Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?

Pothos are forgiving indoor plants and ideal for novice or newbie gardeners. Thanks to the low maintenance costs that allow beginners to make mistakes before gaining experience. 

But that does not mean that these houseplants are invincible. Pothos also get stressed when growing conditions are not up to the required standards. 

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Pothos usually express their frustrations through the leaves. If you notice your pothos leaves turning yellow, it is an indication of something wrong with the plant.

There is no need to worry since there are several remedies to revive the plant. You need to find out the cause of pothos leaves turning yellow and brown. 

So, why are my pothos leaves turning yellow? Yellow leaves on pothos are due to insufficient light, too much moisture, inadequate nutrients, low humidity, fungal diseases, pests, and the renewal process. 

Identifying and fixing the problem will help to restore the houseplant. This article provides detailed insight into the causes and what to do for yellow leaves on pothos. 

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Reasons Why Pothos Leaves Turn Yellow

Improper Sunlight

Pothos grow under the canopy in their natural habitat. These plants usually receive bright indirect sunlight to carry out their physiological processes.

The feature allows the plant to thrive under indoor conditions. To be a successful grower, you need to ensure the houseplant gets sufficient sunlight.

But too much direct sunlight exposure can be harmful to the houseplant. Pothos are likely to experience both drooping and yellowing of leaves.

If the condition persists for an extended period, the plant will start to wilt and die. It can be heartbreaking in the long run.

Besides that, insufficient sunlight can result in leggy stems and leaves turning yellow. The condition will also result in stunted growth since it does not support photosynthesis.

The best option is to place the plant near the window with curtains. The filtered sunlight will create a conducive environment that facilitates better growth and stunning foliage development.

If you are growing the houseplant in a dark room, consider installing artificial lights to inhibit the yellowing of leaves. Pothos can tolerate low-lighting conditions.

Indirect natural sunlight will help to save pothos leaves from turning yellow. Be sure to expose the plant to indirect sunlight for about 3-4 hours a day.

Nutrients Deficiency 

Pothos are not heavy feeders. But these plants will need nutrients and sunlight when grown in the house. These nutrients and light will enable the houseplant to carry out vital physiological activities.

Pothos leaves turning yellow with brown spots are an indication of insufficient nutrients in their potting mix. The houseplant will also begin to grow leggy and develop bending stems.

The best option is to grow the houseplant in a potting mix rich in calcium, nitrogen, magnesium, copper, and more minerals. The plant will later experience healthy growth.

If your houseplant is experiencing yellowing of leaves and fronds, consider applying water-soluble fertilizer rich in nitrogen around the roots.

These minerals will save your pothos from developing yellow leaves. It will also foster the healthy growth and well-being of your houseplant.

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Overwatering Stress

Overwatering is the leading cause of pothos leaves turning yellow, and it occurs due to poor drainage. It makes the potting soil soggy and waterlogged.

The damp environment makes houseplants suffer from root rot disease. Damaged roots will be unable to absorb water and other vital nutrients from the soil.

If you notice your houseplant leaves turning yellow, it is due to a lack of nutrients and mineral ions. Sometimes, the plant will begin to wilt and die in the long run.

Solving an overwatering issue is super easy. Allow the potting mix to dry before watering the houseplant again. But remember to check the soil moisture content first.

I recommend inserting your index finger in the soil for about 2-3 inches. If the soil is dry, consider watering the houseplant.

It would be best to use a container with drainage holes at the bottom. These holes will help to get rid of excess water in the potting mix.

You can also re-pot the plant to another container with fresh potting mix. Snip the affected roots with a sterilized pair of scissors. You will also experience pothos leaves turning yellow after re-potting

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Under-Watering Problem

Pothos are tropical plants and love adequate water. It would be best to note that water and sunlight are crucial components for photosynthesis.

Insufficient water in the soil forces the houseplant to start conserving energy and nutrients. If the condition persists for an extended period, the houseplant foliage will turn yellow and become limp.

Wilting and dropping of leaves will also happen due to excessive water loss. Resolving the under-watering issue is super simple and easy.

All you need is to come up with a watering schedule. The routine will help to avoid the yellowing of leaves and overwatering phenomenon.

