Pothos being tropical plants with thick, sturdy stems, will thrive in harsh conditions. It’s one of the easiest houseplants to grow, best for those in new planthood. Watering right is a prime requirement to keep your pothos growing. But how much water do they need? How often should you water your pothos? Let’s find out!
Watering your pothos every 5-7 days would be ideal. You should never have a schedule for watering them. Instead, check the soil for dryness and water them as soon as the soil gets dry. Make sure you water the plant thoroughly when you do, so that water reaches every root of the plant.
Pothos needs more water during summer rather than in winter. You should never overwater them as it is bad for them.
If done wrong, your pothos will start giving you a signal through droopy and wilting foliage.
If the condition persists, then through brown leaves and tips, pale and yellow leaves, and more severe conditions in the long term, depending on whether you are under watering or overwatering them.
Pothos don’t like to be overwatered at all, under watering they will tolerate. Every plant has different needs and grown in other cultural conditions and space. Excessiveness of anything is harmful, even if your pothos is hardy and forgiving.
To learn about the demand for water for your pothos, you want to go through some points to remember before setting any watering schedule for your pothos. Read further to learn in detail.
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How much water does pothos need?
The watering needs of pothos is also dependent upon the season. Let us have a look at it.
The more light is coming in, the more thirst your pothos feel. Since the soil dries out rapidly, your pothos will need water frequently.
Before watering them, check the soil, whether it is dry or not, by poking your finger in the top few inches.
Once a week is a usual recommendation, but checking the soil would be the smartest way to avoid overwatering.
If the temperature is high and humidity is low, the soil might lose moisture quickly. In such circumstances, you need to water them more often than usual.
Winter being the dormant season, the pothos growth slows down, or let’s say you will hardly see any new growth.
The sun’s heat is also mild, giving more time to the soil to absorb water.
Watering once every two weeks will be enough, but always check the soil before showering them. If the weather in your area is cold, you might not want to overwater them. So checking the soil is the ideal way to find out if your plant needs a shower or not.
Tip: Use room temperature water or let the water sit overnight and use the next day. That will save your pothos from shock.
How do I know when my pothos needs water?
There are many ways to identify your plant’s need for water.
Moisture meter: They are very handy and convenient. Put it in soil when you want to check; if it reads 2 or 3, you can water your plant.
Finger/Skewer: Poking your finger or skewer in the soil up to 2-3 inches, take out your finger or skewer, and check if there is any soil stuck to it or not. If not, then the soil is dry, and they need water.
Wet pot: Terracotta pot helps you to check the soil moisture just by touching them from the outside, touch the bottom of the pot, and you can feel the difference.
By just glancing at the bottom of the terracotta pot, you can tell if your soil is dry or not. If it seems dark, then the soil is still moist.
Lifting pot: Consider this if you have a small pot, preferably. Just lift the pot and analyze its weight difference; you might judge the need for water. Please note this method might not work if you are a beginner.
Factors affecting the need for water
Since they are tough plants, they only want you to understand their needs and keep a little care of their needs. Water needs for pothos depend on various factors.
Whatever your light source is, natural or artificial, its intensity is such that it doesn’t burn or damage the leaves. Pothos need a lot of light to grow its size and new leaves.
Being exposed to bright light, they will need water frequently. Let the soil dry in between waterings to prevent saturation in the soil.
However, if you cannot provide them with bright indirect light, you will see the soil is taking more time to dry. In this case, they might take two weeks to bone dry.
Don’t expose them to direct sunlight if you feel that the soil is not drying out, and you think your pothos would need water.
We understand your inner parent will tell you to water them, but this over care will lead to a lot of grieving later for your pothos.
The abundance of light helps pothos to maintain their variegation.
Many people feel the humidity is a replacement for watering. That’s not true at all.
Pothos thrive in high humidity levels but need water to get the required nutrients and to stimulate growth.
If they are getting high humidity levels, they need water a bit less frequently. There will be a very minute difference between watering needs.
