7 Common Causes Of Holes In Pothos Leaves And Solutions

Pothos always remain among the most favorite indoor plants thanks to their gorgeous leaves. However, holes in pothos leaves will ruin all the beauty that nature gives them.

So, what can you do in this case? You can blame this plant problem for numerous reasons. Once you’ve determined the causes, you can find the solutions easily.

If you don’t know where to start, we will lead your way. Let’s check our guide and learn how to give your plants the best treat!

Why Are There Holes In Pothos Leaves?

Check for the following issues if you notice pothos plant holes in leaves. They may be the cause of your problem.

Liriomyza Melanogaster

Liriomyza melanogaster is one of the insects that could destroy your plant’s lovely leaves. Because they are night lovers, you can’t find them during the day.

If you suspect these obnoxious bugs are making holes in your pothos, you can visit a plant store and purchase Phoxim or other insecticides to deter them permanently. Also, be sure to get rid of any affected leaves.

It is advisable to eliminate more than 25% of the plant leaves at once, even if the entire pothos is sick.


Remind how often you relocate your plant and change your room decoration. Your plant will suffer from wear and tear if you carry out these tasks regularly.

You may unintentionally hurt the leaf blade or inner tissues. You can’t see them immediately, but they will become apparent in a few days.

There’s a chance of a baby plant getting damaged. When it grows up, the holes appear. Such a thing can happen when you move your plant around your house.

Repotting and moving may harm your pothos- holes in pothos leavesRepotting and moving may harm your pothos 

Leaf spot disease

Leaf spot disease always starts as tiny, little, harmless spots on a few leaves.

Several adjacent leaves also develop similar brown stains as a result of it. Later, as the illness progresses, the holes show up in the leaves.

Infected pothos can spread the illness to other healthy plants. Therefore, as soon as you spot them, cut the leaves off the plant and destroy them immediately.

Moreover, there are several medications to cure the disease completely. Plant aficionados also advise lightly disinfecting your plant every two months.

Shot hole disease

Shot hole disease can occur on fruit plants and indoor pothos. If you often keep your plant in moist soil, it may lead to the disease.

Shot hole disease thrives in wet conditions. Once it grows, the newly emerging leaves will encounter a huge problem.

At the early stage, you can see reddish or purple spots on the pothos leaves. They will become more apparent over time and appear as holes.

Watering plays a vital role in controlling this disease. Only water your plant when the top inches of the soil are dry.

You can also use some perlite to boost the aeration of the plant pot.

holes in pothos leaves- The plant may have diseasesThe plant may have diseases

Lack of moisture

If only new leaves have holes, your house’s humidity levels are the issue. Pothos don’t like dry environments; they demand a high humidity level.

The leaves ridges seem to get crisper and lose water when the humidity is low.

Moreover, they can stick to each other when fresh leaves emerge. Because of their inflexibility, fresh leaves will be more prone to the unfurling process.

Pothos leaves develop small to large holes as a result of the early damage.

You can buy a humidifier and put it next to your plant to improve the situation. If you can’t afford this device, use a water bowl as an alternative.

Excessive fertilization

Overfertilization can change the soil’s normal pH levels and dramatically increase the salt content, which can scorch the leaves. The bad soil will even damage the plant tissues.

So, if your leaves are either developing holes or becoming black, stop applying fertilizer for a while.

Another thing to note is that holes in pothos leaves are common among planters who routinely use granular nitrogen fertilizers. Hence, choosing the right type of fertilizer for your plant is important.

If your pothos is flourishing without vitamins, do not fertilize it. And if you think it’s necessary, always choose liquid nutrients and meticulously check the label for the recommended dose.

holes in pothos leaves- Fertilizers are not good when applied too muchFertilizers are not good when applied too much


Insects, like bush crickets and caterpillars, are nightmares for pothos. They will infest your plants and leave holes in the leaves.

