Why Are My Satin Pothos Turning Yellow? (And How to Fix It)


Indoor potted satin pothos leaves turning yellow.

Satin pothos is an excellent houseplant since it is super easy to grow and requires minimal maintenance.

The deep green heart-shaped leaves and cascading stems are suitable for improving the space in your office or living room. Yellowing of satin pothos leaves can be frustrating.

Satin pothos turning yellow mainly due to overwatering, pest infestation, and underwatering. Nutrient deficiency is another common cause of satin pothos turning yellow. You should also consider low humidity, temperature stress, and the natural aging of the leaves.

This article will explain the causes, solutions, and methods of preventing yellow leaves in the future.

Causes and Solutions for Satin Pothos Turning Yellow

The most exciting thing is that yellow leaves on the pothos plant can be revived after problem identification and fixing. Below is a guide that provides detailed insights on causes and solutions.

Too Much Moisture Due to Overwatering

Overwatering is the common culprit making satin pothos start turning yellow. The problem occurs due to poor drainage, and this makes the container soil soggy. Read this post to learn how to save overwatered pothos.

The wet soil environment makes the roots of pothos rot. Damaged roots will hinder the absorption of water and nutrients from the soil.

The houseplant will later fail to thrive and grow due to a lack of sufficient nutrients and minerals. The plant will start turning yellow and might even die if the issue is not curbed.

Bringing the problem to a halt is super easy. All you need to do is let the potting soil dry before watering the plant again. Check the moisture content using your index figure.

Push the finger halfway into the soil. If the finger becomes wet, there is no need to water the plant at the moment. But if the finger turns out dry, you can water the plant.

Create some drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. These holes will help to drain excess water from the container and prevent soggy soil from happening.

Use well-drained soil when planting satin pothos. The soil type will help to prevent waterlogging, and this will reduce the risk of root-rot.

Remove the plant from the pot to inspect the degree of root-rot damage. If the entire root system is turning brown, discard the plant and start afresh.

Otherwise, you can prune the rotten roots and leave the healthy ones. Repot the plant in a new container with healthy soil. Remember to disinfect the pruners before cutting the rotten roots.

Improper Light Exposure

Satin pothos thrives in areas that receive bright indirect sunlight. The filtered light allows the plant to undertake photosynthesis to get proper nourishment.

Too much direct sunlight exposure could result in scorching of the leaves and stems. Prolong exposure will cause wilting and dying of the houseplant.

All you need is to grow pothos under a shade or indoor to be a successful grower. Keep in mind that pothos are low-light plants, and exposing them to indirect sunlight is highly commendable.

Avoid putting the houseplant near a window. But you can keep it in a room that receives adequate natural sunlight that is filtered regularly.

The filtered natural light will allow the plant to undertake photosynthesis without facing any challenges. The nutrients and minerals will enable the indoor plant to flourish.

It would be best to note that putting the houseplant in a dark room will foster the yellowing of leaves and stems. The issue occurs due to a lack of sufficient light to enhance photosynthesis.

Solving the improper light exposure issue is super easy. All you need to do is place your satin pothos container in a room that receives indirect natural sunlight. The trick will revive the plant.

Overfertilization or Use of Poor-Quality Fertilizers

Pothos plants are not heavy feeders when grown in a decent potting medium. But many growers prefer fertilizing their houseplants to boost the growth and well-being.

All you need is to schedule fertilizer applications for about 2-3 months for better results. Use high-quality and well-balanced houseplant fertilizer.

Low-quality fertilizers provide nutrients that are incompatible with the plant. Besides that, too much fertilizer application enhances wilting and yellowing of the plant.

It also causes an excessive buildup of mineral salts around the root system. These minerals draw cell sap from the plant to trigger stunted growth.

Water the potting medium several times to drench the accumulated minerals. Remove the pothos plant from the pot and transplant it to another fresh potting medium.

Underwatering Stress

Satin pothos is a tropical plant. The houseplant requires sufficient water to carry out its physiological processes. Water and sunlight are crucial factors that enhance photosynthesis.

Dry soil makes the plant start conserving nutrients and energy. Prolonged exposure to underwatering stress makes the plant turn yellow and limp.

The wilting and drooping of leaves is due to excess water loss. It would be best to come up with a schedule of watering your indoor plant. The schedule will help to avoid issues of overwatering.

Choose a potting container that is large and has drainage holes at the bottom. These holes will help to drain excess water to prevent making the soil soggy.

Temperature Stress

Pothos plants thrive in a temperature range of 70-90°F (21-32 °C). A fairly regulated temperature allows the houseplant to stay healthy for an extended period.

Any temperature below 50 °F (10 °C) and above 90°F (32°C) will make your indoor plant start yellowing. The temperature stress is not an ideal growing condition for satin pothos.

Maintaining the moderate temperature in winter can be a daunting experience. Some growers place their plants close to the window, which leads to the emergency of cold drafts.

Others opt to place their plant near a fire pit or heater that is prone to becoming hot. The heat might damage your satin pothos. Leaves curling is the first response to temperature stress.

Be mindful of the location of your plant during temperature fluctuation. Identify a spot in the house that does not experience temperature stress and put your plant there.

You may Also Enjoy: Why Are My Pothos Leaves So Small?

Fungal Disease Can Cause Yellowing

Soil fungi thrive in damp potting mediums. Waterlogging in the pot could be due to overwatering and lack of drainage holes.

A lot of moisture and water encourages the growth of fungi. These fungi cause root-rot. The root diseases will inhibit the intake of water and other essential minerals from the soil.

