Why Are Leaves Turning Yellow on my Golden Pothos?

Golden Pothos is one of the most sturdy plant that is known for being practically indestructible. However, it can be affected by issues that show as the plant’s color changing.

Today, I’ll help you in determining which one of the common problems is responsible for the discoloration in your pothos’ golden color.

Golden pothos that is yellowing can be an indication of the amount of watering, light temperatures, light imbalances. Pests and diseases such as blight, root spot, and leaf rot could be the cause. Repair the problem by watering the soil dry and applying fertilizer on a regular basis.

What Yellow Leaves on Your Golden Pothos Are Saying

[1] Golden Pothos Getting Excess Water

A lot of moisture in the soil could cause stress to the golden pothos. Being in “wet feet” for an prolonged period of time causes the leaves to turn yellow.

If you water your plant too much when it is bone dry you’ll notice the color of the leaves turning yellow.

The excess water in the growth medium can do more than drowning the roots. It could also lead to root rot if it is not addressed.

Roots will die back and become degraded due to the two factors working in tandem.

The ability of your golden pothos to absorb minerals and nutrients in the soil are impaired when your roots suffer damage.

Due to this, plants are malnourished and their leaves turn to yellow.

Other typical signs of the golden pothos that has been overwatered include:

  • Potting mix that is too wet or overly damp
  • Brown spots on foliage that are yellowing
  • Edges and tips of leaves can be browned and soaked in water.
  • The growths of mold can be found on the soil’s surface.
  • Leaves become limp, drop and then start to wilt.
  • Mushy, swollen stems of brown or black
  • Root Rot – Brown or Black roots that are squishy
  • Leaves can curl and appear like they’ve been sucked up

How to Treat an Overwatered Golden Pothos

The first step is to determine the amount of excess moisture is in the soil. Golden pothos prefers soil that is moist that isn’t too wet or sloppy.

Stop the watering of your golden pothos if the soil is only damp and the roots aren’t decaying. Give at least 2 inches of the potting mix to dry prior to re-watering.

If the mix of potting soil is not able to hold water and there’s standing water in the mix, then the issue is the poor drainage. There are two possibilities for the cause:

  • Examine the pot has drainage holes. If not, you can drill holes into the bottom of the pot and use a Terracotta dish alternatively. Recycle glazed ceramic or stone, plastic and glass containers too.
  • Examine if the soil in your potting mix is well-drained. If not, add elements that improve drainage, like perlite, vermiculite and sand or even lava rocks.

Are there signs of root decay? If so take out all affected roots by cutting them back.

Apply a fungicide to your golden pothos prior to placing it back in a new container that is filled with a well-drained pothos mix.

pothos variety

[2] Golden Pothos Not Getting Enough Water

If you’ve not overwatered your golden pothos, and its leaves have turned yellow, it may be because of the water level rising.

Pothos can help conserve energy and food resources as a result of dry conditions. It’s a natural response to the drought.

The plant is likely to shrink and become crisp as a the result. The leaves can be able to begin curling towards the back. The leaves can be damaged by overwatering and cause them to appear limp and droopy.

There’s a bit of similarity between the symptoms of excessive thirst and excess soil moisture. The cause is that the soil is underwatered. yellowing leaves, which are dry and crisp.

Be on the lookout for any other indicators of submersion for example:

  • The leaves are browning around the edges and at the tips
  • The affected leaves could wilt and shed their leaves
  • Dusty and dry potting mix plant

How to Fix an Underwatered Golden Pothos

Golden pothos is plant that loves water. It likes a constantly humid growing medium.

But, the soil must not be excessively moist or sloppy, since this can cause waterlogging and root decay.

According to my experience, providing an underwatered yellowing pothos a good soak can help. I like to soak from the bottom as it allows for a uniform soaking of the soil. This is how:

  1. Put your pothos of gold in a sink that is filled by 3-4 inches of water.
  2. Allow it to soak up the moisture for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Soaking is finished at the point that all the soil is completely saturated. It is also possible to raise the pot to feel its weight.
  4. Try irrigating from the top in case it takes longer to fully saturate. This can speed up the process.
  5. The sink should be drained once it is completely filled.
  6. Let any liquid that is left over be completely drained before taking that golden pothos out of the basin.
  7. Replace the saucer, and then replace the golden pothos.
  8. Get rid of any drips that have been accumulating over the dish.

[3] It’s Getting Too Much Direct Sunlight (Leaf Burn and Drying Out)

One of the main reasons for yellowing of golden pothos is exposure directly to sunlight. It is true that it thrives in bright light, however pothos prefers indirect, medium light.

Yellowing leaves and sunburned leaves can be seen in your plants. This includes dry, scorched and sour leaves.

It is possible to be able to see the edges and tips of the leaves are becoming brown.

A lot of light can cause burns to the leaves, which are frequently accompanied by symptoms of underwatering. Actually, they often occur simultaneously.

The foliage will fall as the mix will become dry, which means you can expect the appearance of drooping, wilting and other signs.

