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If you’re struggling with a dying pothos, there are ways to bring it back to life. These include trimming off damaged leaves. As well as making sure you’re watering correctly, and the plant has proper drainage. Place the plant in a spot with medium indirect light. If necessary, add some fertilizer to promote healthy growth, but be careful to not over-fertilize.
Pothos plants, also known as Devil’s Ivy, are excellent additions to your home. With their waxy, heart-shaped leaves, pothos plants add an aesthetic appeal while purifying the air.
This is one of the top easy-to-grow houseplants with the ability to thrive in unfavorable conditions.
Although the pothos is easy to maintain, its endurance is limited, and healthy growth requires proper plant care and consideration.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, a dying Pothos would worry most plant enthusiasts.
The most common causes for a dying plant include unsuitable temperatures, pest infestation, poor soil, and improper watering. Luckily, there are ways to fix the problem. In this guide, I’ll share top tips to revive your pothos plant.
Pothos, scientifically called Epipremnum Aureum, is a flowering plant species and member of the arum family, Araceae. They are indigenous to the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.
These beautiful plants are low-maintenance and do not require much attention. However, improper care and frequent stress increase the risk of experiencing pothos problems.
If you find yourself asking: why is my Pothos dying? Common causes of plant suffering include inadequate watering, environmental shifts, pest infestation, poor drainage, and neglected soil requirements.
Your pothos may handle these conditions for a while, but they can eventually result in a dying plant.
Pothos plants will display a few visual signs to help you identify the problem. It is vital to understand these signs to save your plants. The signs of a Devil’s Ivy plant dying include:
- Stunted growth
- A foul odor from the soil
- Pothos stems turning brown
- Drooping leaves
- Yellowing leaves
- Pothos leaves turning brown
- Curling leaves
- Devil’s Ivy leaves drying up and falling off
To revive your Pothos plant, start by assessing the visual signs to help identify possible causes. There are various ways to save your dying Pothos.
Although pothos can survive around 10 to 12 days without water, it is vital to water them thoroughly when the soil is dry. Since pothos are not succulents, they do not retain moisture for extended periods.
A pothos suffering from dehydration will display droopy leaves as the dry soil prevents the roots from distributing water to other parts of the plant. Eventually, the leaves lose their stored water and start dropping.
Dry soil and drooping leaves are the most common signs of underwatering. Other possible indicators include discoloration, slow growth, brown edges, and soil pulling away from the outsides of the pot plant.
To save an underwatered pothos, replenish the soil with moisture with frequent watering. When you notice the crispy, light leaves become stiff and shiny, you’ll be happy to know that your pothos is healing. You can follow these steps to correct underwatering:
- Remove dead leaves
- Water your plant adequately
- Make sure that the planter pot has drainage holes to prevent pooling at the base
- Mist around your plant
- Keep in mind that overwatering is not the solution for underwatered plants
- You should water your plant whenever the soil feels completely dry
Overwatering is a common plant killer. Providing plants with excessive amounts of water suffocates the soil – this badly affects the water and air supply and causes the roots to rot.
So, a little extra water may seem helpful, but it is stripping your precious plant of nutrients.
It may be hard to determine whether your plant problems are caused by overwatering or underwatering since the symptoms can be similar.
For instance, a pothos wilting can signal that they are overwatered or dehydrated. The main problem that results from excess water is pothos root rot.
With root rot, you’ll notice black, mushy roots with yellowing leaves. Signs of an overwatered pothos that you should look out for include a blend of brown and yellow on the same leaf, pest infestation, pale leaves, and falling leaves.
Here are a few things to do to correct overwatering and bring your Pothos back to life:
- Trim damaged leaves
- Drain excess water
- Ensure that your planter pot has sufficient drainage
- Cut off roots that feel soggy
- Remove wet soil without damaging the root ball of your pothos
- You can re-pot your pothos in a smaller container
- Place your plant in indirect light and let it dry out
- Stop watering for a few days – until the soil is dry to the touch
All pothos plants love bright indirect light, but they can survive in various light conditions. These golden plants can flourish in low light as well.
