Do Pothos Need Drainage

Do Pothos Need Drainage Image

Pothos plants, also known as devil’s ivy, are among the most popular and easiest houseplants to care for. Any beginner houseplant owner can take care of pothos plants. The beauty of pothos is the ability to blend well in any space.

Due to their decorative and aesthetics, houseplant owners favor them the most. But the most common question is whether Pothos plants need drainage.

Do pothos need drainage to thrive? Can they survive in conditions with improper drainage? To know more about pothos drainage requirements ,read on! This guide will also give you tips on provision of proper drainage.

Do Pothos Need Drainage?

Yes. Pothos need good drainage, as too much isn’t healthy for the plant. Subjecting your plants to overly moist water is terrible and may damage your Pothos. Poor drainage may lead to the growth of fungus and mould on your plants’ roots.  Once the roots damage, they may not absorb nutrients needed for plant growth.

When you get them as indoor plants, you will need to provide them with the proper growth conditions. As I mentioned, Pothos do not need too much water to thrive. So, always consider proper drainage beforehand.

Like other plants, Pothos need proper drainage to stay healthy. Get the best pothos pots for your pothos plant and protect your plants from damage by poor drainage.

Why do Pothos Plants Need Drainage?

The main reason why Pothos need drainage is to allow water to flow easily and not accumulate in the pot. When the potting mix is soggy, your plant’s roots will likely suffer from fungus and mould. In the end, they will develop root rot.

A pothos plant suffering from root rot will not take up the water it needs. You’ll start seeing droopy leaves, which may, in the end, turn black and kill your plant.

The potting soil has air pockets that the plants use to exchange air elements such as carbon dioxide and oxygen. With no drainage, the water cannot pass out of the soil blocking the air pockets.

Common Problems Caused by Lack of Drainage

Pothos plants are susceptible to excess water. These plants do not do well in excess moisture. Using pots with improper drainage exposes the plants to some common issues. These issues include:

1. Yellow and Brown Leaves

One of the main causes of the yellowing and browning of your Pothos leaves is overwatering. But, poor drainage can also cause the same effect on your Pothos. This may happen when your drip tray fills up with excess water due to poor drainage.

Leaving your plants in excess water will subject them to too much moisture, which is terrible for your Pothos. Pothos don’t like excess moisture and hence will develop root rot. A Pothos plant with root rot will have its leaves turn brown and yellow.

To save your Pothos plant from further damage, it’s time for you to repot your Pothos. Remember to choose a pot with a sound drainage hole.

2. Root Rot

Root rot develops when the potting soil stays wet for a prolonged period. With that state, the roots are susceptible to fungal infection. A pothos plant root with an infection can no longer absorb water and nutrients.

3. Wilting Leaves 

Wilting develops when you overwater your plants. If you notice your Pothos leaves drooping and yet the soil is still moist, you could be giving your plants too much water. Too much water with poor drainage is dangerous to your plants. The soil will stay wet and kill your plants.

To save your wilting leaves, you can add more holes to the sides of the plastic pots. Use an old towel, wrap around the pot, and leave it to absorb the excess water.

4. Stunted Growth

Poor drainage exposes the Pothos roots to fungus and molds. A Pothos plant with a fungal infection will have slow growth. This is because the roots no longer absorb the nutrients needed for plant growth. 

5. Dripping Leaves

Dripping leaves are a sign that your Pothos are suffering from poor drainage. Like other plants, Pothos drip a water-like substance from their leaves. If the process exceeds, the Pothos are experiencing guttation.

You can add more drainage holes in your pots to improve drainage. Also, avoid overwatering your plants.

Are There Any Plants That Don’t Need Drainage?

You may be wondering that, like Pothos, all houseplants need drainage. But the truth is, there are plants that don’t need drainage to thrive. They include:

Originating from West Africa is the snake plant. These blade-shaped leaves plants don’t need drainage. In fact! they allow you to grow them in potted soil or a bowl of water. How nice is that? Well, cut part of a grown snake plant and plant it in a water bowl. You’ll see growth in a few days.

The next plant is the Oleander plant. Also known as a shrub plant from Southwestern parts of Asia. These bright and beautiful plants can be outdoor and indoor plants. The advantage of the Oleander plant is that it can survive with little to no water. An ample amount of sunlight and one to two inches of water is good. 

Crotons are another type of plant that doesn’t need drainage. They are available in wide varieties and thrive in tropical or warm zones. 

Known for long silvery leaves with a touch of green are Chinese evergreen plants. Drainage is not a major ordeal for Chinese evergreen plants, so they enjoy wet environments. But, ensure the soil has well-balanced moisture to suffice their growth.

These are just a few. You can read and learn more about plants that don’t need drainage.

How to Guarantee Pothos Plants have Good Drainage

How to Guarantee Pothos Plants have Good Drainage Image

We now know that a Pothos plant will thrive well on a surface with good drainage. How do we achieve this? Below are a few steps:

Ensure your pots have drainage holes

The best way to ensure your Pothos get good drainage is to place them in a plant pot with drainage holes. Or better yet, with slits at the bottom. This indoor plant does well in well-balanced moist conditions. Thus, the draining holes will allow the excess water to flow away. This way, your plants will be safe from sogginess if you overwater.

Check on the quality of the potting mix 

Different plants do well in different potting mixes. All you need to consider is a well-draining potting mix. The soil should also match your plant’s growing conditions. Choosing the best soil for your Pothos will prevent root damage and keep the plant healthy. Also, choose potting soil with air pockets to allow excess water to flow away.

Empty drainage

Always get Pothos pots with drip trays. If the plant pots don’t come with a drip tray, improvise. Also, ensure to empty the drip tray after watering your plants. If you leave the drip tray filled with standing water, it will cause sogginess in the soil. The sogginess will eventually cause root damage.

Avoid overwatering

We all know Pothos for their thirsty nature. But, is overwatering the solution? No! Give your plants the right amount of water for their growth. They don’t like soggy soil. You can track your soil dryness to determine whether to water your plants. 

Add drainage holes on the sides of the pot

You can add more drainage holes if your Pothos pot doesn’t have enough. Depending on the type of pot, you can use a drill to add the drainage holes. Pothos require drainage, and making it possible will do your plants some justice. 


Do Pothos need well-draining soil?

Yes. A pothos plant will thrive well in well-draining soil. In short, the plants hate to sit on wet soggy soil. Thus, choosing soil with air pockets is best to protect the plants from root fungi and molds. Soil with air pockets will allow the excess water to flow easily.

Can Pothos survive in pots without holes?

Yes. Pothos only need a little water to thrive. It’s unlike other plants that need a lot of water to grow. With a good drainage layer between the soil and the bottom of the pot, your Pothos can survive in pots without holes. The drainage layer will also protect the roots from getting waterlogged.

Do Pothos like to dry out between watering?

Yes. It’s best to water your Pothos every 1-2 weeks. Between the watering, allow the soil to dry. One WOW factor about Pothos is you can give it one ample deep watering and let it dry in between. As a houseplant owner, avoid giving your plants small and continuous water throughout. 


“Do pothos need drainage?” is a question that lingers in the minds of many. No matter their low maintenance, the pothos plant still needs attention. 

Therefore, choosing well-drained potting soil will give the Pothos enough moisture keeping them safe from root damage. 

Pothos plants need proper drainage to stay healthy. For that reason,using pots with drainage holes would be best to keep the plants from root fungus and molds. As much as Pothos plants may survive in pots without holes, you should get a pot with at least one hole.

Get this Jeria hanging pot with adequate drainage and keep your plants away from root rot.

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