Reasons Why Your Pothos Plant Is Dying

Pothos plants, often called Devil’s ivy are among the easiest plants to care for. They require little care. Pothos are great home plants for anyone from novice owners as well as experienced gardeners.

The moment you bring home your brand new Pothos is an amazing sensation until you realize that the tiny creature is beginning to die. I’m here to explain the reason!

What are the reasons the Pothos plants has stopped growing? The most frequent causes of a dying Pothos plant are over- and under-watering excessively dense, compact soil, excessive direct sunlight, insufficient temperature as well as low humidity. insects like mealybugs and scaling. In addition you’re Pothos could be rootbound if it is outgrowing its pot.

Make sure to water your Pothos when the soil is between 70 and 80 percent dry. Ensure that your Pothos gets at least six hours of indirect, bright sunlight.

Luckily that the Pothos will provide you with a variety of digital signs that indicate it’s dying. The earlier you identify the root cause and the better chance you’ll have in reviving the plant.

Based on my personal experiences through trial and error, these are the most frequent reasons why your Pothos is failing.

Overwatering Your Pothos Can Kill It

With the exception of the Pothos plant overwatering as well as the rot of roots are the most common enemies for all plant species. As robust as the fabled Pothos Plant is, “wet feet” – the result of inadequate drainage and excessive watering can cause the plant to die within a few days if it is not treated.

A moist, sloppy soil provides the ideal environment to encourage root rot. Additionally, Pothos is relatively sensitive to excessive watering. The excess water dries out the small air pockets that are present in the soil.

It also deprives the roots of the plant from oxygen as well as nutrients leading to root rot, as well as the leaves to turn brown or yellow and begin to limp.

There may be water blisters or brown spots appearing on leaves, the foliage beginning to fall, or soft and soft roots.

Additionally, if you provide the Pothos with more liquid than it is able to use an unpleasant odor is released out of the pot as the extra water is slowed down.

It is possible to correct the overwatering issue by reducing your routine and placing your Pothos in direct sunlightfor at least six hours.

If you are you water the Pothos make sure that the soil is dry before you soak it in water again. A good way to check this is to insert your finger in the soil to make sure that the soil’s top inch is completely dry prior to rehydrating your Pothos plant.

Finally, make sure the pot is drained and create a drainage system to your Pothos Plant by using peat or perlite moss to improve drainage.

The signs of an overwatering are:

  • Wilting
  • Limp Leaves
  • Brown or Browning foliage
  • Leaves dropping
  • A foul odor
  • Soft and soft roots

Underwatering Your Pothos Can Kill It

The effects of water-based dehydration can destroy your Pothos. Water is vital to the health of cells in the plant and a lack of water can cause the plant to wilt and then end up dying.

Although your Pothos might be able to withstand short dry spells, this robust plant requires water in order to thrive. In the natural world, Pothos plants grow in close proximity to trees, with roots that are deep enough to soak up water from the soil. As the soil is dried, it absorbs moisture from air.

As a contrast, indoor plants are unable to get water once their pots are dry. A plant that is underwater shows slow growth, brown and dying leaves, and you might be able to see the leaves becoming dry and wrinkled due to dehydration.

After a certain period after a certain period, the plant uses up its water reserves in the cell leaves, shedding its leaves and eventually dying.

If you submerge Pothos The absence of soil water causes Pothos to put forth greater effort than normal to soak up water from the soil. In the absence of water, it can result in Pothos cells to shrink. Pothos cells to shrink, which makes it appear less slender.

It’s fairly easy to spot an submerged Pothos Plant by looking over the pot soil. If the ground appears dry, then it’s likely that the underwatering is the reason for the Pothos Plant dying.

You should water your Pothos when the soil is dry 1 centimeter below its surface. It is also possible to apply a light spray to the Pothos plant’s leaves using mist sprayers to increase the moisture and humidity levels.

Based on the location and the weather, as well as your season and the humidity depending on your location, season, temperature, and humidity Pothos might require regular watering every week, or twice a weeko.

Like many other houseplants Pothos is not a typical houseplant. Pothos needs less water during the winter months and a little more during its growth season.

The signs of an underwatering are:

  • Parched soil
  • Stunted growth
  • Brown leaves
  • The foliage is wrinkled or wrinkly.

Incorrect Soil Conditions Can Kill Your Pothos

Pothos plants tend to be a bit picky about the soil they require and prefer a light airy and well-draining top-quality potting mix.

If your Pothos is in a dense or compacted soil that isn’t draining well it won’t drain properly, resulting in it accumulating around the roots and hindering oxygen to reach the plant’s root. In turn. the plant dies, and it suffocates.

