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Pothos Plant Leaves Droopy? Try This!

Pothos(Devil’s ivy) are famous among houseplant enthusiasts because of their heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines. Unfortunately, even a well-cared-for Pothos can droop sometimes, indicating an issue. Today, we will share the reasons behind drooping Pothos. 

Reasons for Pothos drooping include improper watering, incorrect sunlight, low humidity, extreme temperatures, rootbound, repotting shock, and infestations. As there are various problems, analyze and address each one correctly for a speedy recovery. 

Are you having a droopy Pothos plant and don’t know what to do? Read this article till the end to learn all the reasons in detail and simple ways to solve the issue. We will also share tips and preventive measures to prevent your pothos plant from drooping further. 

Droopy pothos plant

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.

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1. Pothos are drooping due to improper watering techniques

When Pothos are drooping due to incorrect watering habits, two things should be considered – Overwatering and underwatering. 

Let’s understand these in detail. 

Your pothos are drooping due to Underwatering 

Drooping is one of the most common signs of underwatering. 

It results from long-term neglect, where you don’t water the pothos plant for too long. 

Missing one or two watering sessions is fine, but constant missing for weeks causes drooping. 

The leaves will lose their shine and bounce without watering. 

If your pothos plant is drooping, check the soil moisture. 

If the soil is dry 2-4 inches below the surface, you have not watered it well. 

Start watering the pothos plant until the excess drains from the drainage holes. 

If the soil is too compact and repels water, create holes with a fork or chopstick, or try bottom watering. 

Your Pothos should perk up after a few days. 

Your pothos are drooping due to Overwatering.

It might be counterintuitive, but overwatering can also lead to drooping in the Pothos plants. 

If you don’t allow the soil to dry out between watering, the extra water will not be able to drain correctly, instead, it stays stagnant in the soil. 

Excessive water removes the oxygen supply, suffocates the roots, and inhibits moisture and nutrient uptake. 

Lack of moisture will cause the Pothos to become droopy. 

Over time, the problem can progress to root rot, and saving the pothos plant becomes difficult. 

If your Pothos is drooping, check the soil. 

If it feels wet, stop watering until maximum soil dries out. 

Allow the top few inches of the soil to dry out before watering. 

After a few weeks, your pothos plant should be fine. 

Also read: Overwatering vs Underwatering.

Pothos drooping right after watering 

When you give too much water, be it overwatering or watering after a long dehydrated condition, it can explode the leaf cells and make them droopy. 

The roots cannot absorb water properly due to dehydration or suffocation. Hence, the pothos plant begins to push the moisture from the leaves. 

As the cells break due to the pressure, the pothos plant becomes limp and droopy. 

The problem occurs mainly when the evaporation rate is slower. 

That’s why your pothos plant will droop after you water it. 

The rule is to maintain consistently moist soil while allowing around 40-50% of the soil to dry out before every watering session. 

2. Poor Drainage as a Culprit for Drooping Pothos Leaves

Pothos should receive good drainage for the excess water to drain. 

When it comes to drainage, two things should be taken into consideration – soil and pot.  

Poor Pothos potting soil making it droopy

Generally, Pothos will do fine in any potting mix if it’s well-drained. 

Since these tropical plants love moisture, it is easier to overwater them.

But they also need some dryness. 

When the soil retains too much water, the roots suffocate, and the pothos plant’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients is reduced, leading to droopiness. 

Over time, you will also have root rot. 

If you water your pothos plant correctly, but the soil stays excessively moist for a week, the issue lies with your potting soil. 

You can add drainage materials like perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage or replace the entire soil by repotting. 

Here are a few options for a well-drained soil mix: 

Once the soil is well-drained, your pothos plant should perk up after a few weeks. 

Pot Considerations for Your Drooping Pothos 

Some pots, mainly glazed pots, don’t have drainage holes. 

If you have such a pot, the excess water will stay in it, leading to overwatering or root rot. 

