Signs That A Pothos is Dying

Pothos plants are a simple way to add a splash in color as well as a hint of nature to your home! They are a popular design among gardeners who are new to gardening because they are extremely easy plants to cultivate.

While pothos are able to thrive in adverse conditions, they’re not 100 100% resistant to neglect or harsh environments.Signs that your plants are declining could be roots rot, leaf drooping white spots on leaves and stems and brown or yellowing leaves, dying foliage, growing leggy, and curly leaves. In addition, the most common causes of pothos are over-or-underwatering, fungal disease, and incorrect lighting.

Pothos are among the most desirable plants to have in the event that you don’t have plenty of time to dedicate to the care of your plants. But, despite being one of the easiest plants to take care of it is also susceptible to dying due to neglect or excessive TLC. This is the reason your pothos is declining and the best way to stop the damage.

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Signs & Causes Your Pothos Is Dying

Although the plant is known as a tough plant it is not without its challenges. We often have to fight to keep it alive. In order to save the dying plant, first we must identify the symptoms and their reasons before deciding on the best solution.

Pothos in pink hanging pot

Here’s an outline of the seven most frequent symptoms and causes of a declining plant called pothos:plant:

White spots on stems and leaves Fungal diseasesPests
Leaves that are drooping UnderwateringOverwateringLow humidityCold temperatures
Pothos leaves that are yellowing UnderwateringOverwateringLow light Overfertilization
The leaves begin to turn brown OverwateringToo much light , too much fertilization Cold temperaturesPests
The leaves are wilting UnderwateringOverwateringLow humidity Environmental stress
Leggy growth Low lightOverfertilization
Leaves have begun curling Light exposurePests from UnderwateringExcess

Let’s go over in-depth all the indicators of declining pothos:


Drooping Leaves Indicate A Dying Pothos

The leaves that are drooping are common signs that pothos plants experience when we are too concerned or do not pay attention to it enough. But, we can correct the problem by identifying the root of the problem early enough.

Here are the four main reasons for leaves to drop:

Underwatering A Pothos Can Cause Droopy Leaves

Pothos pothos is a plant that likes to dry out just a little in the watering sessions. However, a pothos that has been submerged begins to show fragile and flaccid leaves and then fall in the fall, which indicates that it is the death of the plant.

If the soil is dry the roots are deprived of access to water to distribute it over the different areas. Due to shortage of water the plant relies on the water stored in the leaves to stay alive.

The leaves of the pothos begin to shrink because of transpiration and the loss of moisture stored.

It is easy to determine if a pothos plant is underwatered by examining the soil’s moisture levels. If the soil is scorched, then it is likely that the plant has been underwatered. reason for the drooping pothos leaves.


Increase the frequency of your watering so that the pothos can recuperate quickly. It is possible to regularly water the pothos in the recovery stage and allow the plant to recover its water levels.

It is essential to thoroughly soak your plant by permitting the water to soak into the base of the container. But, keep in mind that it is essential that the pot has sufficient drainage holes in order to avoid the soil from becoming too wet and root decay.

Overwatering A Pothos Can Cause Droopy Leaves

Because the pothos is native to the under-canopy conditions, it is a fan of moisture.

It is advisable to not to give too excessive water, as it could cause a variety of problems such as droopy leaves, it could even cause the death of the plant.

The pothos requires air pockets around its root to breath. Therefore, when the soil gets wet or soiled the plant chokes and becomes suffocated due to a deficiency of oxygen. In the end, the pothos suffers a loss of the pressure of turgor, which results in the leaves drooping and dying.


If you notice your soil becoming too wet or sloppy avoid irrigating the pothos, allowing the soil to dry and ensure that the pothos is back to its good health.

Make sure that the pot is equipped with drainage holes in order to reduce the chance of water overflowing.

Low Humidity Can Cause Droopy Leaves

Pothos thrive in humid, warm environments that have 50-70 percent humidity levels. Therefore, if you put the plant in an dry climate, the leaves could drop.


To increase the humidity, place an humidifier close to your pothos plant, or by using spray bottles for misting the leaves. Also, do not place the plant in close proximity to an air conditioner or heater.

Cold Weather Can Cause Droopy Leaves

If you tend to your pothos plant outside it is likely to grow droopy and shriveled leaves in cold temperatures. The younger leaves are more vulnerable to damage and drooping.


Unfortunately, there isn’t much to take care of the affected areas of the plant. But, you can bring the plant indoors to keep it warm and keep it away from an air conditioner.