How do you know if your pothos is receiving sufficient light? Keep an eye out for stunted growth caused by poor light conditions.
If your Pothos is overexposed to direct light, you may notice burns on the leaves, drooping, and brown leaves. To revive plants from poor lighting, you can:
- Keep plants in moderate indoor light
- Grow outdoor plants in partially shaded areas
- Find a place with indirect sunlight – windows help to decrease the intensity of sunlight
- If your pothos is experiencing a lack of light, move it to a bright spot immediately
- If you have a hanging Pothos, make sure it is getting adequate light on the top
Pests may infest your plants to suck on Pothos sap which contains nutrients to keep the plant healthy. These pests include spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scales.
If you notice that the leaves of your Pothos are speckled or falling off, inspect them to check for tiny-bodied bugs. Here is what you can do to save your plant from these invasive bugs:
- Cut off the damaged leaves
- Remove bugs that you can see with a wet cotton swab
- Use yellow sticky traps to catch flying insects
- Spray insecticides that contain neem oil, soaps, and horticultural oils
- You can also use chemical insecticides created for houseplants
- Insecticidal sprays should be used once a day on alternate days until the infestation is gone
- It is best to spray the solution in the late evening
- Avoid overwatering and let the soil dry to kill pest eggs
- You should isolate infested Pothos to reduce the risk of infecting your other plants
Note: You can make a non-toxic insecticidal spray by mixing one teaspoon of neem oil concentrate, a few drops of mild dish soap, and one cup of water. If you’re making an insecticide, it is best to test it on a leaf to ensure that there is no damage.
If you are wondering what is causing those white spots on the stems and leaves of your pothos, it’s likely a fungal disease.
The strands of fungal mycelia initially grow on the soil and cause white spots on stems and leaves. Over time the entire plant is covered in white, fluffy fungus.
Conditions that lead to fungal infections include high temperature levels, dry air, and poor circulation. To treat pothos fungal infection, you should follow these steps:
- Isolate your plant
- Remove affected areas
- Spray a homemade antifungal solution – mix one teaspoon of baking soda, 135 oz of water, and a half teaspoon of liquid or insecticidal soap
- If the homemade solution does not work, you can try a fungicide spray to get rid of the disease
Pothos are moisture-loving plants that prefer environments with high humidity. Although these tropical plants can thrive in places with low humidity, it can become a problem after a while.
The outcomes of keeping your plant in low humidity environments for extended periods include reduced moisture levels, dried leaves, and brown edges. Follow these steps to save your pothos from a lack of humidity:
- Keep the humidity level between 50 and 70 percent
- Mist your plants once or twice a week
- Set a pebble tray with water
- Avoid exposing plants to direct sunlight
- Use a home humidifier to maintain humidity levels around the plant
- Place vases or jars of water near the plant to increase humidity
- Group your humidity-loving plants – tropical plants release humidity
- Place your Pothos in the bathroom as the environment tends to have high humidity
Now that we’ve covered several ways to revive a dying plant, you’ll know that there’s hope if you notice your pothos drooping leaves.
To make the revival process easier for you, here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers below.
Yes, you should remove the dry, yellow, or brown leaves if they are more than 50% damaged.
Removing damaged leaves will not only improve the appearance but also helps the plant to focus more of its energy on healthy foliage and new growth.
Inadequate watering causes pothos leaves to turn yellow and eventually brown. Whether the underlying cause is underwatering or overwatering, it is unlikely that the moisture-stressed leaf will turn green again.
With Pothos including one of the most popular varieties, the golden pothos, yellow leaves are a sign of improper soil moisture. It is vital to water your plants appropriately and avoid overwatering.
Pothos can survive in moderate temperatures ranging between 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the best growth, these tropical plants prefer temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although it can be daunting seeing a droopy pothos, don’t worry as even seasoned plant-parents slip up sometimes.
The important thing is that there is usually a solution, especially during the early stages.
So, get ready to adorn your home with these cascading, tropical plants. If you’ve saved dying pothos before or have a homemade pest control recipe, share them in the comments section below.