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Why are my Pothos leaves curling?

Pothos plants are easy care – but they can have problems sometimes! Here are the top causes of pothos leaves curling and what to do to fix it!

Pothos plant is known to be very independent and low maintenance, which is the reason why so many people love them.

If you’re one of them, you might’ve noticed that its leaves started curling up soon after you bought it.

To many, this may come as a surprise – when in fact, it happens often. Almost every Pothos owner has been through the same scenario. But why?

Well, there are plenty of reasons for pothos leaves curling, and they all indicate that the plant is just not happy.

To help you discover why your plant is unhappy, we’ve listed all the most common reasons for curled leaves below.

Why are my Pothos leaves curling

Other pothos content you might enjoy:

Printable Pothos Plant Care Guide

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Pothos plant care guide

Why do my pothos have curled leaves?

First of all, consider this a sign of distress. If you notice some other symptoms, too, then it’s time to take some immediate action toward making your plant happy again.

Consider everything that might contribute to the problem and find the root cause.

The top causes of curling pothos leaves include:

  • underwatering
  • over fertilizing
  • temperature stress
  • root rot
  • lighting issues
  • diseases and pests

Once you do, you will have no trouble fixing it and seeing your pothos thrive once again.

Here are some of the most popular causes of pothos leaves curling and how to fix them.

pothos in a pot on a shelf

Underwatering your houseplant

Water availability is important to any plant, and it can greatly impact whether it thrives and develops as it’s supposed to or not.

Not giving this greenery the right amount of water results in curled pothos leaves.

This happens because the plant is trying to retain its moisture inside.

If you avoid dealing with the issue immediately, the leaves will become wilted and limp. The key here is to notice the problem at the beginning and go toward fixing it right away.

Solution – leave the soil to completely dry out before watering your plant, but remember that it also likes good soil drenching regularly.

Notice how long it takes for the soil to dry and set a reminder for yourself to water it regularly.

satin pothos

Overfeeding your houseplant

Overfeeding can be a tricky cause to determine because the symptoms are more or less the same as with any other plant issue.

However, there is one spot-on sign you can’t miss – the leaves are generally smaller than usual and have started changing color (dark yellow or dark green).

Of course, the pothos has curled leaves, too.

Overfertilizing is a mistake many people make. We understand you want to give your plant everything it deserves, but overfeeding often causes more harm than good.

Solution – you don’t need to overfeed your plant – fertilizing it once or twice a year is enough. If you have overfed it, you can remove it from the soil it’s in and replant it in fresh soil.

close up of golden pothos leaves
Golden pothos

Stress due to changing temperature

Temperature stress can happen to anyone, especially if you live in a climate where the winters are cold and the summers are hot.

Now, when it comes to curling pothos leaves, the stress usually comes from high temperatures.

As this is a houseplant, it thrives between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperatures outside this range can contribute to an increased amount of stress and pothos leaves curling.

Solution – keeping this lovely plant indoors where you can closely monitor the temperature is a good start.

Also, remember to position the plant in a spot that would suit it. For example, avoid direct sunlight so the leaves don’t get sunburned, and avoid placing the pot in drafty spaces.

baltic blue pothos vs cebu blue pothos
baltic blue pothos (left) vs cebu blue pothos (right)

Root rot

One of the most vastly known issues that contribute to curled pothos leaves is root rot.

There are only a handful of reasons why this would happen – including poor drainage, overwatering, and constantly moist soil.

The root starts to rot, and the plant stops receiving all the necessary nutrients from the soil.

Then, the leaves curl up, and the stems become weak and wilted.

The entire plant becomes dehydrated as it is desperately trying to retain water. On the outside, it looks very, very sick.

Solution – un-pot your plant and take a deeper look at the roots. If they are healthy, then they will be white. If they’re unhealthy, they will be dark brown and mushy.

Take a pair of clean scissors and remove the unhealthy brown bits. Once you’re done, wash the scissors and replant your beautiful greenery in a pot of fresh soil.

njoy pothos in a pot

Not enough/too much light

Another very important thing is to meet your plant’s light requirements.

Chances are, you have bought a thriving, healthy pothos plant from the store, but now, it looks a little wilted, and you notice curling pothos leaves.

A healthy leaf should look broad and flat and turn toward the light source. If the leaves seem like they are all turned toward the light source, then you are dealing with too little light.

On the other hand, if the leaves are curling away from the light, they might have had enough of it.

Solution – if there’s not enough light, place your plant in a spot with more natural light over the day. Whenever there is too much light, move the plant away from an area that receives too much sunlight.

Consider rotating your plant regularly so all sides of it can get access to the light!

Golden Pothos and Neon Pothos

Diseases or insects

Any disease or pest infestation can contribute to pothos leaves curling. More often than not, the insects feed on the sap from the stems, leaving the leaves without any nutrients.

They become wilted and curled up. If you notice any bugs or diseases that have spread all over your pothos, treat them immediately.

Read our complete guide to pothos pests here!

Solution – wipe down the plant with rubbing alcohol to remove the insects and give your piece of flora a fighting chance.

You can even make a solution by mixing a teaspoon of dishwashing soap in a liter of water. Spray your plant with it to get rid of any existing insects.

There are many reasons for pothos leaves curling. Before taking any action, dedicate a little time to investigating the cause so you can properly fix it. Now, instead of letting your plant suffer, you can instantly nurture it back to health!

If you find reading about this subject useful, download our free PDF Pothos plant care guide and enjoy learning more about how to care for it!

Pothos plant care guide

Thanks for reading!

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