Unveiling the Hidden Dangers: Common Pothos Diseases Exposed

Ah, the beautiful pothos plant – a true evergreen beauty that loves to show off its gorgeous leaves and climb anything it can get its little green tendrils on. But, as with any plant, there can be some unexpected challenges in the form of pothos diseases and pests. So, what’s a pothos plant owner to do when faced with these uninvited guests? Fear not, dear reader, for we have the answers you seek!

In this humorous yet informative blog post, we’ll explore the common pothos diseases and pests that can plague your beloved pothos plants. We’ll help you recognize the signs, isolate affected plants, and apply the appropriate treatments to ensure healthy growth and development. So, let’s dive into the world of pothos plant care and discover how to keep those pesky problems at bay.

Key Takeaways

  • Become a plant detective and prevent pothos diseases with proper care!

  • Stop party-crashing fungi by taking prompt action & treatment.

  • Squash spider mites, unleash ladybugs, use bug spray for mealybugs – keep your plants healthy & happy!

Recognizing Pothos Diseases

Pothos plants, like many houseplants, can suffer from a variety of diseases and pests that affect their growth and appearance. Understanding the symptoms of these problems is fundamental for suitable care and treatment. From root rot to yellowing leaves, our plant friends can face all sorts of challenges. But don’t worry – we’re here to help you become a pothos plant detective and solve these mysterious ailments.

Some of the most popular pothos varieties, such as Golden Pothos and Marble Queen, can fall victim to diseases like bacterial leaf spot and root rot. Discarding infected plants and maintaining appropriate care is necessary to sustain the health and happiness of your pothos plants. So, without further ado, let’s investigate some of the common pothos diseases and their symptoms.

Phytophthora Root Rot

Phytophthora root rot, a plant disease caused by Phytophthora nicotianae, is known for its damaging effects on pothos plants. This pesky fungus can cause leaves to turn from brown to black, as if someone took a marker and colored them in! Leaves and stems don’t just suffer from discoloration – they look like they’ve been through a fashion disaster.

Preventing and controlling Phytophthora root rot involves:

  • Avoiding overwatering and ensuring the soil drains well

  • Keeping contaminated water away from healthy plants

  • Giving the remaining plants a dose of an appropriate fungicide to keep Phytophthora under control

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your pothos plants root rot-free!

Fungal Leaf Spot

Fungal leaf spot creates significant challenges for stressed or damaged pothos plants. It leaves its mark on leaves in the form of discolored spots, turning your once beautiful plant into a sad sight. The culprit behind this disease is the fungus Rhizoctonia, which causes dark, irregular, and necrotic spots on the leaves.

Preventing a fungal leaf spot outbreak requires the following steps:

  1. Keep your pothos plants in a well-ventilated area with appropriate humidity levels.

  2. Remove any heavily infested leaves.

  3. Treat your plant with a fungicide to keep the fungus at bay.

Remember, a little care and attention can keep your pothos plant looking fabulous and fungus-free, especially when using fresh soil with the right plant material!

Southern Blight

Southern Blight is a fungal disease caused by Sclerotium rolfsii that adores warm climates and can crash the pothos plants’ party in greenhouses. This dastardly fungus causes white, feathery fungi to appear on the soil and stems, making your plant look like it’s been through a snowstorm.

Combatting Southern Blight involves discarding infected plants and refraining from reusing them. To discard infected plants properly, ensure the remaining pothos are drenched with a fungicide containing PCNB or flutolanil to keep the blight at bay. Prompt action and treatment are necessary to rescue your plants from Southern Blight’s detrimental effects.

Manganese Toxicity

Manganese toxicity can cause yellow spots, darker veins, and wilted leaves in older pothos plants due to an excess amount of manganese. It might seem like a minor issue, but too much manganese can lead to some seriously unhappy plants.

Managing manganese toxicity in your pothos plants involves avoiding manganese-rich fertilizer and maintaining the soil pH between 6.0 and 6.5. By making these small adjustments, you can help your pothos plants recover from manganese overload and regain their vibrant green hues.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves in pothos plants can result from overwatering, lack of nutrients, or overfertilization. While yellow might be a fashionable color for some, it’s not a good look for your pothos plants. So, how can you help your plants regain their lush green appearance?

Modifying your watering and fertilization habits is a fundamental step to address the problem of yellow leaves. Water only when the soil is dry and fertilize only when the plant is actively growing. By following these simple steps, you can help your pothos plants say goodbye to yellow leaves and hello to a vibrant, healthy appearance.