It is recommended to maintain humidity through misting every few days or by using a humidifier.
Also read: Should I mist my pothos plant?
Since pothos thrives in a high level of temperature, i.e., 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If a high level of temperature is maintained, the frequency of watering will increase.
Same way, lower temperature levels call for lesser water requirement. Don’t keep your pothos in temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It will get problematic for your plant to survive in such a situation.
The root system of pothos is small and not too deep. They should be watered thoroughly till excess water is drained out through the drainage holes.
If your root system is root-bound and healthy and getting proper cultural requirements, the repetition of watering will go high as compared to an unhealthy root system.
If the roots are unhealthy, they will now be able to absorb water quickly, and if you keep watering them according to your general routine, the roots will rot and attract related issues.
Keep in track the condition of your pothos roots system by probing them, especially when your plant is acting weird.
Well-draining soil mix needs water more frequently. On the other hand, if your potting mix is heavy, the watering need will go down.
This is because well-draining soil is aerated and drains excess water quickly and lets the airflow through the soil and the roots, improving water absorption.
Heavy potty mix or bad quality potting mix will not only take time to dry out but also create lumps of soggy soil. There will be less or no aeration in the roots and soil, suffocating both the root and soil.
You will very shortly find your pothos in stress in such a condition. In this case, watering less frequently is recommended. But the best thing to do would be to change the sol mix altogether.
Also read: What kind of soil do pothos need?
Watering your pothos should also consider the type of your planter. If your plant is potted in plastic pots, your pothos will need water less often. Plastic pots are not porous and will dry gradually.
Ceramic or earthenware pots are an excellent choice for your pothos. They will absorb water relatively faster, and you need to increase water frequency for your plant.
Terracotta pots are hands down the best choice for pothos, and if your plant is potted in terracotta pots, they are highly porous, and water will dry evenly and rapidly. You will have to water them more frequently.
Terracotta pots will also help you know the need for water just by looking at them from the outside. If the pot appears opaque in the bottom, that means the soil is still moist.
How much do you water pothos?
Firstly it is always environmental conditions that decide how much water pothos need. If you are fulfilling ideal lighting, temperature levels, and humidity levels, then the suggested dose would be:
- Pothos planted in small pots need less water, about 1-2 cups at a time.
- Pothos planted in bigger pots need more water, 3-4 cups, or according to the pot size you own.
Now the soil mix matters too while watering. If it is an aerated soil mix, you can feed them with some more water to satisfy your love for them.
Always water them thoroughly. Pothos don’t like their soil drowning or suffocating. Drench excess water from the soil through drainage holes.
Don’t follow any schedule. The climate conditions influence the needs of watering your plant.
Also read: How often should I water my pothos?
Signs of overwatering pothos:
If you are overwatering your pothos, they will show you the following signs:
- Root rot
- Mold growth
- Falling leaves
- Slower growth
- Leaf yellowing
- Leaf browning
- Mold growth
- Floppiness with stagnant shoots
Signs of underwatering pothos
The signs of underwatered pothos are as follows:
- Wilting foliage
- Desert soil
- Dry, dead leaf tips
- Brown leaves
- Slow growth
- Visible footprint
Also read: Overwatering vs Underwatering
Should you mist pothos?
Misting your plants adds moisture to your plant, and as water evaporates, it adds to environmental humidity. There are a few things you need to understand and follow up before misting:
If the temperature level is high and the humidity level is low, the water will evaporate quickly and add to overall humidity.
If you are misting periodically and the humidity level of that area is climbing and let’s say it rises to 90%.
Even though the temperature is high and there is too much humidity in the air, the water droplets will not dissipate much like the air around your plant is essentially saturated with water moisture.
That will invite pests and grow microorganisms. So it entirely depends on the atmosphere your plants are in.
Can pothos survive in water?
Yes, the most inexpensive and hustle free way to grow your pothos is in water. They can outlast eternally in water.
It is even recommended if you are growing your pothos in water do not transplant them into the soil. It will grow just like other pothos grown in pots.