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Pothos Watering Guide for Beginners

Pothos Watering Guide for Beginners

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Pothos plants are excellent houseplants that you’ll love keeping in your home. These plants are rather hardy, and it’s actually somewhat tough to kill them.

For this reason, they’re fantastic choices for those who aren’t experienced with houseplants. Even a novice will have a good time caring for these plants.

Of course, these plants still need water to be able to thrive and look nice. Knowing how much water to give the plant will have a huge impact on your ability to keep the plant healthy.

Below, you’ll learn about pothos plants and how much water they need. This watering guide will answer all of your questions so you can do a great job.

How Often to Water Pothos

There isn’t a specific schedule that you should keep in mind when watering a pothos plant. You’re simply supposed to water the plant once the soil has dried out.

These plants need to be watered after the soil has had the time to dry. Never water a pothos plant if the soil is still moist.

Various factors can cause the soil to dry out faster or slower than usual. You might find that you’ll typically need to water a pothos plant once every two weeks.

However, this could change if the plant is placed in bright sunlight. The heat of the sunlight could dry the soil out faster, and this will mean that you’ll have to water the plant a bit more often.

Conversely, the soil could take longer to dry out when the weather is cooler. It’s common for people to only have to water every three weeks or once per month during the winter.

Since you can’t rely on watering the plant every two weeks like clockwork, it’s best to check the soil yourself every so often. Take your index finger and your middle finger and touch the soil.

If the soil is dry, you should go ahead and water the plant. When the soil is still moist, it’s best to keep waiting.

Always check the soil using this method. It’s the only reliable way to know when it’s time to water the plant.

Of course, you can keep in mind that the plant usually needs to be watered every two weeks in the spring and summer. Just be sure to check often enough so you won’t make the plant wait too long for water.

How to Water Pothos

Now you know how often to water pothos plants, but you don’t know how to approach watering them. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to get this right.

Water your pothos at the base of the plant. You want to add water slowly until water starts to pour out of the drainage holes.

These plants should be put in pots that have several drainage holes. Adequate drainage is imperative because the soil must dry out between watering sessions.

Drainage issues could easily cause the pothos plant to experience root rot. You want to avoid this, so be sure to use an appropriate pot.

Let the pothos plant keep draining the water. Eventually, you’ll need to empty the tray that it’s sitting on.

You don’t want to allow the pothos plant to sit in water for too long. Letting the plant have “wet feet” is something that can contribute to root rot issues.

Empty the tray and rinse it off properly. Then place the pothos plant back on its tray when you’re done.

What Type of Soil is Best for Pothos Plants?

Using the right type of soil is another important part of the equation. You want to use soil that drains well.

Compacted soil is known to cause many issues for these plants. Not only does it make it harder for the soil to dry out, but it also makes it tougher for the roots of the plants.

To get good results, you will find it best to use a potting medium that contains materials such as peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. You can use real soil so long as you amend it with materials such as perlite.

Many choose to use soilless potting mixes, though. The important thing is to ensure that the drainage is adequate.

Most types of houseplant potting mixes will do well for pothos plants. Keep an eye on the plant, and everything should be fine.

When to Water Pothos

Knowing when to water the pothos plant is important. Remember that you can’t just water this plant on a consistent schedule.

You have to check the plant to see if it needs water. Warmer weather might cause the plant to dry out faster.

Cooler temperatures and a lack of bright sunlight might make the soil dry out slower. So you have to check the soil with your fingers to know when it’s time to water the plant.

Never water the plant without checking the condition of the soil first. This is a good rule to keep in mind for any type of houseplant that you’re caring for.

How Much Water Do Pothos Need?

You’ll typically use around one cup of water each time you water the pothos plant. However, this amount could differ slightly based on the size of the plant.

Generally, you’re not supposed to worry about how much water to use. You just water the plant until water starts to pour out of the drainage holes.

It’s much easier to remember this than it is to meticulously measure out how much water you’re using. Simply stop once the water starts coming out of the drainage holes, and all will be well.

Can I Water Pothos with Coffee?

Surprisingly, coffee water isn’t bad for pothos plants. Coffee grounds can be used as a type of fertilizer for these plants.

Many people put coffee grounds in the soil for these plants. The coffee grounds contain many different types of nutrients that are beneficial to the plants.

So you can use coffee grounds on the plant. Watering the plant with coffee water might not be the best idea, though.

Stick to watering the pothos plant with normal water. Use the coffee grounds as a type of fertilizer once every few months.

Can I Water Pothos with Tap Water?

Pothos plants are hardy enough that it should be okay to water them with tap water. Some people don’t like to do this, though.

You see, tap water likely contains traces of chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride. Water that contains too much chlorine would be very bad for your plants.

So it is indeed safer to use distilled water than it is to use tap water. Even so, it’s not necessary to avoid using tap water on pothos plants.

Most people won’t have enough chlorine in the tap water to harm pothos plants. Also, you can remove the chlorine from the tap water entirely if you want to.

Let the tap water sit out in the sun for a few days before watering the plant. Just leave it in your water bucket, and the sun will eliminate the traces of chlorine.

It might not even be necessary to do this, though. It just depends on if your tap water contains an abnormally high amount of chlorine or not.

Can You Water Pothos with Ice Cubes?

If you want to water your plants using ice cubes it’s perfectly fine to do so. There isn’t any real benefit from watering your plants this way, though.

One reason why people do this is to allow the plants to suck up the water slowly. The idea is to place two ice cubes by the base of the plant and let them melt slowly.

