Can You Propagate Pothos Without a Leaf

Pothos, or Devil’s ivy, is a favorite of relaxed and energetic horticulturists alike since it demands little attention. This plant is famous because it requires basic maintenance and still looks stunning on balconies, house walls, bedrooms, and offices. 

Indoor gardening enthusiasts choose pothos propagation over anything else. 

Propagating pothos allows you to “share the love” with those close to you and multiply the number of pothos you have already grown. 

Although the propagation technique is relatively straightforward, some people sometimes ask if it’s possible to propagate pothos without leaves.

The answer is yes. 

Pothos propagating does not necessitate a leaf and can be managed quickly with stem-cutting or root-cutting. 

Here is how you propagate pothos without leaves. 

Propagating Pothos Without Leaves: What Are the Options?

There are two methods for growing pothos without leaves: stem cutting and root cutting. Both procedures are simple and easy for anybody to do at home. Here, we’ll walk through these procedures step-by-step for you to follow along.

Stem Cutting

The root nodes are necessary for the Devil’s ivy to propagate. You may notice the root node protruding from the pothos’ stem. Here is how to propagate pothos from a stem cutting:

  • First, you must cut off at least four healthy leaves and 3 to 4 inches of stem length. It is essential to use a sharp knife or pruner. 
  • Make sure to make the incision right under a root node. Since the stems don’t have any leaves, you may leave them with four or five nodes.
  • The planting soil should contain one portion of peat moss and one portion of perlite or loamy sand. 
  • Transfer the soil mix to a 4-inch container. To successfully transplant your pothos, make sure the mix is sufficiently wet. You can also dip the stem cutting in a rooting hormone to promote growth. 
  • Next, carefully put the cutting into the soil mix by making a little hole. The four-inch tub can accommodate four or five cuttings, so don’t bother yourself with multiple pots. 

Although pothos is a fast-growing plant, it requires specific attention throughout the propagation period. Keep in mind direct sun might harm the propagation process. So, place the pots where there’s filtered light. 

Furthermore, the potting material needs to be sufficiently wet. The propagation phase needs more humidity for quicker growth. The stem cutting may require months to develop roots; till then, you must pay close attention to the pothos. 

Root Cutting 

Most indoor horticulturalists are hesitant to grow pothos with root clipping since the practice is rare. But even if you have a little background in gardening, propagating pothos with root cutting is quite doable. 

  • Throughout the pothos plant’s growing season, which runs from January until May, you can take root cuttings for propagation. This season, the roots are carbohydrate-rich, allowing the pothos to develop more quickly.
  • When cutting roots, stay away from decaying or insect-infested ones. The best ones are strong and white.
  • Next, add the soil mixture to a container and carefully place the roots. Then, add a half-inch layer of mix over the roots. 
  • Cover the container with plastic wrap. Keep the container out of bright sunlight during this time. 
  • Monitoring the mixture’s moisture content since pothos requires the highest moisture levels possible to grow.
  • Within a few weeks or so, you will observe a developing shoot. You can uncover the pot now. The plant needs some air now. 

Within a few from then on, the shoots will turn into fully developed roots. 

Propagating Pothos in Water 

You can leave the pothos cutting in water to propagate for the best results. Here is how to go about it: 

  • Prune the pothos branch about one and a half centimeters from the growing node using sharpened, sterile blades.
  • For a thick pothos vine, consider making four incisions for every pot.
  • Pour water that is at ambient temperature into a container halfway.
  • Place your pothos cuts in the container, ensuring the growing nodes remain immersed in the water.
  • Place the container away from direct sunlight or extreme temperature conditions. 
  • To avoid bacterial growth and algae, replace the water once every five to seven days.
  • The cutting should eventually develop roots within 7-10 days.
  • Once the roots have fully developed, you can transplant cutting to loamy soil, which drains well and is well-aerated. 

Pothos cuttings are known to hasten the propagation of other plants when left in the water together. Pothos root systems secrete hormones and encourage cell proliferation and rapid root development. Put one or two cuttings with any houseplants being propagated in water, and see the results yourself. 

Propagating Pothos in Soil

When water propagation is not a choice, pothos cuttings are also kept in the soil for propagation. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Prune the pothos branch about one and a half centimeters from the growing node using sharpened, sterile blades.
  • Take a pot with holes for drainage, and mix loamy soil. 
  • Next, make a hole about one inch deep, and insert the cutting by softly pressing the soil around it, ensuring the cuttings don’t fall and are supported. 
  • Fill a container with drainage holes with a coarse soil mixture.
  • Each cutting should be inserted one inch deep into the soil while gently pressing it around the cutting to support it for staying erect.
  • Soak the mixture of soil evenly and gradually until it drains out through the holes. 
  • Maintain the soil’s moisture and place the container in a warm, well-lit area.

The rooting process for pothos cuttings is relatively slow with soil propagation. After around three to four weeks, try to pull the roots gently. If the cuttings resist coming out, it’s a sign that the roots are developing. 

Which Medium Is Preferred for Pothos Propagation: Water or Soil?

Rooting pothos quickly and effortlessly requires water propagation. The cuttings may sprout approximately three weeks earlier than with soil propagation, particularly in a moderate, bright setting.

