How Fast Does Pothos Grow? (Answered + Plant Growth Tips)

Pothos, also known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular houseplant known for its ability to thrive in various conditions. But how fast can Pothos grow? 

Overall, your Pothos should grow an average of 12″” each month during its growing period, but some factors can increase or decrease growth.

We’ll explore these factors and provide tips on how to care for your plant to encourage faster growth.

3 Factors That Affect Pothos Growth

Many factors can influence the rate at which Pothos plants grow. Some are cultural (the conditions you provide and how you take care of your plant), and some are seasonal. 

Whether they’re grown indoors or out, some are because of pests, and some have to do with the amount of chlorophyll the different varieties have.

1. Cultural Factors

watering a pothos plant

Light

Pothos plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight but can tolerate low-light conditions. Therefore, plants that receive more light will grow faster than those that receive less light. 

Temperature

Aim for temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme temperatures (both too hot and too cold) can slow growth.

Water

These plants prefer consistently moist soil but prefer to avoid being waterlogged. Overwatering often leads to root rot, which can slow down or stop growth.

Humidity

Pothos prefers moderate to high humidity, although they can tolerate lower humidity levels. Providing the plant with the right humidity level can help it grow more quickly.

Fertilizer

Your plant will benefit from regular fertilization, especially during the growing season. Using a balanced fertilizer appropriate for houseplants can help promote faster growth.

Pot size and drainage

Pothos can quickly outgrow their pots, which can restrict their growth. Repotting your Pothos into a larger pot can help them grow more rapidly. Also, ensure that the pot has proper drainage holes to prevent root rot. 

filling a pot for pothos plant with soil

Potting soil

Pothos plants prefer well-draining potting soil that is rich in organic matter. Using high-quality potting soil can help promote faster growth.

Essential minerals

Epipremnum aureum plants require certain minerals to grow and thrive, including nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients.

These minerals are usually obtained from the soil through the process of fertilization. Therefore, your plant may grow slowly or poorly without adequate amounts of these minerals.

Toxic minerals

Some minerals, such as copper and zinc, can be toxic to Pothos plants in high concentrations. If the soil contains high levels of these minerals, it can inhibit the plant’splant’s growth and cause leaf discoloration or death.

pH

The pH of the soil can also affect the availability of minerals to Pothos plants. Pothos plants prefer slightly acidic soil, with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5.

Soil too alkaline or too acidic may prevent the plant from absorbing essential minerals, leading to slow or stunted growth.

woman holding different pothos varieties fro growing in water

Growing in Water

Pothos plants can be grown in either water or soil, and many gardeners prefer to grow them in water because it is a convenient and low-maintenance option.

When grown in water, the growth rate will depend on the same factors that affect the development of Pothos plants grown in soil, such as light, temperature, and fertilization. 

Here are a few tips for growing Pothos in water: 

  • Change the water regularly: It’s essential to change the water in your plant’s container every one to two weeks to prevent the buildup of minerals and bacteria. This will help ensure that your Pothos has access to fresh, clean water, which can help it grow more quickly.
  • Use a nutrient solution: Pothos plants grown in water will not have access to the nutrients found in soil, so it’s essential to provide them with a nutrient solution to help them grow. There are many nutrient solutions specifically formulated for plants grown in water, such as hydroponic fertilizers. Follow the instructions on the label for the best results.
  • Consider the size of the container: If your plant is growing in a small container, it may be more prone to root rot and other issues that can slow down its growth. Choose a container that is large enough to allow your plant to grow, and be sure to change the water regularly to prevent problems.
  •  Growing in an Aquarium: Pothos are often used in aquariums as a natural way to filter the water and provide a habitat for fish and other aquatic animals.

The growth rate in an aquarium will depend on the same factors that affect the growth of the plants grown in soil: sunlight, temperature, and nutrients. 

However, water will not have the same amount of carbon dioxide as air, so the growth will tend to be slower, and the leaves will be smaller.

Here are some considerations to remember when growing Pothos in an aquarium:

  • Provide sufficient light: Pothos will grow best in an aquarium if they receive adequate light. In an aquarium, this can be achieved by using a grow light or placing the tank near a window with plenty of natural light.
  • Use a nutrient-rich substrate: These plants grown in an aquarium will not have access to soil, so it’s essential to provide them with a substrate that is rich in nutrients. Many options are available, including aquaponic gravel, which can help support faster growth.
  • Consider the aquarium size: As when grown in water or soil, choosing an aquarium that is large enough to allow the plant to grow is essential. Be sure to give your houseplant plenty of room to spread and grow.
pothos growing outside

2. Seasonal Factors: Pothos Growing Season

Epipremnum aureum can grow year-round indoors or outdoors in warm regions, but they may experience a lull in growth during the winter months when the days are shorter, and the temperatures are cooler.

Here is an overview of the Pothos growing season:

Spring

As the days grow longer and the temperatures warm up, the plant will begin to emerge from its winter dormancy and resume active growth. This is the ideal time to start fertilizing to encourage healthy, rapid growth.

Summer

During the summer months, these plants will typically grow the fastest. Provide your plant with plenty of light and water to support its growth, and continue to fertilize regularly to provide it with the nutrients it needs.

Fall

As the days grow shorter and temperatures cool down, Pothos may begin to slow down their growth. This is an excellent time to prune any leggy or overgrown growth to encourage the plant to produce more compact growth.

Also, gradually slow down on the fertilizer and water as the fall progresses.

Winter

Pothos plants may go through a period of dormancy during the winter months, during which they will grow more slowly. This is normal and is nothing to be concerned about.

