Cutting nodes of Pothos?

novinodAugust 28, 2006

Hi, I recently bought a 10'' hanging pot of pothos from home depot. This is my first plant. Anyway, I have about 8 good long vines. I recently cut three cutting from three seperate long vines to make more pothos (I don't know the terminology). My questions are as follows:

(1) Of the three cuttings (nodes) I placed in a vase of water, I noticed that one of them already got root of about 2'' long in about 10 days. The other two, I am not seeing much changes. WHY?

(2) One of the long vines where I took a cutting from - It's just hanging there now. There is a black mark where I made the cut, will this vine continue to grow longer or get more leaves? Or should I just cut this vine off completely. I am lost on what I should do with the rest of the vine after you take the cuttings?

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1) When rooting pothos not all of the nodes will produce roots necessarily. If it's producing one root then that's all it will need for the time being.

2) A new stem will continue just behind where you made the cut. You don't need to take off the whole stem.

That's it. Pretty simple questions. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 11:39PM
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Thanks Larry. How can one tell which nodes will produce roots? Also, how long should I wait before I transfer a root from water to pot? Is there anything that I have to do to the root from water to get it ready for soil? Should I be worried about crushing the water root when I put it in soil or anything else?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 12:08AM
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If you put a cutting into water almost always at least one node will produce a root. To predict which one I would say is impossible.

I would say if your root is 4 in. to 6 in. that should be plenty long enough. It sounds like you know the difference between water roots and soil roots. You probably also know that the plant has to go through the stage where water roots become soil roots. During this transition stage the plant will not be able to pick up moisture. I usually put the plant in that bag for about a week to help it out.

Just be careful with the root. Crushing isn't the problem. The problem would be breaking it. And even if you do break it you can still plant it and it will send roots out of what ever is left.

I hope this helps,


    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 1:57AM
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Hi again,

Let me clarify something I just said. When I meant put the plant in a plastic bag I meant the potted plant. That is the pot, the dirt and the plant.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 2:01AM
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Why do I need to put the pot, soil and plant in the plastic bag? Could it be a big trash bag? Do I have to cover the bag or something or somehow close it? I am sorry, this might sound stupid, but I am sooo new to this and I don't want my plant to die :)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 10:56AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Novi,

You don't have to (I never do), but I think Larry's suggesting the bag to help the plant transition from water rooting to soil, so it doesn't dry out too fast.

By the way, I see you said this is your first plant. Just so you know, these are extremely tough & rugged plants, hard to kill actually unless one overwaters them, that's the guaranteed way to kill these off. So I know you're new, & want to reassure you, these don't require any special care & generally speaking, these do better w/ minimal care.

I myself have a couple of pots of this in the darker spots in my home. I always keep a tall cup of cuttings of these going in the bathroom. I just replenished it this wknd, by trimming parent plants, placing cuttings in water & forgetting about them. In a month or so, I'll take them out of the water & replant them back into the parent plants.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 11:27AM
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Thanks Karen,

The clear plastic bag is kind of a mini greenhouse to give the plant a chance to recover from transplanting and converting the water roots into soil roots. I would only do it for one week. Do not put the bag in direct sunlight. It will cook the plant. Not everybody does this. And it's not as crucial as it would be for some other plants.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 12:39AM
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Pothos should be easy to root by cuttings, without any tricks other than poking a hole in the soil and sticking the cutting in! It really isn't necessary to start them in water. However, you can keep them in water indefinately.

I have about 3 vases full of cuttings that I have been growing in water for years in low light areas. I change the water once a week.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Have you all noticed that when you put a long cutting into water, it will want to root at the nodes closest to the leaves?

I have noted this for many years.

Often the lower end of the stem (if it is long) will rot and roots will come out of the node above that -- and often just one node.

Now I try to cut the stem as close to leaves as possible, making sure to leave at least 1-2 nodes down in the water.

I've also noticed that if I try to root really long vines with, say, 10 nodes and many leaves, the plant does not do very well.

I grow Pothos perpetually in water.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 3:16PM
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Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)(10)

gw:plant.babies - Great observations! Thanks!

I suspect that I simetimes cut up a pothos vine so that the rooting nodes are on the wrong (distal) side to the leaves -- does anyone know if that makes a difference or can the rooting nodes come from either side of the leaves?

