Dying Pothos Plant? Overwatering and inadequate drainage are common causes of dying pothos plant. The soil should be well-drained, and the top inch should dry before watering again. Pothos leaves become yellow and droop, causing root rot.
Pothos leaves may turn dark, curl, and finally fall off due to root rot. Pothos vines get leggy if not trimmed frequently enough or if shaded too much.
Repotting a pothos usually causes root rot because the soil is too compacted, there isn’t enough drainage, or the pot is too big and soaks up too much water. Pothos cease developing due to winter hibernation, lack of light, or nutrition.
Recreate the natural circumstances of well-draining soil by watering only when the top inch of soil is dry and placing the pothos in bright indirect sunlight.
To preserve the plant, clip down any rotted roots and propagate the pothos from any surviving growth. Continue reading to learn how to rescue your dying pothos plant (Epremnum pinnatum).
Symptoms of Dying Pothos (Plant Turning Yellow and Brown)
Leaves and stems become yellow with brown streaks or patches and droop. Leaves become yellow, curl, and ultimately fall.
Causes: Overwatering, compacted soils, and pots lacking drainage holes.
Overwatering causes yellowing, drooping, and death of pothos leaves. Pothos likes the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Pothos suffers from root rot, which causes yellowing and drooping of the leaves.
Pothos is a climber endemic to the South Pacific islands, having roots in well-draining aerated porous soil. It is very important to grow pothos in bright, well-draining soil, letting the top inch of soil dry between waterings.
Pothos tolerates underwatering better than overwatering, which normally causes death. Overwatering or inadequate drainage causes the fungal illness root rot, which commonly causes dying pothos.
Root rot stops the roots from getting water and nutrients, which makes the leaves yellow, brown, and droop. Overwatering causes root rot and leaf yellowing if the soil is poor-draining or compacted.
With no drainage holes in the pots, saucers, and trays below them, extra water collects at the bottom, promoting root rot, which turns the leaves yellow and brown, drooping and withering.
How to Rejuvenate Yellow and Brown Drooping Pothos Leaves
Reduce watering to mimic the pothos plant’s natural moisture cycle. Water liberally until excess water drips from the pot’s base, then let the top inch of soil dry before watering again. This watering cycle makes sure that the pothos has the right amount of moisture in order to grow and avoid root rot.
Take the pothos out and examine the roots. Examine the roots for root rot. If the roots are soft, mushy, black, and smelly, clip them back to healthy growth (good roots are white and firm in texture). Make sure the blades of your pruners are clean between each cut with a disinfectant-soaked towel so you don’t spread fungal diseases from infected root to healthy root.
Replant in aerated, well-draining potting soil. Replace the pothos in fresh soil since the old soil may have fungal infections that cause root rot and leaf yellowing. This kind of potting mix looks like the soil in the pothos plant’s natural habitat, which is aerated and porous.
Remove any yellowing or rotting stems. A healthy stem should be solid, whereas a dying stem is soft, mushy, and smelly. Snip any sick stems back to healthy growth or to the plant’s base. Each cut requires a disinfectant-soaked towel.
Reduce the length of training stems. Less leaves support the roots, which helps the pothos heal. Cut stems back to 2 inches from the plant’s base to encourage new growth.
Repot in a pot with drainage holes. You may alternatively repot the pothos in its original pot (washed with disinfectant), but make sure excess water drains well to prevent root rot. Empty excess water from saucers and trays to avoid root rot.
Mist pothos after repotting. To assist in avoiding transplant shock, misting the leaves helps reproduce the humid conditions of the pothos plant’s original habitat. Remove the pothos’ sick stems and roots, but this could hurt the plant’s ability to get water and nutrients.
Give your pothos a good wash after you move it into a new pot. Make sure the top inch of soil is dry before you water again to mimic the pothos’ natural water cycle.
Pothos leaf loss and leggy growth. Pothos stems become leggy and lose leaves, especially near the base. The leaves turn yellow and fall.
Causes: Inadequate lighting and infrequent pothos trimming
Pothos is a climbing vine that puts its energy into developing long vines with fresh leaf development. As the pothos grows, the leaves at the base become yellow and fall off.
Pothos is a tropical climber endemic to the Solomon Islands, where it thrives in deep jungle. The pothos plant’s goal is to send longer vines up into the tree canopy to an opportune place where they have adequate light, room, and resources to flourish.
Since the plant’s resources are directed towards sustaining and developing leaves farther up the vines, the lower leaves around the base become yellow and die off, giving the plant a lanky look.
Lack of light may make a pothos seem lanky and cause leaves to fall off. Pothos grows beneath a forest canopy in its natural habitat, so it may burn in direct sunlight, yet it grows lanky in shade as it seeks more light.
