If you’re intimidated by propagation and scared to cut up your plants, this guide will give you the confidence and information you need to successfully take cuttings and grow more tiny versions of the gorgeous golden pothos.
Whether it’s a golden pothos or any other pothos variety, you’ll soon find that these plants grow quickly. So even if you’re not interested in creating more baby plants, cutting and pruning your pothos is vital to keeping it healthy and managing the amount of space it takes up. Your pothos might be hanging and reaching the floor, or it might be threatening to take over the wall you’ve been training it to vine over. Either way, cutting off a bit here and there will allow you to grow baby plants and will also encourage the plant to grow more bushy and healthier vines.
If you do want to cut the plant for the sake of propagating, it can be fun to grow tiny plants for yourself, friends, or family members. Sharing a small piece of a larger mother plant can be a great way to share the plant’s love with the people you love.
Another excellent reason for propagating is to decorate another area of your home with adorable cuttings. When propagating using the water method, it can be a cute way to decorate a table, windowsill, or nightstand with a little green –– kind of like a bouquet of flowers, but with more green and a longer lifespan.
You can successfully propagate golden pothos (or any other pothos variety) any time of year. However, if you’re looking for the best success rates, take your cutting in spring or summer when the days are longer, and the little cutting can get as much sun as it needs.
The list of tools needed to propagate is pretty simple. You likely already have all of these, if not acceptable alternatives.
- sanitized pruning shears or heavy-duty scissors
- small glass bottle, jar, or cup
- rooting hormone (optional)
- water or soil
- pothos plant cuttings
Before you begin, you might want to choose a location that won’t be ruined if it gets dirty or wet. Cuttings can still have soil on them depending on where they were taken, and you’re likely to spill or drip water at some point.
First things first, you’ll need to take the cuttings from the plant. When working with pothos, it’s important to remember that these are considered toxic plants. They have a chemical crystal that will rip and tear the skin of your hands, face, or mouth. While this is usually mild and only irritating, there have been rare cases of it causing tightened airways and difficulty breathing. So be on the safe side and wear gloves when cutting and working with pothos plants of any variety.
Taking a cutting
Take a minute to study your plant before you start chopping. It’s essential to choose your cuttings wisely to ensure the cuttings and the plant are as healthy as can be. If you’re trying to manage the plant’s length, you probably already have a good idea of where you’ll be cutting. Still, think about how much you want to take off and if you’ll be taking more than one section off.
If you’re pruning to encourage the plant to grow bushier, take a little cutting from each vine or any vine that seems to be growing thinner or smaller leaves. Note that if you do see smaller leaves and straggly-looking vines, this might be a sign that your plant needs more sunlight.
When you’ve decided where you want to cut, here’s what to look for while cutting. On the stem, you’ll see brown spots down the vines. Those are root nodes, the places where the vine will send out roots once you’ve propagated. To ensure a successful operation, you’ll want a few root nodes per cutting. It’s best practice to cut about 1/8 of an inch below a root node.
Ideal cutting size
There’s no one size fits all for how big or small the cutting should be. For example, you can have one leaf with a 2 inch vine or take 12 inches with several leaves. Both will likely be successful cuttings as long as they’re cared for properly.
Place cutting in water or soil
Once you have your adorable pothos cuttings, you’re halfway done! Now all you need to do is prepare your propagation jar, bottle, or cup. This includes either filling it with water if you’ll be doing water propagation or filling it with well-draining soil if you’re using the soil method.
With your water or soil containers ready, you can dip your cutting into the optional rooting hormone or put them directly into the water or soil. Since pothos have such high propagation success rates, you can safely skip the rooting hormone, but you’re welcome to use it if it makes you feel better.
Where to put the cuttings
Your little cuttings are looking adorable in their little water bottles or soil cups, and you’re ready to find them a home. While they’ll need lots of indirect sunlight, don’t put them in a window that gets a lot of direct light. Too much sun can burn and kill pothos plants, especially vulnerable cuttings.
Golden pothos care
If you have a water propagation setup, you’ll want to change out the water every three to four days. If you have soil cuttings, be sure to water the soil before it dries out completely. Cuttings need lots of moisture to encourage root growth. You should be able to see root growth within two weeks, but if you don’t, don’t panic. It could take longer depending on your conditions and the condition of the cutting.
With just some water, a cup, and a plant, you can create new baby plants to share and gift to yourself or your friends and family.
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