Why Is My Pothos Not Growing?

Pothos is well-known for its robust, tolerant houseplants that can withstand all abuse. There are occasions, however there are times when Pothos will sit like a drunk teenage at the family gathering.

It is placed in its new location and introduce it to its neighbors, and talk to them about it, but it doesn’t expand. It’s not sick. It just doesn’t seem to be thriving.

There are a myriad of possible causes for this poor performance however the good thing is that all of them are usually easy to fix.

The most frequent reason why pothos isn’t growing is the lack of sunlight or nutrients. Pothos require proper conditions for growth and indirect, bright light to increase their growth at a moderate rate. Common problems such as pests, diseases, or stress from humidity can hinder the growth.

Examine your Pothos to find out why it’s not growing, after you have identified and addressed the root of the problem the root of the issue, allowing your plant to thrive should be easy.

Reasons Why Your Pothos Isn’t Growing

Below are some possibilities for why your pothos isn’t expanding. I’ll help you to find and fix the issue and help ensure that your pothos is growing again.


It is crucial to realize that there are times of the year that pothos do not grow and this is normal. You can expect your Pothos to show only a tiny amount of growth during the cold winter months, regardless of whether it is in an outdoor setting.

Lack of Light

It’s a very typical one. The Pothos is so well-known for its ability to withstand low light that many believe it will grow even when the light levels are not sufficient.

The plant can survive in poor lighting conditions, however it won’t grow as significantly. Ideally, you should put your plant in a place where it can receive plenty of light, however, it should not get direct sun.

Lack of Nutrients

To be at their peak All plants require nutrients, and the Pothos is not an exception. It is not necessary feeding your plants every single every day but, it should be planted in fertile soil.

Most of the time, when you purchase the plant and it is delivered to you, the soil that it comes in has already been depleted. Repot your Pothos in a similar size and slightly bigger pot, and make sure to use a good quality potting soil that has a good drainage capacity.

pothos black background

Why Is My Pothos Losing Leaves?

Like every plant, Pothos drops a few leaves every now and then. If the drop of leaves gets extreme, it’s an indication that the Plant is not happy. It is usually due to drowning or over-watering.


The most frequent cause is overwatering. cause of pothos’s demise. The owners of the plant notice that their plant is beginning to appear unhappy, and their first reaction is to try and save the plant by adding more water.

Most of the time it was the excess of water that caused the unhappy situation in the first place.

The pothos will not only begin dropping leaves, but they’ll cease to grow. Typically, prior to dropping, the leaves appear flaccid and yellow.

Of all the issues your pothos is likely to encounter, overwatering is one of the most hazardous.

The chance of root rot is increased as well, and root rot does not only slow growth. It could end a plant’s life that is as sturdy as the Pothos.


The other extreme of drowning is overwatering. And it is interesting to note that this could produce similar outcomes. The pothos will begin to wilt, and the leaves will turn crisp, brown, and then fall off.

Correct Watering Procedure

Overwatering and underwatering issues can be solved by following the right watering method when you get your pothos.

It is important to know that this plant prefers to dry between each watering.

A great way to determine when it is time to be watering is to use the simple method of sticking your finger in the soil and smelling for the presence of moisture.

If the top 2 inches feel dry, it means it’s time to replenish the water.

By putting your finger in the soil in the vicinity of the second knuckle gives you a precise indication.

After the plant has dried up to this level then place the plant in a bowl and then water the top of the soil till the water begins to flow out of the drainage hole at the bottom in the bottom of the container.

Then, let the water to stop draining , and then put the plant back into its original place. There are a few not-to-dos in this regard.

Do not place the pot into its saucer until all the excess water has been drained from the soil or it could fill the saucer, allowing water to collect in the potting mix which will cause the roots to become waterlogged.

Don’t also water according to a schedule. This is a common mistake gardeners who are indoors make a mistake.

Instead of watering when that the top 2 inches are dry, they apply water according to an established schedule, without checking to determine whether the plant really needs it.

Improper Nutrients

Another common one. Everyone would like their Pothos to expand quickly and become that raging vine that they’ve seen in magazines about gardening.

They attempt to slash natural growth rates by providing extra food products in the form of fertilizer. This won’t be effective.

