Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) are light, airy plants that actually bring cleaning energy to your home. It’s for that reason that keeping them happy and healthy helps to keep your home happy and healthy too – and this includes knowing how often to water pothos so it thrives.
(And I’m not kidding about the happy and healthy thing. Did you know that a pothos actually reduces pollutants in your home, according to research done by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)? In fact, NASA recommends having ”15 air cleaning houseplants” in your home.)
So, if you have a pothos, make sure you keep it looking and feeling good, especially given that it can remove pollutants from your home. In particular, knowing how much water a pothos needs will help your plant thrive, including keeping it strong enough for propagating.
After successfully growing pothos for years, I’m sharing my top tips with you for safely watering your pothos.
How often to water pothos
Let the top inch of soil dry out before watering the pothos. This usually happens about every seven days. Pothos don’t tolerate too much water, and overwatering often causes root rot. Also, misting the leaves between waterings increases the humidity, keeping pothos roots safe and providing enough moisture between waterings.
Your pothos can survive uneven watering longer than some houseplants. But, eventually, it will drop its leaves if it stays dry for too long. Another indication of excessive watering or inadequate watering is black forming on the leaf edges.
Find out the signs that you may have an overwatered pothos – as well as how to fix it ASAP.
How often to water pothos in winter
During the dormant winter months, water your pothos from once every two weeks to once per month. This varies depending on the humidity in your home and the location of the pothos. If you have dry heat, or the pothos is located near a heater or fireplace, most likely you’ll need to water it more often.
However, if your house is humid, water the pothos only when the soil dries out. Do a soil check to determine if it needs water. If it feels dry, add water.
It’s also a good idea to check the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Even if the surface soil is dry, the roots could sit in saturated soil near the bottom of the pot. If this is the case, don’t add water until the soil at the bottom only feels moist.
Hanging your pathos above the ground to increase the air circulation around the drain holes helps the soil and roots dry out faster.
How often to water pothos in summer
Water pothos at least once per week during the summer, or whenever the top inch of soil dries out. If you notice that the water is evaporating quickly during the summer months, you can increase watering to twice per week. This depends on how warm and humid your house is.
Just make sure that the roots are not saturated before you water again. Sometimes, evaporation will dry out the top layer of soil, but it’s still wet on the bottom.
If the soil is dry, soak it with water and allow the excess to drain out through the drain holes in the bottom of the pot. This prevents drowning the roots, which can lead to nutrient and oxygen loss.
When the temperature reaches 80°F (26.7°C), check your pothos more often. If you live in a dry climate, consider putting a humidifier in the room where you have your pothos. As they are tropical plants, pothos need humidity.
If that’s not an option, mist the pothos leaves with a spray bottle during the dry, hot weather to keep them healthy and happy.
How often to water pothos in the spring
Pothos absorb more nutrients and water in spring, which means that during the spring months, you should keep an eye on your pothos and add more water as needed. Most likely, this will be at least once per week, but it depends on the climate and your home’s heat or air conditioning.
The reason for this is that, like other plants, spring is a time for new growth for your pothos so they need enough water to sustain this growth. That said, if the temperature remains between 70°F and 90°F (21°C and 32°C), you can stick to the once a week watering schedule.
How do I know when my pothos needs water?
Your pothos needs water when the soil dries out, which you can check by putting your finger about an inch into the soil. If it comes out dry, water the pothos. You may also notice the leaves looking a little droopy when you need to add water.
When doing the finger test, if your finger comes out muddy, your pothos is too wet. Let it dry out before watering again.
The best time to water pothos is when the top one to three inches of soil is dry. In addition, make sure your pothos is in a pot with drainage holes. Your pothos needs drainage to prevent rot, so insufficient drainage can be extremely harmful for your plant.
Also, if your pothos is in a hanging basket or a clay pot, the water dries up quickly. Here are several indications that the pothos need water:
- Leaves turning yellow
- The pot feels lighter than usual
- Drooping foliage
- Dry soil
- Pale leaf tips
If your pothos displays any of these symptoms, add water to the soil. Don’t forget to mist the leaves for additional humidity.
