Pothos plants are highly preferred by beginners for their forgiving nature and ability to thrive even in the harshest conditions. But just because they are hardy, doesn’t mean they don’t need care. One of the most important aspects you need to keep in mind while growing a houseplant is taking care of its watering needs, and that includes pothos plants as well. Improper watering routine can do great damage to your plant, and may even kill it if not fixed at the right time. In this article, we’ll tell you in detail about how often to water pothos plants, how much water do they need, and more. So read on!
You can water your pothos plants every 1 to 2 weeks during its growing season or when the soil feels dry. 1 to 3 cups of water is more than enough, depending on the size of the plant. You can go easy on the watering during winters as a fall in temperature causes the water to dry out slowly. Also, try to maintain the humidity level of your plant as pothos like humidity.
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How Often Should I Water My Pothos Plant?
As mentioned above, pothos plants are very forgiving and not very fussy about their watering routine. They hold themselves really well unless you leave them thirsty for a long period. Forgetting to water them or twice or overwatering them a bit won’t make much of a difference to their heath. They might lose a couple of leaves but will recover soon if you give them their required amount of water. But, if you want your Devil’s Ivy to look beautiful, shiny, and lovely, you need to water it properly and regularly.
How Much Water Does A Pothos Plant Need?
Since summer is the growing season for pothos or Devil’s Ivy, you’ll need to water it more frequently. The more light falls on the plant, the thirstier it will feel. Furthermore, the soil will lose moisture quickly if the temperature is high and the humidity is low. In such cases, you’ll have to water it even more frequently.
Water isn’t just required to compensate for the loss of moisture but also to obtain nutrients required for new growth. Ideally, you should water your plant every week during summer. But if you feel doubtful, I would recommend you checking the soil.
Winter is a dormant season for pothos or Devil’s Ivy. The growth is so stagnant that you won’t even see new leaves. Also, the sun’s rays are not strong, which means the soil will stay wet for a longer time. Hence, watering the plant once every two weeks would be perfect. And if the weather is too cold, avoid watering it altogether. And if there’s any doubt, check the wetness of the soil.
When Should I Water My Pothos Plant?
Most newbie plant parents get confused about the best time to water their plants, which is quite understandable. But there’s just one simple rule you need to remember while growing a plant- water only when the soil has dried completely. You can check the moisture or dryness level by poking your finger in the soil. If the soil feels dry even 2 to 3 inches below the surface, it means it’s ready for watering. If the soil is moist, it will stick to the skin. Also, moist soil is darker than dry soil. So that’s another cue. You can even squeeze the soil in your hand if you can take some out of the pot. If the soil holds together on squeezing, it means it’s moist.
Alternatively, you can invest in a moisture meter, which is an excellent device to check for the moisture level of the soil. If the reading on the meter is between 2 and 3 or more, it means it’s time to give your pothos a drink.
Signs Pothos Plant Needs Watering:
If you notice your plant closely, you’ll find that they give cues or signs whenever they are stressed. And it’s always better to look out for these signs instead of committing to a particular watering routine because the factors affecting the watering needs of plants vary from time to time. Below mentioned are some signs of underwatered pothos
Pothos Turn Droopy:
When pothos plants are deprived of water for a long period, they tend to droop a bit.
Brown And Yellow Leaves:
If the pothos plants are left without water for a long period, their leaves can take a yellow or brown tinge. They even turn dry and dead if not taken care of in time.
Soil Becomes Dry/Parched:
If the surface of the soil appears parched, it means the plant needs watering. Just to be sure, you can put your finger or a stick into the soil. If it comes out without any fragment of soil stuck to it, it means the soil is dry.
The growth of your pothos plant will slow down significantly if you don’t provide it with its recommended amount of water.
If you’ve planted your Pothos in the terracotta pot, you can check the moisture of the soil by just picking up the pot. If it feels light, it means it has lost all its moisture. And if the bottom of the pot feels wet, it means the soil has moisture. Even darker soil means moist soil. However, please don’t rely on this method if you’re a novice at gardening. This method requires experience.
So whenever you notice any of these signs, leave everything and water your pothos. It’s not a good thing to keep your plant under stress.
Factors That Affect The Watering Requirements Of Pothos Plant
Pothos are tough and resilient plants, but you still need to understand their needs in order to help them thrive in the best possible condition. Below mentioned are a couple of factors that determine the watering needs of the pothos plant.
Season Or Weather Changes:
Houseplants, which include pothos, need more water in summer and less water in winters. Most plants grow actively during summers and spring. So you need to provide them with sufficient water to facilitate their growth.
If you’ve placed your plant in a brightly lit area, you’ll need to provide it with more water. The reason is pretty obvious. Bright sunlight absorbs water quickly, so you need to compensate for the water loss by providing an adequate amount of water to your plant.
