Pothos is one of the favorite houseplants for many plant parents, including me.
And, if you’re someone who recently added one of those beautiful pothos varieties to your houseplant collection, then you probably want to know how fast do pothos grow, so that you can boast that beauty on your instagram as fast as possible.
If that’s the case, you’re in the right place.
In this article, I will show you the exact time duration that pothos plants need to grow bushy and fuller along with tips and tricks to fast track the growth, all based on scientific evidence.
Also, I will be sharing the tried and tested step by step instructions to grow pothos faster.
So, let’s get started.
How Fast Does Pothos Grow?
In the growing season, Pothos plants can grow at least 12 inches (or 30 cm) per month with minimal manual effort. On the other hand, if you provide exceptional care, then a maximum growth of 18 inches is also possible.
Keep in mind that the growing season for Pothos is December to May. So, don’t get discouraged if your pothos plant is not growing at this rate in the month of november! I’ve seen a lot of beginners get discouraged by their stunted plant in December.
So, in that time frame (growing season) of the year, you should expect a minimum of 12 inches (30 cm in metric scale) of growth per month.
And, this growth is based on the assumption that your pothos plant is getting an average environmental condition that most of the beginner homes have.
And if you are actually a beginner, then you should not aim for more than 12 inches, otherwise you’ll get discouraged.
On the other hand, if your pothos plant is not growing at least 12 inches per month, then there’s some underlying issue that you need to find out as fast as possible.
You can check out our library related to pothos where we list and fix all the common issues related to pothos plants.
Do Pothos Grow Faster In Soil Or Water?
Pothos is one of the houseplants that can grow well in both water and soil.
And if that’s the case, one question arises. In which medium pothos plants grow faster, water or soil?
Based on my own experience and a couple of studies, pothos plants grow faster in soil than water.
This is because, in water, pothos plants need to extract dissolved oxygen from the water, whereas in the soil it’s readily available making the plant spend it’s full energy on growth.
Apart from the oxygen, pothos plants in water don’t get as much air and nutrients that are available in the soil which in turn decreases the growth rate.
If you choose to grow your pothos plant in water, then consider adding the required minerals and nutrients into the water. Also, ensure that you’re changing the water periodically to prevent any water borne plant diseases.
Which Pothos Grows Fastest?
There are 15+ different varieties of pothos plants available. And it is natural that different varieties will grow at different speeds. So, you may ask, which Pothos variety grows fastest?
Generally, variegated pothos plants are slow growers compared to their non variegated counterparts. In other words, the more variegated the leaves of your pothos, the more time it’ll take to grow.
The science behind it is very simple to understand.
For a plant to produce variegated leaves, a lot of additional energy is required. And, this holds true for variegated pothos as well.
So, naturally variegated pothos plants will use the majority of its energy to produce variegated leaves and as a result overall growth rate will be slower.
Another reason for the slower growth of variegated pothos is its inability to execute photosynthesis as fast as non variegated green pothos varieties.
You may already know that the green pigments (chlorophyll) in the plant leaves are responsible for the photosynthesis process. So, more variegated the leaves are, less green pigments and that implies slower photosynthesis and slower growth rate.
So, if you’re a newbie who wants your pothos plant to grow faster and look like a complete plant in a short amount of time, then you should probably look at non variegated pothos varieties like neon pothos, golden pothos, etc.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to wait, then the beautiful patterns on variegated varieties like marble queen pothos, satin pothos, N’Joy pothos, etc ensures that your waiting time is really worth it.
How To Make Pothos Grow Faster?
As I already said, if you provide exceptional care, then you can make your pothos grow faster at a rate of 18 inches (45 cm) per month in the growing season.
And, it’s not that easy as it sounds. Why?
Because, for any plant, the ultimate best living conditions will be the replica of its natural habitat. Creating a replica of a pothos plant’s natural habitat (tropical forests) is not something that beginners plant parents can easily pull it off.
But, you don’t need to worry. I will be providing you a simple seven step process that creates an environment that will be similar to the natural one.
So, let’s get started.
1. Grow Pothos faster in a nutritional soil
Pothos plants are a kind of plants that can grow well in both soil and water. But, in general pothos plants need more than just water to grow bushy and fuller.
And, the most important one among other requirements apart from water is soil.
Not just for pothos, whenever you think of growing a new plant, the first step should always be choosing the right soil unless you are strictly going to grow it in water.
Based on a research paper mentioned in the Assiut Journal of Agricultural Science, the potting medium with a mixture of peat moss, perlite, clay, sand and foam provided the maximum sustainable growth.
