Is My Pothos Root Bound?

A plant is said to be root bound if the roots of the plant tend to entangle due to limited space in the pot for the plants to grow. While some plants grow well even if their roots are bound, most plants prefer to have their roots open and free to grow. So, do pothos like to be root bound, and how to tell if it is root bound?

Is my pothos root bound?

Firstly, your pothos doesn’t like to be root bound. A root bounded pothos will have slower growth, droopy leaves, and a lack of oxygen in the plant. These are a few of the symptoms to observe to find out if your plant is root-bound.

So, let us learn in detail about the problems of the pothos and solutions to solve them-

Problems associated with Pothos Root Bound

If your pothos is root bound, it is likely to have several problems. One of them is the slow growth rate of the plant, which is due to the roots being excessively entangled. The roots are not able to absorb the required nutrients as well as water. It further leads to weakened stems and droopy leaves.

Another problem is the space constraint issue that the roots face when the container is too small. It prevents the roots from growing at the required rate.

So, let us explore how to identify if your pothos is root-bound.

How to identify if pothos is root-bound?

Stunted growth

One of the first signs of your pothos being root-bound would be the stunted growth of the plant. It prevents the plant from attaining its natural size. The bunched-up roots lead to limited growth in the roots as well, due to which the plants cannot absorb the required nutrients.

Spiraling Roots

If you uproot your pothos, you will notice that its roots may form a spiral pattern. The entire root system forms a dense ball-like shape. Further, the roots may also start creeping out of the drainage holes. It is a sign that your pothos is root-bound. If the duration of root binding is prolonged, it may lead to cracks in the pot in which it is planted.

Roots growing through the topsoil

Another sign of the pothos being root-bound is when the plant roots start to grow out of the topsoil. These aerial roots are a sign that the roots are being forced to grow through the topsoil. It happens as there is no space left in the pot for the roots to grow. Thus, immediate steps need to be taken to move the plant to a bigger pot.


The proper solution to help a root-bound pothos is to re-pot the plant once every one or two years. When repotting, the new pot should be bigger to allow the space for the new growth of the plant roots. It must be done very carefully to not hurt the plant in the process. Re-potting is an important procedure to ensure that the soil remains aerated and the plant remains healthy.

Thus, these are the steps to help identify if your pothos is root-bound.

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