Why are my Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?

Pothos or devil’s ivy, money plant, which is also sometimes referred to as Scindapsus aureus is one of the best houseplants out there. The plant is easy to grow and actually requires minimal maintenance or less attention. Perhaps most people love this plant because of its attractiveness and heart-shaped leaves.

Well, the plant is tough though and can prosper in a low light environment. However, even though pothos is a tough plant, it is sometimes faced with occasional problems that can only be noticed when its leaves start to turn yellow.

Why are the leaves turning yellow on my pothos?

Note that yellowing of leaves is not only a bad sign for pothos but any plant- but sometimes may not be bad as such. When you notice the yellowing of pothos leaves on your plant, it can be an indication that either the plant has grown old or there is a problem somewhere.

The good thing is that even when you notice yellowing of the leaves in your pothos plant, don’t panic. It isn’t a sign of death for your plant. It could be something easy to fix.

Reasons Why Pothos Leaves Turn Yellow and How to Fix It

Lack of Or Too Much Fertilizer

Every plant needs fertilizer to prosper and your pothos plant isn’t an exception. Well, you may decide not to use it especially if you are growing the plant in a decent potting place.

However, if you notice yellowing of the leaves in your pothos plant, you could be enriching the soil with too much or too little fertilizer. When growing your Pothos plant in a potting medium, the soil may lack sufficient nutrients that are required for the growth of the plant.

The Fix: It’s easy to fix this problemEnrich the soil with fertilizer every 3 months as the plant continues to grow. Adding too much fertilizer can even hamper plant growth. That’s because the fertilizer will accumulate in the soil hence affecting your pothos plant. That’s when you will start to see the leaves turning yellow.

You can get good-quality balanced indoor plant fertilizer in most stores out there. Just make sure you have a calendar so that you don’t over-fertilize or under-fertilize your beloved plant.

When you notice that too much fertilizer has accumulated in the soil you can drain the soil with water. You can even transfer the plant to another pot.

Too Much Cool or Hot Temperatures

Pothos can thrive in areas with high temperatures of between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and low temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keeping your pothos outside could mean exposure to the cold and that could make the leaves start turning yellow.

The Fix: Plant your Pothos plant and moderate temperatures. Do not expose the plant to temperatures above or below the limits we have mentioned above. Expose your pothos to too hot temperatures and the leaves with start to turn yellow.

Once you notice yellow leaves in your pothos plant, take them out and place them in a spot with moderated temperatures. Sometimes the yellowing of the leaves could be a result of the air that flows in the room. You could change the spot where you plant your pothos.

Insufficient Watering

Well, of course, your Pothos plant needs water. But too much or too little of it is a problem.

If you notice that your plant doesn’t have root rot and that you are not adding too much water, the problem could be insufficient watering.

Add too much water and your roots will suffer, add an insufficient of it, and your roots will not be able to transfer healthy nutrients and liquids to the rest of the plant which makes the leaves start to turn yellow.

The Fix: Make sure your pothos plant is watered well, but not too much… 🙂

Too Much Moisture

This is a result of overwatering your pothos and can either lead to yellowing of leaves or root rot.

If you put too much water on your pothos plant regularly, the soil will constantly remain wet and this can make the leaves of your pothos plant start to rot- you already know the effects of rotting roots on the overall plant.

The transport of food, fluids, and nutrients to the leaves will be impacted and the result is yellowing of leaves. Worse of all, the leaves will dry and start to fall off.

The Fix: Always ensure the previous water you added is completely absorbed by the soil and is dry before adding water to your plant again. Just do a simple examination of the soil to know whether it’s time to water your plant with your finger or a stick. If you push a stick or your finger inside the soil and you find it’s wet, don’t water the plant immediately. Wait until the soil is dry to water your pothos plant.

Also, make sure the water can drain in the soil properly but not sit in one place. You can also take out the plant from the pot to examine the root. White roots are indications the plant is healthy but brown roots indicate a problem, you can prune them and transfer the plant to another pot with fresh soil.

Your Pothos gets Too Much Sunlight

Not all plants require too much sunlight to flourish and pothos is one of them. Well, it’s an indoor plant and like all other indoor plants, it requires some moderate sunlight. But they can flourish in areas with low sunlight.

However, if exposed to too much direct sunlight, the leaves will start to turn yellow or show a burning sign.

The Fix: Grow your Pothos anywhere you want in your house but if you have to allow in light, make sure your plant gets indirect sunlight. Of course, we proceeded by telling you that pothos can survive in low-light areas. That means you don’t need to place your pothos in a place with direct sunlight.

Just make sure your pothos get some moderate sunlight but not direct sunlight. You can pick a window that allows partial sunlight in or place a curtain to prevent direct sunlight from hitting your pothos.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are yet another culprit making your pothos leaves turn yellow. Spider mites are harmful to many plants and the worst thing about them is that they are tiny so you can’t see them from a distance.

When pothos plants are infested with spider mites, their leaves will start to turn yellow or ragged.

The Fix: The first thing to do here is to remove the hell out of your beloved plant which can be challenging. Well, it’s easy, start by spraying lukewarm water on the leaves to get rid of the spider mites. Once you have removed them, spray insecticidal soap on the leaves again. Make sure you do this at least two times every week. Make sure you clear dead leaves that fall off around the plant.


This occurs due to overwatering. Once you add more water even before the soil dries in the pot, the soil continues to stay moist and that’s a good breeding ground for soil fungi.

Fungal disease can deprive the plant off of its nutrition hence leading to root rot. The plant may either wither away or its leaves may start to turn yellow.

Also regular misting of your pothos plant can attract fungal disease which also contributes to yellowing of leaves or withering away of the plant.

The Fix: Always wait until the soil in your pot is dry before watering your plant again. You don’t need to add water frequently.

Last but not least…

Yellowing of Pothos Leaves May Not be  Bad Sign

Like any other indoor plant, older pothos leaves will turn yellow or even start to fall off at some point in time to allow for new ones to grow.

So if you notice yellowing of your pothos leaves, don’t panic, especially if you have examined all the above and found that everything is fine.

Just examine your pothos plant carefully to see the leaves that are falling off or yellowing. If those yellowing and falling off are the ones close to the bottom of the plant, that’s just a natural process that shouldn’t give you headaches.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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