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Pothos Leaves Curling? Here’s Why

Pothos Leaves Curling? Here’s Why

Pothos is everyone’s first choice to get their hands on. It can thrive in almost all conditions without asking for anything in excess.

However, in some cases, you may see visible symptoms of the plant being unhappy, including curling leaves.

Yes, if there is an issue with the plant’s surroundings or care, its leaves can start curling and ultimately die if not brought to life immediately.

If your pothos plant leaves are too curling, here are the possible causes. Plus, I’ll also list the working remedies to undo the same. So, let’s kickstart!

Reasons Why Your Pothos Leaves Are Curling?

Any plant, even pothos, curls its leaves when it’s either getting less care or anything in excess, be it water, sunlight, fertilizer, etc.

Curling of the pothos leaves isn’t a worrying sign provided its reason is one among the following ones.

It is because the exact reason will govern which revival technique will come to your plant’s rescue. On these lines, here are the top reasons why the leaves of the pothos plant start curling.

You’re underwatering your pothos plant

If you have studied the internal working of plants, you must know how critical water is to their day-to-day activities.

However, if you’re providing insufficient water to plant-like pothos, in our case, the plant will resort to other ways to retain as much water as it can.

One of these ways is by curling its leaves. If continued for long, the leaves will start turning limp and even wilt.

In most cases, due to lack of moisture, leaves begin yellowing and falling off. Hence, you must water your pothos at regular intervals to maintain an optimum moisture level.

If you’re finding it difficult to water the plant regularly or want to know when your plant needs a wet spell, notice how soon the soil loses its moisture and set yourself reminders for watering it.

Feeding too much fertilizer to the plant

A fertilizer is nothing but an external source of food for the plants. Now, as humans behave abnormally after being overfed, in a similar manner, your plant will respond negatively if fed too much fertilizer in one go.

Though it’s slightly tricky to make out whether curling is due to overfeeding, if the leaves are smaller than usual or color is changing, excess fertilizer is the culprit here! It is because fertilizer increases the concentration of salts and nitrogen in the soil, which the roots can’t tolerate.

As a thumb rule, you need to fertilize the soil once or twice a year, depending upon the pothos size and soil amount. If you’re doing it wrong, look for the following signs.

  • The original dark green color is changing to yellow/brown,
  • The top layer of soil is crusty or white,
  • Root rot is developing around the roots,
  • The pothos is shedding its leaves off-season, etc.

Consistent fluctuations in the temperature

The ideal temperature range for a pothos plant to flourish is 60-degree Fahrenheit to 90-degree Fahrenheit.

If the temperature is outside this range, you’ll notice your plant behaving differently, like curling its leaves, etc.

It is because the plants tend to either shrink themselves as a protection against cold or hot temperatures.

Again, this stresses the fact that being a houseplant, you should never grow the plant outdoors. Pot the plant in a supporting pot, place it at a location having an ideal growing temperature, and that’s it!

Root rot

Root rot is a fungal infection in soils that are too damp due to inadequate drainage systems.

Due to a flawed drainage system, the water you’ll pour into the plant won’t travel out of the plant and accumulate in the soil only. After prolonged periods, it’ll start affecting the roots, thus initiating the fungal infection.

As a result of the infection, the soil’s nutrients and moisture can’t travel to the different parts of the plant, like stems & leaves.

It, in turn, causes the leaves to curl or the stem to shrink. To remedy this, cut off the affected portion of the roots and repot the plant in another pot.

The plant is getting too much direct sunlight

As said in the beginning, a plant-like pothos is very undemanding. A healthy pothos has broad and flat leaves that turn towards the light source when required.

However, the light source need not be natural sunlight! Yes, pothos can survive even without direct sunlight, and merely your regular fluorescent light bulb will go well in this case.

Over-exposure of the plant to natural sunlight can have a devastating impact on the plant’s health, and the same is visible in the form of the following symptoms.

  • The leaves are drooping,
  • Or they tend to curl away from light.

It’s equally noteworthy to understand that you can also assume it to be getting low light if your pothos is curling. In a nutshell, take notice of the amount of light you expose the plant too!

Pests around the pothos

Any insect or plant-specific pests like Aphid, Spider Mites, Mealybugs, Thrips, Whiteflies, etc., are harmful to your plant.

If you notice any of such pests or insects settling over the plant or leaves, you will clean down the plant to its length using rubbing alcohol. Its smell will prevent the insects from attacking the plant again for some time.

So, these are some top spurs behind the curling of pothos leaves.

How do I stop my pothos leaves from curling?

So, now that you know what’s exactly causing the pothos to curl their leaves, here are some quick fixes for it.

  • First and foremost, always plant your pothos in well-drained soil. It will prevent the water from passing out the soil and retain it for more time. Plus, if the soil has a better drainage system, it’ll ensure water doesn’t accumulate near the roots, giving rise to root rot.
  • Although fertilizer isn’t a necessity in the case of pothos, even if you’re using it, use it carefully. That is, add a fixed quantity of fertilizer to the plant either once or twice a year.
  • You’d never pot the plant outdoors as too low, or high temperature can kill the plant or make its leaves curl. To avoid this, make sure the surroundings have a temperature between the range 60-degree F to 90-degree F.
  • Is the soil too damp? If yes, you need to lower the frequency of watering the plant or replace the current soil with a new bag of acidic soil (pH of 6.1-6.5).
  • If the leaves of the pothos are curling away from sunlight, you will shift the plant away from its direct exposure to a slightly shaded place.
  • Lastly, if the leaves are still curling after all the above fixes, you’d wait and see if the plant is shedding its old leaves for new foliage.


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A plant-like pothos may not need much care for its growth. However, it asks for double the efforts for its care from the various signs of dying plant-like yellowing of the leaves, drooping/curling leaves, etc.

No matter which issues your plant is encountering, it’s possible to undo them. For example, if the leaves of your pothos are curling, you can offset the same with the above-discussed methods.

However, it’s worth noting that the plant may have entered its shedding period and is losing its old bunch of leaves in the form of curled leaves!