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Will Pothos Leaves Grow Back?

Whether removed by you, fallen off because of a disease or as a result of damage, pothos plants can’t regrow their leaves. But don’t worry, like other plants, the pothos will make new leaves.

Sometimes, due to a variety of reasons that I will discuss below, pothos plants grow long, weak stems that fail to grow leaves. Other times, leaves can become diseased or damaged.

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If you recognize one or more of these problems on your own pothos plant, I have good news for you: there are easy solutions to these issues.

Should You Cut Damaged Leaves Off Pothos?

Let’s say you notice some damaged leaves on your pothos plant. The reasons for this can be multiple. The solution is also different based on the underlying cause.

Here are some possible reasons for damaged leaves on your pothos plant:

  • Pest infestation
  • Damage caused by dropping the plant
  • Too much direct sunlight
  • Fungal or bacterial leaf diseases
  • Temperature shock
  • Damage caused by a pet

As you can see, the causes for damaged leaves in pothos plants are as varied as they come.

In all cases, you can go ahead and cut damaged leaves off your pothos. Better yet, you can prune or trim entire damaged sections off the plant.

But in certain situations that I listed above, you’ll also need to take some extra steps and precautions.

In case of a pest infestation, you should apply treatment to the entire plant to get the infestation under control. Similarly, if leaf damage is a result of a disease, you should treat said disease.

If your plant is exposed to excess direct light, move it to a different location, where it receives indirect light.

Temperature shock can cause damage to the leaves and even make them fall off. Temperatures that drop below 50 °F will already cause damage to your plant.

Make sure your plant is placed in a location protected by cold drafts or sudden temperature changes.

If you have pets around, you must be extra careful in allowing them around a pothos plant. That’s because the sap of the plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that are toxic to dogs and cats.

Don’t allow your pets near the plant not necessarily because they’ll damage the leaves of your pothos, but because the plant is so toxic to them.

Why Pothos Is Not Growing New Leaves?

There are several possible explanations as to why your pothos plant fails to grow new leaves. Here are some of the things that you should take into account:

  • Lack of light
  • Overwatering/Root rot
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Disease
  • Low temperatures

In my experience, these are the chief reasons why a pothos plant may have trouble growing new leaves or it grows very small leaves.

Let’s see how each of these elements hinders a pothos plant in growing leaves.

– Lack of light

When a pothos plant doesn’t receive enough light, its stems start to grow towards any source of light. This results in long, weak stems that have trouble growing leaves.

– Root rot caused by overwatering

Pothos plants don’t like to be overwatered. Their roots can quickly rot when they sit in soggy soil for extended periods.

Rotting cuts off nutrient delivery to the plant, resulting in leaf loss and an inability to grow new leaves.

– Lack of nutrients

Besides a lack of nutrients caused by rotting roots, nutrients can become depleted in the soil of potted pothos plants.

This will make it difficult for the plant to sustain growth, let alone grow new leaves. While not heavy feeders, pothos plants do benefit from some fertilizing.

– Disease

Leaf diseases and pest infestations can hinder the growth of a pothos plant and cause leaf loss coupled with an inability to grow new leaves.

– Low temperatures

When exposed to temperatures lower than the ideal range for pothos (65-80 F), it can stunt the growth of the plant and leaves.

Addressing these issues will help boost the plant’s energy levels and help new growths appear. However, besides these, there’s another way to boost new growth in your pothos plants: pruning.

How to Make Your Pothos Fuller?

Once you ensure the basics for your pothos plants — light, temperature, fertilizing, correct watering, etc. — pruning is another thing you can do to trigger faster and fuller growth in your pothos plants.

Pruning will keep your plant growing tidy but also encourages thicker stems and larger leaves.

How to Prune Pothos Plants?

Pothos can be pruned back throughout the growing season as needed. When pruning, focus on removing long, weak stems by cutting ¼ below a leaf node to encourage the plant to shoot out new stems from that node.

Besides weak stems, you can prune back stems that are growing in a direction you’re not pleased with or stems that seem diseased or infested by pests.

Pruning a pothos plant regularly will make it grow fuller, with thicker, more vigorous stems and larger, healthier leaves.

Stem cuttings that are around 4-6 inches and have at least two leaf nodes can be used to propagate your pothos plant.

How Often do Pothos Grow New Leaves?

A pothos that’s well taken care of will average a growth rate of around 12 inches per month during the spring and summer growth stages.

Stem cuttings will take 4 weeks to produce new roots or a bit longer if the cutting isn’t kept in optimal conditions. New leaves will take a couple of months to emerge.

Therefore, on mature pothos plants, you can expect new leaves to emerge throughout the growing season, while on stem cuttings new growth will soon follow after the roots are grown out.

Conclusion

Pothos leaves lost for various reasons will not grow back or heal if damaged. But you can expect a pothos plant to grow new leaves instead.

To encourage new growths, ensure plenty of bright, but indirect light, make sure you’re watering correctly, and avoid temperature extremes.

A correct feeding schedule (once a month with a weak solution) coupled with regular pruning will do wonders for a pothos plant that was previously struggling.

Keep an eye on diseases and pests too and apply remedies as soon as you notice problems to prevent the plant from becoming too weak.

Posted in Pothos - Updated: November 8, 2021

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