Can Pothos Survive Winter? Essential Care Tips Explained

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Pothos, a popular indoor plant known for its hardiness, may struggle to survive the harsh conditions of winter. In this article, we’ll explore ways to help your pothos make it through the colder months.

Understanding Pothos Plant

General Characteristics

Pothos, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is a popular houseplant known for its hardiness and minimal maintenance requirements. It is characterized by its trailing vines adorned with heart-shaped leaves, which can display various shades of green or variegation. Pothos plants are often prized for their ability to purify the air and their adaptability to a range of environments. They are perfect for beginner gardeners and those with limited time.

Ideal Conditions

Pothos plants have certain preferences when it comes to their environment. Nonetheless, they can be quite resilient and adjust well to less-than-perfect conditions. Here are their ideal conditions:

  • Temperature: Pothos plants prefer a temperature range between 65-85°F (18-29°C) during the day and above 50°F (10°C) at night source. This tropical plant thrives in moderately warm settings; therefore, it is essential to protect them from cold drafts or freezing temperatures.
  • Light: These plants can tolerate various lighting conditions, from low to bright indirect light. However, it is important not to expose them to direct sunlight, as it may scorch their leaves.
  • Water: Pothos plants should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s crucial to allow the soil to partially dry out between waterings.
  • Humidity: As tropical plants, pothos appreciate a moderately humid environment. However, they can tolerate the average household humidity levels. If you find that the air in your home is too dry, consider misting the plant or using a humidifier.
  • Soil and Fertilizer: A well-draining soil mix is essential for the health of your pothos plant. You can use a standard indoor potting mix, and adding perlite or similar materials will improve drainage. Fertilizing your pothos during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer will encourage robust growth.

Pothos can indeed survive winter, but they require a little extra care during those colder months source. It is important to remember that pothos may go dormant during winter and not grow as much source. Proper care and attention to temperature, lighting, watering, humidity, and fertilizing will help ensure your pothos plant remains healthy and vibrant throughout the winter season.

Winter Challenges for Pothos

Temperature Drops

Pothos plants prefer moderately warm temperatures, typically between 70-90°F (21-32°C) for optimum growth (source). During winter, temperatures can drop significantly, posing a challenge for pothos survival. Indoor pothos should be kept at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure their well-being (source). When exposed to cold temperatures, pothos plants may go dormant, with minimal growth occurring during this period (source).

Reduced Light

Another challenge pothos plants face during winter is reduced light. Pothos thrives in indirect light, but with shorter daylight hours, they receive less light than in other seasons. To help pothos cope with reduced light, place them near a bright window to maximize the available sunlight. This will ensure that the plant receives enough light to support its growth and overall health (source).

Humidity Changes

Winter’s lower humidity levels can also affect pothos plants. Heated indoor environments may cause humidity levels to drop, which can lead to the plant’s leaves losing moisture and becoming dry or crispy. To maintain the necessary moisture levels for the pothos plant, consider using a humidifier in the room where the plant is kept. Alternatively, placing a tray filled with water and pebbles beneath the plant pot can provide additional humidity as the water evaporates. Ensuring adequate humidity levels will help the pothos plant thrive, even during the winter months (source).

Protecting Pothos in Winter

Indoor Care Tips

Pothos plants are tropical and thrive in temperatures between 70-90°F (21-32°C). During the winter months, it’s essential to keep them in a warm environment. To ensure your indoor pothos survives winter, move it away from windows and cold drafts. Place the plant near a bright window, as this will help it receive adequate light during the shorter winter days.

Adjust your watering schedule during wintertime, aiming to water the pothos less frequently than in warmer months. It’s important to maintain proper hydration, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. You can also apply a slow-release fertilizer in the fall to support your plant’s growth through winter.

Outdoor Care Tips

If you live in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12, outdoor pothos plants may survive winter if properly maintained. For those in cooler zones, it’s best to bring your pothos indoors before temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C).

For outdoor care in suitable hardiness zones, make sure the pothos stays hydrated and has adequate drainage to prevent root rot from overly wet conditions. Keep the plant sheltered from harsh weather, such as heavy rain or snow, to help reduce the risk of damage. If you expect very cold temperatures, consider insulating the plant using a frost cloth or mulching around the base to help maintain warmth.

Signs of Pothos Struggling in Winter

Leaf Discoloration

During winter, pothos plants might experience leaf discoloration, which is a clear sign they are struggling in the cold season. Leaf discoloration can manifest as yellowing or browning of the leaves. This usually happens when the plant experiences lower temperatures than it prefers, as pothos thrive in 70-90°F (21-32°C) environments. One way to address this issue is to move the plant to a warmer area, away from drafty windows and cold spots in your home during winter months.

Drooping Stems

Another sign of a pothos struggling during winter is drooping stems, which can indicate insufficient light or improper watering. In the winter, the amount of sunlight decreases, and pothos plants may require more direct sunlight to thrive. Ensure that your pothos receives adequate indirect light by placing it near a bright window. Additionally, pothos should be watered properly, which during winter means only watering as much as necessary to keep the soil moist. Overwatering can also cause drooping stems, so it’s important to adjust your watering frequency, considering around once every 4 weeks in winter.

To help your pothos plant survive and thrive during winter, take measures such as providing appropriate lighting, maintaining an ideal temperature, and adjusting your watering schedule. By keeping an eye on signs like leaf discoloration and drooping stems, you can address potential issues and keep your pothos healthy throughout the cold season.

Reviving a Struggling Pothos

Trimming Damaged Parts

When facing a struggling Pothos during winter, the first step is to trim any damaged or unhealthy parts of the plant. This involves carefully removing any yellowed or brown leaves, as well as cutting back any weak or mushy stems. Doing so will help the plant focus its energy on the healthy sections that can regrow and thrive.

Adjusting Care

A struggling Pothos plant during winter may require a few adjustments to its care routine.


First, ensure the plant is receiving sufficient indirect light by moving it to a medium-light spot. Pothos plants prefer moderately warm temperatures, usually 70-90°F (21-32°C), as well as indirect light source. It is essential to avoid direct sunlight, which may scorch the leaves.


Next, examine the humidity around the plant, as low humidity can negatively affect a Pothos plant’s health. Boost the humidity by placing a tray of water with pebbles next to the plant or using a humidifier to create a more comfortable environment source.


The proper watering schedule during winter is essential for Pothos health. Overwatering can lead to root rot, but allowing the soil to dry slightly before watering can prevent this issue. It may be helpful to water your Pothos plant every four weeks during winter months source.


Lastly, protect Pothos from cold temperatures by keeping them indoors or in climate-controlled greenhouses source. Exposure to cold weather can severely harm the plant, so maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial.

With proper care adjustments and trimming, a struggling Pothos plant can be revived during winter and regain its health.

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