Why Is My Pothos So Leggy?

Pothos is a pretty house plant with heart-shaped leaves. It is often kept in hanging baskets due to its dense nature , due to which the plant hangs and trails downward aesthetically. However, sometimes you may notice that the leaves of your pothos have started to shrink, and the plant becomes leggy. So, why is your pothos starting to become so leggy?

Why is my pothos so leggy?

The pothos plant becomes leggy or spindly due to a lack of sunlight. The vine growth increases and the vines tend to grow upwards to obtain more sunlight. It makes the plant look weak and makes the foliage sparse thus, affecting the overall appearance of the plant.

So, let us explore why it happens and how to solve it.


Your pothos can have a development of excessive vines which make it look unkempt. Further, the plant starts to weaken due to a lack of sunlight. It happens as plants need sunlight which is essential for the process of photosynthesis. It is through photosynthesis that plants produce their food.

A lack of sunlight means the plant cannot produce its food and starts to starve. It leads to smaller leaves, weaker stems, and eventually stunted growth in the plant. It may also affect its capability to produce flowers, fruits, and seeds.

Lack of Light

While the pothos is tolerant to low light , it still needs light to grow. So, if there is a severe lack of light, the plant starts to etiolate. Etiolation is the process of rapid growth that the plant undergoes to obtain more light. The leaves start to shrink, and the stems grow weak as the plant uses all its energy to rapidly grow towards the source of light.


The ideal solution is to move the plant to a location where it has access to bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day. However, providing excess sunlight may lead to sunburns. So it is best to place it in an area of partial shade and avoid leaving it out on days of excess heat.

Over Fertilization

Another reason may be due to providing excess fertilizers or the wrong fertilizer. All fertilizers promote growth by providing nutrition. Overfertilization may lead to excess nutrition in the plant and cause excessive growth. Such growth is forced, and mostly vines and stems are produced. It makes the pothos look leggy.


It is important to know the amount of fertilizer your pothos needs. Set up a fertilization schedule to regulate the amount of fertilizer you provide your plant. Use liquid fertilizers as pellets generally release excess nutrients in a short time. If your plant is over-fertilized, reduce the frequency of fertilization. After a while, you can use manures before gradually shifting to fertilizers again once the health of the plant improves. You can also consider pruning to facilitate new and healthy growth.

Thus, these are the reasons why your pothos could become so leggy and the steps to improve the same.

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