The pothos plant will experience malnourishment and start displaying symptoms to alert the grower about the problem. The plant will begin to turn yellow and wilt in the long run.

Also, keeping the satin pothos in a moist and wet environment will foster the yellowing of stems and leaves. The surrounding mist the leaves and stems that causes an eruption of fungal diseases.

It would be best to keep the plant in a cool and dry place. Avoid misting the plant regularly and this will help to combat emergency fungal diseases. (Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Low Humidity Level

Pothos flourish in an environment with high humidity. Ensure the surroundings for growing your houseplant mimic that of a tropical forest.

Low humidity increases the rate of transpiration. It implies that the indoor plant will experience more water loss than intake by the root system.

Excessive water loss makes the leaves and stems droop. The edges of the leaves will later form brown spots. The entire plant will begin yellowing, leaves turn brown, and wilting in the long run.

All you need to do is mist the plant when the level of humidity is low. Misting helps to increase the humidity level and prevent the plant from turning yellow.

Natural Yellowing Due to Age

Aging satin pothos experience yellowing of old foliage. The situation is inevitable though it lasts for a shorter period. Old leaves turning yellow is normal and it is a sign of new growth.

Inspect the plant to see which leaves are yellowing and falling off. The problem usually affects near the bottom leaves only.

Shedding of old foliage reduces competition of nutrients and energy. The new foliage will become more vibrant in color after some time.

There is no need to freak since this is a natural process. You will do nothing to halt old leaves from yellowing and dropping off.

Pest Infestation

Satin pothos is highly susceptible to insect infestations. These sap-sucking creatures will drain nutrients and moisture from your indoor plants.

The stressed pothos will start displaying yellow foliage and fronds. The condition will weaken your beloved plant until it dies.

The most common insects that infest on satin pothos plants are spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. These insects pierce the plant and release venom that causes diseases. (Source: University of Florida)

A combination of pests, improper lighting, lack of moisture, and poor nutrition will accelerate the yellowing of the plant.

It would be best to purchase liquid chemical spray and apply it to the plant. The earlier the better since the elimination of these insects is a daunting experience.

Alternatively, you can use neem oil and rubbing alcohol on the stems and leaves. These ingredients will help to kill soft bodied insects.

Nutritional Deficiency

Pothos thrive in the potting mixture that contains magnesium, calcium, nitrogen, copper, and more minerals. The indoor plant will experience healthy growth.

Growing the houseplant in the soil that lacks nitrogen then expects yellow leaves and fronds. It would be best to provide the plant with a sufficient level of mineral to spearhead healthy growth.

How to Rejuvenate and Stop Satin Pothos from Turning Yellow

The rule of thumb is to identify the cause of turning yellow. Identification of the root-cause will help you come up with tips for reviving the plant and prevent the problem from happening again.

Below are some of the techniques for fixing and stopping satin pothos from turning yellow. Take time to read through and implement the tactics where possible.

Provide Moderate Indirect Sunlight

Too much direct sunlight exposure is not good for growing satin pothos. Place the container in a location that the plant can receive moderate indirect sunlight.

Dim-light inhibits the plant from making its food via the photosynthesis process. The surrounding will encourage discoloration of the plant. The entire pothos plant will become weak and start yellowing after some time.

You need to identify a spot in the house that receives natural light. You can also opt to install adjustable LED grow lights in the room. It will help to create an ideal environment for the plants.

Get Rid of Excess Fertilizer

Most chemical spray fertilizers contain minerals and salts. Excessive buildup of salt around pothos due to overfertilization causes yellowing of the leaves.

Draining the excess salt around the plant will help revive and stop the yellowing of leaves. Here are steps to follow:      

  • Create drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
  • Pour filtered water into the container and fill up to the edges.
  • Allow the water to drain via the drainage holes for some time.
  • Repeat the steps until the excess fertilizer in the soil is washed away.
  • Use a well-balanced fertilizer and schedule fertilization every 2-3 months.

Treat the Fungal Disease

The most common fungal disease is root rot. It occurs due to sogginess in the plant container. The good news is that the disease is treatable, and the plant can get rejuvenated.

Below are steps for treating root rot in satin pothos:

  • Uproot the plant from the pot.
  • Dispose of the potting medium.
  • Wash the existing pot with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Inspect the roots and snip off the affected ones.
  • Dip the remaining roots in a fungicide.
  • Repot the plant using the fresh potting mixture.

This post goes more details into how to save pothos form root rot.

Consider Proper Watering Schedule

Moderate watering allows satin pothos to flourish and grow healthy. Always develop the habit of checking the moisture content of the potting mixture before watering.

It is the only way of preventing overwatering and underwatering. The tactic will also prevent your plant from turning yellow.

It would be best to water the indoor plant every 3-7 days. But remember to push your index finger in the soil to test the moisture content first.

Use a Container with Drainage Holes

Drainage holes at the bottom of the pot prevent waterlogging and sogginess. These two factors are responsible for satin pothos turning yellow.

Get a container with ready drainage holes, or you can opt to create them. It will help to drain excess water and allow your plant to flourish and grow healthy.

Final Words

There is no need to freak when you notice satin pothos turning yellow. The first thing to consider is to investigate the underlying cause and before thinking about fixing it.

But satin pothos are fairly easy to grow houseplants since they require minimal maintenance. The indoor plant is durable and withstands tough conditions.

Most of the tips outlined in the article will help you combat the yellowing issues. Take time to read through and implement the tips. It is the only way to grow healthy and happy pothos.

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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