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How To Prune a Pothos Plant (In 5 Easy Steps)

How To Prune a Pothos Plant (In 5 Easy Steps)

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If you grow pothos, you know how bushy and long it can get. You mostly also know that you need to interfere sometimes to make it look happy and healthy.

So, allow us to give you a thorough overview of how to prune pothos. It’s an easy task that won’t require you to be a pro gardener but simply a plant lover.

This article gives you a step-by-step guide to the process of pothos pruning. It shows you when and where to trim your pothos, as well as why you should do it.

How to Prune Pothos in 5 Steps

Typically, people choose to prune pothos for two primary aesthetic purposes: to give a fuller look or to encourage extra length.

Although the process doesn’t differ much, it’s always helpful to get your purpose clear in order to implement the ideal trimming plan.

Here’s how to trim your pothos plant if you want to encourage branching and help it get a more bushy look:

1 – Choose Your Tools

Pruning requires sharp, clean, or even sterilized pruning tools. To get the best results, choose a sharp, clean pair of scissors or secateurs. Such tools will allow you to make a clean cut without causing any damage to the plant.

2 – Find the Scar

Before you begin, you should locate the scar, which is the area where the leaves meet the stem. You can recognize it by the presence of thin horizontal lines.

3 – Cut Near the Nodes

To encourage branching, aim at the nodes when pruning your pothos. It’s crucial that you leave at least a quarter of an inch above the node. This helps the plant shoot out new stems, creating a lush and bushy look.

4 – Take a Step Back for Inspection

You need to take the time to check whether you’re doing it right. While trimming, you should take a step back to inspect every vine and make sure you’re cutting in the right places to form the shape you aim at.

5 – Propagate Pothos in the Same Pot

This is an important step if your goal is to give your pothos a fuller look.

Simply insert some of the cut stems into the same pot. Later, these new strands will grow roots. This is the cheapest way to make your pothos look bushy and full.

5 Steps to Prune Pothos For Length

If you aim at increasing the length of your pothos, here’s what to do:

1 – Pick Your Tools

You should invest in the ideal tools to prune your pothos. Choose sharp and clean or sterilized secateurs or scissors. This enables you to make a clean cut that doesn’t damage the plant in any way.

2 – Identify the Scar

Identifying the scar, which is the point where the leaves meet the stem, is the first thing to do before you start cutting. You can recognize it through the thin horizontal lines on its surface.

3 – Go For the Tips

If you aim at increasing the length of your pothos, this is the most important step to take.

To motivate vertical growth, go for the tips of the vines. You should trim at least half an inch from the top of the vine. This enables faster vertical growth, which gives your pothos a longer look.

4 – Take the Time to Check

While pruning, you should take some time to see how your pothos looks. Simply, take a step back to check each vine and make sure you’re cutting in the right places to get the result you wish for.

5 – Style It Your Way

At this point, you can style your pothos plants the way you want. You can give them any shape you choose, from short shrubby-looking plants to individual long vine strands. Make sure you have a plan for the result you aim for.

Where To Trim Your Pothos

The answer to this question depends primarily on the purpose of pruning. For instance, If you prune for a fuller look, aim at the area above the nodes.

On the other hand, if you want extra length, go for the tips of the stem. However, if you’re getting rid of yellowed or damaged leaves, go straight to them.

This can actually encourage the growth of healthier leaves of vines. Generally speaking, the most common area to trim pothos is at the point where the petiole and the stem meet.

When To Trim Your Pothos

Pruning your pothos is an occasional task that doesn’t really require much thinking. There is no good time to do it. In fact, you can prune your pothos any time of year.

That being said, you still need to know that your pothos plants naturally grow lush and long. This means that they’ll keep growing as long as they’re healthy.

Therefore, you should consider trimming whenever you see that your plant has grown so far. It basically depends on your personal taste. While some people prefer it bushy, others prefer long stems.

In case you’re pruning to encourage healthy growth, we don’t recommend doing that during the cold season. Prune your pothos during the growth season between spring and summer to ensure that the plant grows healthier.

Do I Need To Prune Pothos?

Pothos is a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t really need constant pruning. However, from time to time, you need to trim your pothos plant to help it grow or give it a styling touch.

Generally speaking, you need to prune your pothos for several reasons, including:

Regulating growth

Sometimes, pothos plants tend to grow wildly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to prune them in order to regulate their uneven strands.

If you have pets or children, pruning your pothos is crucial to prevent any damage. This is especially important if you keep your pothos in a hanging basket.


Styling is the simplest and most common reason to prune your pothos. Since pothos plants can grow large and long, you can easily trim them into the shape you prefer.

This doesn’t mean that you should do it very often, but it won’t harm to do it every once in a while as it gives your plant a happy and healthy look.


If you’ve had your pothos plant indoors for some time, you might notice that it developed leggy bare stems. Whether it shows partial or full loss of leaves, your pothos needs pruning.

To revitalize your pothos, you can cut the stem back drastically. You can even do it as far as only two inches above the soil. This would encourage the plant to regrow healthier leafy stems.


Pruning pothos allows you to create new pothos plants. While pruning, make sure to cut the stems neatly so that you can use them for propagation.

After you’re done, put the healthy stems you’ve cut in water or a pot. You may even insert them in the original pot for a bushy and lush look.

Disease or Infestation Control

Pruning is an essential task if your pothos is suffering from an infection or a disease. It allows you to remove the infected parts, thus stopping the spread of the problem.

However, while pruning an infested pothos, you need to perform these precautions:

  • Clean the infested leaves by rubbing neem oil, alcohol solution, or insecticide soap.
  • Spray the bottom side of the leaves as well as all the nooks.
  • Trim the stems as far as possible to get rid of any trace of the infection.
  • Get rid of the infested parts as soon as you cut them before they contact other healthy parts.
  • Sterilize the shears or scissors you use after each cut to avoid spreading the problem.
  • Rub alcohol solution to clean and sterilize the area after pruning and removing the plant.

When You Cut a Pothos, Does It Grow Back?

Of course, it does. Now, remember that pothos tends to grow unstoppably. It’s part of its nature. However, pruning in winter won’t really result in growth.

This is because, like most plants, pothos grows in spring and summer. Therefore, prune your pothos in spring or summer for better growth.

Does Pruning Pothos Promote Growth?

Yes, pruning pothos can promote growth. All you need to do is make sure you cut at the nodes near the crown.

This encourages the growth of different stems. In fact, pruning is a critical element of the pothos propagation process.

Final Thoughts

So, how to prune pothos? All you need to do is know why, when, and where to do the cutting. Prune your pothos if you see any foliage damage or wish to change the shape of your plant.

As for when, you need to consider the growth season of pothos, which is during the spring and summer months. This encourages further and healthier growth.

Finally, where to trim the pothos is crucial for its regrowth. You need to focus on the areas around the nodes.

If you’re a pothos lover, make sure you prune it from time to time for a healthy and happy plant.

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