Why is my Pothos Not Growing – How to Fix This

A pothos on the article Why is my Pothos Not Growing

The Pothos is an evergreen climber with large waxy leaves and dense roots. It grows in regions with high temperatures, humidity, and rainfalls.

It is most used to create a refreshing and aesthetic atmosphere. Be it a garden or an office, you will notice how it adds to the beauty of its surroundings.

Pothos is lush green in colour, and it can be either potted inside a pot or you can plant it in the ground, either way, it grows well if the conditions required for it to grow are provided.

You will often spot the pothos hanging on a wall or placed on an elevated platform. These are all the way pothos are used to decorate places and increase their appeal.

Among the plants that grow very quickly, pothos tops the list. It is one of those plants which do not require too much attention or care.

Most of the time with just a little bit of effort you will see it grow well. In its natural habitats, such as forests, it is seen that the pothos latch onto trees and grow upwards to get sunlight.

In doing so its aerial roots, which are those roots which grow above the surface of the earth, spread all around the tree and tend to become quite large.

It is noticed however, that when growing the pothos at home, be it indoors in a pot or outdoors in the ground, there may be some hindrance in its growth.

The pothos can not be growing to it’s full potential due to inadequate light, incorrect watering, incorrect nutrients, too low humidity, it needs repotting, the soil is inadequate or you have a pest infestation.

This is not something that we should worry about. Just recognise the cause and find the right fix for it and you are good to go.

How Fast Does a Pothos Grow?

A pothos in a potPothos is known to be a rapidly growing plant. Its aerial roots especially tend to get very large overtime. The estimated growth of a pothos is about 12 inches or 30 centimetre per month.

Just like any other plant that we see, pothos is also affected by the conditions of its surroundings. The more favourable the conditions are, the faster will be the growth of your plant.

The summer and spring time are the two seasons when the pothos grows the fastest as these are the seasons which have the kind of temperature, humidity and sunlight that is required by the pothos to grow.

It should be noted that not all pothos will grow the same way. Some grow faster than others even if the same conditions are provided to all of them.

The difference is due to the different types or varieties of pothos. Although it is known that comparing the growth of pothos in soil and that in water, the one growing in soil will grow much faster than that growing in soil.

One factor which plays an important role in how fast pothos grows is the green parts of the plant. The more the green parts, the faster the plant will grow.

Reason for this is that the green parts contain chlorophyll, this is the green pigment that is used to perform photosynthesis by the plants. More green parts mean more photosynthesis and so better and faster growth in pothos.

Why is my Pothos Not Growing?

There can be many reasons why your pothos either have stunted or sluggish growth. Most of the time, your plant will show symptoms.

These should be observed by you to figure out what is wrong with your pothos as that is the first step in fixing poor growth in any plant.

Some seasons like summer and spring are when pothos grow the fastest. But on the other hand, during the winter and fall you will witness your pothos enter the dormancy period.

This is a time during which the pothos just do not grow or grow very little. Even indoor pothos may not witness much growth during these times.

There is simply nothing to worry about in this case. As soon as these seasons pass your plant will be up and growing again.


Lack of light has proven to be one of the most common reasons why pothos do not grow. Ideally, pothos should be provided with about 12 hours of bright, filtered light.

But it does not mean that it will grow at the same speed even when there is insufficient light. Darkness or low-light conditions for an extended period is not good for your plant.

Whereas too much direct sunlight can also be harmful for pothos, it can burn its leaves and make them pale in colour.

Try to place your pothos in a spot which is near a window or a balcony. You can also use artificial light to provide the pothos with the light it needs.

If your pothos is outdoors, then placing a shed over it can be beneficial as it will protect your plant from direct sunlight and instead give it filtered, bright sun that it really needs.


Water is another factor that plays a vital part in the speed with which your pothos grows. Overwatering and underwatering, both have proven to be harmful for the pothos.

It is recommended to water the pothos every few weeks. The time periods between watering the pothos should be determined by the state of the soil.

The soil should be relatively dry, at least the first few inches of it, before you can water the pothos again. Overwatering causes root rot in pothos which can become a nuisance for your plant.

On the other hand, it has been witnessed that when the pothos is underwatered, the soil becomes extremely dry, cracked, and moves away from the edges.

The leaves start to change as well. Their appearance becomes droopy, pale, and yellowish in colour. Try to water thoroughly and let the excess water drain off from the drainage holes if the plant is in a pot.

This is one of the best practices to keep your pothos happy and fast-growing.


A golden pothosPothos require nutrients to grow. A good soil mix will most of the time be sufficient for healthy and fast growth of pothos.

Fertilising is not really needed by pothos if they are already growing at a good rate. But if you observe slow or no growth then it is possible that your plant is not getting enough nutrition.

It is then advised to use a chemical or organic water-soluble fertiliser. This should be added every 1-2 months during the summer and spring seasons.

It will boost the growth of your pothos and make them look fuller and healthier. Incorrect type of fertiliser or too much fertiliser can damage the wellbeing of your pothos.

Fertilising during the winter season is also not recommended as this is the dormancy period and adding fertilisers will not do much good to the plant.

A temperature range of 21–32°C or 70-90°F are perfect for pothos. Temperatures towards the higher usually result in rapid growth of the pothos as it is native to regions that have higher temperatures.

However, if the temperatures are lower than the range mentioned above, you will see the pothos growth becoming extremely slow.

This is due to the pothos being a cold-sensitive plant. During winter, try to protect it from the cold as much as you can.

A home thermometer can be used to check the temperature of the soil by dipping the thermometer a few inches into the soil. This may give you a better idea of how temperature may be affecting your pothos’ growth.


