If you’ve noticed that your pothos leaves have been curling lately, you’re not alone. This is a common problem with this particular plant, and there are several things you can do to correct it.
Despite being an incredibly low-maintenance houseplant, Pothos tends to get damaged if they don’t get the proper care. One of the most common problems is curling leaves, which various things can cause.
The most common reason for curling leaves is that the plant is not getting enough water. The leaves start to curl to conserve moisture when the soil is too dry. This problem is easy to fix- water your plant more frequently.
My Snow Queen pothos leaves sometimes start curling after I leave them in direct sunlight for too long. If that starts to happen, the plant is not happy in its new environment. Move it to a shadier spot.
This blog post will explore the ten most common reasons why Pothos leaves curl and what you can do to solve the problem. We will also provide helpful tips on keeping your Pothos healthy and thriving!
Reasons Why Your Pothos Leaves Curling
If you want to learn why your Pothos leaves are curling, here are ten reasons why, and solutions to help you correct the situation. Moreover, this will aid you in creating an ideal environment that will help you in the future.
1. You are Under-watering your Pothos
Pothos need water every once or twice a week. Even after that, if your plant leaves are curling inwards, chances are that the water issue causes it.
Leaves curl in response too low water situations. It tries to retain as much moisture as possible. The roots will shrink and separate from the pot in rare drought conditions. In that case, the leaves will start to fall off after a certain point.
Water your Pothos weekly, and check the soil before watering it again. The golden rule is to dig 1 inch deep into the ground to see if the soil has dried up. If yes, it is time to water the plants.
If not, then wait for a few days before watering it again. Yellow leaves are an indication that you are overwatering your plant.
2. Root Rot
Water supply and demand mismatch can cause significant problems. For instance, if you have potted the plant in a much bigger container than its size allows you to, chances are that the soil will retain more water. The plant roots will stay soaked and ultimately die due to root rot.
Similarly, if the pot doesn’t have drainage holes that excrete the excess water, the roots will stay damp for a prolonged period. Ensure that container has enough holes before potting the plant.
Returning to the main point, how is this causing the leaves to curl? Well, overwatering is more dangerous than under-watering. You might be able to fix under-watering quickly, but resolving damage induced by overwatering is a complex task.
Overwatering causes root rot, a condition that damages the root permanently.
Therefore, the roots won’t be able to absorb the water needed for the plant to thrive. Ultimately, it’ll lead to the death of the plant.
Ensure the soil is dry a few inches from the surface before watering. Allow the water to drain from the pot with drainage holes. Use a well-suited correct plant-size container.
3. Extreme Temperatures
During the summer, temperatures rise due to extreme heat. Ideally, the plant should stay at a temperature between 65-85° F (18-29°C).
If the temperature exceeds 85°F (29°C), it invites massive issues. Overheating creates a harsh environment for your Pothos plant. The soil dries out fast and becomes underwatered. The plant will shield itself by curling its leaves to retain water as a protective mechanism.
Therefore, you need to water the plant more frequently. In rare cases, 3-4 times a week.
You can install a digital thermometer in your garden if you are a plant enthusiast. It helps monitor temperature and humidity. This is a great option to protect your other plants from extreme conditions.
4. Low Humidity
Pothos tolerate low-humidity levels. However, the leaves will start to curl if the humidity drops significantly. The plant tries to conserve water by curling its leaves.
Humidity should always be above 40%. If it starts to fall, that can be a little problematic. The plant will lose its moisture rapidly. Low humidity often comes hand in hand with high temperatures. Always watch out for it.
You can use a humidifier in your room or office space. If you have several plants, group them together and place them on a pebble tray. It would help if you misted the leaves daily to raise the humidity levels. You can also use a water-based sprayer.
Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity in your room. Maintain the level between 40-60% for optimal growth of Pothos plants.
5. Too Much Fertilizer
Have you ever heard of chemical burns on plants? It’s a silent killer. When you overfeed your plant with fertilizers, it causes long-term damage to the roots.
In response, the leaves start to curl, and not only that, but you will witness yellow discoloration on the edges. Sometimes, a white crust-like formation on the top of the roots can be observable, depicting excessive chemical use.
Now, if you regularly fertilize the plant to speed up its growth, you need to slow down.
