Brown Spots On Pothos Leaves: Reasons And How To Fix

brown spots on pothos leaves

The most frequent causes of brown spots on pothos leaves are overwatering and too much light, besides, over-fertilizing, Insect Pests, or lack of humidity also contribute to this problem.

Different Factors That Cause Brown Spots On Pothos

Incorrect Watering


Overwatering and root rot are other reasons for brown leaves, including splotches and spots (in case of an infection). However, the typical warning signs to look for are a wet, continuously wet potting mix and your pothos’ lower leaves turning yellow, then brown.

Even though your plant’s leaves may curl, drop, wilt, or droop, they won’t feel dry, i.e., they will feel soft. In addition, your potting soil might be moldy, have mushy stem bases, draw pests, etc.

Roots must function properly, including absorbing water and minerals, and overwatering deprives them of oxygen. They will subsequently deteriorate as a result. Additionally, moisture encourages the growth of soilborne pathogens, which will eventually attack the weak roots and cause root rot. Under disease, root rot will be discussed in more detail.

What to do

You don’t currently have root rot, we assume. In a later section of the post, we will discuss it.

Hold off on watering, make sure the drainage holes are open and provide your plant with bright, indirect light, the ideal temperature, and better air circulation.

Next, make sure your potting mix drains well and that your pot is the appropriate size (oversized pots may result in a problem). Make or purchase an aroid mix. See

To remove water, do not squeeze the soil. The root will be harmed. Additionally, avoid feeding your plants. But using a pencil, you can make holes in the potting mix to hasten it to dry.


When neglected or without water for a long time, pothos leaves will begin curling inward, droop or wilt, turn yellow or have dry, crispy brown tips and margins. If the situation persists, the soil will be dry, causing your plant to grow slowly, lose leaves, wither, and eventually die.

brown spots on pothos leaves

What to do

Start by confirming if your Epipremnum aureum is thirsty. Feel the potting mix with your finger to confirm this. It’s thirsty if the top of your finger is dry up to the first knuckle.

Nevertheless, we employ a soil moisture meter. The brand we prefer is XLUX. It is accurate, reacts quickly, and doesn’t require batteries. A reading of three or fewer indicates that your plant needs watering.

When the top 1-2 inches of the soil feel dry, i.e. when your pothos feels dry, give them a drink and continue to water them., the soil should dry a bit in-between watering. This might happen once per week in the spring or summer and twice per week in the off-growing seasons.

How frequently to water pothos will depend on your environmental conditions (light, humidity, or temperature), soil type, season, plant size, pot size, and type. Don’t water according to a schedule. Test the potting mixture instead.

Get an estimated time until the next watering if you frequently forget to water your plant. Then make a note, but when watering, be sure to feel the soil.

You can choose to grow your pothos in self-watering pots, which is the final option.

Water Quality

Pothos are robust plants that can withstand drinking tap water. However, the levels of fluoride, salts, or chlorine shouldn’t be excessive. For instance, very high chlorine levels in the water may lead to an accumulation in the plant that gives it a scorched appearance, with dead or brown tissue on the edges, tips, and in between veins.

What to do

Make use of filtered or rainwater. If your tap water isn’t too bad, leave it out overnight to let the chlorine evaporate.

Too Much Light

The tips, margins, and patches of leaves that have been scorched will be yellow to brown. Additionally, the leaves will appear yellower or paler, i.e., washed out, bleached, or faded, and they may wilt or curl but won’t drop quickly.

What to do

Remove your pothos from the sun’s direct rays or place them away from your grow lights. Place them outdoors in a greenhouse or a shaded area.

Put blinds or place them away from your window inside the house so the sun can’t reach them. It doesn’t matter if your windows face east, west, or south. Avoid letting the sun touch your plant.

In case the parent plant doesn’t survive, look for a few healthy cuttings to take and pot separately when trimming the plant.

Lack Of Humidity And Harsh Drafts

Keep in mind that your pothos prefers humidity and a protected environment because it is a native jungle dweller. Therefore, mist your plant every day or use a humidifier in the space where you keep your plants.

If your pothos is a tabletop plant (as opposed to a hanging basket plant), place its container on a pebble tray with some water in the bottom. The air around the plant will become humidified as water evaporation occurs.

Ensure that you shield your pothos from piercing hot or cold drafts. Ensure that your plants have gentle airflow around them. Never place a plant in front of a heater or air conditioner, including pothos.

Additionally, your plant should be placed far from open windows that let in drafts as well as doors or doors that are frequently used.

Extreme Temperatures

Pothos likes consistently warm temperatures ranging from 70° to 90° degrees Fahrenheit.

It can tolerate nighttime temperatures down to 65° degrees but not much lower than Fahrenheit.

Even for a brief period of time, exposing your plant to extremely cold temperatures will cause the leaves to wilt and turn brown.

