Why are Your Pothos Leaves Curling

Why are Your Pothos Leaves Curling? 10 Reasons + Solution

Despite the fact that Epipremnum and Scindapsus (both varieties of pothos) are simple to care for, most plant owners may encounter issues at some time.

Pothos leaves curling is a common problem for people.

Learn what’s causing your pothos leaves to curl, how to help it recover quickly, and how to prevent it from occurring again.

Fortunately, all pothos kinds are tough plants, and curled leaves usually indicate the start of a problem, and your plant will recover.

In order to fully heal, time is of the essential; thus, the sooner you act, the better.

Why are Your Pothos Leaves Curling?

This issue may be avoided with frequent care, so if you aren’t already familiar with the subject, please read our care guide.

Curling pothos leaves can be caused by a variety of things, the most frequent of which is water (in one way or another).

Why are Your Pothos Leaves Curling

Curling leaves indicate that they are not receiving enough water to avoid additional evaporation.

1. Underwatering is the most Common Cause for Pothos leaves Curling

Submerging the plant in water is the most prevalent cause of curling pothos leaves.

Because of their great water retention capacity, these plants can withstand occasional disregard of their watering requirements.

As you may have been informed, this plant may be ignored and yet thrive. That was bad advice.

Although some plants use less water than others, they still need to be watered on a regular and correct basis in order to grow.

If you routinely expose plants to water that is too low for them, their leaves will curl.

The leaves of your pothos may be curling, but how can you know whether this is the cause?

You may see that the plant’s leaves are drooping and curled up, giving the impression that it is dying.

Dry soil is to be expected. Excessive dryness might result in withered, disconnected plants.

If water seeps through the container when you water your plant, you may need to soak the soil in water to loosen it.

If the soil has dried out, soak the plant for half an hour, remove excess water, and analyze the soil.

If the impact is still too subtle, try again. To loosen the dirt, poke it with a toothpick or a fork.

It’s critical that the earth drains properly. Overwatering can also occur if you water your plant and feel moisture on the soil’s surface days later. You may wish to repot your plant into better soil.

It is critical to wait until the soil has slightly dried up before watering.

If you’re growing your pothos in soil, make sure there’s always some space between the earth and the bottom of the container so water doesn’t pool.

Water your plant and it should recover quickly. Water your Pothos plant more frequently from now on.

2. Overwatering – Root Rot

This is the first possible reason to rule out. The most common reason of pothos leaf curling is a lack of water, whereas overwatering can expedite the plant’s mortality.

If your container is too large for the plant, the soil might hold far more water than is necessary, leading to overwatering.

Check to see whether the soil passes muster.

Overwatering happens when the soil surrounding your plant remains damp for several days after you have watered it. Don’t water again until the soil has dried slightly.

Overwatering occurs when you water your plants too frequently and leave the water to sit in the container.

Wait until the top inch or two of soil dries up before watering, and then let any standing water drain out of the drainage holes.

Overwatering a plant for a lengthy period of time almost always leads in root rot. Curling, yellowing, and eventually dead leaves are caused by decaying roots cutting off nutrients and water.

If it’s still in its early stages, you may treat it by watering your plants less frequently and allowing the soil to dry out.

If the condition has worsened, you may need to remove the plant (carefully) to inspect its foundation.

Check for any visible black, mushy, or putrid-smelling roots and remove them using clean tools.

Replace the plant in new soil, and if you want to use the same container again, sterilize it beforehand.

But What Can You Do About It?

  • Before judging if the soil is underwatering, make sure it is dry. If you probe the soil with your finger or a skewer pick and discover that it is virtually dry, you have discovered the source of the problem.
  • Please avoid the temptation to overwater.
  • Don’t tempt yourself by giving it ice water; while cold beverages may refresh us when we’re thirsty, sudden temperature changes can be stressful for plants. Allow the water to rest in a bowl or other open container for 30 minutes. This will reduce the temperature to ambient levels and allow the chlorine gas to disperse more easily. It is best to gather water from rain clouds.
  • Water your pothos plant by reaching up and splashing the dirt beneath the leaves.
  • Wait until the top two inches (5 cm) of soil is completely dry before watering again.
  • Underwatering may be avoided by giving appropriate, but not excessive, water on a constant basis.