Humidity is essential for fast and good growth of pothos. Since the pothos is originally from areas with higher humidity, it will grow fastest in conditions where humidity is high.

Low humidity for extended periods will make the leaves of the plant crisp and then eventually slow down their growth. You cannot expect new pothos to spring while the humidity levels are insufficient for it.

It needs the humidity to at least be 50% to up to 90%. You may be wondering how to maintain humidity levels around the plant.

There are a few easy ways through which you can do so. Either use a humidifier which is the easiest one. Or you can place a bowl of water near your plant.

The evaporating water increases water vapour in the air around pothos resulting in increased levels of humidity.

One thing which does not increase humidity is misting the pothos. This will not be beneficial if the air around the plant is still dry.


After you have just repotted your pothos, you may see that they are not growing. This is a response to change from the pothos.

You will notice after some time that your plant is growing just the way it used to. However, if it is not growing after some time then you should check if the other conditions required by the pothos are being met or not.


Quality of soil can be responsible for the speedy or slow growth of the pothos. Pothos do not give concessions when it comes to the soil it’s growing in.

Well aerated soil and with a high level of nutrients is appreciated by pothos. The pH range should also be between 6.1 to 6.5 which is approximately the same as that of water.

Soil which is too dry wet or too dry is not liked by pothos. Keep a check on the soil your pothos is growing can help to improve its overall growth and well being.


A pothos

Pests can be spotted on pothos and may affect the growth of the plant. The pests that are usually spotted on the pothos include scales, mites, and aphids.

All of these affect your plant in different manners. Scales are tiny brown insects that hide in leaf nodes and stems. What they do is suck the juices and sap out of your plant.

These help to keep your pothos turgid and strong. Losing these weakens the pothos and reduces its growth. They can be picked up from your pothos with the help of cotton or the backside of a knife or blade.

Spider mites are another one of the enemies of your pothos. They are almost microscopic in size and live on the underside of the pothos leaves.

The damage they cause is sucking away the chlorophyll from the pothos. This leaves the pothos leaves looking brown in colour with holes in them.

Spraying your pothos with a hose or misting helps to get rid of these in no time. Aphids are those pests that arrive upon a pothos which has root rot.

They are minute in size and white in colour. Closely observing your pothos will help you spot these. But the main worry here would be root rot as that is what results in aphid infestation.

Root Bound

Pothos is a plant which is root bound in nature. Its roots like to stay in a knot-like shape. This is not anything to worry about until the roots become too tightly knotted together.

You can check for root bound in your pothos by poking your finger. If it is becoming too difficult to do so, then it may be possible that your plant is extremely root bound

You may also spot roots of your pothos coming out of drainage holes of the pot. This is another sign of the pothos becoming root bound. You can fix this by repotting your pothos to a larger pot than the one it was in before.

How Can I Make my Pothos Grow Faster?

The basic needs of pothos are sufficient light, water and timely treatment of any pests that attack it. Optimum temperature, humidity, some fertilising and good soil quality also assist in good and fast growth of the pothos.


Bright, indirect light is always good for the pothos. Providing it with light for a few hours everyday either naturally or artificially will help them to grow faster.

If your pothos is in a spot which does receive good light, then do not expect it to grow fast. Move it to a well-lit spot and then see how much faster it is growing.

Frequently change the position of your pothos and make sure that it gets the indirect light of the morning sun everyday as that is the best for the plant’s growth.


Pothos needs water for transplantation. This is the process of carrying nutrients from the soil to the rest of the plant.

A proper watering routine where you plan out the intervals after which you will water the pothos can speed up the growth of your plant.

Irregular watering, overwatering, or underwatering can all slow down pothos growth.


Humidity is known to aid faster growth more than any of the other contributing factors. Try to keep the humidity levels around your pothos relatively higher by using any way that is convenient for you.

Optimum temperatures, with special focus on avoiding cold drafts will also fasten the growth of pothos greatly.


Nutrients affect the speed with which the pothos grows. It is possible that soil in which pothos is growing lacks some of the vital nutrients needed for plant growth.

Foliage or general houseplant fertiliser can be used for your plant. Frequency of the fertilisation should depend on the instructions written on the packaging.

Another option for fertiliser is neem oil which serves as a natural fertiliser. These add to the nutrient content which will speed up the growth of pothos.

Final Thoughts

A golden pothosPothos is a plant which does not need intense care neither is it too sensitive to fluctuations in the environment.

It grows well even under conditions which are not too favourable for it. But you will notice that its growth will slow down due to these antagonistic conditions.

The conditions that hinder the growth of pothos include lack of light, improper watering, deficiency of nutrients in the soil or low temperatures and humidity levels.

For the pothos to grow faster, these should be avoided as much as possible.

Providing the pothos with bright, indirect sunlight for several hours can really help to speed their growth.

Direct light is not beneficial for the pothos and usually ends up doing more damage than good to the plant.

A good watering routine should be established. It helps to avoid under or over watering the pothos and makes sure that it is getting water when it needs it.

This also keeps the pothos turgid, and strong while aiding its faster growth.

Fertilisation is not required by the pothos under most circumstances. If you do think your plant needs it, then fertilising during the summer and spring season can be quite beneficial.

It will promote further growth of the pothos as these are the growing months of your plant. Fertilising during dormancy which is the winter season should be avoided.

Maintaining optimum temperatures and humidity will also help to grow your pothos faster. Other than that, keeping a lookout for any kind of pest infestation should help to keep the pothos growing at a consistent speed.

Learning about pothos and what they need and do not need can greatly help you to achieve lush, strong, and beautiful looking pothos in no time!

Bean Growing

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