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What Is Wrong With My Pothos? (Fixing Problems +Care Guide)

Pothos are sturdy and easy to grow plants that can survive in a challenging situation as well. But sometimes, our pothos struggles to survive. It might be because of inadequate care provided to them.

Pothos has to be taken care of according to the weather and the environment. There might be different watering conditions for the same plant in different regions.

Sometimes, this simple watering problem can cause a severe issue, and we might not know what’s wrong with our plant.

Pothos thrive through extreme conditions, and now we will look into different conditions or issues that could be faced while growing pothos.

This problem stands common for all the different types of pothos, and the care for the types remains the same.

Also read: Why is my pothos dying?

pothos edge burn

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.

Please note: Simplify Plants is reader-supported. Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.

My pothos have pests

Almost every plant is prone to insects, and spider mites are prevalent in the case of pothos. These spider mites are small white creature which feeds on the leaves.

Pothos pest

When your pothos is attacked with spider mites, we will notice that the new leaves start to turn yellow and shed. Yes, these mites attack the fresh leaves.

Often, it could be because of some other infected plant. If we notice the mites on the plant, we must act rapidly.

Neem oil solution is the best natural solution that we would suggest against spider mites.

We can also use insecticides or pesticides that are available in the market. 

However, if we choose to use chemical solutions, please do follow the instructions given.

A quick suggestion: Use a bit less than the amount prescribed in the instruction of the insecticide.

Another suggestion is that, if we are spraying the neem oil solution, follow the procedure for a fortnight to eliminate the mites and their eggs.   

Also read: Do pothos attract pests?

My pothos leaves drooping

potho plant drooping

With every bit of change in the plant’s environment, the pothos will show signs of distress. If we notice signs like droopy leaves, or the leaves wilting, we should know that something is wrong.

Droopy leaves could be due to various problems, but in general, the watering conditions or the light conditions are not sufficient.

If the pothos is droopy, then it might indicate that the plant is thirsty.

Underwatering leads to droopy leaves, and in this case, we should check the soil; if the soil feels dry, water the plant immediately.

During the summer and spring seasons, watering the plant once a week should keep the plant happy. In case you live in an area that is hot and dry, twice a week should be fine.

In the winters and autumn, once in a week or two weeks will keep your pothos in good health.

Always make sure you check the soil before watering the plant.

The Devil’s Ivy can tolerate drought situations, but overwatering your Devil’s Ivy is a dangerous situation for them.

The pothos requires bright to medium indirect sunlight. If the pothos is not provided with enough light, we might notice the leaves drooping.

Also read: Why is my pothos drooping?

My pothos has yellow leaves

Pothos turning yellow

The leaves of a pothos turning yellow stand for two of the most common reasons.

Firstly, and most importantly, this is because of overwatering the plant.

The pothos is prone to root rot. If we keep the soil too mushy, we will notice the plant wilting, and the pothos will change the color of its leaves to yellow.

Always go by the golden rule of watering, and that is by feeling the soil. This way, we can avoid overwatering of the pothos.

You should check drainage holes. If blocked, your pothos might be standing on the water, and we do not want our pothos to stand on water.

The second reason for the leaves turning yellow is because of the spider mites. These mites feed upon the newest leaves first.

The color of the leaves changes to yellow and sheds once these pests start feeding on them.

Keeping the pothos indirect bright light also changes the color of the leaves to yellow. Always keep your pothos in indirect bright to medium sunlight.

Also read: Why is my pothos turning yellow?

My pothos leaves pointing up

Leaves pointing up is a natural cause. We need not worry about this situation.

The beauty that lies in nature was rightly said, and pothos plants do this to receive sunlight required for photosynthesis.

The pothos vertically points its leaves to receive the sunlight evenly. By changing the position of the plant, we can take care of the situation.

Pothos leaves turning brown on edges

pothos plant edge burn

In this condition, there is a common mistake that we might end up with.

Are the leaves of the pothos brown, or the plant has leaves turning brown on the edges?

If the leaves of the pothos are turning brown at the edges, it might well be because of underwatering your plant.

Underwatering causes the leaves to turn yellow or brown at the edges, which later sheds.

