Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Brown

The pothos plant, Epipremnum aureum, is a popular house and office plant in North America and Europe.

They are easy to care for and tolerant of various environments. A healthy pothos plant has pretty variegated green and yellow or white leaves. But what do you do when your Pothos leaves are turning brown?

Pothos Leaves Turning BrownPin

So, if your pothos plant has begun to turn brown, that is a sign that something is starting to go wrong. Fortunately, many causes are easily fixed.

What Are The Early Signs of Pothos Troubles?

Usually, pothos plant leaves don’t just turn brown overnight.

Instead, the plant will usually begin to develop yellow leaves around the edges, distinct from the golden yellow of the variegation, and curl its leaves up.

These are signs of stress and an early indication that you might wish to look into how your pothos plant is doing.

Here are different aspects that can turn your pothos leaves to brown.

Too Much Light

The pothos plant is native to forests in French Polynesia, although it has been domesticated in many tropical rain forests around the world.

The plant gets about 10 or 12 hours of diffuse, indirect, or dappled light daily in its natural habitat.

Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves on the plant to burn. As a result, the leaves will turn brown.

In this case, the areas of the plant most exposed to the sun will begin to turn brown first, as the plant suffers from over-exposure to light.

You can solve the problem by finding the plant in a different spot, away from the window, or sheltered behind another plant.

You can also put a thin curtain over the window or in front of the plant to break up the light.

Overwatering Pothos

Overwatering a pothos plant could turn the leaves brown. In cases of over-watering, you will see the variegation on the leaves turning brown first.

In other words, the yellow or white markings on the plant are developing brown spots, while the rest of the leaf remains green.

Overwatering the plant prevents the roots from the air, which causes the roots to rot. As the roots rot, they cannot take up nutrients from the soil for the rest of the plant to use.

As a result, the leaves begin to turn brown as they die off.

In this case, stop watering the plant for a few days. Like most plants, you should water the soil around your pothos until it is moist.

However, you should let the soil dry out before watering it again. You can test the soil with your fingertip to determine if it is dry enough.

Underwatering Pothos

Overwatering your pothos plant can cause it to develop brown leaves. But neglect and a lack of water can also cause the leaves to die.

Test the soil with your fingertip, and if it is completely dry, water the plant until the soil is moist.

Regular watering can prevent the leaves from turning brown and keep the plant healthy.

Fungus Or A Bacterial Infection

Some plant diseases can affect pothos plants.

For example, bacterial leaf spot caused by Pseudomonas chicorii appears as brown spots on leaves, surrounded by a yellowing edge.

Similarly, certain fungal infections can cause leaves to die back and turn brown.

Bacterial and fungal infections thrive in areas with too much humidity and bad air circulation.

To treat bacterial or fungal infections, remove the diseased leaves and discard them in the trash.

Then, check the humidity and the airflow of the room where the pothos is kept and make any adjustments.

Too Much Fertilizer

Too much fertilizer can poison your pothos plant and cause the leaves to turn brown.

This may look like a bacterial infection, but the brown discoloration will appear first along the tips and edges of the leaves rather than in the middle.

This is caused by too much mineral salt in the soil or too much manganese. In this case, repot the plant to mix in some fresh soil that is not overfertilized.

Don’t give it extra fertilizer once you have finished repotting the plant.

Too Cold or Too Hot

In its natural habitat, the pothos plant grows in French Polynesia, a tropical environment.

While the pothos plant can tolerate many conditions, making it easy to grow, it cannot tolerate cold.

A temperature of 50° degrees Fahrenheit will cause the plant’s leaves to turn brown as it suffers from cold shock.

At temperatures of 45° degrees Fahrenheit, the leaves will begin to die and turn black.

If the temperature is too cold, remove any brown or black leaves, and put the plant in a warmer place.

In most of the United States and Europe, the pothos plant is a houseplant and can’t be grown outdoors.

Similarly, the pothos plant doesn’t really like extremely hot temperatures.

Temperatures above 80° degrees Fahrenheit will cause it to develop curled and brown leaves, exactly as though it was getting too much direct sunlight.

n this case, adjust the room temperature down.

Treat Your Pothos Plant Properly

Once you have determined the cause, you might want to adjust the location of your pothos plant so that it has a better chance to grow properly and thrive.

For example, you may need to repot the plant, adjust its watering or temperature, or move it closer to or away from, a light source.

If only a few leaves have turned brown, the plant can take care of itself and will put out new growth once it has settled in.

If more than half of the leaves have turned brown, you might prune the plant and remove the brown, black, and yellow leaves.

This will let the plant focus its energy on new growth and restore vitality.


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