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Pothos Black And White Spots [9+ Reasons and Treatments]

Black and white spots in Pothos are why the leaves of these beautiful aroids lose the beauty of their verdure, but you can easily save them if you know the reasons!

The reasons behind Pothos’ black and white spots are overwatering, fertilizer burns, pathogens, nutrient deficiencies, improper temperature, sunlight, and physical damage. 

These spots occur singly or in clusters in one part and gradually spread in the whole plant to other plants if you leave it untreated.

So, stick to this article until the end to find out the reason behind your Pothos’ black and white spots and the proper treatment for that.

Reasons Behind Pothos Black Spots

Black spots may sometimes occur due to transplant shock, so give your Pothos some time to settle itself to heal on its own.

Pothos with black spots
Black spots in Pothos never go away unless you prune the infected part.

1. Diseases and Pests

Fungal infections caused by different types of fungal pathogens may be the primary cause of black spots on your Pothos.

When these pathogens invade your Pothos, black spots, including other diseases like ring spots, wilting, drooping, etc., occur.

Moreover, these fungal pathogens are further spread to other parts of plants through the pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, etc.

Besides, the insects leave nasty spots that gradually turn into black spots due to insect and pest damage.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Isolate the infected Pothos to prevent the spreading.
  • Prune the parts with black spots with a sterilized pruner or discard the heavily infected plant.
  • Use pesticides and fungicides weekly to avoid invasion or switch towards neem oil for safer options.
  • Never mist heavily, as moisture encourages pathogens.
  • Use insect traps or biological control methods to control insects or pests.

2. Overwatering

Overwatering is the common cause of many diseases in Pothos, including leaf spots, wilting, drooping, mushy, and many more.

When you water your Pothos heavily, the soil may turn waterlogged and soggy, resulting in the serious issue of root rot.

This directly affects the proper functioning of the plant, causing water and nutrition issues.

Moreover, the swampy soil might invite fungal and bacterial pathogens to invade your Pothos, causing black spots.

Pothos need watering every 3-4 days during summer, weekly during winter, or whenever the soil feels dry.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Water your Pothos only when the top 2 inches of the soil feels dry.
  • Use a moisture meter to follow proper watering.
  • Repot the Pothos with waterlogged soil into a new potting soil or mix some perlite into the soil.
  • Also, prune the brown and mushy roots, as they won’t heal.
  • Plant your Pothos in a Terracotta pot with enough drainage holes.

3. Fertilizer Burn

Fertilizer burn is another cause behind the black spots in your Pothos when you feed them more than they demand.

Excessive fertilizer may result in high salt accumulation in the soil, and the plant starts facing black spots due to reverse osmosis.

Gradually, the plant loses its ability to take up water and nutrition, facing drooping, wilting, and death in severe conditions.

Moreover, if you apply liquid fertilizer on the foliage, the leaves may burn due to fertilizer as the cells are delicate.

Generally, Pothos requires Pothos fertilizer monthly for lush foliage and healthy growth.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Tug out the plant with black spots and flush its roots with distilled or filtered water.
  • Then, repot your Pothos on the new potting soil after amending it with organic compost.
  • Remember to hydrate your Pothos before feeding it.
  • Feed your Pothos from the soil instead of spraying it all over the foliage.

Reasons Behind Pothos White Spots

During the winter, Pothos enter into a dormant stage. Thus, don’t overfeed for fast growth to prevent unwanted white spots on your Plant.

White spots in Pothos due to powdery mildew
Powdery mildew leaves powdery substances that are actually spores that spread easily to other parts of the plant.

1. Nutrient Deficiency

Inadequate nutrition is the primary reason behind your Pothos, with white spots on the foliage or all over the plant.

Also, in the severe lack of nutrition, the whole plant starts turning white, and eventually, the yellowing of Pothos occurs.

Lack of common nutrients like calcium and magnesium can cause your Pothos to face white spots with stunted growth.

Thus, to avoid white spots, you must feed your Pothos with plant food rich in Calcium and Magnesium every month from spring to summer.

Similarly, homemade compost might be the best remedy to fulfil the right nutrition for your plant if you want to avoid chemicals.

2. Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that leaves powdery patches on the parts of your Pothos.

These patches bear a velvety texture spreading the white residue all over the plant and reducing the vigor of your Pothos.

