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How To Tell If Pothos Is Dying? (Causes + What To Do)

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Pothos, scientifically known as the Epipremnum Aureum, is a beautiful plant and makes the perfect companion for a busy or inexperienced gardener. Although it can tolerate some mistakes, it will show you clear signs when its life is in danger.

The common symptoms of Pothos dying would include stunted growth, discoloration of leaves and stems, as well as droopy or falling leaves. If you notice curling leaves or drying leaves, your Pothos may be dying. You can correct your mistakes by watering correctly and changing the environment.

Reasons Your Pothos Is Not Growing

Signs Your Pothos Is Dying

Your pothos plant will show you a few clear signs, and you can use these signs to identify the problem. It is crucial that you understand these visual symptoms to save your Pothos before it becomes too late. Below are the signs of a dying Pothos plant:

  • An unpleasant odor coming from the soil
  • Slow or stunted growth
  • Stems turning brown
  • Leaves turning yellow
  • Leaves drooping
  • Leaves turning brown
  • Leaves curling
  • Leaves drying up and eventually falling off of the Pothos.

Pothos Root Rot

If you provide your Pothos with an excessive amount of water, it can suffocate the soil. This will affect the water as well as the air supply very badly and can cause the roots of your Pothos to rot.

You might think that a little extra watering may be helpful to your Pothos, but it could be precisely the opposite. It could be challenging to determine if your pothos problems are caused by underwatering or overwatering, as the signs could be similar.

For example, if your Pothos is wilting, it could be an indication of overwatering, or they might be dehydrated. The primary problem that comes from excess water is your pothos’ roots rotting.

In the case of root rot, you will notice yellowing leaves and mushy, black roots. There can also be a blend of yellow and brown coloring on the same leaves. Root rot can also lead to falling leaves, pale leaves, and pest infestation.

How To Fix Pothos Root Rot

You will be happy to hear that there are some things you can do to fix root rot in your Pothos and bring it back to its healthiest state.

Firstly, you can start by trimming all the damaged leaves and draining any excess water out of the container or pot of your Pothos. You should make sure that your pot or container has sufficient drainage holes.

If the container or pot does not have sufficient drainage holes, you can make extra holes to ensure proper drainage.

While your Pothos is out of its pot, you can cut off any roots that feel soggy and remove any wet soil without damaging the root ball. You can then repot your Pothos in a smaller container and place it in indirect light to let the soil dry out completely.

Do not water your Pothos for a few days, and only water again when the soil is dry to your touch.

How To Tell If Pothos Is Dying

Pothos Leaves Are Drooping

There can be several causes of your pothos leaves becoming droopy. The first and most common reason for your Pothos leaves drooping would be dehydration.

The soil gets dry, and the roots are unable to take the water to other essential parts of the Pothos. This is known as turgor pressure, where the water goes up from the roots to the stems and leaves to keep them healthy.

When you don’t provide your Pothos with enough water and become dehydrated, your Pothos leaves will use the water stored inside them and lose transpiration. The leaves will then start to get droopy because they have lost all their stored water.

You can quickly identify underwatering by looking at your pothos’ soil. If the soil seems to be too dry, then underwatering is definitely the case.

The second reason why the leaves of your Pothos may be drooping is because of overwatering. Some gardeners may try to fix underwatering by overwatering their plants, leading to your soil drowning.

In the case of overwatering, your Pothos may be drowning. When the soil gets too waterlogged, it becomes soggy. It will hamper the air and water supply of your Pothos. When this happens, the roots of your Pothos get deprived of air, and it starts to rot as a result.

This will make your entire plant deprived of not only water but nutrients as well, causing droopy leaves.

In the case where your Pothos gets too much light, their leaves can also become droopy. Yout pothos will thrive in a lot of light all day long. Although they can tolerate direct sunlight as well, too much direct sunlight could harm their stems and leaves directly.

The hot and burning sun can lead to increased transpiration and loss of water in your pothos’ leaves. Their leaves will be unable to fulfill the water demands of your Pothos and result in drooping leaves.

How To Fix Droopy Pothos Leaves

In the case where underwatering is the reason behind your Pothos leaves drooping, you will need to adjust your watering schedule and water your Pothos more frequently for a couple of weeks.

You will need to remember to water your Pothos more frequently because they will need to regain their moisture level and get stiff again. You will notice their leaves getting shinier as well.

When you notice that you have been overwatering your Pothos, you can correct it by placing your Pothos in bright but indirect light for as long as you can.

It would also be a good idea to stop watering completely and let your Pothos breathe for a few days. You can water your Pothos again when all the excess water has dried out entirely.

If you have established that your Pothos has been getting too much light, you need to adjust the light conditions by moving it to a more suitable spot.

