There are a huge number of wonderful plants available for indoor growing, but one of the places of honor among them takes pothos. Despite its frenzied popularity, there are sometimes problems with this plant, which this article aims to solve.
Dehydration, root rot from overwatering, inadequate light, improper growing temperatures, and pests are the major causes of pothos dying. To save the pothos, water it when the soil in the pot is 70-80% dry and give the plant at least six hours of indirect but bright sunlight. Do not place the pothos near heating or cooling appliances and spray the leaves with horticultural oil if there are pests on them.
Overwatering can cause root problems
Root rot is the main enemy of all plants without exception. This disease can kill your plant in a matter of days. Pothos can also die from root rot and is more sensitive to overwatering than some other plants.
Roots can most often begin to rot as a result of too much watering. Soil that is too wet is a perfect environment for root rot.
- Leaves turn yellow and droop. Brown spots appear on the leaves.
- Leaves begin to fall off.
- Pothos will noticeably slow down.
- A foul odor can be emitted from the pot.
- The roots are soft (mushy) and can be easily smashed with fingers.
- Stop watering frequently.
- Pull the pothos out of the pot and shake off all the soil. Remove any dirt from the roots with a stream of water.
- Using a sharp tool, gently remove any dead parts of the rhizome.
- Dilute 10 ml of hydrogen peroxide in 100 ml of water and treat all root wounds.
- Allow the plant to dry for a few hours. The roots should be dry.
- Remove any yellowed leaves. If there are many damaged leaves, remove only the most damaged ones.
- Plant the pothos in a pot twice as large as before with large drainage holes. Use clean soil for aroids.
- Next, water the pothos only when the soil is 80% dry. Avoid shallow and often watering.
Dehydration can cause pothos to die
Thirst can ruin your pothos. Although it is quite hardy and can survive some drought, it still needs water to thrive. In nature, pothos grows attached to trees, and its root system is deep enough to get water from the ground. When the soil is dry, it can absorb moisture from the air.
All of this is absent in indoor cultivation. If the soil in the pot is dry pothos have nowhere to get water. If this happens, the plant will stunt its growth, after a while, it will begin to lose its leaves, and symptoms of dying will appear.
- Leaves drooping and wrinkling. Curling of the leaves is possible if the air is dry. The soil in the pot looks dry.
- Leaves become pale green at first and eventually turn yellow. Then begin to brown around the edge and at the tips.
- The leaves fall off starting with the ones farthest from the rhizome. The stems also begin to dry and brown.
- Check soil moisture daily with a finger or moisture meter.
- Water the pothos when the soil is 70-80% dry. Do not let the roots stay dry for too long.
- Use bottom watering. Place the pothos in a bucket of water that is slightly deeper than the pot. Allow the plant to soak in the water for a few minutes, but then allow any excess to drain out through the drainage holes.
Inappropriate temperature is a factor that can lead to difficulties with any plant. As pothos is known to be a tropical plant, it, therefore, likes heat. Even small deviations from the norm can affect its appearance.
This is most often the case when pothos are not properly placed inside the house. Or in the summer, when many owners take it outside. The pothos can be stressed by both the cold at night and the heat of the day.
Unsuitable growing temperatures will first leave their mark on the leaves. If you do nothing, pothos will start to die quickly or slowly, depending on the temperature.
- Wilting and deformation of pothos leaves.
- Yellowing and dropping of leaves as a result of overheating.
- Large black spots and curling of leaf tips from overcooling.
- There may also be signs of disease (brown spots on leaves, etc.) as the plant is more susceptible to disease under stress.
- Remove all damaged leaves and stems.
- Provide pothos with a temperature of 65-80 °F (18-25 °C). A few degree fluctuations are acceptable.
- Do not allow pothos to stay below 50 °F (10 °C) or above 90 °F (32 °C).
- Do not place pothos close to heaters, air conditioners, fans, refrigerators, etc.
- Do not take pothos outdoors if it is likely to get cold. Also do not do it in extreme heat.
Insects and mites
A large number of pests can cause considerable damage to your pothos and as a result, it may slowly begin to die. At first, you may not even notice the uninvited guests, but if there are too many of them, the appearance of the plant will change.
This is especially true for sucking insects (aphids, mealybugs, thrips) and mites. The latter are not technically insects so the measures to combat them are slightly different than insects.