Also, this mixture is considered to be a good source for many houseplants. So, if you don’t want to make your own, these are readily available in your nearest garden center. Out of all the ingredients, peat moss and perlite are the most important ones and clay is the least important. So, choose a potting mix from the store considering this.
Not just the soil, the type of pot, fertilizers used and the pH level of the potting mix is also important which we discuss more in the coming sections.
If you’ve created the perfect potting medium for your new pothos plant, then the next step is to find the location where it gets proper light.
2. Give Sufficient bright indirect light
Based on multiple research, pothos plants thrive in an environment with low to moderate light. It is recommended that you should give at least 12 to 14 hours of low to medium light.
Also, make sure that the light you provide is indirect and not the direct bright sunlight. Eventhough, pothos can withstand 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight exposure, it is not recommended.
Direct sunlight will do more harm than good.
Too much direct sunlight will cause sunburn to your pothos plant leaves. Also, it can scorch your plants and the leaves get bleached out and turn yellow. So, the leaves of your pothos plant turning yellow is a sign of too much light.
On the other hand, too little light can make the color of your plant fade. Variegated pothos plants will lose it’s variegation in very low light conditions. Very low light won’t kill your plant like too much light, but growth will be significantly lower.
If you are keeping your pothos plant in a room with no medium indirect bright light, then you can invest in an artificial grow light. Not all plants can grow using artificial light, but pothos is not one among them. Infact, pothos will thrive in artificial light just like it does in nature.
3. Monitor and provide humidity and temperature
Humidity is something that most of the house plant owners neglect.
But you may ask, why? The reason is pretty simple.
Providing the perfect humidity for your pothos plant is not as easy as adjusting the watering cycle or changing the position to receive more light.
But, if you want to achieve the exceptional 18 inches per month growth, then you should be ready to go the extra mile and get it fixed. There is a reason why most beginners don’t see 18 inches groth, because they are not ready to go down this path.
So, let’s answer the big question. What is the best humidity range for pothos plants?
Pothos come from the tropical forests where the humidity level is above 60% throughout the year. Also, based on a couple of greenhouse research, Pothos plants were rated to thrive when the humidity is in the range of 50 to 70%.
Measuring humidity and providing the perfect range for your pothos plant is not easy. You may have to purchase a hygrometer and track the humidity in your room for a week before making any adjustments.
If the results show that you need to increase your humidity, then you can do so by following any of the below,
- Misting pothos leaves
- Put your pothos plant in a pebble tray
- Use a humidifier in the room where you keep your pothos
- Group all your pothos plants nearby
On the other hand, if you want to reduce the humidity then not many options are available. You can try watering more often, keeping a lot of distance between plants or even try a dehumidifier.
Apart from humidity, temperature of the surroundings also plays an important role in the growth of your pothos plant. The ideal temperature range for a pothos plant is 60 to 850F (15 to 29 0C).
4. Fix a watering schedule early on
Pothos plants do not love to be soaked in water, in fact no plants love that.
There is no perfect watering cycle for pothos, because the watering cycle is dependent on many environmental conditions and other factors like temperature, humidity, potting soil, etc.
The best way to know whether your pothos needs a drink is by poking your finger in the soil. If the top two inches are dry, then it’s time for watering.
If you don’t trust your fingers (sometimes I don’t), then you can purchase a moisture meter and measure the soil. If the reading is somewhere between 2 and 3, then you should water the plants immediately.
If you want a definite answer, then here it is.
Generally, pothos plants need to be watered once every 1 to 2 weeks. If you live in a hot tropical area, then you should water once a week and if your locality is cold, then once in two weeks is ideal.
But still, you should consider other important factors like seasonal changes, temperature drops, humidity levels, aeration in soil etc.
5. Grow Pothos faster by providing proper fertilizer
Adding fertilizer is one of the controversial topics in farming and gardening in general. Some say organic gardening without chemical fertilizers is better while others say the opposite.
Based on research, I can confirm that adding chemical fertilizers do have a positive effect in the overall growth of the plants.
Sure, you can grow pothos plants without any chemical fertilizers, but we’re not talking about just growth here. We don’t want that. We want exceptional growth that the majority of houseplant owners will think impossible.
So, the next question is which fertilizer should I use?
Using a balanced fertilizer like general purpose NPK fertilizer in the ratio 10/10/10 with proper dilution is all your little pothos plant needs.
Along with the type of fertilizer, the fertilizing frequency and season is also very important.
If your plant has a new potting mix that you bought online or from a store, then the soil will mostly have fertilizer already mixed and it will be enough for at least 6 months depending on the size of the pot.
