What to Do When Pothos Leaves Turn Yellow & Brown


Pothos are one of the best houseplants to grow, especially for beginners, due to the amount of neglect they can tolerate. Infrequent watering? No problem. Not enough natural sunlight? The pothos can handle. Despite being a plant that’s easy to care for, there can be certain causes that lead to their leaves turning yellow and brown. Here are the main ones.

The Pothos is Affected by Plant Disease

Yellow and brown leaves may be an indication that the pothos is affected by some kind of plant disease. The most common plant disease with yellow leaves symptom is root rot. This generally occurs if you water the soil too much.

The over-watered conditions can cause the roots to die due to a lack of oxygen. Pothos plants only need to be watered when the soil starts to dry out so be sure to dial back on the watering frequency if you have been trying to keep the soil moist at all times.

The Pothos is Getting Too Much Sun

These houseplants thrive in partial shade and shaded conditions. The intensity of direct sunlight, especially if it’s over a couple of hours, can cause the leaves to scorch and turn yellow or brown. This is a common problem for people who place their pothos plants next to south-facing windows.

The simplest option is to move the plant container away so that it is no longer exposed to direct sunlight. We suggest moving the plant a few feet away from the windows. You can also install sheer curtains to act as a barrier between the sun and the plant. This might be a better option if you have a large houseplant setup close to the window.

Presence of Insect Pests

The discolored leaves of the pothos plants might also be due to the presence of insect pests in the potted container. Common pests sighted on pothos plants include mealybugs and scales. We suggest using natural remedies, such as sprinkling food grade diatomaceous earth, to eradicate these insects.

If it’s a new pothos plant you are dealing with then always check the quality of the potted soil. Some plants come with low-quality soil that may already be infested with annoying pests.

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