Pothos Aerial Roots: Why They Grow + What You Can Do



Pothos or Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum) is an easy-care, handsome plant that you love to grow, but you notice brown roots that are growing out of the stems. They’re not very attractive – are they normal?

What are Pothos aerial roots, and what is their purpose? Should I leave them or cut them off?

Are Aerial Roots Necessary for Houseplants?

As houseplants, Pothos’ aerial roots are less necessary to the plants’ survival than in the wild. Although they will absorb humidity and oxygen from the air and can aid in propagation, their primary purpose indoors is for climbing.


If you have your Pothos in a standing pot and give it a moss pole or trellis, it will grow aerial roots supporting it as it climbs. Pothos in hanging baskets may or may not grow aerial roots because they do not need to climb.

Water & Nutrients

Just like in the wild, your Pothos will absorb water and nutrients through its aerial roots. But it’s less necessary than a houseplant since you will regularly give it water and fertilizer.


Aerial roots won’t grow new plants by themselves, but they will aid in propagation by growing soil roots if they are attached to a stem with a node in water or soil propagation.

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