You can either drill a drainage hole or use it as a cache pot. 

Put the pothos plant in a regular pot with a drainage hole, and put this potted plant into your glazed pot. 

The glazed pot will work as a saucer; empty it occasionally. 

If you habitually overwater, use porous materials like terracotta or earthenware pots. 

If you underwater the pothos plant often, use plastic or ceramic glazed pots. They retain moisture for a long time. 

3. How Lighting Issues Leads To Droopy Leaves In Pothos

Pothos in bright indirect light

Pothos thrive best when they receive around 10-12 hours of light daily, and it should be bright, dappled sunlight

Direct sunlight for 3-4 hours in the morning is fine, but more than that will cause drooping. 

You’ll also notice browning at the tips and edges, indicating sunburns. 

Exposure to direct sunlight also increases evaporation and reduces humidity, which are also the reasons for drooping. 

Lowlights also cause drooping. Light helps in photosynthesis and chlorophyll production. 

When these functions get interrupted by lack of sunlight, the pothos plant will become droopy, grow slowly, and the leaves will turn yellow or brown. 

You’ll also notice small leaves and a leggy appearance

If your Pothos seems droopy, check the light conditions. 

Move your pothos plant to a location receiving bright, dappled sunlight, neither direct nor darkness. 

An east-facing window provides gentle sunlight throughout the day. 

If you don’t have such a window, put up sheer curtains or Venetian blinds on the window near which your pothos plant is staying. 

If you need a few days to put up curtains or Venetian blinds, move your pothos plant 8-9 feet away from the window for now. 

Make sure the pothos plant is receiving some amount of light. 

This partial light will also work for Pothos. 

Use artificial lights, like fluorescent or LED lights, if needed. 

To learn more about the lighting requirements of the Pothos plant, refer to our in-depth guide.

4. Nutritional Deficiencies Leading to Droopy Leaves In Pothos

Sometimes, a lack of nutrients can make your pothos plant appear fragile, and it may droop due to weakness. 

Fertilizing gives your pothos plant extra micro and macro nutrients which the water and soil alone cannot provide. 

If you are doing everything correctly, consider how often you fertilize your pothos plant. 

If you haven’t fed your pothos plant for too long, give a quick boost with a balanced liquid fertilizer with 10-10-10 NPK. 

Your plant should perk up after a few weeks. Continue using it every 4-6 weeks throughout the spring and summer. 

Stop it during fall and winter. 

Don’t feed too much. Over-fertilization will cause fertilizer burns and other issues. 

You can use slow-release to avoid overfeeding. 

Apply it only 1-2 times a year during spring or summer. 

5. Environmental Factors Contributing to Pothos Drooping

Improper temperature and humidity levels cause your Pothos to be droopy. 

Since Pothos is a tropical plant, it enjoys an environment with average warm temperatures and high humidity. 

Let’s see how these environmental factors affect the pothos plant’s health.

Pothos droops due to extreme temperatures 

Pothos thrive between 65°F and 90°F, with optimal performance around 70-90°F.

Excessive cold or hot temperatures can make your Pothos droopy. 

Since Pothos belong to tropical regions, they love warm temperatures but can tolerate up to 50-55°F. 

Cold temperatures below 50°F will slow the pothos plant’s growth and metabolism, reducing its ability to absorb moisture and nutrients properly. 

As a result, the pothos plant leaves will droop due to the cold stress. 

Cold drafts from open doors, windows, and balconies degrade plant health, making them droop more and turn the leaves brown due to cell damage. 

To protect your pothos plant from cold temperatures, shift it to a room with an average warm room temperature. 

Please keep it away from windows, doors, and balconies receiving cold drafts. 

Hot temperatures above 90°F can also lead to drooping in Pothos. 

High temperatures increase evaporation and cause the leaves and soil to lose moisture faster than it can absorb through the roots. 

Over time, you will see your Pothos to be drooping. 