If you see any of the above signs, cut back on fertilizing for the season. Wash out the excess fertilizer with water and let the water drain from the pot. If needed, repot the plant in a fresh soil mix.
It is a myth that Pothos require regular feeding. Fertilize it every two to three months during its active growing seasons. Cut back on fertilizing during the winter and resting phase.
6. Low light or too much light
Naturally, leaves grow facing the sunlight. So if your Pothos needs more light due to incorrect placement, the leaves might twist and curl in the light direction. It is a common condition, and you must place the plant in a brighter spot.
Note: Pothos love bright indirect or shaded sunlight.
In contrast, if the Pothos are placed under bright DIRECT sunlight for a long time, the moisture will evaporate faster than usual. The plant will get dehydrated, and ultimately the leaves will curl. In severe cases, the leaves might get all dried out and crispy.
Move your plant to a location in the home where is can receive bright, indirect light and thrive. You can purchase a light meter online or from a gardening store to help you determine the light levels.
Place the sensor near the plant and take readings throughout the day. The right light level for Pothos should be between 200-500 lux.
7. Infections and Diseases
Seeing your Pothos plant infected is an alarming sign – I’ve been there. The disease often begins from the roots and leads to damage beyond repair. This might cause leaves to curl and wilt. Therefore, you need to get alert and identify if you find something fishy.
Diseases that affect Pothos plants are:
Pythium Blight, Phytophthora Root Rot, Anthracnose, and Fungal Leaf Spots.
If you identify the problem early on, you can save your plant. For example, in the case of root rot – cut back on watering and let the soil dry out completely. After that, drench the plant in fungicide and let it dry in the sun.
Other diseases can be eradicated by pruning the affected area or rubbing alcohol on the leaves.
To avoid such problems in the future:
- Make sure you buy healthy plants from a reputed nursery.
- Do not overwater or keep the plant in soggy soil.
- Inspect the plant regularly for any early signs of disease or pests.
- Take action as soon as possible to save your Pothos!
8. Pests Infestation
Pests can be life-threatening (in some cases) if they have infested the plant for a long. They eat up your whole plant slowly, making it difficult for them to survive.
They deplete plants of nutrients and cause severe damage to the roots. Pests result in mechanical dis-balance and lessen water absorption rate as well. And for the record, if a single plant goes through pest infestation in your garden, it will affect all the other plants.
The most prominent symptoms of pest infestations are leaf curling, holes in the leaf, leaf willing, and sometimes discoloration on roots and leaves.
Firstly, wash the affected areas with warm water. Use rubbing alcohol to wipe the leaves, removing all the trails of pests. Moreover, use an insecticide to kill off the remaining hidden bugs. If your plant is inside, keep it away from other houseplants to avoid further contamination.
9. Your Plant is Getting Old
If your Pothos plant is getting older and you see a few leaves falling or curling, then don’t worry. Sometimes when the plant matures, it faces a few issues.
It is okay (everyone has been there, trust me). As the new growth spurts, the plant switches its focus on it for its nourishment. This might cause older leaf curling.
In this case, cut off the leaves that have died or curled. This way, there will be more nutrients for the new ones.
10. New Growth
It is acceptable for the new Potho’s growth to curl as soon as they appear to prepare it for the world. As long as the rest of the development is healthy, there’s nothing to be alarmed about.
Give it some time, and you will see your plant flourish quickly!
Pothos is one of the easiest houseplants to grow. They can thrive in various conditions and survive neglect better than most plants. With proper care, your Pothos will grow healthy leaves that are big and glossy.
Pothos are remarkable plant species to care for, and there’s an unbeatable joy in caring for them. Poor growth conditions such as underwatering, root rot, inadequate light, temperature, humidity fluctuations, and pests or diseases might cause the pothos leaves to curl.
Identifying and fixing the actual cause is essential to prevent total damage. Many plant lovers have gone through the same problem (myself included)!
So, don’t get discouraged and learn from your mistakes. With a little effort, you can have a flourishing Pothos plant in no time!
Now that you know the reasons behind curling leaves go ahead and give your Pothos the care it needs! Remember to share your experiences with us in the comments section below. And if you have any tips, we would love to hear from you!
Happy Planting! 🙂