Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Black?

The pothos plant is a popular choice among many gardeners, as they are fairly easy to grow. Unfortunately, they are still at risk with a few issues, such as their leaves turning black. You may have wondered yourself, “why are my pothos leaves turning black?”

This may be very worrying and might have you think that your plant is dying. While this can be a possible cause, it isn’t the only one. There are various reasons why the leaves are turning black, and there are also solutions to it!

Read on to find out why your pothos leaves are turning black and what you can do to stop it from doing so.

why are my pothos leaves turning black
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Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Black?

I understand the heartbreak gardeners feel when they see their pothos leaves turning black. Before you chuck the plant away or perform random solutions though, it’s best to identify the reasons why it happens.

With that in mind, here are the possible reasons why your pothos leaves turn black:

1. You water too much

Pothos plants would have higher drought tolerance, being able to deal with fewer watering sessions compared to other plants. If you water them too much, it causes root rot, resulting in the leaves’ darkening. This can end up with the plant dying if left untreated.

Yes, too much water kills plants! This is because it reduces oxygen in your soil, leading to damaged roots that won’t absorb water normally.

If you believe that you are watering too much, you can reverse the change by making sure the soil isn’t too damp or wet. Only water your soil when it is completely dry, which is about once a week or every two weeks. This depends on the area’s temperature and humidity levels.

2. Excess light exposure

Pothos would thrive in light rooms, but when it is placed under direct sunlight, then that will be a major problem. If your plant receives TOO much light, it may end up burning the plant and leaves. This has your pothos leaves turning black and wilting.

The direct sunlight would burn plant cells, leading to the plant leaves darkening. To prevent this from happening, place the plant away from any direct sunlight, but still making sure it stays in a room with adequate light.

3. Poor drainage

Another common problem is having soil with poor drainage. The soil around your plant needs to be cool and moist!

Your plant’s roots require air for it to thrive and survive, which is why your soil should have proper drainage for your plant to breathe. If the roots aren’t healthy, they won’t be able to absorb water to take to your pothos plant.

Prevent this from happening by ensuring that you remove clumps in overly damp soil, which may be preventing holes from draining water. Furthermore, push soil against your pot, allowing water to reach your plant roots if you see that the soil is dry and/or falling apart. The soil should be loosened if it is hard on the surface, and do invest in potting mix with good drainage.

Read more: 11 Indoor Plants That Don’t Need Drainage

4. You don’t water enough

Just like you overwatering your plants, not giving them enough water will result in their leaves darkening. Your leaves can end up wilting, and if left without enough water, it results in its death.

Fix this by watering your plant whenever you see that the soil is dry. You’ll be able to know by dipping a finger or a stick in the soil to see if it is moist or not. Also, adjust your watering schedule according to the weather and seasons, watering it more during the hotter summer months.

5. Wrong humidity or temperature levels

If ever there is less humidity or the area is too hot or cold, it results in the leaves turning black. The temperature should be between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and anything that goes below 50 degrees can cause your plants to die. It should also have enough humidity levels for it to thrive.

You can remedy this by using a humidifier or furnace for better humidity. A pebble tray under your plant works best as well or grouping your plants together.

As for the temperature, do place it in an area that has a consistent temperature between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. You over-fertilize

Pothos plants would require nutrients to thrive, but again, too much of a good thing is bad. It harms the pothos, with the leaves turning black because it was burnt from overfertilizing.

Only apply fertilizer to your plants once every 2-3 months during the spring to fall seasons. Do NOT fertilize during the winter, as plants are dormant during this time.

7. It has diseases

One of the other reasons behind your pothos plant turning black is fungal diseases. A common disease affecting pothos plants is phytophthora, an infection starting from the roots then spreading to the leaves, resulting in it turning black. You will need to treat your plant with appropriate fungicides.

Another reason may be a bacterial infection, including the following:

  • Bacterial wilt disease
  • Aerial blight
  • Rhizoctonia root rot

Some of the diseases can be treated with fungicide and proper care, but others will require you to dispose of the plant.

8. It’s an insect infestation!

Insect infestation is another possible cause, like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects can have your pothos leaves turn yellow and then black, eventually dying. You can fix this by applying a cotton swab with alcohol to the affected leaves where bugs are.

Also, it’s best to repot your plant with new soil, rinsing the leaves from any bugs you see. A houseplant spray may help kill and prevent insects from coming in. But if your pothos plant is severely damaged by insects, do dispose of it to prevent it from reaching other plants.

Wrapping It Up

If you notice that your pothos leaves are turning black, don’t panic! There are multiple reasons why it happens and how to stop it from worsening. Once you find the root cause, you will know what to do to help save your plant or to at least keep it from infecting others, if the disease is the main cause.

I hope you are now fully informed of the reasons why pothos leaves turn black. Prevent it from happening by giving your plants the right amount of water, fertilizer, and care requirements. Good luck!

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