7 Reasons Why Golden Pothos Turn Yellow (And What to Do About It)

For beginner gardeners or anyone who doesn’t want a lot of commitment when it comes to taking care of plants, golden pothos are a favorite. These plants don’t need a lot of maintenance, meaning they don’t die after a little bit of not being tended to. 

However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t develop problems from time to time. They do, one of the most common ones being turning yellow. Although plants may start yellowing as a natural growth phase, they may do so for other reasons too.

Figuring out what to do when your plants are turning yellow is just one step to saving and keeping them alive. If you are wondering why your golden pothos are turning yellow, read on to find out.

7 Reasons Why Golden Pothos Turn Yellow

1. Inadequate Light

Since many people know that golden pothos don’t need a lot of light to grow properly, they tend to assume that the plant can grow anywhere, even in extremely dark places. Unfortunately, the plants will start turning yellow since they still need light, although not in high amounts. To solve the problem, move the plant near a window or any other place with sufficient natural lighting. 

2. Excess Light

Excess light is not good for golden pothos as well. If the plant is exposed to a heated vent or direct sunlight, it might dry and turn yellow. Golden pothos do well in shady areas that receive light beams. Move your plant to a shady place with no direct sunlight to help it get its natural color back. 

Avoid putting them near a southern facing window, too, as it exposes them to a lot of direct sunlight. If you have to place the plants near a window, make sure it’s covered with curtains to block some light.

3. Excess Water

Overwatering pothos is one of the most common causes of yellowing in golden pothos. Excess water is usually associated with insufficient lighting. If your plant is in a dark place, it will not absorb water as it should. 

That means even if you water it routinely, it’ll still not absorb water. That leads to the accumulation of water at the bottom of the plant, making the roots drown. They are then unable to absorb the available moisture and nutrients. 

Don’t kill your plant with excess kindness. Avoid adding excess water to the plant or move it to a properly lighted area to solve the problem. Also, make sure that the pot you’re using has good drainage to prevent waterlogging. Reduce the watering frequency during the winter season as plants don’t lose too much water at this time. 

4. Inadequate Water

Just like adding excess water to the plant does harm to it, inadequate watering does the same. If underwatering is the problem, the leaves will turn crispy as they yellow. The vines will also appear droopy. 

Add enough water to the plant to correct the problem. When it comes to golden pothos, you have to be very careful when watering. Only do it when the soil gets dry. Use your finger to touch the top part of the soil to feel if it’s dry or moist.

5. Lack of Enough Nutrients

Golden pothos, just like any other plant, need sufficient nutrients for growth. Although they don’t require a lot of fertilizer, feeding them every two months is recommendable since potting soil does not always have the nutrients necessary for growth. 

If they don’t get the nutrients they need, they might start turning yellow or even die. Some of these nutrients include phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and iron. Some of the signs that yellowing is a result of insufficient nutrients include yellowing at the edges only and at the bottom part. 

Add some fertilizer to your plant to provide the nutrients and get rid of the yellowing. It’s also good to note that adding excess fertilizer is not good for the plant as well. Some chemicals available in the fertilizer, when available in excess, can make it difficult for the plant to absorb nutrients appropriately. Follow the instructions in the fertilizer package to ensure you only add the required amounts. You can choose either organic or inorganic fertilizers, as long as they have the nutrients the plant needs.

6. Pests

Golden pothos also get affected by pests, although that’s not a common issue. Most of the time, unhealthy and neglected plants are the ones that are easily infested. They may be attacked by pests like mealybugs and spider mites which suck the sap out of the plant, causing yellowing. 

It’s easy to identify when the plant has been affected by pests if they are visible. Isolate them to prevent the spread to other healthy plants and get a pesticide to get rid of the pests. It’s easy to get rid of pests in plants at their early stages. That’s why you should inspect them, even when there are no signs such as yellowing or withering. 

7. Fungal Diseases

When growing pothos, you have to practice proper watering as it prevents a lot of problems. If you constantly overwater your plants, water accumulates in the soil, making it damp exposing it to fungal diseases. 

Misting your indoor pothos may also make the stems and leaves damp, making them develop fungal diseases. Avoid overwatering your plants or misting them occasionally to prevent the development of these diseases.

Should I Remove Yellow Leaves from Pothos?

It’s advisable to remove the yellow leaves of pothos, especially if the yellowing has been caused by root rot, pests, or diseases. This prevents the spread of the problem to other healthy plants. Remember to disinfect the scissors before and after use. Within no time, the plant will develop new and healthy leaves. Getting rid of yellow leaves also enhances the aesthetic appearance of the plants.

If you don’t remove the leaf and it has completely turned yellow, it will still fall off from the plant and dry. 

Can Yellow Pothos Leaves Turn Green?

If a leaf of a pothos turns completely yellow, it’s a bit hard to make it turn green again. If the yellowing is only partial, it can turn to green if you fix the problem causing the discoloration. That should not worry you since a few yellow leaves don’t mean that the plant is going to die. You can easily cut them, and the plant will develop other healthy leaves only if you take good care of it and get rid of all its stressors.

While golden pothos don’t need a lot of attention to grow, they also require some minimal maintenance. If you realize that the leaves of the plant have started changing their color to yellow, try and determine the problem causing it and fix it before it’s too late.

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