Can I use tap water to water my pothos?
Since water is so important for the survival of pothos, it is better to use bottled water for your plant if tap water in your area has chlorine and fluoride added to it. These chemicals are harmful to the pothos’ foliage.
Chlorine also destroys nutritious bacteria and organic matter that lives in the soil.
An alternative to bottled water is to leave tap water out overnight before using it to water your pothos. That way, the chlorine will have time to evaporate instead of having to be absorbed by your plant.
Should I add plant fertilizer to the pothos water?
If your pothos looks like it has a nutrient deficiency, you can try using one-quarter of the fertilizer that the label recommends. If new growth appears dark green and small, discontinue using fertilizer. Add additional water and let it leach through the soil to wash out any excess fertilizer.
That said, most pothos get enough nutrition from their soil and water. This means that they rarely need fertilizer in order to thrive. While it can help from time to time, especially if your pothos is drooping a bit which may be due to a lack of nutrients, be careful when doing this as using too much fertilizer on your pothos can burn the roots and kill the plant.
How much water do pothos plants need?
The amount of water pothos need depends on the size of the pot, the soil drainage, and the size of the plant. Slowly add water until it starts to flow out of the drain holes at the bottom of the pot. Once the excess water drains out, place the pothos back in its plant saucer.
If only a small amount of water drains out the bottom, the soil isn’t draining properly. Replace the soil with a houseplant well-draining potting mix. This will prevent root disease.
What’s the best soil for pothos? Find out here!
Should I water my pothos from the top or bottom?
The most common method is to water your pothos from the top. Use a small watering can with a funnel, so you don’t get water on the foliage. Pour water into the soil until it starts draining out through the bottom of the pot.
You can also water from the bottom, but you have to be careful. Pothos are hardy plants that can tolerate all kinds of neglect. But, the one thing they can’t tolerate is sitting in water. Never let the bottom of the pothos pot sit in standing water for too long.
If you water from the bottom, fill a shallow bowl with water and place your pothos in it. Just leave it in the water for about 30 minutes until the soil soaks up some of the water. Remove the pothos from the water container.
Can I use a self-watering pot to water my pothos?
Self-watering pots are helpful for watering pothos, especially if you’re going to be away for a few weeks. This method is different from watering from the bottom because the pothos doesn’t sit in the water. It’s suspended above the water, so the roots aren’t saturated.
If you use a self-watering pot for your pothos, make sure you don’t overfill the reservoir to avoid drowning the roots. Self-watering pots use wicks that draw the water up into the soil rather than the pothos sitting in the water.
How dry should my pothos be before watering?
Your pothos soil should be dry from one to three inches deep below the surface. Use your finger or a plant moisture meter to determine how deep the dry soil goes. If the soil feels wet, test it in another two days.
When you water the pothos, pour the water directly into the soil. Don’t water the leaves. Watering the leaves can cause them to turn yellow and fall off.
What time of day should I water my pothos?
You should water your pothos either in the morning or at night. Avoid watering it during the middle of the day when the temperature is high. The heat causes rapid water evaporation, so your pothos doesn’t get the benefit of a good watering.
If the water evaporates too quickly, your pothos will suffer from drought conditions even though you watered it. Drought symptoms can be infections, fungus growth, viruses, and bacterial development.
Should I mist the pothos leaves?
Mist your pothos leaves if you live in a dry region. Misting helps increase the humidity as it evaporates into the air.
But, if the room is too humid, it causes the water droplets from misting to stay on the pothos leaves. These water droplets attract pests and can result in fungal growth. Only mist your pothos if you have low humidity.
How long can a pothos plant live without water?
Pothos can live up to three weeks without water. If it’s in a sunny location, it will become dehydrated sooner. Pothos can absorb water from the air, so if the home environment is humid, the pothos may survive longer without water.
That said, be careful about leaving your pothos too long without water. Underwatering your pothos can have just as many harmful symptoms as overwatering. You want to have routine well-balanced watering for your pothos health.
