Why Does My Pothos Have Small Leaves?

Often when people get a pothos plant it has been kept in a pot and pruned often by the nursery leading to a bushy Pothos plant with big leaves. But once the plant is growing at their house they notice that the new leaves along the vines are smaller than what the original leaves were. This often leads to the question of why the Pothos has small leaves? The reason that the leaves are now growing smaller is that many times the Pothos is being grown as a trailing plant in the home.

Why does my Pothos have Small Leaves

Why Are My Pothos New Leaves Smaller?

As Pothos plant vines grow new leaves begin to unfurl at the tip of the vine creating new growth. When the plant is trailing (allowing the vines to hang down) the leaves will grow smaller.

In order to get the plant to have larger size leaves you to have to get your Pothos to climb rather than allow your vines to hang down from the pot.

There is nothing wrong with the plant if you prefer to have the plant vines hang. Just keep in mind that the leaves will be smaller when allowing it to grow this way.

Pothos in pot with trailing vines.
When Pothos vines trail, the leaves are smaller.

How To Make Pothos Leaves Bigger

To get your Pothos to have bigger leaves on the vines as it grows you need to allow the vines to climb up something instead of hanging down and trailing out of the pot. Using a moss pole is the most popular method of getting a Pothos to climb. Other options can be homemade climbing ladders, a wooden stick, or even a curtain rod for the vines to wrap around and move up.

Also, make sure that your Pothos has a good amount of light to climb towards. The point of climbing for Pothos is to get to a better light source. In the tropical forests where these naturally grow they climb up the trees towards the sunlight. This is why when climbing the leaves get bigger, bigger leaves that get more light means better photosynthesis for the plant. The smaller leaves are down at the forest floor and they don’t get as much light so therefore don’t need to be as big.

Pothos plant climbing up a moss pole.
When Pothos are allowed to climb they grow bigger leaves.

If having your Pothos climb and a good light source doesn’t help the leaves grow big, then you might need to look closer at your fertilizing schedule for your plant. Pothos plants should be fertilized about two times per year, once in the spring and again in the summer during the growing season for the plant.

How To Care for a Pothos Plant

Do Pothos Leaves Get Bigger After Unfurling?

Yes, new Pothos leaves after unfurling do continue to grow in size as they mature, until they harden off.

It is normal for new leaves to be smaller than the other leaves after they initially unfurl. While the growth after unfurling won’t be too drastic, they will still grow a bit bigger for a time.

New growth and unfurling leaf on a marble queen pothos
New Growth on a Marble Queen Pothos

Initially, new leaves are small, thin, and lighter in color than the existing leaves on the vine. As they mature the size will increase somewhat and they will darken and become thicker.

Other Pothos Reading:

How to Propagate Pothos Plants in Water
Global Green Pothos Care
Why a Pothos is Dripping Water From The Leaves
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