Why Are My Pothos Leaves Curling - Causes & How to Revive

Written by Ivy

Jan 20 2023

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Curling - Causes & How to Revive

Why are the leaves on my Pothos curling? In most instances, Pothos leaves curl for the following reasons:

  1. Underwatering.
  2. Fertilizer overfeeding of the Pothos.
  3. Temperature stress.
  4. Due to overwatering, roots rot.
  5. Excessive or insufficient exposure to light
  6. Infection with disease or insects.

Spend some time investigating the cause if your Pothos begins to exhibit curling leaves and other signs of distress. Once the root cause is identified, the issue can be resolved, allowing your pothos to flourish once more. Continue reading to discover more about the causes and remedies for leaf curl in Pothos plants.

1. Underwatering Your Pothos Can Cause Curling Leaves


Your Pothos's long-term health may be affected by the amount of water you give it. The leaves of a Pothos plant will begin to curl in an effort to retain moisture when it receives little to no water.

The leaves will wilt and eventually become limp shortly after curling. If it's simply a case of underwatering and you manage to catch the issue early on (hopefully you spot the curling problem just as it starts to occur), the leaves should perk up quickly and return to normal after watering.

While Pothos plants prefer their soil to dry out between waterings, they also thrive when given a good soil soak on a regular basis. If the soil typically takes a while to dry out after watering, make a note of that time and set yourself a schedule or reminders to make sure your Pothos never gets underwatered.

2. Overfeeding a Pothos Plant Can Cause Leaves to Curl

It can be difficult to distinguish overfeeding from other issues that can result in curling leaves. However, if the leaves are generally smaller than normal and have changed color (in most cases, darker green or even yellowish), as well as showing signs of curling downward at the tips, that may be a telltale sign that curling may be caused by overfeeding.

The majority of people fertilize their pothos too frequently or with excessive amounts of fertilizer. In most cases, overfertilizing a house plant causes the soil to become enriched with salts and nitrogen.

You should only fertilize your Pothos once or twice a year. In addition to curling leaves, there are other warning signs that indicate overfeeding your Pothos that you should be aware of. These include:

  • Leaves that have yellowed or browned.
  • The soil's uppermost layer may be white or crusty.
  • It will soon begin losing its leaves.
  • The roots might start to rot.

You can take out the houseplant from its current soil and repot pothos in new soil if the leaves are curling due to overfeeding. Without a doubt, this is the best way to get rid of the extra nutrients that are harming your plant.

You can also flush the soil, which entails dousing it in water and allowing it to drain. To assist the soil in eliminating extra fertilizer, repeat this several times.

  • The Pothos Plant: How Often Should I Water It?

In the spring and fall, Pothos typically require five days of watering. I suggest watering them every ten days during the summer and winter.

It's important to remember that watering schedules will vary based on your location and the temperature both inside and outside. Warmer climates cause water to evaporate more quickly, necessitating more frequent watering of your plant.

I advise checking the soil's moisture content with a finger inserted 1 to 2 inches into the ground before each watering. Check back a few days later if the soil is still wet or moist, and only water when the soil is almost completely dry.

A plant moisture meter is something I would advise you to buy if you are new to plant parenting. Most home and garden stores carry these.

  • What Can You Do to Heal Overwatered Pothos?

It need not be difficult to fix a plant that has been overwatered. The first step is to stop watering your plant and wait until the soil is completely dry before starting again. (Read More: How To Fix Overwatered Pothos)

Throw out your old watering schedule and use the "finger test" method I've just described to determine when your plant needs watering!

If your Pothos is grown in well-draining soil, that is another important factor to take into account. If the soil is too wet for too long, you might want to re-pot your Pothos using a soil mixture that contains grit or perlite to help with drainage. In the same way, think about switching out the pot or container for one with adequate-sized drainage holes. (Read More: How to Choose The Best Pot For a Pothos Plant)


3. Temperature Stress

The leaves of your Pothos plant may begin to curl downward at the edges if it experiences temperature stress (typically too much heat). Temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 29 degrees Celsius) are ideal for pothos plants. Temperatures outside of this range put the plant under more stress and increase the likelihood of issues.

By bringing your Pothos indoors, you can better keep an eye on and control the temperature to which it is subjected. It can also make a difference where you place the plant in your house. Avoid direct sunlight, for example, as the scorching heat and light can burn leaves. Additionally, keep your plant away from areas with potential drafts or extreme heat.

4. Root Rot Can Cause Pothos Plant's Leaves to Curl

Overwatering or poor drainage, which results in waterlogged soil, are the main causes of root rot. Under these circumstances, the roots cannot survive for extended periods of time, and the plant would suffer greatly without healthy roots.

Water and nutrients cannot reach the plant's stems and leaves when the roots rot. Even though the soil is very moist, the leaves become parched and start to curl as they desperately try to hold onto water.

You can probably save your Pothos if the root rot is still in its early stages. Simply remove the plant's pot to look at the roots. White is the color of healthy plant roots. Any brown sections should be cut off with scissors or pruners as they are suffering from root rot. Wash your tools after you're finished, then plant the Pothos again in new, well-draining soil.

5. Incorrect Light Exposure

Broad, flat leaves that turn to face the light source are indicative of a healthy pothos plant. You most likely have a problem with too little exposure to sunlight or natural light if the leaves appear to be reaching or curling in the direction of the light source. Placing the plant in a location with more sunlight or a location that receives more natural light throughout the day can help you try to solve the issue.

It might be getting too much light if the leaves are drooping and curling away from the light (downward). Just as harmful to the health of your plant as too much sunlight is overexposure. If you want to fix the issue, you can relocate your plant to a location that doesn't get quite as much direct sunlight or that gets a little less sunlight throughout the day.