This can work, but this isn’t really necessary. Also, the water could overflow if you use ice cubes that are too large.

It might wind up making a little bit of a mess. This is fine to do for your pothos plants if you’d like to, but it’s not something you need to do.

What Happens When You Don’t Water a Pothos Plant Enough?

Since pothos plants are hardy, they can go a bit of time without water. If you never water the plant, it’s not going to survive, though.

When you forget to water the plant for too long, you’ll notice that the plant will start wilting. At first, the plant might look as if it’s wilting just a little bit.

Watering the plant at this point in time will likely be enough to nurse it back to health. Continue to avoid watering the plant, and you’ll see the plant start to die.

These plants are hardy and difficult to kill, but they can indeed die due to a lack of water. Keep this in mind, and remember to check the plant every so often to see if it needs to be watered.

Can You Overwater Pothos?

You can easily water a pothos plant too much if you’re not careful. Always be careful not to go overboard when watering the plant.

Water the plant from the base and stop watering it when water begins pouring out of the drainage holes. Using too much water will cause the soil to get soggy.

Soggy soil will be difficult to dry out. It’ll take a very long time for the soil to become dry enough.

This makes it very likely that your pothos plant will experience root rot. Watering the plant too much consistently is one of the easiest ways to kill it.

Be mindful of how much water you’re using. Pay attention to the drainage holes and be ready to stop watering as soon as water begins pouring out of them.

How Long Can a Pothos Plant Live Without Water?

A pothos plant is hardy enough that it will survive without water for a little while. If you miss one watering session, you should be able to make up for it.

Most agree that these plants will survive for three to four weeks without water. Go too far beyond this threshold and the plant will wither and die.

So you can’t just ignore the plant and expect it to survive. You need to make sure that you’re watering it often enough so it will stay healthy.

If your pothos plants start wilting, it’s likely that you’re not watering them enough. The pothos shouldn’t be wilting if you’ve been paying attention to the soil and watering it around every two weeks.

Do Pothos Like Misting?

You shouldn’t mist the pothos plants because it isn’t necessary to do so. Misting will raise the humidity level in a localized spot for a certain amount of time.

For some tropical plants, this is beneficial. It doesn’t really make a difference for pothos plants, though.

Why should this be avoided? Simply put, it makes it more likely that the plant will have fungal problems. Too much moisture near the leaves could easily cause fungus to grow, and that might wind up taking out your plant.

It’s also true that misting has been known to make pest infestations more likely. If you want to protect your plants, it’s best to avoid misting entirely.

How Much Humidity Do Pothos Plants Need?

Pothos plants prefer the humidity level to stay between 50% and 70%. However, they are pretty good at tolerating dry air conditions.

Most homes stay between 30% and 40% humidity naturally. Some homes are a lot dryer than that, though.

Don’t keep the plant area too humid, or it can cause some of the problems mentioned above. You should try to stick to the lower range that pothos plants enjoy.

You can use a small humidifier for plants if your home is too dry. This can raise the humidity level near the pothos plants without negatively impacting the rest of your plants.

Do Pothos Plants Need Fertilizer?

Since pothos plants grow quite fast, it’s important to give them the nutrients that they need. Earlier, you heard that these plants can utilize coffee grounds for nutrients.

You can give them coffee grounds as a fertilization method. This can be done every few months.

It’s more common for people to use standard fertilizers, though. During the spring and summer, it’s smart to give these plants some fertilizer.

One good method to keep these plants healthy is to fertilize them with a water-soluble fertilizer every three weeks in the summer. Just make sure not to use a fertilizer that is too strong.

An all-purpose fertilizer should work well for these plants. Many people use 10-10-10 fertilizer to get good results.

How Long Do Pothos Plants Live?

Pothos plants have the potential to live for quite some time. These plants can live for up to ten years if you do a good job caring for them.

Many people have taken care of the same pothos plant for slightly over a decade. It all comes down to how well you care for the plant.

If you do a good job watering the plant, it’ll help it to stay alive for a long time. Watering the plant too much or too infrequently will make it more likely that the plant will die earlier.

Even the soil quality will play a role in the lifespan of the plant. Be sure to use well-draining soil and your life will be much easier.

It’s also smart to prune the plant so that it doesn’t devote energy to spent or dead sections. The plant can more easily focus on new growth when you prune away damaged leaves and stems.

Can Pothos Plants Be Kept Outdoors?

You likely know that most people keep pothos plants indoors. Can you keep these plants outdoors if you want to as well?

It’s possible, but you have to live in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12 to make it happen. If you live in an area that gets too cool, the plant will die.

Pothos plants can’t tolerate temperatures that dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. You must avoid keeping these plants outdoors during the autumn and winter in most areas.

There are people who choose to keep their pothos plants on the porch during the spring and summer, though. You can do this if you want to, so long as the temperature is good for the plant.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to water pothos plants properly will help you out so much. Now you can make good choices that will help to keep the plant alive for a long time to come.

Always remember to check the condition of the soil before watering the plant. When the soil is dry, it’ll be time to water the plant.

You want to water it at the base of the plant. Keep watering it until water starts to pour out of the drainage holes.

Don’t let the pothos plant sit in water. Be sure to empty the tray when it’s done draining.

You’ll water these plants every two weeks on average, but you have to check the soil condition. Sometimes you might have to water the plant more or less often.

Remember to use a pot that has adequate drainage holes. It’s also imperative to pot the plant using soil that drains well.

A potting mix that contains perlite and peat moss will typically work great. You can make your own custom soil blend using perlite, peat moss, vermiculite, and other materials if you’d like to.

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