How Often to Water Pothos?

A common question I get is “how often to water pothos?” This is because of the plant’s popularity. In part, I also believe it is due to the plant’s low water needs.

However, because of the risks that too much water brings, it is very important to when to water your pothos.

Below, I’ll go through all the details on how often you should water your pothos.

And this will depend a lot on where you keep the plant and the environment around it.

How often should you water pothos? Watering frequency depends on many factors with time of the year or the season being a large part of it.

That’s because the amount of light, temperature and humidity affect how often you should water your pothos. Additionally, the kind of you use, the size of the plant and how big the container is need to be factored in as well.

Factors That Affect How Often to Water Pothos

How often you water pothos plants will depend on the season for the year. That’s because the amount of light, weather, temperature and humidity all change during the year.

As such, it is important to take these things into consideration.

More importantly, it is why you should never use a fixed watering schedule.

That said, some places will have more dramatic changing in the climate conditions especially if you live somewhere with four seasons. On the other hand, tropical climates have more subtle changes.

Therefore, with the latter, the adjustments are more minor.

In addition to the changes in the time of the year, the amount of light the plant gets, size of the pot, kind of pot you use and the soil also play a role in how frequent you’ll need to water your pothos plant.

In general, pothos usually need watering every 1-2 weeks.

And with this plant, you can tell when to water by allowing the top few inches of soil to dry between waterings.

Let’s take a look at these factors in detail below.

 

The Time of Year (Season)

I’ll begin with the time of the year. Seasonal changes largely affect how often to water pothos plants.

And in many cases, this is what trips up many beginner gardeners.

That’s because it is easy to take the changes in the weather for granted because we are all so used to it.

However, as winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer then fall, the weather changes which affects how quickly the soil dries up.

As such, it is important to know how different seasons affect when you water your pothos.

 

How Often to Water Pothos in Summer

Summer is the hottest time of the year. It is when you get the most sunshine and the highest temperatures.

As such, more water is lost by the plant during transpiration.

And more water is lost by the soil through evaporation.

Additionally, pothos will grow fast during this time. So, it needs more water to support that growth.

This is why you can end up watering 2 or maybe 3 times a week during the hottest days of summer.

However, don’t guess.

In fact, never guess when it comes to watering your houseplants.

That’s because overwatering is the #1 cause of houseplant death.

Instead, stick your finger into the soil down to about the second knuckle. This is around 2 inches from the surface of the soil.

If the soil at that depth feels dry, then add water.

If not, don’t add water yet and recheck the soil again in a few days.

 

How Often to Water Pothos in Winter

Winter is the complete opposite of summer.

This is when the weather gets cold and there’s the least amount of sunshine. Additionally, pothos will usually take a rest from growing during this time.

Therefore, it is important to cut back on watering.

In fact, scale back significantly.

Why?

The lack of light, cold temperature and inactivity of the plant means it takes much longer for moisture in the soil to dry.

So, if you do not scale back on watering frequency, you run the risk of overwatering the plant.

Again, this is one of the worst things you can put your pothos through.

In many cases, you only need to water your pothos once every 2 or even 3 weeks.

Again, use your finger to check on how much moisture the soil has.

Be a lot more conservative during this time.

In summer, you want to avoid dehydration. In winter, the goal is to avoid overwatering.

Since pothos cannot tolerate the cold, try to keep it in a warm spot in your home.

 

How Often to Water Pothos in Spring

Spring is when the pothos will wake up from its rest period during winter. And it is the warm weather that will trigger this.

Spring is the ideal time for growth. And you’ll see your pothos push out lots of shoots and leaves.

This period, along with summer, is when it will grow the fastest.

The main difference between spring and summer is that the sunlight is not as intense and the temperature won’t get too hot.

So, there’s less risk of scorching from excess direct sunlight and heat stress from overly high temperatures.

During spring, you’ll likely water your pothos once a week.

Usually, the range will be once every 6 to 8 or so days.

 

Other Related Posts

 

How Often to Water Pothos in Autumn

Fall is when temperatures start to become more moderate from the summer heat.

And during the first part of autumn, you’ll water your pothos around once a week again similar to spring.

However, by mid to late autumn, the weather will quickly get cooler.

This is when you need to start scaling back watering.

From once a week, it will stretch out to once every 2 weeks.

As such, it becomes very important to regularly test the soil before you add water.

 

Amount of Light

The amount of light also affects how often do you water a pothos plant.

Why?

Pothos, like other plants, grow faster when there is more light. This is because it uses light for photosynthesis to create energy which it uses to push out new shoots and leaves.

So, the more growth it has, the more water and nutrients it will need to support this growth.

That’s because light combines with water and nutrients to create that energy in photosynthesis.

Additionally, more light means more heat especially if it is natural light from the sun.

This means that the moisture in the soil will evaporate faster.

In contrast, low light results is slower, less growth. And there is less evaporation as well.

So, for optimal growth, medium to bright indirect sunlight is ideal if you want your pothos to grow. And to sustain such growth, it is important to ensure the plant gets sufficient water and nutrients.

 

Temperature

One of the reasons why the time of the year is very important in determining how often you should water your pothos is the change in temperature.

Pothos like moderate to warm temperatures ranging between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is s tropical plant so I can tolerate warm and even hot temperatures.

However, the hotter it gets, the more you need to make sure that the plant is well-hydrated. Otherwise, the increased water loss will cause it to get dehydrated eventually.

Thus, try to keep the pothos in its ideal temperature preference.

