Why Do Pothos Leaves Turn Black?

Because of its relatively simple growth needs Pothos is a very popular option. However, there are some problems that could occur, resulting in pothos leaves becoming black and leading to the plant becoming sick.

Do not be scared in the event that this happens There are simple steps you can take to resolve this issue. Prior to that, you have to determine the reason for the leaves of pothos turning black?

Pothos leaves become black because of excessive sunlight and fertilizer usage. Another reason why leaves turn darker is the process of the process of submerging. Other possible reasons could be inadequate drainage, low or high temperatures, insect infestations or other illnesses.

Below are a list of possible causes for your plant’s leaves turning dark and the best way to fix the issue.

Causes of Pothos Leaves Turning Black

It’s very depressing to see your favorite pothos is turning black and you don’t know what to do about it.

It is crucial to determine the cause before you can apply the solution. No worries! Here are possible causes and solutions for the darkening of leaves on pothos.

Excessive Watering

As mentioned in the previous paragraph as one of the primary reasons for your plant’s leaves to become black can be due to excessive watering your plant.

Pothos is known to have greater tolerance to drought and handle less watering than other plants.

The excessive watering of the roots can lead to rot , which can cause the leaves of the plant to turn dark and could lead to death of the plants.

The oxygen levels in the soil, which results in damaged roots that are unable to absorb water efficiently.

The most prominent signs of this include leaves changing color from yellow to or the appearance in black spots. To gain a deeper understanding of the problem it is possible to examine your plant’s roots to determine whether they’ve rotted in moist conditions.

How to Fix

  • Make sure that the soil isn’t too moist or wet, which could cause roots to rot.
  • Let the soil completely dry prior to watering.
  • It is essential to give the plant enough water based on the soil type the stage of growth, pot type, temperature and humidity.
  • Most often, once per week or every two weeks, is enough to keep your Pathos. But, this is contingent heavily on the humidity and temperature of the area the plant is located in.

I’ve written a whole article on this issue that covers simple steps to take in conserving pothos that is overwatered and methods to water properly.

Excessive Light

While Pothos generally thrive in rooms with light However, problems can occur when it is placed in direct sunlight.

If a plant is exposed to excessive light, it could cause scorching, which can result in the leaves becoming dark and dying.

The direct sunlight is burning plant cells, which causes the leaves to darken. the leaves of plants.

pothos leaves on hanging planter

How to Fix

  • To prevent this from happening, put your plant in a shaded area and ensure it’s in a space that has plenty of sunlight.
  • Pothos thrives in dark conditions So don’t be afraid to move it into a dark room. But, it is important to make sure there is a source of sunlight in the space in which you store your Pothos.

Poor Drainage

Another reason the reason the Pothos could be failing is because of poor drainage in the soil. The soil around the plant needs to be cool and moist.

The roots need air in order to live This is the reason it is essential to have a drainage system to allow the plant to breathe.

If the roots aren’t well-nourished, they will not be able to absorb water and transport it to the other parts part of the plant.

How to Fix

  • In the event that your soil appears too wet, you should get rid of any clumps that may hinder the holes to drain the water.
  • The soil should be pushed against the pot, allowing water to get to the roots if it is dry, or is deteriorating.
  • It is important to loosen the soil in case it is difficult to remove from the soil.
  • Make sure you use a drainage-friendly pothos potting mix

Temperature and Humidity

It is recommended to maintain temperatures of the Pothos within 60 to 85degF (15 and 30degC). If temperatures drop to below 50degF (10degC), the plant could die.

Pothos typically thrives under humid conditions when the lighting is adequate. However, in winter months, when there is lower humidity levels, this could cause the Pothos leaves to turn brown and then turn black.

How to Fix

  • If your Pothos lacks humidity You can mist the plant to give it more moisture.
  • A furnace or humidifier could aid in helping your Pothos develop and flourish.
  • Pebble tray (click to see on Amazon)method is an easy method to increase the level of humidity around plants.
  • Additionally, grouping your plants can also increase the their humidity.

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Under Watering/Drought

If your Pothos isn’t getting enough water the leaves start to shrink. It’s normal for Pothos to turn brown for brief intervals during hot days.

If it persists for a prolonged period of time it could mean that your Pothos isn’t receiving enough water, which could cause it to die.

