Specific Houseplants

Why Are My Pothos Leaves Curling?

Pothos leaves curling can be due to many reasons

Did you pick up a pothos based on the fact that they are pretty independent and low maintenance, only to find that your pothos leaves are curling like crazy?

I went through a similar situation when my beautiful silver pothos leaves started curling down. So, I’ve been there, done that. Without further ado, let’s dive in to why your pothos leaves might be curling and shriveling.

You’re Under-Watering

Everything to know about watering your houseplants.

The amount of water you give to your pothos can have a significant impact on its long-term health. A lot of houseplant novices tend to make the mistake of under-watering their pothos. They think that because it’s a low-maintenance houseplant, that it’s practically un-killable.

Even though pothos plants prefer their soil drying out between watering rounds, you should water them at least enough that the soil is wet to about 1″ deep or so. Pothos tend to grow the most when you make sure their soil is evenly moist (but not soaked) all of the time.

If your pothos plant gets little to no water, it will start curling in an attempt to preserve moisture. Water them once every week or two, depending on some of the variables in the above video. Check the moisture level of the soil by placing your index finger at least an inch below the surface.

Now, how do you make sure that you are not under-watering your pothos consistently? Simply note how long it takes for the soil of your pothos to dry out after a round of watering and set yourself a reminder or plan a schedule for it.

Also, like most houseplants, pothos require more water during summers than in winters, so make sure to adjust your watering schedule according to the weather conditions and the changing seasons.

You’re Overwatering

Overwatering your Pothos can cause their roots to rot! Overwatering leads to waterlogged soil, and pothos roots can’t survive for long in saturated soil. Once your plant roots start rotting, all the water and nutrients needed by your pothos to survive are unable to reach to the plant stems and leaves. This causes them to curl in an attempt to retain water. The plant is basically being “under watered by overwatering” if that makes sense. Dead roots = no ability to draw up water.

You can avoid this overwatering problem by placing your pothos in pots with drainage holes. If you don’t have those, then simply add a drainage tray to your pot. This allows the excess water to quickly drain from the soil before it reaches the roots of your plant.

Don’t put gravel in the bottom of your pots, by the way.

If only the leaf tips are curling down, it is a good sign. It shows that the root rot is still in its early stages and you can save your precious plant. You’ll simply have to take your pothos out of its pot and investigate its roots. Healthy roots are white in color.

Simply use a pruner or scissors to remove all the brown hued, rotting roots. Once you have snipped off all the rotting roots, wash your tool and replant your pothos in fresh soil.

It’s Too Hot

You will also notice your pothos plant leaves curling if the temperature of the room they are in is too hot. The foliage will start to curl down at the tips if temperatures aren’t in the range of 65-85 ºF (18-29°C). Temperatures that fall outside this range just put more stress on your plant and hinder its growth.

The placement of your plant plays a key role in its exposure to heat. For instance, try to avoid placing your pothos plant in direct sunlight. Another common mistake is to place it in an area that gets a hot reflection throughout the day, or not enough airflow so the temperature rises in the middle of teh day.

Too Little or Too Much Light

If your pothos plant is healthy, it should have wide, flat leaves that are naturally grown in a direction that faces the source of light. However, if your leaves are curling toward or reaching in the direction of the light, it is a sign that your leaves are not exposed to enough natural light.

You can try to fix this problem by placing your potted pothos in a spot that gets more natural light throughout the day. However, if the leaves are curling away from the source of light it is a sign of overexposure. In this case, simply put your potted pothos in an area that receives less direct sunlight.

If you want to learn more about pothos, feel free to check out my full care guide:

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