Your plant might be able to be revived if the roots haven’t frozen. Here’s how to do it:

  • Trim the damaged foliage off.
  • Put the pot somewhere cozy that gets bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Maintain your normal care for it, and it should recover.

Exposure to temperatures over 90° degrees The leaves of the plants will dry out and desiccate at Fahrenheit.

Once more, if the exposure was short and the roots remained wet, you probably could have saved the plant. Trim off the damaged leaves and take consistent, gentle care of them.

Too Much Fertilizer

Pothos is not a voracious eater. Over-fertilizing with pothos will result in salt buildup, which can result in brown spots.

The root of your issue is probably visible salt buildup on the soil’s surface.

When this happens, you may be able to save your plant by doing the following:

  • Use clean, distilled water to rinse the soil.
  • The salt can then be removed by letting water flow through the drainage holes.
  • After that, wait until the soil is almost completely dry before watering it again.

When it’s time to repot, you can solve the issue of too much fertilizer by transferring your plant to a new pot with new potting soil.

When you do, inspect and prune the roots as necessary.

Trim any damaged stems and leaves, if necessary. They will soon be replaced by new growth.

During the growing season (spring and summer), only fertilize to avoid this issue.

Use a high-quality general houseplant fertilizer once a month, half-strength.

Keep in mind that if you repot your plants every spring using new potting soil, fertilizing might not be required.

Insect Pests

brown spots on pothos leaves

Your pothos may become more vulnerable to an infestation of insect pests like mealybugs and spider mites if there is any environmental imbalance.

Examples of these imbalances are:

  • Wrong light
  • Poor watering habits
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Incorrect humidity levels)

If this occurs, you might be able to spray the pests off the plants in the shower or kitchen sink with a powerful stream of water.

To ensure that all pests and their offspring are eliminated, you should repeat the treatment several times. If not, even after blasting the plant, they will hatch from their eggs.

Additionally, you’ll require a strong detergent solution to clean the space where your plants are kept. Stragglers and their eggs will be cared for by this.

Misting your plants with a mild pesticide solution, like Permethrin, is an additional choice. Most plants, including pothos, tolerate it well, making it a reasonably safe option for indoor use.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use one teaspoon of 10% concentrate to make one quart of water’s worth of mixture.
  • Then, for a few weeks, mist your plants every two or three days to make sure all pests and their offspring are gone.

In either case, treat the plant first, then remove any damaged stems or leaves.

Note that because pothos is so simple to grow from cuttings, there are times when repotting a few cuttings is preferable. After that, give them a thorough cleaning and get rid of any soil, potted plants, or other items that have pest infestations.

By doing this, you can completely debug your plant area and begin again. Insect pests can be effectively avoided with good plant care.

Additionally, ward off infestation by incorporating a few drops of Neem oil into your plant mister and using it to mist once per week.

Afterward, use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe the leaves to remove any remaining dust and add a little shine.

How To Prevent Brown Spots On Pothos

Continually monitoring the needs of the plant will help a plant enthusiast avoid brown spots on Pothos.

Be mindful and set up a suitable watering system that meets the needs of the Pothos and works for you as the caretaker.

Pruning, watering, and monitoring the air’s moisture content should all be done consistently.

The main cause of spotting problems is stressing out the plant.

Poor moisture levels, excessive salt content in the soil, low humidity, direct sunlight, and an abundance of water without proper drainage are all factors that can stress out plants.

By addressing these problems, you can stop the growth of fungus, scorching, bacteria, pests, and more.

Fungus and other diseases shouldn’t have a place to grow or a reason to manifest, according to the caretaker.

Place your plant in an area where it will flourish and make the investment in a water meter.

Keep in mind that natural browning is a possibility and that the location of the browning can help determine that. Treating a falsely identified problem that doesn’t exist will cause more harm than good.

In conclusion, give your Pothos proper care so they can flourish. It can be upsetting to observe a plant that you have worked so hard to care for not flourishing.

Keep a positive attitude and continue to keep an eye on your Pothos.

brown spots on pothos leaves


What causes brown tips on pothos?

In the case of leaf scorch, brown tips or margins are a sign of carelessness or environmental stress. Brown tips or margins could be a result of underwatering, low humidity, heat stress, excessive light, or cold drafts. Other causes are aging, transplant shock, or being rootbound

What causes pothos brown stems or lines?

Pothos brown stems are a sign of diseases, especially Phytophthora, Southern blight (Sclerotium rolfsii), and Root decay and aerial blight caused by Rhizoctonia. Also, bacterial wilt disease may be a reason for veins and stems turning brown or black.
Brown lines on the stem of a pothos plant may indicate damage or illness in a similar way. So far, things are going well; we haven’t noticed the problem, and it’s not common.

Why are my pothos yellow leaves with brown spots?

An indication of disease, pests, or overwatering is yellow leaves with brown spots. To help you identify the precise cause, simply look at the additional symptoms that are already present.