Pothos leaves turning black are an indication of this. It is therefore essential to water it regularly.

How to Fix

  • To determine when you should replenish your Pothos to know when you should water it, put your finger or stick in the soil and feel if it’s moist or not.
  • In general, less water is required in colder seasons, while more water is required in warmer growing seasons. Therefore, alter the schedule to seasons.


Most of the time Pothos have received an effective fertilizer when they were in a greenhouse, so the addition of fertilizer isn’t necessary in all cases.

Like all plants, pothos requires nutrients in order to flourish. However, if you are too generous with the fertilizer application , it can cause harm to the pothos. The leaves turning black indicates burnt fertilizer.

Pothos in your pot does not require frequent fertilizer application. Apply fertilizer every 2-3 months during the spring and the fall season.

How to Fix

  • When your Pothos isn’t growing it doesn’t necessarily mean you should apply more fertilizer, rather, it could mean that the plant isn’t getting enough sunlight or getting enough water.
  • It is essential to monitor the conditions of watering and light before applying any fertilizer.
  • Do not apply fertilizer in the winter months since it is the time of dormancy for plants.

Fungal Diseases

The major causes of problems with plants in the house tend to be related to environmental problems.

In some instances it could be caused by certain illnesses. The most frequent illnesses that affect Pothos can be Phytophthora.

The infection starts in the roots, and then it spreads into the leaf. The leaves begin becoming black. The Dark Spots could indicate an issue with fungal growth. Learn more in this article about how to solve the problem of brown spots in pothos.

How to Fix

If you suspect that your Pothos might be suffering from an infection caused by fungi, be certain to get rid of the affected leaves, as well as treat your plant using the appropriate fungicide.

Bacterial Infections

Dark spots could also be a sign of an infection with Bacterial. There are usually no solutions when plants are affected, and in most instances, it is necessary to get rid of the infection.

How to Fix

To avoid this the possibility of this happening, you must ensure that you water your Pothos earlier in the day so that the leaves can dry. Additionally, you should place your Pothos in areas that allow air to circulate, thereby reducing the amount of moisture.

You may also like: Pearls and Jade Pothos care

Common Infections Your Pothos Could Have

Bacterial Wilt Disease

It is most common during warmer seasons of the year. This Bacterial disease can cause leaves of the plant to turn brown as well as cause the veins on the leaves to darken.

Rhizoctonia Root Rot and Aerial Blight

One of the most prominent visible signs of this is the dark spots on the leaves of the plant. If the infection continues to spread to roots, it can cause the plant to die.

Try treating your Pothos by using a fungicide that is effective. Garden Safe Brand Fungicide (click here to see it on Amazon) gets my vote as being extremely effective against fungal infections of Pothos. If you are unable to combat it effectively, you might need to throw out the Pothos.

Insect Infestation

There is also the possibility of insects which have infected the plant. Scale insects, spider mites and mealybugs are all common insect that attack houseplants.

They are tiny white bugs that can cause the Pothos leaf leaves to change color, and could cause them to eventually end up dying.

How to Fix

  • The insects of the genus Pothos are usually simple to treat. A easy home remedy is to apply alcohol onto the swabs of cotton and then apply it to the insects.
  • It is recommended to repot your Pothos with new soil and wash the leaves of bugs that might be present.
  • It is also possible to use sprays for your houseplants to stop the future emergence of insects. But, you must get rid of your Pothos when it has been badly injured by pests. (Source: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension)

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What is the reason why do the tips of my Pothos leaves becoming brown?

There are a variety of reasons for the reason why the pothos leaves have begun to turn brown. But, one of the most frequent causes is because of environmental factors like over or under the watering or direct sunlight. Another possible cause could be due to excessive fertilization or other diseases.

What can you know whether Pothos has died?

If the leaves of your plant begin to yellow, or become dark and begin to wilt, it could be a sign that the plant is dying.

The roots of the plant may develop a dark and mushy appearance in contrast to solid and white. It is essential to know the root cause of the problem to bring back your plant before it goes to die.

Do I need to spray the leaves of my Pothos plant?

It is not required for you to spray your Pothos because they will flourish without a lot of moisture and water.

But, if your plant has a lack of humidity or is dry during the winter months, you can spray mist on your Pothos plant based on the humidity and environment of the space it’s in.



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