It can be a shock to come home and find that your pothos leaves are white! If this is happening, you may wonder what could have caused it. Fortunately, there are many reasons why they might turn white. In todayâ€™s blog post we will discuss the various causes of this problem and how to fix them so you can enjoy healthy pothos plants once again!
Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning White?
White leaves on pothos plants can have multiple causes, depending on the type of white you see. Sometimes itâ€™s a powdery substance that accumulates over time, other times there are little bugs crawling around the leaves, and sometimes you may just own a variegated pothos without realizing!
The most likely reason why your pothos leaves are turning white is due to powdery mildew, which is a type of fungi that can cause white powder to form on the top and underside of your pothos leaves.
This fungus usually appears when conditions are too moist for long periods, such as in late summer or early fall after the rain has fallen frequently over many weeks.
Thereâ€™s also the likelihood that you have variegated pothos, which is usually more sensitive to being exposed to too much sun or dry air. This can cause the white patches you see, but it will only affect a small portion of your plant and not all over like with powdery mildew.
Whiteflies are another common culprit for turning pothos leaves white. These tiny bugs tend to be attracted to plants that have been weakened in some way, such as those growing under stress from over-watering or infestations of spider mites (which weâ€™ll discuss below).
If there is an outbreak on one part of your pothos plant, then chances are there are many little eggs hidden within other hiding places throughout the rest of the pot!
How To Treat Powdery Mildew on Pothos?
If your pothos leaves are turning white, then chances are you have a type of fungus known as powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is most likely to show up in late summer or early fall when conditions for fungal growth are perfect (high humidity levels combined with cool nights).
To treat any existing powdery mildew on your plants, I recommend using neem oil. Neem oil is a natural fungicide that will kill the powdery mildew spores without harming your plants.
Simply mix neem oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it to the affected areas of your plant. Be sure to cover both the top and bottom of each leaf, as well as any stems that are covered in the white powder.
You will need to reapply this every few days until the powdery mildew is gone for good!
How To Stop Powdery Mildew from Returning?
To prevent powdery mildew from returning, make sure to water your pothos plants at the base of the plant (avoid getting the leaves wet) and allow them to dry out completely between waterings. You should also increase the amount of airflow around your plants by opening windows or using a fan.
If you live in an area with high humidity, you may want to consider investing in a dehumidifier for your home. This will give your pothos a chance to breathe and will help keep powdery mildew at bay!
Finally, regularly clean your plants with a soft cloth or brush to remove any dust or debris that could be providing a perfect place for powdery mildew to grow. You can use a diluted solution of water and dish soap if needed.
How To Remove White Bugs from Pothos?
If you notice little bugs crawling around the leaves, they are probably whiteflies. These bugs are a nuisance and can quickly infest an entire pothos plant if left unchecked!
To get rid of whiteflies, I recommend using neem oil again, as it will kill the bugs on contact. You can also try using yellow sticky traps, which will attract and trap the whiteflies.
Make sure to place the sticky traps near the affected areas of your plant, as well as any other plants in your home that could be infested. You will need to check the traps regularly and replace them when they become full.
To prevent whiteflies from returning, make sure to keep your pothos plants healthy and free of stress. These bugs are attracted to weak or stressed plants, so by keeping your pothos strong, you will make them less likely to be targeted by whiteflies.
Quick Care Tips
Pothos can be a great plant to own as it is very resilient! However, there are some things you should know about them.
First, pothos plants like moist soil and humid air for the best results. But make sure your pot has adequate drainage so that water doesnâ€™t sit at the bottom of the container for long periods of time.
Youâ€™ll also want to make sure they are getting enough light. Pothos plants love bright, indirect sunlight for at least five hours per day.
Finally, make sure to fertilize your plant every couple of months during the spring and summer with a houseplant fertilizer.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why pothos leaves turn white and most of them can be easily remedied. Pothos leaves turning white can be distressing, but now you know the culprits!
If you are having a severe problem with white powdery substances, consider adding fungicide soap. However, if the problem is caused by whiteflies, then you may want to try insecticidal soap or neem oil first!
Itâ€™s also worth checking that you donâ€™t own variegated pothos, which naturally turn white in some places.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.