White Spots On Leaves And Stems

The white spots on pothos usually caused by a fungal infection (powdery mildew) or insects such as mealybugs and spider mites.

Powdery Mildew Can Cause White Spots

Powdery mildew is the most one cause of white spots appearing on stems and leaves.

The fungal disease that manifests as a white , slender powder that covers the stems and foliage. Powdery mildew can be highly infectious and is able to end up killing your pothos.


First, you must isolate the plant. After that, take away all plants with a high percentage of fungus as well as apply an organic fungicide on the plant every week. Also, think about thinning out the pothos to increase air circulation.

Pests Can Cause White Spots

Spider mites or Mealybugs can cause white powder that forms on pothos.

Mealybugs usually are covered in a white, cottony cover and are usually found in the crotches and beneath the leaves.

Spider mites create white webs that resemble fine, white powder that is found on the undersides of plants’ leaves.


Clean the pothos using the help of a cotton swab that has been dipped in alcohol. Repeat the treatment every week till the plants are in good health.

Yellowing Leaves Indicate A Dying Pothos

Although natural aging may cause the older leaves of the pothos to yellow and fall, the leaves may also turn yellow due to different reasons.

Overwatering Can Cause Yellowing Pothos Leaves

The main cause for the yellowing of foliage in Pothos stems from inadequate soil moisture, and in particular excessive watering.

If the excess water is left within the soil an extended period of time, the roots are unable to get the oxygen they require to grow and remain healthy. The leaves begin to turn yellow.

The fungus that causes root rot is caused by excessive watering. can cause leaves of the pothos plant to change color to yellow.


It is recommended to water the pothos less often and make sure it gets plenty of indirect sunlight to allow it to dry out quickly. Additionally, you should make sure the container has ample drainage holes to avoid soggy soil.

When you observe that your roots of the pothos are becoming mushy, think about trimming the darkened and wet roots to ensure the pothos doesn’t die due to root decay.

Underwatering Can Cause Yellowing Pothos Leaves

The general rule to water the pothos plant is to water the plant whenever it is dry, this advice isn’t specific enough and isn’t easy to determine.

If you notice that your leaves become yellow and crisp the pothos could be submerged.


Think about aerating the soil, and slowly pouring water on the surface of soil until it soaks into to the base of your pot.

Moving forward, be sure to look for soil that is dry to avoid yellowing leaves in the near future.

Low Light Can Cause Yellowing Pothos Leaves

Even though the pothos is labeled with an “low-light” label, they still require light to stay alive.

If your pothos isn’t getting sufficient light access the leaves fight to produce chlorophyll and photosynthesis to keep the green hue. The leaves turn yellow.


The pothos should be placed place it in direct sunlight that is bright and even. For instance, you could put the plant next to an open window that has moderate lighting and block the sun’s rays by a sheer curtain.

Overfertilization Can Cause Yellowing Pothos Leaves

We frequently make the error of fertilizing too much our pothos plants in the hopes of encouraging more vigorous, larger plants. But, overfertilization can be more troublesome than under-fertilization.

The excess salts and chemicals soak away from the moisture of the soil, creating an unhealthy environment that results in yellowing and stunted growth leaves.


You should consider applying an appropriate liquid fertilizer that is balanced every four weeks throughout the plant’s growth period (summer).

Various Leaves Turning Brown Indicate A Dying Pothos

We’ve all experienced how stressful and apprehensive it is when the leaves of our pothos plant change color. There are a variety of variables at play, and we can easily fix by making small adjustments.

Overwatering Can Cause Browning Pothos Leaves

Pothos generally thrive in warm and dry climates. This makes over-watering the most common cause of the browning of leaves.

If there’s too much water in the soil of the potted plant The excess water can block oxygen flow to roots of the pothos, which causes root decay.

As the roots disappear, it hinders the flow of vital nutrition from soil the stems and leaves, which leads to the leaves turning brown.


The frequency and quantity of watering required will be determined by the size of the plant, its location and the climate.

The general rule is to keep the pothos hydrated till the ground is damp or until the water flows through the bottom drainage holes. After that, wait patiently (about one or two weeks) for the pothos to dry before watering it once more.

Excessive Direct Light Can Cause Browning Pothos Leaves

Exposed to direct, bright sunlight could cause scorching of the leaves of pothos and cause the leaves to brown. Additionally the varieties with a lot of variegation generally have sunburn marks on spots of cream or white.


Avoid exposing your pothos to direct, bright sunlight. Instead, put your pothos plant in an area that receives moderate or bright indirect light.

