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Why Pothos Leaves are Curling? Oh My!

Why Pothos Leaves are Curling? Oh My!

Your tough and gorgeous pothos plant can hang tough like The New Kids On The Block in most situations but some things just make its leaves curl.

It likes its water situation just perfect, and it abhors excess fertilizer. Ten situations could cause your pothos plant to curl its leaves.


Why Pothos Leaves are Curling?

Pothos leaves curl when the plant has too much or too little water when it is overfertilized, pruned, or repotted improperly, poor drainage, the temperatures rise, it gets too much sun, root rot, and when it undergoes soil issues. 


The Pathos of Pothos

You might not think of a plant undergoing pathos, but it can easily happen to the pothos plant. This tropical vine typically grows high up in the tallest trees in tropical forests in the canopies of the trees.

It attaches to their bark and moss rather than in the dirt. The lengthy vine grows up to 30 feet in length with leaves that grow up to three feet in size.

The ones you grow at your home will not reach that size, but they can grow quite long and lush.

In the forest, they have ideal conditions because they propagate themselves only growing where conditions are perfect.

As a houseplant though, the pothos needs you to provide the ideal conditions, and when you do not, its leaves curl.


1. Water: Too Much or Not Enough

Check the potho’s soil for moisture. It should seem moist but not wet. If the leaves also droop or turned yellow and brown, it needs water.

Watering these vines once every two weeks usually gives them plenty of water, but during droughts or extreme temperatures, you should water more often.

If the pothos is not in a well-draining pot with appropriate soil, it could get too much water. Leaves curl in deep water. 

Give your plant a pot that drains into a tray to catch extra water. That lets the soil absorb it as needed without the roots of the plant touching the water directly.


2. Too Much Fertilizer

Leaves curl when given too much plant fertilizer. If the fertilizer you use has too much nitrogen, the vine’s leaves will curl, too.


3. Bad Pruning or Repotting

Damage from pruning gone awry or from repotting that hurt the plant, or its roots can cause leaf curl. The curling might just be that it is adjusting to the new pot, too.


4. Soil Problems

If the soil drains poorly, the plant’s leaves can curl. If you could not find pothos potting soil or you planted it in the ground, this can produce leaf curl.

It needs a soil comprised of peat moss and/or coco coir with perlite and pine bark. The perlite helps it drain water and protect its roots from standing water.


5. Poor Drainage

You can repot your vine and see if a better draining pot and some fresh potting soil made especially for the pothos plant can help it. This helps it avoid sitting in water which makes its leaves curl.


6. Too Much Sun Light

Pothos plants like indirect sunlight and partial shade. The leaves can curl when exposed to too much sunlight.

Move your plant to a shady, cool spot in the yard or indoors for a few days to see if that helps.


7. Extreme Temperatures

Pothos leaves curl when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or goes above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. These vines love a constant temperature and thrive best between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

When you need to move from one home to another, acclimate the plant indoors first since a change in climate can hurt it.


8. Root Rot

When a pothos plant develops crown or root rot, its leaves will curl. Root rot means the plant had too much standing water in its pot or in the ground.


9. Other Diseases and Pests

Whether infested with a disease or pest, your pothos will curl their leaves. Check the soil for bugs. Remove it from its pot and check the roots for bugs.

Mealybugs really love pothos as do aphids and spider mites. Pesticides can help in killing the pest infestation.

Check your local nursery for neem oil or insecticidal soap that you spray onto the plant.


Frequently Asked Questions about Why Pothos Leaves are Curling


What can you do to make pothos happy?

Besides the right pot, potting soil mix, and perfect water conditions, you can prune your pothos now and then. This removes drooping leaves and helps the plant remain healthy.


How can you best solve water and soil issues?

You should repot your pothos plant to give it the best chance. It needs a large pot with well-draining holes in the bottom and an attached water tray. Since these vines can so easily develop root rot, choose a see-through pot. This lets you examine the roots frequently without needing to unpot the plant. You can diagnose many problems just by looking in the pot. You can find this type of clear pot at most nurseries, garden supply stores, and home improvement stores.


Can you substitute other potting mixes for pothos mix?

You can use orchid potting mix for pothos, but you need to remove some of the bark from it first. This will make it drain appropriately for the vine. You can also use cactus potting mix in a pinch. You need to add nutrients to it though, so it will work for the pothos plant.