The pothos does not have enough resources to sustain as many leaves and seeks to conserve energy. Plants like pothos are strong and hardy, and you can quickly revive one that is lanky and has no leaves.
How to Restore a Leafless Pothos Plant
Trim the long, leggy vines to 2 inches above the dirt. Pothos is a tough plant that can take a beating. Cutting down all the long, lanky vines at once might be too much for the pothos. Pruning encourages new growth.
Once the clipped vines have sprung new growth, you may safely cut back any remaining lanky vines. This may revive a leggy, leafless plant. Prune during vigorous growth, particularly in the spring. Pothos is more robust in active growth than in hibernation.
Every month in spring and summer, half-strengthen a common houseplant fertilizer. Because pruning encourages new growth, a fertilizer may help feed the new growth and restore the plant’s look. Pothos is susceptible to excess fertilizer, so use half the recommended dose.
Keep pruning pothos vines to enhance leaf growth. Pruning your pothos as needed keeps it small, stops it from growing too long, and encourages leaf growth.
Put the pothos in indirect light. Pothos can withstand shadier settings, but they get leggy and need to be trimmed more often, limiting their growth. Pothos likes a bright environment but not direct sunlight on the window sill. Bright light fosters faster leaf growth and slows the pothos’ legginess, but it should still be pruned to preserve its size.
Pruning may be done at any time of year, but it is best done in the spring to encourage new growth and restore the pothos’ look with lush, green leaves.
Curling Pothos Leaves may fade and curl in wet or dry soil.
Causes: Too much sun, little humidity, compacted soil, temperature swings.
The most frequent cause of curling pothos leaves is wet soil from overwatering and inadequate drainage. The yellowing and curling of pothos leaves is a sign that the soil in the pots is too wet.
To keep the leaves from yellowing and curling, Pothos needs the top inch of soil to dry between waterings. Many causes exist for overly wet pothos potting soil:
- Too much pothos watering (let the soil dry before watering).
- There is too much potting soil (pothos needs porous soil).
- The pot’s base lacks drainage holes.
- Saucers or trays beneath the plant have hampered water drainage.
All of these variables lead to the potting soil being overly wet, causing root rot and curling leaves that eventually fall off.
However, pothos leaves may curl owing to:
- Too much sun.
- Watering too seldom or too gently.
- Indoor heating causes hot weather.
- Low humus.
Pothos plants need indirect light and may dry out rapidly in direct sunlight. Curling the pothos leaves minimizes the surface area of the leaf and so reduces water loss from the leaf.
Pothos is a tropical, humid native. Indoor humidity hovers at about 10%, and outside humidity hovers at around 30%. The low humidity might cause the pothos leaves to curl.
In the winter, low interior humidity is aggravated by heating and temperature changes, which may cause leaf curling. Pothos prefers temperatures ranging from 55°F to 80°F (12°C to 27°C).
Pothos needs thorough watering, such that excess moisture drips from the pot’s base. If the pothos is watered too little, just the top inch or two of soil is moistened, not the roots.
Curling Leaves Revive Dying Pothos Plant
If the leaves are yellowing and curling despite frequent watering, the culprit is most likely root rot. In this case, follow the advice in the first paragraph of this article.
To keep pothos leaves from yellowing and curling,…
Water only after the top inch of potting soil has dried. Pothos like dry soil, so test the moisture with your finger to see whether the top inch has dried. Delay watering if the soil seems wet. Water your pothos now if the soil seems dry.
Make sure pothos have good drainage. Compacted soil prevents water from draining adequately, promoting root rot. Repot pothos using 2/3 standard potting soil and 1/3 pine bark-based orchid potting mix to improve drainage and mimic the pothos’ natural environment’s porous, aerated soil.
Plant pothos in drainage-holed pots and dump water saucers and trays periodically. This allows water to easily drain from the bottom of the pot, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings, which is how the pothos plant naturally gets its water. If the pothos leaves curl but do not yellow or show any other indications of root rot, then dry circumstances are generally the cause.
Always water pothos thoroughly, letting excess water drip from the pot’s base. This ensures the liquid reaches the roots. Wait until the top inch of soil has dried before watering again to achieve the ideal moisture balance.
If the soil is too dry, water may be repelled rather than penetrate to the roots. Submerge the root ball in water for 10 minutes to facilitate optimal absorption. You might need this if you haven’t watered your pothos in a long time.
Mist the pothos leaves every few days to increase humidity. Misting the leaves creates a humid micro-climate that replicates the pothos’ humid tropical habitat. Increased humidity decreases water loss, reducing drought stress that causes leaves to curl. In the winter, when interior heating reduces humidity, you may need to spray your pothos more often.
