Pothos Temperature: Top 5 Signs Your Plant Is Too Hot or Too Cold

Pothos is a popular houseplant that produces heart-shaped leaves decorated with many variegations. Also known as Devil’s Ivy, the plant will grow prolifically indoors and outdoors. But only in the right conditions. 

Temperature is one of the most straightforward growing conditions to manage. Understanding ideal pothos temperature preferences will allow you to create an ideal home for your houseplant.

Native Growing Conditions

The Epipremnum aureum is native to the Solomon Islands and French Polynesia. 

These Oceania islands enjoy tropical climates with warm temperatures and high humidity levels. 

In the United States, the only places that can match this climate are hardiness zones 10-12. So the only states where pothos can thrive outside are Hawaii, southern Florida, southern Arizona, southern Texas, and parts of California (according to the USDA plant hardiness zone map). 

Everywhere else in the US, plant lovers must enjoy pothos indoors. 

Ideal Pothos Temperature Range for Indoor Plants

pothos plant living outside

Pothos can tolerate low temperatures. But it will do its best growing in high temperatures, like those received in its native habitat. 

The ideal pothos temperature range for indoor plants is 70 to 90 F

Pothos will survive above and below this range up to a point. (The next section will discuss signs that your pothos is too hot or too cold.) 

There are many popular varieties of pothos, including Golden pothos, Marble Queen pothos, Satin pothos, Jade pothos, Neon pothos, and the trending Baltic Blue pothos

The most noticeable difference between these pothos plants is their leaf variegation. But even if you understand these visual cues, It can be challenging to distinguish between cultivars. 

Fortunately, all pothos cultivars will generally appreciate this temperature range.

Top 5 Signs Your Pothos Is Too Hot or Too Cold

If you suspect the temperature of the room housing your pothos has gone beyond the temperature range in either direction, watch out for these symptoms:

1.) Black Leaves

We’ll start with an easy problem to diagnose. If the room that houses your pothos is very cold and the leaves on the pothos have turned black, it probably has frostbite.

2.) Brown or Dried Leaf Tips

These tips indicate that the air lacks humidity. But this problem often results from temperature changes, specifically those brought on by heating and air conditioning systems.

Cold air doesn’t hold much moisture. And many heating systems exacerbate the dry wintertime air.

3.) Curling Leaves

pothos plant with leaves curling inwards.

Curling pothos leaves often indicate temperatures too high for your plant. The long edges of the leaves will curl toward each other. The leaves will look wilted and droopy.

4.) Leaf Discoloration

Most healthy pothos plants produce green leaves speckled with attractive variegation. Leaf discoloration can sometimes result from low temperatures or drastic temperature changes.

This discoloration will usually take the form of brown patches in the middle of the leaf. Yellow leaves are more likely a sign of overwatering.

5.) Stunted Growth

New growth will become smaller and less frequent if the pothos is living in less-than-ideal temperatures. You can especially notice stunted growth along any vines. As the vine grows, new foliage will appear farther and farther apart. 

It’s important to remember that other issues beyond temperature can cause these symptoms.

So before you jump to conclusions, take the temperature of the room.

How to Create the Perfect Pothos Temperature 

1.) Take the Temperature

If you notice any of the above symptoms, the first thing you should do is take the temperature. The ideal temperature range for pothos plants is 70 to 90 F. 

It’s a useful first step. Thanks to thermostats and thermometers, it’s a pretty cut-and-dry issue. 

Measure the temperature as close to the pot as possible. Record the temperature several times throughout the day. And remember to measure nighttime temperatures as well. 

Observing temperature multiple times might seem tedious. But it will help you determine if the temperature stays within the ideal range and remains consistent. Temperature fluctuations can be stressful to the plant.

You can use a soil thermometer to measure soil temperature. But this step is less necessary for indoor pots than outdoor plants rooted directly in the ground soil. 

If the room temperature consistently stays within this range, the temperature might not be the cause of your plant’s ailment. 

2.) Assess Plant Placement

If the room’s temperature sits on the outer limits of the ideal range, consider moving the plant. 

Ideally, pothos plants prefer bright, indirect light. You might achieve this light by hanging a gauzy curtain in your window or placing the pothos deeper into the room.

To adjust for lower temperatures, try placing the pothos in direct sunlight. However, if the room experiences higher temperatures, you’ll want to minimize the plant’s exposure to direct sun

Keep an eye on the pothos after changing its position. Light availability does impact temperature conditions for the pothos. But most importantly, sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis. 

The pothos will not grow in overly low light conditions. 

3.) Other Adjustments

If you noticed drastic temperature fluctuations, try to identify the source of these changes. In many cases, the issue will be proximity to a heating or cooling system. 

Moving plants away from radiators or cooling vents is an easy way to make temperature adjustments.

Temperature fluctuations might also result from drafty windows, doors, or floorboards. If possible, seal the source. If that’s not possible, move the pothos away from the brunt of the draft.

Of course, you can also increase or decrease the temperature using your home’s heating/cooling system. But this method is not always cost-effective. 

In the extremes of winter and summer, consider moving your pothos to a room that experiences more desirable temperatures that time of year. Just make sure that the plant still receives enough light!

4.) Measure the Humidity

Sometimes, adjusting a room’s temperature will change its humidity, particularly in winter. So as you’re making temperature adjustments, remember to maintain ideal humidity conditions. 

(Weather can also impact a room’s humidity.)

Tropical plants, pothos, enjoy high humidity levels, typically in the range of 50-70%. 

The easiest way to measure humidity is to use a hygrometer. As with measuring temperature, the more often you record humidity levels, the better you’ll understand the plant’s total experience. 

5.) Adjust Humidity

If adjusting the temperature has negatively impacted your room’s humidity, don’t worry. It’s surprisingly easy to adjust humidity levels.

Because pothos is a tropical plant, it’s unlikely that the inside of your house experiences humidity levels too high for pothos. So let’s focus on increasing humidity.

To increase the humidity of the entire room, use a humidifier. When placing the humidifier, pay attention to its distance from the pothos. You don’t want it to be so close that moisture builds up in the soil.

If you don’t have a humidifier, there are a couple of simple DIY hacks. For example, you can use a spray bottle to do some occasional misting. Or create a pebble tray.

(Fill a tray with a handful of pebbles. Pour water into the tray until the stones are halfway submerged. Place the pothos pot on top of the pebbles. As water evaporates from the tray, humidity levels will increase.) 

And, light levels permitting, move your pothos to the kitchen or bathrooms. These rooms are naturally more humid than other rooms of a house.

Pothos Temp Range Perfect? Other Growing Conditions to Keep in Mind

Once you’ve established the ideal growing conditions, pothos is a prolific and easy-growing houseplant. 

Here’s a quick overview of other pothos care considerations: 

  • Water: Too much water is more harmful than too little, as it can lead to issues like root rot and pest infestation. Let the top inch of soil dry out completely between watering. Ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes, so water does not build up.
  • Sunlight: Pothos prefer bright, indirect light. 
  • Soil: The best soil for pothos is a well-draining soil with moderate to slightly acidic pH levels. 
  • Fertilizer: Pothos plants don’t require frequent fertilization. Apply diluted, slow-release fertilizer once a month during the growing season (summer and spring). 
  • Pruning: Light pruning during the growing season is an easy way to encourage new growth. 
  • Climbing: If you want pothos to climb, you need to provide a surface to which they can attach their aerial roots. Pothos look cute in hanging baskets, but gravity alone won’t make these vines climb. Instead, you’ll need to provide something climbable such as a moss pole or trellis. 

If you meet the needs of your pothos, good news! Pothos is easy to multiply via propagation.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.