How to propagate pothos: rooting pothos cuttings & offshoots


I study landscape ecology and through my studies have discovered a love for plants. Plants are not only beautiful, but also have countless fascinating survival strategies. To bring a bit of nature into my home as well, I nurture my houseplants and herbs on every possible windowsill.

Favourite fruit: rhubarb and all kinds of berries
Favourite vegetables: onions and garlic

When it comes to propagating pothos, there are a lot of options. Read on to find out how to propagate pothos through layering or via cuttings.

Propagating pothos tools
It is very easy to propagate pothos [Photo: photoPOU/]

Pothos (Epipremnum), also known as devil’s ivy, are very easy to take care of and will spread all over the room if properly cared for. Propagating devil’s ivy can be just as simple! So, if you would like to propagate some additional pothos plants for yourself or to give away as lovely presents, keep reading to find out about the two main methods of propagating devil’s ivy: via layering and via cuttings. Make sure that you only take plant parts from a healthy mother plant. On the plus side, propagation is also a more sustainable alternative to buying new plants. We do not recommend trying to grow pothos from seeds, as it does not flower nor fruit in our latitudes. 

Is it better to propagate pothos in soil or in water? 

It is possible to propagate devil’s ivy in both water and soil, ultimately it all comes down to personal preference. One advantage of propagating pothos in water, is that you can see whether or not it has formed roots. Change the water every other day to keep it fresh when using this water-based method. Once the roots are two to three centimetres long, your pothos is ready to plant!

Pothos in glass jar
Pothos quickly grows roots in a glass of water [Photo: Aybarskr/]

How to propagate pothos via layering

Devil’s ivy can be propagated easily and effectively by rooting offshoots in a technique known as layering. To do this, select a healthy offshoot with aerial roots. Lower the aerial roots into the soil surrounding the mother plant. Use a piece of wire to secure the pothos offshoot to the soil. Keep the offshoot sufficiently moist, but not too wet. Separate the young plant from the mother plant as soon as the pothos offshoot has formed roots and transplant it into its own pot.

Important: Every part of the devil’s ivy plant is poisonous; always wear gloves when working with it. Also, do not leave cuttings or other pieces of the plant lying about where children or animals can reach them.

Summary: Propagating pothos by layering

  • Choose a healthy offshoot on the mother plant
  • Lower the aerial roots of the offshoot gently into the soil
  • Fix the offshoot to the soil with wire
  • Keep offshoots sufficiently moist
  • Repot as soon as new leaves appear
Devils ivy offshoot
When the offshoot has formed leaves, it can be separated from the mother plant [Photo: stephaniepy/]

Tip: Devil’s ivy rarely branches. Grow several young plants and plant them together in one pot to create a lush-looking pothos plant.

How to propagate pothos via cuttings

It is even easier to propagate pothos by cuttings. The best time to do this is in the spring, when the days are longer and warmer as the growing conditions are ideal. But you can take cuttings at any time of the year. Choose a shoot that has already grown aerial roots and cut it with a sharp knife. You can now cut the shoot into 8 to 15cm portions. Make sure that each section has at least three leaf nodes. The cuttings need to have one or two leaves. Place them in their own pot with growing medium or glass of water. Our Plantura Organic Herb & Seeding Compost, for example, is specifically designed for growing young plants. It is peat free and purposefully contains fewer nutrients to encourage the young plants to take root.

Organic Herb & Seedling Compost, 20L
Organic Herb & Seedling Compost, 20L
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  • Perfect for herbs as well as sowing, propagating & transplanting
  • For aromatic herbs & healthy seedlings with strong roots
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Now place the cuttings in a bright and warm place. Temperatures of around 20°C are ideal for young pothos to develop in. For extra warmth, put plastic bags over the pots, the bags work like a mini-greenhouse and provide a suitable microclimate with enough humidity for the plants. Water the cuttings regularly, keeping them moist but not wet. Air the bags once a day to ensure that mould does not form. Alternatively, mist the pothos several times a day with water.

Summary: Propagating pothos by cuttings

  • Cut cuttings with three leaf nodes and at least one leaf
  • Place the cuttings into individual pots
  • Put a plastic bag over the pots
  • Place in a bright and warm spot (20°C)
  • Always keep the substrate moist but not wet
  • Make sure the humidity is high enough for the young plant
Devil's ivy plant being cut
Pothos cuttings need to have at least three leaf nodes [Photo: Anna Hoychuk/]

When the cuttings have formed a good number of roots and are developing leaves, repot them in larger pots with more nutrient-rich soil.

You can now water, prune and fertilise the propagated devil’s ivies just like your adult specimens. Read more here to find out everything about caring for pothos.

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