However, do not deprive your Pothos of light. Give them light but never direct sunlight. If your Pothos is placed near any heaters, move them to a colder spot where enough light is present.

Tell If Pothos Is Dying scaled

White Spots On Pothos Leaves And Stems

Fungal diseases generally cause white spots on Pothos. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that will produce white spots on your pothos leaves at the start of the disease. As time goes on and it is left untreated, your entire Pothos will be covered with fluffy-looking white fungus.

Powdery mildew is highly contagious and will make your Pothos very sick, and it could die soon. Powdery mildew will usually infect your Pothos if it has poor air circulation, high temperatures, all along with insufficient air circulation.

Powdery mildew will feast in areas with high-temperature levels, and it can spread through the air as well as water splashes. Although your Pothos will be able to tolerate some pests, as the infestation gets larger, it could cause the death of your Pothos.

How To Fix White Spots On Pothos Leaves And Stems

You can quickly get rid of the white spots on your pothos stems and leaves by getting rid of the fungal disease before it becomes too late. You should isolate your infected Pothos and pinch all affected areas and throw them away.

You can also use homemade solutions to treat the fungus or purchase horticultural oil, which would ultimately be the best option.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow

Pothos leaves turning yellow could be an indication of several problems. It is of utmost importance to your Pothos that you identify the specific cause, so you can do your best to correct it before your Pothos die.

The first problem would be water stress. Most gardeners tend to make mistakes when it comes to the watering schedule of their Pothos. Figuring out what is the correct amount of water and when to give these amounts of water could be challenging.

It usually results in either overwatering or underwatering. In both these situations, your pothos roots are unable to take the required water and nutrients to their stem and leaves, depriving them of nutrients and water.

Your pothos’ leaves will lose all the water stored in their leaves and stems, and they will not be able to use light correctly to maintain their color. This causes your pothos’ leaves to be yellow.

Low light conditions cause the second problem. Due to poor lighting, the leaves of your Pothos cannot photosynthesize enough to maintain the green color. As a result, your pothos leaves will turn yellow.

Thirdly, overfertilization could cause your leaves to turn yellow in color. Although many plant parents and passionate gardeners want to see their plants grow bigger and bushier, overfertilization is never good.

When you provide your Pothos with too much fertilizer, the excess fertilizer gets concentrated. The massive amount of salt in the soil creates a toxic environment for your Pothos. This will reflect through green leaves turning yellow.

The veins of your Pothos’s leaves may still be green, but the tissue can turn yellow if you use too much fertilizer too often.

How To Fix Yellow Pothos Leaves

In the case where your Pothos is under-watered, you should practice watering them more frequently. You can also make use of a dish and place it beside your Pothos’s pot so it can recollect any extra water from the dish to make the moisture levels higher.

If you notice that you have been overwatering your Pothos, you should water less frequently and make 100% sure that your Pothos gets enough light so that they can dry out quickly.

If low light has been causing your pothos leaves to turn yellow, you should relocate your Pothos. It will be in your Pothos’ best interest if you look for a spot in your home where your Pothos can get sufficient light. This will allow your Pothos to photosynthesize.

Remember never to expose your Pothos to direct sunlight for more than two hours a day. If you choose to keep your Pothos near one of your windows, you can choose to use sheer curtains in order to reduce the light intensity. It would also be an excellent idea to place your Pothos a few feet away from your windows.

If you have over-fertilized your Pothos, it might be good to take a break from fertilizing for a while. Always use a fertilizer that is specially formulated for your plant. A balanced fertilizer would be best suited for Pothos. Remember to only fertilizer during the summertime, and once a month is more than enough.

Pothos Leaves Turning Brown

If you notice the leaves of your Pothos turning brown, it is a clear indication of some serious issues. If you don’t quickly take the correct measures to fix it right away, your Pothos will die. It is crucial that you know each of these symptoms and what they could mean for your pothos plant.

When it comes to not providing your Pothos with the correct light conditions, it directly affects the health of the leaves of your Pothos. If you don’t provide your Pothos with enough light, the leaves of your Pothos will turn brown, and they will not face the light source.

The leaves of your Pothos can also turn brown due to a lack of humidity. Lack of humidity can very quickly become a severe problem for moisture-loving plants such as your Pothos.

Lack of humidity is the most ignored factor, as most gardeners think that their Pothos will be able to manage with insufficient humidity levels. Although your Pothos is a very hardy plant, its leaves will turn brown if you keep them in continuously low humidity areas.

The leaves of your Pothos will demand enough humidity in the air in order to maintain the correct moisture level.


Fixing Brown Pothos Leaves

If you realize that you have not been providing your Pothos with adequate lighting conditions, you can fix this by simply rotating the deprived part of the Pothos to the light.

