Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?

There are many reasons that your pothos leaves have turned yellow. This could be due to over- or under-watering, the amount sunlight that your plant receives the humidity and nutrient deficiencies, excessive fertilization and bacterial infections or pests, old leaves or because of the transplant.

Pothos ( Epipremnum aureum) are a popular houseplant due to their durability and easy-to-care for nature. They also have an aesthetic worth. Based on the pothos variety the leaves that are yellowing could be an indication of poor health of the plant.

Finding out what’s causing the change in color of the leaves of your pothos is essential if you want to solve the issue and bring the plant to return back to its normal healthful self.

Why Are The Leaves On Your Pothos Turning Yellow?

There are a variety of reasons your plants’ leavesare becoming yellow. There are some causes that are more severe than others, however there are some simple solutions to solve the issue in most cases.

The first thing you need to do when you realize the leaves of pothos plants are beginning to turn yellow is to evaluate the situation and determine the root cause. Here is an inventory of possible causes for the yellowing leaves on your pothos.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Under-Watering

Pothos plants are fairly robust and can last for long periods without water. In certain instances it could be that you have allowed it for too long between waterings, the pothos plant will tell the signs through its leaves changing color.

If you notice that your plants are not getting enough water there are other distinct signs. This includes soil that is extremely dry to the touch and leaves that are yellow, as well as leaves that appear loose, and they may be beginning to curl upwards and feel sluggish when you rub them.

The Solution

If you’ve checked your pothos and noticed that its yellowing leaves indicate that you haven’t been able to water it properly recently The solution is fairly simple.

Your plant will require regular watering. Make sure to water your plant in such a way that the water begins to flow through the drainage holes in the base of the pot. Make sure that once all the water has been drained from the base, you empty the plant’s saucer since pothos don’t like wet feet.’

If you’re able to, in the future, try and keep in mind to give your plant more water frequently. When the top 25 percent of the soil of your plant is dry, it’s time to provide it with water using the same strategies as described above.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Over-Watering

The over-watering of your pothos plant is among the main causes of leaves turning yellow. Pothos plants don’t like their soil to become overly wet. Instead, the soil they grow in prefers to be almost completely dry out between irrigations.

If you notice that your pothos plant’s leaves are beginning to turn yellow but they’re still plump it is likely that you’ve been over-watering your plants.

Other indicators of excessive watering include constantly damp topsoil, sludgy stems and pot saucers that are filled up immediately as you begin watering. sprinkle water on your plants.

The Solution

If you have the overwatering of your plants the most effective option is to avoid giving it any additional water until it is completely dried out. When the soil has dry it is safe to resume the watering.

In the future, make sure you have the highest 25 percent of your soil has completely dried before you water your plant again. Additionally, you should keep your pothos watered regularly, since inconsistency in watering techniques can result in yellowing leaves.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Root Rot

In certain instances, excessive watering could have been so severe that it could have led to the possibility of root decay. In most cases when your pothos has reached this point it is not going to come back, however should you be able to spot root rot in time it is possible to help save your plant. There are two main root rot causes in the plant.

The second is that the excessive watering has been going on for too long, and the roots are beginning to die due to the inability of them to receive enough oxygen.

Another reason is that excessive watering of the roots led to fungal infections. Both of these situations could eventually lead to the demise or demise of the plant.

To determine if there is rot in the root To check for root rot, you must expose the roots of your pothos. The most effective method to do this is to take the plant out of the pot with care. Examining the roots as they are in the pot If they look to be brown, sludgy or spongy If they look soggy, you may have an issue with root rot.

The Solution

If the roots of your plant are completely rotten and there’s no way to go back and, unfortunately, you’ll need to get rid of the affected plant and start over with an entirely new plant.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to spot the root rot, and there are still viable roots, you could try to keep your plants alive.

The first step is to cut off the affected roots using a pair of sterilized scissors. Ensure that you cut all the affected roots removed.

After you’ve done this, you are able to remove as much of the soil remaining in the roots as you can and place your pothos on one side to dry.

Clean your pothos planter in soapy water. Then dry it before filling it up with fresh pothos soil that has been sterilized.

After your plant is dry enough and is dry enough, you can plant it in a clean pot. It is now time to provide it with a thorough soaking but make sure you empty the saucer to ensure the plant doesn’t stay within the pot.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Humidity

Pothos are plants that thrive in tropical climates and require the proper level of moisture. If the humidity drops to low levels, you can expect this to show on the leaves. They will first drop, then turn brown, then crisp along the edges before turning yellow.

If you observe that this happens to your pothos leaves it is likely that you have an issue with humidity, which caused the leaves of your pothos becoming yellow.

leaves in sun hot weather

The Solution

It is possible to provide your pothos plants regular mistings using a tiny spray bottle, or you can put your pothos in a space that is humid like the bathroom.

It is also possible to install an pebble tray that is a tray filled with pebbles which you fill with water, making sure that the stones’ tops remain clear of the water.

Set your pot of plant on the top of the pebbles and the water that evaporates in the tray of pebbles will help keep the humidity of your plants in check.

Yellow Pothos Leaves Due To Incorrect Nutrient Balance

If you over-fertilize the pothos plant, it could cause a build-up of salt in the soil and leaves that will eventually cause your pothos plant’ leaves becoming yellow. If this happens the leaves of your pothos plant will appear slightly burned and yellow.