Pest Invasion: Common Pothos Pests

Besides diseases, pothos plants can be attacked by a range of pests. These uninvited guests, such as spider mites, thrips, fungus gnats, and mealybugs, are not what pothos plants prefer to have around.

Pest infestations can cause damage to the leaves and overall plant health, including infected stems. Understanding the symptoms of a pest infestation is key to adequately care for and treat your pothos plants.

This section introduces you to some of the common pothos pests and offers advice on managing them. With the right approach, you can keep these pesky critters at bay and ensure your pothos plants continue to grow and thrive.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny pests that can cause spotted leaves on pothos plants, making them look less than their best. These minuscule troublemakers can be treated with homemade insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils to restore your plant’s health and appearance.

To tackle a spider mite infestation, wipe down your plant’s leaves with a cloth soaked in insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol. This should help smother and squash the spider mites, giving your pothos plants a chance to recover and regain their stunning green hues.


Thrips are small insects that can cause damage to pothos leaves, leading to discoloration and curling. These pests can be controlled with insecticides or by introducing natural predators, such as ladybugs, to keep their populations in check.

To treat a thrips infestation, follow these steps:

  1. Remove any heavily infested leaves from your pothos plant.

  2. Apply an appropriate insecticide to the plant, following the instructions on the product.

  3. Regularly monitor your pothos plant for any signs of thrips and take quick action if you notice an infestation.

By taking these steps, you can prevent thrips from causing further damage to your beloved pothos plants.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small flying insects that can infest pothos plants, causing root damage and stunted growth. These annoying pests can be managed with proper watering practices, as well as using sticky traps to catch the adult gnats.

To control fungus gnats, follow these steps:

  1. Allow the moist soil to dry out between waterings.

  2. Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent overwatering.

  3. Place sticky traps near your pothos plants to catch the adult gnats and prevent them from laying eggs in the soil.

With a little diligence, you can successfully combat these pesky pests and keep your pothos plants healthy and happy.


Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that can cause damage to pothos leaves and stems. These unwelcome pests can be treated with insecticidal soaps or rubbing alcohol to help protect your plants and maintain their vibrant appearance.

To eliminate mealybugs from your pothos plants, wipe the leaves and stems with a cloth soaked in insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol. This should help remove the mealybugs and prevent further infestations, allowing your pothos plants to continue growing and thriving.

Caring for Your Pothos: Prevention and Treatment

Armed with knowledge about the various diseases and pests that can affect pothos plants, you can now apply this understanding effectively. Proper care, prevention, and treatment of pothos diseases and pests involve recognizing the signs, isolating affected plants, and applying appropriate treatments to ensure healthy growth and development.

Adhering to the guidance provided in this blog post helps preserve the health and beauty of your pothos plants, ensuring their vibrant, evergreen splendor is maintained. So, go forth and show your pothos plants the love and care they deserve!


In this delightful and informative blog post, we’ve covered the common diseases and pests that can affect pothos plants, from Phytophthora root rot and fungal leaf spot to spider mites and fungus gnats. We’ve provided you with the knowledge to recognize the signs of these issues and offered tips for prevention and treatment to keep your pothos plants healthy and happy.

As you venture forth into the world of pothos plant care, remember that prevention is key, and with the right approach, you can keep those pesky problems at bay, ensuring your pothos plants continue to grow and thrive. So, let’s raise a toast to the health and happiness of our beloved pothos plants!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a diseased pothos look like?

A diseased pothos looks wilted and limp, with yellowing, browning or falling foliage. Strange residues, marks, or holes may be signs of a pest infestation, and the leaves can turn dark brown to black due to root rot. Make sure your plant gets proper care to prevent these issues!

What does fungus look like on pothos?

It’s not a pretty sight – overwatering or poor air circulation can cause brown or black spots, known as Leaf Spot, to form on your Pothos’ leaves. Keep an eye out for it and remove the infected leaves if you find any!

What is wrong with my pothos?

Looks like your pothos might be suffering from some water and disease issues, or perhaps it’s been visited by some uninvited guests! Time to take a closer look and give your plant the care it needs.

What are the pests on my pothos?

It looks like you have some unwelcome guests in your home – mealybugs and scales are the most common pests on pothos plants. Time to send out the exterminator! Make sure to provide proper care for your Pothos, including well-draining soil, proper watering, and good air circulation to prevent these pesky bugs from sticking around.

How can I prevent Phytophthora root rot in my pothos plants?

To prevent Phytophthora root rot in your pothos plants, make sure to avoid overwatering and ensure the soil is well-drained. Additionally, keep any contaminated water away from your healthy plants and treat remaining plants with a fungicide. Stop it before it starts!


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