Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow: 15 Reasons and Solutions

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Worried about Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow? Here are the 15 reasons and ways to save it on time to keep it happy and thriving!

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow

Epipremnum aureum is one of the most easy-going houseplants out there that always look happy and robust. However, if you see your Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow, then there can be many reasons behind it. Let’s find out the reasons one by one and learn how to eliminate them.

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Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?

If you’ve noticed your Pothos leaves turning yellow, don’t worry, you’re not alone! This common issue can be a sign of various problems affecting your beloved plant.

But fret not; we’ll provide simple solutions to help you bring those vibrant green leaves back to your Pothos. So, let’s get to the root of the issue and find out why your Pothos leaves might be yellowing and how to repair them!

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Reasons for Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow

Occasionally, the yellowing of leaves is normal. When the leaf ages and falls off, it can turn yellow, too. All you have to do is remove that, and the rest is good to go. However, constant yellowing has many other reasons that are listed below:

1. Over Watering

Reasons for Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow

One of the main reasons behind Pothos leaves turning yellow and brown is due to oversaturated soil and watering too generously.

Remedy: The best trick to treat Pothos yellow leaves due to this problem is to prevent it from happening or increasing by letting the topsoil dry out between watering spells. Check out the soil by feeling the top using your finger or use a moisture meter.

2. Under Watering

Underwatering Reasons for Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow
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Yellow leaves on pothos plants tend to be evidence of dehydration. Their leaves start to droop, and they feel limp to the touch, followed by yellow and brown spots.

Remedy: The Pothos plant can get easily stressed out with an irregular watering routine. You can also try bottom wateringWe have a great article on it here.

3. Diseases

Disease Reasons for Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow
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One of the main causes of diseases in Pothos is fungal infections, which can be induced by wet foliage and excessive moisture and result in brown spots and yellow halos on the foliage.

Remedy: Avoid wetting or misting the foliage, especially when the weather is cold or humid. Also, do not over-water the plant and place it in an area with excellent air circulation. Snip away diseased leaves or stems immediately to stop them from spreading further.

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4. Pythium Root Rot

Root rot Reasons for Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow
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Wondering, Why are my Pothos leaves turning yellow? When Pothos suffers from pythium root rot, the roots become black and mushy, and mature leaves turn yellow and eventually fall off. This condition is primarily caused by overly saturated soil, which can result from overwatering, poor drainage, or heavy soils.

Remedy: To address root rot, it’s essential to adjust the watering habits. Allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions, ensure the pot has proper drainage, and consider repotting in well-draining soil if needed.

5. Too Much or Too Little Light

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow too much light
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Too much light will make the leaves burn, turning them crisp. Too little light can harm the leaves of the plant, turning them yellow and tender. Avoid placing it in a too-dark spot and refrain from exposing the plant to direct sunlight for a long time.

Remedy: Any place with a dappled light is great for the plant. Also, several hours of gentle morning sun is wonderful for its growth.

6. Pot Without Drainage Holes

Pot Without Drainage Holes
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Drainage holes are extremely important while growing plants in pots. They help drain excess water, saving the soil from remaining soggy constantly, which leads to yellowing leaves on pothos.

Remedy: A pot with a drainage hole will ensure the soil is never overly moist and the plant is not sitting in wet soil for long. Get a container with drainage holes and if it doesn’t have one, drill a few at the bottom.

7. Bacterial Wilt Disease

Bacterial Wilt Disease
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If you’re thinking, Why pothos leaves turn yellow, Bacterial wilt might be the culprit. Bacterial wilt disease typically occurs when infected cuttings fail to root properly, leading to bacterial wilt. This disease is characterized by yellowing or blackening of veins and stems. The bacteria, Ralstonia solanacearum, can spread through the water the cuttings are in, inhibiting further propagation.

Remedy: Prevent bacterial wilt by using healthy, disease-free cuttings. Maintain good hygiene practices when propagating Pothos and avoid using contaminated water. You should isolate the infected plants to prevent the disease from spreading.

8. Pests

Pests
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Pothos is susceptible to more attacks by spider mites and mealybugs. These sap-sucking bugs love warm weather and usually exhaust the plant by siphoning all the moisture. This again causes the leaves to turn yellow with brown spots.

Remedy: Use a strong jet of water to get rid of spider mites, aphids, or other pests. Alternatively, you can use a neem oil solution or an insecticidal soap or clean the leaves using rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.

9. Lack of Nutrients

Lack of Nutrients
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Yellowing leaves on pothos might also be the result of an improper balance of nutrients within the soil or the water.

Remedy:

  • Yellowing around the edges indicates a magnesium deficiency.
  • If the leaves at the bottom of your plant turn yellow, it’s due to a nitrogen deficiency.
  • If the top leaves are turning yellow, then less sulfur is to blame.

Use a fertilizer accordingly.

10. Southern Blight

Southern Blight reason
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Southern blight is more common in warm southern climates. It is caused by the fungus Sclerotium rolfsii, which thrives in wet soils and high temperatures. Symptoms include wilting and yellow coloration of lower leaves and the presence of white fungal threads.

Remedy: To combat southern blight, ensure proper soil drainage and avoid overwatering. Isolate infected plants and treat them with appropriate fungicides. You should remove and dispose of affected plant parts so the disease cannot spread.

11. Hard Water

Hard Water is a reason for yellow leaf
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Hard water usually comes with a high amount of calcium and other minerals; this hinders plant growth by affecting the plant’s nutrient uptake ability, which turns the foliage yellow. One easy-to-identify hard water problem is to notice white water spots and rings develop on the leaves of houseplants.

Remedy:  Excessive minerals and salt buildup due to hard water is also the primary reason behind yellow leaves. Make sure that you are storing the tap water overnight, especially if it contains chlorine. Alternatively, you can use RO water, soft water, or boiled water after cooling it down.

12. Manganese Toxicity

Manganese Toxicity
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Manganese toxicity could also be the answer to, “Why do pothos leaves turn yellow?” Common in older pothos plants, excessive levels of manganese in the soil can make the plant appear diseased.

Remedy: Be cautious with fertilization, especially in older plants. Use fertilizers with balanced nutrient ratios and avoid over-fertilizing. You should consider repotting the plant in fresh soil if manganese toxicity is severe.

13. Cold and Hot Temperatures

Cold and Hot Temperatures
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Fluctuating temperatures cause Pothos to live in stress, which leads to problems related to its growth, including the yellowing of leaves.

Remedy: The average temperature Pothos love is 50-90°F (10-33°C). Also, keep the plant away from cold drafts of air and avoid keeping it near an air conditioning vent. If you have a centrally heated home, keep it away from the heating outlet.

14. Over Fertilization

Over Fertilization
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Overfertilization is also one of the leading causes of the Pothos leaves turning yellow. It also causes brown and yellow spots on leaf margins and wilting of lower leaves.

Remedy: Too much feeding or using a poor-quality fertilizer also causes the plant to turn yellow. Do not feed the plant for more than once in 6-8 weeks, that too using balanced liquid fertlizer diluted to 1/4 of its strength.

15. Ethylene Damage

Ethylene Damag
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Ethylene damage is not a disease but rather a response to certain fungicides or exposure to ethylene gas. It causes leaves to turn yellow and beige, often occurring during cooler weather in fall and winter.

Remedy: Avoid the use of fungicides that trigger ethylene damage if you don’t want Pothos plant leaves turning yellow. Ensure proper ventilation in indoor spaces to reduce ethylene gas accumulation. You need to monitor the plant’s environment for any potential sources of ethylene, such as malfunctioning heaters.

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