How to Fix

If you avoid direct sunlight on the golden color of your pothos the problem is able to be solved quickly and effortlessly! What is the best way to do this?

  • In the event that your pothos of gold is located in the window facing south then move it. A north-facing window is the best choice.
  • Move your focus away from the light source.
  • A sheer curtain can be draped over your window in order to keep out direct sunlight.

[4] It’s Not Getting Enough Light

Golden pothos is tolerant of low levels of light. Don’t be deceived, it requires sunlight to photosynthesise. If there’s a shortage in light sources, leaves begins to turn yellow.

The older and lower leaves are usually the first to change color. If the light is dim the golden pothos is also more likely to be excessively hydrated.

Additionally, certain bugs as well as diseases flourish in dim light and humid environments. When they are together, create the perfect storm to cause golden pothos leaves to yellow.

Leaf fall, leggy growth, and general discoloration are other signs.

How to Fix

Golden pothos likes lighting, therefore it is ideal to put it in an east-facing window. After a couple of weeks, the problem will be solved.

A well-lit window that has sheer curtains is ideal for your plant too.

[5] Pythium Root Rot

The golden pothos’s yellowing may be a sign of Pythium root decay. It is an extremely serious problem that could be fatal to the golden pothos.

It is usually a result of excessive watering, humidity, a severe light deficiency or a combination of these causes.

The mature and lower leaves are the ones most affected by Pythium root rot occurs evident. Because of the severity of the decay, the leaves usually become yellow and then fall off.

A fungus that is borne in soil is the reason the cause of Pythium root rot. There are a variety of reasons that could make this issue worse. Other symptoms that you should be aware of are:

  • Odors from the mixing of the potting mix
  • Mushy black or rusty brown roots
  • Stem rot
  • Leaves turn brown
  • Leaf wiggling and falling

How to Treat Golden Pothos Pythium Root Rot

Changes in the environment can be helpful to stop Pythium root rot.

  • Give a good amount of light
  • Make sure the potting mix is well-drained
  • Boost air circulation
  • Beware of overwatering
  • Do not apply too much fertilizer.

If pythium rot is affecting the roots, it is necessary to redo the pothos in your golden one. The first step is to cut off the affected root and other parts. Make sure to treat them with fungicide.

[6] Botrytis Blight

Botrytis Blight is a different serious fungal infection that can make your golden pothos turn yellow. Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that is a cause of this in humid, cool environments.

Dusty or fuzzy gray spores of the fungus germinate under these conditions.

The first signs of the disease are brown spots on the mature leaves. The disease quickly spreads to the remaining golden pothos, causing range of symptoms.

  • Dusty or fuzzy grayish or
  • Stem canker
  • Leaf shrinking, drooping and wrinkles
  • Brown spots on leaves
  • Leaf drop is recommended in the event of an infection that is severe

How to Fix

Botrytis blight is very difficult to eliminate after it has been able to spread. Therefore, swift intervention is crucial.

Remove your golden pothos that has been smoldering as soon as you can.

Cut off the moldy areas of the pothos, then carefully dispose of them. Be sure to clean your cutting tools and thoroughly clean your hands.

Improve air circulation and move the golden pothos you have been enjoying to more comfortable and less humid area.

Dry out your golden pothos well and then apply an Fungicide. I like to spray outdoors on a day that is cloudy. Bring it inside once it is dry.

[7] Rust & Southern Blight

Southern blight and rust are caused by fungi that live in soil. Their growth is helped by moist, warm conditions.

Southern blight, specifically it causes leaves close to the soil line to turn yellow, then wilt and then fall off. It also affects stems to wilt, affecting the stems that are near that soil border.

The discoloration of lower leaves, and collapse are other signs.

If your golden pothos begins to rust, your leaves will appear red with raised spots on the leaf’s top.

The reddish-orange blisters that are rusty can be seen on the backs of leaves. Warped, yellowed, and curled foliage are typical signs.

How to Fix

Sanitation is the initial step to treat southern blight.

  • Since the blight fungus is soil-borne, it is important to be careful not to touch your golden pothos once you’ve worked the soil.
  • Clean and disinfect your gardening equipment and shoes.
  • All plants that are infected by southern blight must be quarantined as soon as possible.
  • When you water the golden pothos be careful not to splashing your leaves.
  • The affected areas of your pothos should be cut back and destroyed.

The treatment of the soil with heat will aid in the elimination of the fungus from the medium. Be sure that your soil is greater than 122oF (50 degrees Celsius).

Apply a spray to your pothos with an fungicide based on copper (Check the most current cost at Amazon right here). Spray every 3-10 days as needed until the blight has gone.

Improved air circulation, lowering humidity and providing sufficient lighting could all reduce the spread of the rust. Additionally, you can use the fungicide on your houseplants to eliminate the rust.

[8] Bacterial Leaf Spot

Another issue that could cause your golden pothos to turn yellow is the presence of bacterial leaf spots. The cool, humid weather can encourage spreading of this disease.

In the end, it is likely to strike the overwater pothos which is in low light.

