There may be affiliate links in this content. For details, please see our disclosure.
Imagine one day; your lovely pothos is suddenly unable to grow further. That’s terrifying. Because how come the vigorous plants thrive and almost tolerate every condition, becoming stunted? But luckily, the little plant can be vigorous again if you troubleshoot some issues, for example, nutrient deficiencies, low light, insect infestations, etc. This article will give many simple solutions to improve this dismal performance.
Pothos not Growing: Causes And How To Solve
Pothos, or Devil’s Ivy, are famous for their sturdiness, making them among the most popular indoor plants. However, external elements, such as light and infestation, may result in your Pothos plant not growing or growing too slowly.
Here are the most common causes of your plant’s stunted growth. Let’s read and learn how to fix them properly.
Watering is essential for your indoor plants. If your Pothos doesn’t grow as expected, your watering schedule should be the first thing to check. Either underwatering or overwatering will cause problems.
Let’s talk about how overwatering affect the new growth of your plant first.
Overwatering is the most dangerous issue your Pothos plants experience. Root rot has become more common, and root rot won’t just slow down the growth. Even the resistant Pothos plant will die soon.
If you overwater your Pothos, its root may not dry out entirely between the waterings. The plants could develop fungal growth or get root-bound due to this.
Your Pothos plants start to lose their leaves and will soon stop growing. The leaves often get flaccid and become yellow before dropping.
Underwatering is the opposite of overwatering and, surprisingly, can have somewhat similar effects.
Although Pothos plants can withstand dry seasons, they are not drought-tolerant. If you don’t water them for a few weeks, they may seem alright, but their growth rate will severely slow down.
Signs of underwatered plants will indeed show up in your Pothos. They can be dry, crispy, withering, and yellowing leaves.
To fix the overwatering and underwatering issues, you must establish the correct watering schedule once you bring your Pothos home. Please note that this plant should dry out in between waterings.
The best way to tell if your Pothos plant needs water is to poke your fingers around the depth of the second knuckle into the potting soil.
Whenever the top soil has dried, place your Devil’s Ivy in a container and hydrate it until the extra moisture flows through the drainage holes in the pot’s bottom. The pot may cover the saucer and retain water in the soil, waterlogging the root system.
After that, put the Devil’s Ivy back in its original position and wait for the excess water to stop flowing out from the drainage holes.
If your plant has root rot, take the roots out of the pot and check them. Affected roots are mushy and soft. You should prune them immediately for the healthy roots to grow.
Pothos can develop in low light, but you won’t notice how slowly they develop. For optimum growth, they require a reasonable balance of light, whether it be artificial or natural.
Too much light or dark settings can’t stimulate new growth. As a result, you should take precautions when exposing the Devil’s Ivy to the sun directly.
Meanwhile, direct sunlight can cause sunburn and pale leaves. Moreover, Pothos will become dehydrated due to intense sunlight.
In less than optimal lighting, Pothos plants will persist, but they won’t grow as much. So do not just place your Pothos plant near a west-facing window. Instead, relocate it gradually to a position with about six hours of bright indirect light per day.
Plant your Pothos next to balconies or windows if it has longer, bushier vines, thicker, more massive, and variegated foliage. They need more bright indirect light for a healthy root.
Avoid sunburn at all costs. If you decide to place your plant next to a window, consider adding curtains to limit the sunlight hitting your plant.
Read more: Why Is My Pothos Drooping? 6 Main Causes
Like all indoor plants, your Pothos plant will have to deal with pests, which inhibit the Pothos growth. Most pests that attack houseplants are sap suckers. They suck up nutrients that would otherwise work for the plant to flourish.
Here are the three biggest enemies of your Pothos plant and how to defeat them.
Spider mites eat the undersides of the leaves, typically in the lower parts of the plant. Because they are too small, you need to check your Devil’s Ivy carefully to locate them.
The first indication of their appearance is when you notice brown areas of the leaf. At the base of the leaf, you could also see something that resembles a spider web.
Spider mites thrive in dry environments. Hence, just take your Pothos plant outside and spray some water to get rid of them.
Mealybugs look like little balls of fluff because of their fluffy white coat. They are also sap suckers and love hiding in the cracks of the leaf nodes and underneath the leaves.
You can easily eliminate these delicate organisms using insecticidal soap. We recommend neem oil, which has the same effect but contains no harmful chemicals.
The tiny sap suckers have a robust protective shell as they gradually drain the juices from your Devil’s Ivy. They resemble little brown scabs and love hiding in leaf nodes and stems.
Once they have built their tiny castles out of armor, they remain there forever, living only to absorb the sap that your Pothos plant produces.
Luckily, you can remove scale insects by scrubbing them off the plant with your fingernail or a knife. Be careful not to damage your plant.
When kept in low humidity for a long time, Pothos plants can’t develop properly. They will turn crispy, and the whole growing process will stop or slow down.
Pothos plants require a humidity level of up to 90%; any higher will be too moist for the plant to withstand. To achieve the best outcomes and consistent blooming, keep it between 50% and 90%.
