How Much Light Does Pothos Need?

Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Stephanie

Pothos do need light to flourish however as they are very hardy. They will search for light with their stems and leaves if they do not have enough.

Let the sun shine upon the pothos but be careful not to provide more than 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day. 

Light can alter a plants appearance as well as their orientation and physical form to adjust to changing conditions.

Pothos Does Need Light

Although it might seem the pothos plant has requirements. Although it may not require any kind of social interaction to thrive it does have other needs that must be fulfilled in order for it to thrive.

Light is the primary factor for the majority of plants since they utilize it to perform a process known as photosynthesis.

This is how plants obtain their nutrition: they require some form of a light source to flourish.

Many plants have adjusted to various lighting conditions and can adapt to harsher or more intense light or dim light. Pothos are among the top selections of houseplants that are truly low-light because they dont require a lot of lighting to thrive.

pothos in pot next to frog

How to Know if a Pothos is Not Getting Enough Light

There are many indicators that your pothos may not be receiving enough light:

  • Leggy Growth: The plants are often seen searching for light via their stems. Leggy, elongated stems are an important indication of this since their stems are seeking to grow outwards towards more favorable conditions. Also, their internodes (the space between the leaves) are increased, resulting in some sort of scraggly and unattractive appearance.
  • Leaning: When the plant leans in a particular direction or changes its leaves to face a particular direction this could be an indication of inadequate light. They are orientated toward the light source closest to them in order to capture more light into their system. It is the primary instinct of plants and is often seen in the wild and also in our homes. It is also evident that the side that leans toward the sun is brighter and has more vegetation compared to the opposite side.
  • The Leaves Are Small or There is No Growth: If your pothos is producing lots of weaker, smaller leaves, then low light could frequently be the reason. Photosynthesis is the process by which they get the nutrients they require to grow, so if this process is hindered by light, they will not grow too.
  • Changes in Color of Leaves: Finally the plant is signaling that something is not right when the leaves begin to take on an unattractive appearance or they begin to turn brown. This is an obvious sign of poor lighting conditions and is a signal to alter something within their environment.

Related: Why Are Pothos Leaves Turning Brown?

Does Pothos Like Sunlight? 

The sun is, naturally, the primary source of sunlight for plants. This is the reason they can develop and flourish in the natural world without human intervention. However, certain species have adapted to living in indoor environments and have struggled with direct sunlight.

They are susceptible to sunburn and also suffer injuries to their leaves and structures due to excessive exposure.

Therefore, it is recommended to avoid direct lighting for pothos plants. Instead, they will grow and thrive in indirect sunlight (indoors or in the shade when they are outside).

If your pothos has to be exposed to the full sun at the very least for a portion during the daytime, you should try to limit it to a minimum of 3-4 hours.

This is to avoid any serious sunburning injury that could cause the plant to dry out and cause permanent damage.

Be aware that direct sunlight can also dry out the soil, making the plant fight for more. Find a shaded spot in the garden and allow plenty of light to penetrate the plants.

Does Pothos Like Artificial Light?

Another method to ensure your pothos receive their regular doses of sunlight is through artificial lighting. Based on the surroundings and your homes environment, it is usually essential to ensure that your plants receive sufficient lighting.

Although your house may be blessed with lots of natural light coming in, It is advisable to supplement this with extra lighting to make sure that your plants get all the nutrients they require.

There are many lighting, lamps, and gadgets to consider, and we understand the overwhelming nature of it. If youre thinking of creating a space for your plants to flourish Perhaps take an eye on fully-spectrum LED lights for your garden.

Theyll ensure that your plant receives the complete range of light it requires (white blue, white, and red light) in the same way as sunlight. So, your beautiful greens will thrive and expand to the fullest extent.

Note that artificial lighting is in good shape for plants as long as theyre full spectrum grow lights. Your plants will still receive everything they require, but without the additional dangers of sunburn or bad weather.

How to Care For Pothos Plants

The care of your plants is fairly simple so long as you keep an eye on them for signs of distress. If youre wondering what to do with the pothos plant, its even simpler because they are robust, tough plants.

They are able to adapt to new environments provided they have enough time and also learn to thrive in soil or water.

The soil and water conditions are also crucial to ensure their longevity and survival within your home. If you can get this right and you have the right lighting, youll be blessed with a beautiful plant that can last for a long time.

Can Pothos Grow in Soil or in Water?

Pothos can be grown in water or soil and has the ability to be adapted to the environment in which you live. When your plant is in the soil or designed to grow in soil, then this is the ideal place to keep the plants.

Once they are accustomed to their new surroundings, changes can make them suffer or fight.

Both mediums of growth offer advantages, but its dependent on your lifestyle and the surroundings you will be placed in.

If you have the space for your pothos to be in a pot that has the perfect lighting, then putting it in the soil is the best option.

If you live in an apartment or have pets that could harm the plant, then water could be the solution rather than water.

The water-based planter gives you a lot of flexibility in the location you put the plants. It also comes with the benefit of not having to keep them watered on a regular basis.

How to Water Pothos Properly 

Pothos that grows in the soil is contained in any mix of potting, without the need for complicated mixes and costly fertilizers. Maintaining a consistent routine of watering is, of course, essential to their longevity.

Even if they are able to live in dry conditions for months, that does not mean that they must.

When ,you notice that your pothos is falling this could be an indication of overwatering or even submerging.

Related: Why Your Pothos is Droopy

Another indication of excessive watering in your pothos could be root decay. Setting up a schedule for watering and adhering to it is a great method to avoid root rot. Also, make sure you check your plants regularly.

Related: Pothos Root Rot Causes and How to Fix It

Related: Can I Save a Dying Pothos?

Does Pothos Make a Good Indoor Plant?

Pothos is an extremely versatile flora that allows homeowner to decorate their living space with them in a range of interesting and unique ways. Because they rank plants and bushes, pothos could be an interesting and unique design for your home.

Placing pothos around your home is an excellent method to bring some brightness to your home (as well as adding natural purifiers of air to the mix).

Yes, pothos plants are air purifiers, which is just one of many amazing aspects about them.

Theres also a wide variety of pothos that are variegated that have distinct and intriguing coloring and patterns on their leaf. The most popular is the traditional Golden pothos, with its bright green leaves dotted with yellow.

There is also The Marble Queen (similar in appearance to the golden but with white instead of yellow), Glacier (green and white mixed together), and Snow Queen (like the Marble, however, with larger white patches). This variation makes them stunning when placed in the right environment.

Tips: A different way to recognize low-light conditions is when pothos begin to lose their variation. They return to a dull green and lose their stunning hues.

Related:  Types of Pothos - Varieties of Epipremnum Aureum



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)