How Often to Water a Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum)


If you’re still starting your pothos collection, you’re probably wondering how to help it thrive. Knowing how often to water a pothos plant can be the difference between having a vibrant and beautiful plant and a brown and droopy pothos.

Pothos plants are sensitive to water, and improper watering can damage your plant or even kill it. But how often should you water your pothos plant? And how much water does it need to survive?

Most people find that watering their pothos every 1-2 weeks is sufficient. But every house environment is different and it’s better to water based on your plant’s needs rather than sticking to a strict schedule. Below we discuss how to provide the ideal water for your particular plant.

Signs my pothos needs water

Even if you’re not green fingered, you can still grow a healthy pothos plant. However, you need to know the basics of how often to water a pothos plant.

The first question on your mind may be: how can you know when it’s time to water your plant? The only way you can determine whether it’s the proper time is to check the soil. When it’s dry, it’s time for some TLC. If the soil is still moist and you water it, it can lead to over-watering, which can be unhealthy for your plant.

Make sure to check the soil at regular intervals. Remember that each of your pothos plants may need watering at different intervals.

It is recommended to use your finger to examine the soil. This way, you can clearly determine if it’s dry enough. If the soil isn’t dry, it will cling to your skin. Moist soil also looks darker compared to dry soil. If you’re still unsure, try taking a handful of the soil and squeezing it. If it still holds its shape, it’s not dry enough.

Most indoor gardeners recommend waiting until the top inch or two of soils is dry. If your pots are large, you can also use a soil probe. Keep in mind that when you have your pothos plant in a large pot, you need to give the soil more time to dry.

Factors that affect the watering frequency

One of the reasons why a lot of people love pothos plants is because they don’t need too much attention. You just need to understand the basics of its water requirements. Here are some factors that can affect how often to water your pothos plant.

Light

For your pothos plant to grow and thrive, you need to expose it to light. Whether your light source is artificial or natural, its intensity can affect how often you need to water your plant. If your plant is directly in contact with your light source, it will need water more frequently.

As a responsible gardener, you should avoid oversaturation in the soil by giving it time to rest in between watering your plant. However, if your plant is not in contact with direct light, the soil may take time to dry. This can delay the watering process for as long as two weeks.

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is they get too worried and water their plant even if it doesn’t need moisture. When you do this, you’ll only be causing more harm than good to your plant.

Temperature

An area with a high temperature is great if you want to grow your pothos plant. However, keep in mind that if the temperature is high at all times, the frequency of watering your plant must also increase.

Inversely, you can water your plant less if the temperature is low. As much as you can, do not keep your plant below 59 degrees Fahrenheit since this can cause serious problems for your plant.

Humidity

Humidity can be a water replacement for your pothos. Every pothos plant requires high humidity for new leaves to grow and to remain healthy. However, humidity is not enough. Water is still needed for it to absorb nutrients from the soil. Inversely, you can water your plant less if you are in an area with high humidity.

Root system health

Water your pothos and examine the drainage in the pots. If your plant is healthy and root-bound, you need to water it more. However, if it has unhealthy roots and cannot absorb water quickly, you may need to water it less.

Soil

Soil that has well-draining features and properties will need more water because it drains the extra water faster. Most potting mixes are already heavy, so you need to water them less.

Pot type

Pothos plants that are in plastic pots require less water because they usually lack draining holes. However, if you are using a ceramic pot that absorbs water, you need to water it more often.

Watering pothos in winter

Think of the winter as a time when you pothos could nap. At this time of the year, you may not notice any growth, and that’s completely normal.

You can water your pothos less frequently – usually every two or three weeks or once a month. However, make sure to check the soil moisture first. Use room temperature water so your plant won’t experience temperature shock.

Should you mist your pothos?

If you are in an area with low levels of humidity, you may need to mist your plant regularly for it to thrive. However, it’s important to note that this plant is still very tolerant, and it can still thrive even without misting. 

Signs of overwatering/underwatering

How do you know if you are overwatering or underwatering your pothos plant? If you’re seeing a combination of brown and yellow spots on the same leaf, it’s a telltale sign of overwatering. The leaves may also feel limp and become soft.

On the other hand, if your pothos has yellow leaves with brown and crispy spots on additional leaves, the cause may be underwatering. Your plant will look brown and wilted, and you may also notice it looks smaller and thinner because it is dehydrated. The leaves will also feel dry and look wrinkly.

Watering Your Pothos 101

Needless to say, the health of your pothos mostly depends on how you water them. Now that you know how often to water a pothos, you can finally take a closer look at your plant to see whether or not it’s thirsty. 

About the author 

Paul - Better Houseplants

Loves orchids and foliage houseplants. Always trying to be a better plant parent. Let's get growing!

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