About a month ago, a friend of mine gave me a cutting (around 10" with several leaves) off her golden pothos plant. Since then, I have kept it sitting in water with in view of sunlight. As far as I can tell, it hasn't rooted yet. Recently, one of the leaves yellowed, so I'm starting to worry. Should I have transferred it to soil right away?

1 Answer 1


It's usual, when rooting in water this way, to have a cutting about 8 inches max, with about 4/5 leaves (having stripped off any lower ones) - rooting in water takes, usually, about 4-6 weeks, and its much easier done in a small clear bottle so you can see when roots are forming and how long they've got so you know when to pot it up. I wouldn't worry about some leaves going yellow, so long as the 4 or 5 at the top are okay, but you should check regularly for roots if you do not have it in a transparent vessel.

  • I do have it in a clear jar, and the only leaf that has gone yellow is the first one on the stem - ie near where it was cut. The rest seem to be doing ok, though the one after the yellow leaf looks like it's losing color around the stem.
    – jackwise
    Jul 8, 2016 at 12:03
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    Losing one leaf at the base isn't a problem, but the discoloration on the stem might be (if you mean the main stem). If it gets worse over the next few days and still no roots, remove the cutting, cut higher up, strip off the leaves apart from 4 or 5, replace in a clean bottle with clean water. If you mean the stem of the next leaf, strip it off now. Its sacrificing leaves because it hasn't enough energy to struggle to produce roots and support all its topgrowth
    – Bamboo
    Jul 8, 2016 at 12:10
  • The stem of the next leaf is getting discolored, the stem of the cutting itself seems fine. I'll strip off that leaf and the dead one and replace the water in the jar. Would trimming the main stem back further remove any progress the cutting has already made, or can I assume it hasn't made any progress at this point?
    – jackwise
    Jul 8, 2016 at 13:38
  • Ah, that's the 64 dollar question! I wouldn't cut the end back now, it may be on its way to producing roots, just put it back in water after removing leaves and keep your fingers crossed. If its unsuccessful, you may need to ask your friend for another cutting or two, and this time, make them shorter...
    – Bamboo
    Jul 8, 2016 at 13:55
  • I will be sure to do just that! Thank you for your help, hopefully soon I'll have a happy pothos plant.
    – jackwise
    Jul 8, 2016 at 13:58

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