On the other hand, if you’ve placed your pothos in a dim environment, you’ll have to water it less as the soil will take a long time to dry, sometimes, even two weeks. And just because the soil isn’t drying out, doesn’t mean you will expose it to harsh sunlight. Pothos need bright, but indirect light. Exposing it to direct light will burn out its leaves.
Temperature And Humidity:
As mentioned above, your pothos will need more water in warmer temperatures, i.e., 75 degrees F or higher. Similarly, if the temperature goes below 50 degrees F, you’ll need to water it a lot less frequently. Do not let the temperature go below 45 degrees F. Pothos plants do not do well in low temperatures.
Even low humidity calls for more water intake by the plants. And when the humidity level is perfect or more than perfect, you’ll need to water your plant less frequently. A hygrometer will help you learn about the humidity level of your environment in the easiest way possible.
People often confuse humidity with water and start overwatering their plants. This is one of the gravest mistakes you can make, especially with the pothos plant. So please do not overwater your plants thinking that it would be a replacement for humidity. Misting the plant with water is alright, but do not go beyond that.
If you’ve planted your pothos in a well-drained soil mix, you will have to water it frequently as such types of soil mixes absorb water at a faster rate. That’s because well-drained soil has excellent aeration capacity and drains the excess water quickly. It even improves the airflow through the roots and soil, leading to quicker water absorption.
On the other hand, if the soil is heavy, the watering need will also go down. Heavy soil mixes are compact and take a lot of time to dry. The aeration isn’t smooth, which suffocates the soil and root and even creates lumps of soggy soil. All of these are red flags for your pants. So always opt for well-drained soil for your pothos or devil’s ivy.
If the size of the pot is larger than the plant, you’ll have to go easy with the watering as it takes longer for the soil to dry when there is too much space around it. If the pot size is smaller or of the same size as the plant, you’ll have to water it frequently as the water dries faster in compact soil.
Even the material used for the pot affects the water requirements of your pothos plant. Terracotta pots are porous and facilitate faster absorption of water. Ceramic and clay pots are also good as they absorb water at a faster rate. Hence, if you’re using any of these pots, you will have to increase the frequency of watering.
Pothos plant’s root system isn’t really deep and must be watered properly until you see the excess water coming out through the drainage hole. But if the plant is root-bound, it will require a lot more water, leading to overwatering in some cases. If not taken care of in time, it can cause waterlogging and eventually, root rot. So if your plant’s watering needs have increased over time, it’s time to inspect the roots.
Why You Shouldn’t Overwater Your Pothos Plant?
Overwatering pothos or any other plant can lead to a host of problems, the most dangerous being root rot. The roots of plants need air and oxygen. But when the soil is waterlogged, it becomes difficult for the plant to absorb oxygen and nutrients. This starves the plant and eventually kills it. So if you want to avoid it, you must keep a tab on the frequency of watering.
Signs Of Overwatered Pothos Plant/Devil’s Ivy:
The signs of overwatered pothos plant include:
- Root rot
- Stunted growth
- Molds and pests
- Falling leaves
- Leaves turning brown or yellow
- Stagnant shoots
FAQs About Pothos Plant’s Water Requirements:
In how many days should I water my pothos plant?
Depending on the factors mentioned above, we would suggest you to water your pothos every 1 to 2 weeks. A couple of days here and there is also fine, but don’t let them go too long without water. Just keep an eye on the soil and you’ll know when they need water.
How to water the pothos plant?
The method of watering the pothos plant is the same as any houseplant. Keep adding water to the soil until you see the excess coming out of the drainage hole. You just need to ensure that you’ve planted your pothos in fast-draining soil. And you must opt for pots with drainage holes and saucers. Always feel the texture of the soil before watering your plant.
How much water should I give my pothos plant?
A lot of factors affect the watering needs of pothos, which we have discussed above. If we are talking about the quantity, 1 to 2 cups of water should be enough for pothos planted in smaller pots and 3 to 4 cups for pothos planted in bigger pots. Always water your plant thoroughly and ensure that the excess drains out through the drainage hole.
Can I mist my pothos plants?
Misting can be considered when the humidity level of the environment is low. But you need to go easy with it. Too much spraying or misting can invite microorganisms and pests, both of which are detrimental to the health of your plant.
We hope our article answered all your questions on the pothos plant’s water requirements. Just take good care of your pothos and it will grow faster than you can imagine. If you have any questions, let us know by commenting below.
Aiza Siddiqui is one of the content providers in Gardener’s Toolbox. From a very young age, Aiza has been passionate about gardening, which explains her choice of major in studies. She holds a BSc Degree in Botany from the University of Calcutta. Aiza is a green thumb through and through and owns more than 100 different types of plants. Every article that she contributes to Gardener’s Toolbox is written by doing extensive research and from her own experience with planting and gardening. Hoping that you will find her articles on different houseplants helpful.