You can consider using a sheer curtain to block light and keep foliage from turning brown.

Overfertilization Can Cause Browning Pothos Leaves

Overfertilization can cause fertilizer burn.

Fertilizer burn is a different type of scorching leaves. The nitrogen salts that are too high cause a shock to the pothos, and then slowly end up killing it. Brown leaves are among the first signs that you might be over-fertilizing your pothos.


You should consider applying an appropriate liquid fertilizer that is balanced every four weeks throughout the plant’s growth period (summer).

Cold Temperatures Can Cause Browning Pothos Leaves

Pothos plants can be able to withstand a variety of temperatures, the most suitable temperature range is between 70degF to 90degF.

If your pothos becomes too cold for an extended time or frequently it could be in a state of shock due to temperature and cause the leaves to go into black.


If you are keeping the pothos plant outside, make sure you move it in the autumn and winter months to avoid the stress of temperature. Additionally, put it in a warm space with a moderate amount of sunlight to avoid browning leaves.

Pests Can Cause Browning Pothos Leaves

Pests, such as mealybugs scale and spider mites are commonly found in the pothos plant.

They can reduce the immune system of plants because the tiny creatures sucking the juice out of the plant, leading to the leaves turning brown. The brown spots may also be yellow with a rings that form around the spots.

It is important to note that infections are typically caused by environmental factors like high humidity or inadequate circulation of air.


Make sure you keep your pothos spotless to keep out pests. Clean the foliage using an everyday cloth to ensure that your pothos is pest-free.

If your planthos is already infested you can use an insecticidal product, such as neem oil, and ruby alcohol to rid your home of these insects effectively.

Finally, you might want to check the aeration and humidity of the pothos plant’s space to prevent the leaves from becoming brown.

Wilting Leaves Indicate A Dying Pothos

The leaves of a pothos plant can turn brown due to a variety of reasons. However, the two primary reasons include under-or-overwatering and prolonged exposure to intense light.

Underwatering A Pothos Can Cause Wilting

A pothos that has been underwatered will begin to show flaccid, weak and wilting leaves, which indicates it is dying.

If the soil is in a dry state for too long the roots are unable to transfer nutrients and water to the different plant leaves. In the end, the leaves of pothos begin to shrink and then wilt.

Pothos is most effective when you let the soil to dry out between irrigations, it won’t be happy with the soil that is dry over a long period of time.


Increase the frequency of watering to every week, or once a the second week, based on the time of year temperatures, humidity, and temperature. You can, however, apply more frequent watering until it is fully recovered.

In the morning, you should water the pothos thoroughly until the soil is dry and make sure you let the water run across the bottom of the pot.

Overwatering A Pothos Can Cause Wilting

Soggy soil and overwatering could cause the wilting of leaves.The pothos needs air pockets in the soil to breathe.

The soil that is wet or muddy could drown the plant due to an oxygen deficiency when you overwater your plant. In the end, excessive watering causes drooping and wilting leaves.


If you notice that the soil is spongy, avoid watering your plant for a few days in order to allow the soil to dry. Also, make sure that you plant is in a pot with drainage holes in the bottom to reduce the chance of soil that is soaked with water.

Low Humidity Can Cause Wilting

Humidity is a typical factor that can affect your pothos’s health.

Pothos thrive in humid conditions that have a moisture range of 50 and 70%. But, if you put the plant in a dry environment with a moisture level less than 35%, the leaves and branches could begin to lose their shape.


Improve the humidity of your plant by purchasing a humidifier, or misting the foliage with spray bottles.

Keep the plant from heaters, air vents, and air cooling.

Environmental Stress Can Cause Wilting

Despite its toughness, pothos is susceptible to wilting due to extreme temperatures.

If you are able to move the pothos outside for the summer season or inside for winter, the plant may be stung by abrupt temperature fluctuations. The leaves that are younger are more vulnerable to damage and wilting in both situations.


The pothos slowly adjusts to its environment, regaining from the wilting of leaves.

To lessen the strain, just slowly move the pothos from outside to indoor and the reverse by reserving at the new place for a short period of time. After that, you can increase the time until the plant is accustomed to the new environment.

Leggy Growth Can Indicate A Dying Pothos

However, no matter how much care you provide to your Pothos plant could be afflicted with a variety of distressing symptoms. Although leggy growth doesn’t necessarily mean that the plant is dying, it’s certain that it requires an entirely different approach to care.

Two issues that you have to be aware of are overfertilization and low light.