Thus, follow your watering regime or come up with a calendar. We can also use sticky notes on the plants. Using sticky notes has always helped me.

If the pothos is kept in bright direct sunlight for too long, then the pothos leaves tend to burn and thus results in leaves with brown edges.

Another common problem is overfertilization. It is another serious issue and can kill a plant. Always use less than the amount prescribed for fertilization.

Pothos should be provided with fertilizer once a month but only during their growing season.

Also read: Why is my pothos turning brown on edges?

My pothos is leggy

pothos turning leggy

Leggy pothos is a result of poor light conditions.

We can fix this by essentially changing the situation of the pothos to an area where it gets bright indirect daylight.

Watering conditions or rather perfect watering conditions are required to avoid the plants go leggy.

Kindly consider giving one hour of morning or evening sun consistently. I realize that it probably won’t be workable for every one of you. But if possible, you must consider the same.

Finally, if we add an excess of fertilizer to the plant, it will force the plant to grow quickly and cause them to go leggy.

Also read: Why is my pothos leggy?

My pothos is not growing

Even after providing your pothos with all the required elements, you often do not see the plants growing.

If the plant is not growing during the winters, it should not be an issue as it’s common for a plant to rest during the winters.

However, if it is the growing season and we do not notice any growth in the plant, this could be because of the pot’s size.

The roots of the pothos love to go rootbound and if the roots have developed completely in the current pot, then consider changing the size of the pot.

You might also see stunted growth after a repot. That might happen due to inadequate soil type. Choose the suitable potting soil for your pothos.

They need well-draining soil with good aeration.

Consider adding some perlite or pumice to increase the aeration in the soil.

If all these things work out fine, then all the plants need is pruning. Pruning helps the pothos grow bushier and denser.

Also read: Why is my pothos not growing?

My pothos leaves turning brown

pothos turned brown and black

The leaves of the pothos can turn brown because of reasons like root rot.

Usually, pothos can tolerate extreme conditions. However, it may develop root rot.

The root causes the plant to wilt, and the leaves change their color to yellow or brown.

Another reason for the leaves turning brown maybe the fungus or bacterial attack.

If you see the leaves, stem, and other parts turning brown, it is a fungal problem. It is suggested to remove the infected parts of the plant to reduce the spread.

The use of certain horticultural oil, sulfur, and potassium bicarbonate can help reduce the spread in the case of fungal attacks. Please do follow the instructions for use.

If the issue is because of a bacterial attack, we will see the brown spots on the inside of your pothos leaves.

We will need to prune the pothos from time to time, and in case of spread, remove the infected leaves to control the spread.

We may also use chemical compounds such as pesticides or insecticides.

My Pothos is leaning

Pothos Excessive lighting

The leaning of pothos is one common issue that our users face once they have purchased a new plant. If we see the same sign of the plant leaning, please do not worry.

Often, the plants need to adjust to the light conditions and the environment that they are brought in. Give the plant some time and provide the perfect conditions.

The pothos can also lean because of overwatering. Consider checking the soil, and if the soil is wet, then it may be a case of overwatering.

Check for the drainage holes and if they are covered, clean the drainage holes so that the excess water can pass through.

The pothos needs bright indirect sunlight, and if it does not get the required sunlight, we will see the plants wilting and leaning.

My pothos has brown spots on the leaves

Pothos Have Brown Spots

The earthy colored spots on leaves, otherwise called a leaf blight, are caused by the reasons expressed beneath.

It may be that the plant is experiencing fungal root decay or bacterial root decay.

In bacterial root decay, the plant experiences earthy colored spots or light spots on the leaves or the leaves’ edges and spreads from the area.

Fungal root decay has more obscure earthy colored spots on the leaves, starts from the plant’s base, and spreads out to the veins.

However, sunburn due to intense direct light on the foliage may also harm the plant.

For a sunburn issue, everything we can do is to keep the plant in a spot where it gets aberrant splendid daylight and not immediate daylight.

On the off chance that there are gaps on the leaves alongside the earthy colored spots, pest situation is more likely.

Analyze if it is a bug pervasion. We can utilize a neem oil answer for the invasion.