  • Bush crickets: Pothos leaves with holes are the result of bush crickets eating your plant. They will also lay eggs in the soil.
  • Caterpillars: These leaf miners feed on their host plant when they hatch. They can eat an entire leaf.
  • Slugs and snails: These animals are not insects. Yet, they have the same negative effects on your plant as caterpillars and bush crickets. They eat your pothos, leaving small or medium holes in the foliage.

Read more:

holes in pothos leaves- Caterpillars can eat an entire leafCaterpillars can eat an entire leaf 

How to Prevent Holes in Pothos Leaves?

We have mentioned the causes for pothos holes in leaves and some effective solutions. Yet, there are still other methods for preventing this problem.

Use organic solutions

Organic solutions do an excellent job of eliminating pests and keeping your plants healthy. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Neem oil: This natural solution can deal with annoying leaf miners. You should dilute the oil and spray it on your plant every month.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Use the diluted vinegar to wipe the pothos leaves, and you can prevent pests.
  • Dish soap: A mixture of water and dish soap can eliminate mites and bugs in your plant.

Change the potting mix.

It might be advisable to change the potting mix if the Liriomyza Melanogaster is killing your pothos leaves.

An insecticide only might not be sufficient to entirely eradicate the pests.

Luckily, potting mix is fairly pest-resistant. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the roots with water before placing the potting mix.

holes in pothos leaves- The potting mix is important for your pothosThe potting mix is important for your pothos

Deal with physical damage

Physical harm may happen while the plant is still growing. The leaves are still weak to withstand the damage.

  • To minimize physical damage, bear in mind these tips:
  • Do it with caution if you need to move or repot the plant.
  • Leave enough distance between the pothos and other plants when growing them outside.
  • Keep the pothos indoors, far from the kids’ playground. Make sure your pets can’t get to the plants too.

Control pests

If pests are the causes for the holes in your Pothos leaves, apply these tips to remove pests and prevent them from destroying the entire plant.

  • Use parasitic wasps in your outdoor pothos.
  • Spray the insecticide at night to kill liriomyza melanogaster because it’s nocturnal.
  • Clean snails and slugs by hand if you spot them. Another way to set up a trap is to place a plate filled with beer next to the bottom of the plants. The beer can lure the snails and slugs, who drown in it.
  • Turn off the lights at night if bush crickets cause holes in pothos leaves.
  • If you can’t kill pests, let their predators do it. Introducing spiders, birds, lizards, or cats is a good idea.
  • Handpick and throw caterpillars away. You can also use parasitic wasps for this purpose.

Dealing with malnutrition

Your plant needs boric acid. You can dilute it and feed it to your plant every one or two months. Remember to water pothos anytime you fertilize.

Apply sufficient amounts of diluted fertilizer each month as well. Overfertilizing the pothos can lead to mineral excess, so avoid doing it.

If you use too much fertilizer, remove the pothos from the pot, give the roots a thorough scrubbing to clear any extra minerals, and repot it.

Control leaf disease

Leaf spot results from fungal or bacterial infection, and overwatering is the primary reason for the disease. So how to water your plant correctly?

  • Do not mist the plant or apply water straight onto the soil.
  • Aerate the potting soil frequently before watering your plant.
  • Only water if the top two inches of the soil are dry.
  • Improve ventilation in your plant by spacing and pruning it.
  • Prune all the infected leaves to prevent the infection from spreading.

holes in pothos leaves- Learn how to water your plant properlyLearn how to water your plant properly


Pothos with holes in leaves will be bad and terrible for the entire plant’s development. As a result, treat the pothos with holes using our guides right when you notice them.

Hopefully, you will have healthy and gorgeous pothos as you expect. Please let us know if you have any problems while growing your plant. We will be glad to help.

Thank you for reading!

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

I’m Kelly Lawrence, two years after graduating with a Journalism major, I had the opportunity to apply my experiences to become the founder and executive content writer of this gardening blog.