6. Disease Or Insect Infestation

Curled leaves on a Pothos can also be brought on by disease and insect infestation damage. The most common cause of curling is usually caused by pests or insects that feed on young plant sap. Remove any insects or bugs as soon as you see them settling on your Pothos.

To keep insects away from the plant (or to give the plant a fighting chance after you have removed insects from it), you can give it a regular cleaning with rubbing alcohol.

Additionally, you can make your own environmentally friendly insecticide by combining 1 liter of water with 1 teaspoon of dishwashing soap liquid. The entire plant can be given a light spraying of this solution. This should get rid of any insects that are there now and keep others from settling on your Pothos houseplant in the future.

Yellow Leaves After Propagating Pothos

Using a propagation station to root Pothos could expose the plant to chemicals, which could explain yellowing leaves. For instance, too much chlorine is present in most tap water. Similarly, the calcium in tap water can irritate more delicate plants, especially if you are trying to grow them in water.

You don't even have to go out and buy bottled water to fix this; it is a straightforward fix. For the day during the warmer months, I either leave a jug of water out in the sun or boil water in a kettle for 10 minutes before letting it cool. Both of these techniques will purge the water of these typically present chemicals, making it safe for your plants to drink.


Yellow Leaves After Re-Potting Pothos

Any damage to the roots during repotting could stress the plant. The leaves may begin to yellow as a result of this. It's nothing to worry about, and the only thing you need to worry about is if the problem persists and more leaves start to turn yellow.

  • Overpotting

When you choose a pot that is too large for your plant, you are overpotting. Choose a pot that is only 2 to 3 inches larger than the one you previously chose.

The roots of pothos will spend an excessive amount of time in moist soil when they are planted in pots that are too large. (Read More: What Is The Best Soil Mix For Pothos)

Pest Infestation

Plants that have recently been replanted are more vulnerable to mite infestations, which can be brought on by changes in the soil. You're less likely to experience this problem if you use bottled water or the method I mentioned above because mites are attracted to chlorinated water as well.

Spray the leaves with warm water and a dash of salt to get rid of them. The solution should be a thorough spray.

How and When to Prune Pothos

It depends on the variation whether pothos grows quickly or slowly. If your Pothos, like the Snow Queen, grows more quickly, you may need to prune it more frequently to keep it in shape.

To prevent the risk of infection, use clean scissors. The vine should ideally be pruned every time underneath a node and ¼ inch above each leaf. Since nodes are where new growth will grow, this is useful when taking a cutting for propagation as well as for the appearance of your plant.

To ensure that the Pothos is healthy enough to recover quickly, pruning should be done during the growing season, which lasts from spring to early fall.


Removing Yellow Leaves from Pothos

In order to give the plant time to recoup the essential nutrients from the leaves, I typically wait until the pothos leaf has completely turned yellow. But it won't hurt to cut them off earlier if you really don't like the way they look.

Disinfect your scissors before and after each cut. Trim yellow leaves of pothos if they make up more than a third of your plant's total leaves to keep your plant from going into shock from the loss of foliage.

Other Pothos Leaves Problems

Pothos Leaves Curling and Yellow

Your Pothos plant may be showing signs of dehydration if you've noticed its leaves curling as well as turning brown or yellow. However, in this instance, water-logged soil that is impeding roots' ability to absorb nutrients and oxygen is the cause of dehydration.

When plants are overwatered, their roots become saturated with water, which eventually causes pothos root rot. When this happens, roots are unable to operate properly. Dehydrated leaves are the obvious result, and the plant is unable to transport water and nutrients.

Pothos must be planted in pots with drainage holes and well-draining soil.

Consider switching to a pot or container with bigger drainage holes if you are worried about your plant's drainage. Additionally, consider adding perlite or grit to the mix, which serves as a natural filter. Additionally, this will improve airflow.

Pothos Leaves Curling Inward, Downward Or Up

Pothos leaves can curl upwards or downward due to too much or too little water, changing temperatures, or both.

The general health of plants can be greatly impacted by changing temperatures.

Eaves frequently curl up to stay warm when it gets too cold. In contrast, your plant's leaves will dry out and shrivel if it gets too hot. Changing the temperature or relocating your plant to better lighting can both address these issues.

Heat stress brought on by excessively high temperatures tends to cause pothos leaves to curl inward and hang low. Pothos can't stand heat that's hotter than 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The leaves of plants may suffer if the room temperature rises above 85 degrees for an extended period of time or if they spend an extended period of time in direct sunlight.


Pothos Leaves Curling and Drooping

If you observe your Pothos's leaves are curled and drooping, underwatering may be the cause.

If the soil feels dry to the touch, give the plant some water, and then wait a few hours to observe whether the leaves uncurl.

New Leaves Curling

Only if your plant is sprouting new growth is there an exception to unhealthy curling leaves. Young leaves naturally curl, as they should. They ought to fully unfold on their own as they get older.

If the nearby, mature leaves are curled as well or if the young leaves never uncurl, issues are likely to arise. This could be brought on by any of the aforementioned causes, and frequently, young leaves are the ones to first exhibit it.

Last Word

Underwatering, overwatering, excessive fertilization, or pests can all cause pothos leaves to curl. During periods of extreme heat, leaves can curl to help the plant retain moisture. If the soil is too wet, repot the pothos, flush out extra fertilizer, or treat the curling leaves for pests to stop them from curling.

As you can see, there are a variety of causes for the curled leaves on your Pothos plant. Consider which of these issues your houseplant may be experiencing before deciding how to save it.

The good news is that Pothos plants are fairly resilient and typically recover quickly (and well) if treated promptly and correctly.