Also read: Why does my pothos have brown spots?

My pothos leaves curling

Pothos Leaves Curling

The most common reason for the curling of pothos leaves is the underwatering or uneven moisture in the soil.

If the soil is dry, then consider watering your plant and try to keep it on the dry side of moist. The pothos does not require a lot of water, but it must be adequate.

Another factor to consider for the curling of the leaves is to check for pests. As stated earlier, the pests attack the newer leaves. As a result, the leaves might curl.

To avoid any pest condition, try using a neem oil solution to spray the plants with lukewarm water for two weeks.

Also read: Why is my pothos curling?

My pothos leaves falling off

The pothos losing its leaves can be a severe threat to the plant.

For the most part, the reason for this issue is that the plant is attempting to change in accordance with nature.

When the plant is kept close to radiators or near a window sill where the plant encounters draft, it may shed the leaves. That is the reason for the change.

The money plant requires moisture for transpiration, and its absence may lead to the dropping of the leaves.

Underwatering the plant may cause the loss of leaves, though overwatering will likewise prompt the dropping of leaves alongside a potential root decay issue.

Pothos overview

Common NamePothos, Money Plant, Devil’s Ivy.
Latin NameEpipremnum Aureum
Plant typeTrailing Vine
Temperature60-85°F (15-28°C)
HumidityMedium to High Humidity
Light RequirementIndirect Bright Sunlight
Height6-10 feet
ColorGreen, White-Green Variegated, Neon Pothos, pale green
Insects and DiseasesGenerally, pest-free; Mites, mealybugs, and root rot
OriginChina, India, Australia, New Guinea, Southeast Asia
Pet friendlyNo, Toxic to pets

Is pothos a good indoor plant?

Pothos are considered great air purifiers. They might look like they are just growing bigger and bigger, but in reality, the pothos takes in the bad air and releases fresh air.

It is one of the most chosen plants for home decor and suitable for beginners. Being an easy-to-care plant, it’s preferred by a lot of enthusiasts.

We need to take into consideration the pets as the pothos is poisonous to pets. Consider using hanging pots for pothos if you own a cat or a dog.

Pothos care requirements

Let us check the care requirements for pothos. Trust me, it is not much, and we can look out for the pothos if we dedicate just an hour a week.

Some questions that many growers usually ask are also answered in the guide.

Pothos plant light needs

Pothos sunlight

The pothos requires bright indirect sunlight.

We can opt for a North facing window. East or west-facing windows also work great with the pothos.

We can keep the plant outside as well. However, keep it under a shade so that the plant is safe from leaf burn.

As the pothos loves indirect light, keep the plant behind a sheer curtain, or use a partial shade while keeping outdoors or near direct sunlight.

Also read: How much light do pothos need?

Does pothos require direct sunlight?

No, the pothos does not need direct sunlight. However, the growth of the pothos is also dependent on sunlight. Confusing, isn’t it?

It is suggested to provide an hour of direct sunlight during the evening or morning to the pothos.

The pothos is very tolerant of low light conditions as well. However, don’t expect exponential growth under poor light conditions.

Can pothos tolerate low light conditions?

The money plant is lenient toward extreme climatic changes, and they can adjust according to the change in environment. It can grow well in low-light conditions as well.

We have to deal with the development of the plant. We should not move the plant to start with one extreme then onto the next.

If the plant is moved from bright light to extremely low light conditions, it might shock the plant, and we will see that the pothos is shedding its leaves.

Pothos watering schedule

watering pothos plant

The pothos plant can thrive even if neglected for a few days. They do not mind if they are not watered for a few days.

You should feel the soil. We should take our finger or a spoon and uncover 1-2 creeps underneath the soil.

We should never water the pothos by checking the topsoil only.

This delightful houseplant is inclined to root decay if overwatered. Discard any water standing on the drainage tray.

Also read: How often should I water my pothos?

How do I know if my pothos needs water?

pothos soil

The answer to this question is simple as the plants will show signs when it needs anything. The plant requires an adequate amount of sunlight, water, and fertilizer.

Always create a watering regime for the plant. This way, we have fewer chances of missing any watering.

