Why Is My Pothos Turning Brown? (7 Causes and Solutions)

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Pothos plants are beautiful, easy-to-care-for houseplants. They can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and are relatively drought tolerant.

However, even the hardiest of plants can experience problems from time to time.

One common problem with pothos plants is browning leaves.

There are several reasons why your Pothos may turn brown.

However, before we get into the reasons, it’s essential to understand that brown leaves are not always a sign of a problem.

For example, older leaves may naturally turn yellow or brown and drop off as new growth appears. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.

However, if you notice that your pothos plant is losing a lot of leaves or the leaves are turning brown and crispy, this could be a sign of a problem.

In this article, we will explore the possible causes of this problem and provide solutions so you can get your pothos plant back to good health.

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Brown?

One of the most common problems that Pothos owners face is browning leaves.

There are several reasons why your Pothos leaves might be turning brown, and thankfully, there are just as many solutions.

Let’s look at some of the most common causes of browning Pothos leaves and what you can do to fix the problem.

Too Much or Too Little Water

One of the most common reasons for browning Pothos leaves is improper watering.

Pothos plants are very sensitive to both too much and too little water, and either can cause the leaves to turn brown and crispy.

An underwatered Pothos will have wilted, dry, and brown leaves.

Also, the leaves will feel papery to the touch, and the stem will be weak and limp.

An overwatered Pothos will have leaves that are brown and mushy.

The leaves will also fall off the plant easily, and the stem will be soft and spongy.

How To Fix It

If you think you are watering your Pothos too much or too little, the first step is to check the soil.

Stick your finger about an inch into the soil, and if it feels dry, give your plant a good drink.

If the soil is soggy or muddy, hold off watering for a few days.

Only water your Pothos when the top of the soil is dry to the touch.

It is also a good idea to invest in a moisture meter to check the soil without having to stick your finger in it every time.

This will help you keep an eye on the moisture level and water your Pothos accordingly.

Another way to fix this problem is to change the type of potting mix you are using.

If you are using a potting mix that drains poorly, it could be causing your Pothos to stay too wet.

Switch to a potting mix with good drainage, and you should see a difference in your plant’s health.

You can also add perlite or vermiculite to your potting mix to improve drainage.

Just make sure that you don’t add too much, or your potting mix will be too light and dry out quickly.

Pothos plants need to be watered every one to two weeks, and they should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings.

If you are still having trouble with browning leaves, try watering your Pothos with distilled water or rainwater.

This will help remove any chemicals or minerals in your tap water that could be causing the problem.

Too Much Sun

Pothos plants are very tolerant of low light conditions, but they will start to experience problems if they get too much sun.

Too much sun can cause the Pothos leaves to sunburn and turn brown and crispy.

Sunburned leaves will have brown patches that are dry and papery to the touch.

They will also be curled up or distorted in shape, and the edges will be brown and crisped.

How To Fix It

If you think that your Pothos is getting too much sun, the best solution is to move it to a shadier spot.

Pothos plants do best in bright, indirect light, so try to find a spot where your plant will get plenty of light without being in direct sunlight.

An east or west-facing window is usually the best spot when growing Pothos indoors.

If you can’t find a shadier spot for your plant, you can also try to create some shade by hanging a sheer curtain over the window.

Just make sure that the curtain is lightweight so that it doesn’t block out too much light.

Pothos plants can also be grown in artificial light, so if you can’t find a spot that gets enough natural light, you can try growing your plant under fluorescent lights.

Just keep the lights on for at least 12 hours per day to give your plant enough light.

Temperature Stress

Pothos plants are very tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. Still, they can start to experience problems if the temperature gets too hot or too cold.

If the temperature gets too hot, the Pothos leaves will start to turn brown and wilt.

They will also be dry and papery to the touch, and the edges of the Pothos leaves will be curled up or distorted.

If the temperature gets too cold, the Pothos leaves will turn brown and crispy.

The edges of the leaves will also be brown and crisped, and the leaves will be falling off the plant easily.

In both cases, the leaves will eventually turn yellow and die.

How To Fix It

If your Pothos is experiencing temperature stress, the best solution is to move it to a spot where the temperature is more consistent.

Pothos plants do best in temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so try to find a spot that stays within that range.

If you can’t find a spot with the right temperature, you can also try to regulate the temperature with a fan or air conditioner.

