How Long can a Pothos Plant Live?

Beautiful Pothos Plant
Beautiful Pothos (Source: Pexels)

Who would want to tend a house plant that has a short life? It simply means you will have to do frequent errands to the plant shop. Looking at my busy schedule, I am certainly not ready for that kind of commitment. 

Pothos, being one of the hardest plants to kill, is bound to have a long life. And, that is, if you allow it. No wonder it is famous all over the world. Plant it once, and you are all set for almost a decade.

A healthy pothos plant can live as long as ten years with proper care, appropriate growing conditions, and a suitable environment. However, it is necessary to be mindful of life-shortening viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

If you must know, my maternal aunty has a pothos over 12 years old.

Pothos
A hanging pothos (Source: Unsplash)

The pothos plant will give you greenery and joy for a very long time with little care. So, get one for yourself, all the busy bees out there.

And, if you are a newbie to the plant world, this should be your first and ever-lasting love.

Almost all pothos, be it Golden Pothos or Marble Queen, typically have a life span of 10 years. However, in the wild, they are reported to have lived as long as 15 years.

Life Span of Pothos

If you are wondering about different types of Pothos and their life span, below is the list.

Types of PothosBest EnvironmentSoil pHIdeal Temperature Life Span
Golden Pothos (Devil's Ivy)1. Medium to Bright Indirect Light
2. High Humidity
6.1 to 6.570 to 90 Degrees Fahrenheit7 to 10 Years
Marbel Queen Pothos1. Bright Indirect Light
2. Slightly Moist Soil
3. High Humidity
6 to 6.565 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit7 to 10 Years
Neon Pothos1. Bright Indirect Light
2. Can tolerate Low Light
3. High Humidity
6.1 to 6.565 to 80 Degrees Fahrenheit5 to 10 Years
Jessenia Pothos1. Bright Indirect Light
2. Can withstand low temperature upto 55 Degrees Fahrenheit
3. Grows best in well drained soil
4. 50 - 70% Humidity
6.1 to 6.570 to 90 Degrees Fahrenheit6 to 10 Years
Manjula Pothos1. Medium to bright indirect light
2. 50- 70 % Humidity
6 to 6.560 to 80 Degrees Fahrenheit5 to 10 Years
Pearls and Jade Pothos1. Slow Growers, Lives for too long relatively
2. Can grow in Low to Medium Indirect light
3. 50 - 70% Humidity
6.1 to 6.560 to 85 Degrees Fahrenheit10 to 12 Years
Cebu Blue Pothos1. Bright Indirect Light
2. Can withstand low light
3. 60 - 70 % Humidity
6.1 t0 7.860 to 80 Degrees FahrenheitUpto 20 Years
Glacier Pothos1. Moderate to Bright Indirect Light
2. Light, Free- draining Soil
3. 50 - 70 % Humidity
5.0 to 7.560 to 90 Degrees FahrenheitMore than 10 Years
N- Joy Pothos1. Loves Bright indirect light
2. 50- 70% Humidity
6.1 to 6.565 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit5 to 10 Years
Satin Pothos or Silver Pothos1. Loves Bright Super Extra Indirect Light
2. 40 - 50% Humidity
6 to 6.565 to 85 Degrees FahrenheitUpto 10 Years
Snow Queen Pothos1. Loves Indirect Very Bright light
2. 50 - 75% Humidity
3. Little Moist Soil
6 to 6.5 65 to 85 Degrees Fahrenheit7 to 10 Years

How Long can Pothos Live Underwater?

Pothos can live in a water medium; however, when submerged underwater, they tend to die. Pothos leaves do not love being underwater. As soon as the leaves touch the water, they tend to get mushy and rotten in no time. 

The same goes with the pothos stem. If a certain portion of the stem is underwater, it will survive. However, if a large part of the stem is immersed in water, it will eventually rot beyond restoration. 

Pothos can have a normal lifespan of 7 to 10 years underwater as long as good care and fertilizers are provided. 

If you want your pothos in water to have a long life, keep a close watch on their roots. Make sure there are no algae formations in the container. And it is best to change the water once every fifteen days.

Unlike pothos in a soil medium, pothos in water needs liquid fertilizers and plant vitamins. So make sure to invest in a good one!

Can Pothos Live in the Water Forever?

Yes, pothos can undoubtedly live forever in water depending upon various factors such as lighting, temperature, fertilization, aeration, etc.

In fact, like any other aquatic plant, pothos does excellent in water medium. You can easily cut a stem and root it in a water medium. Lately, pothos plants have gained plentiful popularity in aquariums for their oxygenation and filtration properties.

Can Pothos Live in Soil?

Yes, Pothos can live in soil as long as the plant gets sufficient water and nutrients. Pothos grows the best in well-drained soil.

Any potting mix would be sufficient if you desire to plant them in soil. Pothos grows much faster in soil than water. However, Pothos getting used to water just transferred to soil might react negatively.

Just remember, Pothos grown in water do fine as pothos growing in well-drained potting soil.

