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It is widely believed that pothos plants are the easiest ones to start a houseplant collection as they are easy to maintain.
The trouble-free care and undemanding nature of pothos make them an excellent choice for adding some greenery to your home.
However, I had trouble understanding why my pothos was sticky. Their leaves were getting dull and sticky day by day. In some cases, it may require more cleaning or a sign of something more serious.
To prevent your pothos having sticky leaves, you should regularly wipe and clean them and care for them properly. Trust me; I have been there, so I can better guide you on the dos and don’ts.
During this article, I can explain the causes of a pothos getting sticky leaves, how you can fix them, and what future preventions are.
What are the Main Causes of a Pothos Getting Sticky Leaves?
Whiteflies and scale insects cause your Pothos to become sticky. They suck the sap of the plant’s leaves and excrete the sticky substance on the surface, which is called Honeydew. It covers the plant stem and leaves.
If the pests are not controlled timely, they can cause severe damage to your pothos’s health.
Therefore, if the pests infect the plant, check the plants nearby. Isolating the infected plant protects the surrounding plants from being infected by the pests.
How to Fix Sticky Leaves on a Pothos?
To cure the plant from a pests attack, you can follow these simple steps:
1) Cleaning the Scaly Insects from the Leaves of the Pothos
Wipe the pothos plant’s leaves gently with a damp cloth or towel and gently clean the leaves.
Make sure you remove all the sticky substances from the leaves. Start cleaning the leaves from top to bottom so the dirt may not fall on the clean leaves. Once they are cleaned, buff them with a dry cloth.
Method 1: Use Soapy Water
Inspect the surrounding houseplants to ensure no insects or flies are on them. These pests are usually oval and flat and seem like tiny shells stuck on the plant’s stem and leaves.
Spread a sheet of cling wrap over the soil to catch the insects when they drop from the plant.
Mix two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid and a gallon of water and apply it with a cloth over the entire plant to wipe as many insects as possible.
Once you are done cleaning, wash the cloth and wipe the leaves to remove excess soapy water. Remove the cling wrap from the soil after finishing.
Method 2: Using Tweezers or Toothpicks
If the above method doesn’t suit you, using a tweezer or toothpick can also help you eliminate the insects from the pothos plants.
Pick the insects with a tweezer or toothpick from the entire plant and clean them with a cloth.
Method 3: Using Alcohol
Another method to fix the pothos plant with sticky leaves is rubbing alcohol.
Take a cotton bud and dip it in rubbing alcohol. Now, rub the cotton bud on the pests.
Repeat the process for 2 to 3 weeks until the pests are eliminated. Depending on the infestation, you can also use insecticidal spray weekly or bi-weekly to eliminate the scale insects.
2) Cleaning the Whiteflies from the Pothos Leaves
Check if the water flies infect your pothos plant. They can be found underneath the leaves in clusters and fly away when disturbed.
Hold the plants at an inclined position so the flies don’t fall in the soil, and start a pressurized water spray to dislodge them.
Once they are removed, collect them with a vacuum early morning when they are slow and cold. Empty the vacuum in the plastic bag and seal it before discarding it to ensure the flies don’t return.
Alternatively, you can apply insecticidal spray on the plant once or twice a week according to the requirements of the manufacturer’s manual.
Once you are done with all the treatment on the sticky leaves of your pothos, remove the leaves and stems that were heavily infested by the pests.
Seal the affected leaves and stems in a plastic bag and throw them in the trash.
Future Preventions to Avoid Sticky Leaves on a Pothos
Pothos plant’s pests are a headache, especially in winters when the pest is more likely to attack the plant leaves and make them sticky.
However, implement the following ideas to ensure my pothos plants stay safe and healthy the entire year.
1) Water Them as Needed
The leading cause of the pests attacking your plant is overwatering. When the soil stays moist for longer, it creates favorable conditions for the pests and fungus to lay eggs and grow.
Therefore, leave the plants unwatered unless the soil is dry, then water them as needed. The dry soil is unfavorable for the eggs and larvae, and they can’t survive in there.
2) Inspect Pothos Plants Regularly for Pests
Since household plants like pothos are more susceptible to pests as they are away from the sunlight, it is essential to stay vigilant and notice any changes in the plant body to locate the pests at the earliest stage.
Furthermore, check the underside of the leaves and joints of the plants and stems as water flies and scaly insects lay eggs. In case you find chances of pests, quarantine the plant and treat them immediately.
3) Isolate the New Plants as Well
If you are bringing new plants home, isolate them before introducing them to their new fellow.
Put them in a separate room for at least a week or two, and check for any sign of pest infestation. Once you are completely satisfied, introduce them to other household plants.
4. Wash them Occasionally
Washing plants in the sink or the shower with lukewarm water can benefit them in two ways. Firstly, it keeps the dirt away from the leaves and stem; secondly, it is essential to keep the pests away from your pothos.
5. Bleach the Pots Before Putting New Plants
Always wash and bleach the pots before putting in new plants. Never put the plants in dirty pots as they can accumulate pests. Make sure you wash them before starting the process of repotting.
Pothos plants are the perfect indoor plant for those who require an easy-going plant. Even though your pothos can occasionally have sticky leaves caused by pests, they can usually be resolved.