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Why Is My Pothos Dying? (Causes+What To Do)

Pothos also known as devil’s ivy, is a hardy plant that won’t die on you quickly. Though the pothos doesn’t require much of your care and can thrive in the most challenging situations, you can never neglect a few signs that the plant gives you. So, let us learn about why your pothos may be dying and what we can do about it.

Excessive light, irregular watering schedule, and inadequate temperature are some of the most common causes of a dying pothos. Other issues like root rot, inadequate fertilization, and pests could also be a possible problem. Start by looking at your pothos care schedule to identify the cause and fix it immediately.

We will discuss the signs which show that your pothos needs some love. This certain houseplant is perfect for beginners and is vigorous growers.

There would be so many situations and questions that you will have for the plant, so let us get straight to saving your pothos without wasting any more time.

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Why is my pothos wilting?

The wilting of pothos is one of the most common issues for all the varieties of Pothos plants.

The wilting of the leaves generally indicates that the plant is thirsty and needs water.

Another way to check if the plant is wilting is by checking the bounciness of the leaves.

If there is resistance while running your fingers on the leaves, the plant is doing perfect.

When there is no resistance, the plant feels soft and tender while running our fingers against the leaves. It shows signs that the plant needs a bit of care.

Do check the soil beforehand. If the soil feels dry, then you will need to water the plant.

The pothos can thrive if we water it once a week.

During the summer and spring season, watering the plant once a week should keep the plant happy.

In case you live in an arid and hot area, twice a week should be fine.

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

The pothos can tolerate drought situations, but overwatering your pothos is a dangerous situation for them.

Overwatering any plant can cause issues, so make sure that you don’t let the water stay in your pothos, and the soil does not remain mushy.

They are prone to root rot. Overwatering is one of the main reasons for the plant wilting.

A rookie mistake is when you think you will be away for a while, and you overwater your plant.

You are actually taking care; however, this turns out to be a challenging situation.

Make sure of the drainage holes so that the water is completely dried out from the soil.

Change in the color of the leaves

If the pothos is overwatered, then we will see a change in the color of the leaves. The pothos has bright leaves with golden or yellow splashes.

If the plant is overwatered, then we will see the plant wilt. That would be the first sign. Another sign that these pothos send is the leaves turning yellow.

Light also plays an essential role in the care of pothos. The pothos does not like direct sunlight. It feeds on bright indirect light.

The pothos can be grown outdoors as well. However, when planted out, we will need to make sure that there is a partial shade to help the pothos.

When keeping it indoors, the plant should be away from the bright windows or use sheer curtains to help diffuse the direct bright light.

If the pothos is kept indirect bright light, the leaves often turn yellow, and you would not want that to happen.

The pothos is prone to spider mites, which feed on the lower side of the leaves, causing the leaves to turn yellow in color. To remove the spider mites, we will need to spray the plant with lukewarm water.

After the spraying of the lukewarm water, we then spray the plant with insecticidal soap.

The pothos is not much of a feeder and hence does not require much fertilizer for growth.

If the pothos is supplied with too much or too little fertilizer, we see the pothos plant’s leaves turning yellow.

Once a month application of fertilizer for your indoor pothos is adequate.

Holes or spots on the leaves

The pothos is also prone to insects. A spider mite attack can be the most invasive one.

The spider mites are white in color and feed upon the pothos’ new leaves leaving holes on the leaves. So, if there are holes on your pothos, it is most likely attacked by spider mites.

The best way to get rid of the mites would be by spraying a neem solution on all the leaves.

The pothos is a susceptible plant in this case. The reason behind this issue is mostly because of the water.

The water that we use to water the plants is tap water and has a high amount of chlorine mixed in it, hence causing the bugs’ attack.

Taking care of the addition of the fertilizer is really important. If there is less fertilizer or too much fertilizer, it can be harmful, giving an option for the bugs to attack.

We can also get rid of the bugs by following the below-mentioned procedure.

  • Firstly, we will take lukewarm water and mix a pinch of salt in it. 
  • Once the mixture is ready, we will need to spray the solution on the plant. Make sure to cover all the areas of the plant.
  • After the first process, we will take lukewarm water only, and we will spray it all over the plant. 

The plant will look clean now. The bugs might be hidden in the corners. Hence please make sure.

We can also follow the process once a week. As there is salt available in the solution, in the ratio of 1:1, that is, if we have 1 liter of water, we will take one tablespoon of salt, the bugs are most likely to disappear.

How do you revive the pothos?

First and foremost, we need the right resources to grow your pothos.

Fertilizer should be used regularly so that the plant gets the right amount of nutrients and hence helping your pothos grow.

We can use any fertilizer, or we can also use compost or seaweed solution every month to fertilize the pothos. The solution/fertilizer will help the pothos to grow the foliage.

Many of us have the pothos clipping grown in water. However, it is not suggested to add fertilizer to it as it will attract fungus.

We should instead change the water frequently and refill it with tap water so that the plant gets the minerals and nutrients.

One of the most critical resources is sunlight. I had earlier stated that the pothos could survive in low light, but if you want the plant to stay healthy and proliferate, place it in a well-lit place but not in direct sunlight.

The direct bright sunlight can cause harm instead and might burn the leaves, so keeping it behind a sheer curtain during the daytime where it can get enough indirect light, the plant will grow rapidly.

Now we come to the most crucial part of the plant that is watering the plant. If there are any changes in the color of the plant’s leaves, it is definitely a water-related issue.

If the leaves have brown color edges, then we will need to remove those leaves from the nodes. The nodes in the pothos are easily identifiable.

Make sure that the soil is dry and then water the plant. While watering, we will check if there the drainage system is working. The water should be able to drain out.

Another factor that will help the pothos grow and stay nourished is the proper pruning of the plant.