Check the top layer of soil and find out if it’s dry. Also, feel the soil by using a spoon or your finger. Dig up to 1-2 inches below the soil and find out if the soil is dry.

If you feel the soil is dry, water the plant, and if the soil is moist, then the pothos can go for a few more days without water.

Does pothos need much water?

The pothos is supposed to stay moist and not wet. The size of the pot decides the amount of water that is required by the pot.

It is simple math that if the pot is larger, the water needs will be more.
Try not to overwater your plant.

Should you mist pothos?

The pothos plant loves humidity, and we should consider misting the pothos regularly. This way, the leaves of the pothos will also be clean.

misting pothos

However, make sure you add a few drops of neem oil to the mix. That helps to prevent any possible pest infestation as well.

Also read: Is misting good for pothos?

Is tap water safe for pothos?

Tap water is alright for indoor houseplants. However, you need to check if the tap water has an abundance of chlorine.

Chlorine can be harmful to plants. If your water contains chlorine in it, you can fill a bucket and let the water sit for a day. The chlorine will evaporate, and the water will be suitable for use.

Pothos soil requirements

dying pothos plant

Pothos can thrive in ordinary, well-draining potting soil.

The best ratio for the soil would be a 2:1 ratio of standard potting soil and perlite or pumice. If we want the soil’s aeration to be increased, then perlite is what you are looking for.

Best soil pick:

Always check for the drainage holes as the pothos is prone to root rot if allowed to sit on the water.

Also read: What type of soil do pothos need?

Pothos fertilizer needs

Pothos Fertilizer

The pothos loves a little nutrient for that extra growth that you are looking for. However, they are not extreme root feeders like other medium plants.

We can always use the fertilizers such as Miracle-Gro for your pothos.

The use of fertilizer once a month is adequate for the pothos.

In case you have an aquarium or a turtle tank in your house, you can also use the water from the fish tank for the pothos.

They provide the right amount of nutrients required for the pothos.

If you are using the fertilizer from the market, follow the prescribed amount of feed, and if possible, use less than the amount specified.

Should I fertilize my pothos?

Like any other houseplant, pothos should be fertilized only during the growing season.

The growing season starts from early spring to late summer.

However, avoid feeding the pothos during the winter as winter is the dormancy state for the houseplants.

What do you feed pothos?

Any type of fertilizer is acceptable for the pothos. We can choose from vermicompost, compost, or even seaweed solution, which is highly beneficial.

As stated above, we can also use the water from the fish tank or the turtle tank to feed the pothos. The pothos absorbs the nitrate from the fish tank.

If you want to use the chemical fertilizer, Jack’s Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer is an excellent pick.

Also read: Do pothos need fertilizer? How much?

Pothos temperature range

pothos temperature and humidity

Pothos loves to stay at room temperature and prefers high humidity. The perfect temperature is from 65-75°F.

During the mid-summer, consider moving the pothos away from direct sun to avoid any sunburn caused to the plant.

They can thrive at extreme temperatures as well.

Can pothos be kept outside in summer?

Honestly, we can move the pothos outside throughout the late spring season.

If we choose to keep it outside, then provide a shade or keep it behind a sheer curtain.

Pothos are lenient toward outrageous conditions yet never move the plant starting with one extraordinary then onto the next right away.

Do pothos like heat?

Direct sunlight can cause sunburn, and we might notice drooping of the pothos. However, an hour of direct sunlight during the early morning or evening is good for the pothos’ growth.

Keep the pothos away from the radiators.

Pothos humidity

pothos humidifier

The pothos loves a moist tropical environment, and misting the plant will help with that.

Throughout the wintertime of the year, the humidity level is low, and we should mist the plant more. Take a stab at getting it far from the cool draft.

The utilization of a humidifier is additionally proposed to keep up the perfect humidity measure in the air.

Pothos pest control

Generally, pothos is pest-free. However, we cannot take anything for sure. It may be that we have transferred the pest from another infected plant.

Pothos are attacked by spider mites and mealybugs and are prone to root rot, which may attract other fungal and bacterial diseases.

In such situations, we should spray the plant with neem oil solution mixed with lukewarm water daily for 14 days.

