Drooping Pothos: Causes and How to Revive Your Wilting Plant

Yellow, drooping leaves of a dead plant
Here's what drooping plants look like!
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Tip One

Observe Your Plant

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Tip Two

Have a Consistent Watering Schedule

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Tip Three

Know Where to Locate Your Plant

Pothos plants, also known as Iron plants, are known for being hardy and forgiving. However, they can still show signs of wilting, which indicates underlying health issues within the plant.

 

Even the most well-cared-for Pothos can sometimes exhibit drooping leaves, leaving owners puzzled and concerned. So don’t fret!

 

Your journey as a plant parent begins with understanding your plant’s unique characteristics and attentively observing its various responses to different dynamics. Learning helps you anticipate problems and know EXACTLY how to address challenges including this Pothos drooping dilemma.

 

In this article, we will help you learn about deep causes behind pothos drooping and tips on how to revive your plant.

Common Causes of Pothos Drooping

Inadequate Watering

If you find yourself asking, “Why is my pothos drooping?” or “Why are my pothos leaves drooping?”, inadequate watering may be the culprit.

 

Pothos watering requires some attention. These plants prefer moderately moist soil, meaning that the top inch or so of soil should be allowed to dry out slightly before watering again. If you water your pothos too infrequently, the soil will become dry and parched, causing the leaves to droop.

 

You know your care routine! You could also be neglecting your watering schedule. A thirsty pothos could turn yellow and show wilt.

 

Here’s what you should… FAST!

  • Check the moisture level of the soil by inserting your finger about an inch deep into the potting mix. If it feels dry at that depth, it’s time to water your plant.
  • When watering, ensure that water reaches all parts of the root system by thoroughly soaking the soil until excess water drains out from the bottom of the pot. 
  • Set a reminder to ensure you don’t miss your watering schedule. 

Strike a balance by allowing slight drying between waterings while still providing enough moisture for optimal growth. This will definitely revive your drooping pothos.

Watering a pothos plant

Insufficient Humidity

If you notice your pothos leaves drooping or your golden pothos drooping and turning yellow, it may be an indication of inadequate humidity. 

 

Pothos is a tropical plant that thrives in humid environments, it requires a moderate to high level of humidity to maintain their health and vitality. 

 

When the air becomes too dry, especially during winter months or in air-conditioned spaces, the plant’s leaves may lose moisture faster than they can absorb it from their surroundings. This imbalance leads to wilting and drooping leaves

 

Here’s EXACTLY what you should do:

  1. Consider placing a humidifier near your plant or using a pebble tray filled with water underneath the pot, to increase the moisture levels.
  2. Mist the leaves regularly with room temperature water using a spray bottle. This mimics natural dew formation on leaves and helps replenish some of the lost moisture.
  3. Group plants together to create microclimates of increased humidity as they collectively release moisture through transpiration. It’s like reuniting with your friends and recharging your energy!
  4. Monitor your environment’s relative humidity using a hygrometer to provide insights into necessary adjustments.

Excessive Sunlight Exposure

Pothos plant leaves are not designed to withstand intense sunlight for prolonged periods, and as a result, they may start drooping as a self-protective measure.

 

Let me explain! exposure to excessive sunlight causes increased water loss through transpiration, leaving the plant dehydrated and stressed. As a result your pothos may wilt, turn yellow or brown at the edges, or even develop sunburn-like patches. 

 

Here are some TIPS to find the right spot for your plant:

  • Observe your plant closely to determine if it needs less direct sun exposure by noticing how its leaves respond over time. Different varieties of pothos have varying light requirements; some can tolerate brighter conditions than others.
  • Consider moving your pothos away from windows with intense afternoon sun or providing shade using curtains or blinds. 

Cold Weather Stress

Pothos plants are tropical in nature and thrive in warm, humid environments. When exposed to cold temperatures, especially below 50°F (10°C), these plants can experience significant stress, which manifests as drooping leaves and a general lack of vitality.

