How Do I Get my Pothos to Trail Faster?

Trailing Pothos
Trailing Pothos (Source:Xtrachickfilasauce/ Reddit)

Bedroom walls with pothos trails running down and across with pretty old bookshelves cascading in pothos vines are a plant lover’s dream. Isn’t it? Well, I was one among those jealous plant parents who could not get my pothos to trail no matter what.

One can never really get enough of trailing pothos. If you are a Pinterest user, you definitely know what I am talking about. 

 And, watching those long and beautiful pothos on Pinterest kept me yearning until I was finally able to get five feet long pothos trails!

Love, care, and perfect growing conditions are the key factors to get your pothos to trail and bring in earthy vibes to your apartment. 

pothos to trail
Trails of pothos (Source: Unsplash)

Even a few healthy trails hanging from your wall can give an illusion of a tiny jungle of your own!

We all look for assurance in almost everything, don’t we?

 Trails are undoubtedly the best way to know that your plant is healthy and happy. 

If you want to give a tropical amazon vibe to your apartment with gushing trails of pothos, here are the top 8 tips just for you!

Be Picky When You go to the Plant Store!

No, not when you have to eat your veggies! Be picky when you choose your pothos. After all, not all pothos are meant to trail. Some would enjoy sitting in a tiny pot looking all bushy and put together.

Does that Mean Some Pothos don’t Trail at all?

All pothos trail, well, at least to some extent. A marble queen would rather enjoy sitting on your tabletop than trail behind a bookshelf.

They are not the ones who trail quickly and will not give you the very long trails you are looking for.

Golden pothos is one of the best trailers. They can quickly get to the length of 15 to 20 feet with minimal care. And, if you want them longer, a little bit of effort will reward you in no time.

Hence, when getting a pothos plant, select the ones that trail efficiently. 

Prune Religiously; A Little Goes a Long Way! 

Pruning stimulates growth in plants. In any case, bushy trails are always better looking than a single stringy trail. 

And, if you want the tiny pothos you recently bought to get bushy, prune them once every two months. 

Doing so will not only give you numerous branching, but you can produce a whole new plant from the pruned stem.

Remember not to prune away more than 25% of the plant.

You can easily root these pruned cutting into soil or water medium. Once they produce a healthy number of roots, plant them in the same pot to get more bushy trails. 

How to Prune your Pothos?

You should know the correct ways of pruning your pothos if you want to get a fuller plant with vigorous vines. A well-pruned pothos should not look too pruned and empty; it should look natural and healthy.

Make sure you cut the stem slightly above the leaf node using a clean pair of scissors. It is best to cut the stem diagonally. Your pothos will produce a new branch just below the cutting from the leaf node.

The number of new growths depends upon the growing conditions of your plant.

Your pothos will produce more than one new branching from the leaf node if kept in indirect light with the best-growing conditions.

Make sure to use a clean pair of pruning tools to avoid tissue damage or the growth of bacteria.

Trailing pothos by a window (Source: Unsplash)

Watch out for Your Watering Schedule and Soil Type!

It is not unusual to see hanging plants such as pothos and spider plants planted in coconut shells filled with cocopeat and perlite. The goal here is to make the growing medium as light and porous as possible. 

An excellent growing medium that contains lots of air sacs in a natural hanging pot for good air exchange is vital for healthy trailing pothos.

Have you seen people using a spray bottle or pipet bottle to water their indoor hanging plants? It might just look like a fancy and luxurious thing to do, but actually, it is not. 

For best trailing pothos, you need to make sure your plant is hydrated but not too wet. We don’t want yellow or brown trails. 

Therefore, the best way to water your plant is by using a pipet bottle.

How do Watering Habits Affect the Trailing Patterns?

When we water our pothos using a jar, the water flow is immediate. As a result, the roots will not absorb the water, and it seeps down the soil immediately. Waterlogged soil is a threat to your pothos.

However, when using a spray bottle or a pipet bottle, the water flow is controlled, and the roots can slowly absorb the required amount of water. Hence, the soil remains slightly damp but not too wet.

Excessive water removes the air holes from the soil. And, I cannot stress enough the importance of aeration for your hanging plants, especially if you are using a plastic pot, which doesn’t allow airflow inside and out the pot.

Remove the Dead Bits!

Every other week I find that my pothos loses at least one leaf. The browning leaves either fall away from the plant (which is good) or end up in the plant pot. As much as I get tempted to leave them in the pot, I make sure to pick them up and throw them into the dustbin.

If you have a habit of leaving the dead and dry leaves in the plant pot, you might not be helping your pothos as much. The decaying leaves produce bacteria and harmful microorganisms that get into the soil and attack the roots.

This, in turn, prohibits your pothos from trailing and growing.

Also, sometimes the yellow leaves don’t exactly fall from the plant. They remain attached to the plant body, draining its nutrients, which otherwise would have been consumed to produce new growths.

Hence, it is best to detach the yellow leaves from the pothos plant and encourage nutrient flow to other parts of the plant. Also, don’t attract the microorganisms that love feeding upon organic matter!

How About a Progress Picture Now and Then?

