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5 Causes of a Pothos with White Spots

5 Causes of a Pothos with White Spots
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Typically, it’s not all that hard to take care of pothos plants. These plants are hardy and they’re actually hard to kill in many ways.

That doesn’t mean that they’re invincible, though. Things can go wrong with the plant and sometimes you might notice issues that will cause you a bit of concern.

For example, have you started to notice white spots on the pothos plant? What does it mean when you see these markings show up on the plant?

Keep reading to learn more about pothos plants with white spots. This should help you to understand what to expect.

1 – Sunlight Issues

Pothos plants can survive being placed in areas that don’t have a lot of light. That doesn’t mean that a lack of sunlight won’t cause issues with the plant, though.

Putting a pothos plant in a place where it isn’t getting a lot of light can impact its coloration. The color and variegation of the plant will change when it’s put in a low-light environment.

Without enough light in the environment, the chlorophyll in the leaves won’t be able to absorb very much light. This will eventually cause the pothos to take on a pale appearance.

So if your pothos plant appears to be pale or a bit white, it could very well be that it needs more sunlight. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to turn things around.

Pothos plants do best when placed in bright sunlight. Indirect sunlight is safest because these plants can be scorched by direct sunlight.

If you’re keeping your pothos plant in an area where you don’t have access to sunny windows, it’s fine to use artificial light. You can buy LED grow lights for your houseplants that will help them to stay healthy and grow strong.

What About Excessive Sunlight?

Excessive sunlight can be problematic as well. When you keep pothos plants in direct sunlight it’ll be harmful.

These plants are too sensitive to be able to withstand direct sunlight. In the wild, they grow underneath tree canopies that protect them from the harshness of the sun.

You need to put them in spots where they can receive indirect or filtered sunlight. If you don’t do this the leaves will wind up getting scorched.

Scorched leaves typically look brown, but sometimes the plant will look a little pale if it receives way too much sun. Be careful and do your best to give your pothos plant the right amount of sun.

These plants do great when they receive twelve hours of bright sunlight per day. You just need to filter the sunlight so it won’t be too harsh.

2 – Watering Issues

If your pothos plant has leaves that look pale it’s important to consider all of the possibilities. Sometimes this happens when you water the plant way too much.

Sadly, one of the most common reasons why pothos plants die has to do with overwatering. You can water these plants so much that they will drown.

It’s more common for this to occur when the plants are potted in well-draining soil. You want to use a nutrient-rich potting mix that drains well to keep these plants safe.

Also, it’s important to check the condition of the soil before watering the plant. You should use your fingers to touch the soil to see if it’s dry.

When the top two inches of soil are dry it’s time to water the plant. You don’t want to water the plant if the soil is still moist.

Check the soil weekly to see if the plant needs to be watered. Giving the plant enough water is important for growth and general health, but too much water can easily cause issues that will lead to the death of the plant.

3 – Potassium Deficiency

Potassium is important because it helps with plant growth. Sometimes plants will have issues where they aren’t getting enough nutrients.

This could mean that the plant is potted in soil that is completely spent. You might need to amend the soil with organic materials so the pothos plant can have what it needs to thrive.

Failure to fix this issue could lead to the plant turning white. A lack of nutrients is known to cause leaf discoloration in plants.

Thankfully, fixing things is as simple as amending the soil and giving fertilizer to the plant. You should feed the pothos using a standard houseplant fertilizer.

Most pothos varieties do excellently when you give them 20-20-20 houseplant fertilizer during the spring and summer months. Just be sure to follow the directions that come with the fertilizer so you don’t go overboard.

Generally, you need to dilute the fertilizer to half-strength to be safe. You might also want to seek out a fertilizer that is known to be high in potassium.

4 – Temperature Fluctuations

Fluctuating temperatures can be very bad for your plant. These pothos plants are tropical and they need to be kept in warm temperatures.

When keeping them indoors, it should be easy enough to keep them safe. However, putting them in the wrong spot can lead to issues.

For example, you might place the plant close to a drafty window. If the plant gets exposed to cool blasts of air in the winter, it can be quite detrimental.

So you need to keep pothos plants away from drafty windows, air conditioners, heating vents, and other locations where the temperature might fluctuate.

Failure to do this could lead to issues with discoloration. It might even cause the plant to take on a bit of a white appearance depending on what happens.

5 – Powdery Mildew

It could be that your plant is having issues with a fungal disease known as powdery mildew. This is a problem that will cause white dusty spots to appear all over the pothos.

This powdery mildew will show up on both the stems and the leaves. If your pothos plant happens to be flowering, the mildew can also appear on the flowers.

Note that powdery mildew can vary a bit in its appearance. It typically looks white, but it can also look gray depending on how things go.

Usually, plants that have problems with this fungal disease are placed in very humid environments. Specifically, powdery mildew grows easily when it’s very humid at night and warm during the day.

In many places, this will occur during the spring and autumn months. It’s more common for powdery mildew to be an issue when you’re caring for these plants outdoors.

If you have powdery mildew on the plant and it’s an indoor houseplant, you’ll want to take steps to reduce humidity. You can treat this fungal disease by removing the infected leaves and treating the plant with an organic fungicide.

Final Thoughts

You should have a much better idea of why your pothos plant looks white now. Sometimes the leaves will look a bit white when the plant is not getting enough sunlight.

This can also occur due to watering issues, problems with potassium deficiency, and more. If the plant has issues with powdery mildew, you’ll want to take action right away.

These issues can be dealt with if you’re proactive. Taking no action might lead to the death of the plant depending on how bad things are.

Thankfully, pothos plants are rather hardy and they’re going to bounce back if you correct mistakes. Simply do your best to recognize any problems so you can make the necessary changes.