Indoor Plants and Flowers Care Indoor Pothos Plant Care & Watering - Watering Pothos Plants

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Indoor Pothos Plant Care
Watering Pothos Plants


The way you water your Pothos plants, and any plants indoor, has a very great effect on their health. Improper watering is the main cause of death with indoor houseplants. Usually this would be from over-watering but if you are not caring for your plants on a regular schedule, under-watering can be a problem. Advice that give you watering intervals, amount of water, etc. for your Pothos plant are not reliable.

Watering pothos indoor plant

Pothos Plants Care

Having cared for thousands of plants as a "Plant Lady", I know that the only way to determine if a plant needs water is to check the moisture level in the soil at regular intervals. Every plant is different and water needs change as the plant changes and as the environment changes.

I know that you love your plants but too much love (i.e. water) can kill them! That being said, please read on, Plant Lover. I know it looks like a lot to take in, but its stuff you need to know for the sake of your Pothos plants! And if you still have trouble with your Pothos or other plants, there is information on self-watering systems too.

Watering Pothos Plants

Pothos Totem Plant

The root system of a plant needs air as well as water to remain healthy. When the root system of your pothos plant is constantly saturated the roots will begin to die. Over-watering is generally caused by watering your plants too often, not by the amount of water given when you decide it is time to irrigate your plants. Maintaining a healthy root system is vital for lush, vibrant foliage so if you see signs of problems on your foliage, check the roots for problems.

To begin, put yourself on a schedule for checking your interior plants. Do your plant care on the same day every week. Make it a point to not just water your Pothos plant, if needed (and only if needed), but also remove all yellow and brown foliage, turn your plant to promote even, full growth, prune and shape as needed, and give it a good cleaning with a soft cloth or a sponge or even a quick shower in the bathtub or sink.

As you do these things, you will start to notice if your Pothos plant is slightly droopy or if it seems to be not so green and healthy looking as the week before. As you care for your Pothos, you need to think about the last time you watered your plant. Did you have to water the week before or was the soil still wet or damp? Was the soil so dry the Pothos was beginning to wilt?

Watering your Pothos house plant is very much a cause and effect event. If your Pothos is looking good - green, shiny and healthy looking - then you are doing the right things. If it is wilting, yellow or spotted, not much new growth, you need to review your watering habits and make adjustments.

You will know if you are doing the right thing by the way your Pothos plant responds to your care. That is what I meant when I said earlier that every plant is different and only you can tell if your plant needs to be watered.

Use your fingers to tell if the soil has dried enough to be watered. Most Pothos plants will do fine being allowed to dry down half the height of the grow pot or even a little more. Moist soil will cling to your skin and is usually darker than dry soil. With larger pots you can pull out a little soil and squeeze it into a ball in your hand. If it is moist, it will hold together. Learning the weight of your plants when they are dry and when they are wet can also help in determining if it is time to water.

If you have a houseplant in a 10" diameter pot or larger, it is a good idea to use a soil probe to check for moisture in the growing medium. These are not expensive and have the advantage of aerating the root mass as you use it, which is great for your plant's root system. These are usually about 14" -16" long, made of aluminum and have notches in the side to pull up a soil sample. Moist soil will remain in the notch and dry soil will easily fall out.

With larger grow pots, 10 inch diameter or large, it is necessary to let the soil dry down much more than with a small grow pot. If you can, use a soil probe and a good rule of thumb would be to water when the soil is dry in all but the bottom notch. Here is a link to purchase a good soil probe. These are not needed or useful for very small pots.

While over-watering is a big problem, insufficient watering or letting your Pothos wilt on a regular basis is not good for it. This will most likely cause browning or spotting of the foliage over time so be sure to check them on a regular schedule. Pay attention to visuals signs such as mild wilting, browning tips, etc. and you will soon learn how to gauge when your plants require watering.

The correct way to water just about any container plant is to water thoroughly when you water. You can immerse the entire pot and rootball into standing water until all the air has been displaced from the soil or you can top-water using a watering can. When using the top-water method, make sure to water until the water drains out of the grow pot through the drainage holes. Plants should always be in a container with drainage holes at the bottom.

Marble queen pothos plant

Pothos Marble
Queen Leaves

Aerating the soil with a soil probe is also very beneficial. You can use a bamboo stick, a soil probe or even a pair of scissors to do this. Also make sure that any excess water is discarded. Your Pothos should then be allowed to dry down as much as possible without causing your plant to wilt.

The amount and interval of watering for each plant is different and depends on a variety of factors. These include the type of plant, the grow pot size, the light intensity, the time of year, the amount of foliage, the growing medium, the micro environment and the overall health of the plant.

For instance, a plant set next to an air vent is going to require more frequent watering than one that is not. Plants that have been moved to a new environment often use more water as they acclimate to new conditions. A plant with an abundance of foliage is going to require much more moisture than a very sparse plant.

If your Pothos plant is in a plastic container, it will stay moist much longer than a plant in a clay or wood container. The clay and wood are porous and allow for good air circulation and therefore the soil will dry more quickly. All of these things should be considered as you make the decision on whether to water or not.

A Note About Self-Watering Systems - If you really have a difficult time with watering your plants properly, no matter what you do, or you are away frequently but would still like to keep your plants looking good, consider a self-watering system for your house plants. They work quite well but, of course, you still have to put water in them every once in a while. If you forget, your plants will still die! That would not be good.

I have used the Lechuza self-watering system many times and they are pretty easy once they are set up correctly. A great looking container and you can get them without the sub-irrigation (self-waterer) too. They are really popular in the interior landscape industry and can be used anywhere, either professional buildings or residential. Some links to these products have been included on the page. Take a look!

A Few Other Things to Note - Many plants are in a stage of no or very slow growth in the winter and should be allowed to become somewhat drier. I have had plants that did not need to be watered at all in the winter months, after a good soaking in the fall. If the heat is kept exceptionally high in the winter, it is also possible that your plants may use and need more water in the winter months.

If you pay attention to your plants you will notice that as the daylight changes throughout the year and as temperatures change, your plants water use will change accordingly. Please note that some plants use more water temporarily as heating systems are turned on in the colder months. Overcast days will also affect your plants water use.

Buy a pothos plant in 6 inch pot

Buy Pothos Plant

Pothos house plant care questions? You can send a house plant question but before you do, please read these tips to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your house plants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

If you have Pothos plant questions you can send a plant question or visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo blog for interior plant questions and answers, to post your own comment or questions or share some of your indoor plant wisdom with others. Visit the Facebook Page or Google+ Page, also great places to post houseplant care comments and questions! Thanks again...

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