- Pothos stop growing.
- Leaves turn yellow or have spots on them. Some leaves can also become twisted and tubercles appear on them.
- Insects or traces of insects can be seen on the leaves and stems.
- Leaves look eaten.
- Move the pothos to a room with no other plants.
- Cut off badly damaged leaves.
- Inspect the plant for pests. If you see large enough bugs, remove them from the plant with your fingers.
- If there are aphids on the pothos, wash them off with running water.
- Dilute a teaspoon of dish soap in half a gallon of water. Then add two tablespoons of horticultural oil and stir the mixture. Spray pothos leaves and stems thoroughly with this mixture.
- Repeat spraying once a week until you see the insects are gone.
- If there is no sign of insects, take a magnifying glass and check the underside of the leaf. If you see small whitish bugs and small cobwebs, it is definitely mites.
- Mist the leaves regularly and spray pothos with acaricide.
Air humidity is an important factor in plant life, especially for pothos. This is because if the humidity is low, the leaves will not evaporate enough water to keep their surface moist. This will change the appearance of the plant.
Also, in some cases, pothos can get water from the air. But if there is not enough moisture, the plant will slowly die. Also, the plant can become stressed, which can result in disease.
- Leaves are pale and shriveled.
- Next, the leaves begin to shrivel at the edge and brown spots appear.
- Leaves turn yellow and fall off.
- The plant may show signs of fungal disease.
- Provide pothos with 60-70% humidity by regularly misting the leaves.
- Install a humidifier near the plant or place a stone tray filled with water.
- Keep all your plants close to one another. This way, the humidity level will be higher.
- Avoid underwatering pothos.
- Place the pothos away from devices that can dry out the air.
Soil and pot issues
Soil is the basis for all plants. If the soil is too compact and poorly drained from the roots may not get enough air and water will stagnate in the pot. All of this will lead to the above-mentioned root rot and the death of the pothos.
The second problem is too alkaline soil and lack of nutrients in it. If the pH of the soil is much higher than 7.0, the nutrients will not be available to the pothos. Without nutrients, the plant cannot survive in potting soil at home.
Finally, the size of the pot. In an undersized pot, the roots will begin to coil up. This will lead first to stunted growth and then to death.
- The plant grows very slowly.
- The soil in the pot is very hard.
- After watering, water is absorbed slowly.
- Leaves turn yellow and fall off.
- The leaves show signs of chlorosis (yellow leaves with green veins).
- Repot the pothos twice the size of the previous pot.
- Use loose and well-drained soil. It is ideal if you buy special soil for aroids.
- The soil should have a pH of 6.0-6.5. You can measure this with tests available at garden stores.
- Fertilize pothos at least 2-3 times a season. Use liquid aroids fertilizer.
Insufficient light can lead to loss of pothos. At first, the plant will grow even in very low light, but it will stretch out as a result. Growth will come at the expense of previously stored energy reserves, which will definitely lead to the exhaustion of the plant and its eventual death.
The second case is too much direct sunlight. This will burn the leaves and cause them to wither. If the damage is too severe, the pothos will die
- The stems and leaves are elongated and soft.
- The color is pale and the plant as a whole looks unhealthy.
- The leaves show large brown spots from sunburn.
- Remove badly damaged leaves.
- Move pothos to a location where it will receive at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight.
- Avoid placing the pothos in direct sunlight.
- Install an artificial light source if there is not enough sunlight in the room.
And the last possible reason for the death of pothos is a disease. Several diseases have different symptoms and it makes no sense to list them all here. I will tell you briefly what to look for and what to do in this case.
If your pothos is dying, carefully inspect all parts of the plant. Look for brown spots on the leaves and stems. Inspect the stems where they come out of the roots, they should be healthy there should be no rot. Check the leaves for mold.
- Leaves turn yellow and fall off and brown or black spots are present.
- Leaves wilt and droop.
- Mold or rot is noticeable on the leaves.
- Remove any damaged parts of the plant.
- Spray pothos with a copper-based fungicide. Repeat spraying after a few days with another type of fungicide.
- Make sure the room is well ventilated.
- Use sterile soil.
- Avoid placing pothos in a very humid room, for instance in a bathtub.