 

Cold exposure effects:

  • Slowing down the plant’s metabolic processes
  • Hindering the absorption of water and nutrients by the roots
  • Impeding the movement of fluids within the plant, resulting in poor circulation and limp leaves. 

How to prevent cold exposure?

  • Keep your pothos away from drafts and chilly locations such as windows during winter months.
  • Consider relocating your pothos to a warmer spot with indirect sunlight. 
  • Add insulation around the pot or use a portable heater or heat mat nearby to create a more suitable microclimate for your plant.

It’s worth noting that if your golden pothos is not only drooping but also turning yellow, this may be an additional sign of cold weather stress. Yellowing leaves indicate that the plant is struggling even more with its metabolic functions due to low temperatures.

 

In this case, providing extra warmth and ensuring sufficient light exposure will be crucial for nursing your golden pothos back to health.

indoor plants exposed to sun light
Finding the right light spot is YOUR mission as a plant parent. Choose wisely!

Root Constriction

Over time, as the plant grows, its roots fill up the container, leaving no room for expansion. This phenomenon is known for: Root Constriction. When this happens, you may notice that your pothos leaves start drooping as a sign of distress.

 

  • You should check if your pothos has outgrown its current pot and requires repotting into a larger one. 

Root constriction could also be caused by poor drainage in the potting mix. If excess water accumulates at the bottom of the pot or if you’re using heavy soil that doesn’t allow proper airflow, it can lead to compacted roots and hinder their growth. 

 

This can cause your pothos leaves to droop as they struggle to access necessary moisture and nutrients.

 

Here’s how to address root constriction and revive your drooping pothos:

 

  • Consider repotting it into a larger container with fresh well-draining soil. Gently loosen any compacted roots before transplanting them into their new home, ensuring they have enough space to grow freely.
  • Ensure that you choose a suitable potting mix that allows proper airflow and drainage while retaining adequate moisture for healthy root development.

Pest Infestations

Pest Infestations are one of the potential causes for your drooping pothos could be pest infestations. These pesky creatures can wreak havoc on your beloved plant, causing it to droop and suffer.

There are a few common pests that may attack your pothos, such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs, causing it to droop and suffer.

  • Aphids: Small insects that feed on the sap of plants, including your golden pothos. They typically appear as tiny green or black bugs clustered together on the stems or undersides of leaves. 
  • Spider mites: Another notorious pest that can cause significant damage to your pothos. They are extremely tiny and may be difficult to spot with the naked eye at first glance. However, you may notice fine webbing and stippling on the leaves if they have infested your plant.
  • Mealybugs: They resemble small cotton-like masses attached to various parts of the plant. They extract sap from the leaves and stems, eventually leading to wilting and drooping.

How to address these pests effectively?

  • Take action promptly
  • Start by isolating your affected pothos from other plants to prevent further infestation.
  • Use a mixture of water and mild dish soap in a spray bottle – simply spray it directly onto the infected areas of your plant, ensuring you cover all surfaces thoroughly. 
  • Alternatively, you can use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap specifically designed for indoor plants.
  • Regularly inspecting your pothos for signs of these pesky invaders is crucial in preventing severe damage.
Spider mist invading a plant
When you see this on your plant! ACT FAST!

Fungal or Bacterial Infections​

If you notice your pothos leaves drooping and showing signs of discoloration or lesions, it could be an indication of a fungal or bacterial attack. These infections can be caused by various pathogens that thrive in damp and humid conditions, which are often found in indoor environments.

 

Here are the most common fungal infections.

  1. Root rot

Its caused by overly wet soil and poor drainage. When the roots become saturated for extended periods, they become susceptible to attack by fungi like Pythium or Phytophthora.

As a result, the roots cannot efficiently absorb water and nutrients from the soil, leading to drooping and wilting leaves. 

 

How to combat Root Rot?

 

  • Start by ensuring proper drainage for your plant’s pot and avoid overwatering. Additionally, you can treat the affected plant with a fungicide specifically designed for houseplants.
  • Remove any visibly infected roots carefully using sterilized pruning shears before replanting your golden pothos in fresh soil. 

