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Why Is My Pothos Droopy? Problem Causing and Solutions

Droopy leaves are a sign of a stressed pothos plant. Dehydration is the symptom commonly identified with droopy wilting pothos. Poor nutrition, disease & pest infestation, and watering problems are the reasons behind this plant wilting. Nevertheless, fixing the problem is not difficult.

From our gardening experience, pothos has way fewer problems to do with indoor care. However, neglecting these plants makes them vulnerable to stress, just like other common houseplants.

Is Your Pothos Drooping?

Wondering how your pothos plant leaves started to get droopy. Here is why and how to fix it.

1) You Water Your Pothos Infrequently

Whenever you skip or forget a watering session, water (little) less and unevenly, and infrequent water feeding sets in. When you make it habitual, you eventually end up with underwatered or flooded pothos.

a) Dehydration

Underwatering is a common issue that leads to plants being internally dehydrated. Pothos starts to show early signs of this stress with the leaves. Often, the lower older leaves lose turgidity or become weak and look tired. These leaves then give in and wilt gradually. With severe dehydration, these leaves begin yellowing. New and young leaves will show signs of stress. Eventually, petioles droop and the stem bend over.

Why your pothos have droopy leaves
Dehydrated pothos leaves

Drooping will become noticeable time but this also depends on external influence. Pot soil dries up more quickly during dry weather.

Fixing Pothos Dehydration

Don’t be self-misled or let the potting soil has to dry out almost completely.

  • Start by checking moisture as often as possible
  • water the pothos when the potting soil is at least or around 2 inches dry
  • Water evenly such that all the soil and roots are equally moist
  • Avoid making it a habit of watering frequently with little portions (amount) of water

To avoid it in the future, try to find out if there could be factors leading to pot soil drying out quickly.

While watering pothos once a week is like a thumb rule, it’s still possible to find giving less. Often, try to monitor the progress of your houseplants.

b) Overwatering

Overwatered pothos
Pothos plant withy drooping leaves

Flooding your pothos container is like coming up with a slowly killing mechanism. Overwatered pothos mimics a sick plant. After a few weeks, it refuses to grow, and the leaves become droopy and yellow. When they turn brown, you start counting the days.

Besides having a fixed watering schedule, here is what can increase the chances of overwatering your pothos:

  • Heavy and poorly drained soil
  • Poor quality potting mix (peat
  • Using containers with poor drainage holes and size

How to Fix or Stop Overwatered Droopy Pothos

The best fix to overwatered pothos plants is by saving them. This will give your pothos a new chance and allow them to rejuvenate. To save yours, follow these steps:

  • Bring your plant to a shade
  • Carefully remove the plant from its current pot
  • Then remove or snip the damaged and soft leaves
  • Check whether the pothos has firm roots
  • If they are not firm, remove them and throw them away: but keep the stems for future propagation
  • Now, if the roots are firm, ensure to cut off any soft parts, brown, dark, and smelly sections
  • Flush the roots and let them dry for 3 – 4 hours
  • Dip in a rooting hormone
  • Prepare a new soil mix ensuring you keep the ingredient ratio equal
  • Then plant your saved pothos

If you are using a new pot select one with good drainage. It should not be larger than 1.8 – 2.0 inches in size.

Having saved an overwatered pothos is not the end. You need to follow up with care to enable it to rejuvenate quickly. Use rain or distilled water but don’t feed or water the plant immediately.

2) Your Pothos Have a Problem with Light

Pothos need sufficient indirect because as they grow, leaves expand and become larger. A ½ – 1-hour exposure to direct light cannot harm them. A longer duration of exposure to direct light means that they will get burnt. As a result, leaves will become soft and droop downwards.

They might get choked if they also remain locked up in dark rooms for a few days. Owing to this fact, leaf cells are liable to make less chlorophyll. In search of light, their foliage tends to grow a bit longer. As a result, stems grow weaker and softer. Subject to high temperature or direct light, the plant can droop downward quickly.

How to Fix Lighting Issues

  • Shield your east and west-facing window panes
  • Identify a more south-facing window

If your garden room has a single window or is far off, you can install LED or grow lights.

3) Temperature-Humidity Imbalance

Like many common houseplants, pothos will respond to sudden temperatures. A temperature fall in your indoor garden room, means humidity levels go down. Pothos droop because of the dry air.

Pothos require humid levels that will suit their growth needs. If you allow room humidity to drop below 50%, leaves may start to droop or sag. Your pothos leaves will more likely become droopy during the summer heat.

How to Fix Humidity-Temperature Problem

The secret to solving this is giving your plant close-to-native conditions. You ultimately need to elevate humidity indoors. Check 

Here are a few tips to serve as both diagnostic and corrective fixes:

  • Either regulate your heaters or keep your plants in a different room
  • Turn on your humidifier during the cold winter months
  • During the windy days, mist-spray the leaves early mornings
  • Let the fans run during the warm days and summer heat
  • Keep your pothos far away from air conditioners and cooling devices such as fridges
  • Move your pothos into the bathroom, especially during the winter
  • Another trick is to grow companion houseplants

Unfortunately, it will not be a guarantee to maintain a constant and conducive environment. Night temperatures can suddenly drop or rise. So it may be a bright idea if you invest in moisture meters and digital thermometers. I recommend an average room humidity measure between 62% – 70%.

Other than that, here are mistakes you still make and need instant tweaks and twists.

  • If it gets warm indoors stop taking your pothos on the corridor
  • Stop misting the leaves in the afternoon
  • Keep bathroom windows open during the daytime hours of warm, sunny weather

4) Droopy Pothos after Transplant or Re-pot

If you intend to grow pothos outdoors expect your plants to experience a transplant shock.

Droopy leaves of pothos
Repotting can cause leaf drooping and yellowing

For the pothos plant, transplant shock is standard. Dropping leaves and sometimes withering are expected. Often, these occur as a response mechanism to growth being disrupted. At the same time, adapt to the new environment. During this time, the leaves sometimes droop and some may even wither.

Apart from transplant shock, repotted pothos may also get droopy leaves. Although it is rare in the first few growing seasons, stress may prompt transplanting.

Note that transplantation, propagation, and re-potting pothos are done quite differently.

Steps to Help Relieve Transplant Shock

Transplanting in early spring or fall will better the chances of relieving the pothos of diverse effects of transplant shock. What else can you do?

  • Do not expose the roots to dry air for longer
  • Ensure your new location is moist
  • Provide newly transplanted cultivars with shade for the first few days
  • Do not allow ½ inch of topsoils to go dry (even if you are using an outdoor planter)

5) Droopy Pothos Plant after Watering

After watering, dry foliage indicates that your pothos roots sit in water for nearly the whole day. Once the roots have absorbed enough water, the roots can be suffocated.

Another problem is the temperature of the water you used. It could have been either too cold or more than warm (hot).

So check whether the drainage holes have stopped functioning. Then, if you think you used a bit of hot water, remove the plant and flush the roots with cool running water for an hour. Otherwise, always store water at room temperature (23 – 25 C).

There is only one naturally recognizable pothos. Many of the pothos grown indoors are ones developed by horticulturalists. These cultivars are not hybrids.

Find related content in Cebu blue pothos care guide.

References and Sources

  1. Pothos, Epipremmum aureum. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, Division of Extension. https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/pothos-epipremmum-aureum/. Accessed online 23 Nov. 2021

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