Why Are the Leaves on My Pothos Turning White?

You might believe you’re a green thumb after you’ve begun taking care of the pothos in your garden. It’s all normal until you notice the leaves becoming pale and nearly white! What’s wrong?

The most frequent cause of the leaves of pothos turning pale or white is due to the lack of light and deficiency in potassium. Similar to other houseplants, Pothos is also susceptible to excessive watering, temperature fluctuations excessive sunlight exposure and a poor soil mix. If the roots are left in water, it creates tension and white spots appear.

The information below will assist you in assessing the health of your plant and its surroundings. We will also mention proper care procedures–including the things you need to improve in taking care of your pothos.

Causes of Pothos Leaves Turning White

Low Light Level

Pothos plant is renowned for its capacity to withstand low light levels. However, putting it in these conditions for an extended time affects its color and variation.

If you put your plant in a dark room without providing a sufficient lighting the chlorophyll contained in the leaves will not absorb a sufficient quantity of sunlight.

Chlorophyll reflect back the green wavelength of the spectrum of light. If there is a small amount in light sources, the reflection green color will be limited also.

This is why it’s common to see the leaves of your pothos turning light or white.

pothos in glass jars with water

How to Fix Low Light Condition

The solution to this issue is easy. Here are some ways to restore the vivid color of your pothos, if low level of light is the issue.

Relocate Your Pothos

A small space could give you the space to place your plant anywhere you’d like.

However, the spot close to your window is the ideal location to restore your plant’s original (green) shade. Moving the position of your plant today could aid in their growth.

Provide Artificial Light Source

If the natural light source isn’t available in your area you can make use of artificial lighting sources.

Install white fluorescent bulbs that are at least 6 to 12 inches high above the plant. The light that emanates from this source should suffice for your plant to remain in a green color.


Pothos leaves with a pale hue could be due to excessive watering. If the soil is drained the roots aren’t able to get sufficient oxygen or nutrients. In the end, the roots begin to decay.

This step-by-step article will assist you in saving the pothos you have from decay.

The upper part of the plant is suffering from the lack of nutrients and water. A deficiency of sulfur, nitrogen, and iron, and sulfur can result in the general appearance of yellowing or a pale green in the leaves of pothos.

It’s important to ensure that the soil is damp but not wet. Place your index finger on the top 2 inches of the soil to determine whether it’s dry. This is the ideal time to start watering.

Don’t let your plant remain in water, but do not allow it to dry too long also. Be sure to water it thoroughly, allowing excess water to go from the holes. If the pot is equipped with an ajar, be sure to drain the water that is still in it too.

How to Fix Overwatered Pothos

Remove The Dead Leaves Immediately

Brown leaves caused by overwatering become slightly mushy and stinky. It is recommended to get rid of those parts. This means you’re helping your plant to channel all nutrients to young healthy, healthier leaves.

Check If Your Pot Has Good Drainage

Drainage holes aid in getting rid of water that is not needed while allowing air to the roots.

If there aren’t enough holes You can make additional holes in the soil’s bottom. Make sure the topsoil is loose to allow air circulation to the soil.

Water The Plant Only If The Topsoil Is Already Dry

The frequency of watering is influenced by the level of light as well as temperature and humidity. In the winter months the pothos will spend time to use the water within the soil. In this situation, it could take a while until the soil is dry.

Withhold Fertilizer

The plants that are overwatered usually suffer damage to their roots. The addition of fertilizer does nothing but increase stress on the roots. It is important to wait until the plant is able to fully recover.

Treat with Fungicide

It is possible to apply an fungicide to prevent measure to fight pathogens. A consistently moist soil can encourage the development of harmful organisms like fungi.

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Potassium Deficiency

Potassium aids in the growth of plants by controlling the closing and opening of the stomata. Additionally it is a crucial element in the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and activate enzymes. The short version is that potassium is beneficial to the plants. If there is a deficiency of this mineral, plants suffer from a slower growth.

If you’ve noticed the leaves of your pothos turning white, a lack of potassium may be the cause that causes your plants to go through chlorosis, which is the discoloration of leaves.

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How to Fix Potassium Deficiency in Pothos

Add Organic Materials to The Soil

Organic matter can help make your pothos healthier (and more enjoyable!). Dig the soil to 2 inches/50mm depth and then add manure that is well-rotten as well as various other mulches made of organic material.

Compost that is composed of a large proportion of food byproducts is the most potent sources of potassium. Peels of bananas are a great component of the compost. Place ash from wood lightly on the soil to restore the pothos plant back to its natural state.

Use Liquid Houseplant Fertilizer That’s High in Potassium

Liquid fertilizers are quick-release fertilizers and immediately make up for mineral deficiencies. Choose one that is rich in Potassium (K) concentration. For potted plants, the concentration is recommended to be reduced by half.

Powdery Mildew

The white powdery patches that appear on your leaves of pothos could be more than what it appears. It could be an indication of an extremely serious illness known as powdery mildew. Powdery mildew appears as powdery gray or white powder that appear on the flower’s stems, flowers, and even on the rear of leaves.

The conditions that encourage the development of powdery mildew include high levels of humidity at night , and warm temperatures during the daytime. It is most prevalent in the fall and spring.