3. Too much fertilizer

Pothos plants do not require frequent fertilization, therefore if you’ve been fertilizing them frequently and lavishly, the curled leaves might be the result.

There are several warning signs to look out for, including the curling of the leaves. Leaf margin discoloration is possible.

At the soil’s surface, mineral buildup can be observed as a thin white crust. Even growth can be hindered.

If you apply too much fertilizer, the roots will be injured and the soil around them will become less favorable.

As a result, the plant’s roots will be unable to provide adequate water and nutrients.

It is recommended to flush the soil to remove mineral buildup that may arise as a result of overfertilization.

Wait a minute before moistening the soil carefully (you don’t want to lose dirt via the drainage holes). When you’re done, make sure to drain any leftover water.

Fertilizing should be avoided this season and done less frequently the next year. A pothos that has been over-fertilized is preferable than one that has been under-fed.

Although repotting into new soil is an option, it raises the plant’s stress level. Repotting is a last resort that should only be used when all other methods have been tried.

In The First Case The Solution Is Simple:

  • Stop eating for a brief amount of time. Allow the plant one month to recover.
  • After the plant has recovered, resume feeding at a reduced level.
  • Next, gradually increase your normal dosage.

In Case There Are Other Signs, And The Plant Is Suffering Severely, You Will Need Some Drastic Action:

  • Begin by plucking the pothos from the ground.
  • The following step is to remove all of the muck from the roots.
  • Finally, use a small brush to clean the roots.
  • Finally, move your pothos to a new container with well-draining soil.

After that, don’t fertilize it again for a while, as there may still be excess nutrients clinging to the roots.

Why are Your Pothos Leaves Curling

4. Too Much Light direct (leaf dehydration)

In bright sunlight, water from the soil evaporates faster, and water loss from the leaves surpasses their ability to restore themselves.

Pothos requires strong yet indirect lighting. Even if you are watering your plant properly and it is thriving well in the sun, you should consider moving it to a less sunny location.

What to do about it:

If your plant has been scorched, Mast recommends “filling a pitcher or jug with water and leaving it exposed overnight to allow the minerals to escape.”

To hydrate your indoor plants, you may alternatively use distilled water or rainwater.

If your pothos hasn’t been doing well due to a lack of nutrients, fertilize it.

“Most plants will benefit from fertilizer twice a year in the spring and summer,” Mast says. (Use our plant food guide to get the right one for your plant partner.)

She likes to feed her pothos iron-rich fertilizers with a touch of magnesium from Epsom salts.

5. High temperatures

Heat, like too much light, causes the soil to dry up rapidly and causes water loss via the leaves.

Transfer your pothos to a cooler place and reduce the frequency of waterings if possible.

What Can You Do About It?

  • Your pothos must first have its temperature checked so that other possible causes may be ruled out. You don’t have to be accurate with your measurements unless you’re an expert. It is sufficient to keep a mental count of how long it took to warm up or cool down.
  • Check that the temperature in the area where your pothos is maintained is consistent both throughout the day and at night. After only one day, you’ll realize that the evenings are too cold and the days are too hot.
  • As a first measure, keep your pothos away from any heat sources, like as air conditioner vents. Unfortunately, we have a propensity of keeping them on shelves near or on top of radiators. Your plant will suffer tremendously as a result of this.
  • Importantly, transfer your pothos to a spot with regular moderate temperatures. Aim for a temperature range of 15-29 degrees Celsius for growing pothos (60–30 degrees Fahrenheit). If ever there was a bracket, this is it. If the temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your pothos will die (10 degrees Celsius).

Keep an eye on your pothos, especially during times of weather and seasonal change, when it is more prone to stress and symptoms like as leaf curling.