Low Light Can Cause Leggy Growth

Lack of exposure to light could cause unbalanced growth since the seeds will quickly stop the growth of new height to align with the light source.

Insufficient light can cause slower photosynthesis within the plant’s pothos. Therefore, it is in energy suffocation and fails to produce healthy stems. Instead, they develop spindly and have fewer leaves because the plant isn’t able to grow enough leaves.

Thus, even though the pothos expands and grows but the plant doesn’t have the strength and girth to support the new leaf development. The pothos is less leafy as well as thin and fragile, stretch-out stems.

In addition, the uneven lighting may cause spindly growth on the area which is exposed to light inefficiently.


The only way to stop the growth that is sloppy due to inadequate light is to provide an efficient and consistent light exposure. In addition, you should give even light exposure through rotating your pothos every couple of days to make sure that each area gets enough sunlight.

Overfertilization Can Cause Leggy Growth

In the name of pure enthusiasm and excitement You might want to give your pothos a bit more often to guarantee a vigorous plant. But, that’s not the situation. Overfertilization can lead to a variety of issues including the growth that is leggy.

Fertilizers contain nitrogen, which is responsible for stimulating growth. But, instead of giving an attractive and lush appearance they can cause sagging growth when it is used in excessive amounts.

Be aware that excessive fertilization can damage the plant, which is why it is best to adhere to the recommended doses.


The first step is to wash the soil thoroughly to remove fertilizer that is left. Then, trim the growth that is leggy to give it an attractive appearance.

Finally, you should only fertilize the pothos in the growth season, and adhere to the recommended doses.

Curling Leaves Can Indicate A Dying Pothos

Curling leaves are another indication the pothos may not be content with the current regimen of care it receives.

Although a variety of factors come into the equation when leaves curl most of the time, water is the primary cause. But, excessive light exposure and pests may also contribute to curly foliage.

Underwatering Can Cause Curling Pothos Leaves

The main cause is water loss. curlying leaves in pothos.

Pothos plants are able to hold water, which makes them attractive and easy to overlook if you don’t regularly water them.

Although they don’t require as regular watering like many other plants regularly, consistent and effective watering habits are essential for keeping them healthy.


Then you should aerate the soil, then give the plants water until it flows through the bottom drainage holes. Then, you should water the pothos each week until the soil is dry to the touch.

Excess Light Exposure Can Cause Curling Pothos Leaves

Exposure to too much direct sunlight can result in the water of soil to evaporate more quickly through the speed of transpiration, which causes the leaves to lose water faster than they are able to recuperate it. The leaves begin to curl due to the lack of water.


If your pothos is located in the direct light of the sun, then we recommend shifting it to a location that has indirect, bright light. If you place the pothos close to the window, you may want to consider curtains to block direct sunlight.

Pests Can Cause Curling Pothos Leaves

Pests such as aphids, spider mites, mealybugs and scales eat away at the sap of the pothos plant and grow rapidly. The plant is weakened by this infestation and leaves tend to curl in a sign of stress.

Infestations that are severe could cause your pothos to go out of existence.


Examine the pothos thoroughly for any signs of insects. If you find that the plant is infested, cut off the affected areas in the pothos.

Use dishesoap, garden oils or fungicides to manage and eradicate these insects.


Is My Pothos Overwatered Or Underwatered?

Underwatering or overflowing can show several of the same indicators It is therefore difficult to determine the cause unless you examine the soil.

When the soil appears sloppy and damp and dries out, the pothos may be overwatered. If, however, the soil is dry the pothos could be submerged.

But, be aware that the damage caused by overwatering usually results caused by prolonged exposure to wet conditions, and the effects will last long after the soil has dried.

How To Treat Powdery Mildew On A Pothos?

To begin, take the plants that are infected from the pothos and dispose of the affected plants. Apply an fungicide, preferably looking for one that contains sodium bicarbonate or neem oil or sulfur.

Apply the fungicides once every 7 to 14 days , and adhere to the instructions on the label.

How To Prevent Root Rot For Pothos?

Root rot is usually caused by excessive humidity that restricts airflow and suffocates roots or promotes fungal and bacteria spore growth.

Make sure you are ensuring proper drainage and watering to ensure that the soil is not overly saturated. In addition, it is recommended to soak the pothos in water but less frequently, allowing the soil to dry between the watering.


As we have mentioned there are many variables that can lead to the death of a pothos plant.

Before deciding on a remedy to save your houseplant, consider the cause and keep in mind that prevention is easier than treating the plant.



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