If we let the plant grow without any pruning, the plant will undoubtedly increase, however, we will not get the bushier look on the pothos.

Hence, we will need to grab a scissor, sanitize it well with alcohol and then clip the pothos from the tip. This will help the pothos with side growth from another point on the stem.

The process can be repeated, which is totally dependent on how we would want the plant to look.

The clipping can also be used for propagation. Generally, we put the clipping on water.

However, you can also bury the clipping directly into the soil. Make sure that the pot has drainage holes.

All these necessary steps should keep your pothos thriving and happy.

What to do if your pothos is dying?

Until now, we have seen how to grow your pothos and how to take care of them.

Indeed, we have come across a time wherein we will need to consider otherwise and think out of the box to save your plant.

All of us have queries like will the pothos survive in water, or can it be propagated, and so on.

Let us get right into it and try to get the queries resolved.

Can propagating or repotting save dying pothos?

Yes, repotting or propagating your pothos could be a last attempt to save a dying pothos.

We will try and cover two different ways of propagating the pothos. With one process, we will end up with huge vines coming from the pothos plant, and the other process has different vines coming out of the plant.

Remember when we talked about the clipping of the pothos to make the plant grow healthy and quickly? If you do remember, we had also shared that the pothos should be clipped from the node.

The node will help in the growth of the root. We cannot just clip the leaves and expect the development of a whole new plant.

Now, we will take a jar, put the pothos clipping in the pot in the direction wherein the nodes are inserted in the pot.

The nodes will help develop the roots, and hence we will see the growth of a new plant.

We will now add water to the jar. Please do make sure that the water is bottled water and does not have much chlorine in it, as it might damage the nodes.

The water should be changed frequently. It will be the first process where we will expect one vine to grow from the propagation.

For the second process, we will take multiple clipping, which can be four to five leaves with nodes available. Nodes are brown or blackish in color and look a bit rusty.

We will follow the same process as suggested in the process one. Put the nodes in a jar and add water.

After about 10-15 days, we will notice tiny little roots grown from the nodes, and we should not play around with the roots as they are fragile and tender.

You will notice the difference in the process, and the growth of the vines will be different in each process.

We prefer the latter as it has multiple vines unless you are looking for one single vine.

We can definitely plant the clippings directly in the soil for propagation. Once the roots are developed, make sure that you put the plant in the pot.

If your pothos is dying, then propagation is a second chance of saving the plant. Regular indoor potting soil is suitable for pothos.

While repotting the plants, please do make sure that you do not harm the roots. If the roots are caused by any harm, then the propagation process might become a bit shaky.

While repotting a pothos, pay heed to the new leaves coming out and make sure that it is pointed up. It will help the new leaf get the quickest route to the surface.

With the first process, there will be a single vine growing, and it will lose most of the older leaves; however, the second process, the pothos will be bushier and with multiple vines.

Do pothos grow in water?

Pothos can thrive in many different situations and conditions. It does not need soil and can thrive in water, as long as the plant is provided with the right amount of nutrients and sunlight.

Using the propagation technique, we will need to expose the nodes in the water so that the roots will sprout, and the plant will thrive.

About 12-15 days, we will see roots sprouting from the plant. It is the basis of propagation. Once we have the nodes exposed to water, the plant will grow roots.

Growing the pothos in water is like managing an aquarium.
We will need to choose a jar that is preferably darker in color because the dark color will block the direct sunlight and hence slow down the algae growth.

Once the jar is selected, we will need to add water in the jar. A point to be noted with the type of water is that we do not need chlorinated water to harm the plants. Hence using tested tap water is considered.

A fertilizer like Miracle-Gro, which is a liquid fertilizer, can be added to the water. Just a few drops would be sufficient. That will help maintain the nutrients.

Even without adding the fertilizer, your pothos should be perfectly fine. However, the water should be changed frequently so that your plant can draw nutrients from the water.

Now we will need to insert the plant in the jar, and the nodes should be immersed into the water.

The water should be changed frequently in about two weeks, and the fertilizer can be added every 5-6 weeks.

As we had stated earlier that managing a pothos in a jar is like managing an aquarium, it will be because of the development of algae in the pot.

Scrub the algae off the jar using a cloth. Please do not use any chemical as the chemical can undoubtedly harm the pothos.

The plant should be provided with plenty of bright indirect sunlight.

If the plant has direct sunlight, the leaves might turn yellow and droopy. Also, algae formation will be intense.

Surely your pothos is meant to thrive in the toughest of situations, and this will be one plant that will never give up on you.

Do they need any sort of medication?

No, your pothos will not need any sort of medication. Spraying some neem oil mixed with water can help prevent pest. Other than that your plants should do well without any chemical usage.

The pothos is one of the easiest plants to take care of for beginners as they can be propagated easily. Also, they thrive in the most challenging situation.

These plants do not like soggy roots. We should consider using a light, well-drained, aerated soil for the pothos.

One should choose to water the plant once a week. However, if they are left without water for a week, it shouldn’t be an issue.

The trick is that the soil should be moist, and the surface should be dry between watering.

You need to find a bright spot with indirect sunlight, or using a sheer curtain will surely help keep the pothos stay healthy and happy.

The pothos flourishes in the warmest seasons hence will require some food for growth.

We should opt for liquid fertilizer or compost or seaweed solution, once or twice a month.

Do not feed the pothos during the winter season. A spray with lukewarm water should do wonders in the colder months.

These plants can be harmful to pets. It might be poisonous for your pets, hence place it on top shelves or at a place that is out of the reach of children and pets.

Hanging pots are also great for pothos. So good luck with the pothos, and do let us know if there are any queries.


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

Why Is My Pothos Turning Brown? (Causes+What To Do)
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