Pothos is highly adaptable and grows equally well in both climbing and hanging orientations. The choice to hang Pothos or allow it to climb is purely aesthetic as hanging will give your Pothos a vertical structure due to gravity, with less foliage and spaced-out leaves, while climbing Pothos can invoke a cozy look.
I faced the same dilemma when I first got Pothos and wanted to find out what was best for them. But, after enough research, I realized that it comes down to your personal preference.
With some help, they can be “trained” to grow well either way. So, let’s dive a little deeper to cover both scenarios.
Can You Train Pothos to Climb?
You can train Pothos plants to climb by winding them around a trellising material, twisting their vines from bottom to top to guide them to grow upwards.
This section will cover ideas and best practices to train your Pothos to grow upward. But first, you need a basic understanding of how they climb in the first place.
How Does a Pothos Plant Climb?
The Pothos plant easily vines up as long as it has something to latch onto through its aerial roots that work like anchors.
They’re genetically gifted at upward growth, which is why you commonly find wild Pothos climbing onto trees and branches in their natural environment.
Do You Need Trellising Material?
A Pothos plant can’t climb without something to latch onto, so you’ll need some trellising material for upward growth indoors. It can climb up your wall, but items like wires, bamboo, poles, and wires can highly improve your success rate.
How Do You Make a Climbing Pole for Pothos?
Very gently, twist the vine around any viable trellising material like a pole, using the leaf node spaces to anchor it on.
It shouldn’t feel tight but it should be secure. You might have to tie a string around the pole as support to achieve that in some cases, especially if the vines are weak.
Remember that this plant is naturally suitable for climbing up, to the point that it often does it on its own in the wild.
So, the plant should be able to ramble around the pole/wire/hook and grow upwards.
As the plant grows and has longer vines, it gets easier and easier to make slight adjustments and guide the plant to grow precisely where you need it to go.
Position a Light Source Above the Plant
Aside from making timely adjustments to guide the vines to grow up your trellis, you can also encourage them to move upward by placing them right under a light source.
Being drawn to light, Pothos will naturally want to grow toward a window, skylight, or artificial light. It’s one of the reasons you see them climbing up trees in rainforests to get to the sun above.
That said, ensure this doesn’t hinder the amount of light they get. They need indirect yet bright daylight for optimal growth.
A reliable indicator of insufficient light exposure in Pothos is yellowing leaves. If you notice your Pothos leaves turning yellow, reposition the plant or add a hanging grow light.
How Do I Get My Pothos to Hang?
You can hang your Pothos plants by placing them on a high shelf allowing the vines to prolong down to the ground, or simply using a hanging basket. It’s easier than training them to climb since hanging orientations are supported by gravity.
But, just like climbing, hanging the plant has its own do’s and don’ts. It’s mostly maintenance work, which tends to be slightly more demanding in the hanging orientation than training your Pothos to climb.
For instance, you’ll have to take active measures to prevent the vines from tangling, as that’s a common issue that houseplant enthusiasts face when they hang their Pothos.
What Kind of Pots Do Pothos Like?
Since the Pothos plant is very easy to overwater, they like pots with at least one to two drainage holes to prevent any water logging risks.
To hang a Pothos plant, you need your vines to be long enough to trail downward; a planter plays a significant role in achieving that.
Ensure Sufficient Light Exposure
A Pothos needs moderate light for 12-14 hours a day.
When you hang any plant indoors, there’s a higher chance that it won’t get enough light.
That’s because the plant will be positioned higher up, while daylight coming through the window mostly shines down.
For obvious reasons, you can’t get long vines stretching down to the ground if the plant doesn’t get enough light to grow them out.
So, be sure to position your hanging basket or shelf in a spot that gets just enough indirect daylight throughout the day to keep your Pothos well-nourished.
Another way to encourage the tendrils of Pothos to grow out is to prune the plant regularly.
I’d recommend pruning it at least once or twice a month. Simply spot browning areas or vines that have stopped growing, and then snip them to the leaf node.
Doing this regularly ensures a healthy flow of nutrients throughout the plant without any blockages caused by dead stems.
What Kind of Soil Is Best for Pothos?
You’ll need a potting mix that has a suitable balance of nutrients. Ideally, it should have good drainage and a pH of 6.1 to 6.6. Most gardening soils fall within that range with very slight acidity allowing this plant to thrive and grow.
Since hanging your Pothos plant promotes vine growth, be sure to get your soil right!
How Often Should I Water Pothos?
You should water Pothos whenever the top inch of the soil dries out. Since too much water could easily kill a Pothos plant, be sure to keep the soil moist — not wet. A healthy watering frequency for Pothos is to give it a few gulps of water whenever the top inch of soil dries out.
Pothos plants seem to grow well in both vertical orientations, whether you hang them off a shelf or get them to climb up a pole or wall. The choice to hang Pothos or allow it to climb is purely aesthetic as hanging will give your Pothos a vertical structure due to gravity, with less foliage and spaced-out leaves, while climbing Pothos can invoke a cozy look.
Both conditions require certain maintenance measures which are equally demanding. Getting the plant to climb requires adjusting vine positioning from time to time to guide its growth in the desired direction.
On the other hand, hanging your Pothos is about encouraging growth so that the vines don’t become tangled and cascade down for a dramatic visual.
Either position should work for your Pothos plant, keeping the above tips in mind. Happy growing!