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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!
3 STEPS TO GROWING POTHOS IN WATER (Epipremnum aureum)
Here are the steps in a nutshell and I will elaborate on each one:
- Make your cuttings
- Root them in water
- Supply nutrients
1. MAKE YOUR CUTTINGS
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!
2. ROOT THEM IN WATER
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.
Here are several cuttings that have rooted in water and you can see that each one has started to grow a new vine.
3. SUPPLY NUTRIENTS
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
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!
This is an amazing, nutritionally complete, all purpose formulation that contains all the micro and macro nutrients that plants need to thrive. It is urea-free so it will not burn your plants.
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!
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!
Lastly, if you are looking for some beautiful and fun ways to grow Pothos in water, check out these hydroponic growing stations from Modern Botanical. If you use code OHIOTROPICS, you will receive 20% off!
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!
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