Pothos Plant Problems

//Pothos Plant Problems

Pothos houseplant leaves turn yellow and brown and dry for a variety of reasons: when grown in too little light, an irregular watering pattern, or the plant is sitting in water and may be the beginning of root rot. Usually if the problem is over-watering the entire plant will turn yellowish – if the problem is uneven watering, that is drying between waterings, then the older leaves turn yellow and brown first but the new foliage looks OK. So evaluate your plant by looking to see if all the new growth is fine but the older leaves are the ones that are going – if that’s the case you need to water the entire plant really well and then check it in a few days to see if it is dry.

Often our houseplants dry more quickly at this time of year when the heating is coming on more frequently. Be sure to water really well when you do water – never give a plant “just a little” because you don’t want to over-water, don’t want the water to leak out of the drainage holes, or don’t have time to fill up a container with enough water. In other words, soak the entire root ball well when you water and let it drain into a sink or saucer for a couple of hours – then remove from any standing water and test the soil in a few days to see if it’s dry ready for watering again.

Plants also dry up more quickly when they’ve been in the same pot for awhile. When you see brown leaves on a plant, tip it out of the pot and see if it looks root bound. If so, putting it in a new, larger pot with fresh soil will help.

This does not look like a nutrient deficiency but most houseplants should be fed a slow-release or organic fertilizer formulated for indoor container plants.

By | 2015-11-14T11:16:31-08:00 November 14th, 2015|House Plants|13 Comments

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  1. David Onega January 9, 2021 at 9:43 am - Reply

    We recently repotted a Pothos and in doing so may have damaged the roots. We’re not sure, but in its new/larger pot it has lost a tremendous amount of vitality. The plant and leaves are limp and some have yellowed. We are fairly sure it’s not a light issue and the soil, if anything, is moist.
    Any suggests ?

    • Melanie February 26, 2021 at 8:13 am - Reply

      So that will happen when you repot most plants. The roots are very sensitive and will take time to readjust after being moved to their new home assuming no major roots were permanently damaged. It just takes time! Don’t do anything crazy to try to get them to perk back up because the roots have been through enough. Keep watering consistently, and maybe bring them outside for a couple hours of sunlight weather permitting. If you want to help the plant get a little stronger, GENTLY shake the leaves a little to mimic wind whenever you walk past it or think about it. Just put your hand flat on the leaves and add a little movement. This is good for inside plants as they don’t get wind like outside plants. Hope this helps!

  2. Rachelle Valentine January 10, 2021 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    I have the same problem as David.. I repotted 2 large pothos into slightly larger pots and a week later they look sad 🙁 lots of natural light but no direct sunlight, leaves are still green but somewhat limp.. very concerned plant mother.. Help!!

  3. Patricia February 25, 2021 at 7:02 am - Reply

    I have the same problem, please I need help!!

  4. Sophie March 16, 2021 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Hi, was wondering if you give me some advice. I watered my pothos 2 weeks ago and the soil is still wet, doesn’t seem to be drying very quickly. What can I do to make it dry? Also I’m hoping that Root rot won’t happen

  5. Hattie April 22, 2021 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    hi, I repotted my pothos like a week ago and I am noticing of the back of some of the leaves, more towards the stem, is beginning to turn brown. What does this mean? I’m scared it’s developing root rot because I just used regular potting soil when I repotted. Do I need to repot him again? what do I do to prevent rotting?

  6. Marge Cole June 11, 2021 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Just planted Salvias. They have brown spots on the leaves. Is this a problem and if so what can be done to fix it?

  7. Ap March 9, 2023 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Hi can anyone help me? I have a variegated pothos (like the one that it’s white and green, i think that’s its name) and i also have a normal one. The variegated one has the tip of some of its leaves brown and it’s thiner than the rest of the leave but its not dry. Also the stems are brown as well but i don’t think the plant is dying because it develops new leaves. I dont think its a light problem because the other pothos is doing fine and neither of them are exposed directly to sun light. I’ve tried watering it less frequently but it doesn’t help.
    Sorry for poor English, its not my first language 🙂

  8. kowsar March 31, 2023 at 6:20 am - Reply

    Hello, I have a petus flower that does not grow, its leaves are yellow, what is the problem?
    It does not receive direct light
    It is watered twice a week

  9. Tim June 26, 2023 at 6:33 am - Reply

    I don’t know why this article discusses about too much water, it seems that this plant loves water. The more I water it, the more it grows. I even cut clippings and place them in a cup of water and once it roots, I place it in my goldfish aquarium and it does best there. Only issue I get is when I bring it outside, it doesn’t do well. Perhaps because of temperature drops at night time. I do live in Canada.

  10. Kels October 30, 2023 at 6:48 am - Reply

    How often should you water them?

  11. David cantonwine January 27, 2024 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Transplanting this plant, what O need to know……..tks

  12. Gca February 21, 2024 at 8:04 am - Reply

    Should I cut off the yellow and brown leaves and leave the green leaves would this help the plant get back to life

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