Pothos help!!

kissingfrogs2003February 24, 2013

So I got this plant a while back and was told it is super easy to care for. However, mine looks sickly and keeps loosing leaves. Many of which look burned. The stems turn yellow and become easy to break off the main plant.

I trimmed it to try and encourage new growth but that didnt help. FYI: I get east facing sun.

Any ideas what may be wrong?

here is a photo of plant when I first got it:

Here is what it looks like now:

Here is a close up of the leaves:


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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If you take the saucer off of the bottom of the pot, that should help a lot, IF the hole(s) is at the true bottom of the pot and not actually about 1/2" above there at the top of a little dent. If that's the case, removing the saucer doesn't help much without also adding at least 1 hole to the true bottom of the pot. Having 1/2" of standing water either in the saucer or in the recess at the bottom of the pot is likely what's making your plant ill from rotting roots.

Once that's fixed, let it get pretty dry before watering again, then pour a lot of water on there so it flows out of the hole. After that point, check to see if it is dry before adding more water. Not dry like there's no moisture at all, but if it's still heavy and moist, wait.

If the pot is full of roots, you may want to repot it soon, although Pothos don't really care much about that unless you can't get the soil between them moist anymore. Your plant is probably a long way from that point.

Sunburn affects whole leaves or the parts of leaves directly facing the sun. When there is brown at the edges like that, it's usually an indication of what people refer to as overwatering, which is really rotting of the roots due to sitting in soil that's too moist. This plant takes a long time for sunburn to show up, and as the sun gets more intense in the middle of the year, it could get to be too much, even if it's not now.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Sounds like overwatering or poor drainage to me too. Purple gave you good advice. She's one smart lady. ;)

Once you get this issue resolved, you may want to stick some cuttings back into the pot to root. When they grow your plant will look full and lush again.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:51PM
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I think you might be right. I dug around last night and there were A LOT of roots, but more importantly, there was a plastic disc between the plant and the bottom of the container that was holding water adn impacting drainage. I just used the container as is and never thought to look for such a thing. Water would alwasys pour out the bottom of the hanging pot so it never occured to me.

Hopefully after I let things dry out and re-water it will recover nicely. I'll have to try the clippings idea....never done clippings before....any suggestions of how/what/where/when to cut and replant so I can make this pretty girl look full and luscious again?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Here is what I do....

Below each leaf you will see tiny bumps that are root nodes. Cut about 4-6 inches off a healthy stem. Cut off the leaf closest to the lowest root node. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone, making sure that you cover the node. Use your finger, a toothpick, or something to make a hole in the soil and plant your cutting. I keep my cuttings out of direct sunlight. You may need to bring your plant inside while the cuttings take root. Somehow protect the tender cuttings from direct sun. In a few weeks, the cuttings will form roots.

Pothos are usually very forgiving. You are on your way to having a beautiful plant again. Keep us updated.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:15PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Pothos are known as low light plants. I suggest you bring it indoors or reposition it in partial if not full shade. They do not want direct sun & are likely getting burned from it.

These plants do not need rooting hormone (a waste of money, IMO). Simply place the cuttings w/ a 2 or 4 leaves on each cutting in a cup of water, leave for a week or so & you should start to see roots. When the roots are an inch long, it's time to pot them back into soil & place the plant in bright, but indirect light.

If you do some searches on here, you'll see recent discussions on this very topic, taking cuttings from Pothos.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 3:44PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

It may be having issues with too much water though those plates are there to facilitate drainage rather than hamper it. It may also be affected by cold.

Pothos is a houseplant in most of the US except for the hottest areas and in those it usually needs shade.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

There are pics here of a cutting I did, then what a vine usually does after having its' tip cut off. I also like to put these in water until the root enlarges, a white tip emerges, two weeks tops. If the new root gets too long, I might break it trying to bury it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:24PM
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