Golden Pothos Yellow Leaves: Understanding the Mystery

Epipremnum aureum, often called Golden Pothos, is a hardy and much-loved houseplant characterized by its glossy green foliage with yellow or white accents. The plant is relatively easy to care for and can be enjoyed by first-time and experienced indoor gardening enthusiasts alike. Nevertheless, one of the primary complaints or questions among the grower community is when the plant leaves turn yellow. This article focuses on the possible causes of the yellowing of the Golden Pothos’ leaves, how to diagnose it, and importantly, how to manage or fix it.

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Understanding the Plant:

Golden Pothos Overview

Golden Pothos is connected to the Araceae family and is native to Southeast Asia. It is best suited to grow under indirect sunlight but can also withstand low light conditions and hence can be grown indoors. Its leaves in the shape of a heart can become rather big and easily spill from the hanging baskets or climb up trellises.

Common Causes of Yellow Leaves

Yellowing in the leaves is a clear signal that something is not good with your plant, Common Causes of Yellow leaves are:


This could be one of the main causes of yellow leaves in Golden Pothos as it is always associated with the lack of photosynthesis taking place in the plant. When the roots are in water, they are deprived of oxygen thus causing root rot through rottenness. In this case, the plant cannot be able to draw nutrients from the ground hence the leaves start developing a yellow pigment and finally wither away.


On the other hand, lack of water also leads to yellowing of the leaves in the plantsanger.
While these causes seem to present conflicting information, they both suggest that a plant needs the right amount of water to grow and develop its leaves properly. Without enough water, the plant is unable to carry out photosynthesis effectively, and thus the withering of the leaves in its bid to draw sustenance.

Lighting Conditions:

Golden Pothos prefer partially shaded locations but are okay with shadier environments. Nevertheless, if it is positioned in very low light conditions for some time, then problems may occur, such as the yellowing of leaves due to insufficiency of light to support photosynthesis.

Nutrient Deficiency:

Golden Pothos, like any other plant, needs nutrients which include: Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Ironically, even if a plant has almost all the nutrients it needs, it could still have yellowing leaves due to a lack of any of these nutrients. It is usually observed where an older leaf section wilts, yet new tissue appears healthy.

Temperature Stress:

Fluctuations in temperature or cold drafts can make it stressful for a plant and as a result cause the leaves to change to yellow. Golden pothos enjoy temperatures between 60 – 85 °F or 15 – 29 °C; it is harmed if extremes are administered to it.

Pests and Diseases:

It is suggested that low or constantly fluctuating temperatures, diseases for instance directed by spider mites, mealybugs, or a disease affecting the plant such as fungal diseases may lead to leaf yellowing thus weakening the plant. The said ailments should be periodically checked on by experts to avoid their proliferation in the plant and for proper treatment to be applied to these when needed.

Identifying Yellow Leaves

It is important to note that there are several causes behind the yellowing of the leaves in Golden Pothos which must be diagnosed correctly to find a solution. Here are some key indicators based on different factors:

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Watering Issues:

Look at the ground conditions, and pay much attention to the moisture content now and then. However, if the soil is saturated and the roots of the plant are dark brown and squishy between your fingers, then it means the plant is receiving too much water. On the other hand, hard and brittle soil is a sign of a lack of water, while moist and powdery soil shows that the plant is overwatered.


Evaluate the plant’s placement. If the place is little illuminated or in case the phones are placed at a distant area from the light source then it should be shifted to a place with better illumination but not direct sunlight.

Nutrient Deficiency:

Review the culture and condition of the plant in its global environment. This will be evidenced by a yellow color on foliage with green veins typically pointing towards a nitrogen problem, and general yellow coloration meaning a nutrient problem.

Temperature Stress:

Think of temperature changes that have taken place in the plant environment around the plant recently. Housing the snake in an area with cold drafts or changes in temperature can lead to stress-related yellowing.

Pests and Diseases:

Walk around the plant and look for pest indicators like silken webs, often seen with spider mites, or cotton-like mass commonly seen in mealybugs. Leaves with yellow markings or blotches may mean the plants are infested with fungus.

Remedies and Prevention

Once the cause of yellowing leaves is identified, appropriate action can be taken to remedy the situation and prevent further issues:

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Correct Watering Practices:

Water the plants and let the top inch of the soil dry before the next watering session. It is best grown in well-draining soil and in containers that have good drainage holes to avoid water logging. Water the plant at the right intervals depending on the situation and the needs of the plant.

Optimal Lighting:

Try to put the plant in a part of the house that has some indirect sunlight. Do not expose them to direct sunshine since this may burn the leaves and give them brown patches.

Nutrient Management:

Feed Golden Pothos on a routine basis during the growing season using a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Again, adhere to the recommended dilution ratio and the frequency of use by the manufacturer.

Temperature and Environment:

Make sure the plant is not exposed to rapid changes in temperature and intense drafts. Temperature should be well controlled, and it should be within the right range that is preferred by plants that are grown indoors.

Pest and Disease Control:

Make sure to check the plant from time to time for pest or disease infestations. Most infestations should be treated with the correct insecticides or fungicides specifically for indoor plants according to their guidelines.


Golden Pothos is a strain of the Pothos plant that can adapt to several indoor environments if well taken care of. Awareness of the causes of the yellowing of leaves makes gardeners knowledgeable of how they can keep their plants healthy and growing. It only takes addressing issues promptly and putting in place corrective measures that would ensure the passion is enjoyed with green foliage and yellow nectar for many years.

Therefore, the coloring or yellowing of leaves, at first glance, is not something to worry about, but rather a sign of a plant’s condition and the conditions it is exposed to. By taking proper care of Golden Pothos, it will remain an interesting and beautiful component of interior landscaping, enhancing the qualities of living spaces with its organic beauty.