Just be sure to continue providing the plant with the proper care, but water it less and don’t fertilize it until spring.

pothos with light shining on a wood table.

Growing Indoors or Outdoors

Epipremnum aureum is native to tropical rainforests, where they grow as vines, clinging to trees and other supports.

As houseplants, they can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on the gardener’s climate and preferences. Overall, they may grow faster outdoors due to abundant light and natural water sources, but they can still grow well indoors with proper care. 

By understanding the Pothos growing season and where you grow it, you can provide your plant with the care it needs to grow strong and healthy throughout the year.

pothos leaves turning yellow and with leaf spot

Pests

Pests can be a common problem, and if left unchecked, they can significantly impact the plant’splant’s growth. Here is a look at some common pests that can affect your plants and how they can impact the speed of growth:

  • Aphids: These are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of Pothos. They can cause yellowing and also curling of the leaves and may produce a sticky substance called honeydew, leading to the growth of sooty mold.  
  • Spider mites: Tiny, spider-like insects that also feed on the sap. They can cause yellowing and bronzing of the leaves and may produce webs on the plant. 
  • Scale insects: These are small, armored insects. They can also cause yellowing and curling of the leaves and may produce honeydew, leading to the growth of sooty mold. 

If left unchecked, aphids, spider mites, and scale insects can significantly slow the growth of Pothos plants.

By identifying and treating pests promptly, you can help protect your plant from damage and ensure that it grows to its full potential. 

There are many ways to control pests, including insecticides, natural remedies, and physical removal. Remember to follow the instructions on the label and use caution when applying any treatment to your plant.

3. Amount of Chlorophyll

The amount of chlorophyll in a plant coupled with the amount of available sunlight can significantly impact Pothos’ growth.

Chlorophyll, which is the green pigment found in plants that is essential for photosynthesis, is the process that plants convert sunlight into food. 

They use carbon dioxide and water with sunlight to produce glucose that they use for energy. This energy is used by the plant to grow and develop.

Like all green plants, Pothos contain chlorophyll, which gives them their characteristic green color. Without chlorophyll, plants would not be able to grow and thrive.

Several factors can affect the production of chlorophyll, including:

  • Light: Pothos need sufficient light to produce chlorophyll and to grow. Plants that receive too little light may produce less chlorophyll and grow more slowly.
  • Temperature: These plants prefer temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme temperatures, (too hot / cold) can affect the production of chlorophyll and slow down growth.
  • Water: They need consistent moisture to produce chlorophyll and to grow. Overwatering or underwatering can lead to reduced chlorophyll production and slower growth.
  • Fertilizer: Devil’s Ivy needs certain nutrients, including nitrogen, iron, magnesium, and manganese to produce chlorophyll and to grow. A balanced fertilizer appropriate for houseplants with micronutrients can help promote faster growth and chlorophyll production.
  • Amount of variegation: Pothos varieties with the greenest leaves, such as Jade and Golden, will grow the fastest because they have the more chlorophyll. Varieties with high variegation, such as N’ Joy and Pearls and Jade, will typically grow slower because of the reduced amount of chlorophyll.

By providing your plant with the proper care and conditions, including sufficient light, consistent moisture, and appropriate nutrients, you can help it produce chlorophyll and grow to its full potential.

pothos plant in a hanging basket

5 Tips For Increasing Pothos Growth Rate

To increase our pothos growth rate, follow these tips:

  1. Provide bright, indirect light: Pothos grows best when they receive bright, indirect light. So, place your plant in a spot with plenty of light, but avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.
  2. Keep the temperature consistent: Aim for temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your plant away from drafts and heat or cold sources to ensure it grows consistently.
  3. Water consistently: These plants prefer consistently moist soil, but avoid being waterlogged. Therefore, water your plant when the top inch or two of soil feels dry, and ensure water drains properly to prevent root rot.
  4. Fertilize regularly: Use a balanced fertilizer formulated explicitly for houseplants to give your Pothos the nutrients they need to grow quickly. Follow the instructions on the label for the healthiest results.
  5. Repot as needed: These plants can quickly outgrow their pots. If you notice that your pothos plant’s roots are filling up the pot or the plant is becoming top-heavy, it’s time to repot into a larger pot.
propagating pothos plants

Additional Tips

In addition to providing your plant with the proper conditions and care, there are a few additional steps you can take to help it grow faster:

  • Prune regularly: Your plant can become leggy over time, inhibiting their growth. Pruning off long, leggy stems and encouraging the plant to grow new, fuller growth can help it grow faster.
  • Use rooting hormone: If you have cuttings from your houseplant that you want to root and grow into new plants, the rooting hormone can help the cuttings take root faster. 
  • Propagate in water: Devil’s Ivy can be propagated in water and soil, and many gardeners find that this method results in faster growth. To propagate your Pothos in water, place a cutting in a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots.
  • Use a high-quality potting mix: A high-quality potting mix can help ensure that your plant has access to the proper nutrients it needs to grow quickly. Look for a blend specifically formulated for houseplants and contains a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Following these tips can help your Pothos plant grow as quickly as possible and enjoy a healthy, thriving plant. Just be sure to continue providing the plant with the proper care and conditions to keep it growing strong. 

nancy
Nancy Maffia
Author & Editor | + posts

Nancy has been a plant person from an early age. That interest blossomed into a bachelor’s in biology from Elmira College and a master’s degree in horticulture and communications from the University of Kentucky. Nancy worked in plant taxonomy at the University of Florida and the L. H. Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University, and wrote and edited gardening books at Rodale Press in Emmaus, PA. Her interests are plant identification, gardening, hiking, and reading.