Following the procedure for 14 days will ensure that all the pests and their eggs are removed from the plant.

Recommended Garden Supplies

Are you looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.

Pothos species guide

Pothos comes in many varieties and species. Most common of all is the Golden Pothos.

22 POTHOS VARIETIES and how to tell them apart | ultimate guide to pothos part 1

Some popular types of pothos available are:

  • Marble Queen
  • Pearls and Jade
  • Neon Pothos
  • Silver Satin
  • Jessenia Pothos
  • Manjula Pothos
  • Cebu Blue Pothos

Apart from these there are several more varieties but these are the ones that are most commonly planted.

How do you prune a pothos?

Pruning & Propagating Pothos, Philodendron and Scindapsus

By pruning, we will notice healthier and bushier growth. We eliminate every leaf that won’t restore and leave the healthy foliage behind.

Try not to stress because the plant will develop new leaves.

With pruning, we are giving the plant a choice to develop new leaves. The way to pruning is to utilize a clean/sterilized pair of pruners/trimmers/scissors.

Sanitizing the clippers will be the golden rule of pruning since we don’t need any exchange of ailments from another plant to our pothos or any disease exchange from the tainted scissors.

Try to prune a bit above the node so that we can use the clippings for propagation.

Repotting your pothos

How To Repot Pothos To Climb Up or Trail Down | Houseplant Care Guide

Often, we might need to repot our pothos right after purchase. If the plant is wilting, give it some time to adjust to the new situations and conditions.

I incline toward terracotta pots or artistic pots since they have better seepage and drains water well.

The type of pot is of no concern, provided it has drainage holes for the passage of excess water.

The type of soil that we will need is provide gardening soil along with a mixture of compost. We can also use some peat moss in the mix.

The air circulation of the soil is increased with the help of peat moss.

At last, the condition that we will place the pot. We will need to keep the pothos in some bright indirect light.

In no time, we will see the root structure develop from the repotted plant.

Also read: Do pothos like to be root bounded?

Propagating your Pothos

pothos plant cliping

Propagating your pothos is one of the easiest, and we can accomplish this to multiply our plants.

Remove a clipping of the stem, somewhere in the range of 6 to 12″ long.

Strip off a couple of the lower leaves as you don’t need any of them lowered.

Spot the stems in a container, glass, or jug. Add enough water so that the nodes are submerged.

After about two weeks, we will notice the development of new roots from the nodes.

Make a point to keep those nodes submerged in water.

Change the water frequently because if left unchanged, we will see the development of algae in the water.

After the roots come out in about six weeks, you can plant the cuttings in the soil.

You can undoubtedly propagate pothos in the soil directly.

Pothos plant and pets

Pothos plants can be a little poisonous both to children and pets.

We need to ensure the amount of the plant that your pets might have nibbled upon. It is always suggested to carry the plant to your vet.

Keep the pothos out of reach of children and pets. They are innocent souls, and anything can hit their eye.

If your pets have chewed the plant, they could experience vomiting, nausea, and swelling in the mouth.

Because of the calcium oxalate crystals, the pothos is considered poisonous.

For the very same reason, we suggest making use of spatial plantation and use hanging pots. Always check if your children and pets can reach the vines.

Whenever we come across situations where your pets have ingested the pothos, contact your vet immediately.

If possible, try to wash your pet’s mouth so that the plant’s sap is washed away and carry the plant’s sample to your vet.

Is pothos plant toxic to cats/dogs?

Yes, the pothos, especially the golden pothos, are not pet-friendly.
If a pothos leaf is consumed, it could cause blisters, stomach irritation, vomiting, or the furry friends might find it difficult swallowing.

The pothos is toxic to both dogs and cats.

They produce a lot of calcium oxalate, which is one of the chemicals produced by the pothos for self-protection.

Calcium oxalate is a crystal-like chemical with sharp edges. Eating a leaf will cause problems in the gut or the mouth.

Excessive drooling is also noticed in some of the scenarios.

Also read: How to save a dying pothos?

Sources: Study of Pest in PothosCommon insect pests and diseasesUniversity of Florida Research, Effects of Different Pot Mixtures on Pothos, Pothos water need a study

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