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Need indoor plant advice

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by daisyfrees on October 24, 2005 05:08 AM
I have an apartment full of houseplants. More Pothos than anything. I don't understand why they consistantly have yellow leaves. I don't think I'm overwatering or underwatering but nevertheless there are always yellow leaves. I live in Phoenix Arizona so I know it's extra dry here and it's been getting cool at night - 65 degrees and 90 degrees during the day. could the temp fluctuation be the problem? if so, what do i do?

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Thank our Loving Father for the blessing of Earth and her nature!
by Jiffymouse on October 24, 2005 06:09 AM
hi daisy, i'm moving this to houseplants where you will get more and better answers...
by barleychown on October 25, 2005 01:45 AM
It could have something to do with light levels. Are they in a well lit area?

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We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
by RugbyHukr on October 26, 2005 12:28 AM
Mine yellow if AC or heater blow on them. Also, fertilize to replenish nutrients.

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I love the sweet scents wafting in the breeze. I stop to admire the vibrant colors of all living things. And people think me odd. Then ODD I am!!!
by Will Creed on October 28, 2005 08:31 AM
Hi Daisy,

How long are the vines that are getting a lot of yellow leaves?

What sized pots are they in?

How do you decide when and how much to water them?

It is most unlikely that temperature is the problem here.
by cLoud[GLPong] on November 01, 2005 09:02 AM
if you can lift the plant out of the pot do so... view the root matter.. if it is a yellow-brownish color then you are getting "root rot" from over watering.. healthy roots will be white in color... remember.. plants need an equal balance of oxygen and water just like people.. you'll almost more than likely always be overwatering.. a plant has a better chance of surviving when underwatered then over-watered as they will drown...

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- "i love this show!" - G.I.R.
by Erich on November 01, 2005 11:37 AM
Since you live in such a dry climate, try adding a simple steam humidifier. If you get an untrasonic one (about $35) you can control the temperature setting, preferably on the cooler side. This might help the leaves draw in more oxygen and stay greener.
by Will Creed on November 02, 2005 06:06 AM
Pothos are fine in desert-dry conditions, although increasing humidity never hurts. I don't think that a humidifier will solve your problem.
by Patty S on November 02, 2005 02:13 PM
My Pothos drops leaves every now & then too, but I think its just the nature of the plant. Mine is located up high & gets whatever sunlight comes into the room during the day (not direct sunlight) & hardly any light at all, after dark. If a vine gets too leggy due to leaf loss, I just clip it off & add it to my water vase, to root with the other Pothos & Wandering Jew starts.

If yours is looking really ragged, maybe you should start them over... Simply clip off the stems & reroot them in water. (No leaf material should be IN the water, you know.) If you use a clear glass vase, it'll still make a nice looking centerpiece while you wait for roots. (Mine has colored glass chips in it... a wide variety of decorative chips & marbles can be found at Dollar stores.) After they've developed roots, just plant them back in the pot.

I just found excellent Pothos care info at House Plants for Anyone ( which reads as follows:

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Vining plant with green or variegated heart-shaped leaves. Perfect for hanging in a low light window or a light corner. Variegation depth will depend on the amount of light the plant receives -- more light gives more variegation.

Light: Will tolerate very little natural light as long as it receives adequate artificial light (preferably full-spectrum flourescent, but it isn't fussy)

Water: Let the top of the soil dry completely between waterings, then water thoroughly

Fertilizer: Not necessary, but enjoys a once-a-month fertilizer during the spring and summer growing season, especially if it is moved outside (use a liquid indoor plant fertilizer and follow the package instructions)

Humidity: Doesn't need a lot of added humidity, but will appreciate a daily spritzing during the indoor heating season

Temperature: Will tolerate just about any range of indoor temperatures you will

During the Summer: If you have an outdoor corner which receives no direct sunlight, your pothos will thrive in the fresh air and natural light

Propagation: Take cuttings of healthy vines, root in water, and plant. The ease of propagating your pothos can save you from your brown thumb: if it starts to look sickly, simply snip off the healthiest vines, root them, and start over.

I really like my Pothos because it's a low maintenence plant that can take some neglect (like Spider plants) & can fill up empty spaces with seemingly little effort. Good luck with yours, daisyfrees!

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by Will Creed on November 03, 2005 09:20 AM
Even in good light and with proper watering, Pothos will develop yellow leaves starting at the soil end of the vines if they are allowed to get too long.

Judicious pruning of the vines will prevent this from happening. The longest vines should be pruned back to within a few inches of the soil. New growth will then emerge from the cut ends and keep the plant looking full and compact.
by beetlejuce on November 06, 2005 10:44 AM
I have had one pothos for years in my home and another one at work -- both golden pothos. At home, the pothos in the southern window will get some yellow leaves if I have not been giving it adequate water. It gets very bright light several hours a day, even in winter.

The one at work gets less intense light and it gets some yellow leaves unless I remember to move it into bright light sometimes.

In my experience, good light and fairly plentiful water are important to this plant.


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