Why Are My Pothos Leaves Curling? (6 Causes And Easy Fixes Included)

Pothos leaves curling

One issue that can cause problems for pothos growers is when their leaves begin to curl. 

Pothos leaves curling can be a sign that your plant is not getting the right amount of water, light, or nutrients.

In this post, we will explore some of the possible causes for pothos leaves curling and offer tips on how to treat this condition.

Pothos leaves curling

6 reasons why your pothos leaves are curling

Underwatering:

One of the most common reasons that pothos leaves will curl is because the plant is not getting enough water.

When a pothos is thirsty, its leaves will start to curl inward to conserve moisture.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that the plant is getting enough water regularly.

One way to tell if a pothos needs water is to check the soil; if it feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water the plant.

Another way to avoid underwatering is to use a self-watering pot or tray. This type of potting system will help to ensure that the plant always has access to moisture, even when you forget to water it yourself.

Solution to pothos leaves curling due to underwatering:

  • Water regularly, and
  • Use a self-watering pot to help prevent pothos leaves from curling due to underwatering.

Also, don’t forget to check out our detailed post on how to save underwatered pothos here!

Overfeeding or overfertilization

One such cause is overfertilization, which can result in a build-up of salts and nitrogen within the soil.

When this occurs, the plant is unable to take up sufficient water from the soil to support its basic functions.

This can lead to noticeable changes in leaf color and texture, as well as increased susceptibility to disease and pests. If you notice your pothos leaves curling and falling off as a result of overfertilization, it is important to take steps to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

This may involve either decreasing or stopping fertilizer applications altogether to allow the soil time to recover.

Solution to pothos leaves curling due to overfeeding:

  • Repot the plant in new soil
  • Fertilize only in the growing seasons or when required

Temperature stress

As anyone who has experienced the intense heat of summer can attest, the temperature can have a major impact on plant health.

The combination of hot, dry weather and scorching sunlight makes it difficult for plants to stay cool and hydrated, leading to several undesirable symptoms.

One such symptom is curling or drooping leaves, which indicates that the plant is experiencing significant temperature stress.

In particular, pothos leaves are especially prone to curling inward when exposed to extreme temperatures. This typically happens when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit or drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period.

Solution to pothos leaves curling due to temperature stress:

  • Put it in ideal conditions
  • Avoid providing them with too much sunlight
  • Do not place them near hot or cold things like air conditioning or heaters.

Root rot

The pothos plant is prized for its beautiful, trailing foliage. Unfortunately, all too often, gardeners will notice that the leaves of their pothos plants have started to curl or wither.

This can be caused by several different factors, but one of the most common reasons is root rot.

Root rot is a condition that occurs when excess water dams up and causes the roots of the plant to decay.

This eventually causes a build-up of harmful bacteria and fungi in the soil. To prevent root rot in a pothos plant, it is important to avoid over-watering and always make sure that there is adequate drainage and air circulation around the base of the plant.

Solution to pothos leaves curling due to root rot:

  • Water your plant lesser than what you do now,
  • Provide adequate drainage and air circulation
  • Repot into a new pot with new soil. Make sure to wash off the roots with the old soil.

How to repot because of root rot:

1. Remove the pot from the plant and assess the damage.

2. Wash off the old soil from the roots with clean water.

3. Trim away any roots that are black or mushy.

4. Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining potting mix.

5. Water the plant lightly and make sure to provide adequate drainage and air circulation.

Incorrect lightning

One of the most common reasons for pothos leaves to curl is incorrect lighting.

Too much light can cause pothos leaves to curl and yellow, which limits the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and results in poor growth.

For this reason, it is important to maintain optimum levels of light for your pothos. Pothos Ivy needs about 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight.

Ideally, you should place your plant somewhere with bright but indirect sunlight.

Alternatively, you can supplement the natural light by using a grow light.

Solution to pothos leaves curling due to incorrect lightning

  • Place your plant in an area with bright but indirect sunlight
  • Use a grow light to supplement the natural light if required

Insect infestation or disease

One of the most common reasons for pothos leaves curling is pests. Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are all common culprits.

  1. Mealybugs: White cotton ball-like creatures on the leaves
  2. Scale insects: Black spots or dark spots on stems and leaves
  3. Spider mites: Tiny red dots on the leaves
  4. Aphids: Green or Brown small insects on the leaves

These pests can cause leaves to curl by sucking the sap out of them. In severe cases, they can also cause foliage to discolor and drop off.

