How To Prune Pothos

How To Prune Pothos? 3 Steps To Get Your Job Done

Pruning pothos will encourage new leaves and eliminate affected parts of the plant. However, you can only achieve all these with the proper techniques. 

So, how to prune pothos? When should you perform this task? These questions won’t bother you anymore because we have the answers here. 

Now, let’s read on and discover the best way to treat your beautiful plant! 

How To Prune Pothos?

We prune our plants to avoid them from getting too bushy. Pruning also helps with new growth and infections. Interestingly, this necessary treatment is easy to perform.  

Step 1: Determine when to prune

It would be best to prune the pothos in the spring, summer, and fall. Since the plant is getting bigger at this time, any pruning you perform will have little impact on its ability to recover.

If necessary, you can do the pruning in the winter. However, since your plant won’t be in its growing season at this time, you may overstress it, resulting in longer-term harm.

If your pothos plant starts to grow too big or too leggy, you can also trim it. Usually, it occurs as a result of insufficient lighting for the plant. So remember to move your plant to a brighter place.

If your plant is infected or you want to train it to climb, consider pruning it too. Houseplants like pothos and prayer plants may also often grow yellow leaves. This treatment can work as a stimulator for new growth in such cases.   

Step 2: Gather necessary equipment

You will need a tool to trim the leaves off. Pruning shears or sharp scissors would do just fine. Also, find something to sterilize your scissors, like rubbing alcohol and boiling water. 

Don’t forget to gather cleaning supplies at the end of the pruning process to clean up all the debris and soil.

Step 3: Cut off the leaves

You need different methods to cut off the leaves depending on your purpose. For example: 

  • For health

There are multiple diseases among plants. Once any part of your plant gets infected, consider pruning it as soon as possible. 

Cut off dried, yellow, and brown leaves before beginning to prune for your plant’s overall health. To encourage new growth, cut the leaves at the node without injuring it.

While treating the damaged stems, always focus on the healthy section of the stem and not where the issue is occurring. This method will prevent infection from spreading to other areas of the plant and allow healthy growth to thrive there.

Prune above a leaf node, or the point on the stem where the leaves first sprout. From this spot on, the new sections of the stem will emerge. 

  • For new growth

If you just want to stimulate new growth, cut about one inch or two above a node. When working with long vines, trim larger parts to propagate separately. This tip will leave the parent plant compact and neat.  

  • For shaping

People often prune their pothos plants to keep them from getting bushy. Once the stems extend beyond the bottom of their pot, prune them about one inch or two above the node. 

To ensure proper cutting, check the lengths of each stem. The size should remain balanced and tidy, with each stem being the same length all the way around.

Turn your plant regularly to keep one side from obtaining more light than the other. Then, the vines will have the same length and maintain the best shape for your plant. 

Are All Types Of Pothos Plant Suitable For Pruning?

The growing habits of all pothos plants are similar. Hence, depending on your goals, you can prune almost any of them.

Regardless of their type, all plants can benefit from pruning to eliminate diseased leaves and stems because it will promote growth rather than cause damage. But for new growth encouragement, pruning may differ from cultivar to cultivar. 

Slow-growing pothos

Slow-growing pothos species, like N’Joy and Snow Queen, require you to prune more carefully because there will be a higher risk of shock. 

Pruning too heavily can expose those plants to growth concerns or diseases since the open wounds need more time to heal, and it takes them longer to recover. 

Fast-growing pothos

Pothos types with a faster growth rate can tolerate heavier pruning without encountering too many risks. Their wounds can heal quickly. Moreover, some common species, like Golden pothos, can have their growth return more robustly.

Rare pothos 

Pruning rare pothos plants requires a lot of attention. They have difficulty regaining their growth if pruned improperly. The best solution is to prune them as little as possible. 

Can Pothos Grow Back After Cutting?

The pothos plant can recover after trimming as long as it is strong with enough leaves. Actually, pruning is an efficient method to promote new growth while keeping your plant’s best shape. 

You can expect new shoots to emerge within a few weeks after trimming. Your plant will grow more quickly as the weather becomes warmer.

Remember to feed and water the pothos. Essential nutrients will help your plant to grow back faster. 

If the plant is ill or all the leaves are cut, your pothos leaves might not recover. Hence, take care when pruning and make sure your plant is robust.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How much should I prune my pothos?

It’s generally better to take out roughly one-third of the pothos plant. However, depending on the season, the plant’s condition, and your preferences, you can take more or less. 

2. Should I remove the damaged pothos leaves?

Yes. Damaged, stressed, and infected leaves take plenty of energy to live, dragging the whole plant down. So by removing them, you will let your plant use its energy to grow and recover. 

3. How can I encourage my pothos to grow?

Aside from pruning, you can boost your plant’s growth by:

  • Providing it with sufficient bright, indirect sunlight
  • Watering properly (underwatering and overwatering are both harmful)
  • Keeping pests at bay
  • Feeding your plant with a balanced fertilizer
  • Keeping the room temperature from 70°F to 90°F


Pruning your pothos will bring many benefits for their health and development. So follow our guide carefully, and you can see a satisfying outcome. 

Hopefully, you will find this guide helpful. For any further information about pruning, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading! 

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