In the same way, insufficient or over-watered soil may cause yellowing of leaves and root decay.

Pothos plants can be quite picky about the ideal soil They do not like extremely loose, sandy soils or denseclay-like soil. In contrast, Pothos plants prefer slightly acidic and well-draining soil. Therefore, you should consider making a potting mix that is organic or create a home-made soil mix using perlite, peat moss crushed bark, pumice mulch, compost, and pumice.

Signs of a poor soil are:

  • The pot is filled with water and it pools around it.
  • Yellowing leaves
  • Root rot

Too Much Sunlight Can Kill Your Pothos

Although the Pothos plants thrives under direct sunlight that is bright but it can’t take advantage of all-day sun. Too excessive direct sunlight could kill the plant.

Pothos plants are indigenous to jungles and tropical forests. They are protected from the sun by a variety of canopy trees. They thrive in dappled sunshine outdoors, or in direct sunlight in the indoors.

If you put your Pothos in direct sunlight for too long, you’ll observe that the leaves turn limp and pale. It is possible to see the vines stop producing leaves.

In addition, direct sunlight can burn the leaves, making them light yellow or pale brown. Lack of photosynthesis and chlorophyll prevents the plant from generating enough energy to sustain itself.

If your Pothos is exposed to too much sunlight relocate it to an area that receives light that is bright to moderately direct. But, be sure that you don’t move it to an unlit area because it will not respond well to dim lighting.

Although Pothos are labelled as suitable for conditions with low light The designation is referring to a distance of several feet from the bright windows, not a room that isn’t connected to sunlight.

Insufficient light can result in light to fade the Pothos plant’s stems to turn into spruce, and the foliage to lose its gorgeous variety as the plant has to make up for the loss of energy.

A Pothos plant will struggle to survive when left in these poor conditions. Therefore, it is recommended to change the plant’s location to a moderately lit area. A west-facing or east-facing window that gets early morning or late afternoon sunlight is the best choice.

The signs of excessive sunlight are:

  • Leaves that are pale yellow or brown.
  • Spruce stems
  • Foliage is losing its variety

Your Pothos Can Die From Incorrect Temperature

As plants of the tropical zone, Pothos prefer staying in warmer temperatures that range between 70 and 90 degrees F.

Although the plant is able to withstand conditions as cold as 55 degrees however, it thrives in conditions that are similar to its native climate (70 to 90 degF). So it is recommended that it is kept in a warm place, such as Pothos inside, it will not be an issue.

But, if the plant is outside or close to an unclosed window in cold weather it could cause cell damage to the plant and cause damage to the Pothos stems and leaves.

The effects of cold can result in the leaves to drop, wilt, or brown and black leaves. If the exposure to temperature lasts longer than it should, it’s unlikely to see the plants be able to recover. Therefore, it is recommended to move the plant away from cold drafts, aircon and fans.


The signs of a temperature error are:

  • Wilting
  • Leaf drop
  • Black spots on leaves

Low Humidity

Humidity is among the most overlooked reasons why your Pothos plant could be dying.

Insufficient humidity can create a variety of problems for a water-loving plant such as Pothos. Pothos. For instance the leaves can become brown and die in climates with low moisture levels as the foliage requires an extremely high level of humidity to keep its levels of moisture.

The majority of plants that are native to tropical climates require high humidity in order to flourish. However that Pothos isn’t one of them. Pothos isn’t as demanding as other houseplants. it prefers humidity levels of more than 50 percent.

The humidity is essential to transpiration. When levels of moisture are low, the plant concentrates on preserving moisture by preventing the leaves from release of water in the form of vapor.

In addition, a lack of transpiration could affect the process of photosynthesis and reduce the production of energy. Although this won’t cause immediate death to your plant however, it can significantly impact the growth of your plant and its overall health.

There are many suggested methods are available to increase the humidity levels of your home. The most popular option is to mist the plant. Alternately, put your Pothos plants in an underlying tray that is filled with stones and water. The best option is to have a humidifier near to the pothos plant.

The signs of low humidity are:

  • Brown leaves
  • Foliage wilts
  • Leaves with cracks

Your Pothos Can Die From Pests

Pests are the issue that everyone fears! Although Pothos are extremely vulnerable to insects, two particular insects can be a source of trouble – mealybugs and scale.

The tiny creatures stick to leaves and stems that make up Pothos. They attach themselves to the stems and leaves of Pothos plants and feed off plant sap and rob the plant of all water and nutrients.

