Pothos Root Rot – Signs, Causes, and how to fix it!

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In this article, we will be discussing a plant problem related to root rot, especially Pothos Root Rot. Pothos are beautiful plants that grow well in the water and are easy to grow, propagate and care for. The attractive leaves of pothos are really good in small pots, glass bottles, and jars.

Pothos that can grow even in water is also susceptible to root rot. The living structures staying long in the water are prone to fungal growth and rot-like situations. So as you are here we feel you have seen some symptoms or signs of root rot in the pothos plant. We will let you know all the indications of root rot in the pothos plants and fix it. So let’s get started! 

Fungal infection or overwatering is usually the leading cause of root rot in pothos. Whenever there is an issue of root rot you need to examine the roots by taking out the root ball from the pot. Other than this, you can look for symptoms like roots getting mushy and rotting, yellowing leaves, and a bad smell coming from the pot. The roots in such cases need cleaning, little trim, and application of hydrogen peroxide to the roots.

How to find if the pothos have root rot? 

Look for the signs and symptoms that the pothos indicate as the root rot is affecting them. It’s better to take a note at the beginning of the root rot otherwise the plant on whole will get destroyed by rot. The soil staying wet for long and not much airy can create stress over the pothos plants. The roots are unable to breathe and absorb water in that amount getting the least nutrients and air, and roots get weak and become mushy. The roots being weak can easily be affected by fungus growing around them  

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Signs and symptoms of Pothos Root Rot 

  • False smell
  • observing the plant closely 
  • Roots look brittle and lifeless
  • Roots’ color has changed to black or brown. 
  • Plant’s stunted growth 
  • Soil sogginess 
  • Water standing in soil 

Early signs of root rot in the pothos 

You should know the early symptoms of root rot in pothos before it’s too late. The early signs can help you give more time to receive the pothos with speedy results than the late signs. 

The root rot affects the leaves drastically. The leaves turn yellow and start to wilt when the root rot has started to occur. The root-looking brown is an indication that the root rot has occurred and the plant can be saved by good care and other ways that we will describe below. Also, this is a sign that you should stop over watering your pothos plant. 

To know more about the plant world, you may also read related articles, Reasons why Pothos Leaves are Curling (And how to fix them?)

Late signs of root rot in pothos 

The late symptoms of root rot give the least hope that the pothos will recover or survive. You should know the late symptoms so that you dont waste further time on it as it is not going to get well and it’s time to get new pothos. The roots will look black which indicates the roots are dead and the plant is about to die or dead already. The roots appearing mushy and soft are also symptoms that root rot has destroyed the pothos plants. Though the roots can look black and if the firm can still be saved or recovered by good care. 

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How does root rot occur? 

Too much water in the soil 

Being an indoor plant, pothos grow well in less water. Too much water can affect the pothos just like any other indoor plant. Though the pothos can grow well in only water but the soil if overwatered can be an issue. Through the water, you can easily see the structure of the roots if they are right or not but through the soil, you can easily see the roots. You should if you are overwatering the pothos. Too much water in the soil will suffocate the roots due to less oxygen and the roots will not be able to breathe. 

Drainage issues 

Even though you are not overwatering the plants, the soil staying soggy is due to the poor drainage ability of the soil. The soil when there is too much clayey gets firm and compact, water is not able to move freely through the soil particles. The water keeps standing in the soil and brings mold growth or fungal growth. The water pool in the soil can affect the plants and also the roots. 

Pot and pot size 

The pot can be creating problems for your pothos plant. Actually, the pot if it does not have a good number of drainage holes can cause rot on the roots. Even if the pot’s size is small the roots will stay bounded to limited spaces and roots need good space to breathe. The water will not drain well. The pot size being large can again make you overwater the plant easily. So use the right size of pot for the pothos. 

Fertilizing too much 

Too much application of fertilizer can affect the roots and cause rot 


The reason can be the pothos plants are infected already or plant parts affected by pathogen infection or fungal infection leads to the roots and infected them as well. The root will rot drastically. For example, the phytophthora caused by mold, pythium root rot caused by a pathogen, and pathogenic fungus like Rhizoctonia, affect the pothos plant, especially their roots, and cause root rot in them.  

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How to fix root rot in pothos? 

Step 1: As the roots are damaged, you need to take the plant out of the pot so you can examine the roots properly.

Step 2: Now brush the excess dirt and soil from the roots. Wash the roots thoroughly. 

Step 3: Check which of the roots are damaged and rotten badly, trim the roots, cut them, or remove those roots from the root system. 

Step 4: Now using a mild soap solution, clean the remaining roots. 

Step 5: Place the plant in the fungicidal solution and thoroughly rinse it. You must also remove the affected leaves that are wilted already. 

Step 6: Use a clean sterilized pot and repot the plant into the soil. Make sure you are using the new soil for the plant. The pot must have a good number of holes and drainage. 

Step 7: Water the plant properly and check if the soil is draining water properly. Don’t overwater the plant. Add fertilizer occasionally and in a light amount, to keep it thriving. You can also propagate the pothos if the roots are badly affected.

Other tips to keep pothos healthy 

  • Make a proper watering schedule for the pothos 
  • Add sandy soil into the soil to increase the drainage and lose up the compactness of the soil
  • Use the clean or sterilize cutting or carving tools for the plant. 

Final words of the context

Pothos being called names like devil’s ivy, and money plant is a great addition to the garden and these plants need good care as they are being exposed to water for a long time and can get root rot. They are amazing indoor plants and the root rot is a nightmare that no home gardener would ever like to see on their lovely plants. Don’t worry we have given all the information in this article and hope this article was useful to you. Happy planting and happy caring! 

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