In the suitable condition, the white powdery substances spread all over the plant and on other plants destroying your houseplants.

Moreover, due to this nasty disease, your Pothos may face stunted growth, yellow leaves, and many more.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Isolate your Pothos to prevent powdery mildew from spreading on other parts or plants.
  • Prune and discard all the infected parts and place your Pothos in well-ventilated places.
  • Avoid watering your Pothos on the foliage as it encourages the pathogens.
  • Apply suitable fungicides or neem oil weekly to get rid of powdery mildew.

3. Water Quality Issues

Your Pothos may face white spots even if you take care of all its optimal conditions because you are hydrating it with unsuitable water.

Most of us use tap water for our houseplants, unaware that the tap water contains harsh chemicals like chlorine, fluorine, etc.

In excessive amounts, these chemicals damage the plant’s functioning, leaving it with white spots and, eventually, chlorosis.

Thus, it’s better to use distilled or filtered water free of such harsh chemicals for the sake of your healthy Pothos.

Common Reasons Behind Pothos Black And White Spots

Besides other reasons, Pothos faces black and white spots due to root-bound conditions. Thus, repot the plant in the 2-3 inches bigger container every 1-2 years to avoid this problem.

1. Temperature Issues

Too high or too low temperature is one major cause behind Pothos facing black and white spots.

Your Pothos may bear black spots and dark leaves due to low temperatures. The plant may suffer from white spots with chlorosis from a burn due to high temperature.

In extreme cases, foliage damage may occur, hindering the plant’s functioning and leading to stunted growth.

Basically, Pothos require a temperature between 65°F and 85°F for healthy growth and beautiful foliage.

Temperature higher than 90°F and lower than 60°F becomes unsuitable for this plant resulting in Pothos black and white spots.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Place your Pothos in the shade and mist it regularly during summer.
  • During winter, keep the plant away from the cold window sill.
  • Use frost blankets to protect the plant from excessive cold.
  • Mulching around the base will help in maintaining proper temperature.
  • Keep your Pothos away from cold drafts, heating vents, etc.

2. Improper Sunlight

Improper sunlight is the common and most ignored issue resulting in Pothos’ black and white spots.

Excessive sunlight may cause sunburn resulting in white spots due to foliage damage. Whereas too low sunlight may cause black spots with darkened leaves.

Both high and low sunlight hinders the photosynthetic ability of your Pothos, causing a direct effect on the plant’s functioning.

As a result, other common problems like stunted growth, wilting, chlorosis, and yellow leaves may also result in your pothos.

Pothos generally needs 2-3 hours of direct morning light and indirect sunlight at other times for its proper growth.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

  • Place your Pothos in the east-facing window for indirect light.
  • Use sheer curtains to provide dappling sunlight.
  • Provide artificial light for 10-12 hours if you place your Pothos in a low-light area.
  • Make sure the vines of your Pothos is away from any indoor lighting.

3. Pesticide Or Spray Residue

Sometimes, your Pothos may face black and white spots when you leave any pesticide or spray residue on the foliage.

The chemicals and pesticides contain harsh compounds that damage the foliage of your Pothos, causing these spots.

Moreover, those spots don’t face away as the spots are due to damaged tissue, so it’s better to prune the spotted parts if you want to maintain plant vigor.

Also, the white spots may sometimes turn black after some time, hindering the beauty of the foliage.

Thus, it’s better to use biological control methods or neem oil to avoid any damage due to harsh chemicals. 

4. Physical Damage

Besides the lack of optimal conditions and other internal factors, physical damage may also cause Pothos black and white spots.

Usually, this problem occurs when we accidentally bang into the plant or keep the plant within reach of children and pets.

As a result, wounding, cuts, and scratching gives pothos black and white spots that can’t go away unless you discard the damaged parts.

Moreover, different fungal and bacterial pathogens may invade the wounded parts making the plant suffer from pathogenic diseases.

To avoid physical damage, keep your Pothos in the hanging baskets, ensuring it’s out of reach of children and pets.

Also, it’s vital to handle your Pothos carefully and place them in a safe area so that you never bump into them accidentally.

From Editorial Team

Pothos Black And White Spots May Be Natural!

The lifespan of Pothos is 10-15 years, and the black spots may be the dropping of the older leaves from the lower parts of your Pothos.

Furthermore, Pothos come with beautiful white variegation, so it is important not to confuse its variegation with white spots.