How to Fix Powdery Mildew Patches on Pothos Leaves

Remove Infected Leaves

The powdery mildew spores can easily spread and spread to other parts in the plants. It is recommended to eliminate affected areas as soon as you can.

Reduce Humidity Around The Canopy

The nighttime high humidity causes spore growth. To prevent this you’ll have to thin the plant in order to ensure proper air circulation within the plant. It is also possible to switch on the heater at night to keep the plant warm.

Treat with Fungicide

While it is not often required, you can apply a fungicide to stop any further harm on the plants. Organic fungicides are that you can use such as sulfur, copper, bicarbonates, or neem oil.

There are a variety of methods to apply these fungicides, so be sure to adhere to the directions in the labels.

Chemical applications should be accompanied by a good practices in the culture to fight powdery mildew.

Fluctuating Temperature

Like all plants it takes time for pothos to adapt to new conditions. If the temperature is significantly different from its normal environment, the pothos will be stressed out. Pothos thrive best in the temperature range between 70 and 90 degrees F.

Stressed plants typically change the color. If you notice your pothos turning brown and changing to a light color, such as a yellow or white shade of color this may be a reaction to stress.

Rapid changes in temperature that result in an extreme hot or cold environment can cause this to happen.

How to Fix Stressed Pothos Due to Fluctuating Temperature

Keep the plant away from hot or cold drafts

Heating systems, air conditions fireplaces, air conditioning, and windows that are cold can be the source of extreme cold or heat. This could be the reason why your plant turns pale or even white. It is important to shield it from these drafts.

Cover Using Bed Sheets, Plastic Sheets, or Blankets

This is a good idea in the event of a cold winter day. The cover sheets provide additional warmth to the surroundings that your pothos. But, be sure that you remove the cover once temperatures rise the following morning.

Too Much Sunlight Exposure

The need for light is essential to generate energy for photosynthesis. But, too much exposure to it could cause negative effects.

Too much light indicates that excessive energy gets taken up from the leaves. This causes damage to the reaction centers inside the chloroplasts.

The visible manifestation of an issue is the lighter hue that leaves. Sometimes, the leaves will show brown spots then they weaken and eventually, they die.

It is essential to plan the site of your plant prior to the time of planting. This will allow you to think about the ideal spot to plant your pothos. This way, it keeps the leaves from wilting or drying up.

How to Fix Plants Exposed to Too Much Sunlight

Move It to a Shaded Area

Choose a spot that offers sufficient shade and is humid. It is possible to put your pothos in the area for a while until it is healed from the damage.

Bathrooms and kitchen are ideal because they are typically characterized by high humidity.

Too Much Heat

The stress of heat is typical to plants in the summer months. Similar to how people sweat and lose water vapor, plants also lose it by transpiration. If the temperature is too high the plants lose a significant amount of water.

The consequences of heat stress in pothos are decreased photosynthetic activity as well as wilting, and possibly leaf etiolation. The leaves that are etiolated show being pale yellow-white hue.

How to Fix Heat Stressed Pothos

Move Your Pothos to A Shaded Area

Make use of old materials like old net sheets, white bedsheets, or UV-resistant plastic to provide shade. The plant should be watered early in the morning to ensure more efficient transpiration. This will allow the plant to take in the water before in the process of heat.

Add Mulch on Top of the Soil

You can hold in the moisture by placing organic matter on top of the soil, to encourage slow transpiration. Make sure to check your plant daily and determine whether it requires additional irrigation.

Poor Soil Mixture

Different plants have different soil needs. Pothos prefer an open, well-draining mix with a high content of organic matter. A soil mix with no drainage properties is a cause of excessive watering of plants.

If your organic matter is not sufficient the pothos will be more likely to be affected by nutrient deficiencies. These things can affect the overall well-being that your plants have. Plants that are unhealthy appear discolored and pale.

If you don’t want take on the task of creating your own potting mix you can buy it at the market. There are many commercially-available mixes that are ready for use.

How to Fix Poor Soil Mixture

Amend Your Potting Mix

A small amount of perlite and coco coir can increase the soil’s porosity, thereby improving drainage.

It also improves the capacity of exchange for cations (CEC) of the soil, making it more effective in storing nutrients.

Repot the Plant

If the potting mix used initially is of poor quality, it’s recommended to repot the plants. Replace the potting mix as soon as possible and make sure to use a high-quality medium for potting as mentioned above.

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How Do You Tell If Pothos Is Dying?

The mushy and black roots are an obvious sign of the pothos that you have dying. Unfortunately, when they appear on the main root of your pothos it’s impossible to save it unless you’ve got the single healthy leaf earlier and then propagated it.

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?

The most frequent causes for yellowing leaves is a poor soil mix and excessive watering. Follow the steps that was mentioned earlier to prevent the pothos you have planted from losing its color.

What Does It Mean When Pothos Leaves Curl?

Curling of leaves on pothos is another obvious sign of excessive watering. If the root of the plant begins decaying, it stops the water from that area but does not reach the stems or leaves, which causes the leaves to curl in order to hold the moisture.

In truth, gardening is an exercise in trial and trial and. It is always helpful to search for the answers when there’s something wrong in your pothos garden. Learning from your mistakes will help you become a better gardener over time.



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