4 Secret Tips To Rescue A Dying Pothos

Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at BalconyGardenWeb.com. With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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A dying pothos is never a good sight, especially when the plant is known for its lush and green foliage! Let’s have a look at how to revive it!

Pothos is a champion survivor and might even go through an apocalypse if maintained well! However, if you are going to neglect it way too much, the plant may suffer and die. If you see yours in a bad state, too, here’s how to take care of it.

Tell-Tale Signs of Dying Pothos and How to Take Care of It

1. Yellowing and Drooping Leaves

Dying Pothos

This is the first sign of a dying pothos, where you will see its leaves all lifeless, with a pale, yellow hue. Well, you have watered it way too much that has caused the roots to become mushy.

At this stage, take the plant out of the pot, and snip away badly damaged parts of the roots. Plant it in a new pot, filled with a fresh, well draining potting mix, and then water only when the topsoil feels dry to touch to about half an inch deep.

Note: Dry, crispy, and drooping leaves can also be a sign of an under-watered plant. In that case, you need to soak the growing medium fully till the water starts to come out from the drainage hole at the bottom. Repeat this every time the soil goes a little dry at the top-inch. 

2. Leggy Growth Along with Pale or Brown Foliage

leggy pothos with yellow leaves

These are another signs of a dying pothos, and all of these indicate two things—either the plant is receiving too much sunlight, or you have kept it in an extremely shaded spot.

Pothos can survive shade, but that doesn’t mean you must confine them to that spot forever! To save the plant, the first thing you need to do is to pick the right location, which is always east facing for pothos.

This spot provides it with mild and direct morning sunlight for 3-4 hours, and then gives it bright and indirect light for the rest of the day, without the fear of exposing it to the harsh afternoon sunlight, which can scorch its leaves, making it crisp and brown.

3. Brown Leaf Edges with A Drooping Plant Despite Watering it Well

Dying Pothos 3

If you see your plant dying in this state, well, it needs humidity!

Pothos need indoor humidity in the range of around 40-50%. The best bet is to use a humidifier around the plant if you have a centrally air-conditioned home.

You can also group 4-5 plants together to create a micro climate, or keep its pot on a pebble tray filled with water.

4. Wilting Plant with Blackened or Blotchy Leaves

pothos with black and limp leaves

Extreme temperature fluctuations, where the plant is either exposed to the cold or hot air, is the main culprit behind this. If your pothos is close to a window where its leaves or stems are touching the glass, you need to keep it at least 2-3 feet away.

The first thing you need to do is to provide a stable temperature—a range of 20-32 C (70-90 F) works best with pothos. Also, keep it away from AC and heating vents at all costs.

Important Pointers to Save the Plant from Dying

golden pothos well-growing plant
  • Pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs can be a nuisance. Look for webbing or any sticky residue on the stems and tiny bugs or spotting behind the leaves. Wipe the leaves using insecticidal soap or neem oil to get rid of them.
  • Do prune dead and damaged leaves from time to time, to help the plant relocate its energy in a right way.

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