Step-by-Step Guide on How to Prune Pothos

Pothos plants, known by many names such as devil’s ivy, golden pothos, or Rapunzel plant, are a popular choice for houseplant enthusiasts due to their low-maintenance nature and enchanting trailing vines. To keep your pothos plants thriving and looking their best, it’s essential to understand how to care for them properly.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about caring for and pruning your pothos plants to ensure they maintain a beautiful appearance and vigorous growth.

The basics of pothos plant care

Before diving into the art of pruning your pothos plant, let’s first discuss general care tips that every pothos owner should be aware of:

  • Light: Pothos plants thrive in bright, indirect light but can also tolerate lower light levels. However, avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.
  • Water: Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot – a common issue with pothos plants. During the growing season (spring and summer), you may need to water more frequently.
  • Potting mix: Use well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots. A mix containing peat moss or coco coir, perlite, and compost is ideal.
  • Fertilizer: Feed your pothos plants with a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength every four to six weeks during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing in the winter when the plant is dormant.

Now that we’ve covered the general care tips, let’s dive into pruning your pothos plants for optimal growth and appearance.

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Why prune pothos plants?

There are two primary reasons you may want to prune your pothos plants:

  1. To encourage bushier, more compact growth rather than long, leggy vines.
  2. To maintain a desired length or shape of the plant, as these fast growers can quickly overtake their space if left unchecked.

When to prune your pothos plant

The ideal time to prune your pothos is during its growing season, typically from spring to early summer. While they might not need as much pruning as other houseplants, it’s essential to monitor them if their tendrils become too long or they start to look unhealthy.

A step-by-step guide to pruning pothos

Follow these simple steps to keep your pothos plant looking its best:

1. Gather the right tools

Before starting any pruning tasks, ensure you have clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears at hand. Disinfecting your tools beforehand will prevent the spread of diseases between plants.

2. Inspect the plant

Examine the entire plant to determine which vines or stems require pruning. Look for areas that appear overcrowded, contain damaged or yellowing leaves, or have unusually long tendrils.

3. Make clean cuts

Cut back the selected vines just above a leaf node to promote new branching and fuller growth. If some parts of the plant have lost leaves during the winter period, this harder pruning encourages lateral growth, resulting in a more bushy and attractive pothos.

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4. Propagate your prunings

If you’ve removed healthy vines during pruning, don’t throw them away! Pothos plants are easily propagated: simply place the cut ends in water and wait for new roots to develop. “Set [them] on a windowsill near indirect sunlight and grow new roots within weeks,” says houseplant expert Vladan Nikolic, an advocate of propagating upcycled prunings.

5. Replant or share your new pothos

Once your propagations have developed sufficient roots, they can be planted back into their original pot or placed in an entirely new container. Why not spread the love by sharing your pothos propagation with friends and family?

Maintaining your pothos plant beyond pruning

Pruning is just one aspect of keeping your pothos plants in top condition. Regularly monitor their overall health by checking for pests, yellowing or wilting leaves (which could indicate underwatering or overwatering), and ensure they receive appropriate light levels.

By following these guidelines, you’ll soon become a master at caring for and pruning your pothos plants and enjoy their lush, captivating beauty for years to come.


Justin, an avid writer, is equally passionate about gardening, especially cultivating beautiful flowers and productive vegetable patches. His writing skillfully intertwines his gardening experiences with vivid descriptions and keen insights, inspiring readers to appreciate nature's beauty and consider their own gardening adventures.