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Why Is My Pothos Not Growing? [9 Reasons with Solutions]

Growing Pothos under indirect rays of east or west-facing windows is best, but if the growth is suddenly stunted, doubt the environmental stresses.

Generally, the growth of Pothos slows down due to inappropriate light, improper watering habits, and lack of plant food. In addition, during winter, the growth of Pothos may be slower due to the lower temperature and shortened day length.

Stay until the end to understand what is wrong with your Pothos babies and make them grow between 12 and 24 inches monthly.

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Is Pothos A Slow Grower?

The growth rate of Pothos depends on the growing season and whether it is outdoors or indoors, but undoubtedly it is a fast grower.

Pothos plant
The Pothos can go as high as 40 feet and as broad as 6 feet under normal circumstances.
Outdoors Pothos can take up an average growth pace of 18-24 inches monthly, while the indoors grows anywhere between 12-18 inches monthly, mainly from December to May.

The Pothos can go as high as 40 feet and as broad as 6 feet under normal circumstances.

However, the varieties under Pothos can have variance in the growth rate given the variegation present in leaves and the presence of chlorophyll.

Types of PothosTotal LengthMonthly Growth Rate in Active Season
Variegated Neon Pothos 6-10 feet indoors6-10 inches
Green Dragon Pothos4-5 feet indoors7-8 inches
Manjula pothos 2-5 feet indoors
20-40 feet outdoors
8-12 inches
Cebu blue pothos4-8 feet indoors
40 feet outdoors
4-6 inches
Hawaiian pothos 3-15 feet indoors
30-50 feet native habitat
3-4 inches
N Joy Pothos2-6 feet indoors6-9 inches
Jessenia pothos 3-8 feet indoors4-6 inches
Neon pothos 2-6 feet indoors12-18 inches
Golden Pothos 5-12 feet indoors12 inches
Marble Queen pothos 6 feet indoors12-18 inches
Snow Qween Pothos 6-10 feet indoors12 inches
Silver Satin pothos10 feet indoors10-18 inches

9 Reasons Why Pothos is Not Growing

Pothos is never a slow grower, so you must find the cause when it shows stunted or no growth, even in the spring and summer.

1. Lack of Enough Light

Low lighting conditions are not much trouble for Pothos, but that does not mean you can discard the plant to a dark place.

Pothos prefers to stay in medium to bright indirect light for 10 hours or under the grow light for at least 12-14 hours without minimal exposure to direct light.

So relocate the Pothos if you have placed it in a dark basement for an extended period than the limit level, as the Pothos starts to grow slowly.

Hurry up and locate the Pothos in an east or west-facing window and at least three feet away from a south-facing window.

Also, you do not want to burn or dry the leaves. Thus, add some translucent curtains to the window. 

2. Wrong Watering Schedule

Although Pothos is famous as a tolerant houseplant, disturbed and unscheduled watering habits can harm your plant health.

Pothos prefers weekly watering during the growing season while once every two weeks in winter.

However, the watering schedule or the amount needed depends upon different aspects, such as the location, humidity, season, and plant size.

If you try to water the 10 feet long trailing Neon Pothos with the same schedule and amount as that of 2 feet Marble Queen, you will surely notice no growth.

So check the water requirement by inserting your index finger in the soil. Water if it feels dry, but wait a few more days if wet and soggy.

3. Inappropriate Growing Medium

The best part about growing Pothos is using soil or water as the substrate for the plant.

However, the growth habits and rate differ as mature plants grow faster in the soil while cuttings form roots more rapidly in water.

When you mistake placing the cuttings in the water, even after it has formed roots, you may witness the Pothos cuttings not growing new leaves.

Meanwhile, chlorinated tap water never works well for Pothos or any plant, as it is the leading cause for the stunted growth of the water Pothos.

For the soil medium, ensure it is not garden soil as it is too dense for Pothos. The best-suited one would be the commercial mix.

And if you are thrifty when it comes to spending, you can make your potting mix using perlite, sand, cocopeat, and shredded bark in a 2:1:4:1 ratio.

4. Humidity Imbalance

Pothos enjoy moderate to high humidity, around 50-70%, and shows signs like crispy leaves and delayed growth of new branches if the level drops.

The condition usually occurs during summer when the temperature peaks or during the dry winter.

So, aid the humidity level by installing a humidifier, using the pebble tray method, or misting the plant once every two days.

Alternatively, place a medium-sized bowl filled with water beside your Pothos. This will most certainly get the job done.

