Pothos Cuttings Not Rooting: Propagated Pothos Not Growing

Pothos cuttings can be used to propagate this houseplant. It is one of the easy to grow plants that require low light to grow. You can use water, soil or peat moss to root pothos cuttings.

However, if your pothos cuttings do not root if you choose the wrong season, or don’t care to change water regularly, insufficient light, cold temperature and didn’t include node while cutting.

Spring or summer are the best seasons to start propagating pothos through stem cutting. Your pothos may not root if you choose to propagate the plant in winter.

Growing pothos or money plants in your own backyard are one of the happiest experiences for garden lovers. However, one cannot deny the challenges that are welcomed while growing the plants. 

Sometimes the water is not right, at other times the sunlight requirements are not met. But, in the preceding article, we will look at another problem that is turning heads and is becoming a hassle for many houseplant lovers. Pothos cuttings not rooting is one such concern. 

People are finding it hard to root and grow pothos from their cuttings. If you are one of them, then you have certainly arrived at the right place.

We will have a look at the causes of pothos not growing and thriving, while also looking at the classic and most appropriate way of propagating pothos leaves. 

Why Are My Pothos Cuttings Not Rooting?

pothos cuttings not rooting

If you are one of those who are searching for solutions to pothos cuttings not rooting in water and soil, then looking at these top 10 probable secrets will help you figure the problem out easily. Without further ado, let us begin. 

Also Read: Why Are the Leaves on My Christmas Cactus Limp?

1. Too long cuttings 

Trimming your cuttings before planting them is very important. This is because this way the additional and unwanted cutting lengths will not interfere in the growth of new vines and pothos when planted. 

Long cuttings give way for plants to become yellow, wilted, and weak by the time you plan to start growing them in your potting mixture. 

2. Not including nodes 

As will be described later, nodes are the dark brown parts of the vines which are also the origins of roots for pothos. If you do not include nodes in the cuttings, then there is no point in waiting for the plants to root. 

This is because you are taking the essence away from the plants to root. Without nodes, it is impossible for pothos to grow. 

3. Too dark cuttings 

Keeping your cuttings away from the glory of sunlight is a very common mistake. At the same time, exposing them to direct sunlight is not the solution.

Instead, you should locate a spot near your window where the temperatures usually remain warm and light is bright and indirect at most parts of the day. This provides a cosy and comfortable environment for the pothos to root. 

Also Read: Best Potting Mix for Pothos

4. Callousing your cuttings 

This is the most probable mistake someone can make while propagating the pothos plant. If you do this too, it is high time that you stop since this practice is highly applicable to succulents only. Pothos are leafy and are native to tropical regions. Callousing them will act effectively to kill them. 

This is definitely what you want! It is a very simple process. Make your cuttings and place them straight into water or soil for propagation. 

5. It all might be natural 

Another reason is that you are not maintaining enough patience. All pothos cuttings do not take the same time to root. Some can take unexpectedly long periods of time, while others just start rooting within days. 

But, how to tell if it is just your lack of patience and not anything serious?

If you observe that the cuttings are looking green and healthy, then the plants are good to go. You just need to wait for a couple of weeks before they start showing early signs of growth. 

Till then, make sure to meet their water, light, and nutrient need properly. 

6. Keeping cuttings too cold 

If you have been growing pothos for a long period of time, you must be aware of the temperature it prefers while growing. Warm temperatures are the ideal temperatures to keep pothos plants intact. 

That is why it is suggested to avoid keeping the cuttings too cold. It does not do anything better and instead makes the job slower. 

For best results, keep your plant cuttings at temperatures above 20 C. Also, do not devoid your plant of light at all. It will be key in growing roots faster. 

Also Read: Underwatered Snake Plant: How to Revive Snake Plant?

7. Propagating in the wrong season 

Houseplants sow their growth down during the winter season. Therefore winter becomes the wrong season to propagate pothos plants for growing.

If you still want to go for it, be prepared to wait for a longer time than usual. The plant won’t root as fast as it does at other times. 

However, if your cuttings look healthy and green, the situation is under control and all you have to do is sit and wait for it to root. Do not indulge in activities that would disturb the growing process further. 

Leave it as it is. 

8. Origin of cuttings 

Where are you choosing your pothos cutting from? Research says that growing pothos from cuttings that are extracted from really old or unhealthy vines will not survive for long. To avoid this practice, locate the healthy parts of your plant vine and take the cuttings from there. 

Further, also remember to make multiple cuttings and store them as backups. Healthy and lush green vines should always be preferred to make cuttings as opposed to weak and yellow vines. 

9. Using water of old and inappropriate quality 

Oxygen in the water starts to deplete when it remains there for a longer period of time. However, general science says that plants need oxygen to thrive.

Therefore, changing the water and replacing it with fresh tap water after every 2 to 3 days is an ideal practice and should be followed. 

Using soft water is another blunder that most people unknowingly commit. Home water softeners come depleted of calcium and magnesium, and in fact, are replaced by nothing better but sodium ions.

Being toxic to plants, sodium takes the plant a step closer to its damage and death. 

Also Read: Where Should I Put My Orchid in My House?