To prevent this, avoid exposing the pothos plant to scorching temperatures. 

Try to keep the temperature consistent. 

Increase watering frequency for good hydration. 

Pothos drooping due to low humidity 

Native to the tropical areas, Pothos require around 70-80% humidity. 

Since this level might be uncomfortable indoors, at least 50-60% humidity is necessary. 

Dry air makes the leaves lose moisture faster, resulting in drooping, browning, and dry leaves. 

Sometimes, we can’t understand until we check the room’s humidity level. One easy method is to use a hygrometer

If you don’t have one, take a glass filled with ice cubes and keep it in the room. 

After a few minutes, if you see condensation, humidity is high. Otherwise, it’s low. 

To increase the humidity, you have some effective options: 

  • Mist your plants regularly. 
  • Install humidifiers
  • Keep pebble trays under the pot. 
  • Shift your plant close to aquariums. 
  • Group multiple tropical plants, ensuring proper distance and airflow. 

If humidity was the real issue, your pothos plant will be fine after a few weeks. 

Don’t increase the humidity too much. 

That will lead to other issues, like lack of airflow, pests, and diseases

6. Cramped Roots Leads To Droopy Leaves In Pothos Plant

Pothos plant root bound

Pothos plants are fast growers and must be repotted once every 1-2 years to a slightly bigger pot for more room for root growth. 

Roots overgrow and constrict when you don’t repot the plant. 

As a result, the roots grow circularly, intertwine, and become compact. 

In such a condition, it becomes challenging for the roots to transfer the moisture and nutrients to other pothos plant parts, resulting in droopiness, discolored leaves, and stunted growth. 

Hence, you must repot the Pothos plant to give the roots enough space to grow flexibly without any issues. 

Repot the plant every 1-2 years to a pot 1-2 inches bigger than the old one during the spring or summer. 

Check for evident rootbound signs like roots coming out of the drainage holes or soil surface, growing circularly, or the pot having more roots than soil. 

7. How Repotting Stress Can Cause Pothos Leaves to Droop

Even after repotting, your Pothos plant will begin to droop and have issues like yellow or brown leaves, stunted growth, or defoliation. 

It is the result of repotting shock.

The growing environment changes suddenly. 

The plant tries to grow new roots and adjust to the new environment. 

It has a lot to handle.

Sudden changes shock the pothos plant and start showing these signs as a sign of stress. 

There is no solution for this. 

Try reducing the shock and encourage fast recovery by taking good care of the plant and avoiding further stress. 

Here are some ways to reduce repotting stress: 

  • Provide dappled sunlight. Avoid too much exposure for the first few days. 
  • Don’t expose the roots to dry air for too long while repotting. 
  • Maintain average room temperature and humidity. Avoid extremely high or low temperatures and humidity. 
  • Don’t feed until you notice new growth. 
  • Keep the soil consistently moist. Avoid overwatering, and don’t let the soil go dry too much. 

8. The Impact of Pests and Diseases on Pothos Leaves

Pests and diseases cause your Pothos plant to droop because of stress and weakness. 

Common Pothos pests that can make it droop

Common pests are aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites, and scale insects. 

These pests suck the plant sap and dehydrate it entirely. 

Drooping indicates that the pothos plant is weak and stressed. 

You will also notice discolored leaves, defoliation, and deformed leaves.

Sometimes, the stems become brown, making your Pothos droop more.

These pests reach your plant because either you have made favorable conditions (extremely wet or dry conditions) or they got transferred from other infected plants. 

Here’s what you should do to eliminate pests: 

  • Isolate the pothos plant and remove the infected leaves. 
  • Spray neem oil or other horticultural oils.
  • Take a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe the suspected areas, primarily under the leaves. 
  • Release natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings. 
  • Spread some diatomaceous earth around the soil. 
  • If the infestation is massive, use chemical insecticides and systemic pesticides
Pest in pothos plant

Pothos diseases responsible for drooping

Fungal and bacterial infections are another reason behind a droopy Pothos plant. 

