How and when to prune Pothos


Pothos or by its scientific name Epipremnum aureum, is a liana type plant belonging to the Araceae family. If the environment allows it, it can reach 65 feet tall, with stems up to 1.6 inches in diameter. It is perfectly suited to grow in a pot, making it very popular as a houseplant. One of its most striking aspects is its beautiful leaves that combine green, yellow and white colors. Due to its wide use as a decorative plant, we had to write this publication where we will talk about the pruning of Pothos, when and how to carry it out, and some of the most important care.


Note: Do you know where the name with which this plant is currently known comes from? It is a very quick anecdote to tell, previously this liana belonged to the genus Pothos, then it was reclassified to the genus Epipremnum, but it took its popular name from the first classification.

1. How to care your Pothos plants


Since pruning is just one of the many cares a plant needs, we generally start each post with a list of basic cares. This assures me that you will not only prune your Pothos properly, but also be able to keep them healthy and strong.

Let’s start with the listing:

  • Soil: in general it adapts to a large number of types of soil. However, a mixture of 3 parts peat, 2 sand, 2 parts potting soil and 1 part organic matter can be recommended.
  • Sunlight: We have already said that it is a houseplant par excellence, but you cannot place it anywhere in your home. Try to place it in a place with a lot of sunlight, but avoid prolonged direct exposure to the sun.
Pothos plant
Pothos plant
  • Reproduction: It is very simple, you just have to cut a 6 to 8 inch stem and place it in a container with water. Once you start to develop roots, you can transplant it. Pruning is an excellent time to obtain cuttings.
  • Irrigation: Pothos needs to be watered regularly, with no less than two weekly irrigations. Always wait until the top soil is dry, and never cause waterlogging.
  • Temperature: it can be considered as the optimal temperature between 17 and 30 ºC. As you will notice, it does not resist cold at all.
  • Pruning: as we will see in the following sections, it is not difficult to carry out, but it is a task that you should not forget to do with some regularity.

2. What tools to use for pruning Pothos plant


In general, when these plants are cultivated in pots, they do not get to develop very thick stems, this facilitates the pruning tasks. Therefore, very basic tools will suffice to trim your Pothos.

  • Scissors or knife.
  • Some protection elements such as gloves and glasses.

Never forget that when you use tools such as pruning shears you must disinfect the blades, this will prevent the possible spread of any disease between plants.

2.1 Needed care of pruning tools

If you want to extend the useful life of your pruning tools there are some basic care.

  • Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
  • Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
  • Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
  • Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.

Carry out the previous care on a regular basis and you will be saving good money on tools. 🙂

3. Pruning Pothos houseplant


We already agree that pruning of Pothos is necessary, let’s see below why, how and when to carry it out.

3.1 Why to prune your Pothos houseplant

As we said at the beginning of the post, Pothos plants can grow a lot under the right conditions. This means that if we have one of these plants in our house or office, and we take proper care of it, it can grow to such an extent that it can start to bother us. This is undoubtedly the first of the reasons why it should be pruned.

In addition to being a growth control technique, pruning helps promote new and more vigorous growth. In this way, you can have denser foliage, which looks great on any houseplant.

For those people who have their Pothos planted outdoors, pruning can help direct growth. This plant can be very invasive, so in a garden it is good to direct and control its development.

Last but not least, pruning allows you to remove all dead and / or diseased branches. Thus, it gives your plant a more beautiful and healthy appearance.

3.2 How to prune Pothos

The first thing you should do before taking the scissors and cutting the stems of your Pothos is to take a moment to observe the plant. With this observation, you should look for all diseased or dead stems and leaves.

Pruning will begin by cutting all stems that are in poor condition (dead or diseased), cutting them from their base. If there are stems with many diseased leaves, it is also good to cut it. Be careful to dispose of all the removed material, do not throw it in your garden or near another plant, as it could spread some plague.

To continue pruning, you must first decide how hard you want to do it. You can make the decision to cut all the branches about 2 inches off the ground, or prune them more lightly.

Pruning Pothos
Pruning Pothos

In case you do a couple of seasons that you can’t prune, the plant is likely to start developing stems with little force. This can be a good case for drastic pruning. This will help all foliage start from its base with new, more vigorous shoots.

If you do regular pruning, you can choose a pruning not as drastic as the previous one. Then you can choose what length each stem will leave. It can also be a good time to shape the foliage, which can be quite eye-catching.

Every time you cut any branches off your Pothos, be sure to cut 1/4 inch above a knot. This will guarantee that in a few days the plant begins to generate a new stem.

One technique that can help you densify the foliage is to pinch the tip of each new growth during the development season (spring – summer). Thus promoting new ramifications.

3.3 When to prune Pothos

In general, most of the plants we’ve talked about on this website should be pruned during the low-growing season, that is, during fall-winter. But in this case this is not so.

The right time to prune your Pothos is when the plant is in full growth, this generally occurs from the first days of spring to early fall.

Performing this task in the middle of the growing season ensures that the plant recovers more quickly from pruning. Performing wound healing quickly, being able to generate new outbreaks in a few days.

Remember that pruning done at the wrong time can end with serious damage or even death to your plant.

4. Pruning Pothos vídeo


If you have read other posts on this website you will have noticed that we like to end each of them with a video. This will not be the exception, so we have selected a video from the Ants In My Plants channel, where in a very didactic way you will be able to see some tips about the pruning of the Pothos, its care and propagation techniques. I hope you enjoy. 😉

You may also be interested in knowing about pruning:

We have come to the end of the article, I hope you have learned a lot by reading it, and that you can prune and care the best way for your Pothos houseplant.

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