Sign up for our newsletter
Get Swipe Garden's independent reviews, and expert advice sent straight to your inbox.
Imagine one day that your lovely Pothos are suddenly unable to grow further. That’s terrifying. How come vigorous plants thrive and almost tolerate every condition before 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, or Devil’s Ivy, is famous for its sturdiness, making it 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.
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 of 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 so the healthy roots can 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 darkness can’t stimulate new growth. As a result, you should take precautions when exposing the Devil’s Ivy directly to the sun. 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 foliage, and variegated foliage. They need more 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.
Like all indoor plants, your Pothos plant will have to deal with pests that inhibit its growth. Most pests that attack houseplants are suckers. They suck up nutrients that would otherwise allow 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 on 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 armour, 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 tightly 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 roots in the new pot, make sure to pry them apart lightly.
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.
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. This may cause the plant to develop aerial roots, which are roots that grow above the soil in search of nutrients.
The soil your plant comes in when you buy it is frequently 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 the 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 for 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.
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. You have determined precisely how you should trim the objectives.
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.
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 so it can vine up more easily.
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.
Why does my Pothos plant look great but not grow?
Your Pothos plant may have some problems with its living conditions. You need to check the drainage holes in the pot, your watering and fertilizing methods, 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 an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10, 15-15-15, or 20-20-20 for the best effect.