The natural growth rate is predetermined and all you have to do is create the best conditions to ensure your plant can grow to its fullest potential.

If you apply excessive fertilizer or the wrong kind of fertilizer, you could poison your plant over time.

Imagine offering your child a few dozen additional slices of birthday cake with the hopes that he’ll grow taller faster.

Pothos is only replenished every few months in summer and spring, and less in the winter months.

It is best to use an appropriate liquid food for your houseplants. It can be organic or chemical, and adhere to the instructions of the manufacturer.

Temperature Stress

The Pothos can withstand a broad range of temperature fluctuations However, if your plant isn’t growing, it could be that you’re not maintaining it within its optimal range.

If you don’t go to extremes it won’t be a problem but it will not grow to the maximum potential you’re looking for.

The ideal temperature is between 70-90degF (21-32degC). To determine if you’re achieving this, and not, your most effective option is to buy a home thermometer.

They’re not costly and provide the most precise method of knowing what temperature is being maintained within the vicinity of your plant.

Root Bound Pothos Not Growing

The plant won’t perform as well when it is root-bound. Furthermore when the roots are not properly packed, it’s almost certain that the potting medium is deficient in nutrients.

The Pothos is one of the plants that is somewhat root bound, so do not rush into repotting until you’re sure that the plant is in good shape to be moved into the larger pot.

The thing I will do is replace the pot once it begins becoming hard to insert my fingers into the soil to measure the level of moisture.

Another indicator that it’s the time to plant is when roots begin to grow in the drain holes of the base of the pot.

I usually plant in the pot slightly bigger than the one it is currently emerging from. A few inches in the diameter of the pot is typically sufficient.

The plant gets an untreated growing medium, but is not enclosed by a layer of soil which will hold in water and expose the plant to the danger from root rot.


Even if you have all the factors mentioned above correct, there’s a second possibility that may be hindering the development in your Pothos.

As with all plants, houseplants and other species generally have creatures lurking in the corners and are capable of stifling plant growth.

The majority of pests that attack your houseplants are sap suckers that suck the nutrients out of your plants which could otherwise be utilized for growth.

This can reduce the growth of your plant as well as expose the plant to possibility of health problems. If you’re looking for the Pothos there are three major culprits to be aware of.

They all rely on concealment as their main method of defense, so you will require close surveillance as your primary method of attacking.

These are the three main enemies , and how to defeat them.

Scale Insects

The sap suckers are able to hide under a tough carapace that shields them from harm while they slowly draw the juices from the plant.

They appear as tiny brown scabs, and they like to hide on the stems and within leaf nodes.

Once they have built their fortresses of armor They never leave and instead dedicate all their time to eating up the sap that your Pothos produces.

They can be removed easily by scraping them off using a fingernail or blade’s backside of the knife.


The tiny bugs sport an attractive white coat, which makes them appear like tiny balls of fluff. They are also sap suckers and prefer to hide under leaves and within the crevices in the leaf nodes.

The delicate creatures can be cleaned away by using insecticidal soap, or the gardener’s favourite, Neem oil.

Other pests may sometimes be attracted to take on your Pothos. I don’t like using pesticides, particularly within my home.

Fortunately, the majority of bugs you’ll likely encounter while using the use of Pothos can be easily eliminated without the need for harmful chemicals.

I am convinced that paying being vigilant is the most effective defense against the invasion of pests. Pests can eat away the plants of nutrients however they also bring on various diseases.

What I prefer to do is clean the leaves using vegetable soap every week. The leaves are kept sparkling and clean, but simultaneously it makes me look at the plant to stay on top of any potential threats.

Pests that infest the Pothos are effectively dealt with provided they aren’t allowed to establish in huge numbers.

They are also more likely to be attacked by plants that are healthy with a thick cuticle that protects its leaves.

Spider Mites

Although they aren’t part in the family of spiders, these tiny creatures feed on the leaf’s underside typically in the lower parts of the plant.

They are so tiny that you’ll need to look for them if you want to spot them.

The first indication you’ll notice of their presence is the moment you begin to notice brown, transparent areas of the leaf in which the chlorophyll has been taken away. There is also a web-like materials on the bottom of the leaves.

