My Pothos houseplant’s leaves started turning yellow, and I got confused. I mean, it is a low-maintenance plant that’s not fussy about water or sunlight. However, I may have forgotten that low maintenance doesn’t mean it is invulnerable.
Pothos plants can get stressed when grown under the wrong conditions, and one of the first signs of distress a pothos plant shows is yellow leaves. If you’re also in this situation, you’ll find the answers to everything you need to know about the pothos leaves turning yellow and how to fix them.
Yellowing Pothos Leaves: Causes and fixes
Your pothos leaves turning yellow doesn’t always mean your plant is dying. There are several reasons why pothos leaves turn yellow. Here are some of the reasons below:
1. Root Rot
Root rot in pothos plants occurs when it is overwatered or planted in soil with poor drainage. The roots suffocate and leave the plant vulnerable to infections.
Root rot is caused by pathogens that thrive in waterlogged soil. Nevertheless, your pothos plant can still develop root rot without pathogens.
The death of plants from the roots is evidence of a plant soaked in water. However, you’ll see evidence of it also in leaves turning yellow. When you discover a lot of discolored leaves on your pothos plant, even on younger growth, root rot is the most likely problem.
How to fix root rot
Pull the plant from the pot and rinse the roots under lukewarm running water. Cut out the rotting roots with a pair of scissors and trim back discolored leaves. Rotten roots are all mushy and soft, while the healthy roots feel firm. Treat the healthy roots with a fungicide to get rid of leftover pathogens.
Wash the pot in a diluted bleach solution to get rid of the pathogens. Repot the plant in a well-draining pot to avoid such a situation in the future. And if you cut out a significant portion of the roots, you may want to size down on the pot.
If a pothos plant receives too much water, the leaves start to turn yellow with brown spots. When the soil is soaked in excess water for too long, the pothos plant does not get enough oxygen to help it thrive and stay healthy. This leads to root rot.
Over-watering in pothos plants can be easily corrected, and in really bad cases, you can simply re-pot the plant.
How to fix over-watering
If the soil is taking too long to dry, you can move the plant to a sunnier place. Under light exposure, the pothos plant can use up the soil’s moisture faster. And the roots won’t have to remain soggy for a long time. If this does not work, you may want to try new soil.
You should also consider getting a new pot with better drainage. Soils retaining moisture can prevent the plant from getting the nutrients required to grow.
Underwatering is another cause for yellowing leaves in pothos plants. When the soil feels dry when touched, and the plant has butter-colored leaves on it, your plant is being underwatered. The leaves become droopy, and the whole plant could die if it is left untreated.
The good news is that under-watering isn’t much of a problem and can easily be fixed.
How to fix under-watering
Water the plant with a good amount and leave it to drain out. Remember, pothos plants don’t require much water and thrive better when the water dries out completely.
The plant should be adequately watered and left to dry out before being watered again. You are only trying to avoid the soil being too crispy.
4. Too Little Sunlight
Pothos plants are well known for their ability to maintain their green color even under low light conditions. However, they will turn yellow, wilt, and die if placed under too little light. That they are labeled as “low-light” doesn’t mean they should be deprived of actual light.
When pothos plants aren’t getting enough sunlight, they get soaked in water because of the lack of light supporting the plant’s water uptake.
How to fix too little sunlight
Pothos plants usually cannot last a long time under direct sunlight. However, they can handle more than you think they can. If your plant rests in a dark corner, you can place it close to a window or a door. In a few days, your plant should be back to its healthy self.
5. Too Much Sunlight
Pothos plants cannot tolerate too much sunlight and would bake, turn limp, and have their leaves turn yellow if placed under direct sunlight for long hours. The pothos plant needs sunlight but cannot thrive under direct sunlight.
You should consider placing your plant in a location that gets sunlight only during certain hours of the day. You should also note that your pothos plant may not grow leaves if it receives too much.
How to fix too much sunlight:
First, trim back yellow or dead leaves and move the plant to a location with more shades. You could move the plant to a shaded area in the morning and to an area where it can get indirect sunlight in the afternoon. Or you can place the plant indoors in a spot where it won’t get sunlight throughout the day.
Pothos leaves can also get burnt and turn yellow when the soil is being fed with too much fertilizer. The leaves may look yellow or brown, depending on how burnt the plant is. Usually, the most damage is done on the roots. However, it does make its way up to the leaves to turn their tips yellow.
In addition to yellowing leaves, too much fertilizer also causes the roots of the plant to turn black, fertilizer on the soil’s surface, and some browning at the tip of the leaves.
How to fix over-fertilization:
Remove excess fertilizer from the surface of the soil and hold off on fertilizing the plant for a few weeks to help your plant get back in shape. And if there’s too much fertilizer in the pot and it can’t be helped, consider repotting the plant. You should also trim away discolored and wilting leaves.
7. Aging leaves
Sometimes, a couple of mature leaves may turn a butter or lemon color. It is1 not a big deal. They are simply just making way for the growth of new leaves. They usually fall off on their own.
How to fix aging leaves:
Unfortunately, you cannot fix the aging of leaves. You can trim back the colored leaves and add some indoor plant food to the plant’s feeding. But it is impossible to save an aging plant.
How to Prevent Pothos leaves from turning yellow
Pothos leaves turning yellow is a common problem for many gardeners, but there are a few things that you can do to prevent it.
1. Check the soil moisture
Pothos leaves will start to turn yellow if the soil is too dry. Water your plant regularly and check the soil moisture levels to prevent this from happening.
2. Get rid of any dead leaves
Dead leaves can cause the healthy leaves on your plant to turn yellow. Remove any dead or dying leaves as soon as possible to help keep your plant healthy.
3. Provide adequate lighting
Pothos plants need bright, indirect light to thrive. If your plant is not getting enough light, its leaves may start to turn yellow. Move your plant to a brighter location or add some artificial lighting if necessary.
4. Avoid overwatering
Over Watering can also cause pothos leaves to turn yellow. Be sure only to water your plant when the soil is dry, and don’t overdo it.
5. Don’t use chemicals
Chemicals can damage your plant and cause its leaves to turn yellow. Avoid using any fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals on your pothos plant.
6. Check for pests
Pests can also cause pothos leaves to turn yellow. Inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests and treat them promptly if you find any.
7. Give it time
Sometimes, pothos leaves will turn yellow due to stress from moving or changing conditions (like a new pot). If this happens, give your plant some time