6. Low humidity

Because pothos thrives in arid circumstances, this is unlikely to be a concern. Low humidity levels, on the other hand, may aggravate the problem.

Curling Pothos leaves as a result of low humidity is typically a sign of a more serious issue.

7. Pests

Pest infestations may cause varied degrees of problems.

Even if bugs aren’t as common a cause of plant stress as, say, drowning, it’s still a good idea to search for signs of an infestation if your plant is struggling.

Pests can physically injure the leaves, even interfering with their capacity to absorb water and nutrients.

Some of them may even be harmful to the roots. If the illness becomes severe enough, you may lose your plant.

Furthermore, pests may migrate quickly from one plant to another. Inspect your home for bugs on a regular basis.

It’s a good idea to look at the stems and underneath the leaves.

Some insects, such as spider mites, are difficult to detect without a magnifying lens (you can purchase one with an LED light that is particularly convenient).

You may get rid of bugs in your pothos utilizing any of the offered options.

8. Old Leaves Dying

Curling of an older leaf is normal, especially if the plant is otherwise healthy and growing new leaves.

As they age and die, the leaves finally fall off. If your plant is putting out a lot of new growth, it may lose some of its older leaves to devote more energy to that growth.

9. New Growth

New growth often emerges with a tiny curl, but a healthy plant will quickly uncurl all of its leaves.

Curled newly sprouted leaves indicate that something is awry. New leaves are the first to show this, and it might be due to any of the above-mentioned factors (except for old leaves).

However, in most situations, the leaves do not uncurl due to insufficient watering.

10. Improper Watering

When the leaves of a pothos begin to yellow, it indicates that the plant is under stress. The issue might be irregular watering rather than too much or too little water.

Your pothos’s problems might be caused by soil that varies between being too dry and too wet, or by soil that drains too slowly.

Here’s how to properly water a pothos so that it grows and produces strong roots:

  • Recognize the clear signs that your pothos requires water. Check the ground with your finger to determine if it is dry. Are the vines drooping rather than bending and bouncing? That means it’s watering time!
  • Aerate the soil by turning it over. When poking holes in the earth with a chopstick or skewer, be careful not to pierce the roots. If you do this, the roots will benefit from enhanced oxygen and water delivery.
  • Fill a container with room temperature water and place it beneath the drainage hole, making sure to cover the whole soil surface.
  • Replace your pothos in a location that receives intense indirect sunshine. If this isn’t a possibility, use a pot with appropriate drainage and draining potting soil. The goal is to keep the roots dry for as long as possible.

Why are Your Pothos Leaves Curling


Can yellow pothos leaves turn green again?

When a leaf becomes yellow, it seldom returns to its previous green or variegated coloring. However, with our assistance, your pothos will thrive and soon send up healthy new shoots.

Should I remove yellow leaves from pothos?

If the leaves are becoming yellow due to age, a lack of water, or nutritional deficiency, leave them on the plant until they are entirely yellow.

This method can restore some of the nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, and other nutrients lost in the leaves (source).

If their look bothers you, you may also remove them by cutting them off the plant.

Are yellowing leaves always a cause for concern?

As Coffey puts it, “there will always be some yellow leaves.”

As a result, if one of your plant’s elder leaves (located at the bottom of its canopy) becomes yellow and periodically falls off, this is typical and not reason for concern; this is a sign of the plant’s age.

However, if you see any yellowing of your leaves, it’s advisable to remove them right away rather than hope for a miraculous recovery.

Remember that certain pothos kinds, such as the marble queen pothos, have characteristic golden speckles on their leaves.

The fact that this happens spontaneously is a key part of what distinguishes that kind.


Pothos plants require water, sunshine, and nutrients even though they require minimal maintenance.

If your pothos has yellow leaves, it may be stressed and requires some little tweaks to its care.

Most of the time, you’ll need to relocate it closer to a window, adjust the frequency with which you water it, amend the soil, or filter the water you’re giving it.

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