Be sure to use a large container with drainage holes at the bottom. These holes will help to get rid of excess water and prevent the soil from becoming soggy.

Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

Pothos prefer a temperature range of 70-90oF (21-30oC). The condition allows the houseplant to experience better growth and stay healthy.

The indoor environment is more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. These variations usually affect plant growth and their health.

Any temperature above 90oF (32oC) or below 50oF (10oC) will make pothos leaves start turning yellow. High temperatures will make pothos droopy and limp.

The rule of thumb is to keep the houseplant away from hot and cold drafts. It will help to avoid leaves curling and yellowing issues in the long run.

Identify a spot in the house that does not experience temperature fluctuations. Keep your houseplant there and try to maintain the temperature as much as possible.

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Fungal Diseases

Damp soil creates a conducive environment for fungi to thrive. The condition occurs due to overwatering the houseplant.

Overwatering is common when using a container without drainage holes. The excess soil moisture content encourages fungal growth.

Most fungi usually cause root rot. Damaged roots will no longer absorb vital nutrients and minerals from the soil.

Pothos leaves turning yellow and brown is a sign of malnourishment. The houseplant will also start becoming leggy and limp.

The best option is to re-pot the plant to a new container with fresh potting mix. Remember to snip off the affected roots with sterilized scissors.

But you will also notice pothos leaves turning yellow after repotting. The good news is that the symptom does not last for long.

Pest Infestations

Pothos are vulnerable to insect infestations. Some of these insects are spider mites, scales, and mealybugs. These insects pierce the leaves and release venom that causes leaf diseases.

The regular piercing damages the leaves’ vital tissues. Stressed pothos will start displaying yellow leaves with brown spots.

I recommend buying neem oil spray and apply on the plant foliages. It will help to deter these pests from invading your houseplant.

Another incredible option is to rub alcohol swabs on the stems and leaves. The alcohol content will help to get rid of insects on your houseplant.

Natural Yellowing of Leaves

Aging is inevitable in both plants and animals. But the condition usually lasts for a short period in plants. Aging pothos will experience yellowing of leaves.

Old lower leaves turning yellow are normal. It helps the houseplant to redirect energy and nutrients to the new growths.

There is no need to freak since these yellow leaves will fall off. There is no way you can halt old leaves from turning yellow and dropping.

Low Humidity

Pothos thrives in a condition with high humidity. The gardener needs to ensure the indoor condition mimics their natural habitat.

Low humidity is associated with a high rate of transpiration. The houseplant ends up losing more water than what is absorbed by the roots.

Excessive water loss makes the pothos leaves and stems droop. Besides that, you will notice your pothos leaves turning yellow with brown spots.

I recommend misting the leaves several times a day. The technique helps to increase the level of humidity around the plant. It will further prevent pothos leaves from turning yellow.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow and Brown?

Low humidity and natural aging are the leading cause of the issue. Other possible causes are fungal diseases, direct sunlight exposure, improper watering, and temperature stress. 

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Brown?

Prolonged exposure to sunlight and temperature stress. These two factors are the most common cause of pothos leaves turning brown. Other causes are low humidity, pests, diseases, and under-watering. 

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow with Brown Spots?

It is due to insect infestations. These sap-sucking pests invade the leaves and pierce them more often. The leaves display their displeasure by turning yellow with brown spots. 

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow after Repotting?

The plant is trying to cope with the new environment. Yellowing of leaves is usually short-lived and there is no need to freak out. Provide the right growing condition to experience stunning foliage in the long run. 

Why Is My Pothos Turning Yellow in Water?

 Pothos hate excess water or moisture around their root systems. Leaves turning yellow are a sign of stress due to the damaged roots. The condition usually damages the roots and inhibits them to carry out their duties. 

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In Conclusion

If your pothos leaves are turning yellow, try to investigate the underlying cause and adopt the correct measure for fixing it.

Pothos are easy to grow and maintain. These houseplants are less susceptible to plant diseases causing yellow and brown leaves.

To save your houseplant from leaves turning yellow, take the time to read through the article and learn how to fix pothos leaves turning yellow.

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