Splitting a root bound pothos manjula

Splitting a root bound pothos

We bought a small pot of pothos var manjula last year when we visited Rabbit Island with a gift card. It was placed in a bright spot with indirect light and close to a wall. Within months, it started climbing everywhere.

There is another runner on the right side behind the stromanthe

We gave it a good trim once in a while and ended up with three more pots of them which we started giving our friends and family. Just as we thought that its growth was unstoppable, over the course of a few weeks, we started seeing leaves turn yellow and wither. The growth also slowed down significantly. It was time to give this plant a full body checkup.

We plucked the runners off the wall (which left some marks on the wall) and marveled at the beautiful sight of the fully extended plant.

So big compared to the size of the pot

Unpotting the plant

We decided to unpot the plant to check on the roots. The amount of roots we saw was not what we expected of such a new plant. They almost look like worms that got tangled together.

You spin my roots right round, right round

Untangling and cutting back the roots

Usually when we repot our house plants, we try not to disturb the roots unnecessarily. In this case, it seemed like the roots grew so dense that it has affected the growth of the plant. Using a rake together with lots of patience, we slowly untangled the roots to free them up. Once the roots were out, we cut almost half of the volume back. This will only harm the pothos a little but help it in the long run by promoting new growth.

The longest root was more than a meter long

Roots looking much neater

Trimming and propagating the runners

We also cut the long runners and propagated them into individual pots. Pothos are simple plants to propagate. Just cut the stem between two leaf nodes at a 45 degrees angle and plant the single leaf node in potting mix. We always try to fit as many leaves as we can in a pot to give it a lush and bushy look. Most leaves will root and survive but having more just increases the chance of you having a nice looking pot in the future.

One pot turned into four.

5 Signs of a root bound pothos

Although plants can’t talk, they are still able to tell you that they are not well by showing you some cryptic signals. It is all up to you to pick up on them. Here are some signs when your pothos is root bound.

  1. Older leaves start to yellow and die off
  2. You can see roots on the surface of the soil and under the pot
  3. Pot is hard and cannot be squeezed
  4. It has been more than a year since you last repotted it
  5. No observable pest infections on the leaves or stems

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