5. Improper Season of the Year

Like the most tropical plant, Pothos love summer. Spring and summer are the ideal time to plant these beauties to boost growth.

However, Pothos rarely paces its growth in the autumn and winter because it primarily focuses on survival instead of long trail growth.

Thus, if you have planted them in the cold season, be patient and wait for the sun. Your plant might be in good shape, but the season, on the other hand, might not be as perfect.

Watch out for the warm seasons when you can enhance their growth with extensive care. But winters are brutal, both for you and your Pothos.

6. Wrong Pot Preferences

Mostly store-bought Pothos is available in a plastic pot, and while rearing it, most forget to change the pot, which is when the problem starts.

Unlike earthen pots, plastic pots do not allow air to flow from inside the pot to the outside and vice versa.

Likewise, water inside the plastic pots cannot vapour out. Even if the topsoil is dry, the inner layers of soil might still be soaking.

This, in turn, can cause water-logged roots and decay. Consequently, the Pothos will spend more energy recovering their root system than growing in length.

Thus, better to opt for a clay pot or terracotta pot. Unglazed ceramic pots can also be an option but avoid glass containers for soil Pothos.

7. Plant Eaters

Insects and bugs are not common in Pothos. However, once in a blue moon, they might become victims of mealybugs, ants, scales, mites, and thrips.

The bugs attack the leaves and stem, causing tissue damage. And, sometimes, root maggots and fungus extensively delay the plant’s growth.

So, it is good to check on the roots if you feel your Pothos is stunted.

If you notice the bugs bugging around your Pothos, spray it with neem oil or a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water weekly.

8. Frequent Repotting

Most people have the trend of repotting the Pothos to boost growth with newly enriched soil, but that triggers back.

Pothos love being slightly root bound and try to fill the entire pot space, but when repotted early, the roots get stressed, affecting the entire plant’s growth.

A person is holding on the roots of Pothos by taking it out from the pot.
Check if the roots are poking out from the topsoil and holes before repotting.
And not to forget, frequent repotting makes the plant sick and causes root damage, which takes considerable time to heal, delaying growth.

Thus, wait at least two years before repotting your Pothos. You can also look for any poking roots from drainage holes to identify the repotting time.

9. Fertilization Error

Pothos is not a heavy feeder and does not usually require fertilization. So, if you don’t provide any plant vitamins for a while, it is fine till it is healthy.

However, if your Pothos isn’t growing despite adding plant foods in the active season, it is time to stop and observe.

Fertilization helps with growth making your Pothos respond well initially. However, the leaves might burn if overdosed and have salt build-ups in the long run.

So better to dilute the fertilizer to half its strength before appliance and place the plant under running water to remove excess chemicals.

Other Reasons for Pothos Not Growing

Some of the other fundamental causes responsible for the slowed growth of Pothos with its possible solution are as follows.

  • Lack of Nutrition in the Soil or Water Medium: Add a tiny amount of organic manure or natural plant vitamins once every 15-20 days. See how the plant responds before adding more.
  • Root Rot: If you discover root rots, prune them all using a sterilized pruner or scissors.
  • Build-up Fertilizer in the Soil: If you habitually add fertilizers to your potted Pothos, change the soil entirely to eliminate build-up fertilizers.
  • Air Conditioners and Heaters: Air conditioners significantly drop the humidity level. So it is better to keep them far from AC or heaters.

Additional Tips for Noticeable Growth in Pothos

Do not take any risks after adopting the cure measure to make your Pothos return to its original growth. Learn some of the extra tips below.

  • Avoid using solid fertilizers. The roots more easily absorb liquid fertilizers and vitamins.
  • If you use tap water for your Pothos, let it sit overnight to remove chlorine.
  • Make sure your pot has drainage holes at the bottom for proper drainage. Else, your Pothos will not be as healthy and happy.
  • Do not reuse old potting mix. Change the soil every time you repot your Pothos to prevent your plant from growing in a non-nutritional environment.
  • Pruning Pothos monthly encourages new growth. Also, cut off all the yellow and brown leaves.
  • You can use the coffee grounds to fertilize Pothos now and then.
  • Soak banana peels overnight in water. Strain it and give this vitamin-infused water to your Pothos.

From Editorial Team


Pothos never take more than a few weeks to bounce back once you have resolved the soil, temperature, light, or nutrients issue.

Let the Pothos take its regular growth course by not repeating the same mishaps in the future.

However, growing Pothos in Terrariums is better than growing them in Aquariums.

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