Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow? Here’s Why [ & The Solution ]

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow

So you’re an easy-going person who is looking for a plant that can thrive without much scrutiny? Then pothos is for you! Pothos is a typical house plant with dark green heart-shaped leaves that lends positivity to the environment.

If you go deeper into the history of this plant, you’ll come to know that this plant is also known as Devil’s Ivy as it’s impossible to kill the plant.

While all other plants will die out if deprived of water, air, and sunlight, Epipremnum aureum (pothos) can survive in such situations too!

If you own such a plant and notice that its dark green leaves are gradually turning yellow, this, however, is a point of concern.

Generally, the above happens due to a range of reasons you can better understand in the following section.

Why are your pothos leaves turning yellow?

Another cool thing about this popular home plant is that even if its leaves are turning yellow, it’s possible to revive the plant by fixing what’s causing it in the first place. So, below are the reasons for the same.

1. Moisture

Pothos is not like other plants that require ample water supply to prosper. Too much water or moisture is bad for their health, and the same is the lack of moisture.

If you have an idea about the soil mixture for such a plant, you’d know that excess water around the roots of such plants blocks the oxygen supply to the plant and eventually leads to their death.

Therefore, one should water the pothos plant only if the top 25% of the soil in the pot seems arid. It becomes more accessible in winters as the moisture in the air will act as a humidifier to the plant, and you can refrain from watering frequently.

However, the case worsens in the hot months, where the water requirements of the pothos shoot up briskly.

Remember that no plant, even pothos like wet “feet,” and excess water or moisture can make the roots rot and crumble over time.

2. Long exposure to direct sunlight

Pothos doesn’t require “direct” sunlight, unlike other house plants. Yes, you heard that right! Exposing the plant to direct sunlight beyond the safe limit will otherwise cause yellowing of their leaves and an ultimate death later.

It is the reason why pothos is also popular as a low-light house plant. For substantial growth, it’s always better to grow pothos under indirect but bright light, say your regular fluorescent light.

Or you can place the pothos pot in a room that receives direct sunlight in the morning hours.

Hence, if you can notice the yellowing of the pothos leaves, immediately take the plant off from direct sunlight and set it in a shadier space. The plant will revive back to its normal shading soon.

3. Poor-quality fertilizer

First thing first, the pothos plant doesn’t need any external source of nutrients in the form of fertilizer.

Even if you feel like using some, discard the fertilizers as poor in quality as they will do more harm than good to your plant.

Since pothos is a houseplant, always check whether you’re using a well-balanced houseplant fertilizer or not.

Otherwise, the plant will either get excess nutrients or less or no nutrients.

Also, expert potters recommend adding a fixed quantity of fertilizer every 2-3 months throughout the growing season for optimal growth.

If you feel that the current soil has too much fertilizer buildup that’s affecting the plant and yellowing its leaves, it’s better to change the soil.

4. Fungal growth

If the soil under the pothos plant is excessively damp and moisture-laden, fungi can develop their residence.

If this is the case, you’ll notice over time that your plant’s leaves will start yellowing, roots rotting, and subsequently, the plant withering away.

That’s why you should allow the plant to dry out before the next spell of water splash, which will ensure the roots and soil don’t become host to fungi or other parasites.

If the soil appears too damp, you can remove some damp soil and compensate this with fresh and dry soil.

5. Too low or high temperature

Pothos thrive in the temperature range of 50-degree Fahrenheit/70-degree Fahrenheit to 90-degree Fahrenheit.

However, 50-degree minimum temperature is for only a few varieties of pothos plants. For others, this temperature is nothing but a death warrant.

It is because an ideal growing temperature for all pothos plants starts from 70-degrees and goes to 90-degrees.

Anything above 90-degree can initiate the yellowing of the leaves.

Hence, you’d ensure that the plant isn’t exposed to either too low or too high temperatures. Slight temperature fluctuations are acceptable, but not for long.

6. Renewal of new leaves

If the above reasons fail in your case, the yellowing of your pothos leaves indicates the renewal of old leaves.

So, if the leaves turn yellow and fall off, don’t worry as the plant is in its shedding period and starting to welcome new foliage. However, the older leaves must be subsequently falling off.

So, these are the most common reasons behind the yellowing of your pothos plant leaves. Let’s now understand how you can nullify this process.

What to do if pothos leaves are turning yellow?

To nullify the yellowing of pothos leaves, below are some possible measures you can employ on your side. These include:

  • Proper moisture that’s not too low or high is a must! Therefore, make sure you allow the plant to dry out before rewatering, as it’ll help the plant absorb moisture in a better manner and prevent the soil from going damp.
  • If the plant is under direct sunlight, remove it from that position immediately. As pothos does not require direct sunlight, it’s better to keep them away from sunlight; under any indirect light or even your fluorescent light. You can even cover the plant with material to filter out the sunlight reaching the plant if you’re placing it under direct sunlight.
  • Although the plant doesn’t need any fertilizer, even if you intend to use one, use only high-quality fertilizers meant for house plants. And don’t add it frequently. Add a small portion of fertilizer every 2-3 months throughout the growing season.
  • If the soil in the pot is too damp, there are chances of fungal growth in it. Fungi will not only kill the roots by impeding the absorption of soil nutrients, but it’ll also lead to your plant’s stunted growth. Therefore, make sure the soil is cotton-mouthed enough to deter any fungal growth.
  • If the temperature of the surroundings is either too low (winters) or high (summers), you need to take better care of the plant. It is because an optimal growth range of pothos is between 70-degree F to 90-degree F. Anything less or more than this range can stun the plant’s growth.
  • Lastly, if the old and yellow leaves are falling off, no need to worry; however, if the leaves aren’t falling off, you can manually trim them off the plant for new leaves to take their place. Observe this over some time, and it’d work.

So, these are some ways you can employ to restore the pothos plant.


  1. Different pothos variety you will see: A complete list
  2. Best soli for pothos
  3. Reasons for Pothos leaves turning yellow


As said, taking care of a plant-like pothos is no rocket science, and it takes merely slight efforts to witness the plant growing in front of you.

However, it can suffer from the issue of yellowing leaves.

It can happen due to fluctuations in the temperature, under or overwatering, unexpected fungal growth in the soil, using inappropriate fertilizer, renewal of the old leaves, and much more.

However, unlike the other plants, you don’t need to worry much, and with the help of the above tactics, you can resurrect the entire plant instead of discarding the same.

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