Pothos plants, also known as devil’s ivy or golden pothos, are a popular choice for indoor gardening due to their ability to thrive in a variety of conditions.
However, even with proper care, Pothos plants can encounter a number of issues, one of which is the pothos leaves turning white.
In this article, we will explore the causes of Pothos leaves turning white, how to identify the cause, and solutions to address the problem.
Pothos Leaves Turning White Cause#1: Lack of Light
One of the most common causes of Pothos leaves turning white is lack of light.
Pothos plants require moderate to bright indirect light to thrive. If the plant is not getting enough light, the chlorophyll in the leaves starts to break down, and the leaves will start to turn pale and eventually turn white. This is a sign that the plant is not getting the energy it needs for photosynthesis to occur.
To fix this issue, move your plant to a location where it will receive more light. A south or east-facing window is ideal, as it will provide bright indirect light throughout the day.
If you don’t have a window that gets enough light, you can also use grow lights to supplement the light. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grow lights and make sure that the lights are not too close to the plant, as this can cause leaf burn.
Pothos Leaves Turning White Cause #2: Over-watering
Another cause of pothos leaves turning white is over-watering.
Pothos plants prefer well-drained soil and do not like to be constantly wet. When the soil is consistently wet, it can lead to root rot, and the roots will start to suffocate. As a result, the leaves will start to turn pale and eventually turn white. This is a sign that the plant is not getting the oxygen it needs to survive.
To fix this issue, be sure to allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering. A good rule of thumb is to wait until the top inch of the soil is dry before watering again.
Another way to check if the plant needs watering is to stick your finger into the soil and if it feels moist, it’s probably not time to water yet.
Additionally, ensure that the drainage holes in the pot are clear, to prevent water from sitting in the bottom of the pot.
Pothos Leaves Turning White Cause #3: Pest Infestation
Another common cause of pothos leaves turning white is pest infestation.
Common pests such as spider mites and mealybugs can suck the sap out of the leaves, leaving them pale and eventually turning white. These pests can be hard to spot at first, but if you notice a web-like substance on the leaves or small white bugs, it is likely that your Pothos plant is infested.
To fix this issue, use an insecticide specifically formulated for indoor plants. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and make sure to apply the insecticide to the undersides of the leaves, as this is where the pests tend to hide.
You can also use neem oil or horticultural oil to control the pests.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for other signs of infestation such as discolouration or wilting of the leaves.
Additionally, isolate the infected plant from other plants, to prevent the pests from spreading.
Pothos Leaves Turning White Cause#4: Nutrient Deficiencies
Pothos plants require a well-balanced fertilizer to thrive. If the plant is not getting the necessary nutrients, the leaves will start to turn pale and eventually white. This is a sign that the plant is not getting the essential nutrients it needs to grow and survive.
To fix this issue, be sure to fertilize the plant regularly and use a balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for indoor plants. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and use the appropriate amount for the size of your plant.
Additionally, a soil test can also help you identify any nutrient deficiencies in your soil.
Pothos Leaves Turning White Cause#5: Other Environmental Factors
Other environmental factors such as low humidity or exposure to cold drafts can also cause pothos leaves to turn white.
Pothos plants prefer moderate humidity levels, and low humidity can cause the leaves to turn pale and eventually white.
Cold drafts can also cause the leaves to turn white, as the plant is not able to tolerate exposure to cold temperatures.
To fix this issue, keep the plant in a location with moderate humidity levels. A humidity tray or a humidifier can help maintain the humidity levels.
Additionally, keep the plant away from cold drafts, such as air conditioning vents or windows.
How to Identify the Cause of Pothos Leaves Turning White
Overall Plant Health
The first step in identifying the cause of Pothos leaves turning white is to observe the overall health of the plant. Take note of any other symptoms, such as yellowing leaves or wilted stems, which can help pinpoint the cause.
For example, if the leaves are yellow and the stem is wilted, it is likely that the plant is overwatered. If the leaves are pale and the stem is not wilted, it is likely that the plant is not getting enough light.
Examine the Soil & Check the Drainage
Another way to identify the cause of pothos leaves turning white is to examine the soil and the drainage. Check the soil for signs of over-watering, such as standing water or a musty smell.
Also, check the drainage holes in the pot to ensure that they are not clogged.
Additionally, examine the leaves for signs of pest infestation, such as web-like substances or small white bugs.
It’s also important to consider environmental factors, such as humidity levels and exposure to cold drafts. If the plant is located in an area with low humidity or exposed to cold drafts, it can cause the leaves to turn white.
Lastly, nutrient deficiencies can also cause Pothos leaves to turn white. If the plant is not getting the necessary nutrients, the leaves will start to turn pale and eventually white. A soil test can help you identify any nutrient deficiencies in your soil.
How to Maintain Healthy Pothos Plants
To maintain healthy Pothos plants, be sure to provide them with moderate to bright indirect light, well-drained soil, and a balanced fertilizer. Keep an eye out for pests and maintain moderate humidity levels. If the problem persists despite your efforts, it may be best to seek professional help.