Skip to Content

Growing Pothos in Water: 3 Amazingly Simple Steps to Succeed

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.

Are you wondering if it is possible to grow Pothos or Devil’s Ivy in water permanently? It sure is possible to have Pothos live “full time” in water as long as you consider a few simple things. Keep reading and I will describe exactly what you need, and I will share my personal experiences.

More and more people are trying to grow plants hydroponically and it’s a fun way to experiment and try something different. If you’ve never tried growing any plants in water permanently, Pothos is a great one to start with!



Here are the steps in a nutshell and I will elaborate on each one:

  1. Make your cuttings
  2. Root them in water
  3. Supply nutrients


I would recommend starting with fresh cuttings, versus taking an existing plant that has been growing in potting mix, washing off the potting mix and placing in water. If you do the latter, your plant will have a transition period to get used to the change from soil to water.

It’s easier and more effective to just start with fresh cuttings.

If you already have Pothos cuttings already rooted in water, you can skip to step #3. If you are starting from scratch, keep reading!

If you really want to maximize your plant material, take some single node cuttings. A node is simply the area on your plant where the leaf and petiole meets the Pothos vine.


You can see exactly in the photo above how to do this. Simply snip the Pothos vine on either end of where the petiole meets the vine.

Each single node cutting will form a vine!


Next, place your cuttings in water, with the node(s) submerged in water. Under good conditions, they will root in a matter of days, but could take up to a few weeks. Don’t place your cuttings in a dark corner. Give them light just as you would a potted plant.

Here is a single node cutting that has rooted in water, and you can see a new vine, as well as roots, starting to form at the node.

A single node leaf cutting of Golden Pothos.

Here are several cuttings that have rooted in water and you can see that each one has started to grow a new vine.


After your cuttings have rooted, it is time to supply nutrients so that your plants can grow well. If you just use plain water, your growth will be much slower and even come to a halt.

In the photo below, I have several Pothos cuttings in a glass container on the top of the black shelf (upper left corner) that have been growing in water for a few years. I intended to plant them in potting mix and never got around to it, so I simply kept them in water.


For the longest time, I just kept them in plain water and nothing else. The growth was very minimal. Once I started giving it a nutrient solution, the growth really took off.

You will need to supply a nutrient solution for your Pothos growing in water otherwise the growth will be very minimal and very slow!

My favorite fertilizer that I use for my hydroponic Pothos, as well as most of my potted houseplants, is Dyna-Gro Grow and I purchase it right off of Amazon.

This is an absolutely amazing fertilizer and it has helped my houseplants to maintain good vigor and growth. It is urea-free so it won’t burn your plants and it contains all of the macro and micro nutrients that plants need to really thrive.

Check it out below. You won’t regret it!

In the directions for hydroponic usage in non-recirculating systems, their label indicates to mix 1 teaspoon of the liquid fertilizer per gallon of water. I simply add a teaspoon of this fertilizer to a plastic gallon jug, fill it with water, and use this when I need it.

Once your cuttings are rooted in plain water, you’ll use this fertilizer solution from that point forward. Simply fill your container with the solution and watch your Pothos take off!

Pothos that I have growing in fertilizer solution in a square glass jar in my sunroom.

Some additional tips:

  • Every so often, empty out all of the water that your Pothos is growing it and replace with fresh fertilizer solution. I get lazy and don’t do this as often as I could. Aim to do this at least once a month for good results. If you can do this weekly, it’s even better. When you replace with fresh nutrient solution, it will also supply additional oxygen to your roots.
  • Keep an eye on the nutrient solution level and top off with more solution as needed. Don’t let it go dry!

I have several of these units (they come in single, double and triple vial designs) and you can use them to just propagate, or even to grow your cuttings in permanently. They can be set on a flat surface or even wall mounted (each one comes with a small kit for wall mounting).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Pothos grow in just water?

It can survive in plain water but your Pothos won’t grow much. For better results, use a nutrient solution instead of plain water.

How long can you grow Pothos in water?

It can really live indefinitely as long as you provide your plant with enough nutrients! If your plant starts to lose vigor or decline at any point, you can propagate and start all over.

Do Pothos grow better in water or soil?

I’ve found that although Pothos will grow in water with nutrients added, you will get much more luxurious growth if you grow in a standard potting mix and fertilize. Growing in water can be much simpler though so it’s just a matter of what you prefer and what fits your lifestyle.

Can you grow Pothos in a fish tank?

Yes you can, and they can grow really well in a fresh water aquarium! Check out this resource that shows the benefits and some tips on growing Pothos in an aquarium.

If you’re looking to grow different varieties of Pothos other than just the plain Golden Pothos, check out my blog post on the different Pothos varieties to get your hands on. There are so many beautiful ones!

Have you tried growing Pothos in water permanently? Comment below. I’d love to hear!


Friday 17th of November 2023

Great article! I've been growing mine in water for about 8 months. It seems to be doing fine, but I started to notice these little pods, almost like almonds, in the roots. What is this? I looked up pothos bulbs and got nothing. Thanks!


Monday 20th of November 2023

Hi Shannon! I'm glad you enjoyed the article! I actually have no idea what those could be! If I saw a photo, it might help.


Tuesday 5th of September 2023


I grow most of my pothos in water and they do better without the need of fertilizer if the room is humid. I have one in my bathroom that was a clipping from a potted plant that's going nuts. Some of the leaves are the size of my palm our bathroom tends to get very warm in the summer month due it us being in an older home. I have noticed that some clippings are rather particular and prefer soil over water and vice versa from the same mother plant. However, I have two in my kitchen window that are like bonsai pothos and only grow a few small leaves, but have a robust root system. That's the fun part about planting them in water, you are able to see the roots growing. I have been curious about trimming the root system and a few inches above as the older leaves die back, but I am a bit attached to them and don't want to risk upsetting the plant. Thanks for the great article!




Tuesday 5th of September 2023

Glad you enjoyed the article Althea! They're such wonderful plants, and it sounds like you have some beautiful specimens :-)

Dana Buttz

Saturday 20th of November 2021

Curious about adding fertilizer/nutrients to my pothos plants that I am attempting to grow in water. Do I add fertilizer every few weeks to the water? Or use the fertilizer solution permanently? I’ve seen suggestions for both ways. My pothos are very slow to root in water. Thought some nutrients would help.


Saturday 20th of November 2021

Hi Dana! I personally would use a fertilizer solution year round. As long as your plant is getting enough light year round.


Thursday 10th of June 2021

Hi Raffaele, When you add nutrients to the water do you leave it there permanently? I follow a hydro group on Facebook and they keep saying to only add nutrients every 4-6 weeks, leave in water for 24 hrs then totally refresh with plain water. Does it depend maybe on the type of nutrients being used?