For a plant parent who grows a lot of different plants at a time, fixing a watering schedule and following it for all of them is one of the most time-consuming processes.
But, that’s how gardening life is, right?
If you want your plants to thrive, then you need to spend some time with them.
If you are someone who recently added a pothos plant to your collection and wondering about the water requirements of the plant, then you are in the right place.
So, let me answer the big question, how often to water pothos plants?
In the growing season, pothos plants need to be watered once in a week and once in two weeks during the dormant season. But, this is not a fixed rule and check the moisture content in your plant before watering using a drip finger test or moisture meter. Climate, pot size, soil mix, etc. also indicates how frequently to water pothos plants.
There is a lot more into watering your pothos plant than just setting a fixed schedule.
In this article, I will be going through everything you need to know about the pothos water requirements. It includes,
- Factors to consider before watering
- Symptoms of overwatered pothos
- Symptoms of under watered pothos
- How to check moisture content before watering
- Lots more.
So, let’s dive right in.
Pothos Water Requirements : Factors To Consider
Setting up a watering schedule for your pothos plant is not an easy task. In fact, it is one of the hardest tasks for the majority of the houseplant owners.
There are a lot of factors that affect a pothos plant’s need for water. Out of all, the most important factors to consider are climate parameters like light, humidity and temperature during different seasons, pot type, plant size and potting mix.
1. Climate factors
Climate changes are one of the most essential factors to be considered before setting up a watering schedule for your pothos plant.
Pothos plants require more water in summer than winter. It is because the temperature is very high during summer which will dry up the soil and dehydrate the plant very quickly.
Also, summer lies in the growing season of pothos plants. Generally, plants require more water during the growing season than the dormant season.
The general rule of thumb is to water once in every week during the summer season to avoid dehydration and support new growth. During winter, the plant is just staying dormant, and it just requires water once every two weeks.
The other climate factors include the intensity of light and humidity. The intensity of light is deeply connected with the temperature.
If the intensity of light is very high, temperature will be high and plants will need more water and vice versa.
Humidity is not an important thing to consider, but still it is good to know. Humidity is the amount of moisture content in the air. If you live in a place where the humidity is high, then your plant will need less water.
2. Potting mix
Pothos plants thrive in well-draining soil media with a lot of space between individual particles. The potting mixes include peat moss, coco coir, perlite, etc are considered to be the best choices.
These soil mixes are well aerated, which means air can easily pass through the media and drain the water pretty quickly after the required water is absorbed by the soil.
On the other hand, hard and heavy soil mix will absorb as much as water and won’t dry easily. It also creates cloggy soil clusters with poor ventilation which will cause root rot in the long run.
So, if you are currently using a heavy potting media, then you should repot it as fast as possible. Until then, water very less often to reduce the chances of root decaying.
3. Pot type
Pot types are often an overlooked parameter for everything related to growing plants. Based on multiple studies, pots have a huge impact on the plant’s health and growth.
Setting up a watering schedule for your pothos plant also depends on the pot. To be precise, the size of the pot and the pot material are the two things to be noted.
Some people grow small pothos plants in large pots. Even though it is not recommended, with proper care you can make the plant thrive. But remember that larger pots have more water holding capacity than smaller pots, and you need to water less frequently.
The other thing to consider is the pot’s material. Plastic pots are non-porous and water will dry very slowly. As a result, you need to water less often.
On the other hand, earthen pots like ceramic, clay, and terracotta are highly porous and will absorb water very quickly, and you need to water more frequently.
Now you know what are the important parameters to consider before setting up a watering schedule for your pothos plant.
But, what if you were watering wrong till now? How do you know that?
Overwatered Pothos Vs Underwatered Pothos – Symptoms
The most commonly seen symptoms of overwatered pothos plants are yellow and brown leaves, mushy growth, curly and wilting leaves, mold on soil, etc. If you’ve been overwatering for a long period of time, then the root decaying smell due to root rot is also a sign.
If you are not seeing any symptoms of pothos root rot, then you can just stop watering your plant for a couple of weeks to see if the conditions are improving in the right direction.
But, if you were overwatering for a long period of time, then there is a high chance that your plant has root rot. In such instances, repotting is the only way to make your plant healthy again.
Some of the symptoms like yellow, brown and wilting leaves are there for underwatering as well. But mostly, underwatered pothos are identified by stunted growth and dry soil.
If you were underwatering all these days, then it’s time to give your pothos plant’s deep shower. You can water from top, side or at the base.
Then keep a watering schedule for your pothos plant and stick to it. After a couple of months of proper watering, the underwatering symptoms will start to disappear.
To have a detailed understanding of overwatered and underwatered pothos plants, check out this article on Overwatered Vs Underwatered Pothos Plants.
How Do I Know When My Pothos Need Water?
