7 Causes Your Pothos Leaves Turning White (with Solutions)

There may be affiliate links in this content. For details, please see our disclosure.

Because pothos plants require little maintenance and may flourish in a variety of environments, they are among the most popular indoor plants. However, as their plant’s leaves begin to turn white, you are unsure of what went wrong and what you should do. This sign might be caused by a lot of factors and each one has its right solution. The following information can help you find out the precise reasons and how to prevent your plant leaves from turning white.

How Do Leaves That Turn White Look Like?

Leaf discoloration has different signs, depending on the causes. For example, the green color of Pothos leaves may turn pale and white due to overwatering and lack of light. You may notice Pothos leaves changing colors sometimes due to inappropriate humidity.

Luckily, you can save your plant. But it’s necessary to identify the cause first to come up with the right solutions.

Causes And How To Fix

Losing green pigments is a common problem when Pothos plants don’t have the optimal conditions for their growth. We have listed some potential reasons for the issue and how to fix them.

Water

The pale hue of Pothos leaves may be the consequence of overwatering. The roots can’t get enough nutrients and oxygen while the soil has got saturated. Then, your plant will have root rot.

Damaged and rotten roots indicate they are no longer functional, even if root rot takes time to propagate across the entire root system.

Solutions:

Remove the dead leaves first. By doing this, you’re helping your Pothos plant transmit all the nutrients to the new, strong leaves.

Also, it’s essential to keep the soil damp but not soggy. To check if it is already dry, place your finger on the top one to two inches of the soil. If it is totally dry, it’s the right time to water your plant.

Never let your plant sit in water, but don’t let it dry for too long. Water it thoroughly and let the extra water runoff through the drainage holes. Remember to drain the excess water in the saucer if the pot has one.

You can add more at the bottom if there aren’t enough drainage holes for the excess water to exit. Besides, the topsoil should be loose to allow the soil to breathe.

Further reading:

Overwater is bad for Pothos

Light

Pothos plants require bright indirect light to flourish. They will start to become white if they don’t receive enough light.

Plants use light for photosynthesis, which helps them get food from sunlight. The lack of light will limit your Pothos plant to generate the food they need to thrive.

Moreover, if you don’t give your plant enough light, there will also be other problems, such as stunted growth, leaf drop, and yellowing leaves.

But if you expose your plant to too much light, you will also notice leaves turning white as a result of sunburn.

Solutions:

If your Pothos plant doesn’t get enough light, relocate it to a position where it can receive bright indirect sunlight, such as west- and east-facing windows. Artificial lights can also work nicely for your plant when it needs extra light. Try to find grow lights that resemble sunlight for the best effect.

If your plant suffers from too much sun exposure, move it to a position with indirect or filter light. You can also use curtains or shades from other trees to limit the sunlight hitting your plant.

Infestation

A fungal disease called powdery mildew damages many plants, including Pothos. If your plant gets affected, you will notice white, powdery fungus developing on the stems and leaves.

The leading cause of powdery mildew is excessive humidity. Your Pothos plant is more prone to powdery mildew if it lives in humid environments.

Solutions:

Start by cutting any infected leaves to cure powdery mildew. Then, open windows or use a fan to improve the airflow around the plant. This tip will aid in stopping the spread of powdery mildew.

You can also treat powdery mildew with a DIY fungicide. Mix baking soda with horticultural oil to create a homemade solution for your plant. We recommend neem oil for curing powdery mildew.

Then, spray the solution on the affected leaves. Remember to repeat this step every week until the powdery mildew disappears.

Read more: Why Is My Pothos Drooping? 6 Main Causes

Careful with powdery mildrew

Soil condition

You should check the soil conditions if the Pothos leaves look pale. The Pothos plant may have trouble extending its roots to collect nutrients and water if your potting mix is too dense and hard.

On the other hand, too much sand in the potting soil may prevent water from reaching your plant.

Solutions:

Adding some coco coir and perlite will make the soil more porous, improving drainage. Moreover, it boosts the soil’s cation exchange capacity (CEC). Thus, becoming more effective at retaining nutrients.

It’s advisable to repot your plant once the old soil is of inferior quality. You can use the high-quality potting medium as mentioned above instead.

Humidity

Humid environments are ideal for Pothos plants! Meanwhile, low-humidity conditions will result in leaves bleaching or yellow.

Solutions:

Mistreating your Pothos plant is a good starting point to increase humidity levels. After each watering, you might want to think about this method.

Other treatments are installing a humidifier in the room where you grow your Pothos plant and placing it near other plants.

lack humidity can cause white leaves

Temperature shock

Sudden temperature changes can make Pothos leaves whiten. When stressed by extreme temperatures, Pothos plants are particularly prone to discoloration and pale foliage.

This tropical species likes comfortable temperatures between 70 and 90°F. You will notice stress and a shift in leaf color in your Pothos plant when you place it in an environment that is too hot or cold. If you’re not careful, it may even cause your plant to die.

Solutions:

Do not let Pothos plants endure the chilly drafts in the winter. When it’s summer, keep them far away from the extreme heat. Those plants shouldn’t be near air conditioners, heaters, fireplaces, cold windows, and direct sunlight.

To find out which place in your house the plant loves, experiment with several positions. When temperatures return to their low-stress zone, Pothos leaves will regain their color.

Nutrient deficiency

Iron is an essential nutrient for producing chlorophyll, the pigment that gives leaves their green color. If potted plants don’t have enough iron, their leaves turn white.

Solutions:

Both a general-purpose fertilizer and one made specifically for Pothos plants can help you solve the problem. You can also add compost and other organic matter to the soil.

Nutrient defiency is a cause of pothos leaves turning white

How To Prevent Pothos From Leaf Discoloration?

You won’t have to worry much about this problem because the following tips will help you prevent it from happening:

Give more light

The lack of light is the most common cause for the plant’s leaves to turn white. In this case, give the pale or white leaves more light to help them. The perfect spot for your Pothos is near a window without the sun’s rays contacting it directly.

You can always employ artificial light if your home doesn’t receive much natural light. Pothos requires a minimum of 12 to 14 hours of exposure every day.

Trim off dead leaves

Those white leaves are soft yet annoying, so it would be best to trim off those parts. By doing this, you are letting your plant deliver all the nutrients to the new, robust leaves.

Dig and overturn the soil

Compacted soil makes it challenging for roots to penetrate and spread out. You must dig and turn the soil to loosen it up. After that, add organic matter to keep the soil loose.

Repot

Repotting is a frequent treatment to encourage your plant’s new growth. When repotting, you have a chance to improve the growing environments and give Pothos the correct pot size for the roots to expand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some frequently asked questions about the pothos plant:

What causes more variegation in plants?

Variegation occurs when there is a shortage of green pigment chlorophyll in the plant cells. Generally, a cell mutation causes it.

Is variegation good or bad?

To some people, variegation is good as it gives the plants more visual appeal. Yet, it will also lead to stunted growth and weaker plants, making it a problem.

What is the difference between being variegated and being discolored of leaves?

A variegated leaf has other colors besides green, such as yellow, white, or cream. And discolored leaves have the same effect.

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.