Just make sure that you don’t put the Pothos in direct airflow from the fan or air conditioner, as this could cause the leaves to dry out and turn brown.

Pests

Pest infestations are among the most common causes of browning leaves on Pothos plants.

Common pests that attack Pothos plants include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale.

These pests suck the sap out of your plant’s leaves, which can cause the leaves to turn brown and crispy.

They can also cause the leaves to distort in shape, and the edges of the leaves will be brown and crisped.

Pest infestations can also cause the leaves to fall off the plant easily.

How To Fix It

If you think that your Pothos is infested with pests, the best solution is to treat it with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

You can also try to remove the pests by hand, but this can be difficult if the infestation is severe.

If you have a severe infestation, you might need to throw away the plant and start with a new one.

You can also try to prevent pests by keeping your plant healthy and using a preventive insecticide such as horticultural oil.

Pests are more likely to attack weak or unhealthy plants, so you can make them less susceptible to infestations by keeping your Pothos healthy.

Diseases

Diseases are another common cause of browning leaves on Pothos plants.

Common diseases that attack Pothos plants include root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew.

These diseases can cause your plant’s leaves to turn brown and crispy.

They can also cause the edges of the leaves to be brown and crisped, and the leaves will fall off the plant easily.

In some cases, the leaves will also be yellow or have blotches of brown on them.

Root Rot

Root rot is caused by a fungus that attacks your plant’s roots.

This fungus can cause your plant’s roots to turn brown and mushy, and it can also cause the leaves of your plant to turn brown and crispy.

Root rot is often caused by overwatering, so it’s essential to ensure that you’re not overwatering your plant.

If you think that your pothos plant has root rot, the best thing to do is replant it in fresh soil and water it less frequently.

To prevent root rot, ensure that you’re not overwatering your plant and that the soil is well-drained.

Leaf Spot

The leaf spot disease is caused by a fungus that attacks your plant’s leaves.

This fungus can cause brown or black spots to appear on your pothos leaves, and it can also cause the leaves to turn yellow or die.

If you see brown or black spots on your plant’s leaves, you should remove the affected leaves and dispose of them.

You can also control the fungus by spraying the leaves with a fungicide.

To prevent leaf spots, make sure that you’re not overwatering your plant and that the leaves are dry before nightfall.

You should also avoid using overhead irrigation, as this can spread the fungus to other plant parts.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is caused by a fungus that attacks your plant’s leaves.

This fungus can cause your plant’s leaves to turn yellow or brown, and it can also cause them to become covered in a white, powdery substance.

Powdery mildew is often caused by high humidity or wet conditions.

If you see powdery mildew on your plant’s leaves, you should remove the affected leaves and dispose of them.

You can also control the fungus by spraying the leaves with a fungicide.

To prevent powdery mildew, you should try to keep your plant’s leaves dry.

You should also avoid overcrowding your plants and ensure they have good air circulation.

Fertilizer Problems

If you are using too much fertilizer, or if the fertilizer you are using is not high quality, it can cause the Pothos leaves to turn brown.

Fertilizers high in nitrogen can cause the leaves of your Pothos to turn yellow or brown.

Overfertilization can also cause the roots of your Pothos to rot, which can lead to brown leaves.

If your plant’s roots are rotting, they will be brown and mushy, and the leaves of your Pothos will start to turn yellow and die.

How To Fix It

If you think that your Pothos is being overfertilized, the best solution is to flush the soil with water.

This will remove some of the excess fertilizer from the soil and help bring your plant back to health.

You can also try to reduce the amount of fertilizer you are using or switch to a fertilizer that is lower in nitrogen.

If the roots of your Pothos are rotting, you will need to repot the plant in a fresh, sterile potting mix.

You can also try to cut away the affected roots with a sharp knife.

Once you have removed the affected roots, you should be able to save the rest of the plant.

The best way to avoid overfertilization is only to fertilize your Pothos every two to three months.

If you are using a high-quality fertilizer, you can also dilute it to half strength to reduce the risk of overfertilization.

Soil Problems

If the soil you are using is too heavy or too dense, it can cause the leaves of your Pothos to turn yellow or brown.

Soil that is too dense can also cause your plant’s roots to rot, which can lead to brown leaves.

You can know if the soil is too dense if it feels compacted when you squeeze it, and the water drains very slowly.

