How Often to Water Pothos Plants


How often to water pothos

Water pothos plants once every 7 days in Spring and Summer and once every 10-14 days in Winter. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering pothos plants again and always water with a good soak. Mist the pothos leaves with water once every 7 days to create a humid micro-climate.

Keep reading to learn the signs of over watering and under watering and for the best method for watering pothos (also known as devils ivy) plants…

How Often to Water Pothos Indoors

Pothos is native to warm tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Oceania and grows in relatively high humidity, sheltered from excessive air currents and in well draining soil.

Pothos is a very adaptable plant that can growth in a wide variety of conditions but pothos prefers evenly moist soil that dries out slightly between bouts of watering.

If the potting soil dries out completely for an extended period or the humidity is very low then the leaves of the pothos can turn brown as a sign of drought stress. However if the soil is saturated rather then just moist then pothos leaves turn yellow and droop potentially indicating root rot.

To water pothos properly, it is important to replicate the typical watering cycle and levels of moisture in the potting soil of their pothos native environment.

Water pothos with a good soak, then allow the top inch of the potting soil to dry out before watering again. Typically this means watering pothos plants once every 7 days in Spring and Summer during active growth and once every 10 days in Winter.

For indoors pothos plant it is often necessary to mist the leaves with water as house tends to have low humidity, particularly with air currents from air conditioning and sources of heat in Winter months.

Misting the leaves of your pothos once a week helps to mitigate the drying affects of air currents and creates a humid micro-climate to emulate the pothos tropical, forest environment.

However there are several factors that can influence how often pothos should be watered according to your climate and conditions:

  • The average humidity and temperature range of your climate.
  • The size of the pot or container (smaller pots and containers faster then larger pots).
  • Whether pothos is in the air current of air conditioning and near to sources of heat when indoors.
  • The capacity of the potting soil to retain moisture.

The most reliable way to establish how often to water pothos for your specific climate and conditions in your home, teel the top inch of the potting soil with your finger to detect the level of the soils moisture.

If the soil feels moist the delay watering for a few days until the soil feels as though it is drying out which is the perfect time to water with a really good soak.

Once you know how long it generally takes for the first inch of the soil to dry, you can establish a watering schedule that is ta loured to your climate and the conditions in your house.

How Often to Water Pothos in Winter

The pothos plants demand for moisture can fluctuate with the seasons even when growing indoors.

In Winter pothos requires watering less often as growth slows down due to less hours of day light and a lower light intensity.

Typically watering pothos once every 10 to 14 days in Winter months meets the water requirements of pothos plant and prevents any problems associated with over watering such as root rot.

It is however important to consider where the pothos is located in your home as if it is near a source of heat or in the path of forced air then this can dry out the soil more quickly.

As long as the top inch of the soil dries out between watering and you give the pothos a good soak and mist the leaves once per week then the pothos should stay healthy and green over Winter.

Signs of Over Watering and Under Watering Pothos

The symptoms of an over watered pothos are that the leaves turn yellow and droop with an overall dying appearance.

However it is not just over watering that causes too much water around the roots of your pothos as slow draining soils, pots without drainage holes in their base and the use of saucers, trays and decorative outer pots can all cause excess water to pool around the pothos roots which cause the yellow leaves and root rot.

Pothos requires well draining soil as the roots of the pothos plant do not tolerate being in saturated soil.

Too much water around the root ball exclude oxygen from the soil and prevents root respiration which interferes with the roots ability to uptake water and nutrients and causes the leaves to turn yellow, and eventually causing root rot.

Pothos is more resilient when affected by drought stress then over watering so if in doubt when watering pothos, wait till the soil feels dry.

The symptoms of under watering pothos are leaves that turn brown and yellow with the leaves visibly shriveling or curling.

Rather confusingly pothos leaves can turn yellow as a result of over watering and under watering but you can quickly determine the cause by feeling the soils moisture through the drainage hole in the base of the pot.

If the soil is boggy or saturated rather then just moist then over watering is the cause whereas dry soil indicates not watering often enough or watering too lightly.

For under watered pothos, place the pot in a basin of water for 10 minutes or so to ensure the soil is properly soaked so that they roots can uptake the water they desperately require.

Increase your watering frequency, always water with a good soak and mist the leaves once a week and the pothos should recover.

Method for Watering Pothos

Whilst climate, temperature and humidity can all affect how often you water pothos, how much you should water pothos plants is always the same.

Water your pothos with a generous soak, so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot.

Watering this way with a good soak, ensures that the water has infiltrated all the potting soil so that it is evenly moist and the roots of the pothos can uptake the moisture they require.

Watering the soil too lightly results in only the top inch or so of the soil becoming moist and the water does not reach the roots, which can result in pothos leaves that turn brown, or yellow and wilt due to drought stress.

Watering with a good soak, so that all the potting soil is consistently moist recreates the level of soil moisture pothos prefer in their native tropical environment.

Well Draining Soil Prevent Pothos Dying from Over Watering

Watering pothos to achieve the optimal balance of moisture is only possible if it is planted in the appropriate well draining potting mix.

The right potting mix should maintain an aerated, porous well draining structure whilst retaining some moisture so that the roots can uptake the water they require.

For the optimal potting mix, plant pothos in 3 parts ordinary, house plant potting soil or compost to one part perlite for added drainage and good soil structure.

Pothos is a tough plant and can adapt to most soil conditions but adding perlite ensures that water can effectively drain away from the roots to prevent root rot.

If the potting soil is compacted and not porous then it can hold too much water around the roots of your pothos, causing the leaves to turn yellow and kill the plant.

With right soil mix it is much easier to maintain the perfect moisture balance for your indoor pothos plants and prevent any affects of over watering to keep your plant healthy.

Water Pothos in Pots with Good Drainage

Pothos does not tolerate boggy or saturated for a long time so it is important that your pothos is planted in a pot or container with drainage holes in the base to allow excess water to draing away from the roots.

Watering with a really good soak so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot or container is the best way to ensure the pothos soil is evenly moist so that the roots can uptake the moisture they require.

If your pothos is planted in a pot without drainage holes then water pools around the roots causing root rot.

Water can still pool around the roots in your pot if:

  • The drainage hole in the base of the pot or containers is blocked with roots or compacted soil. If you notice your soil draining slowly then it is worth checking to see whether you should clear the hole in the base to allow water to drain properly.
  • Saucers and trays underneath your pots. Saucers or trays underneath your pothos pot prevents water spilling in your home but you should empty the saucer or tray regularly to prevent water collecting and keeping the soil too damp for the pothos roots.
  • Decorative outer pots. Pothos are sometimes sold in decorative outer pots that do not have drainage holes in their base which prevents water escaping, causing root rot, so either empty the pot of water regularly or plant in a pot with drainage holes in the base.

Key Takeaways:

  • Water pothos plants as often as once every 7 days in the Spring and Summer, and water pothos as often as once every 10-14 days in Winter. Always water pothos with a generous soak and mist the leaves with water once every 7 days to create the humid environment that pothos plants prefer.
  • Pothos should be planted in well draining soil. Perlite can improve drainage of the potting soil to prevent pothos dying of root rot
  • Plant pothos in pots with drainage holes in the base to prevent excess water pooling around the root ball which causes root rot.
  • The symptoms of under watered pothos plants are leaves turning brown, or yellow and wilting whereas over watered pothos causes the leaves to turn yellow and droop. Water pothos plants with a good soak when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Typically watering once per week is the optimal amount for pothos plants in Spring and Summer and once every 10 days in Winter.

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