Move the pothos away from a heat source. Indoor heat may speed up the drying of the soil and make the leaves curl, so move pothos away from heat sources.
Place the pothos in indirect light rather than direct sunlight. Direct sunlight scorches and dries the leaves, causing them to curl. Too much shadow may produce lanky growth, so strong, indirect light is ideal for healthy development.
Pothos heals much better from dryness than from overwatering, so if your leaves curl due to drought, just modify the circumstances to be more beneficial.
Pothos Is Dying After Being Repotted
Pothos plants frequently droop or become yellow after repotting.
Causes: Root rot happens when the potting soil doesn’t drain well, or when the container is too big and soaks up too much water.
Pothos die after repotting because of too much moisture in the potting soil. Pothos prefers well-drained soil that is not continually moist. Root rot occurs when pothos leaves become yellow and droopy after repotting.
Pothos thrives in well-draining soil that keeps some moisture while effectively draining excess water away from the roots. For numerous reasons, the pothos plant can’t tolerate wet potting soil.
Too much earth has been packed around the pothos roots. This removes air from the soil, making it less porous and less prone to flooding.
The new pot is much bigger than the previous one. Larger pots hold more soil and, hence, more moisture. The new, bigger container absorbs too much moisture, causing root rot and leaf wilting.
The fresh potting soil may also hold moisture longer than the old potting soil, promoting root rot. The new pot may not have drainage holes, causing water pooling around the roots and root rot.
How to Repot a Dying Pothos Plant
Always repot pothos plants one size bigger. This ensures that the potting soil dries evenly and prevents root rot.
Repot pothos in a well-draining potting mix that mimics the original soil conditions. To cut down on the risk of root rot and pothos dying after repotting, 2/3 standard potting soil mixed with 1/3 orchid potting mix or succulent and cactus potting mix is the best choice.
Make sure that the new pot has drainage holes and that any saucers or trays below it are routinely emptied. This stops root rot after repotting by not letting too much water build up around the roots.
If the leaves are yellowing and the vines are drooping, then follow the methods in the first subtitle of this article to treat root rot and rescue the pothos.
Pothos Plant Regrowth
Not enough light, water, or nutrients in the soil might cause a pothos plant to not develop.
During the winter, Pothos grows slower because of shorter days, decreased light intensity, and lower temperatures. Less light might cause the leaves to fall.
During its winter hibernation, it is recommended to water less often since the pothos’s requirement for water drops with less sunshine. As a result, the potting soil dries up slower in the winter than in the spring, summer, and fall.
To avoid root rot in the winter, make sure the top inch of soil is dry before watering. Applying fertilizer during winter hibernation might potentially damage the plant.
In the spring, when the pothos grows aggressively again, you may fertilize to encourage growth. If your pothos isn’t growing in the spring or summer, relocate it somewhere brighter (avoid direct sunlight as this can scorch the leaves).
Lift the pothos out of the pot to inspect for potbound roots. Pot confined roots don’t get enough nutrients, hence the pothos plant doesn’t grow.
It is best to repot the pothos in a bigger pot with fresh, properly draining potting soil since the old potting soil is likely drained of nutrients.
Feed 12 strength general houseplant fertilizer once a month in the spring and summer. Always saturate the pothos to keep the soil equally moist since drought stress may slow development. So water as soon as the top inch of soil dries up.
Pothos thrives in most homes’ temperature ranges, but avoid placing it too close to a heat source, which might dry it out, or on a chilly, draughty window sill, which can impede its development. With proper care, pothos should resume vigorous growth in the spring and summer.
Takeaways: Overwatering or inadequate drainage usually causes dying pothos. Pothos plants need well-draining soil that dries out between waterings. Pothos leaves become yellow and droop, indicating root rot.
Pothos leaves get leggy due to infrequent pruning or lack of light. Pothos naturally produces leggy vines. Pruning the vines to keep the plant compact and not lanky.
Pothos leaves curl due to overwatering or dry circumstances. Overwatering causes dead roots, curled leaves, and yellowing. In dry, low-humidity circumstances, the pothos’ leaves curl to minimize surface area and water loss.
Pothos plants die after repotting owing to root rot, compacted soil, oversized pots, or insufficient drainage. Pothos demands a dry top inch of soil between waterings. In poor drainage potting soil, pothos leaves become yellow and die after repotting.
A pothos that doesn’t grow is usually dormant throughout the winter because of shorter days and less light intensity. Spring is when the pothos should re-grow. Pothos plants can’t develop due to nutrient-deficient soil, cold weather, or lack of water.
To resuscitate a dying pothos plant, spritz the leaves to enhance humidity, let the top inch of soil dry before watering again, and place it in bright indirect light. Help the pothos by reviving unhealthy roots and vines.