Pothos Pruning Guide – How To Cut Back Pothos Plants

Pothos Pruning Guide – How To Cut Back Pothos Plants

By: Raffaele Di Lallo, Author and founder of Ohio Tropics houseplant care blog
Image by dropStock

Has your pothos plant gotten too big? Or maybe it’s not as bushy as it used to be? Keep reading so you can learn how to prune a pothos and bring new life to this amazing, vigorous and easy-to-grow houseplant.

Let’s take a look at how to cut back pothos.

Pruning Pothos Houseplant

First, you will have to choose exactly how far you’d like to prune your pothos back. You can prune it back dramatically up to about 2 inches or so (5 cm.) from the soil line if needed. Or you can leave much longer vines and prune much less. 

It all depends on how much you’d like to take off. Regardless, pruning this plant will only benefit it. You may be happy with only a lighter pruning or, if your plant has lost quite a few leaves and you want to reinvigorate the plant, a more drastic pruning may be needed. A harder pruning will force new growth at the base and eventually the plant will be much bushier.

Whatever extent of pruning you choose, the way you prune is the same. 

How to Cut Back Pothos

Take each individual vine and determine where you’d like to prune it. You’ll always want to cut the vine ¼ inch (about 2/3 cm.) above each leaf. The point where the leaf meets the vine is called a node, and your pothos will send out a new vine in that area after you’ve pruned.   

Take care not to leave any leafless vines. I’ve found that these typically won’t regrow. It is probably best to prune leafless vines completely off. 

Keep repeating the process until you’ve selectively pruned each vine and you are visually pleased with the results. If you just want to just do a light pruning, you can just take tip cuttings on whatever vines are too long. 

After you’ve pruned your pothos, you may choose to propagate your plant with all the cuttings you’ve made. 

Simply cut the vines into smaller segments. Remove the bottom leaf to expose that node, and place that node in a vase or propagation station with water. That bare node must be under water.

Make sure that each cutting has one or two leaves. New roots will soon start to grow at the nodes. Once the roots are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, you can pot them up.

At this point, you can start a brand new plant, or even plant them back into the pot that you took the cuttings from in order to create a fuller plant. 

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