Why Is My Pothos Not Growing? Top Causes and Solutions

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If you’ve noticed that your Pothos plant has stopped growing or its growth has significantly slowed down, you may be wondering what’s going wrong. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why Pothos may not be growing and offer some tips on how to get it growing again.

Common Causes for Pothos Not Growing

Insufficient Light

Pothos plants require proper lighting conditions to grow healthily. A lack of sufficient light is a common cause for stunted growth. Pothos thrive in bright, indirect light, which helps them grow at an average rate. Make sure your pothos receives adequate lighting to encourage growth and prevent any slowdowns due to limited light exposure.(source)

Inadequate Watering

Another common reason for pothos not growing is improper watering. Both overwatering and underwatering can negatively impact your pothos plant’s growth. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plant to become stressed and sluggish. It is crucial to find the right balance for your pothos and ensure it receives regular watering.

Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature plays a significant role in the health and growth of your pothos plant. If exposed to temperatures that are either too hot or too cold, the plant may become stressed and stop growing. The ideal temperature range for a pothos is between 70 and 90°F (21-32°C). Make sure to maintain stable temperatures within this range to avoid any adverse effects on your plant’s growth(source).

Poor Soil Quality

Pothos plants need nutrient-rich and well-aerated soil to grow properly. If the soil is lacking in nutrients or heavy, your pothos might struggle to grow. They prefer a soil pH level between 6.1 to 6.5, although they can tolerate some variations. Providing your pothos with a suitable soil mix is essential for its overall health and growth(source).

How to Improve Pothos Growth

Improving the growth of your pothos plant involves addressing some key factors, such as the location, watering methods, temperature, and soil nutrition. Below are some tips on how to enhance the growth of your pothos by optimizing these conditions.

Choose the Right Location

Pothos plants require bright, indirect light to grow at a healthy rate. Direct sunlight may cause them to overheat and stop growing. Therefore, it is crucial to position your pothos in a spot with partial sunlight, ensuring it receives enough light to thrive without getting burnt. You can also place it in a shaded area if it has been exposed to excessive sunlight.

Adjust Watering Methods

Improper watering, either too much or too little, can hinder the growth of your pothos plant. Overwatering may lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the plant to dry out. To prevent these issues, monitor the soil’s moisture level before watering your plant. It should be slightly damp, but not wet. Make sure to use a well-draining pot and let the excess water drain out completely after watering.

Maintain Optimal Temperature

Pothos plants thrive when grown in a temperature range below 85 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees at most). Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your plant is kept away from direct sunlight and heat sources, such as vents and radiators, to maintain an optimal temperature. Regularly check the temperature around your plant and adjust it as necessary to promote healthy growth.

Enhance Soil Nutrition

Like all houseplants, pothos needs sufficient nutrients to support its growth. If your plant’s growth is stunted, there might be a lack of nutrients in the soil. To resolve this issue, add a balanced liquid fertilizer to your plant’s watering routine every 4-6 weeks. This will provide your pothos with the necessary nutrients to improve its growth and overall health.

Signs of Pothos Health Issues

Yellowing Leaves

One common sign of health issues in pothos plants is yellowing leaves. This is often caused by problems with moisture and watering, usually due to overwatering. Pothos plants don’t thrive in soggy soil and prefer the top quarter of the soil to be dry before being watered again. When watering, make sure the soil is evenly damp, and avoid making it too wet (HappySprout).


Wilting is another sign of potential health issues in pothos plants. It can result from poor growing conditions, such as a lack of sufficient light or nutrients, diseases, pests, or humidity stress (Garden for Indoor). Make sure to provide bright, indirect light and proper nutrients for your pothos plant to help it grow healthily.

Root Rot

Root rot is a more severe health issue that can affect pothos plants. It is generally caused by excessive moisture in the soil and poor drainage, leading to fungal or bacterial infections. Symptoms of root rot may include brown, mushy roots and a foul smell. To prevent root rot, ensure proper drainage and avoid overwatering. If you suspect root rot, it may be necessary to trim the affected roots and repot the plant in fresh soil (Houseplant Authority).

Preventive Measures

Preventing the issue of pothos not growing includes taking several measures that encompass regular care, pest control, and bedding inspections. By addressing these areas, you can ensure the healthy growth of your pothos.

Regular Care

Maintaining a proper environment and taking care of your pothos plant regularly plays a crucial role in its growth. Ensure that the plant receives adequate lighting, as pothos thrive in bright but indirect sunlight (The Practical Planter). Moreover, provide sufficient water without overwatering, since too much or too little water can lead to slow growth. Additionally, the optimal temperature for pothos is between 70°F and 90°F (21-32°C), so keep your plant within this range to maintain consistent growth (Nature of Home).

Pest Control

Keeping pests at bay is essential to ensure that pothos can grow without stress. Inspect your plant for common pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, as these can hinder the growth of the plant. In case you notice any infestation, use plant-safe insecticides or natural solutions like neem oil to treat the plant and prevent further damage.

Bedding Inspections

Checking the condition of the plant’s bedding, which includes the soil and pot or container, is also important for preventing growth issues. Use a well-draining potting mix and ensure that the pot has drainage holes, as this promotes a healthy root environment. Additionally, make sure to repot the pothos once every couple of years, or when you notice its roots outgrowing the current pot (Garden for Indoor). Regular inspection and repotting can help avoid issues related to poor nutrient absorption, root rot, or limited growth space, ultimately supporting the healthy growth of your pothos plant.

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