Pothos can last for up to 3 weeks indoors without water if you prepare them well. Water them deeply if you are planning to go away and place a tray underneath. Pothos will slowly absorb the water and can survive without any extra being added.
Move pothos away from bright sunny windows if you need to leave them for a period of weeks without water. They will dry out slower and stay alive for longer.
This article will explore all you need to know about how long pothos can last without water and how to keep them alive for up to 3 weeks when you are away.
How long indoor pothos can go without water
Indoor pothos plants growing in good quality soil can last for up to 3 weeks without any water. In cooler weather pothos can stay moist without adding extra water over this time. In summer pothos plants can dry out quicker but will still stay alive if you water them well first.
Here are my top tips for keeping pothos alive without extra water.
1. Choose good quality potting mix
Good quality potting soil will keep pothos moist for longer. A premium potting mix will contain a mix of composted bark mulch, soil wetting agents and other organic matter which keeps the moisture in. Adding some coconut coir will also help to keep the soil moist.
Before you plant your pothos out into a new pot choose a premium potting soil to keep it alive for longer without water.
2. Deep water before you go
If you are planning on leaving your pothos without being watered you can keep it alive for up to 3 weeks with a deep water before you go. Place the pot in your sink or outside and thoroughly water all areas of the soil and allow the water to drain through.
I take a few minutes to move the water around to all areas of the surface of the pot to make sure it is thoroughly moist. You can also submerge the pot in a bucket of water for 5-10 minutes until it has thoroughly soaked in water. Add some seaweed solution to the water to help to support root growth.
3. Place a pot tray underneath
Pot trays are the perfect way to help to add water to your pothos while you are away on vacation. After soaking the pothos soil thoroughly with water allow the water to drain out. Place it on a pot tray and then using a small watering can fill the tray up with water.
This will ensure that the tray does not overflow and the pothos can gradually absorb the water over the next few days. Do this the morning before you leave and your pothos should survive for 3 weeks.
Pothos grown in smaller pots will dry out quicker. Pothos grown in a tiny 3-4 inch pot may only last for 1-2 weeks without water. I have also found that pothos cuttings that have recently been transferred from a jar of water to soil usually only last a week without water.
4. Place the pot in an outer indoor pot
Another option to use if you don’t have a pot tray is to place the pot with drainage holes in an outer indoor pot. These don’t have drainage and can hold water in the bottom. I like to raise the inner pot up slightly by placing gravel in the bottom and then fill the bottom 1/3 of an inch with water.
The water will be slowly absorbed by the plant while you are away. Always deep water the pothos soil first and then use this method to water the plant for up to 3 weeks while you are away.
How often pothos need to be watered
Pothos are hardy plants and can survive well with a weekly water. You can thoroughly water your pothos in your sink using your tap to make sure all areas of the soil are moist. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly before placing it back on a pot tray or inside an outer pot.
Depending on the weather and the position of your pothos it may dry out quicker. Check the soil with your finger and if it is dry 1 inch down, add more water.
In the winter you can slow down your watering schedule to watering every 1.5-2 weeks. Pothos hate being overwatered so if you notice the plant is drooping, the soil is staying soggy or black marks on the leaves reduce the amount of water you are adding.
What happens if you don’t water pothos
If you don’t water pothos they can dry out, the leaves can turn brown and crispy and the plant will eventually die. Pothos leaves will start to turn brown on the edges which is a good sign that they are not getting enough water.
Never give up on a pothos plant and soak it in a bucket of water with some seaweed solution added. Sit it in the bucket for 5-10 minutes and then take it out. Allow the extra water to drain and then bring it back inside. Repeat again in 3-4 days to revive your pothos.
A dilute amount of liquid nitrogen fertilizer can be added after the 3-4 day period. Trim off any damaged leaves and your pothos should show signs of recovering. New leaves can start to appear as quickly as 1 week after deep watering.
How long pothos can go without water? | Summary
Pothos can survive for 3 weeks without water if they are properly prepared and cared for before this time. Soaking them in water before you vacation and leaving them in a shallow pot tray will help them to absorb the water they need to survive. Pothos survive well in the cooler months without water but will need more attention in summer.
Place them away from a hot window during the warmer months to help them last longer without water if you are going away.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.