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Why is my pothos plant not growing new leaves?

A struggling houseplant can be super frustrating! Here’s why your Pothos is not growing new leaves and what to do to fix it!

Many people agree that a Pothos plant is a fantastic houseplant to start with if you’ve never taken care of one before. It’s quite simple to maintain and will provide striking lush greenery in your house! 

The upkeep of a Pothos is uncomplicated – these plants thrive in a wide range of circumstances.

They may be cultivated in dry soil or water-filled containers, and they grow in both low and bright indirect light. Additionally, they function equally well in nutrient-rich and nutrient-poor soil.

Because they can thrive in low light conditions, Pothos plants are an excellent addition to your home or workplace.

Why is my Pothos not growing new leaves

However, bear in mind that they struggle in direct sunshine, so make sure to place them in a partially shaded area.

Even though it’s low maintenance, sometimes you may face some challenges while caring for this specific plant.

If your Pothos is not growing new leaves, you have arrived at the perfect place. In this blog, we will share some great tips for you and your lovely Pothos! Why? Because we love plants!

Read about many explanations and solutions, and of course, ways to encourage leaf growth! Let’s begin! 

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 not growing new leaves?!

A remarkably resilient species, the Pothos plant may survive even when it is ignored. Yet it needs frequent watering, sunlight or artificial light, good nourishment, and air circulation, much like other plants.

There are several problems that Pothos plants might have that are either cultural or pest-related. If your Pothos is not growing, don’t worry, even a rookie gardener can rescue the plant since the most frequent causes are pretty simple to repair.

Pothos plants’ reduced leaf development, poor color, and frequent wilting are symptoms of foliar issues. The plant’s general health may suffer, and it couldn’t sprout new growth. Usually, sufficient light and fertilizer will increase foliar output.

There are a few factors that can lead to your pothos not putting out new leaves (or growing small leaves).

  • Light + soil issues
  • Insufficient lighting
  • Temperature problems
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Improper watering
  • Lack of humidity
  • Needs a pruning
baltic blue pothos vs cebu blue pothos
baltic blue pothos (left) vs cebu blue pothos (right)

Light and Soil

Have you been wondering why is your Pothos not growing?

If the light is too low, a Pothos that is extremely variegated, especially one that is variegated with white leaves, may not grow as well or lose its variegation.

Just the green portions of the leaves can provide energy for the plant, thus it must be able to obtain enough light to do so.

In contrast, your Pothos will grow slowly, or the leaves will turn an even darker green shade to compensate for the lack of light.

A pothos plant may be rooted in dry soil or water, which makes it highly popular.

From a mother plant, cuttings can be removed, rooted in water, and maintained in water as a houseplant.

This is useful for placing a Pothos plant in a water jug in difficult-to-reach places where it may stay undisturbed as long as the water is in the jug.

On the other hand, Pothos may also be grown in soil and can withstand brief periods of soil dryness with no negative impact on the plant.

Strangely enough, cuttings that have begun in one type of growth media have trouble transitioning to another.

So, a Pothos plant that begins in soil has difficulty flourishing when transplanted into water.

Similarly, a cutting of the plant that was started in water will struggle to thrive in soil, especially if it has spent a lot of time growing there.

Watering issues

Stunted Pothos plants are frequently caused by insufficient watering.

Between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, filtered light, and high humidity are ideal conditions for these tropical plants to flourish (21-32 C.). Temperatures above or below those indicated have an adverse effect on the development of all plants.

Just the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil should be allowed to dry out on plants before watering. The plant’s development will be stunted, and its general health will decline if it dries out to the roots, which can lead to outbreaks of disease and pests.

close up of neon pothos hanging plant

How to encourage pothos to grow new leaves

Here are some tips to encourage leaf growth.

Provide more sunlight

First things first: Pothos needs strong, indirect sunshine to promote development. More growth results from more sunshine!

Give it 6 to 8 hours of indirect sunshine each day, minimum. Simply shield it from direct sunshine to keep the leaves from turning pale or burning.

Golden Pothos and Neon Pothos

Set the appropriate temperature conditions

As mentioned above, the best temperature is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. When kept below this temperature, this plant’s development slows down noticeably.

Also, you could see that its leaves are wilting. This is a sign that the plant is probably too cold.

Provide the Correct Nutrients

To grow more densely, Pothos plants need a fertilizer with the appropriate ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K).

Consider adding a small amount of liquid seaweed solution or compost to the soil at least once or twice every month. Your plant will seem healthier and more full-bodied due to improving leaf growth.

close up of cleaning fiddle leaf fig leaf

Mist and dust periodically

Keep the leaves of your Pothos plant clean and dust-free so that it can breathe and absorb the necessary nutrients.

At least once every week, mist the leaves with water, then dust them with a soft cloth. By doing this, you may raise the humidity levels in your Pothos plant and even stop spider mite infestation.

Water it Regularly

One of the main reasons why your pothos is growing slowly could be due to water deficiency. Giving your Pothos plant the appropriate water quantity is the best way to keep it growing.

Yellowing, weak, and wilted leaves might be a sign of overwatering. On the other hand, insufficient moisture can cause the leaves to curl and eventually fall off.

To make them appear fuller and healthier, maintain a regular plan for watering. But keep in mind what we mentioned above: the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil should be allowed to dry out on your Pothos before watering.

Don’t forget to prune your Pothos

Pruning your Pothos periodically will give it that bushy appearance. This will promote its healthy growth and help it take on a larger shape and sculpted appearance.

To maintain the planter’s healthy appearance, you may either throw the cuttings away or replant them there.


Did you find out why your pothos is not growing new leaves? Share your hard-earned knowledge with us in the comments so others might gain from it!

We wish you luck in turning your plant from meager to abundant with our tips.

If finding out more about pothos could interest you, be sure to download our free PDF pothos plant care guide!

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

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