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How to Save Overwatered Pothos (7 Proven Steps)

Overwatering is one of the various issues that affects pothos and if you do nothing about it, the plant may perish. This is why, in this article, we’re going to teach you how to save overwatered pothos.

Epipremnum aureum, also known as ‘devil’s Ivy,’ is an easy-going plant characterized by beautiful, bi-colored, heart-shaped green foliages. It hurts seeing your beautiful pothos plant wiltering and dying due to one problem or another.

Now, if you are noticing changes in your potho’s foliages, do not panic as it could be that you have overwatered it and we will show you how to revive your pothos plant so it continue to grow healthily.

Let’s get started!

Signs of Overwatered Pothos

Plants will always show signs of overwatering, especially if there are in a bad state. So before any precautionary measure, you need to be sure that your pothos needs saving from overwatering.

Below are the the various signs of overwatered pothos:

  • Pothos having overwatering issues would develop brown leaves that are soft and limp.
  • You’ll notice some white powdery coating on the soil. Molds always find a moist environment appealing.
  • Overwatered pothos will suffer from root rot and have a foul smell.
  • Having yellow and brown on the same leaf is also a sign of overwatered pothos.
  • Drooping, curly, and wrinkled leaves.
  • Your plant will begin to wilt and, in most cases, lose its leaves. And at the touch, you’ll feel it’s mushy.

Note: Your plant might go through one or two of the signs with light issues, pest infestation, and other conditions. However, having more than two of these signs would indicate overwatering issues.

Let’s see a few causes of these signs.

Factors That Leads to These Signs

You don’t have to question the efforts you make caring for your plant because sometimes it is unavoidable. How?

  • You see, potted plants are more susceptible to overwatering issues because they lack space to accommodate water.
  • Pots without suitable drainage holes will not ease water, and so your pothos sits in the water for long without your knowledge.
  • If the soil is not good at draining water, then this will cause overwatering issues.

Now that you know the signs and causes

Let’s save your pothos!

How to Save Overwatered Pothos

How to Save Overwatered Pothos

Now that you already know the various signs of overwatered pothos, let’s now look at how to save overwatered pothos:

1. Check for the amount of water

To save your pothos plant, be sure you know how much ‘excess’ water it has.

If the water is stagnant, then there are drainage issues. To avoid drainage issues, check your pot to see if there are holes in it. If not, you’ll have to make holes yourself.

Note: you can only make holes with plastic or vinyl pot; ceramic pot would need you to change it and get bigger ones with ‘good drainage.’

Avoid watering and fertilizing- the key is to save your plant from further damages. So it is best to stop watering and fertilizing at this point. 

2. Take the pothos into the shade

Since the pothos is in bad condition, take the plant to a shady area, this would help you spot dead leaves and know how best to trim them.

3. Remove the sand and plant from the pot

Be careful while pulling your plants; if it seems complicated, use a knife to scrape the very corners of the pot, so there is a greasy take-out.

Now you can see the roots of the plant.

4. Prune damaged roots and dead leaves

It is essential to check the condition of the root before you repot. The root should be firm and should not break at the touch. 

If you notice damaged roots, dark brown, black, or mushy, and would even foul smell. Prune them carefully and look for other dead leaves. 

You don’t want to deal with the same issue repeatedly, so be thorough in removing them.

What if your root is damaged completely? 

Sadly, this might not be easy if your root is damaged completely.

Following the following process would be counterproductive. Many gardeners would advise you to do away with the pothos.

However, you can make new plants from your pothos even if the roots are wrong unless the leaves are rotten. But if not, you can save the stems and make new plants out of them.

Your pothos plant can grow in both soil and water; however, switching from one medium to another could confuse the plant.

  • To plant in soil– cut the stems some inches in length, preferably 4-6inches in length. Leave a few leaves on them. Remove the leaf from the end of the stem you wish to plant. Use rooting hormones, as this is to make it easy for your pothos to form roots.
  • To root in water– similarly to planting in the soil, cut the stems leaving some leaves. But this time, you’re placing it in water. Change the water every few days. And as soon as you notice the plant is forming roots, plant in the soil ASAP.

Now you are ready for the next step.

5. Prepare the suitable soil

In most cases, the problem is that the soil doesn’t have a good drainage system and will not allow the water to drain quickly. To remove the soil and replace it with good draining soil.

Suppose you do not intend to use another sand. Solve this by adding gravel about ½inch at the bottom of the pot. Then add the soil, be sure both are in the same proportion. 

This will improve drainage and help prevent problems in the future.

6. Use the Right Pot

Now you have good draining soil and have removed damaged roots. Be sure to use a pot more significant than the previous one. This might not be the case if you are planting from the vine. 

7. Plant your pothos

Add 1 to 2 inches of good draining soil in your pot. Then place your plant carefully. Surround your plant with the soil.

Now you have new pothos to care for! To ensure there are no mistakes in the future. Here are a few ways you can water the plant.

How to Water Pothos Plant

Some conditions may affect the watering process, and they are; temperature, humidity, and light. So water only when the soil is dry.

  • Use good water: Rainwater or filtered water preferably. If you do not have any, let your tap water sit under the sun for 24hours before using it.
  • Do not water at night: Water during the day so the plant can lose excess water before nightfall.
  • Avoid watering the leaves: Water all around the pot, and make sure to water deeply.

Additionally, make sure there is good air circulation.


Saving your pothos plant doesn’t have to be stressful now that you have a step-by-step guide to pull you through.

Remember, “Too many cooks spoil the broth,” so be sure to know the exact problem before administering control measures. More so, don’t be in haste to overwater your pothos.

And if you feel you’ve harmed your plant by overwatering it. Here’s a note for you! “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” Janet Kilburn Philips.

Hopefully, this keeps your spirit high to save your pothos plant!

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