Watering Pothos

Pothos are native to tropical islands in the South Pacific and have naturalized throughout the tropical world. They are accustomed to regular rainfall and humid conditions and also a dryer season as found in the tropics. Pothos therefore prefers regular waterings with time to dry out between waterings. You can replicate the conditions of a tropical island for your Pothos plant with regular waterings, humidity, and an adequate time to dry out between waterings. 

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How To Tell If Pothos Needs Water

Pothos are one of the most common and well loved houseplants in part due to their ease of watering and tolerance for wet and dry conditions. While they are forgiving and tough plants, chronic over- or under-watering will stress Pothos. This houseplant, more so than others, shows specific signs when it is dehydrated. Look for withered and drooping foliage, bone dry soil, and crispy, brown leaves towards the base of the stems. Very slow growth is another sign your plant may be thirsty. 

Overwatering is also damaging to your Pothos’ health. Signs of overwatering include overly moist soil and limp leaves. Pothos leaves will begin to yellow, drop leaves, or develop black mushy stems when it is overwatered. Fungus and potentially fungus gnats can be present in the soil when you are overwatering your Pothos. 

Pothos has moderate water needs. It prefers regular waterings but does not tolerate waterlogged soil. Native to tropical climates, Pothos also appreciates high humidity and can benefit from the addition of a humidifier. Pothos will have slightly lower water needs in the winter when the plant's growth is slower. If your Pothos is not showing any of the urgent signs of watering described above, place a finger into the soil at the base of the plant to determine the moisture level. If the soil is dry below the surface, your Pothos is likely needing to be watered. If the soil is still moist, wait until the soil dries before watering. 

How To Water Pothos

Pothos prefers to be watered with filtered tap water or rain water at room temperature. You can also let tap water sit out for 24 hours so that the chlorine in the water will dissipate. Water your Pothos every 1 to 2 weeks when the soil feels dry. Water thoroughly at the base of the plant so that the moisture reaches the root system. You can also water your pothos from the bottom up by letting the soil wick up water from a sink or tub through the drainage holes. This prevents water from collecting on the leaves and causing disease. 

Pothos Watering Tips

  • Pothos is native to tropical islands in the South Pacific and likes wet, humid conditions 
  • Overwatering and/or underwatering can be harmful to Pothos plants
  • Moist soil, fungus, drooping leaves, and yellowing are signs of overwatering
  • Withered leaves, brown leaves, and hard dry soil are signs of underwatering
  • Water thoroughly when the soil is dry
  • Aim to water once every 1-2 weeks

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Author Katie Endicott - Published 6-29-2023