Underwatered vs Overwatered Pothos

Many problems that come up with Pothos plants can stem from the fact that it is either an underwatered or overwatered Pothos. In fact, many times an underwatered Pothos can look just like an overwatered Pothos. So it is important to be able to differentiate the difference between the two states and care for your Pothos correctly. In this article, we go over how to tell the difference between the two, underwatered vs overwatered Pothos plants, and what you can do about it.

Underwatered vs Overwatered Pothos

Underwatered or Overwatered Pothos Plants

While Pothos plants are well known for their tolerance of neglect as a houseplant, watering plays a crucial role in the health of your Pothos plant.

Underwatering can happen often for new Pothos owners who aren’t used to keeping up with the watering needs of a plant. Overwatering can easily happen for those who tend to water plants too much.

There is a delicate balance that you need to keep for the water level in the soil of your plants. You want to allow the first few inches of the soil your Pothos is in to dry between watering. But you also don’t want to keep it in soggy soil constantly.

Yellowing leaves are the most common sign that something is starting to go wrong with your Pothos. Not only can yellowing leaves be a sign of water issues, but it can also be a sign of other things such as pest infestation or soil quality issues.

The moisture level of the soil when you start seeing signs of problems with your Pothos plant is going to be the main determining factor as to whether the plant is overwatered or underwatered. Stick your finger into the soil to see how it feels. This is the best way to test the soil as moisture meters can’t always be relied upon.

Specific Pothos Care Guides:

Underwatered Pothos Signs

  • Yellowing Leaves with brown dry spots or edges
  • Wilting leaves that dry out.
  • Very dry soil.
  • Sections of vine with no leaves.

If you start to notice that your Pothos plant is getting yellow leaves that end up having dry brown spots or dry brown edges, this can be an indication that the plant is underwatered.

These yellowing leaves will continue to wilt away and become dry brown leaves. If left to continue you will start to see large sections of the Pothos vines without leaves on them.

And of course, with all of these signs of an underwatered Pothos, you will also have dry soil. If the soil is not dry and is wet with these symptoms then you will want to look at why your Pothos is overwatered and/or not uptaking any water.

If you notice these signs of an underwatered Pothos you need to increase the amount and frequency of watering the plant.

Overwatered Pothos Signs

  • Yellowing Leaves
  • Soft and Mushy feeling leaves that turn brown.
  • Soil does not seem to dry out between waterings.
  • Constantly Dripping water from its leaves.

Yellowing leaves that start to get soft and mushy along with moist or wet soil is an indication that your Pothos is overwatered. If this is the case you need to dry out your overwatered Pothos and perhaps repot the plant.

An overwatered Pothos can lead to root rot if allowed to continue for a period of time. It is important to catch the signs of an overwatered Pothos before it gets to the point of having root rot. If you do end up with root rot, try repotting your Pothos and also take a cutting to propagate a new Pothos plant.

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