Limitations of the Lifespan of Pothos

Unlike humans, plants can grow enormously tall. But how is that a limitation? Well, technically, a plant can grow too tall to be able to endure itself. This is because plants have a magical tissue called “meristem” located at the tips and roots of the plant. It helps them grow indefinitely tall and wide.

Similarly, as the pothos keeps growing too tall, it will reach to the point of starvation. The nutrients and water from the soil will be too hard to go to the top foliage. And then your pothos might start deteriorating.

Therefore, if you want to keep your pothos good as new for up to ten years or more, prune them occasionally.

But, how about the pothos cuttings in water?

A few plants like pothos can change its cell or divide into numerous cells during their growth. Hence, they are perpetually embryonic.

This is the very reason your pothos cutting will develop into a whole new plant in water medium. They will keep on growing for years and years as long as they reach a breaking point or old age, as we say it in human terms!

How long can a pothos plant live?
Pothos plant in the wild (Source: Unsplash)

How to Make Sure Your Pothos Lives Long?

As pothos is a very forgiving plant, taking care of them is relatively easy. However, you might have to occasionally give some amount of love and care, to which it will respond beautifully. The following points will help your pothos, whether in water or soil, have a long and happy life.

1. Appropriate Positioning of Pothos

No matter what anyone says, keep your pothos indoors. The outdoor setting is very harsh for pothos. They might even do fine for the first few weeks, but you will end up giving your pothos lifelong damage.

Please place it in a bright spot with plenty of indirect light. Fluorescent light works well if your apartment does not receive any indirect light. However, the best lighting conditioning for a long life would be indirect natural lights from the sun.

2. Check Your Watering Habits

Underwatering is a threat to any plant. But did you know that people kill more plants due to overwatering than underwatering when it comes to houseplants?

It also has been reported that watering plants can sometimes be very therapeutic and relaxing. So it might help with your peace of mind, but as for your plants, it’s a big no!

Now, do you see what I am trying to say here? 

Too much water will kill your pothos in a few days. However, if they somehow survive, they might develop root deformities, affecting the plant’s health lifelong.

3. Do not Overfeed Plant

If you pour in heaps of fertilizers and vitamins to your pothos, let me break it to you – Your pothos will not live that long!

You can correct an underfed plant, but I cannot say the same for overfed ones. When we talk about pothos, they do not require any plant food as such.

Even if you try changing the soil for your overfed babies, your pothos will have already consumed a tremendous amount of minerals. These mineral deposits will extensively cut down the lifespan of your pothos.

It is best to go with very light liquid fertilizers for pothos. And remember that you should be using different fertilizers and plant vitamins for pothos in water and soil medium.

Pothos in a water medium requires a minimal amount of water-soluble fertilization.

How long can a pothos plant live?
A hanging pothos plant (Source: Unsplash)

4. Poor Quality Growing Medium is a NO!

This is specifically true in the case of soil-rooted pothos. If you have used plain garden soil or merely a cactus mix, you are cutting short the life of your pothos.

Plain garden soil is prone to water accumulation, and cactus mix retains no water at all. Therefore, these growing mediums are not ideal for your pothos. If you want your grandchildren to enjoy your pothos as much as you did, use a proper potting mix.

A store-bought potting mix is perfect for pothos. Stick to it if you do not want to invest the time in making your potting mix.

Pillars of Care to Help Your Pothos Live Long and Happy!

  • Watch out for your watering routine – Make a different schedule for summers and winters.
  • Invest in a good humidifier – Pothos love humid air!
  • Fertilize sparingly – Pothos are slow feeders. Once in two months is enough.
  • Keep the pests away – Those bacteria, fungus, and bugs in pothos plant can cause severe damage.
  • A healthy temperature is a must – 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
  • Upgrade the pot – If the roots are poking out through drainage holes. Re-pot immediately!
  • Pruning is a must – Trim not only the stem and leaves but roots as well.
  • Treat problems immediately – Don’t wait for them to get worse.
  • Invest in well-draining soil – It is the basic to a healthy pothos.

Fun fact: Did you know that some people write their beloved houseplants into their will so that they get a loving home when the actual owner is unable to take care?

A woman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, owned a philodendron for over 30 years. She put the plant in her will so that it would get proper care and attention. Isn’t that heart-warming?

Conclusion

The Japanese people have the highest life expectancy, and people from Central Africa have the lowest. Why so?

Like humans, the life span of plants is also dependent on numerous factors. Both plants and animals can live for a long time if their growing conditions are perfect.

There have been documented bonsai trees that have been alive for over 1000 years. So what makes you think your pothos might not live so long?

How long can a pothos plant live?
A pothos plant in a pot (Source: Unsplash)

Your pothos plant is not immortal; it will die. It is just a matter of when. And, forever is a very long time.

However, with proper love and care, who knows, your pothos might break the Guinness Book of World Records! Right?

You can also check out : How To Revive a Dying Pothos Plant?

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