How To Fix It

Pothos plants need well-drained soil that is light and airy.

If you think that the soil you are using is too dense, the best solution is to repot your Pothos in a lighter potting mix.

A light potting mix will help to improve drainage and reduce the risk of root rot.

You can also try to add some perlite or vermiculite to the soil to help improve drainage.

Why Are My Pothos Leaf Tips Turning Brown?

Pothos plants can experience a specific problem called “leaf tip burn.”

Pothos brown leaf tips can arise due to various reasons, including:

  • Too much direct sunlight
  • Not enough humidity in the air
  • Water that is high in chlorine or other minerals
  • Overfertilization

Too Much Direct Sunlight

One of the most common reasons for browning leaves on a pothos is due to too much direct sunlight.

Pothos is a tropical plant that grows under the canopy of taller trees.

They do not like full sun and will scorch if left in direct sunlight for too long.

If you notice your pothos leaves turn brown, move it to a spot where it will receive indirect sunlight or filtered light.

Not Enough Humidity in the Air

Another reason for browning leaves is due to not enough humidity in the air.

Pothos like humid environments and will start to experience leaf tip burn if the air around them is too dry.

If you live in a dry climate or your home is very dry, you can solve this problem by placing your Pothos on a humidifier or pebble tray.

Water That Is High in Chlorine or Other Minerals

Another common reason for browning leaves is due to water that is high in chlorine or other minerals.

If you are using tap water to water your Pothos, the chlorine in the water can cause the leaves to brown.

The best solution for this problem is to use filtered or distilled water when watering your plant.

Overfertilization

One last common reason for browning leaves is due to overfertilization.

If you are fertilizing your Pothos too often or using a too strong fertilizer, the leaves can start to turn brown.

The best solution for this problem is to fertilize your plant every two to three months and use a diluted fertilizer.

Why Are My Pothos Stems Turning Brown?

Pothos are known for their easy care and durability. Still, even the sturdiest plants can experience problems from time to time.

One common issue is browning stems, which can be caused by several different factors.

Pothos stems can turn brown for some reasons, including:

  • Too much sun
  • Not enough water
  • Too much water
  • Fertilizer burn
  • Pest infestation

Too Much Sun

One of the most common reasons for brown stems on a Pothos plant is due to too much sun.

Pothos are native to tropical forests and do not like full sun.

If you notice your pothos stems start to turn brown, move it to a spot that will receive indirect sunlight or filtered light.

Not Enough Water

Another common reason for brown stems is due to not enough water.

Pothos like to stay evenly moist and will start to experience stem problems if they are allowed to dry out too much.

If you notice your Pothos stems turning brown, make sure to water them more frequently.

Too Much Water

While not watering your Pothos enough can cause stem problems, too much water can also be an issue.

Pothos are susceptible to root rot and will start to experience stem browning if they are kept too wet.

Make sure to allow the soil mix to dry out between watering to avoid this issue.

Fertilizer Burn

Pothos are heavy feeders and will benefit from regular fertilization.

However, too much fertilizer can burn the roots and cause the stems to turn brown.

When fertilizing your Pothos, use a half-strength solution and only fertilize every other month.

Pest Infestation

Pests can also cause stem browning on pothos plants.

Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are all common pests that can attack pothos plants.

If you notice your plant stems turning brown and see signs of pests, treat the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Why Does My Pothos Have Brown Spots?

Pothos are known for their easy care and durability. Still, even the sturdiest plants can experience problems from time to time.

One common issue is brown spots on the leaves, which are usually caused by too much sun or a fungal disease.

Too Much Sun

Pothos are native to tropical forests and do not like full sun.

If you notice brown spots appearing on the leaves, move your plant to a location that will receive indirect sunlight or filtered light.

Fungal Disease

Brown spots can also be caused by a fungal disease called Alternaria leaf spot.

Alternaria is a common fungus that attacks many different types of plants.

If you notice brown spots on your plant leaves, treat the plant with a fungicide.

Final Thoughts

So, why is my pothos turning brown?

There are a variety of reasons why your Pothos may be turning brown.

It could be due to too much sun, not enough water, or even pests.

Luckily, most of these problems can be solved with a little bit of effort.

Be sure to check your Pothos regularly and take action as soon as you notice any browning leaves or stems.

With a little bit of care, you can keep your Pothos healthy and green for years!