Furthermore, when the cuttings are in the water, it’s easier to determine whether or not the roots have begun to emerge. Additionally, there are minimal chances for root decay that frequently arises in soil growth, provided regular water changes every week.

When we consider these points, it’s safe to say that pothos propagates better in water. 

Why People Propagate Pothos Without Leaves

When pothos plants start to get leggy, people often use leafless cuttings for propagation. Leggy refers to long branches that have noticeable bare areas. It might develop as a result of leaf fall or merely with time.

Taking cuttings is a fantastic approach to foster the growth of a thicker, healthier pothos plant. If you want to make two or three cuts from a long stem, you must make a prune at most six to eight inches.

If so, the central section of the incision could be devoid of leaves!

Important Pointers

  • When placing the cuttings in water to propagate, please don’t submerge the entire stem; doing so will likely cause it to decay. Have a means of supporting it such that the cutting is partially above the water level, but at least one node is underwater. 
  • Using rooting hormones to promote root development may be a good idea.
  • Propagation without leaves might take longer than usual. Trust the process and make sure it receives enough indirect sunlight. 

Is It Okay to Grow Pothos Without Leaves?

You can grow a pothos plant effectively whether it has leaves or not. The plant may take a little more time to root when propagated without leaves with stem cuttings, according to certain pothos growers, as opposed to when propagated from stems with leaves.

An explanation for this is that plants that get sunshine may develop quickly and healthily, but stem cuttings without leaves cannot get it. However, the cutting must use the accumulated energy in its stem for root development. 

Propagating pothos without leaves is not an unnatural process. There are specific requirements that the presence of leaves can better fulfill. However, that does not mean you can not achieve the same results without leaves. 

During the propagation phase, it’s essential to avoid inevitable mistakes (discussed in the next section) for the best results. 

Pothos Are Not Rooting: What Might Have Gone Wrong

There is a 90% chance that your pothos plants will root and propagate, irrespective of your chosen method. But the 10% of failure could be due to the following reasons:

You Have Cut the Stem Without Nodes

Pothos roots develop from the stem’s nodes, where the leaves are supposed to grow from. And when you propagate the stem in either soil or water, it should have enough moisture to grow. 

If you mess up with the node’s distance on the stem sizing, it could risk exposing the nodes to open air. When the active nodes are floating above water or are not fully covered in damp soil, they will dry out and die; thus, there’s no root development. 

You Failed to Meet the Water Requirement

Water’s oxygen content allows roots to flourish. When you don’t change the water on time or do not adequately water the soil when needed, the roots will not get enough oxygen to thrive and will die. 

Likewise, microorganisms, other infestations, and illnesses might be drawn to stagnant water and cause the cutting to decay or experience growth retardation. 

You Haven’t Kept Them in a Well-Lit Area 

When there is insufficient light, photosynthesis can not take place, and hence plants are deprived of the energy to develop roots. 

To make energy through photosynthesis, plants require sunlight. It needs sunshine if you want your plant to develop new roots.

Although pothos is more adaptable to low-light conditions, they would thrive better in a sunny area with diffuse lighting. Lower light levels will make it much more difficult for plants to establish roots, and in some cases, the root will not develop altogether. 

You Pruned a Piece of a Deteriorated or Aging Vine

It is advisable to take a snip from a sturdy, actively spreading vine best possible results. It suggests that the stem has healthy and active vasculature, easily transporting water and nutrients from the top to the roots.

The plant will have difficulty growing roots if the cutting is almost dead. 

There are chances that roots develop in the later stage but will not be favorable for the later stages of propagation. 

You Delayed Transplantation

The cuttings’ roots may develop a little differently in water than in a mixture of soil. They have evolved to be thinner and more fragile so that they may survive entirely in water. The roots will find it more difficult to adjust and thrive in the soil the longer they remain in water. 

Common Propagation Errors and Their Correction

Let’s explore the typical pothos propagation challenges and their solutions. 

Cuttings Aren’t Growing

Here are the possible explanations as to why your cuttings aren’t growing: 

  • Absence of nodes needed for growth: Because you are propagating your pothos while they are missing out, there is nothing left for development. 
  • Insufficient light: Direct sunlight may harm the roots, but filtered indirect sunlight is necessary for growth. 
  • The incision is very long: The ideal length for adequate growth and without endangering the existing plant where the incisions have been taken is six inches. 
  • You’re checking very soon: Root development in pothos cuttings takes one to four weeks. But if you propagate them in water during springtime and summer, you can see quicker growth. 

Cuttings Getting Darker

Cuttings of pothos are sometimes vulnerable to root and stem rot, making them shrivel and blacken. When propagating the cuttings in water, ensure you replace the water every five days. 

When propagating in soil, choose potting soil that drains well and wait until the soil has dried out from the top before showering it once again.

Cuttings Withered Following Transplantation

Inadequate or excessive watering is why pothos cuttings wither after being inserted into the soil. Choose a well-drained potting soil mixture at all times, and keep the soil damp but not drenched. Prevent drastic temperature fluctuations as well since they can potentially shrive the cuttings.