Growing Pothos in Water: A Beginner’s Guide

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What makes Epipremnum aureum stand out from other indoor plants is its ability to grow in water. In fact, many office aquariums and large public aquariums contain golden ivy because they act as a natural filter. They look incredibly stunning in aquariums, vases, and glasses!

With that being said, caring for your plant in water is a little bit different than caring for it in soil. Here is everything you need to know about how to grow Epipremnum aureum in water. 

How to Grow Pothos in Water

The process of growing pothos in water is extremely easy! Even the most beginner plant enthusiasts can grow their Epipremnum aureum using this method with ease. You can grow it in a mason jar, cup, vase, or even a fish bowl/aquarium. 

  • Step One: The first step is making sure you have all the supplies you need including a glass container, liquid fertilizer, clean water, and a healthy, strong stem. Double-check that there is a leaf node on the stem which is where the vine/roots will continue to grow and develop.
  • Step Two: Fill the glass container with filtered water and lay your stem in it. If your vine already has roots, make sure they are all the way submerged in the water. This will prevent them from drying out.
  • Step Three: Use a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer right away so that the stem receives some much-needed nutrients.
  • Step Four: Place it in bright indirect sunlight and you’re done!

Growing Pothos in an Aquarium

Pothos makes an amazing natural filter for aquariums. They are able to slow down algae growth and keep nitrate levels low while becoming a fun place for your fish to live in. The ivy will likely attach to the side of the tank and start growing downwards. This makes a perfect home for fish!

Make sure to keep your pothos away from the aquarium’s filter to prevent the roots from clogging the motor. Place a stem on the surface of the water and watch it grow into an incredible little underwater jungle. It’s important to note that devil’s ivy can only survive in freshwater aquariums and will, unfortunately, die if it is placed in a saltwater aquarium.

Care for Pothos in Water

As long as your pothos is getting enough sunlight, fertilizer, and clean water, it should live a very long and healthy life. Follow these plant care tips and watch your golden ivy flourish!


Using filtered water is ideal for your plant because it removes the risk of chemical buildup. Tap water, as long as it is not heavily chlorinated, does work alright too. Do not use soft water! The sodium in soft water will slowly dehydrate and kill your ivy.

It is recommended to change the water once every two weeks to increase oxygen levels.


Every one to two months, add a few drops of liquid fertilizer to your plant’s water. A balanced 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer works great for devil’s ivy. Although they need fertilizer to grow, do not exceed this amount or else the salt and minerals will start to damage the roots of the plant.

If your pothos starts developing yellowing leaves, this might be an indication of root rot.


Epipremnum aureum can often live in low light without dying, but this species of houseplant does much better in bright indirect sunlight. 

Placing your glass container in a bright room or next to a windowsill will encourage growth! Be aware that direct light will dry out and crack the foliage.

Additional Care Tips

Clear glass containers are preferred because they receive more light. If you use clear glass you can also watch the roots form and grow!

Keep your golden ivy in a room between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of ivy prefers warm temperatures so anywhere around 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.

If you notice algae growing in the container, scrub it out with a toothbrush or cloth immediately. Algae will naturally grow, but be aware that it will start to hinder your plant’s health. 


Can pothos live in water forever?

With the proper care, pothos can live in water forever! Make sure the water is clean and the plant is receiving enough light and nutrients so that it lives a prosperous life.

Does pothos grow better in water or soil?

This species of plant can be grown in both water and soil. They tend to grow faster in soil, but they can live just as healthy in water.

Can you root pothos in water?

Pothos can be rooted in water for one to two weeks and then moved into soil or into a bigger water vase/jar.

How do you make pothos grow faster in water?

You might provide the plant more indirect sunlight and fresh water every 2-3 weeks with a few drops of liquid fertilizer.

You can use water to propagate pothos, and you can use it as a growing medium for this houseplant. Follow the simple and easy steps above to add more green and freshness around your home.~ image source: depositphotos/KinOzen

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