The water splashing triggers the bacteria responsible for the cause to settle on the wet leaves. They usually stay within the medium of growth, on dead plant matter or debris.

An infection that is severe could cause extensive leaf loss and eventually the demise the plant.

Brown watery spots and yellow halos are evident signs of the bacterial leaf spots.

They’re usually located on the undersides of leaves, however they are also located on leaf surfaces that are higher up.

If these areas are crowded together, they often cause tissue death and create dead zones.

How to Treat Golden Pothos Bacterial Leaf Spot

It is essential to remove and dispose of any infected stems and leaves.

A bactericide as well as an fungicide based on copper are commonly employed in chemical treatment.

Avoid the practice of soaking leaves, overhead irrigation and excessive watering to avoid the spread of the disease. Achieving greater ventilation and reducing humidity around your pothos may also be beneficial.

[9] Nutrient Deficiency

Golden-colored golden pothos leaves that are yellow could also be a sign of nutritional deficiency. It is evident when the plant is not receiving sufficient nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, iron or the mineral phosphorus.

The yellowing of leaves can result from a deficiency of micronutrients. For instance, a deficiency of magnesium may cause yellowing of the edges of the leaf.

In addition, deficiency in nitrogen causes the yellowing of bottom leaves and sulfur deficiency leads to yellowing of the upper leaves.

The imbalance in nutrient levels could be because of:

  • Incorrect soil water or drainage
  • Critical light supply
  • Pest infestation or a severe disease
  • Poor potting mix nutrition
  • Damage to roots caused by overwatering fertilizer burn, root rot

How to Fix

Examine if the nutrients present in the medium are diminished. If that is the case you may want to consider the possibility of repotting your golden pothos.

In certain situations, applying fertilizer can solve the problem

[10] Insect Infestation

Pest infestations occur frequently in weak or stressed golden pothos. The pothos you have will be depleted of fluids and nutrients due to the sap sucking insects.

The leaves be emaciated and the result is leaves discoloration, and then the leaves turning yellow.

The greater the extent of the pest infestation, the more quickly the yellowing progresses. In the event that your gold pothos appears ill-healthy because of overwatering, nutritional deficiencies, or inadequate lighting generally, it will be agressive.

Scale, mealybugs, aphids, as well as spider mites, are among the most frequent sap-suckers. Spider mites, for instance are found on the leaves’ undersides and give a rough and yellow look on the leaf. (Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Control and Management

The control of golden pothos pests requires an integrated strategy that incorporates biological, cultural, and chemical methods.

  • To eliminate mealybugs, spider mites and other bugs, apply an intense spray of lukewarm water.
  • Spray Neem oil or insecticidal soap, or sprays of insecticide on insects.
  • The majority of pests can be eliminated and killed by rubbing the areas affected and the pests with the alcohol-laced cotton of swabs.
  • Utilize naturally-occurring predators in order to maintain the population of pests under control.

Think about compost or organic fertilizers to provide nutrients to the golden pothos. To increase magnesium levels, I take Epsom salts on daily basis.

[11] Fertilizer Burn

Too little or too much fertilizer could cause the leaves of your plant change color to yellow. This is because golden pothos is not a very heavy feeder, and it only requires a every month during the growth period.

The excess fertilizer salts can accumulate on the soil and can cause damage to the roots. This is commonly referred to as a fertilizer burn.

Similar to sunburn, leaves will appear burned or scorched, with brown leaf edges and the leaves will begin to yellow.


The most effective course of action will depend on the degree of salt build-up in fertilizers.

  • I usually water well from above in order to rid the salts of excess. This is usually the case for the golden pothos that is bottom-watered.
  • If your soil is contaminated with too much fertilizer, you can repot with a new mix of potting soil.

Use a fertilizer that is water-soluble only every month, between April and September in order to prevent repetition.

[12] Aging Leaves

The golden-colored pothos leaves doesn’t always due to a disease or pest problem. It’s element of removing spent, old leaves to allow for the new growth.

The water, the nutrients, and energy are usually transferred from the old leaves to new ones through the plants.

In the process, old leaves become yellow, dry and fall to the ground. In this instance there are only a few old leaves become yellow and then defoliate over one time.

Are Yellowing Leaves Always A Cause For Concern?

It’s all dependent. It’s possible that leaves turning yellow could be a sign of a an infestation of pests, disease, or an issue with the culture. It’s a sign to be concerned when this happens to you.

If you do notice that the leaves of your plant are beginning to yellow Don’t panic. Prune your plants to encourage an overall more lush, fuller growth by taking some leaves.

Do you need to remove the yellowing leaves off the Golden Pothos?

It’s all about the timing, again. It is recommended to keep them for a longer amount of time if the issue is caused by nutrient deficiencies or improper watering or the aging process. This will help in the recuperation of vital nutrients to your golden pothos.

If they’re unattractive or infected, you should get them removed. you, it is best to take them off.

Can Yellow Golden Pothos Leaves Turn Green Again?

The golden pothos leaves turn yellow, they will not go back to green.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)