If you notice that your pothos leaves are curling, inspect them carefully for signs of pests or diseases. Treating the problem early on will give your plant the best chance of recovery.

Solution to pothos leaves curling due to infestation:

  • Always examine your plants closely for signs of pests or disease, and take steps to prevent infestations.
  • Manually remove pests by hand if possible
  • Use natural pesticides such as neem oil

Not enough moisture

If you notice your pothos leaves curling, it is likely due to one of two reasons: either the plant is not receiving enough moisture or it is receiving too much moisture.

Make sure to water your pothos regularly, and consider misting the plant with a spray bottle if it is kept in a dry environment. If you notice that the leaves are drooping or wilting, it may be an indication that your plant needs more water.

Remember, When a pothos is thirsty, its leaves will start to curl inward to conserve moisture. So when you see silver pothos leaves curling inwards, it is time to give it water.

If the leaves are curling upwards or towards the light, the problem is likely too much water.

Since pothos is a tropical plant, it prefers a high humidity- typically above 50%. 

Solution: Pothos leaves curling due to not enough moisture

  • Create a watering schedule and follow it diligently
  • Check the soil of your pothos regularly. If it is dry or cracked up, you want to water it
  • If you’re forgetting to water, use a watering globe or a watering pot to maintain moisture levels
  • Use a humidifier, pebble tray, or mist your plant with a spray bottle to increase the humidity around the plant

Not sure how much water your pothos plant need? Check this post to find how often to water the pothos plant and when to cut back!

FAQs: Pothos leaves curling

How do you fix curled pothos leaves?

There are a few possible reasons for pothos leaves curling, and the best way to fix the problem will depend on the cause.

If the leaves are curling due to temperature stress, put the plant in ideal conditions and avoid placing it near hot or cold things like air conditioning or heaters. If root rot is the issue, water the plant less frequently and provide adequate drainage and air circulation.

If the leaves are curling due to insect infestation or disease, inspect the plant closely for signs of pests or diseases, and take steps to prevent infestations and treat any infections early on. For pothos plants that are not receiving enough moisture, make sure to water the plant regularly, and consider misting the leaves with a spray bottle if necessary.

If you are experiencing curled pothos leaves, it is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your plant. Whether your issue is due to inadequate drainage, incorrect lighting conditions, pests or disease, or lack of moisture, taking steps to correct the problem will give your plant the best chance of recovery.

What does an overwatered pothos look like?

If you think your pothos is overwatered, there are a few signs to look for. The leaves will be drooping and wilting, the stem will be soft to the touch, the roots may be brown or black, and the plant may be producing less new growth.

If you suspect your pothos is overwatered, stop watering the plant and allow it to dry out for a few days.

This should encourage new growth and help revive your pothos.

You may also want to consider misting the leaves with a spray bottle if necessary or moving the plant to a location with higher humidity.

Overwatering is one of the most common causes of curled pothos leaves, so taking steps to prevent it can help keep your plant healthy and happy.

Can pothos recover from overwatering?

If your pothos is overwatered, the first step is to stop watering the plant and allow it to dry out for a few days. This should encourage new growth and help revive your pothos.

How to save pothos leaves from curling due to Transplant or repotting shock

If you see pothos leaves curling after repotting, then it may be because of a transplant shock.

This may be because your plant has been repotted recently or is experiencing a nutrient deficiency in its soil.

To correct the problem first, make sure that the plant is getting enough water and light.

Also, don’t move around your pot unnecessarily. Let it settle in one place.

If necessary, you can also supplement your plant’s soil with fresh potting mix to replace any drained nutrients.

If these measures do not help improve your plant’s health, it may be best to consult a gardener or horticulturist for further advice and tips on caring for pothos plants.

Conclusion: pothos leaves curling

Pothos plants are popular indoor plants that are generally easy to care for. However, one issue that can cause problems for pothos growers is when their leaves begin to curl.

Curled leaves can be caused by several factors, including temperature stress, incorrect lighting conditions, pests or disease, root rot, or lack of moisture.

If you notice your pothos leaves curling, it is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your plant.

The best way to fix the problem will depend on the cause.

Pothos leaves curling