The opportunistic pathogens attack your plant when it is weak and vulnerable. 

In most cases, they enjoy prolonged wet conditions. 

Common diseases are blights, bacterial leaf spots, root rot, and stem rot. 

The leaves lose their color, and the plant seems droopy. 

The infection occurs if the stems and vines are discolored, soft, or mushy. 

To address the issue: 

  • Consider isolating your pothos plant and removing the badly infected areas. 
  • Spray some fungicide, like systemic or copper-based. 
  • You can also use homemade fungicide with 1 part baking soda, 10 parts water, and ½ to 1 teaspoon of insecticidal soap (some pests carry diseases). 
  • If you have root rot, uproot the plant from the pot, remove maximum soil, check the roots, remove the brown mushy roots, spray fungicide, and repot in a new pot with new soil. If maximum roots require removal, collect healthy cuttings and propagate your plant. 

Some diseases are incurable. 

In that case, you must prevent the disease with the following steps: 

  • Always buy disease-free Pothos from the shop. Check for healthy leaves, full and firm stems and roots, and spot-free plants. 
  • While repotting, ensure a pathogen-free potting mix
  • Add some hydrogen peroxide occasionally to the water during the irrigation session. 
  • Avoid overwatering, use well-drained soil, and avoid overhead watering. 
  • Maintain good ventilation.
  • Mist your pothos plant occasionally with neem oil. It will keep maximum bugs and pathogens away. 

Pothos care tips to prevent droopy leaves. 

By now, you are well-acquainted with all the reasons that turn your Pothos plant or the leaves droopy. 

While there are solutions, preventing these problems should be your main focus.  

Here are some care tips and preventive measures: 

  • Provide Pothos 8-12 hours of bright, dappled sunlight. 
  • Water the pothos plant whenever 40-50% of the soil has dried. Reduce watering in winter. 
  • Use well-drained fertile soil for Pothos with a pH of 6.1-6.8. 
  • Use a pot with drainage holes. Choose porous pots if you overwater often by mistake or plastic pots if you underwater the plants. 
  • Fertilize your pothos plant every 4-6 weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the spring and summer. Avoid it in the winter. 
  • Maintain 65-90°F temperature and 50-60% humidity consistently. Protect the plant from drafts. 
  • Prune your pothos plants during the active months when you see them overgrow. It will increase airflow and avoid diseases. 
  • Try placing a fan near your pothos plant, running slowly. It will keep your plant cool in summer, improve ventilation, strengthen the roots, and make it sturdy to hold itself and prevent drooping. 
  • Repot once every 1-2 years. 
  • Check out for pests and diseases and take immediate action. 
  • Spray neem oil every 15 days to keep pests and diseases away. 

Final thoughts 

As you can see, multiple reasons are responsible for a droopy Pothos. Common reasons are improper watering, incorrect light conditions, poor drainage, lack of nutrients, extreme temperatures, low humidity, rootbound, repotting stress, pests, and diseases. 

Fortunately, you can easily save your pothos plant and fix the droopiness. However, correct diagnosis and treatment should be provided. Since there are so many reasons, analyze the plant’s condition thoroughly to provide the correct treatment. 

To prevent the Pothos from drooping, follow the preventive measures and provide the requirements correctly to keep the plant healthy. A strong and healthy pothos plant won’t be vulnerable to any issues efficiently. 

How long does the Pothos take to perk up from droopiness?

Depending on the damage level, the problem, and your plant’s health, it will usually take a few days to weeks. Since Pothos is a resilient plant, be patient, provide correct treatments, and your plant will bounce back.

Why is my Pothos cutting drooping?

The cutting may become brown and droopy if it doesn’t receive enough moisture. Regularly check the moisture level and water it as needed for consistent moisture.

Reference: Pothos Wikipedia

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