After that try to fertilize once in a month apart from the dormant winter months. During dormant months, I generally don’t add any fertilizer to my pothos because at thet time frame pothos is not trying to grow, instead just surviving.
6. Grow Pothos faster by removing pests
Even if you provide the best possible care for your pothos plant, pests will continue to be a problem for you.
Pests are like those guests who will come every now and then without even you being invited.
If you catch them early, then that’s better for your plant. The common pests and insects that you can see in pothos plants are aphids, mealybugs, small spiders, caterpillars, etc.
If the infection is not severe, you can just remove them by splashing water onto the leaves where they are breeding. On the other hand, if the infection is quite severe, then you may have to manually remove each bug by using natural or chemical pest removers.
How To Grow a Pothos Cutting fast?
If you are planning to get a cutting from your friend to grow your own pothos plant or trying to propagate multiple pothos plants from your single parent plant, then you need to know how to grow a pothos cutting fast.
As I already mentioned multiple times, Pothos is relatively an easy plant to care for. That includes cutting and propagating as well.
Before propagating, make sure your cutting has at least 6 to 7 leaves. Many people on the internet seem to recommend three to 4 leaves, it may work well. But, I always find a high success rate when my cutting has more than 6 leaves.
Once you have a stem with 6 to 7 leaves, you should remove at least 3 leaves from the bottom. Make sure that the stem has a couple of drown bumps called nodes, from where new roots grow. Now you are left with a pothos stem with few nodes and 3 or 4 leaves.
Now, it’s time to grow this little kid in a rooting medium.
You can propagate a pothos plant in two ways, either in water or soil.
Based on research, rooting is faster in water than soil. Since this article is all about how to grow pothos faster, I will suggest you propagate a pothos cutting in water.
Take a jar or vase and fill it with chlorine free water. Then, place your pothos stem in the jar and make sure that nodes and stem are submerged in the water whereas the uncut leaves are above the vase.
Once it’s done, place your jar in a spot where it can get at least 10 hours of indirect bright sunlight.
In a couple of weeks, you will start seeing the root growth. Generally after a month, you will have established roots and then you can put the plant in a pot and grow it using the normal pothos care routine.
How To Grow Pothos Faster – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It’s very common to have doubts and questions whenever we do something we’re not familiar with. And, in this section, I will answer some of the commonly asked questions on the internet regarding how to grow pothos faster.
Why is my pothos growing so slow?
The most common cause for pothos plants growing slowly is underwatering. When the soil dries out, the roots also start drying. When some of the roots are dead and the whole plant is dependent on the living roots, the overall growth of the plant will stop.
Apart from underwatering, other causes like nutrient depleted soil, root rot, root bound, etc can also cause slowness in your pothos plant’s growth.
Which pothos grows fastest?
Based on multiple researches, non variegated pothos plants grow faster than variegated ones. That means non variegated varieties like Golden Pothos, Cebu Blue Pothos, Jade Pothos, etc grows faster than variegated varieties like Marble Queen Pothos, N’Joy Pothos, Manjula Pothos, etc.
How fast should my pothos be growing?
If you are providing the perfect care routine for your pothos plant, then you should expect at least a 12 inches of growth in the growing season during summer. If you are an experienced plant owner with some luck and have an exceptional environment tailor made for pothos plants, then you can even witness a growth of 18 inches per month which is considered to be rare, but definitely possible.
Does cutting pothos make it grow faster?
There is no scientific evidence that suggests cutting or trimming pothos will make it grow faster, but it is a common practice among houseplant owners. When you prune a pothos plant, it will be stressed.
If the plant comes out of the stress quickly, then you may witness some quick growth. On the other hand, if your plant didn’t recover from the stress quick enough then it will grow slower than the rate prior to pruning.
If you are planning to prune your pothos plant, then do it in the growing season (spring to early fall) so that it has enough energy and probability of coming out of stress quickly is higher.
Do pothos need sunlight to grow faster?
No, pothos do not need sunlight to grow faster. Scientifically, every plant needs sunlight to grow, pothos is a kind of plant that grows well even in artificial lights. If your room does not have enough sunlight, you don’t need to stress about it. Just get a decent grow light and your pothos plant will be happy.
So, let’s have a quick recap of what we’ve learned till now.
Pothos plant is a relatively quick grower. With the average conditions provided by the majority of the beginner plant owners, the plant will grow about 12 inches per month in the growing season.
On the other hand, if you provide exceptional care, you can make your pothos plant grow even faster with a rate of 18 inches per month.
To achieve this massive growth you have to provide the best potting mix, sufficient bright indirect light, proper humidity and temperature, etc.