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Why is my pothos plant dropping leaves?

Is your pothos looking worse for the wear? Here’s why your pothos plant dropping leaves and what to do about it!

Pothos are a super popular house plant and one of the easiest house plants to take care of.

So if you bought this plant thinking it would be easy and now it’s dropping a bunch of leaves, I understand why you would be frustrated.

Today I want to talk about the top reasons that cause pothos plant leaf drop and how to prevent or fix them before it’s too late!

why is my pothos losing leaves

Other pothos content you might enjoy:

Printable Pothos Plant Care Guide

Join the (free!) KeepYourPlantsAlive+ community to access this exclusive printable plant care guide! Or keep scrolling for more!

Pothos plant care guide

Why is my pothos dropping leaves?

Wondering why are leaves falling off my pothos? Here are some of the top reasons.

Watering issues

Watering problems are the top cause of leaf drop. Usually, it is overwatering and lack of drainage. this will result in yellow or mushy brown leaves.

Brown crispy leaves or leaves with brown tips indicate that the plant is not getting enough water.

How often do you water a pothos?

Water your pothos when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.

Be sure that your pot has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling, which can lead to root rot and leaf drop.

How can you tell if a pothos is overwatered?

Overwatered stems will look limp and mushy. Pull the plant out of the soil and examine the roots – if they are turning black and mushy, the plant is severely over watered and has root rot.

Should I mist my pothos?

These are tropical plants that prefer a humid environment. Mist them, run a humidifier, or add a pebble tray to increase humidity.

Do you water a pothos from the top or bottom?

Bottom watering your plant is a great way to be sure that water doesn’t sit on the leaves and rot.

To do this, choose a pot with large drainage holes. Set the pot in a dish of water for 30 minutes. Dump excess water and put the plant back in place!

hanging pothos plant with yellow leaves

Temperature problems

Big changes in temperature can also cause pothos plants to go into shock and drop leaves. Keep them away from drafts and always keep indoors in the winter.


Applying too much fertilizer can shock your plant, which can sometimes lead to leaf drop. Always follow the instructions for amount and frequency on your specific fertilizer.

pothos with sun damaged leaves

Lighting problems

If your pothos gets too much direct sun, it could get sun burned and drop leaves.

Does pothos like sun or shade?

These plants do best in partial shade or indirect light. Direct sun will burn the leaves. White, dry crispy spots are sunburn and won’t turn green again.

How much sunlight does a pothos need?

These plants need at least 8 hours of bright, indirect light a day to flourish.

yellow leaf on a golden pothos

Potting issues

If your plant has outgrown it’s pot, it might start dropping leaves to conserve energy.

Do pothos like to be root bound?

These plants tolerate being a bit root bound, but only to a point. At a certain point, the roots get too crowded to be able to get enough nutrients and they start to drop leaves to conserve energy.

Should I repot my pothos?

You should repot your pothos every year or two, right after all of the blooms have fallen off. Choose a pot 2 inches wider across!

Your plant might not need a larger pot, but could benefit from new nutrients in fresh soil. Gently pull it from the pot, knock off as much soil as possible, and repot in the same pot with fresh soil.

neon pothos hanging plant
Neon pothos

Is it normal for pothos to drop leaves?

No – dropping leaves is indicative that your plant is in some sort of distress.

Any more questions about your pothos plant?

Thanks for reading!

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