As a result of our busy lives, we often are not on track with the growth of our plants. We miss subtle developments and assume that our pothos is not trailing as they should.

Therefore, it is a very brilliant idea to take a few pictures of your pothos every month. In doing so, you will be able to compare and contrast the image and analyze the growth. And at the same time, it will give you a sense of gratification as well!

Pothos trails adorning a mirror (Source: Unsplash)

Additional Rules of the Thumb for Trailing Pothos

Fertilizer

It would be wise to add some organic manure to your pothos plant for more green and lush trails. Natural fertilizers are always better than store-bought ones.

Fresh air

Like humans, plants love fresh air. After all, it is the basis of life for all living beings!

Humidifier

If you want to up your pothos games, invest in a good humidifier to given them a tropical feel all day long.

Positioning

Indirect light is the best thing you can do for your pothos. In return, your pothos will reward you with plentiful trails enough to go around your entire bedroom!

How do I get Healthy Pothos that does not have a Leggy Appearance as it Trails?

As the pothos starts to trail, it tends to get leggy and string. It’s a natural phenomenon, and you don’t exactly have to worry about it. However, it is not something very pleasing to the eyes as your pothos might look frail and unhealthy.

But guess what, here is a simple and widely used trick to get a solid and thick vine. Bid a farewell to those droopy leaves!

Invest in a Good Plant Climber!

Pothos are climbers; they tend to cling on and climb to whatever is available around them. I guess they climb because they have nothing else to do (that’s my theory!)

Many home décor ideas show innovative ways of installing pothos high up in the air or walls and letting the trails dropdown.

This makes them grow towards gravity. However, nature did not design them in this way. Plants should naturally grow upwards, not downwards.

Letting them drop down definitely will not hurt the plant, but it will sometimes limit their potential. Now, can we let the vines drop down without compromising their growth?

Yes, we have a trick for it as well. Humans are full of tricks, aren’t they?

Climbers do not have a robust internal system like trees, and they naturally prefer something to cling on as support.

Likewise, pothos plants are flexible, which allows them to wrap around support without snapping themselves.

Give your pothos on the wall good support as they grow downwards. This will serve as a secure foundation and allow the plant to develop without much worry.

The same applies with vines trailing upwards and across. The presence of support helps the pothos grow faster and healthier.

Benefits of Adding a Pothos Climber

  • Stems will get thicker and more robust
  • Foliage will get noticeably bigger
  • Arial roots will start to show up (You can trim the stem and root the aerial roots for efficient root development)
  • Good support will reduce the distance between two leaves significantly
  • Pothos will appear bushier and healthier

Moss Pole is a Boon!

Moss pole is artificial support that mimics a mossy tree for your trailing plants. 

It serves the purpose of fixating a plant and providing it with essential micronutrients for extensive growth.

Moss pole will help your pothos achieve longer and healthier trails.

If you cannot find a moss pole, use a bamboo cane. They look better aesthetically for the pothos trails. In fact, any stick or rod will work just fine as support.

Basically, you have to make your pothos believe that the support is a tree (fake tree, let’s say).

pothos to trail
Trails of pothos (Source: Unsplash)

Want to Make Your DIY-ed Moss Pole?

Moss poles can be a little towards the expensive side. And, when you have plenty of trailing plants, buying one moss pole for every plant can be very costly.

On a brighter note, you can easily make a budget-friendly DIY-ed moss pole following the simple steps given below:

What you’ll need:

  • A long pole depending upon the size of your pothos (I used a PVC pipe, works great)
  • Garden moss
  • Large bowl or a tray filled with cold water
  • A jute material
  • Rot-proof string

Step 1: Place the moss in a bowl of water and soak it for 15-20 minutes.

Step 2:  Take a jute material slightly smaller in breadth compared to the pole’s height. The length should be big enough to wrap the pole at least four times.

Step 3: Lay the jute material flat on a table and spread the moss over it.

Step 4: Wrap the pole in the jute material with mosses. Wrap it tightly so that the mosses do not fall off and fix them securely with the help of a string.

Step 5: Dig a hole in the plant pot. Poke the unwrapped portion of the pole into the soil. Pack it down with more potting mix so that it does not topple over your pothos and damage it.

Step 6: Wrap your pothos trails around the DIY-moss pole you just created.

“Do I always need to keep my moss pole wet?”

– Yahoo answers

Attempting to keep your moss pole moist at all times is merely a waste of time. You can spray them with water every once in two days (if you have the time). As for me, I spray it down as I water my pothos, and it works just fine!

Issues with Trailing Pothos

  • Your plant will get bigger and broader when they find something to cling to. If you want to keep the trails short, prune them when necessary.
  • As they will grow quicker, you will be required to re-pot your pothos more frequently.
  • As the pothos trails up and down your wall or furniture, they might sometimes cause slight damage to the outer layers of the wall or your antique bookshelves.

Lastly, for all those struggling to get your pothos trailing, relax and follow these tips. You will see that in a few months, your baby pothos will be Instagram-ready! Your pothos is a keeper; make sure to shower some love and care.

Happy Trailing!

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