A absence of the proper nutrients within your soil can cause your pothos leaves to turn to yellow. The pattern of yellowing could, in certain instances, reveal the type of deficiency in nutrient the plant suffers from.

Leaves with green edges and yellow edges centers may indicate a magnesium deficiency. The leaves that turn bottoms yellow could be a sign of deficiency in nitrogen, while the tops that turn yellow could be a sign of the presence of sulfur.

If the veins on a leaf as well as its stem remain green, however the rest of it is yellow, it could indicate an iron, zinc, or manganese insufficiency.

The Solution

If your leaves of pothos have turned yellow due to the fact that you’ve over-fertilized, your answer is to flush your plant.

It is as simple as adding enough water to the pot to ensure that it drains out of the drainage holes in the bottom. Then, wait for a few minutes and repeat the process many times.

If you believe your pothos suffers from a deficiency in nutrients, you could give it an intake of a fertilizer that is rich in the nutrients you believe your plant is lacking.

Give your plant a dose of fertilizer each month in the growing season is always the best way to avoid the problem of nutrient deficiencies.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Incorrect Lighting

Uncorrect lighting could also cause the leaves of your pothos to change color to yellow. The most common issue is that your pothos is not getting enough sunlight.

Many owners of pothos believe that since pothos is light-sensitive, they are able to reside in areas that have very little or no light. however, this isn’t the reality.

However when a pothos receives too much sunlight it could result in its leafs to become yellow.

If you’re worried whether your plant is getting excessive or insufficient light, the general rule is that leaves of pothos who are receiving too excessive light will appear dull and may appear a bit sharp, as well as yellow. If they aren’t getting enough light will appear plump.

The Solution

The most effective solution is to relocate your pothos to a location that will get more or less light based on the amount of light it needs.

Be sure to keep an eye on it for about two weeks and if it begins to grow and develop fresh green foliage, then you’ve solved the issue.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Manganese Toxicity

Manganese poisoning within pothos plants is frequent because of the potting soil having the pH of 5 or less and excessive amounts of micronutrient fertilization or fungicides. All of these can cause the leaves of your pothos to become yellow.

The Solution

To resolve this issue in your soil, stop using fertilizers that have manganese-containing elements like maneb and mancozeb, and it is recommended to stay clear of trace-element mix. The application of lime to your soil can raise the pH of the soil’s pH to range of 6 to 6.5.

Yellow Pothos Leaves Due To Bacterial Leaf Spot

It is possible to identify the presence of bacterial leaf spots by the halo-like rings on the underside of leaves. They look like tiny water spots that are surrounded by yellow.

The bacteria can flourish under the appropriate conditions, for instance the case of a plant that has been exposed to excessive amounts of water over long time periods, or is placed in an area that gets inadequate sunlight, or in any other conditions that may have led to your plant’s stress.

The Solution

The most effective treatment for leaf spot caused by bacteria is to eliminate the infected areas. Cut off any leaves showing an infection using a pair of sterilized scissors. Remember to clean the scissors after each cut. It is also possible to treat the bacteria using an Fungicide.

You can avoid the bacterial leaf spot by making sure you keep your plant healthy and by watering it near the soil.

The watering of your plants from above implies that water splashes across the leaves when it falls down. The watering from above could cause bacterial infections and the droplets of water on the leaves could be breeding grounds for disease and other bacteria.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Pests

Pest infestations can affect any plant, particularly when your plant is unhappy. Spider mites consume the sap of the plant’s stems which turns the leaves of pothos yellow. Other causes of leaf yellowing are the mealy bug and scaling.

The Solution

Pest infestations often get out of control quickly and must be addressed as promptly. It is possible to use an fungicide to get rid of the pests and you can also make use of soapy water and wash off each leaf in order to eliminate the problem.

Should You Always Be Concerned Over Yellowing Leaves?

The yellowing of foliage on the pothos aren’t necessarily a cause to be worried and is completely normal in some instances. Here are two examples of when the yellowing leaves in your pothos can be completely normal.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Due To Old Age

When your pothos produces new leaves, it often requires energy from other parts of the plant. It draws this energy from old leaves.

If you observe that your lower leaves of your plant are beginning to turn yellow, and at the top of your plant you can see new leaves growing, you can be confident that the color change that your leaf are experiencing is a natural process that your plant is going through.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow After A Transplant

If some of the leaves of your pothos begin to change color after transplanting it is likely because of the conservation of energy in your plant.

First of all, the plant has experienced some sort of shock that is normal following a transplant. it is common for some leaves becoming yellow.

In order to adjust to your new pot, your pothos may take energy from its older leaves in order to propel forward the new growth of the root and leaf. It is safe to know that the plant will bounce back , and this color change is normal.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Remove Yellow Leaves From Pothos?

It is not necessary to remove the leaves that are yellowing from your pothos unless you are infected by an bacteria-infected leaf spot.

If you want to take them off for aesthetic reasons, you should make sure to sterilize your scissors before you begin. Also, do not cut off more than one leaf at a time because this could send your plant into shock.

Can Yellow Pothos Leaves Turn Green Again?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to return once the leaves of your pothos have changed color to yellow. They’ll remain yellow until they disappear from your plant.


There are a variety of reasons the leaves of your pothos plant be turning yellow. Some of them are more serious than others.

While not all yellow leaf situations are alarming it is possible that the yellowing is an aspect of the pothos’ natural cycle of life. In certain instances the remedy for the yellowing of leaves is an easy procedure, but in other the situation, it is more difficult to solve the issue.



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