How EXACTLY to Water Your Pothos Plant?

Watering a pothos plant
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Tip One

Consistency in Watering

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Tip Two

Checking Soil Moisture

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Tip Three

Listen to Your Pothos

Pothos, also known as devil’s ivy, is a resilient plant that can tolerate periods of drought, yet it flourishes when supplied with consistent hydration; much like you rely on water for survival, your plant depends on it for its vitality and growth.  

Providing your pothos with just the right amount of water ensures proper hydration, and enables their roots to absorb essential nutrients from the soil. Adequate moisture also facilitates photosynthesis – the process through which plants convert light energy into food.

However, it’s important to strike a balance between providing enough water to satisfy your plant’s needs without drowning it in excessive moisture.  

Let’s help you find the best pothos watering practises and understand our special plant needs.

How Much Water Does a Pothos Need?

Ensuring proper and consistent watering for out dear plants!

Pothos watering needs can vary depending on several factors, including its growth stage, size, and environment.

As a general rule of thumb, young pothos plants require more frequent watering to promote robust root development. During the initial stages, it’s best to keep the soil consistently moist but not overly saturated.

As the plant matures, you can adjust the watering frequency accordingly. Considering the size of your pothos is also essential when determining its water requirements.

Larger plants tend to have more extensive root systems that can store water for longer periods. Therefore, they generally need less frequent watering compared to smaller or newly potted plants with limited root systems.

Watering a Pothos is Easier With Drainage Holes

Let me tell you this, Watering a pothos becomes a breeze when you have drainage holes in your pot.

With drainage holes in place, on the other hand, any excess water simply drains away freely through those tiny openings. This prevents waterlogging –Trust me, you don’t want that happening – and allows oxygen to reach the roots of your pothos plant—an essential requirement for it to thrive.

So, make sure you choose pots with adequate drainage holes. Your pothos will thank you for it!

When Should I water My Pothos: Testing the Soil

Soil for planting a pothos
Gently insert your finger about an inch into the soil. If you feel that the top inch or so is dry, it's a good indication that your pothos is ready for a drink.

Testing the soil moisture can guide you in determining whether it’s time to water or if your plant can hold off for a bit longer. 


After all, too much water can drown your plant and lead to root rot, while too little water can leave your pothos feeling parched and wilting like a neglected sunflower. So, how can you determine if your green buddy is ready for a drink?


Do this: Gently insert your finger about an inch into the soil. If you feel that the top inch or so is dry, it’s a good indication that your pothos is ready for a drink. However, if you find that the soil still feels slightly damp, it’s best to hold off on watering for now. 


You can also test soil moisture by using a moisture meter. These handy gadgets have probes that detect moisture levels deep within the soil. Simply insert the probe into different areas of the potting mix and observe the readings on the meter.


If it indicates a dry reading, you’ll know it’s time to water. In addition to manual assessments, visual indicators can also help gauge soil moisture levels.


Dry potting mix will appear lighter in color and may even start pulling away from the sides of the container as it shrinks due to lack of water. On the other hand, moist potting mix will typically have a darker hue and maintain its shape more effectively.


Remember that these methods should be used in conjunction with other factors like light conditions and plant size. I have made some super happy conditions for my pothos by absorbing as much knowledge as I can and making decisions according to its specific needs.

How to Water Pothos Plants?

The answer can be provided with different methods. 

A man watering his garden

The Classic "Water Over The Soil" Technique

This method involves pouring water directly onto the soil surface around the base of the plant.


  • Steps to Water Over The Soil:
  1. Position yourself next to your pothos and gently pour the water over the soil, aiming for the base of the plant. As you pour, observe how the soil absorbs the water. You’ll notice that initially, it may pool on top of the soil before slowly seeping in.
  2. Take your time and avoid pouring too quickly as this can lead to excessive runoff or uneven saturation. It’s important not to drench your pothos in one go; instead, aim for an even distribution of moisture throughout its root system.
  3. Allow some time between rounds of pouring so that each application gets adequately absorbed before adding more water.

In addition to being an effective way of watering pothos plants, pouring water over the soil also acts as an opportunity for routine inspection. While you pour, take note if any pests or debris are visible on or around your plant so that you can address any issues promptly.

Bottom Watering

Bottom Watering involves placing your pothos pot in a shallow dish filled with water and allowing it to absorb moisture from below. This technique is particularly useful for plants with sensitive leaves that can be easily damaged by splashing water.


  • Benefits: Bottom Watering allows the plant to soak up water through its roots from below. That helps prevent overwatering by allowing the roots to take in only as much water as they need.


  • Steps to Bottom Watering: 
  1. Start by selecting a saucer or tray that is large enough to hold some water without overflowing onto your furniture or floor.
  2. Place your pothos pot on top of this saucer and simply pour room-temperature water into the saucer until it reaches about a quarter to half an inch deep.
  • Frequency: Keep an eye on the water level and adjust as needed. The goal here is not to completely immerse your plant’s roots but rather allow them access to moisture from below.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that bottom watering may not be suitable for all situations or environments. If you have a pot with poor drainage or if you’re dealing with a particularly thirsty pothos plant during hot summer months, you may find that using other methods alongside or instead of bottom watering is necessary.