2. Bacterial leaf spot 


This infection manifests as dark brown or black lesions on the leaves, eventually causing them to droop and turn yellow. 


It can be introduced through contaminated water or through contact with infected plants or gardening tools.


How to combat Bacterial Leaf Spot?


  • Isolate infected plants from healthy ones to prevent further spread of the bacteria. 
  • Remove any visibly infected leaves promptly with clean pruning tools and dispose of them properly – do not compost them!
  • Regularly clean your gardening tools with a disinfectant solution made from one part bleach diluted in nine parts water before using them on other plants.

Repotting Stress

Repotting can sometimes cause a considerable amount of stress for pothos plants. When you remove the plant from its previous pot, there is a high chance of some root damage occurring. 

 

This damage can disrupt the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients efficiently, leading to drooping leaves.

 

Additionally, during the repotting process, roots may also be pruned or trimmed down to encourage new growth. This trimming can further contribute to temporary wilting until the plant establishes new healthy roots.

 

EXACTLY what you should do!

 

  • Make sure that you handle the roots with care during transplantation. Gently untangle any entwined roots without causing excessive damage.
  • Choose an appropriately sized pot—neither too big nor too small—for your pothos so that it has enough space for future growth
  • After repotting, monitor watering carefully as well; give your newly potted pothos some time to adjust before resuming regular watering routines.

Strategies to Revive Your Wilting Pothos

Yellow leaves of a dead plant
Ever wondered what happens when you neglect your plant?

Improve Air circualtion

It’s all about finding a balance between proper ventilation and avoiding extreme temperature fluctuations will go a long way in helping your pothos regain its vitality and combat droopiness effectively.

 

To do so, you can rearrange nearby objects, create space, or even consider a gentle fan.

Adjusted Watering Frequency

A drooping pothos may indicate either thirst or overwatering. If you’ve inadvertently strayed from your watering routine, whether by neglecting it or being overly generous, your plant could exhibit this drooping behavior.


Learn exactly how to water your pothos plant. You could simply be giving a thorough soak until water flows out of the drainage holes. Let the soil dry out completely before watering again.

Be sure to check the moisture level of the soil regularly, especially during hot weather or when the humidity is low. If the top inch of soil is dry, it’s time to water.

Optimal Placement​

This is all about understanding your pothos’ needs. Try different locations, and observe its reaction. Indirect light is ideal. Generally, the perfect spot combines indirect light and moderate temperatures. 

Pruning for Growth​

Regular pruning ensures that the plant’s energy is directed towards productive areas, promoting vigorous growth and preventing the accumulation of dead or damaged foliage.

 

Identify portions of the pothos vine that appear unhealthy or overgrown. Trimming back these sections will redirect energy to healthier areas and promote new growth.

Soil Replacement​

When it comes to reviving a wilting Pothos plant, one crucial aspect to consider is the soil. Often, drooping leaves can be attributed to poor soil conditions that hinder proper water drainage and nutrient absorption. 

 

To address this issue, it is essential to replace the soil with a fresh and well-draining mixture.

 

A recommended blend consists of equal parts peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, and high-quality potting soil. This combination ensures adequate drainage while retaining enough moisture for healthy root growth.

 

Soaking for Hydration

Soaking your wilting Pothos plant is another effective method to provide it with the hydration it desperately craves. When the soil becomes excessively dry, the roots are unable to absorb water efficiently, resulting in drooping pothos leaves.

 

  1. Gently remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots.
  2. Trim any rot or unhealthy roots with clean scissors or pruning shears.
  3. Place the Pothos plant in a container with room temperature water, ensuring roots are submerged but leaves and stems aren’t fully immersed.
  4. Soak for about 30 minutes to allow roots to absorb moisture.
  5. After soaking, let the plant drain thoroughly before repotting it with fresh, well-draining soil. 

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