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Troubleshooting Your Pothos: Common Signs Something is Wrong and How to Fix It

Do you want your Pothos to thrive and reach new heights? Then you must pay attention to its care and maintenance. From understanding why mealybugs and scale are the most common insect problems, to learning how to provide it with the right temperature and light, here is all you need to know about keeping your Pothos healthy and happy.

How to Recognize Signs of a Unhealthy Pothos Plant

Having a pothos plant in your home can be a great addition to any interior design. However, it’s important to recognize when something is wrong with your pothos so that you can take action quickly.

Signs of an Unhealthy Pothos Plant

  • Leaves have spots or discolored patches
  • Brown stems
  • Damp soil
  • Poor lighting or drainage conditions
  • Exposure to direct sunlight which can cause the leaves to turn brown

If the spots are darker and softer, this could be an indication of overwatering. To make sure your pothos is happy and healthy, you should watch its leaves closely.

How to Ensure a Healthy Pothos Plant

  • Watch the leaves closely
  • Ensure the leaves are glossy, green, and perky
  • Take action if leaves are wilting or turning brown due to under-watering or root rot from over-watering
  • Yellow leaves can also be a sign that something isn’t right with your pothos
  • Ensure the plant receives a few hours of moderate light each day

Another sign that your pothos may need more light is when its colors start to fade. A plant with gold, white, or pale yellow variegation is likely to turn a solid, pale green color if it does not receive enough light. In spite of the fact that pothos can tolerate relatively low light levels, it would benefit from a few hours of moderate light each day.

Repotting and Pruning Pothos Plants to Encourage Healthy Growth


Repotting is the resolution in both cases of overwatering and under-watering. In order to repot a pothos, you should follow these steps:

  1. Put it in a pot filled with a light and well-draining mix.
  2. You can buy pre-mixed houseplant soil from your local garden center or make your own mix at home by amending the soil with coconut coir and perlite.
  3. Once you have placed your pothos in its new pot, water it lightly and give it enough sunlight for proper growth.

It is important to note that pothos require regular watering but should not be overwatered as this can lead to root rot which can cause irreparable damage to the plant. Make sure that you never let the soil become completely dry between waterings as this could also cause wilting or brown leaves on your pothos plant.


Another way to encourage healthy growth in your pothos is to prune the vines. When a vine is snipped right next to a node, it will send out new growth, usually in the form of multiple branches. It is possible to do this to any branch, regardless of its length. This means that you can cut back an overgrown pothos and it should grow back with multiple shoots.

Fixing Stunted Growth

Fixing stunted growth in pothos can be done by providing more light. If your pothos is in a dark basement corner full-time and it doesn’t grow well, you should assume that the problem is a lack of sunlight. Fix it by placing the plant in an area with bright, indirect light but not directly in front of a sunny west-facing window.

Caring for Pothos after Repotting

Finally, it is important to remember that pothos are less likely to climb up a wall if there is no light to help them reach it. This means that if you have a pothos in your home and you want it to climb its way up the wall, then you should make sure that there is sufficient light around it. A hanging grow light, a large window, and a skylight are some of the best ways to encourage pothos plants keep reaching upward. Additionally, when selecting an area for your plant pay attention to how much sun exposure the space gets during different times of day as this will determine how much growth your pothos will experience over time.

By providing these simple steps and remembering back to the native rainforest environment where these plants grow naturally, you can give your pothos plant all of the nutrients and resources it needs for healthy growth.

It is also important to keep in mind that pothos prefer warm temperatures, so if you’re keeping your cuttings too cold it will affect root growth. To ensure optimal growth, make sure the temperature of the room your pothos is kept in remains at or above 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).

When it comes to why your pothos may be dying after repotting, the answer is simple: stress. Plants, like people, can become stressed when their environment changes. Pothos plants may exhibit some drooping or discoloration after repotting as they adjust to their new pot. In order to help your plant recover from this shock and get back on track for healthy growth, there are a few steps you can take.

Steps to Help Your Pothos Recover After Repotting

  1. Watering: Make sure to water your pothos plant thoroughly after repotting. This will help to settle the soil and reduce any air pockets that may have formed during the repotting process.

  2. Light: Provide your pothos plant with bright, indirect light. This will help to stimulate growth and encourage your plant to recover from the stress of repotting.

  3. Humidity: Pothos plants prefer a humid environment, so consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your plant to increase the humidity in the air.

  4. Fertilizer: Wait at least a month after repotting before fertilizing your pothos plant. This will give your plant time to adjust to its new pot and reduce the risk of fertilizer burn.

By following these simple steps, you can help your pothos plant recover from the stress of repotting and continue to thrive in its new home.

Encouraging Bushier Growth in Your Pothos

  • One of the best ways to encourage bushier growth in your pothos is to add a moss pole. This will help your plant reach for the light and create larger, fuller leaves that will make it look better. Moss poles can be purchased from most garden centers or you can make one of your own. It is important to remember that when attaching the pole to the pot you should use either twist ties or zip ties so that it is securely fastened and won’t come loose when your pothos begins climbing up it.

  • Another way to encourage bushier growth in your pothos is to use a method called “aerial rooting”. This involves taking cuttings from the vine and placing them in water until they root. You will notice that along the vine there are knobs that are brownish in color, these are aerial roots which your pothos will use to attach itself to a tree trunk or other structure.

What Temperature Kills Pothos: A Guide to Cold Weather Care

  • Temperature is an important factor to consider when taking care of your pothos.
  • When the temperature drops too low, it can cause the leaves to turn brown and die off.
  • Different plant types have different answers to this question.
  • For instance, Sanseveria is one of the most hardy plant species, capable of withstanding temperatures as low as 40°F.
  • On the other hand, Pothos does not tolerate temperatures below 65°F and will start to experience leaf damage if exposed to lower temperatures for a prolonged period of time.
  • If you want your pothos to thrive in colder weather conditions then you should make sure that it receives sufficient light during those months so that it doesn’t become stressed or suffer from stunted growth due to insufficient energy sources.
Plant TypeTemperature Tolerance

Note: It is important to keep your pothos in a warm environment to prevent leaf damage.

Eliminating Mealybugs and Scale from Pothos Plants

  • Two of the most common issues with pothos plants are mealybugs and scale.
  • Mealybugs look like small balls of cotton while scale are dark colored bumps on leaves.
  • As a result of their feeding activity, plant sap is reduced and nutrients are redirected from the leaves.
  • During high infestations, the leaves will become distorted and stunted.

Getting Rid of Mealybugs or Scale on Your Pothos Plant

To get rid of mealybugs or scale on your pothos plant you should use an insecticidal soap or neem oil which will help to kill the insects without harming your plant. If you have an especially bad infestation then it may be necessary to cut off affected branches in order to save the rest of your pothos from further damage.

Inspect Other Plants in Your Home

You should also be sure to inspect other plants in your home for signs of infestation as these insects can spread quickly between different species if left untreated for too long.

MealybugsSmall balls of cotton
ScaleDark colored bumps on leaves


pothos plants are easy to care for but they can experience problems. Mealybugs and scale are the most common insect problems and can cause damage to the leaves. To keep your Pothos healthy, it is important to provide the right amount of light, water, and nutrients. If you are having trouble with your Pothos, try repotting it in a light and well-draining mix. Keep an eye out for signs of mealybugs, scale, and other problems. With the right care, your Pothos will thrive and be a beautiful addition to your home.