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Why Does My Pothos Have Holes? [ Here Are The Reasons ]

Why Does My Pothos Have Holes? [ Here Are The Reasons ]

The pothos plant is undoubtedly the best way to add a little bit of greenery inside your house. These commonly grown houseplants are undemanding and very easy to take care of.

When I first stepped into the world of plants, this is what I started with. Not only is it a great addition to your interior décor, but there is also not much trouble we have to bear to make them thrive. Pothos grow lusciously in water as well as soil.

However, there is one problem with these lovely plants that most owners face – Holes! Let’s take a look at this article to know why the leaves of pothos have holes and how to prevent them.

Why does my pothos have holes?

The reason for the holes in the leaves of your pothos is the presence of Liriomyza melanogaster in the soil. It is a kind of insect pest that hides in the soil during the day and comes out only at night. It harms only the leaves of the plant because, at night, and the flowers are not in bloom. There is also a second case that can lead to holes in the pothos leaves. It may also be a result of collision damage during transportation.

Sometimes while watering our pothos plant, we end up overwatering it. Excess water in the soil causes more bacteria and fungi to form. When the water remains stagnant on the leaves, it might lead to Leaf spot disease.

Another possible condition in which your pothos can develop holes in their leaves is shot hole disease or Leaf spot disease.

In this situation, if a spot of water infested with fungal spores is present on the leaves, the plant quarantines that spot by killing off that particular part of itself.

This is to prevent the infection from spreading any further. This results in spotting towards the edge of the hole. You will notice that the sides of the holed portion in your leaves have brown spots.

The part of the leaf present inside the spot dies and drops out. In my experience, it starts with small holes, almost undetectable in the beginning, and eventually starts getting bigger and bigger.

Water-borne fungi are hazardous. One drop of infected water has the potential to kill the entire plant. This is an automatic process developed by the plant to prevent the spread of the fungus.


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What are eating holes in my pothos?

The two main culprits causing the holes in your pothos plant are

  • Liriomyza melanogaster
  • Mealybugs

Liriomyza melanogaster is a tiny leaf-mining insect that burrows into the leaf tissue and harms the pothos plant. These insects are present in the soil. They do not appear during the daytime, so it is pretty tricky to spot them easily. They come out at night to cause damage to the plant.

Mealybugs are a widespread problem in the pothos plant. Their feeding activities lead to malformed leaves. Mealybugs are small cotton-ball-like bugs with dark-colored scales which bump on the leaves and the stem.

They feed off the plant sap, eat holes in the leaves, and reduce the essential nutrients causing harm to the entire plant. Mealybugs may also lead to stunted leaves in our pothos plants.


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How do I treat holes in my Pothos plant?

Getting worried about your infested pothos is entirely reasonable, but it’s no big deal as these problems are easily treatable. To prevent holes in our pothos plant, we have to spray neem oil on the plant.

Check this neem oil. It’s our top recommendation

The neem oil will prevent the bugs from damaging the plants any further. This natural fungicide will kill the leaf miners from the soil and plant without harming either of them. Another way is to dip a cotton swab in alcohol and rub it appropriately on the leaves.

It might sound tiresome, but the best way to prevent pests from eating holes in the leaves will be if we keep a close eye on the leaves regularly.

This will exterminate all potential dangers that might kill the plant.

Regularly checking on plants has been scientifically proven to keep the plants healthy and grow better. To completely eradicate all kinds of bugs and insects from pothos, horticulture oil spray can be used. We recommend this one.

Pothos are plants that do not need much care. Asserting to that, we often neglect the plant entirely.

This further leads to problems like plant damage due to excessive sunlight, less humidity, and physical injury while storing or transportation. We must take good care of our pothos plant and provide it with the basic requirements it needs to thrive.

To keep the pothos healthy and free of holes, we need to make sure they are at the correct temperature. The perfect temperature for pothos is 60-80 degrees F.

Pothos generally grow better in a humid environment, so we have to ensure that the plant never dries out. Pothos plant needs soil with a pH level between 6.1 and 6.5.

We need to water our pothos frequently; however, overwatering might lead to leaf spot disease and should be avoided at all costs.

We should water our pothos only after the surface of the leaves and the soil is dry. If the potting mix and drainage are not done correctly, the possibility of pests and fungi will be even more.

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  1. Should I cut off damaged pothos leaves

Should I cut off leaves with holes?

Yes, if our pothos leaves are infected with leaf spot disease, we have to cut them off as soon as possible so that they do not spread further. The leaves will first grow small brown spots, and as the infection develops, it will lead to small holes, eventually killing the entire plant.

The first thing we need to do is cut off the damaged and infected leaves and burn them together.

This will ensure that even after pruning, the infection is completely secured from spreading.

In the case of pests, it depends on whether we should treat the plant with proper drugs or cut off the leaf. If the leaves have holes but are still green, we don’t have to cut them off as they can survive on their own.

But, if any leaf is entirely brown and is dying, it needs to be cut off quickly; otherwise, it will leach off necessary nutrients from the plant.

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Pothos, popularly known as Devil’s ivy or money plant, is an easy and efficient indoor plant. They are a notoriously hardy species that can thrive properly even without much care.

This article contains elaborated specifications that need to be followed to prevent holes in our plants. Holes are associated with insects in most cases, the solution to which is neem oil or other insecticides.

If the plant is suffering from leaf spot disease, it is a little tricky but manageable. If we keep a keen eye on the temperature, water, soil and store the plant safely, the likeliness of holes in our leaves is less.

I have realized that it is effortless to grow pothos under any condition and treat the common problems that come with the plant.