Why does my Satin Pothos have brown leaves?

Last Updated: June 21, 2022

There is something really special about the silver speckles on the leaves of a Satin Pothos plant so it’s devastating when we see that they are starting to turn brown. It can happen that sometimes the tips of the leaves turn brown, other times you might see brown spots and patches and you might be unlucky enough to have all of the leaf turning brown. There are a few different causes that can make the leaves on your Satin Pothos brown, so check out the post below to find the right diagnosis as well as how to fix it! 

Brown leaf tips on a Satin Pothos indicates a lack of humidity

Really dry air can mean the plant transpires a lot more, which is when it loses moisture through the leaves. This can cause the tips to dry out and become brown. You may find this happening a lot more during winter as a mixture of central heating and a lack of ventilation can mean the air in your home dries out a lot quicker. 

Here are a few ways to increase humidity for your Satin Pothos to prevent brown leaf tips:

Mist the leaves

This is one of the easiest ways to increase the humidity for your Satin Pothos and can help to prevent any more leaf tips from turning brown. We recommend misting the leaves a few times per week with a spray bottle. (We love these amber glass ones from Amazon).

Top tip: mist the leaves in the morning to allow enough time for the water droplets to evaporate before nighttime. If the leaves are still moist as the temperatures drop at night, they are a lot more likely to rot which causes a whole other issue.

Make a pebble tray

This will need a touch of DIY from your end but it’s a great solution for Satin Pothos plants that have brown leaf tips. Fill up a tray with small pebbles and fill it up halfway with water (if you’re filling it up any further it will mean the roots are sitting in the water which can cause root rot). Place your Satin Pothos on top of the pebbles (making sure it’s level). Throughout the day the water will slowly evaporate around your Satin Pothos increasing the humidity.

Finding a nice spot

If you’ve got a good level of natural light in your kitchen or bathroom then we recommend placing your Satin Pothos in there. The humidity level in those rooms will usually be naturally higher than in other areas of your home because of steam from showering and cooking. This will help to prevent brown leaves and leaf tips on your Satin Pothos. 

Invest in a humidifier

We recommend that every plant parent owns a humidifier to keep their houseplants happy! They keep the humidity in the room at a consistent level so you don’t have to worry about a thing. They are especially useful over winter when central heating causes dry air, oh and they’re super affordable too! 

We always recommend this humidifier from Amazon as a great place to start.

If you want to learn more about how to raise the humidity in your home for your Satin Pothos then check out our humidity guide.

Underwatering can cause brown Satin Pothos leaves

If you notice that there are dry patches all over the leaves of your Satin Pothos rather than brown leaf tips, then it may be underwatering that’s the culprit. Don’t worry if you forget the occasional watering, but consistent underwatering can cause some real issues. 

Before you start pouring water over your Satin Pothos to fix the problem, it’s important that you are sure that it’s the right cause. It’s important to take your plant out of the pot and seeing how dry the potting mix feels. If it’s bone dry and the roots look crispy, then underwatering is the most likely culprit of the brown leaves. The best way to fix your underwatered Satin Pothos is to water your plant a little bit once a day for about a week. This will help to gradually reintroduce water without shocking your plant by changing the environment too rapidly. 

We recommend buying a moisture meter to help you keep an eye on when your Satin Pothos needs more or less water which will help to avoid brown leaves in future. 

Brown leaves can also indicate a bacterial infection

If you notice that there are brown spots with yellow rings on the leaves of your Satin Pothos then it’s most likely caused by the bacterial infection ‘leaf spot’. This happens when there is too much moisture on the leaves and they may start to rot. 

It can happen if the leaves are wet as the temperatures drop at night – either due to misting late in the day, or splashing the leaves when watering your Satin Pothos. 

The best way to fix this is to cut off the affected leaves to conserve your plant’s energy which will help encourage new healthy leaves and vines. In future, make sure to water your plant as close to the plant as possible (a thin spouted watering can really help with this). This ensures that you don’t get the leaves wet when you water your Satin Pothos.

So those are the most common reasons why Satin Pothos plants can start turning brown. Luckily, each of the issues isn’t a guaranteed death sentence for your plant and as long as you have caught the problem early, there’s no reason why you couldn’t get your Satin Pothos back to full health by tweaking some environmental or care aspects. Once you do make a change, keep a close eye on your Satin Pothos to see how it gets on. Like humans, plants can be a little sensitive to change so it’s important you monitor the improvements. 

If you want to find out more about caring for your Satin Pothos plant, as well as how to diagnose and fix other common issues, check out our Satin Pothos care guide.

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