So let me introduce the indoor plant that started my obsession. I've always loved plants and being in nature and gardening in my backyard, but when I moved across country for school and into a dorm, I lost the ability to have a garden and missed plants a lot. I already had a couple bamboos but they are so easy to care for and don't require much, not even dirt. I needed to feel soil. Have something to water daily and care for regularly. So I got one of the easiest plants to care for, pothos. Just a simple plant that is common at any place you find indoor plants. But they are so much fun to grow.
If you are new to having plants at home, I highly recommend starting with pothos. It originates from southeast Asia, has a slightly heart shaped leaf, and is a climber. So it will grow long and far and it so fun to use around the house. It's a type of vine that gets long strands with leaves every few inches or so. They prefer more light but can still survive on low light and even artificial light, just don't expect them to grow as fast. They also will communicate with you in that they will show when they need water. They will get a little droopy and soft, but after a quick watering they will perk up and rarely have issues. They technically can flower although it is rare for that to happen so don't expect to see any, but they are still gorgeous and with time you will have a lot of vines to work with for living decor.
I usually keep mine in the bathroom where there will be more humidity from showers and that makes them happy and need less water. But they are great anywhere in the house. As the vines get longer you can use nails or hooks to drape them up and around. I've seen some people do large walls of the vines spreading out like a sun and the lighter green color brings so much life and color to a room.
The best part about pothos is propagating the vines and getting even more plants from them! Propagation is the process of cutting off parts of a plant and growing them into a completely new plant. Since they grow from one another they are genetically identical compared to growing from a seed, but for house plants or sharing plants this is a fun and easy way to see how amazing plants are. Pothos isn't the only one that can do this. Many plants can, some do it better than others, but it's really easy and saves you money from getting multiple plants at the store!
In this post I want to talk in depth about propagating pothos and a lot of this information can be used for similar plants. Some plants can be propagated from any piece so it depends what plants you're using, but in terms of vine plants this is the method you should follow to get the best out of a cutting!
The first step in figuring out how to propagate is figuring out the main parts of the plant. Of course under the soil we have the root system, we don't need to do much there. As the pothos grows it will create new leaves. As these leaves grow and develop you will notice a small thicker part near the base of the leaf stem. This is where the leaf will connect to the final vine, a new leaf can grow to continue the vine, and you'll get a small brown numb know as node. These little nodes are super important.
As the plant grows more and more leaves, you'll see the sections with these parts repeating over and over. The leaf connected to the vine, the vine continuing to grow, and a brown node where the leaf and vine meet. These nodes can grow more into either standard roots or, for climbers like pothos, aerial roots. In the wild, these aerial roots grow onto larger plants to anchor the main plant so that they can grow up into the forest to reach more light. They can suck in water as well just like standard roots but they are mostly there for support so the whole plant doesn't fall. Since nodes can grow both kinds of roots we can use them to specifically grow standard roots and get more plants!
When you have a long vine or if the vine has sections that has lost leaves, that's when I'll step in a do some trimming and propagating. I've seen some people say you need leaves on each vine you propagate but I've had success in just the vine with some nodes growing roots and new leaves after a couple weeks. When you cut the vine, look for sections that are 4-6 nodes long. Ideally with a couple leaves to help the grow faster but you want at least 2 nodes in water for roots and 2 out of water to grow leaves. If you have a lot of healthy leaves I go through and remove the lower ones where the roots will come from so that they don't wilt or grow anything in the propagating container. When you cut any part though, make sure you are using clean scissors or trimmers. This is supper important so that you don't introduce anything that can harm the plant. I use metal trimmers that I can heat with a flame to sanitize before using on my plants. There's nothing worst than your plant getting sick and dying.
Once you have your propagated sections, it's time to get some roots growing. I have tried root growing hormones in the past. I see some people that swear by them, but for a
lot of plants I don't worry about it. I only use it when rooting more difficult plants. Pothos is so easy. Don't waste the money on hormones for it. After the new sections are ready, place them in a new pot of dirt or a glass of clean water. You can throw them right into a pot of dirt but there is a chance of molding and dying so I prefer to water method. I literally take a clean glass (do a cute fancy one) and make sure there is enough water to cover the two bottom nodes. Place them in a sunny spot and change the water once every 1-2 weeks.
You should notice small roots growing within a week and they will get longer and longer as time goes on. After a couple weeks you should notice some new leaves growing as well. Once you have established roots that are at least 4 inches long you can transport the new plants into a pot with soil and they will keep growing just like the original. As my pothos grows it sometimes gets "leggy" in that the vines are long but the actual pot has little in it. I'll trim the vines and once roots are there I repot them with the original to bush it up and make it look a lot fuller. Of course you can always put them in a new pot or share them and gift them to a friend!
Bottom line, if you want to have a plant get a pothos for how easy they are. Once it get's long start cutting and don't fear hurting the plant. Plants are surprisingly hardy and the cut end will dry and "scab" over. Similar to a cut on our skin, the plant has natural ways to deal with an open wound and they are great at dealing with them. If you notice any yellowing of them stem, something might have gotten in but you can trim it back again and the rest of the plant will remain health. So go get yourself a plant and make sure to show your pets because they love them as much as we do.