Water Bath

  1. To give your pothos a refreshing spa treatment, you can consider giving it a water bath. This method involves immersing the pot in a basin or sink filled with water, allowing the roots to soak up moisture from the bottom. It’s like a relaxing dip in a pool for your green buddy!  
  • Steps to Water Bath:
  1. Fill your chosen basin or sink with room-temperature water until it reaches about an inch below the rim of your pothos pot.
  2. Gently lower your plant into the water, ensuring that only the base of the pot is submerged and avoiding any splashing on leaves or stems. Allow your pothos to luxuriate in this soothing bath for about 10-15 minutes.

During this time, you may notice small air bubbles rising from around the base of your plant as air pockets escape from its root system. This is completely normal and indicates that your pothos is getting hydrated.



3. Carefully lift out your plant from its watery haven and let any excess water drain off before returning it to its usual spot. It’s crucial not to let it sit in pooled water as this can lead to root rot and other moisture-related problems.


  • Frequency: It depends on various factors like climate and humidity levels. As a general guideline, performing a thorough water bath every few weeks should be sufficient for most pothos plants.

However, always keep an eye on the soil moisture levels and the overall health of your plant to gauge if it needs more or less hydration.

It’s worth noting that using room-temperature water is vital when watering your pothos plants. Extreme temperatures can shock their sensitive root systems, so opt for lukewarm or tepid water rather than cold or hot tap water.

How Often to Water Pothos Plants?

A kid watering a tree
  • I had to do some research and experiment with my pothos before understanding its different watering needs. The goal was to find the right balance between underwatering and overwatering.

You don’t want to drown them in a deluge of water, nor do you want to leave them parched and begging for a drink.


So, how do you determine the right pothos watering schedule? Well, it depends on several factors. 


  • Consider the light conditions in which your pothos is situated.

Pothos plants prefer bright but indirect sunlight, and different light levels affect their water requirements. If your pothos enjoys ample sunlight exposure, it will generally need more frequent watering compared to those placed in shadier spots.


  • Temperature also plays a significant role in pothos watering. Like many houseplants, pothos prefers temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 85°F (29°C).

In warmer environments or during summer months, the plant may require more frequent watering due to increased evaporation and higher transpiration rates. 


  • The season can affect your pothos watering schedule. 

During spring and summer when pothos is actively growing, it tends to need more water as its metabolic processes are at their peak. Conversely, during fall and winter when growth slows down, the plant’s water requirements decrease accordingly.


I had to observe my pothos’ response to different waterings, and make adjustments accordingly based on their specific needs within these parameters—like finding that sweet spot between too much or too little moisture.


Remember that It’s crucial to consider any external signs like wilted or yellowing leaves but also to establish a watering routine that aligns with the specific needs of your pothos. 

Establishing a Consistent Watering Routine for Your Pothos

Pothos Plantshowing off in a light spot
When pothos decides to showoff in a light spot, it gives this!

Understanding your pothos watering needs is one part of the puzzle, the other fully depends on how consistent you are with your watering schedule. Your plant communicates with you through its general appearance. Establishing a reliable routine will help ensure that your plant receives the hydration it needs without experiencing any extreme fluctuations in water levels.


  1. Observe your pothos closely.

Pay attention to how quickly the soil dries out after each watering and how the leaves respond to different levels of moisture. 

  1. Consider the size of your pothos plant.

Smaller, potted varieties may require more frequent watering compared to larger, mature plants with established root systems. As a general rule of thumb, aim for once every 7-10 days for smaller plants and once every 10-14 days for larger ones.

  1. Understand the impact of seasonal changes on your pothos’ water requirements.

Consistency can be achieved by selecting specific days of the week or specific dates each month dedicated solely to tending to your pothos’ thirst.

Consistency is also about maintaining uniformity in how much water you provide. Avoid overwatering by ensuring that each session delivers just enough moisture without leaving any excess water sitting in the pot’s drainage tray.

Strike a balance between hydrating your pothos adequately while allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. 

Troubleshooting Pothos Watering Problems: Overwatering and Underwatering

Yellow, drooping leaves of a dead plant
Here's what drooping plants look like!

Many loving plant parents fall victim to this grave error; they shower their pothos with affectionate watering sessions. Little do they know that excessive moisture could actually kill the plant.


Pothos plants prefer slightly moist soil, but they don’t like to sit in water for extended periods.

If you’re a new plant parent, pay close attention! 


  • Overwatering  This is a classic case of too much of a good thing. When you’re being too generous with your pothos, its roots become waterlogged, hindering their ability to absorb oxygen. As a result, the roots may start to rot, leading to root rot disease.

Signs of overwatering. You may notice yellowing or browning leaves, drooping, and a foul odor emanating from the soil if your pothos is suffering from overwatering. 


  • Underwatering – Depriving your pothos of its much-needed hydration.

Signs of overwatering. When you neglect your watering schedule, and let your pothos go dry for extended periods, its leaves will appear limp and droopy. They might lose their vibrancy and begin to wilt.

Additionally, parched soil may cause root damage and hinder nutrient uptake. Both scenarios pose risks to our leafy buddy; however, it’s crucial to note that overwatering tends to be more detrimental in the long run as it can lead to irreversible damage.


The key to these problems is some love, and care! Pothos watering is about finding balance between watering adequately without going overboard or letting our plant go thirsty.

 When you overwater your pothos, it leads to waterlogged roots and poor oxygen circulation.


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