You can check whether your pothos plant needs water or not by dripping your finger in the potting soil. If the top two inches of the mix is completely dry, then it’s time for watering. If not, check after a couple of days. Instead of the drip finger test, you can also use a more accurate moisture meter.
As I already mentioned, finding when you need to water your plant depends on a lot of parameters like temperature, humidity, intensity of light, etc.
And, there is no “one size fits all” answer for this question.
Instead, what you can do is check the conditions of your own pothos plant and take the necessary actions advised in this article.
So, how do you know whether you should water your pothos plants now or wait for a couple of days more?
Well, the simplest and most accurate answer is to test the moisture content in your pothos plant’s soil mix.
There are more than 5 different ways to measure the moisture content in your pothos plant soil. But the most commonly used reliable methods are, drip finger test, weight test and moisture meter test.
1. Drip finger test
If you want a free way to assess the quantity of water in your pothos plant soil mix, then drip finger test is the best option. In fact, the drip finger test is the widely used and recommended method for checking moisture content, even for a complete beginner.
Here’s how you should do;
Step 1 : Dip your finger
When you feel like it’s time for watering your pothos plant, just insert your index finger in the soil mix. Depending on the pot size, dip your finger for up to 2 inches deep to get a more accurate result.
Step 2 : Check whether you feel any chillness
When your finger is dipped inside, if the soil is wet or already has some water content, then you will feel a little chillness. If you don’t feel any chillness, probably the soil is dry. But we are unsure until we lift the finger and analyze.
Step 3 : Lift your finger up
After a couple of seconds, lift your finger upwards from the pot. If the soil has enough water content, some clusters of sand will be sticking to your finger. If not, then the soil is dry and ready for watering.
2. Weight test
If you don’t want your hands to get dirty, or you don’t believe your finger’s sensitivity, then a weight test is the next best option without spending a penny.
But remember, this is the least reliable method, and it won’t work for everyone.
All you have to do is lift your pothos plant with the pot and see if it’s lighter than when it was after watering. Generally, after watering, pots weigh more than when the soil is dry.
First, for this method to work flawlessly, you should already know the weight of the pot just after watering. It is really annoying to track the weight of the pot!
Also, when the plant attains new growth in terms of root and leaves, the weight changes and this method won’t take this into account.
Moreover, if you are a beginner and have a small pot, then you really can’t feel the weight difference easily, and you may underwater or overwater, which is very serious.
3. Moisture meter test
If you want the most reliable way to measure the moisture in your plant’s soil, then no other methods can replace a dedicated moisture meter test.
Moisture meters are small screwdriver-like tools that have a long tip (sometimes two) at the bottom and a head where readings are shown.
Moisture meters with both mechanical and digital heads are available. Digital moisture meters are considered to be more accurate than the mechanical counterparts.
If you got one in your hand, it’s pretty simple to take a reading.
All you have to do is dip the tip into the soil. And wait for the head to show a measurement.
Different brands have different measurement systems. “3” reading on one brand will be considered as dry whereas on another brand, it may be medium. So, it is very important that you refer to the product’s manual for accurate understanding.
There are some good multimeters that measure a couple of useful parameters in gardening like pH, moisture, sunlight, etc.
How Often To Water Pothos Plant? – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In this section, I will be answering some of the most common questions that people are asking on the internet regarding the watering requirements of pothos plants.
How often do you water a pothos plant?
Setting a watering schedule for your pothos plant is dependent on a lot of different parameters like climate, soil mix, temperature, etc. As a starting point, you can water once in 7 days during the growing season (spring and summer) and once in 14 days during dormant season (winter).
Can I water my pothos every day?
No, you should never water your pothos plant every day. Pothos plants come from tropical parts of the world, where rain is not that frequent.
What does an underwatered pothos look like?
If you have an underwatered pothos plant, then the most obvious symptom you see is the stunted growth of the plant. Other signs like wilting, yellow and curly leaves, dry soil, etc. are also very common.
Should I mist the photos?
You can mist your pothos plant only if you are living somewhere where the humidity is very low, otherwise don’t. There are no studies that proved misting will enhance the humidity, but still it is one of the commonly followed practices among houseplant owners.
What are the symptoms of overwatered pothos?
An overwatered pothos will have a lot of yellow leaves with brown spots. Slower growth, wilting leaves, mold, etc. are also some very common symptoms seen in overwatered pothos plants. If the overwatering has led to root rot, then the rotten smell from the soil is also a symptom.
With that being said, you now know how often to water your pothos plant right?
As a general rule, water 1 time every week in the summer/growing season and 2 times in a month during dormant season.
Without taking this as a fixed rule, water only after analyzing your plant’s conditions properly. You can get a cheap moisture meter, or even a dip finger test is enough in the beginning.