Help! My Pothos Cuttings Are Not Rooting Or Growing: What To Do

Pothos are usually easy, beginner-friendly houseplants to propagate by cuttings. So, what should you do if your pothos cuttings don’t seem to be rooting or growing? 

Don’t give up! With a few troubleshooting tips, you can get your cuttings to root successfully. As a result, continue reading the entire post to know more about pothos cutting not growing.

Selecting Healthy Mother Plants

The vigor of the mother plant greatly impacts rooting potential. Choose only healthy donors. Source cuttings from robust pothos free of disease, pests, or nutrient deficiencies. Discard stressed plants.

Seek out pothos that are actively growing new leaves and vines. Avoid root-bound or leggy specimens. Select stems with 3-5 intact, well-formed leaves. Don’t use old, damaged, or overly mature foliage.

Look for greenish-white aerial roots emerging on stems. This signals high rooting aptitude. Start with the most promising parent plants. This gives cuttings an advantage from the get-go.

Using Proper Cutting Techniques

Careful cutting methods prevent stress and enhance rooting potential. Sterilize pruning shears or scissors to prevent spreading disease. Rubbing alcohol or bleach work well.

Snip stems just below a node where leaves emerge. Nodes are where adventitious roots form. Make a clean, diagonal cut for maximum absorption. Avoid a crush or smash.

Cut each section 4-6 inches long with 2-3 intact leaf sets. Longer cuttings root better than shorter. Handle stems gently by the leaves when transporting. Prevent bruising fragile new growth.

Providing The Correct Propagation Environment

Rooting conditions must be ideal for pothos to thrive as cuttings. Ambient temperatures between 70-80°F are best. Supplemental bottom heat speeds things along. Bright, indirect light keeps cuttings active without scorching fragile leaves.

Use a sterile, fast-draining medium like perlite, moss, vermiculite. Change old medium to prevent disease. Elevate humidity to around 60% with a greenhouse dome or plastic bag. Avoid soggy conditions.

Water sparingly, allowing the medium to partly dry out before misting again. Overwatering inhibits oxygen to roots. Mimic warm, tropical conditions pothos prefer. Adjust factors if propagation stalls.

Using Rooting Hormones The Right Way

Rooting hormone powers growth but is often misused. Only apply powder, gel, or liquid formulas to the severed stem end. Never the leaves. Use a product made for houseplants. Too strong of a dose can damage and burn cuttings.

Lightly coat just the bottom 1-2 nodes that will root. Excess hormone does more harm than good. Always disinfect tools after each use to prevent spreading pathogens between cuttings. Follow label instructions carefully. More hormone does not equal faster rooting.

Troubleshooting Slow Or No New Growth

If cuttings root but then stall without new growth, something is amiss. To know why is my pothos cutting not growing, assess moisture levels – are they too wet or too dry? Pothos like evenly moist soil. Check for root rot, indicated by black, smelly roots.

Feel for root boundness. Repot into larger containers if roots circle densely. Move cuttings into brighter light once rooted to fuel growth. Don’t let new plants get leggy and thin. Test soil pH – excessive acidity inhibits nutrient absorption. 

Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month to provide missing nutrients if drainage is adequate. Patience is required, but also take action to adjust care when propagation stalls after initial rooting.

Transitioning Cuttings To Soil

Rooted cuttings require careful handling when shifting to potting mix. Acclimate plants by setting pots in propagation medium for a few days before transplanting.

Tease roots apart gently when removing from old medium so they spread into soil. Choose a well-draining potting mix tailored for houseplants. Avoid dense, moisture-retentive soil.

Water thoroughly after repotting, then let plants dry out moderately before next irrigation. Place in bright, indirect light. Strong sun will shock newly established plants.

Stake droopy stems while they strengthen. Support encourages upright growth habit. Gradual transitions prevent shock in newly propagated pothos. Meet their needs and they will thrive!


With attentive troubleshooting, you can rescue struggling pothos cuttings and get propagation efforts back on track. Start with vigorous mother plants and use proper cutting techniques. 

Tailor the environment to pothos’ preferences. Rooting hormones must be applied sparingly. Adjust care as needed until new root growth takes off! With time and adjustments, those cuttings will soon yield brand new pothos.

Rate this post