What is wrong with my pothos?

Asked April 21, 2019, 11:21 AM EDT

I’ve just bought my first few plants two weeks ago and I’m worried about my golden pothos. I know they are pretty hardy but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m doing something that’s hurting it. It is currently in my bedroom which is in the basement. I’ve heard a few people say it can even survive in artificial light which is why I bought it. My window is about the size of an average pillow and barely counts. I’ve found that many of the leaves have some subtle white mostly around the edges and where the leaf meets the stem. It’s fairly clear(ish) and looks like water stains but I water directly on the soil. I’ve heard that powdery mildew starts with white spots that look much more defined and it’s not really looking like that so I’m not sure if it has that or not. Many of these leaves are closer to the soil. The other problem is that a few leaves closest to the soil are discolored. The yellow variegation has turned very pale and looks close to white. These leave are are no longer waxy and have more of the white stain mention before. Is it somehow my poor lighting? Is it mildew? I’ve never had houseplants before and I’m afraid I’m doing something that’s hurting it. The clear/white doesn’t really appear on camera but I’ve attempted to send a photo of the edge of a leaf anyways. The other photo is one of the discolored leaves. Thank you so much for taking time to read my wordy questions.

Ottawa County Michigan pothos

1 Response

Your question, research, pictures and observations are very helpful. One thing to consider is that the plant is in a new environment. The plants reaction to a new environment may cause the plant to shed some leaves and cause the leaves to take on a somewhat different appearance they adapt to their new home. This plant will shed its lower leaves in any case. If the lower leaves are concerning, you can snip them off. The pictures don’t show anything particularly unusual. Your description of the “water stain” spots could be exactly that. Plants sold in nurseries or other stores may have been watered from overhead and you can see spots where water has collected and dried leaving a deposit of calcium (or sometimes fertilizer). If these spots grow and/or take on a more powdery appearance you should then consider action. Be very careful not to over water. This is one of the leading causes of house plant death. Also, check you plants for spider mites, mealy bugs, and scale. The following links will give you some more information.

https://wimastergardener.org/files/2015/12/pothos.pdf

https://extension.psu.edu/pothos-diseases

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I hope this is helpful,