Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow? A Guide On Pothos Leaves

“Why are my pothos leaves turning yellow?” is always one of the most common questions from pothos plant owners out there. First of all, it is all okay because it is also quite a common issue with this type of plant. The causes of this problem are quite a lot, and I am going to describe them all for you today. Take a look at some of those reasons below and see which one is the cause of your yellow pothos leaves.

1. The Causes Of Yellow Pothos Leaves & How To Fix Them

Reason #1: Aging

First thing first, do not panic because yellow leaves are common when they are old. In this case, you will notice yellow leaves near the base of the stems of the pothos plants. Some of them also start to fall off, and this is only natural because old leaves die and fall. This is just to make room for new foliage or new leaves to grow so that the plants are beautiful again.

So if you are sure that the fertilization, health, watering, and other caring routines are good, then don’t worry. This could just be the leaves are aging, and new green leaves will appear in no time. Also, don’t forget to remove those dead leaves to prevent pests from visiting your plants.

Reason #2: Light

As indoor plants, direct or too much sunlight is not what pothos plants need to thrive. The best light conditions for them are either low light or indirect sunlight somewhere near the window. Too much sunlight can burn and scorch the leaves, which results in yellowing leaves on the plants. Sometimes, brown spots, wilting, and death can also occur if you don’t fix the problem on time. Because it is okay to leave a pothos outside on cloudy days, sometimes the owners may forget to bring it back. This is also another cause of yellow leave pothos as well so make sure to avoid this.

In case you place the pothos plants in direct sunlight, make sure to relocate them to somewhere with partial light. More than that, placing the plants in low light conditions can lead to yellow leaves in pothos plants also. Simply put, you should choose a location with proper sunlight so that your pothos receive the sufficient lights that they need.

Reason #3: Over Fertilization

Enthusiastic indoor plant owners often feed their pothos plants more than they need to. As a result, the plants become unhealthy which leads to brown or yellow leaves on the plant. While most people think that more fertilizer means better and faster growth, things are actually on a different side. When you overfeed your pothos plants, there will be too much salt in the soil. This will cause the soil to dry due to lack of moisture, and the leaves and roots are unable to feed. Then it will result in brown leaves, fertilizer burn, stunted growth, and of course, yellow leaves. So if your pothos leaves start to turn yellow and you know you always feed them too much, change the habit.

Read the instruction so that you can properly fertilize your pothos plants with the right amount of fertilizer. Generally, a pothos plant only requires fertilization once a month during the growing season which is spring and summer. When fall and winter come, you may stop feeding them because fertilization is not necessary during these two seasons. Sometimes poor-quality fertilizer is also an issue that causes yellow leaves on your pothos plants. Make sure to choose the ones that are high-quality and nutritious so that your indoor plants only get the best.

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Reason #4: Pests

Pothos plants are prone to pests, and this is another cause of yellow leaves pothos. Even the small pothos like yellow marble also experience this kind of problem, turning them into pothos plant yellow leaves. One of the most common bugs that attack pothos plants is mealybugs and spider mites. These two feed on the cells and saps of the plants, sucking all the nutrients from the plants. After the infestation, your pothos plant leaves will turn yellow in no time.

Dealing with these pests is not difficult, but you have to detect them on time before it is too late. If you notice white fuzzy spots in the nooks and crannies of your pothos, those are mealybugs. To remove them, you have to dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and dap it directly on the bugs. They will come off, and make sure to inspect in case some of them are hiding.

As for the spider mites, they are so tiny, so detecting one can be a bit difficult. When you spot white webbing on the plants, you know that there are some spider mites there. The first thing to do is isolate that infected plant from other plants because the spider mites spread fast. Then spray down your pothos with water to knock off those mites and treat the rest with neem oil. You can also use insecticidal soap, but neem oil is way more effective and fast.

Reason #5: Root Bound

Root bound is when roots form into a dense and tangled mass in the soil, leaving no room for further growth. This is also a cause of pothos leaves turning yellow that you should check. Check if there are roots poking out from the drainage holes, or the plants grow very slowly. If you see a ball of roots in the soil, then it is time to repot the plant.

It is a very easy and simple cause that you can easily fix since you can just move it to a large pot. Choose a container that is one size bigger than the current one, and simply move your pothos there. To make it easy for you to repot the plant, a quick video below will be helpful for you.

Reason #6: Root Rot

Root rot is another cause of yellow leaves in pothos plants, and you may want to check for that. For beginners, root rot is a fungal disease that occurs when there is too much moisture in the soil. When a pothos plant has root rot, its leaves turn yellow then fall off. Along with that, the roots of the plants may also turn black with a mushy texture. The only way to know about this cause is to check the roots to see the color and the texture. To fix this problem, you will have to repot the plant to fresh, new, and sterile soil. Then make sure not to overwater the plants and cause the soil to have too much moisture.

Reason #7: Temperature

When it comes to indoor plants, temperature changes are one of the reasons that lead to yellowing leaves. The first thing that you have to know is that pothos plants thrive in room temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Although they can still do well in a low temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, fluctuated temperatures are bad for them. Cold temperatures are not the ideal conditions for them to grow in, and you must never let that happen. At the same time, hot temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit are also bad for the plants.

In certain months like summer and winter, when the temperatures tend to change the most, yellow leaves can occur. That is when you want to consider moving your plants to a better area with a proper temperature. Another way is to maintain a stable temperature in the room so that they won’t experience changes and shocks. And of course, keep them away from a heater or in front of a cold window. That way, pothos plants yellow leaves will not be a problem for you to deal with.

Reason #8: Water

This is not an uncommon problem among pothos plant owners out there, watering can also lead to leaves turning yellow. The thing that you have to know about this type of plant is that they grow beautifully and healthily with proper watering. This is why it is nice to set a schedule to maintain a correct watering routine for the plants. When you overwater the plant, you cause the soil to be too damp or soggy. It can lead to roots suffocation, and the leaves and roots are unable to breathe due to the lack of oxygen. Then the leaves of your pothos plants will start to turn yellow and wilt before the whole plant dies.

Things are the same when you underwater the plant because dry soil can also lead to yellow leaves. Underwatering a plant results in dry soil, and the plants are not able to conserve or absorb the nutrients. What happens next is the yellow leaves on the plants that indicate the dying leaves. You can also notice the signs of underwatering when the leaves start to curl, droop, and wilt. And if the soil is dry when that happens, it is time for you to water your pothos plants more often.


Taking care of pothos plants can be both easy and difficult, but there are also solutions to the problems. This is why you should inspect your plants regularly so that you are able to detect the problems on time. I have listed the most common causes of yellow leaves pothos along with the solutions above. Since what to do is quite easy, you should be able to deal with this problem in no time. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask because I am always here to help you out.