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5 Reasons Behind Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) is an evergreen climber with astonishing glossy, heart-shaped leaves. On top of that, it is a low-maintenance plant.

But when the leaves of Pothos get yellow, they indicate that they are not feeling well, and you have to start taking care of them. However, there are some reasons behind the Pothos leaves turning yellow, like overwatering, root rot, and temperature stresses.

So, you witnessed one yellow leaf on your Pothos plant? Do not panic; you can save other leaves from the same fate.

Yellow leaves do not go back to green again due to the abandonment of chlorophyll, which cannot be recovered. Moreover, you can prune that yellow leaf from the plant. 

Yellow leaves of Pothos are the result of chlorosis, which is caused due to several reasons. Let’s go through them in this article properly.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow [Causes & Solutions]

As prevention is better than cure, take care of your Pothos systemically.

Here are some causes of the Yellow Leaves of Pothos and their preventive measures.

1. Pythium Root Rot

When Pothos roots get infected by the fungi Pythium, the roots’ color changes to black, followed by symptoms like yellowing of leaves, however, in severe cases, plants can die

Moreover, overfertilization and improper drainage system can also add up the fungal infection in the Pothos root.

Besides yellowing of leaves, Pythium can cause wilting of Pothos and stunt their growth.

As the fungal infection in plants requires moisture, overwatering increases the possibility of Pythium root rot to Pothos.

yellowing of leaves in Pothos
Fungus ‘Pythium’ enters the plant through roots and causes the yellowing of leaves.

Treatment & Preventive Measures

  • Moisture is essential for fungi to infect the new tissue, so you should avoid excessive irrigation.
  • Isolate and destroy the infected plants from healthy plants to prevent further spreading. 
  • While potting them, use fresh and contamination-free soil.
  • If the yellowing of leaves gets severe, use fungicides, such as Azoxystrobin and Mancozeb, on the plant’s roots.

2. Overwatering and Underwatering

Overwatering can cause water stress to the roots of plants and cease the oxygen exchange with the environment.

Leaves of Pothos are thicker and broader, and they store water in their leaves, so frequent watering is unnecessary.

In the case of underwatering, the leaves of Pothos dry out and become yellow. 

Most indoor plants are favored by water having pH 5.5-7.

Indoor plants are generally grown in small pots, so a small amount of water should be given to them every 7-14 days.

Additionally, root health directly affects plant health, so to keep plants healthy, you should water your plants properly.

Potted Pothos
Overwatering results in water-logged conditions in the soil, and the soil can not breathe.

Treatment & Preventive Measures

  • You can minimize the problem of overwatering by taking a break from watering the plant until its roots dry out.
  • Conduct the finger dip test on the soil, and water the plant if you find it dry.
  • While choosing the pots, make sure they have suitable drainage holes, at least one at a pot.
  • Closely observe the plant size, soil dampness, and leaf structures before watering.
  • Moreover, if your plants are in highly damaged condition, repot your plants in another healthy soil.
  • You can use a moisture meter to assess the presence of moisture in the soil.

3. Temperature Stress to Pothos

In Pothos, temperature stress changes the functions like cell division, photosynthesis, and transpiration, which leads to the yellowing of leaves.

Pothos grow well at temperatures ranging from 18-29°C. 

Too high or too low temperature can cause temperature stress to the Pothos and result in the yellowing of leaves. 

Different tissues and organs of Pothos get damaged by temperature fluctuation from their optimum range. 

Additionally, chilling stress can cause the formation of ice crystals inside and outside the cells, which results in cell injury.

Treatment & Preventive Measures

  • Reduce watering frequency when the plant suffers from chilling stress.
  • In case of heat stress, water the plant frequently and do not place plants in direct sunlight.
  • Additionally, you can use bio-stimulants, such as the bacteria Rhizobium, to increase the tolerance of plants to temperature stresses.
  • Pluck out some leaves of Pothos to decrease the transpiration area for heat stress.
  • Mulching could help store moisture inside the soil, which prevent plants from heat stress.

4. Exposure to Direct sunlight

Do the growth of Pothos plants are favored by direct sunlight? The answer is no. Pothos is an indoor plant that does not require direct, bright sunlight. 

Your gorgeous Pothos will be happy if you provide them with 5-7 hours of indirect sunlight.

Direct, bright sunlight can burn the plant parts. So, the Pothos plant favors indirect, low light.

The absorbance of extreme direct sunlight quickly results in the yellowing of leaves, and if Pothos are not getting enough sunlight, the leaves start turning brown.

Extreme sunlight and insufficient sunlight both add up to the susceptibility of plants to pests and diseases.

Pothos placed in indirect sunlight
Pothos plant grows well in the presence of indirect, low light. 

Treatment & Preventive Measures

  • Place the plants behind the curtains or where direct sunlight does not reach them.
  • Morning sunlight is best for plants demanding low lights, such as Pothos. Similarly, you can place the pots in shades during the daytime.
  • Water the plant before starting the day, ensuring roots’ hydration.
  • Place the Pothos plant towards east-facing windows to avoid the absorbance of direct, bright sunlight.
  • Mulching can also reduce the effect of extreme sunlight on plants by storing moisture in the soil.
  • Use cloths or covers to shade your Pothos if they are outdoors.

5. Use of Excessive Fertilizers

Overfertilization harms the Pothos in various ways; one of them is yellowing leaves.

Pothos plants are relatively small and grown in a small pot, so large amounts of fertilizers are not needed.

A small amount of fertilizers favors indoor plants in the interval of 4 to 6 weeks, and if you overfertilize your Pothos, it will show burning symptoms.

Furthermore, additional symptoms of overfertilization in Pothos are stunted growth, leaf scorch, and withering of leaves.

Fertilizers add more salt to your soil, which may not be easily digestible to Pothos, resulting in the yellowing of leaves.

Similarly, salts also draw up the moisture content in the soil and cause the soil to dry up.

Treatment & Preventive Measures

  • You can use a conductivity meter to check the proportion of salt in your pot soil. 
  • If the plants start showing symptoms of overfertilization, minimize the use of fertilizers as soon as possible. 
  • While using fertilizers, check out the label carefully and follow the recommendations strictly.
  • Repot Pothos in intervals of 12-18 months to provide fresh nutrients.
  • The right time for fertilization is when the pothos plant proliferates, not during dormancy.

Leaves abandon the chlorophyll and become yellow, so yellow leaves cannot be recovered to green again. So, you may pluck out the yellow leaves from the Pothos plant. 

In Conclusion…

Thankfully, Pothos tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. But, if you do not take care of your Pothos for a long, they will start indicating it.

You can decorate your living rooms, bathrooms, and shady places inside house, as Pothos do not favor direct sunlight.

While placing Pothos inside your house, you must be concerned about their toxicity to pets. Happy planting!