Also, plantbabies or anyone else: do you have an optimal theory of how many leaves to include above your two rooting nodes?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 7:59PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't follow about 'distal side' stuff, but it's important to keep the original 'down' as 'down' when you root it any other way.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 9:49PM
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Baby G (Z10, 300?CH, SoCal-LA)(10)

Sorry. "Distal" - meaning on the far side rather than the near side, but you followed perfectly even after my clumbsy wording, because you answered my question. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 3:13PM
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I've never been able to keep plants. They always die. I've had a Pothos for 3 years now, and I want to clip it and get more going. I'm not sure where to clip it, and how long to have the stem. I've been told that it's easier to get them started in potting soil. I have clipped and put 4 stems in each of 6 small pots with poting soil, but I'm not sure I id it right. After 3 years, I still have plenty to cut. It's going up, down, around, and it's gotten wrapped around things on the stand. thank you for any help you can give me. This is the first house plant that i've been able to keep alive. It's so easy. I water it a little once a week, and talk to it. My grand kids laugh at me for talking to it, but it must help it lol. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 2:11AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Sharon,

It really doesn't matter as much as you seem to think. If you've got yours going for 3 yrs., you're doing fine.

Just take cuttings w/ at least 3 or 4 pairs of leaves on them, strip off the bottom pair of leaves & place in water (I think faster & better than mix).

I have one that I wind round & round its container. Every few months I'll cut those 'windings' off & place them in water to make more to place back into the parent pot.

Wait, you did it already? How many pairs of leaves does each stem have? I'll suggest they should have at least 2 prs. each (I'd leave it at 3 or 4 prs.) How long ago was this pls? Since I don't do it in soil, I don't know how long it takes.

I know that when I water root them, I see roots in less than 2 wks.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Hi there.
You've received many good responses here. I've grown pothos my whole life (nearly a 1/2 century). My original parent plant was a cutting from my grandmother's plant and it's still beautiful.
Pothos (or devil's ivy) come in several varieties. The more common is the golden, which has beautifully variegated leaves from dark green to light.
Just about the only ways of killing these tough guys are by over watering or freezing (or 'baking') them.
Pothos love the same temperatures as people, but do just fine if it's a bit cooler or warmer. They do well under artificial light (offices, etc.), sunny windows and not-so-sunny places in the home.
Pothos is a WONDERFUL plant for the beginning (or 'budding' - forgive the pun) indoor gardener. They are especially pleasing because they are so very easy to propagate. You don't need special soil or conditions or anything else, and you don't need to put them in a bag. Simply cut (with a sharp knife or scissors) a piece off of an end. Cut a few inches up, making sure you have a few leaves on your cutting after removing the bottom 2 or three leaves. Stick your cutting in a glass or jar of water and that's it! Just forget about it for a few weeks. Just remember to keep adding water to the container. You will see roots form in a matter of days. You can leave them in the water or plant them in any good potting soil. I use Miracle Grow with the 'built-in' fertilizer and my plants THRIVE. If you don't want to start your cuttings in water, simply put them into the potting mix, water and that's it.
DON'T overwater the plants. Pothos hate having their roots waterlogged. Water the plant thoroughly and then leave it. Check it after a week by sticking your finger in the soil. If it is still moist, don't water. If it is dry at an inch or more, then water.
My 'secret weapon' for my beautiful pothos is a water spray bottle, which you can purchase for $1.00 at any dollar store, WalMart, etc. Set it to spray (not stream) and mist the leaves of your plants every day. I've made it a part of my regular 'routine' each morning.
I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:08PM
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I have pothos that are in the pot outside. Now that cooler weather is arriving, when I went to pick the pot up, several spots along the trailers are taking root in the soil. What can I best do to get the plant indoors?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 2:46PM
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Just trim the roots where they are connecting with the soil.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 3:21PM
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MsGreenFinger GW(8 Ireland)

Rooting a pothos is really not a big deal. You can put the cuttings straight in soil. For a few days it's gonna be limp, but then it grows the roots and perks up.
No need for water-rooting, transplanting and all...
2-3 leaves on each cutting is well enough.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 5:57PM
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