Yellow Leaves on Pothos – Reasons and Solutions For It

Pothos is a plant that is rather easy to grow. It will grow itself when it comes to contact with water. Some people called pothos “the flower of life” because of their tenacious vitality.

When growing pothos indoors, it can grow well either as a potted plant or a hydroponic plant. You can also grow it with a hanging bucket and placed it in your room, window sill, or living room.


It is a beautiful plant that is very suitable for indoor planting. But sometimes, you may encounter that some of the pothos leaves are turning yellow? You may wonder why and how can you resolve the yellow leaves issue?

Reasons and Solutions for Yellow Leaves on Pothos

Most planters are confused and think that the yellow leaves issue is caused by overwatering. Even though this can be the cause, on some occasions, the main reason for yellow leaves is related to light.


We need to know that inappropriate exposure to sunlight can cause yellow leaves on pothos. But the leaves that turn yellow may not necessarily be only be caused by having too much sunlight.

Too much or too little sunlight can also cause yellow and discoloring pothos leaves, but their appearance is different.

1. Insufficient Sunlight

This can happen if you place the plant indoor with no window at all. This will cause your plant to receive insufficient light every day.

When pothos receives less sunlight, the leaves will slowly turn yellow with some browny and drip toward newer leaves. That’s the main reason the older leaves turn yellow and develop some brown color.


The light requirement for pothos is 1 to 2 hours of direct sunlight with bright shade for the plant to carry out the photosynthesis process.

What you can do is you can place your plant in a place where it can receive enough sunlight. After few days, the leaves may turn green again, and you will recover their appearance.

2. Too Much Sunlight

On the other hand, pothos leaves will turn yellow if they receive too much sunlight. Their appearance is different from plants that are receiving insufficient sunlight.

The leaves will look yellowish green. The leave may look shiny and have no brown color with a little bit of discoloration.

Sometimes leaf tips get burnt due to excessive sunlight, which can be unbearable for the pothos plants.

If you keep them expose to strong sunlight, the green leaves may slowly turn into yellowish-green. As time pass, they will lose their variegation. The older leaves will turn yellow first, and the entire plant will look very dull.


You can put your pothos plant under a bright shade. The shade will help to prevent your plant from receiving strong direct sunlight.

3. Overwatering

If you encounter the new leaves that are dark yellow and dull, the old leaves have no obvious changes, the branches are small yellow-green, and the new shoots are not growing. All these can be the indication of excessive watering of the plant.


To resolve this issue, you can place your pothos pot in a ventilated and cool place so that the entire pot gets good ventilation. After the soil is dry, you can then put it back to its original place.

4. Insufficient water

The yellow leaves caused by insufficient water are different from the yellow leaves caused by overwatering. For yellow leaves caused by insufficient water, the leaf tip or edge of the plant is withered and dry. The old leaves are yellow from the bottom up, but the new leaves are growing normally.


Pay attention and make sure you are providing enough water for your pothos plant. You don’t have to water the plant every day. Instead, the plant just required you to water every 1 to 2 weeks.


Generally, you should water less during lower lights, and during brighter light, you should water more often. And it would be best if you allowed the soil to dry out while watering.

5. Overfertilization

Yellowing caused by excessive fertilization or excessive concentration manifests in brown color at the top of the new leaves. Generally, the leaf surface is thick and dull. The unevenness is not stretched. The old leaves are brown and tend to fall off themselves after some time.


If you found such a situation happened to your pothos plant, you need to stop fertilizing immediately. You may rinse part of the fertilizer with a lot of water or replace the existing soil with new soil.

6. Lack of Fertilizer

If you found the color of the young leaves becomes pale, yellow, or light green, while the old leaves are relatively normal or gradually turn from green to yellow. Then most probably, your pothos plant is not getting enough fertilizer.


Check the potting soil and replace the soil if it has turned dry and hard. Apply thin fertilizers frequently and pour some alum water from time to time. After 1to 2 weeks, your plant will be able to come back healthily.

7. Rotten Roots

If you found the color of the young leaves becomes pale, yellow, or light green, then it can indicate that there are rotten roots for your pothos plant.


Remove the rotten roots and put them in a ventilated place for them to dry. Put the roots back in the pot after the wound has healed. Make sure there is no water retention in your pot before put back the roots.

If you live in tropical areas, you can consider hydroponics planting for your pothos plant. This is due to pothos often climbs on the rocks and tree trunks of the rainforest. Therefore, it has strong entanglement and developed aerial roots, which you can plant in hydroponics.

8. Sudden Change of Environmental

The cause of the sudden change in the environment, such as the temperature, humidity, and light, can impact the pothos plant and may turn the leaves yellow.


In this case, you shouldn’t worry much. You can take the necessary measurements to reduce the degree of environmental change and wait for your pothos plant to adapt to the changes.

9. Disease

Scirpus mosaic disease is a relatively common plant disease. In the early stage of onset, chlorotic horn-like lesions will appear on the leaves of the plants, which gradually turn brown. In severe cases, they will cause leaf deformation and yellowing.


Having good maintenance and taking good care of your plant. Enhance growth potential where it will be able to reduce the occurrence of diseases.

yellowing pothos

Should You Cut Yellow Leaves Off Your Pothos Plant?

If the leaves turn yellow, you can cut them off, but it is not mandatory. However, if you want to cut them, you shouldn’t cut the leaves directly. Instead, it would be best if you cut from the middle of the leaf stalks.

By doing so, you can retain the water in the plant. If rotten roots cause the yellow leaves, you must also cut the rotten parts of the roots after cutting off the yellow leaves.

How To Get Rid of Yellow Leaves on Pothos

If the pothos leaves have turned yellow-brown and dry completely, then you will need to cut it off. Because if it is not cut off, it will consume the nutrients and water of the plant and may also be transmitted the yellowish to other leaves.

When doing the pruning, if the source of the yellowing is the leaf, just cut it from the middle of the leaf stalk.

If the root of the leaf is yellow, you need to trim the root system while pruning the yellow leaves to ensure that the new leaves that grow out will be healthy green leaves.

After cutting off the yellow leaves, it is necessary to ensure that you provide decent light, water, and fertilizer to prevent the leaves from turning yellow again.

Can Yellow Pothos Leaves Turn Green Again

Yellow leaves can be caused by the aforementioned reasons, including receiving too much sunlight, insufficient sunlight, overwatering, underwatering, over-fertilization, under fertilization, and diseases.

Once the leaves have turn yellow, they can’t turn green again. But you can do the necessary maintenance and taking care of the plant, and it will grow new green leaves that are strong and healthy.

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Yellow Leaves on Pothos – Reasons and Solutions For It