The spider mite population thrives in the dry environments and, to rid your home of them, just go outside to blow them away by spraying them with water.

What to do If Your Pothos is Not Growing

Now you know the most likely causes why your Pothos is still there but it isn’t thriving.

The first thing you’ll have to do is determine the root cause of the plant’s general discontent. It could be the result of a combination of several of the above factors.

If a plant isn’t in good condition is prone to a variety of issues. Problems are easily solved after you know the root cause.

Pothos are long-lived house plants, and if you have the right conditions you can be sure that this plant to live an average lifespan of at least ten years and there have been reports about plants which have lived longer.

Pothos Pothos could gain up to 12 inches of growth per month in the growing season when you have the right conditions.

The ability to make an interior jungle effect is one of the reasons the plant has become so sought-after.

Pruning Your Pothos

If you’ve managed to overcome the plant’s slowness and you’ll soon be in a situation where you’ll need to think about pruning in order to keep your plant in control.

Pothos is extremely tolerant of pruning, however, as with any plant, timing is crucial and pruning should be performed during the growing season particularly in spring, when growth is the most fast.

They are extremely tolerant of pruning and are simple.

All you have be able to cut the back to below the node with an unclean pair of scissors or secateurs. The way you cut them will depend on the goal you want to accomplish.

  • Pruning to shape: I like to grow my pothos to be long and trailing, however some people don’t like this, or has the space. It is possible to keep the plant cut back , and then grow in a more bushy style. The stems can be cut back only a few inches higher than the soil. This will stimulate the growth fresh stems.
  • To prevent Legislativeness: Sometimes the trailing stems can become a bit wavy when leaves begin to begin to fall. New leaves don’t develop quickly and I prefer to trim the stems that are bare and allow new growth to take their place. The new leaves are small at first, but they quickly catch up to others, if the right conditions are met.
  • To stop Disease and pest spread To stop the spread of pests and diseases, I trim out the diseased or infected leaves. Sometimes, these problems can cause the plant to look ugly and it’s simpler to cut off the leaves that aren’t appealing or do not enhance its overall look.

Many gardeners are hesitant about pruning however, if done right and in the appropriate moment, it can rejuvenate the plant and give it an entirely new lease of life.

Making More Plants

Don’t throw away the stems you removed during the pruning process.

If you’ve got healthy stems that have nodes on them, you’ve got the resources needed to grow new plants. Pothos does not disappoint in this respect.

It is possible to stand your knife in the water in a glass, and in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to observe the new roots beginning to develop.

Change the water each few days to ensure that there is some oxygen in the water.

When you’ve got a good amount of rootstocks, your new plantlet is able to be put into potting soil and in a short time you’ll be able to plant a new one.

I usually do not bother with the watering process and just put my cut pieces into a potting soil that is damp.

Others growers put their cuttings in zip lock bags, along with some damp sphagnum and moss. After the roots have grown, they plant them in pots and then develop their plants on.

Reviving a Dying Pothos

It is not common for plants to fall in such a bad condition that it ceases to live. In most cases, when the plant is in such an abysmal state it is due to an issue with watering.

If the plant is too dry, it’ll collapse, but the main cause of death is excessive watering that causes root rot.

If your plant is dry, you’ll be able to tell by feeling the soil, and also because the leaves are dry and dehydrated. Soak it well and, hopefully, it will gradually recover.

If the plant is damp, take it off of the pot and look at the roots. It is possible to spot the signs of root rot because the affected roots will appear soft and brown. Healthy roots are firm and white.

Remove any roots that are rotting since they have no reason other than the possibility of sustaining pathogens. Let the root ball dry by putting the plant on dry newspaper.

Then, you can repot it into fresh, clean pots. The soil that you have used for potting should be somewhat damp, so you shouldn’t keep it moist for long and then let the plant begin its slow process of recovery.

After it has dried Follow the watering method you read about earlier.

Final Words

Therefore, you must be aware in case your pothos isn’t receiving the necessary nutrients to sustain its regular growth rate.

Finding out the reason why your pothos isn’t growing is the first step of resolving the issue. Use the advice above to help you understand what’s happening in real life and you will see your pothos flourish once more.



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