If its surroundings are dry, misting your Pothos won’t reduce the humidity. Using a humidifier would be advisable in this case.
The tropical temperature range of 60 to 80°F is ideal for Pothos plants. Its growth will considerably slow if your home’s temperature falls below that range.
If you’re having difficulties maintaining the temperature in your home, a space heater will help create a warm zone for your Devil’s Ivy. You can also relocate it near a radiator.
During the summer, your Pothos can live outside. But when the cold comes, don’t forget to bring it inside. The temperature will drop significantly during the night.
The roots may double back when there is no longer room for them to grow in the pot. They may finally get so closely packed as a result because they will have problems collecting nutrients and water.
Moving the Devil’s Ivy into a larger container is the only way to save your root-bound Pothos. Generally, sizing up to two inches in diameter is enough. Before putting the root in the new pot, make sure to pry them apart lightly.
Too compacted soil
Too compact soil has the same effect as overwatering, causing root rot and yellowing of the leaves.
Make sure the Pothos soil is not too dense. Pothos plants require more than garden soil to grow. Using a potting mix made especially for indoor plants would be better.
You can create your own potting mix. Consider mixing cocopeat, sand, perlite, and garden soil to offer your Pothos plant what it needs for sustained growth.
Lack of nutrients
A particular nutritional shortage will limit your plant’s growth. Long-term use of aged soil may prevent it from providing the plant with any additional nutrients.
The soil your plant comes in when you buy it is frequently already low in nutrients. Your Pothos needs a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for healthy plant growth. Hence, make sure the potting mix you use can suffice.
On the other hand, if you feed your Pothos plant too much, it may burn and you will notice stunted growth. You’ve overfertilized your plant if your Pothos has brown or yellow leaves.
Stop feeding your plant for a few weeks, then check to see whether the issue improves. If not, test with a new fertilizer or adjust the current dose.
Pothos plants grow best in the summer. This idea remains true for many types of Pothos, such as the golden Pothos.
During the dormant season, Pothos plants won’t develop. It often occurs in late fall when the nights are longer and the temperature is low. There won’t be any new growth because your plant focuses its energy on withstanding the cold months.
This issue has nothing to do with it. Winter and autumn are the dormant seasons of this species. You can only wait for the growing seasons to notice the development.
Pruning is a crucial part of plant maintenance. Your Pothos won’t develop into the bushy, full expansion you expect if you don’t prune it frequently.
You can prune your Pothos plant for different purposes. Depending on what you aim for, you will need to follow different pruning methods. We will discuss this topic later in this post.
How To Make My Pothos Grow Faster?
Once you have the proper circumstances, your Pothos can grow up to twelve inches per month during its growing season. The following tips will help you speed up the process.
After dealing with the sluggish growth, you may want to prune your plant to encourage it to thrive. This treatment can keep the Pothos under your control.
This species is tolerant of pruning. However, you should still be careful with the timing. It would be best to prune your plant during the growing season, particularly in the spring when expansion is at its fastest.
Use a new pair of scissors to cut the plants below a node. The objectives you have determined precisely how you should trim them.
- Shape: If you want to re-shape your plant, cut the stems back to a few inches above the Pothos soil to encourage the new formation.
- Leginess prevention: The stems may turn leggy when the leaves drop. New leaves don’t grow quickly, so you can trim the bare stems to urge the new ones to replace them. Although the new leaves will be small, they can catch up soon if you give them ideal conditions.
- Pest control: You should remove the pest-infected stems or leaves. Otherwise, they will affect the whole plant.
Your Pothos plant likes water-soluble fertilizer for an even nutrient delivery to help it achieve constant growth. The best time for fertilizing is during the summer. Try to feed your plant every one to two months.
You can use any fertilizer you deem appropriate for Pothos as long as you always obey the feeding instructions on the package.
Position the plant upright
The aerial roots of the golden Pothos plant serve as anchors. They can cling to solid objects and draw in moisture from the surrounding air. The plants quickly climb up nearly anything they can locate to grasp onto.
The plant may also climb a wall indoors by using its aerial roots. However, to prevent indoor wall paint from getting damaged, you should use hooks or wires to guide your plant to climb upward. Also, keep it upright always so it can vine up easier.
You need to repot your Pothos every year to ensure that the roots have enough room to expand and stay healthy.
Without a new pot, the plant could develop root wrapping. Because they have nowhere to stretch out, the roots will encircle the container inside and get more tangled and denser.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions people often ask about pothos:
Why does my pothos plant look great but not growing?
Your Pothos plant may have some problems in its living conditions. You need to check the drainage holes in the pot, your watering and fertilizing method, lighting conditions, and signs of infestation.
Is coffee good for Pothos plants?
Yes. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for Pothos plants, and coffee has a high concentration of it. You can mix compost and coffee grounds or create a coffee fluid compost for your plant’s growth.
What is the best fertilizer for Pothos?
An all-purpose fertilizer with a proper N-P-K ratio will help your Pothos grow. Look for products with the N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10, 15-15-15, and 20-20-20 for the best effect.