If you notice the following symptoms when you test the soil for dryness, your pothos is suffering from underwatering:
- Brittle leaves
- Brown spots on the leaves
- Yellow leaves
- Wilting leaves
- Dusty soil
- Insects in the soil
As long as your pothos isn’t completely dehydrated, applying a good dose of water should revive the pothos within a few hours. Trim off any yellowed or brown leaves to promote new growth.
How do I revive a dehydrated pothos?
If you’ve let your pothos go without water for three weeks or more, it’s probably dehydrated. Even if it feels completely dried out with wilting leaves, don’t give up hope. Many times, with a little TLC, you can revive your pothos.
- Get a pail of water and add a seaweed solution to it. You can find this solution at most garden centers.
- Put the potted pothos in the pail, letting it soak for about 15 minutes.
- Remove your pothos and let it drain.
Unless the roots become completely dried up, you should see your pothos revive within a day. Continue watering the pothos as usual.
Does the type of pothos affect how much water the plant needs?
The type of pothos does not affect how much water the plant needs. No matter which variety of pothos, water it when the top one to three inches of soil dries out. For most pothos, this happens about every seven days.
Make sure you don’t overwater any pothos variety. You want to maintain a healthy root system for strong, healthy foliage and roots.
It’s a good idea to set a watering schedule for your pothos. This way, you’re sure to water it when needed. If you notice any yellowing leaves, always check the soil for excess moisture. Prune off any yellow leaves. This promotes new growth.
How often to water Golden Pothos
Just like other pothos varieties, water Golden pothos when the top of the soil is dry. Use your finger to test how deep the moisture of the soil is. If it’s dry more than three inches into the soil, water your pothos.
You can also tell if your Golden pothos needs water by its appearance. If it appears wilted, yellowing or the leaves have brown tips, it needs water. But, if your pothos foliage looks shiny and green, most likely it doesn’t need water yet.
Should I water my pothos once a week?
Water your pothos once a week if the soil becomes dry. Everyone’s home is different as far as heat and humidity. These affect how often you need to water your pothos. If your pothos is in a dry, warm environment, it might need watering more often than once a week.
On the other hand, if it’s in humid conditions, watering once per week should be fine.
What are the reasons my pothos needs more water?
Once you understand why your pothos needs water, you’ll be able to judge how often to water the pothos. The following factors influence how much water your pothos needs:
- Light – If your pothos has exposure to warm, indirect sunlight or bright, fluorescent light, it will need more water. Remember that knowing how much light your pothos needs is just as critical to its health as how often to water a pothos!
- Temperature – When the temperature rises, especially in the summer, it causes evaporation. Check your pothos often when it’s warm and add water if the soil dries out.
- Humidity – Although pothos love humidity, they still require water. If you live in a humid area, you won’t have to water as often. Just keep an eye on the soil and water when it’s dry.
- Soil – Pothos needs well-draining soil, which means water drains out quickly. For this reason, you need to water every week. If the soil stays wet, it means that it’s not draining, and you need to repot your pothos.
- Pot material – Clay, terracotta, and earthenware pots absorb moisture from the soil. If your pothos is in one of these pots, you’ll have to water more frequently.
- Roots – With a healthy root system, the roots absorb water quickly. In this case, you need to water more often. If you notice that the roots aren’t absorbing water, most likely it’s either from root damage or root-bound. If this happens, repot your pothos.
Final thoughts on how often to water pothos
The question of how often to water pothos is, like so many other houseplant-related questions, “it depends”. Do you live in a humid or dry region? What sort of temperatures are you experiencing right now? What’s the season?
All of these things will cause the answer to vary for your specific pothos’ watering needs. But it’s important to be aware of these as both over- and underwatering your pothos can lead to serious problems for your plant.
Fortunately, the method of knowing when your pothos needs water isn’t so complicated – just check with your finger and you’re good to go. You’ll soon start to get a feel of how dry your pothos should be before watering so that you can adjust your care schedule accordingly.
Whether you end up realizing that you need to water your pothos once a week or perhaps less frequently depending on all the variables I just mentioned, the very fact you’re thinking about the question and taking steps accordingly shows your pothos is in good, well-hydrated hands!