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8 Reasons Why Pothos Is Droopy (And How To Revive)

Caring for pothos outside their natural habitat can be tricky. In the wild, these plants naturally adjust to their surroundings to thrive. But indoors, it’s all up to you to keep them healthy.

If your pothos is drooping, it could be due to not enough water, too much water, or not enough moisture in the air.

To perk up your pothos, water it only when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry. Aim for a humidity level around 60% and keep the temperature above 60°F. Also, check that the soil drains well and that your pot has drainage holes.

1. Underwatering

Pothos drooping

Underwatered pothos drooping

Pothos leaves usually droop due to lack of water. The speed at which the potting soil dries out varies based on several factors. When the soil gets nearly dry, the leaves lose their perkiness and may even start to yellow.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Water your pothos thoroughly.
  2. Water again until the top 2 inches of soil are dry.
  3. Regularly check the soil’s moisture to stay on top of watering needs.

2. Overwatering


Pothos drooping due to overwatering.

Watering your pothos too often or using a pot without enough drainage can keep the roots too wet. This can stop the roots from working right and lead to root rot.

If your pothos has droopy, yellow, or brown leaves, the soil might be too wet. A soggy soil often means you’re overwatering.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Take your pothos out of its pot and gently shake off the soil from the roots.
  2. Cut off any rotten parts of the roots.
  3. Replant your pothos in a new pot with fresh, well-draining soil.
  4. Make sure the pot has at least 4 big holes for drainage.
  5. Water your pothos just enough. Let the top 1-2 inches of soil dry out before watering again.

3. Cold Snap

Pothos leaves often droop when exposed to cold temperatures, like when taken outdoors. Nighttime temperatures below 50°F or sudden frosts can damage the leaves, causing them to droop. In severe frost, they might even turn black.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Relocate it to a warmer spot.
  2. Trim off any damaged leaves.
  3. Water the plant with liquid fertilizer to give it a boost.
  4. For the future, avoid taking your pothos outside or onto a balcony in cold weather.

4. Low Humidity

Pothos drooped because of the dry air.

Pothos drooped because of the dry air.

Low humidity can make pothos leaves droop or sag. Pothos naturally grows in humid environments, and it’s tough to replicate that in a room, especially with summer heat, which can make the leaves soft and droopy.

Heat-producing devices like heaters or fans also lower humidity, and if your pothos is near them, its leaves will likely suffer.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Move your pothos away from heaters, fans, and other similar appliances.
  2. Mist the leaves manually using a sprayer, or consider placing a humidifier near the plant.
  3. Aim for a humidity level of 60-70% around your pothos for best results.

5. Transplant Shock

Pothos drooping because of transplant shock

Pothos drooping because of transplant shock.

Replanting can be stressful for plants, including pothos. Even with careful transplanting and undamaged roots, moving them to a new spot or another room can upset them.

This stress, known as transplant shock, happens as the plant adjusts to its new surroundings. During this time, leaves might droop or some may even wither.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Ensure it gets enough water but avoid direct sunlight.
  2. Move it to a shadier spot for a few days or weeks.
  3. It’s best to replant pothos in early spring or fall, not during their active growing season.

6. Light Issues

Lack of light

Pothos drooping due to lack of light.

When pothos don’t get enough light, their leaves tend to elongate and soften, leading to drooping. Lack of light can also cause fungal disease spots. This is common if the plant is in a north-facing room or a windowless bathroom, or too far from a window.

On the other hand, too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves, making them crispy at the tips and edges. The leaves might droop, turn yellow, and fall off.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Position your pothos in a spot where it gets bright, but indirect sunlight throughout the day.
  2. A great location is near a south-facing window.
  3. If you don’t have a spot with natural light, consider using an LED grow light.

7. Insects

Droopy leaves on pothos can also be caused by sucking insects. These pests cling to different parts of the plant and feed on its sap. This feeding can lead to leaves curling, drooping, turning yellow, and eventually falling off.

Common pests on pothos include mealybugs, aphids, thrips, scales, and mites. If they infest the plant widely, they can cause significant damage. Some of these pests can also spread viral diseases.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Check the underside of the leaves for signs of insects.
  2. Use a magnifying glass to help spot tiny mites.
  3. Spraying with horticultural oil is effective against most of these insects.

8. Disease

The disease caused pothos to droop

The disease caused pothos to droop.

Stem rot is another issue that can affect pothos. It targets the stems and leaf stems (petioles), causing leaves to droop and turn yellow. The stems may also change color, turning red or brown.

Preventing stem rot is easier than treating it. Start by choosing a healthy plant and being careful not to overwater. Fungicides can help, but prevention is key.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Ensure it gets plenty of light and good air circulation.
  2. Spray the leaves with a fungicide as a preventative measure.