How to Make Pothos Climb – Quick Guide

Pothos in a pot
Pothos can climb vertically with the support of moss pole.

If you love Pothos plants, you must be in awe of how quickly they climb along the walls, trees, or windows, creating a mesmerizing cascading layer.

However, many novice gardeners complain that their Pothos branches fail to climb up despite providing utmost care.

Remember, Pothos is not a natural climber, which would require some assistance to grow vertically.

Train Pothos to climb upwards by tying branches to support (stakes, moss poles, or trellis) and place them along the walls to boost vertical growth and structure. Otherwise, latch them to the tall trees to turn them into “vining creepers.”

Climbing Pothos plant
Pothos plant grown as a climber attains maximum height and foliage growth.

Voila! Within a few weeks, your Pothos will become an enthusiastic climber with thick foliage.

However, they may grow out of hand when discarded, taking irregular shapes, which may look unpleasing.

Read on to find the best ways to train your Pothos to climb in different environments.

Does Pothos Prefer to Climb or Hang?

As a generously vining plant, Pothos would love to climb up instead of hanging downwards.

It is mainly because providing vertical support will help the vining branches reach the sunlight and produce bigger and better leaves.

Although the plant does well as a hanging or climbing houseplant, it will grow better when climbing.

Pothos climbing the wall
Pothos prefers climbing upwards rather than hanging down.

The hanging Pothos will produce longer vines yet lesser foliage, which may make your Pothos look less fuller.

As a result, many growers prefer staking the Pothos on a pole or other types of support to encourage taller growth and prevent pest infestation, which is common with short plants.

Moreover, it displays tender stems that are less likely to support themselves.

Pothos come in different varieties, and each sub-species will grow about an average of 12 to 18 inches every month in the growing season.

Therefore, you should train the arching branches to grab the surrounding support, especially in the initial phase.

Once acclimatized to the vertical support, it will continue attaching itself further and proliferate upwards.

When to Train Pothos to Climb?

Although you can train Pothos to climb anytime, training them early will give a headstart.

Wait for about a year and a half before you can begin preparing your Pothos for climbing. 

However, ensure enough growth to wrap it around a pole or any other form of support.

Therefore, do not start providing support when rooting a cutting.

It may take a few months or even a year before you have enough growth to wrap the plant around the pole.

How to Make Pothos Climb?

Pothos are relatively easy to train to climb, but ensure to provide a proper climbing medium.

Choose the correct type of support to ensure that your Pothos continues climbing up and regularly prune the leaves and arching stems to encourage even and fuller growth.

Trellis provides an optimal support for houseplants to climb, especially outdoor grown plants.
Trellis provides optimal support for houseplants to climb, especially outdoor grown plants.

Within a few weeks, your Pothos will make a beautiful cascading vine. Here are a few climbing mediums available to the Pothos plant.

Type of SupportSpecification
Moss PoleIt is made from moss or coco coir fiber which emulates natural growing medium for Pothos allowing it to attach and stimulate growth.
TrellisIt is an architectural structure with interwoeven framework providing Pothos to latch onto it and climb. The taller the trellis, the more Pothos will grow.
WallStaking arching branches to the wall allows it to climb along the surface but ensure to stake on each step to provide ample support.
Wood PlantsPothos is an epiphtye that will naturally latch on other plants such as trees to climb up.
Bamboo PoleBamboo pole works like an ordinary pole which provides support for vertical growth.
HoopA circular shaped support for potted pothos to start climbing

Each climbing medium will have a slightly different effect on the plant.

Using moss poles encourages enormous leaf growth, which other types of support may fail to provide.

Moreover, trellis and trees encourage lush cascading vines that appear fuller and more overwhelming.

On the other hand, staked Pothos to the wall may look leggy due to limited support.

Materials Required to Train Pothos to Climb

Here is the list of items and equipment required to train your Pothos to climb.

MaterialsSpecification
Moss poleMoss pole is a pole coated with moss or coco coir that provides vertical support
Stakes (Wooden or bamboo stake or wire)A vertical wood or metal post or stick
ScissorTo prune leggy stem, decayed leaves, and expendable growth
Wood plant or TreesIt provides support to an outdoor growing Pothos
TrellisA wooden or metal framework that provides support for latching and climbing

How to Make Pothos Climb the Pole?

A Moss pole, also known as a moss stick, bamboo stake, climbing pole, or moss totem, provides vertical support and a growing medium for the plant.

Moss poles provide additional moisture and micronutrients to Pothos’ adventitious root system.

Moreover, Pothos trained to climb using the moss pole also exhibits larger leaves.

Here is the step-by-step guide to making Pothos climb the moss pole.

  • Start with moistening the moss pole to make it appropriate for growth. Mist it lightly with water.
  • Stake the pole at the center or back of the Pothos pot, ensuring that the stems quickly latch onto it.
  • If the plant is already established, consider removing it before inserting the moss pole and repot it again.
  • Wrap the longest stem around the moss pole and secure it as you go. Do the same for other long stems.
  • Use a Velcro strip, floral pin, hairpin, garden twine, or rope for the same.
  • Attach the pins every 3-5 inches to secure the vine.

It is only a matter of weeks before your Pothos learns to bind itself to the pole.

Once your Pothos outgrows the pole, hang the overarching stems using a string or latch it on the trellis or wall to continue the vertical growth.