Propagating Pothos Plant – the right way

Now that we know what causes restrict your propagated pothos plant to grow and root from cuttings, we shall also turn towards some constructive solutions for propagated pothos not growing. 

Following is the step by step process, outlining the ideal method of propagating pothos plants and enjoying your own yield. 

Required tools

Before starting with the suitable method of pothos propagation, you are required to collect the desired tools and equipment, which are preliminaries for use. 

  • An X-acto garden knife (sharp scissors as an alternative)
  • Glasses filled up to the brim with water (required to hold cuttings) 
  • Pot or container (will be used for plating pothos; therefore, it should be composed of an ideal porous material) 
  • An all-purpose potting mixture or planting soil

Most of the tools mentioned above are easy to find, making your job a more convenient process! 

Also Read: How to Propagate and Care for Epiphyllum?


While trimming, you need to decide the length that you want to keep for your vines. That is, you get to have all the power regarding the supposed size of your plant. 

There are no specific trimming considerations regarding the pothos plant. However, after deciding the desired length of your plant, trim them directly in a way that the lowest leaf node remains intact. 

Next, untangle the vines carefully, without causing any damage, and lay them out separately from each other. 

Spread them individually in a way that they can be easily cut. 


It is always suggested to get individual leaf cuttings as a solution to pothos cuttings not rooting in soil or water. 

To implement this, start cutting along the stems. Next, reach out to the leaves and carefully dismantle the left and right of each leaf stem. 

Do not forget to leave a small vine piece attached to the leaf stem. Upon this, you should be able to observe little brown-coloured bumps at the top of the vine, popularly known as nodes.

These nodes are essential as they will provide room for pothos plants to root properly. 

Placing the plant in water 

Before you choose your glasses and jars, get an average idea about the size of the cuttings. Then, select a jar such that it doesn’t restrict the movement of your cuttings.

Choose something that suits your cuttings the best. After filling water in the container, place your cuttings into the glass in a way that the ends remain completely submerged in the water. 

This is a very crucial time since it will prepare the plant for rooting and growing. To achieve maximum results, place the glass containing cuttings at a spot that receives indirect but bright sunlight throughout and remains warm.

It is important to replace the old water with fresh liquid from time to time. Refreshing the environment every couple of days will bring out positive results in a limited time period.

Knowing the right time 

If you take out cuttings from the glass container untimely (either too early or too late than the required time), you will never receive the desired results. 

Therefore, you have to have the right skills to observe and identify when is the right time to take the cuttings out. 

Never take the cuttings out if the root length is less than 1 inch. An ideal root length can vary anywhere between 1 to 3 inches before you take it out.

If necessary, do not wait for all the cuttings to grow roots. Instead, you can develop the previously rooted cuttings in the soil for some time. However, do not let the cuttings get too adapted to the water environment. 

After you are satisfied with the growth of your plant roots, take them out as they are ready to plant, grow, and thrive! 

Planting and growing 

Take a pot or container of the right material and fill two-thirds of the container with a fresh all-purpose potting mixture. Remember that the pot edges are the ideal spots to grow cuttings. 

Therefore, after you prepare the pot bed, place the cuttings along the edges of pots and support your cuttings with additional soil layering to keep them in the right position. 

If the edges are occupied, move your cuttings towards the centre of the pot and support it with an additional potting mix layer as you did previously. 

Do not leave the cuttings without support, as they are still naive.

Once they are adapted to the potting environment, start watering them slowly and steadily until it reaches the bottom of the pot. 

Locate the ideal position for placing the pot. Once the pot starts dripping with water, locate your pot to that spot for normal growth. 

Why Pothos Not Rooting in Water?

Pothos are commonly propagated through water and there could be more than two reasons why this houseplant isn’t rooting.

Causes listed above are same for pothos not propagating through water.

  • To be able to root, pothos cuttings need to have atleast one nodes. From where the new leaves emerge. Without nodes cutting can’t develop new roots.
  • Water in which pothos cutting is immersed must be free from chlorine and chemicals. You’re recommended to use distilled water to propagate pothos.
  • Temperature should be favorable to grow pothos. This houseplant needs indirect sunlight with warm temperature. Cold climates often to encourage your pothos to root.
  • Cutting you choose to grow should be healthy. If not it won’t be a successful propagation.
  • Don’t disturb the cutting, as pothos may take several weeks to root depending on the climatic conditions in your region.

If you’re pothos is not rooting in water, you can try soil or peat moss. Also, ensure to give ideal growing environment for the plant growth.


If you notice pothos is struggling to root in water or soil, then probably you choose the wrong season to propagate or the water in which you immersed cutting is filled with chemicals.

Before propagating pothos, it is important that you check its growing requirements.

Pothos prefer warmer climates with indirect sunlight. You must change water every week to encourage rooting.

Interestingly, the aforementioned causes and tips do not only come in handy during growing pothos but also reflect similar problems faced by heart leaf philodendron, Scindapsus pictus, Philodendron ‘Brasil’, Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’, Monstera siltepecana, and Monstera adansonii to name a few. 

If one follows these steps as mentioned, then it would not be a difficult job to propagate pothos from cuttings.