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pothos leaves curling

Limp or Wilted Leaves on a Pothos

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The sturdy pothos (Epipremnum aurem) thrives as a ubiquitous houseplant and can also grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11. The low-maintenance pothos can handle a range of growing conditions; still, certain challenges may cause a pothos’ leaves to wilt.

Under-Watering

The leaves of a pothos deprived of water curl, then become limp and wilted. The leaves often perk up quickly after watering. Pothos plants perform best when they are watered regularly and when you allow the soil to dry somewhat between waterings. You can tell the moisture level of the soil by feeling it with your hand or placing your index finger 1 inch below the surface of the soil.

Depending on the location of the plant, the time of year, and the temperature and humidity of the air, your pothos plant may need to be watered once every week or two weeks. Like many other houseplants, pothos plants require less water in the winter and more water during the growing season.

Wet Feet

As hardy as it is, pothos is still sensitive to “wet feet,” a condition caused by a combination of overwatering and poor drainage. Pothos suffering from this problem may display wilting, limp leaves, just like under-watered plants. You can tell the difference between an under-watered pothos and a pothos suffering from wet feet by feeling the soil for moisture. Wet soil indicates that the pothos has not been under-watered.

A pothos plant suffering from wet feet needs less water and the better drainage provided by a proper growing medium. Container-grown specimens need a soilless medium formulated for container growth and a drainage hole in the base of the container. Outdoor pothos grows best in well-draining soil amended with organic matter.

Root Rot

Plants suffering from “wet feet” may soon be suffering from another condition far more deadly: root rot, a fungal infection that crops up in cool and wet soil. Plants suffering from root rot display limp and wilted leaves not cured by watering and yellowing leaves near the base of the plant. When removed from the soil, a plant suffering from root rot displays brown or blackened roots. If the fungus is caught early enough, the plant may be saved by trimming diseased roots and replanting in fresh soil. Potted plants need a fresh pot or need their old pot to be sanitized before replanting.

Cold Damage

In the rare event of freezing temperatures, an outdoor pothos plant may become damaged, and its leaves may go limp. This damage is best left on the plant until the start of the growing season. The most severely damaged areas will eventually shrivel and die. These areas can be pruned off with sanitized pruning shears in the spring. You can prevent this type of damage by watering your pothos well the day before a predicted frost. If a freeze has been predicted, you may also keep your pothos plant warm through the night by wrapping it in strands of holiday mini-lights.

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Houseplants For Beginners – Philodendron & Pothos
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Root Rot of Houseplants
  • University of Missouri Extension: Caring For Houseplants
  • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Freeze Injury To Landscape Plants

Leslie Rose has been a freelance writer publishing with Demand Studios since 2008. In addition to her work as a writer, she is an accomplished painter and experienced art teacher. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with a minor in English.

Limp or Wilted Leaves on a Pothos. The sturdy pothos (Epipremnum aurem) thrives as a ubiquitous houseplant and can also grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11. The low-maintenance pothos can handle a range of growing conditions; still, certain challenges may cause a …

Pothos leaves curling

Hello, from the past few days leaves of my pothos are curling and its stem is also becoming loose. Why this is happening? Please guide. Please see the pic.

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Thanks Tetley for reply. I live in india and here the temp is arond 25-30 degree celcius. So the atmosphere is still not that cold. So do u still think that this pothos is feeling the cold. Other pothos are going normal. Also i have seen videos that whenever leaves are curling or drooping then that is the sign of underwatering. Please guide.?

Last edited: 27 November 2016 11:42:05

What soil have you got it in, it looks quite solid?

Hi Alkesh – I agree with Chrissy. It looks like very heavy soil in your pot – the roots need to breathe air as well as drink.
You need to use compost (‘potting compost’ in the UK), not soil for your plant to do well.
Once you have your plant in some compost, it will need a feed now and then.
Pothos doesn’t like direct sunlight, so keep it somewhere with good light but not direct sunlight.
In India I’m sure it’s warm enough to grow very happily outdoors.

Hello, from the past few days leaves of my pothos are curling and its stem is also becoming loose. Why this is happening? Please guide. Please see the pic.