Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow – 6 Main Reasons and How to Fix Them

People attribute the overt popularity of the pothos as a houseplant to the relatively minimal care it requires. So, upon seeing your pothos leaves turning yellow, you might find it difficult to figure out what is wrong with the plant care or a way to fix it.

This article will help you identify the causes and offer solutions to your problems.

Why Is My Pothos Turning Yellow?

Possible causes of yellow pothos leaves include:

  • Too much direct sunlight
  • Too much fertilizer
  • Overwatering or underwatering
  • Too cold or too hot temperatures
  • Pests
  • Normal sign of old leaves

However, there is no reason for you to worry. You can solve all these problems with the right approach.

We can help you identify the exact causes and figure out ways of fixing your problems, so you can quickly get rid of the yellowing leaves on pothos.

Yellow Leaves on Pothos: How to Get Rid of Them

Too Much Direct Sunlight

Like most other plant species, specifically houseplants, pothos need sufficient sunlight to grow and develop. However, exposure to direct sunlight over long periods is not ideal in keeping your plant in great shape.

The brown or yellow leaves on pothos might be an indicator of burn damage done to the plant. It is advisable that you keep the flora indoors, even in shady areas but preferably not too far away from light sources like windows.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow - 6 Main Reasons and How to Fix Them
“pothos” by eraine is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In general, the best place to put your plant is in rooms with natural light. If you feel comfortable with the amount of light in the room, it will probably be fine for the pothos as well.

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Be sure not to put it right by the windows, where beams of sunlight directly hit the plant.

Alternatively, you can opt to use window coverings, preventing direct exposure to harsh sunlight in some places, especially during the summer. These can be blinds, window film, or sheer curtains.

Doing this creates a mild lighting environment that is safe and sufficient for your plant and prevents the pothos leaves from turning brown or yellow.

Too Much Fertilizer

You should only fertilize your greenery every 2 to 3 months because houseplants like pothos generally do not require much extra nutrition to grow.

Knowing the balanced amount is one thing. Choosing fertilizer with the right mix of essential nutrients is another to avoid nutrient deficiency and redundancy.

Adverse effects can occur from the buildup of excessive amounts of fertilizer or wrong fertilizer, which creates pothos yellow leaves and stunts growth.

You can combat these buildups by drenching then draining the fertilized soil, or you can put your plant in a new pot with fresh soil.

Overwatering Or Underwatering

Overwatered pothos can lead to leaves turning yellow all over the plant. The roots of the plant can rot under wet soil conditions resulting from poor drainage and excess water.

Once you notice brown sections of the roots, quickly prune those off, leaving only healthy roots a brighter shade of white or yellow. Then, repot the plant into the new soil.

If the yellow leaves of the plant also curl, your plant is most likely suffering from underwatering. Prolonging this can eventually make the leaves wilt.

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But do not worry. You can revive the plant by simply watering it more frequently. Ideally, once every week. Or you can put your pothos in a jar with their bare roots submerged in water.

Too Cold Or Too Hot Temperatures

Pothos plants turning yellow or pothos leaves turning brown may be signs of exposure to extreme temperatures. The perfect heat range is between 70°F and 90°F, and the green leaves will start changing colour when it’s below 50°F or above 90°F.

To fix this, you just have to be mindful of where you are putting your greenery. Avoid cold windows or fireplaces and heaters. Putting your plant inside and away from direct sunlight or cold weather can also help a lot.


The most common pests that attack the pothos are tiny bugs like mealybugs, spider mites, or aphids. These can negatively affect the plant survivability and change the colour of the leaves.

You can use a cotton swab or a q-tip to kill the bugs. This can be quite a tedious task, though weekly checks can help drastically reduce the number of these insects every time.

If they turn out to be high infestations, you can take the plant outside or to the bathroom and spray or rinse the bugs off. Make sure to change the soil as well.

Normal Sign Of Old Leaves

Pothos and some other common houseplants have their old leaves turn yellow and then fall off. This is entirely normal and crucial to the pothos growth and development as it makes way for newer foliages.

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How To Fix These Problems

A quick recap of the solutions in the respective order of the problems above:

  • Avoid direct sunlight. Keep your plant in relatively adequate and low-light condition.
  • Change the soil. Cut down on fertilizer used.
  • Prune off rotten roots and change the soil if you are overwatering the plant. Commit to more frequent watering or grow the plant in a jar of water when you are underwatering it.
  • Be mindful of the placement of your plant. Avoid intense conditions.
  • Get rid of the pests.
  • Wait for the old leaves to fall, and new ones will appear.


Pothos leaves turning yellow can be quite the problem. It may seem tricky trying to help your plant recover from such a problem.

However, once you have figured out the causes and ways to fix these issues, it is easy to revert the houseplant to its great shape or greater shape than before even. And you can prevent these problems from ever occurring again.

Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow - 6 Main Reasons and How to Fix Them
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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.