Scale can be identified by black or brown lumps that have hard shells and mealybugs appear like white, fuzzy spots. Mealybugs release an oily substance when they feed on your Pothos which promotes the growth of mold.

Although a few tiny bugs may not be causing a major problem however, these tiny critters grow and consume your entire plant if they are left unattended for long time.

Because of the deficiency in water and nutrients The leaves and stems are distorted and the plant dies in time. Additionally, the accumulation of mold can block the Pothos from getting enough sunlight, eventually leading to the plant to die.

To eliminate mealybugs or scale, think about wiping the leaves clean with a damp cloth , or spraying the leaves with rubbing alcohol or dilute Neem oil to kill any remaining bugs.

Another dreadful disease that could cause problems for the health of your Pothos is botrytis. This is most common in moist colder temperatures. Botrytis is a grey spots of mush in the leaves and stems. The most effective method to eliminate botrytis is to cut the affected areas and then dispose of the affected parts and then dispose of them.

The signs of pests are:

    • Tiny black or brown bug with hardshells
    • White spots with fuzzy white streaks
    • Mold
    • Gray spots, mushy and squishy

A Too Small Container Can Kill Your Pothos

Although Pothos aren’t known for their huge root systems, which require huge containers, they do occasionally require to be repotted as the roots expand and take over the pot.

While the roots expand they become a tangled web creating a dense web of roots that fills the container, and then reduce their capacity to absorb water and nutrients efficiently.

Without these vital elements the plant will not endure. So, putting plants in the same pot for a number of years could result in it becoming root bound.

In the event that your pot’s too small, you’ll begin to observe how the Pothos roots are sprouting out through the drainage holes in the pot or even out of the soil. In addition, it could create excessively long stems that could make the container tip over. Other signs include slow growth or dying leaves.

If the size of the container is a problem, think about moving the plant in a pot that is one or two larger than the one previously. Make sure you untangle the roots thoroughly prior to planting the plant again, allowing the roots to grow well in the soil.

The signs of a container that is too small are:

  • Roots protruding out of the drainage holes
  • Stems that are excessively long
  • Stunted growth
  • Wilting leaves


Here are a few FAQs to assist you a little more.

How Long Do Pothos Plants Live?

Pothos plants are typically between 5 and 10 years if they are placed in a suitable setting. Therefore, it is important to be on the lookout for insects or diseases that could reduce the lifespan of your plant such as mealybugs or scale.

Also, make sure that you have the right soil, water, temperature as well as light and humidity conditions.

What Are The Plant Signs For An Overwatered Pothos?

A water-logged Pothos plant can change color, with the leaves will turn brown. In addition, the leaves become limp and soft and may be spotted with brown spots and water blisters.

The Pothos plant may also begin to smell due to the stagnant water inside the pot. In addition, root rot can be an indication that you’re not properly watering the plant.

What Are The Plant Signs For An Underwatered Pothos?

A submerged Pothos plant can appear smaller and thinner because of the dehydration. In addition than that, the Pothos leaves may appear dry and crisp, and could wilt or develop wrinkles.

The leaves may also turn be brown due to the underwatering process and the soil can appear dry.

Is A Pothos Plant Sensitive To Temperatures?

Pothos plants thrive in climates that have temperatures comparable to those in their native region. They are able to survive in temperatures that range from 55 to 85 degrees. For a healthy Pothos that is growing quickly you should keep it in temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees F.

It is recommended to not expose your Pothos to temperatures that are below 55 degF.

Can I Place My Pothos In Direct Sunlight?

Pothos do not tolerate bright, direct sunlight very well. Direct sunlight typically causes damage to the foliage and burns it and can even cause the death of your Pothos.

Furthermore, the parts with variegated colors from Pothos Pothos are more prone to sun-induced damage than green leaves because of the lack of chlorophyll.

When the leaves begin to burn and become brown, it is impossible to regenerate them by putting the plant in a lower lighting. Instead, take off the damaged leaves and put it in an east- or west-facing window in order to revive the remainder of the Pothos plant.

What can my Pothos plant’s brown Leaves Recover?

The Pothos plant’s leaves are primarily yellowand then turn brown due to the root cause of overwatering or submerging. It’s highly unlikely that its water-stressed leaves will turn back green.

But, you are able to repair the damage and concentrate on enhancing the watering schedule to avoid any further destruction.

Why Is My Pothos Dying Conclusion

Now having a better understanding of the main causes that cause your Pothos to end up dying, you can dive straight into helping this tiny creature keep its beautiful foliage shining and healthy.

It is a blessing that Pothos plant species are tough house plants and usually recover after prompt, appropriate care and treatment.



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