.

Always use fresh, clean water and consider using filtered or dechlorinated water if your tap water contains high levels of chlorine or other contaminants. Remember to rinse the container thoroughly before refilling it with fresh water.


Pothos plants grown in water need fertilizer added regularly to get the nutrients that the plant needs to survive. The best fertilizer to use is one that is made for hydroponic plants as it is designed for use without soil. 

Fertilizer is necessary for water-grown plants because there are no nutrients in the water like there is in the soil plants usually grow in.


Pothos plants prefer a relatively stable indoor temperature ranging from 65 to 80°F (18 to 27°C). Avoid placing your plant in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as near heating vents or air conditioning units, as this may cause stress and affect its growth.

Container Selection

Choosing the right container is an important step in successfully growing pothos in water. First of all, you’ll need to decide if you prefer a clear or colored glass container. Both options have their own advantages so consider your preferences and priorities when making your decision.

Clear containers, like a glass jar, can be a great choice, as they allow you to easily monitor the water quality, root growth, and water level. This can be extremely helpful, particularly for beginners, as it provides visual cues for when it’s time to take action. For example, if you see the water turning murky or algae forming, you’ll know it’s time to clean your container and replace the water.

Colored glass containers, on the other hand, can offer an aesthetic appeal that some people prefer. They can also help to shield the roots from sunlight to some extent, which can be beneficial for the plant’s health and growth. However, it may be a bit more challenging to gauge the water quality and root health without being able to see through the container.

No matter which type of container you choose, be sure to select a watertight one. Not only will this prevent water from leaking and causing potential damage to your surfaces, but it will also help maintain the optimal environment for your pothos to thrive. In addition, the container should be large enough to accommodate your pothos cuttings and provide appropriate room for root growth.

Water Maintenance

A pothos plant growing in a hanging jar.

Proper water maintenance is the most important thing to keep in mind when growing a pothos plant in water. 

Preventing Algae Growth

Algae can be a persistent issue when growing plants in water, but there are ways to keep it under control. To prevent algae growth, be sure to use clean and fresh water for your pothos plants. Chlorinated tap water is less likely to promote algae growth than untreated water, so you might prefer using that to fill your containers. Alternatively, you can use filtered water, which can also help keep algae at bay.

Changing the water regularly will also help prevent algae growth as it gets rid of anything that is currently growing in the water. 

Avoiding Root Rot

Root rot can be another concern when growing pothos in water. This low-maintenance plant thrives in water, but it’s essential to ensure that its roots remain healthy and free from infection. One method of preventing root rot is to regularly change the water in your pothos containers. Fresh water helps keep the roots clean and minimizes the risk of rotting.

Also, monitor your pothos plants for any signs of algae buildup or root rot. By maintaining clean and nutrient-rich water, as well as frequently checking your plants for potential issues, you can help your pothos thrive in their water-based environment.


Growing pothos in water is an easy and low-maintenance way to have a beautiful and thriving plant. However, since water doesn’t provide the nutrients that soil does, you’ll need to regularly use fertilizer to keep your pothos healthy and happy.

To start, you can use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer for your pothos. This is easily available in most gardening stores and will provide the necessary nutrients for your plant.

When adding the fertilizer to your plant’s water, follow the package instructions carefully and make sure not to over-fertilize, as this can harm your plant.

You should fertilize your pothos in water every two to four weeks. This will ensure it gets the necessary nutrients to grow strong and vibrant.

Between each fertilization, make sure to change the water every one to two weeks, as this will help maintain the oxygen levels needed for the plant’s roots to thrive.

Another option is to purchase fertilizer specifically designed for use in hydroponics. Follow the directions on the package to ensure that you give your plant enough fertilizer without over-fertilizing the plant.

With some care and attention to detail, fertilizing your pothos in water will be a simple yet crucial part of your plant care routine. Enjoy the lush foliage and vibrant growth of your pothos as it flourishes with proper fertilization!

Identification and Solutions

Growing pothos in water can be a rewarding experience, but there are some common issues that you might encounter. In this section, we will discuss these issues and provide solutions to help you maintain a healthy pothos plant.

Issues With Growing Pothos in Water

Yellow Leaves

A common issue when growing pothos in water is yellowing leaves. This can be caused by a lack of nutrients or exposure to chemicals in tap water. 

To address this issue, you can try filtered or distilled water and add a liquid fertilizer that is specifically designed for plants growing in water. Replace the water every one to two weeks to ensure ample oxygen supply.

Root Rot

Root rot can occur if your pothos is left sitting in stagnant water for too long. To prevent this, replace the water regularly.

You can also try using a container with a narrow opening that discourages water evaporation, as this can help maintain a higher oxygen content in the water. 

Ensure that your cutting is fresh when you start since an existing plant transitioning from soil to water might have more difficulty adjusting.

Stunted Growth

If your pothos is not growing as expected, it could be due to a lack of nutrients. Make sure to add liquid fertilizer to supply the necessary nutrients for growth.

By being aware of these common issues and following the proper techniques, your pothos will thrive in its water environment. Remember to replace the water regularly, use a liquid fertilizer, and select the right container to maintain your pothos plant’s health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What fertilizer should be used?

Using a balanced liquid fertilizer for hydroponics is a good choice for your pothos growing in water. Add the fertilizer according to the label’s instructions. 

Is it possible to keep pothos in water indefinitely?

Yes, you can keep pothos in water indefinitely, as they have the capability to thrive in water with proper care. However, make sure to change the water every couple of weeks to keep it fresh and clean the container occasionally to avoid algae growth.

How to prevent root rot?

To prevent root rot in your pothos, always use a clean jar or vase for water propagation. Avoid overcrowding your cuttings, which can lead to poor water circulation and root rot. 

How long can pothos survive in water?

Pothos can survive in water for a long time, even years, provided they are properly cared for. Remember to change the water every couple of weeks, maintain a clean environment, and provide your pothos with essential nutrients by using a suitable liquid fertilizer. With these measures, your pothos will continue to thrive and grow healthily in water.

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