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Golden Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow [5 Causes And Solutions]

Though the Golden Pothos leaves have yellow patches as a variegation, abnormal leaves turning yellow indicates improper care.

Generally, Golden Pothos leaves turning yellow can be a natural aging process if it occurs at a mature age. However, if the yellowing starts to turn brown and have spots, the reason could be improper watering, harsh sunlight, fertilization issue, and pathogen problem.

You can take immediate action to save your Golden Pothos leaves that are turning yellow. Go through the article to know the measures.

Why Is My Golden Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow? [Causes]

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) are evergreen vining epiphytes native to the Solomon Islands with a lifespan of 10 years.

When the Golden Pothos matures, the leaves start wrinkling and turning yellow. This could be due to natural aging and is normal.

Also, the Golden Pothos has yellow variegation over green leaves that expands with age. So do check if the variegation is a problem or a normal process.

yellow leaves of golden pothos
The yellowing leaves of the Golden Pothos may not always indicate care mishaps.

However, if your Golden Pothos leaves turn yellow in the first few years of plantation, worry about it.

The leading cause could be negligence in cultural practices. Some of them are listed below.

1. Watering Issues

Golden Pothos mostly loves moist conditions that are not too wet or not too dry, which you can fulfill by watering daily in summer and every week in spring and autumn.

However, do not overdo it, as soggy and stagnant soil invites root rot conditions and blockage of aeration in roots.

Due to no aeration and root rot, the leaves do not receive the required nutrients, leading to the yellowing of leaves. Even the root starts to give a foul smell due to overwatering.

Meanwhile, if the soil has cracks and feels dusty, then Golden Pothos’ yellow leaves probably are due to underwatering.

No water means no nutrient absorption, leading to nutrient deficiency in the Pothos and, thus, the yellow withered leaves.

2. Improper Fertilization

Golden Pothos often require nitrogen-rich fertilizer during their active season to produce vibrant yellow variegated leaves.

However, Golden Pothos leaves start drooping and turning yellow because of nutrient deficiency with longer gaps between fertilization. Also, a long interval stresses the plant and damages leaves.

On the other hand, if you have fertilized the Golden Pothos more than it requires, salt layer forms on the topsoil.

Excess salt build-ups burn Pothos’s roots and basal leaves, affecting plant nutrient availability.

3. Compact Soil and Bounded Roots

Well-draining soil rich in sandy particles has always been the favorite of Golden Pothos. But it loses quality over time.

The soil starts to compact due to excess mineral accumulation in the gaps between soil particles. Also, the porosity decreases, blocking the percolation of water.

Such a condition slowly restricts the nutrients for the plant and turns it yellow and brittle.

Meanwhile, the roots bound and tangled down in the same pot if left for over two years. This could cause unhealthy competition for nutrients.

Unhealthy competition means some portion receives the food while others are deprived, causing yellowing and torn leaves.

4. Too Much Sunlight

Golden Pothos do not like direct sunlight. So if you have placed it in a location that receives direct afternoon sun, change it.

The sun’s rays scorch the leaves of the Pothos and burn parts of them to make them look ragged and damaged.

Eventually, Golden Pothos leaves will turn yellow to brown, and the plant can even die in the long run.

Also, too much light means higher evaporation of moisture. Due to this, the Pothos can easily get thirsty and start to turn crunchy and wrinkling due to no water.

5. Bacterial and Fungal Infection

Most of the wrongdoing in cultural practices invites bacterial and fungal infestation in Golden Pothos. It can be either due to too much moisture or too warm condition.

Highly moist condition is a home for molds and fungi like Pythium, responsible for root rot.

Pothos suffering from it has mushy black roots and yellow leaves that fall off over time.

Meanwhile, warm weather invites diseases like Bacterial Wilt and Southern Blight which discolor the lower leaves first and then lead them to wilt.

How Do I Fix Yellow Leaves On My Pothos?

Do not jump to throw away the Golden Pothos, whose leaves are turning yellow, as you can revive them with immediate solutions.

Improper Watering

  • Stop watering the Pothos. Take it out of the pot and place it over a newspaper.
  • Locate the pot under direct sun for a day and bring it back indoors.
  • If the condition is beyond recovery, replace the soil and trim any rotted roots before placing it in new soil.
  • Place the pot under running water to rinse it thoroughly for underwatered Pothos.
  • Or else, keep the pot in a water bowl and allow complete soil saturation.

Imbalance Fertilization

  • Wash off the soil with water to remove fertilizer residues.
  • Replace the soil with a new potting mix and trim yellowed leaves in case of high fertilization.
  • Fertilize the plant with a low-concentrated, balanced fertilizer. You can also use a 3:1:2 ratio feed.

Soil Compaction and Crowded Root

  • Loosen the soil with a trowel and add sandy particles.
  • To increase porosity, you can also mix peat moss or perlite on the soil.
  • If the roots are poking from the drainage hole, replace the pot with 2 inches bigger pot and trim off 1/3rd of the roots before planting.

Direct Sunlight

  • Change the location of the pot to an east or west-facing window for morning and evening sun.
  • Install a drape to cover any bright windows.
  • Place the pot 5 to 6 feet from a south-facing window.
yellow golden pothos on a pot
Place your Golden Pothos in indirect bright sunlight to avoid sunburn leaves.

Disease Infestation

  • Isolate the Pothos suffering from the disease.
  • Trim off the damaged leaves and treat them with neem oil.
  • Change the soil with a new one to remove the source.

Prevent The Golden Pothos Leaves From Turning Yellow

Take precautions from the beginning to save yourself from any extra work while growing Golden Pothos.

Follow the required care need of Golden Pothos and have a happy journey while enjoying the heart-shaped glossy leaves.

  • Provide the Pothos with bright indirect light for 12-14 hours. If using grow light, 12 hours daily is enough.
  • Remove standing water from the pot base and use the bottom watering approach to fulfill water needs.
  • Meanwhile, use room temperature water during winter only when the top soil dries.
  • Fertilize the plant bi-weekly with all-purpose fertilizer during spring and summer.
  • Maintain the temperature around 65-90ºF and humidity around 50-70%. You can use a humidifier for it.
  • Prepare a soil mix using orchid bark, coco coir, and perlite in a 5:4:5 ratio with a pH between 6 and 6.8.
  • Spray copper-rich fungicide once every two months to prevent disease occurrence.
  • Perform pruning during spring to boost growth in the active season.

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

Check the cuttings of Golden Pothos before bringing it home for any spots or browning. This helps to prevent the spread to other indoor plants in your collection.

Also, remember to change the pot and soil that comes with the plant during purchasing from the nursery.

Meanwhile, do not place the plant directly into harsh conditions without acclimatizing it to prevent it from stressing.