In this condition, you’ll see the plant grow optimally producing new shoots and leaves. This is why spring and summer is when you see pothos grow the fastest.

Around this temperature range, the plant will need watering about once a week.

On the other hand, you want to avoid very high or very low temperatures.

Excessively high heat above 100 degrees Fahrenheit means that you’ll need to water very often. If not, it puts the plant at a higher risk of heat stress.

As a plant owner, you don’t always have the time to keep watering your houseplants.

That said, cold temperatures are more dangerous.

That’s because pothos grow slower during the cold. This is the case during winter.

And when this happens, if you water too often, it increases the risk of overwatering which can lead to root rot.

 

Humidity

Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air.

As such, humid conditions mean there is more moisture in the air while low humidity means the air is dry.

This is why you’ll notice that you don’t need to water your pothos as often during humid weather. In contrast, you’ll need to water it more regular when the humidity is very low.

Why?

Humidity affects how much water evaporates from the soil and the leaves. This is why botanists and biologists call evapotranspiration.

In short, the lower the humidity, the more water is lost by the plant through its leaves. Similarly, water also evaporates much faster from the soil when the air is dry.

Pothos prefer humidity between 50% to 70%.

And if it is kept in this condition, you don’t need to water it as often to keep it hydrated.

On the other hand, while the plant can tolerate low humidity, it means the plant will lost more water through its leaves.

This is why you’ll see its leaf edges and tips turn brown and crispy in low humidity.

Thus, try to avoid very low humidity or dry air.

 

Plant Size

The size of the plant also plays a role in how often should you water pothos.

This is more obvious, right?

But it is often overlooked.

The bigger the plant, the more water it will drink. Therefore, the more water it will need.

Again, this is to support its health and growth.

Plants, including pothos, consist of about 90% water.

This is why when plants are underwatered or dehydrated, the wilt and droop. It is the water that provides the pressure to keep them upright or maintain their proper forms.

Pothos can kept as smaller plants if you let them sprawl and prune them regularly.

But if you give them a moss pole to climb on or trail down from the hanging basket, they can become very long and bushy.

The larger your pothos gets, the more frequent watering it will need.

This is why a large pothos may need to be watered as often as every 5 days. In contrast, a small plant may only need watering once every 1-2 weeks.

So, while this sounds simple and logical, it can get tricky to gauge how often to water your pothos based on its size.

And the best way is to adjust in a way that you avoid seeing browning leaves.

Brown leaves even on the tips and edges are a sign of lack of moisture.

If you notice this, try to increase frequency by a bit.

For me, I prefer to check the soil.

Once the soil has dried around 50% of the way from the top, it is time to water the plant.

 

Pot / Container Size and Type

The kind of pot, its size and drainage all play an important role in when you should water your pothos.

First of all, I’d like to mention that it is very important to choose a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom.

While this does mean you’ll need to water more often than with a pot with no holes, it prevents waterlogged soil and overwatering.

This allows you to prevent root rot which can be fatal for your pothos.

Thus, for me, a pot with drainage holes is necessary and not optional.

Besides pot drainage, there are two other factors to consider. These are pot size and the material they’re made of.

Pot size is important in determining how often to water a pothos plant.

If your pothos lives in a tight container, it means you’ll need to water it often. This can mean as little as every 4 to 6 days.

On the other hand, a larger container means longer intervals between watering days.

That’s because it takes longer for the larger amount of soil to dry up.

Now this may sound enticing especially if you’re a busy person. However, there is such a thing as using an overly large pot.

While you can use a pot that’s slightly bigger, avoid overpotting to the point where the extra large pot increases the risk of overwatering.

In excessively large pots, there will be too much soil that will stay wet when you water the plant.

This causes the pothos’ roots to drown in excess water increasing the risk of root rot.

So, try to stay with the ideal size.

Choose a pot that is 2 inches wider than the size of the root ball.

When repotting, go with a pot that is 2-3 inches wider than the previous container.

Finally, consider the material of the pot as well.

Terracotta pots and clay pots are made from porous materials. This means that water can seep through the container via the very tiny pores or spaces between the material.

As such, these pots will allow some (but not a lot) of water loss.

This makes them ideal for plants like pothos which can become prone to overwatering. However, it also means you’ll need to water your pothos more often if you use these kinds of containers.

Meanwhile, plastic pots, steel pots and other non-porous materials lock in the water.

This means that you won’t need to water as often.

 

Kind of Soil Mix

Lastly, the kind of soil you use also affects how often you should water a pothos.

Once you water the plant, the liquid stays in the soil.

And it is through the soil where the roots are able to absorb water and nutrients from fertilizer. Plant needs water to take in nutrients. This is why lack of water also affects nutrient uptake.

As such, it is important that the soil retains some of this moisture.

But at the same time, because pothos are susceptible to overwatering and root rot, the soil needs to quickly drain out excess water as well.

This is why pothos do best in well-draining potting mix.

Avoid soil that holds too much water or ones that drain too much moisture too quickly.

With the former, it increases the risk of overwatering and root rot.

On the other hand, the latter will dry up the plant quickly that you need to water it very often. If not, it runs the risk of being underwatered or dehydration.

If case you don’t already have a good well-draining potting mix for your pothos, you can use a combination of:

  • 50% potting soil
  • 25% sphagnum moss
  • 25% perlite

This will provide enough water retention to keep the pothos hydrated, while the perlite provides good drainage to avoid overwatering or waterlogging.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.