Pothos cuttings will not grow new leaves if they are not getting the conditions they need. Cuttings will not grow if they are not getting enough light, the temperature is too cold or if the cutting does not include a healthy node.
If the pothos cutting is not sitting deep enough in the water so the water covers the node it will not grow. Pothos will also not grow new leaves if the glass or jar gets too warm.
If the pothos cuttings are affected by pests or fungus then they will not grow well. Always check the cutting to make sure it is healthy before trying to grow a new plant.
1. Lack of light
The top cause of pothos cuttings not growing new leaves is if the cutting is not getting enough light. The best time of year to take a pothos cutting is spring. The weather will start to warm up and daylight hours will begin to extend.
Put the cutting in a clear glass jar and place it near a window. Make sure the cutting gets at least 6 hours of bright light. Avoid direct sunlight, particularly afternoon sunlight as the jar can warm up too much.
Pothos will grow well indoors in spring and will grow new leaves quickly. The new leaves will grow from the end of the stem like a vine. New water roots will grow from aerial roots or nodes.
2. Cold temperatures
Pothos cuttings may not grow new leaves if the temperature is too low. Cold temperatures will slow the growth of your cutting and it may not grow new leaves until the weather warms in spring.
If the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) during the day it is unlikely that pothos cuttings will grow very much at all.
Place the cuttings in a greenhouse or cover the jar with half of a clear soda bottle. This will capture humidity and warmth. Place the jar near a window that gets morning light so it warms up. Keep it in a room in your house that you heat over winter to encourage it to grow new leaves.
When the weather warms up in spring then the pothos will grow rapidly. You should get new leaves every 2-3 weeks.
3. Not including a healthy node
Pothos cutting will need to include a healthy node for it to grow water roots and for it to grow new leaves. When you take your pothos cutting cut it below the node or below a leaf. Trim the leaves off that will be below the water level, and the cutting will grow roots.
This will support new leaves to grow as it absorbs water and feeds the stem. Replace the water every 2-3 weeks to make sure the water stays fresh. You may need to add fresh water every week during the summer to avoid algae growth.
You can add a few drops of liquid fertilizer to add a small amount of nitrogen to encourage more leaves to grow.
4. Not enough water
Pothos cuttings that do not have their nodes covered in water will not grow. The stems will grow best if the water level is covering 1-2 pothos nodes. This will allow the plant to absorb the water it needs and for new roots to grow.
It is best to cover the bottom part of the pothos stem with 3-4 inches of water. Cut of any leaves that would be under the water so that they don’t rot in the water.
5. The glass or jar is getting too hot
Pothos cuttings will not grow new leaves if the glass and water gets too hot. If the glass is in direct sunlight it can heat up rapidly. If the temperature gets too high it will stop the stem from growing and quickly grow algae.
Place the pothos jar in a position that gets bright light for at least 6 hours but is not in direct sun. Avoid placing the jar in the direct line of heaters. Hot wind or heated air can dry out the pothos leaves and stems.
Pothos cuttings that are being attacked by pests will not grow well. Common indoor pests include scale and mites which can suck the sap from the leaves and stems. Check the leaves and see if there any insects sitting on the backs of the leaves or stems.
Scale insects can stick themselves to the joins between the leaf and the stem. They will create a hard coating which makes them more difficult to treat.
If you notice insects on your pothos cutting it is best to get a new cutting and start again. Throw the cutting in the bin and choose a healthy piece of pothos.
Pothos Cuttings Not Growing New Leaves | Summary
Pothos cuttings that do not grow leaves are usually not getting enough light or do not have a healthy node to grow from. Before taking a cutting from your own plants (or a friend’s) inspect the leaves and nodes. Choose a healthy stem with a good quality node.
Remove the leaves below the water level so they don’t rot. Put the cutting in a position that gets bright light to encourage new growth. Taking cuttings in spring is the best time of year as the pothos will be ready to add new growth fast. The weather will be warmer and new roots and leaves will appear quickly.
Pothos will be ready to plant out after 3-4 weeks in spring. Put the cutting in fresh potting soil and water it well. You can also leave the cutting in the jar for longer and leave it as a cute display in the center of your table or kitchen.
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.