You can place the pot of your Pothos in an area where the entire plant can get an even source of light throughout the whole day. The best thing would be to place your Pothos in a west-facing window, ensuring that it does not get too much direct sunlight for long periods.

If your Pothos seems to be a bit dry, you can water your Pothos can give them proper light so they can regain their moisture levels in their leaves and soil. Although this might take some time, your Pothos will become healthy again with a frequent watering schedule.

In the case of low humidity levels, you can frequently purchase a sprayer and mist around your Pothos to improve the humidity in your air. However, it would be in your Pothos’s best interest if you used a humidifier in the area in order to easily maintain the humidity levels.

Pothos Leaves Wilting

When you notice that your Pothos’s leaves are starting to wilt, it means that your poor plant is just about to lose its life. However, you may try to give your last attempts to revive your Pothos, although it can be extremely challenging to do this at this late stage.

If you have moved your Pothos into an indoor area due to cold weather conditions or outdoors for the summer, they will go through a state of shock due to the changes in the humidity and temperature levels.

Generally, when you purchase a new plant, and it comes from a greenhouse, they might go into a state of shock as well. This is no different with your Pothos, and they will show you their distress through their leaves.

Dropping their leaves is a way of your Pothos showing you their environmental changes. However, your Pothos is a vigorous plant, and they can usually adjust themselves to their current area, and with time they can recover fully as well.

How To Fix Pothos Leaves Wilting

If you’re thinking of moving your Pothos from one location to another one, such as outdoor to indoor, you should do it gradually.

You can keep it outdoors for a few hours and increase the hours gradually until your Pothos have acclimated to the different conditions.

Leggy Growth In Pothos

When it comes to pothos plants, they can become leggy as a direct response to the lack of light around it. Leggy pothos growth tends to look unhealthy and strange.

Leggy growth is a way your Pothos is trying to cope and survive with the lack of light, and it simultaneously makes them look very sickly.

A lack of light can also result in several pothos diseases such as root rot and mold. Although a leggy Pothos plant can make some gardeners discouraged and worried, it is not necessarily a sign of your Pothos dying.

How To Fix Leggy Growth In Pothos

Generally, once you have provided your Pothos plant with enough light, the leaves will start emerging and transfer the energy which is taken from the sunlight.

They will then turn the sunlight into helpful nutrients and food. You can simply reposition your Pothos plant, and you will typically notice some improvement in only a few weeks.

Pothos Leaves Have Started Curling

If you see the leaves of your Pothos are beginning to curl up, it is most likely due to pests, too much water, or too much light. Pests are pesky insects that suck on the sap of your Pothos, and they multiply very fast as well!

They will suck on the leaves and the stem of your Pothos. This will weaken your Pothos, and the leaves will tend to curl as a coping mechanism to the stress.

When it comes to receiving too much water, your pothos leaves can also start to curl. The soil and roots of your Pothos will not like to stay or drown in excess water.

If you keep your Pothos in waterlogged soil, the roots will suffocate and cannot supply sufficient amounts of water to their stems and leaves. As a result, the leaves will curl, and the roots of your Pothos can even rot, leading to the death of your plant.

Too much light can also curl the leaves of your Pothos. Due to excess heat, the leaves of your Pothos can lose water through transpiration. The older leaves will curl at their tips, and the new leaves will grow significantly smaller.

How To Fix Curling Pothos Leaves

When it comes to pest infestations, you should do frequent inspections of your pothos plants. If you have a minor infestation, you can wash your entire Pothos with water and add a bit of dish soap in order to eliminate the most stubborn pests.

You can also pick any pests you can see by using your hands. Also, remember to trim or remove all the infected parts of your Pothos.

Refrain from watering your Pothos not following a specific watering routine. You can look at the soil, and you will be able to tell if the soil is wet or dry. If you see that the soil is still darker in color, then it is most likely still too moist. 

If your Pothos seems to get too much light, move them to an area where it would get appropriate light conditions without getting too much heat. Your Pothos should ideally get indirect light all day long in order to ensure proper and even growth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pothos Dying

Should Damaged Leaves Be Removed From Pothos Plants?

It will benefit your Pothos if you remove all dry, brown, or yellow leaves if more than 50% of their surface is damaged.

Removing the damaged leaves will approve the overall appearance of your Pothos and will help your Pothos focus most of their needed energy on their healthy foliage and new growth.

Will Brown Leaves Turn Green Again?

It is highly unlikely that brown leaves will turn green again. The leaves will generally fall off.

Are Pothos Plants Sensitive To Temperature?

A pothos plant will survive in moderate temperates ranging anywhere between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, your Pothos plant will prefer temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the ideal growth.