Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow: What To Do For Yellow Leaves On Pothos

By Teo Spengler

Pothos is the perfect plant for the brown-thumb gardener, or anyone who wants an easy care plant. It offers deep green, heart-shaped leaves on long, cascading stems. When you see those pothos leaves turning yellow, you’ll know something is wrong with your plant.

Pothos with Yellowing Leaves

Yellow leaves on pothos is never a good sign. But that doesn’t necessarily spell the end for your plant, or even a serious disease. One of the primary causes of yellow leaves on pothos is too much sunshine.


The pothos plant prefers moderate amounts of light and can even thrive in low light. On the other hand, it will not tolerate direct sunlight. Yellow pothos foliage can be an indication that your plant getting too much sun.

If you’ve had that pothos in a southern facing window, move it to another location, or farther away from the light. Alternatively, solve the yellow-leaves-on-pothos problem by hanging a sheer curtain between the plant and the window.

Excess or inadequate fertilizer can also make pothos leaves yellow. A monthly feed with a water-soluble indoor plant food is sufficient.

Other Causes of Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow

When pothos leaves yellow, it can signal serious problems like the fungal diseases, pythium root rot and bacterial leaf spot. Root rots are often caused by soil-inhabiting fungi and overly moist soil; poor drainage and plant crowding favor their development.

Pothos with yellowing leaves may indicate root rot. When the plant has pythium root rot, mature leaves yellow and fall, and the roots look black and mushy. With bacterial leaf spot, you’ll notice water spots with yellow halos on the underside of leaves.

If your pothos with yellowing leaves has root rot, provide it with the best possible cultural care. Be sure your plant is placed where it gets adequate sunlight, be sure that its soil drains well, and limit water to optimal amounts. Do not mist the plant since root rot fungi thrive in moist conditions.

Disinfect scissors with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Snip off yellowing leaves, disinfecting the blades after each cut. If more than one-third of the pathos leaves yellow, trim over time rather than removing so much foliage at once. If the disease has spread to the roots, you may not be able to save the plant.

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