Watch the video for more tips,

How to Train Pothos to Climb a Wall?

Training Pothos to climb a wall may be challenging because it would not quickly latch onto the smooth surface.

Instead, you can latch the overarching Pothos to the wall using strings or hooks so they stay in shape and continue growing vertically.

Here is a step-by-step guide to training Pothos to climb a wall.

  • Start with arranging alternative anchors like nails or fish hooks on the wall to prevent the Pothos aerial roots from anchoring directly onto the wall.
  • Arrange them in any decorative pattern and attach the Pothos tendril on each nail for support.
  • You could latch them all over the fence or surround them along the window frame.
  • Start with the longest stem and work your way to the shortest.

As the tendril grows long, latch it onto the wall by attaching additional nails or hooks.

Alternatively, you can use the trellis. It works like using the wall for training Pothos to climb.

Place the plant close to the trellis and hook the tendrils to its bottom using nails or rope to give it support.

Once it latches to the trellis, it will begin circling the trellis holes and grow further.

Watch the video for more tips,

How to Make Pothos a Vining Creeper?

In their natural habitat, Vining Pothos would latch to the tall trees to grow upwards towards the sunlight.

Training your Pothos to grow along the tree in the garden is pretty much the same. Follow the same process as before.

Arrange nails or nooks along the tree and attach the Pothos tendrils to train it to climb.

To encourage healthy growth, tie the plant around it with a rope and trim the leggy growth and decayed foliage.

Once the plant learns the trick, it will latch its aerial roots onto the tree as a hook and begin climbing automatically.

Tips to Encourage Pothos Climb

Although Pothos are the vining plant, encouraging them to climb will require effort.

Not all climbing Pothos will grow taller, bear bushier foliage, or attain large-looking leaves.

Therefore, ensure comprehensive care and conditioning along the way to boost its climbing rate.

Here are some tips to encourage Pothos to climb.

  • The general rule is to prune your Pothos at least once a month in spring and summer to make them appear fuller. Remove deadheads, leggy stem, and tiny and spent leaves.
  • The vining Pothos variety requires 12 or more hours of indirect sunlight daily for optimal growth.
  • Ensure a warm temperature between 70-75°F in the growing season to mimic its tropical habitat.
  • To encourage root growth, use an all-purpose potting mix with peat moss, coir, perlite, and vermiculite.
Pothos climbing with a help of moss pole
Moss pole helps to provide additional nutrients and supports the plant’s vertical growth.
  • Water your Pothos once to twice weekly in the growing season to keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering. 
  • Use a room humidifier to provide a humidity level between 50-70%; otherwise, grow in more humid areas such as the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Wash your Pothos with clean, tepid water regularly to prevent dust and pests from setting.
  • Fertilize them with 10-0-10 or 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer every two weeks or monthly in spring and summer to boost root and stem growth.
  • Pothos roots grow a few inches every year. Repot them annually in spring in a pot 2-3 inches larger than the previous one.

Read more to find out more about best soil and fertilizer for Pothos.

How to Make a DIY Moss Pole?

If you are not up for buying a moss pole, you should look forward to making one yourself.

It is easier than you can imagine and sturdier than pre-made ones.

  • Start with acquiring 1/2″ 19-gauge PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) coated mesh (2 feet long), plastic coated wire twist, and sphagnum moss.
  • Soak sphagnum moss in water. The amount will depend on how big or the number of poles you want.
  • Bend the mesh into a cylindrical form about 2 feet long and 4-5 inches bigger in circumference to provide enough room for tendrils to grow.
    Use wire scissors to cut the mesh into shape.
  • Fill the cylinder with pre-moistened sphagnum moss and ensure to pack it down to make a thick post.
  • Stich up the mesh with plastic coated wire to prevent moss from falling.
  • Voila! Your moss pole is ready to be used as the support pole. Ensure to moisten it before using it.
Moss pole for climbing Pothos
You can make a DIY Moss pole easily at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Pothos not Climbing?

Pothos plant will climb a few feet yearly; however, the growth will depend on the care and maintenance provided.

You Pothos fails to climb when there is insufficient indirect sunlight, watering during spring and summer, and inadequate fertilization.

Sometimes, root rot may also cause slowed growth in the Pothos plant.

How Long does it Take Pothos to Climb?

If you start growing Pothos from cuttings, it will take 1 to 2 years for your plant to climb.

On the other hand, mature Pothos takes a few weeks to start climbing.

Expect your vining Pothos to grow around 12 inches (30 cm) monthly during the growing season.

However, the growth rate will depend on the care provided.

Mature Pothos climbing in a moss pole
Mature Pothos takes a few weeks to climb.

Do Pothos Damage Walls?

The airy roots of the vining pothos plant may hook themselves onto the wall allowing water or moisture to seep in.

It can damage the exterior of the wall and sometimes grow inside the frame, causing even more damage.

Therefore, you should always use a fish hook or nails to attach pothos tendrils without touching the wall.

Conclusion

Training your Pothos plant to climb is not as challenging as you think.

However, do it correctly to prevent the risk of damaging the stems or stunting their growth.

Follow this guide to train your Pothos to climb on different climbing mediums and encourage healthy growth.

Related Article: How to Make Your Pothos Fuller?

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